My local gun store [LGS ] is Sportsman’s Finest. The Farago-friendly firearms emporium caters to a high-end clientele. It’s not the place to go looking for a bargain or bulk ammo. The staff knows its guns. They can talk you through an excellent selection of new handguns, shotguns and rifles. Bonus! You don’t have to listen to a bunch of OWFG’s decrying Obama and condescending to the fairer sex. What’s your LGS like? Name names and don’t hold back.
Bear creek firearms, Keller, TX. Scott is probably one of the finest young men I’ve ever met. He’s a class 3 and class 7 FFL. Great selection of all kinds of guns. Can’t recommend him highly enough.
No such thing as a Class 3 FFL.
No such thing as a Class 7 FFL.
Not to pick nits, but there certainly is a class 3 and maybe he made a mistake and meant type 7?
John Brown’s Armory in Rochester, PA. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, the prices are reasonable too. The store itself used to be in an old building in poor repair. They’ve since moved, but I haven’t been there since the move.
I just shop at cabelas, I do have to listen to a lot of anti Obama and condescending talk towards women. The selection on firearms is pretty good
Why would a bunch of OWFG’s decry Obama? After all it’s not like he is going to come after your guns or anything.
I get stuff at Cabelas from time to time, but I shy away from gun talk while I’m there…
The conversations are usually overflowing with misinformation and assclownary, it makes my head hurt.
I purchased a rifle from Cabelas once. O-N-C-E. It was the middle of a workday, the place was quiet as could be. The guy behind the counter was great, no complaints. But the checkout…UGH. Even with a CHL (which in TX makes purchasing pretty straightforward) it took FORTY-FIVE MINUTES to get through the section where they process paperwork. And there was only one person besides me there, and two clerks. Never again, if I can help it, just due to the sheer pain of the wait for “systems” to do their thing.
“Ed’s Gunshop, Vass, NC. HUGE variety of in stock new and used. Willing to special order. Excellent prices. NO attempt to price gouge on anything during the panic (in fact, he wouldn’t even let people put thing in his shop on consignment above certain prices to avoid driving local prices up). Always super nice to my five year old son when he wants to come in “just to look”.
Also uses the shop property to hold local rallies and pro gun interests.
Your five year old now has a lifetime habit. I still go in just for a looksie. Thats what I tell myself as I’m parking. Sometimes those looksies get a little expensive.
Yeah Ed’s has a pretty big selection from my experience. I got a 10/22 Takedown from them when they first came out and no one had any in stock. They had 3 if I remember correctly.
Any experience with Bryant’s in Lumberton, NC? Their prices seem a little high but they do usually have a decent selection of guns and ammo. I was pretty annoyed about a month ago when I asked if they had any 22lr in stock and they broke out ziploc baggies of 50 rounds. They had just broken up a brick and were selling in smaller quantities so the markup didn’t seem as bad. I could understand that at a flea market or even a gun show, but a retail establishment? Come on! Too bad that is the only shop close to me with more than 5-6 guns, and those are seedy pawn shops.
No experience with Bryants. I’m only 5 minutes from Ed’s so I typically either go there or (every ones in a while) Carthage Shooting Sports.
Arnzen Arms in Eden Prarie, Minnesota. Great place staffed by friendly normal people who actually like guns instead of selling a commodity. Store itself is brand new and its walls resemble the shop in your video. I was so excited the first time I walked in that I could just walk up to gun and start operating it. A lot better than taking a number at an understaffed Gander Mountain.
+1 on Arnzen Arms. They do up to 5 transfers for $20. Everyone that works there shoots in IPSC leagues. Nice People very helpful. Wish they carried more reloading stuff! I guess there is always Gunstop for reloading, just wish they were as friendly at GunStop. Ammocraft the people are nice if they have what you are looking for.
Tina’s Range Gear, Santa Fe, NM.
Nice people, friendly and funny behind-the-counter canines. Selection could be better, but what they stock is generally good quality stuff and the prices are generally reasonable. A couple-three indoor range bays complete the package. Staff generally are knowledgeable, they don’t seem to mind newbie questions or an extended discussion of the fine points of a particular gun.
The other LGS … well, if you’re a man they’ll talk to you. When my wife and I went in so she could buy a spare couple of magazines for her 1911, I had to physically walk away from the counter before the guy would talk to her and not me. Good selection, prices okay. But the “gun shop attitude” is definitely going on there.
Pickett’s Weaponry in Newberry FL.
Good selection and stock on everything, staff is hit and miss. Some are really nice and helpful, some are douchebags. Prices suck too, $399 for a STOCK 10/22, the same kind Walmartsells. I go to look, feel, fondle and get info. Buy elsewhere.
Four Benjamin’s for a stock 10/22! That’s outrageous! Go West young man, go west!
I will second that Pickett Weaponry sucks beyond belief. Rarely do you run into an employee there that knows sh*t from shinola and when you do find one that is even slightly knowledgeable you can count on them being rude, arrogant, and abrasive. I mean to tell you they take bad customer service to a whole new level that I have never experienced anywhere ever before in my 57 years on this earth. I have had a few dealings with them and it is always the same. Their resident “so-called gunsmith” may be quite knowledgeable, however he appears to be convinced that he and he alone possesses any and all firearm knowledge and that the customer should be praying at his altar for the privilege of waiting months on end for him to put his knowledge to work in a very poor manner with very poor results. By his own admission, his equipment is antiquated and he has illusions of grandeur as an inventor and feels that working on firearms is beneath him. To make matters worse his wife works there in the store. Talk about a foul-mouthed piece of work…the two of them deserve each other. The slightest poliite disagreement with either of them may well result in you being verbally abused (read: cussed out) as you leave the store. My WARNING to all who are considering Pickett Weaponry: Contrary to their radio advertisement “They are NOT worth the trip….This is indeed as understated as I can make it.
My LGS is Tracy Rifle and Pistol. Small shop. They also do SSE, so for California this is a win. They can get just about anything, but deal mainly deal in pistols and defensive rifles. Friendly staff, and they all live in Tracy so they are our neighbors too. Prices are market, no major discounts, but they do their best. Also they are moving to a new location with an indoor pistol range which is great!
Also, they are Calguns supporters!
I would go to them more often but the stupid 10 day wait really puts a damper on it. Though word through the grapevine is that a legal challenge is going ahead soon….
Florida Gun Center in Hialeah FL. Extremely friendly and knowledgeable employees who take the time to talk to and help ANYONE regardless of experience or how much they are looking to spend. Whether you are looking to buy a couple Noveske’s or a used lcp, you will be treated with respect and helped. I think most of us probably frequent shops we like for good reason. Love to see a question on specific stores we have not liked with valid reasons why. Bad business deserves to be called out!
Does anybody else have a shop to recommend (or stay away from) in south Florida?
Miami Guns in Hialeah. Range is serviceable. Great staff. Friendly and knowledgeable. I have always gotten good prices compared to competition. Nice selection. Bought Glocks and my HK there. Also took my class for CWL there
GAT in East Dundee, Illinois. One of the best indoor ranges around, and they even have 50-yard and 75-yard rifle ranges. Probably the most reliable place in Northern Illinois to find ammo. They almost always have .22lr and 9 mm available at decent prices. It’s a big place with a large staff so your customer experience depends on who you are interacting with, but most of the people there are top-notch.
I bought my CZ75 PCR there. Much better selection than anyplace else in the Chicago area (and they don’t have that absurd Cook County tax) but If I’m just shooting, I tend to go to Maxon’s in Des Plaines.
Hear, hear for GAT Guns in East Dundee, Illinois!
Gene and Chris – Snowsville General Store, Snowsville-East Braintree-Braintree (depending on who you ask) VT. Smal town COUNTRY STORE, good selection of firearms, good selection of hunting gear, archery, black powder, munchies, good conversation, wool clothing, sometimes good deals, and just plain good folks. Always reminds me of the little Mom & Pop trading post places in the small towns in Northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado Rockies. Complete with old fashioned (I mean OLD fashioned) pot bellied wood stove to warm you while chewing the fat with gene over the price of Ammo or the status of the Deer herd in this cold, cold year.
Alternate is Mid-State Sports in Randolph VT…where the owner watches you like you’re 13 and a known shoplifter and doesn’t have all that much unless you need tack for a horse. Or Parro’s Gunshop in Waterbury just off I89 where the selection is awesome and the prices are…. high.
My LGS is terrible. The guy who runs it never has any ammo, and has plenty of crap guns that don’t work that no one will ever buy.
Bill’s gun shop and range. Robbinsdale, MN.
They got me hooked, after I attended their mini shot show, manufacturers reps loaned out guns for everyone to try. In fact their next one is first weekend in April.
Though now that The average American has mentioned Arnzen Arms, I’ll have to check them out.
Thanks for the heads up on the show. I like Bill’s too. Arnzen is just a lot closer to where I live. Although I haven’t had the chance to compare prices between the two stores, Arnzen is kinda boutique-y as far as size.
Bills (all locations but especially Robbinsdale) is great. Awesome selection, and their shooters shows are superb. I had not heard of Arnzen, and I drove through Eden Prairie today, bummer. Thanks for mentioning it Average American, looks like I need to visit. Also, Frontiersman in St. Louis park (just off of 394 and Louisiana) is a good store, usually a good selection of military surplus rifles. A bit fudd oriented though.
Gat Guns, Inc. East Dundee IL
Great place, super folks.
My family is from Dundee, trip out. I visited once with my Oma and Opa (Grandmother and grandfather for those of you who don’t have German families) one when I was quite young and recall the place mostly being a ghost town.
It is now a lovely, vibrant small town with a great main street and many nice shops. Gat is on the outskirts.
downtown Dundee also has an old-fashioned walk-up Dairy Queen!
That’s awesome! My family owned a diner or a deli or something downtown. As of ~10 years ago it was owned by someone else but still had the same name. Really cool to know that the town is alive. My Opa used to tell me about his dad taking him to the top of the smokestack at the factory (button factory?) he worked at to drop/bend/smash pennies. I think that may have been in Elgin though. Been a long time.
So far, 4 of us have identified GAT. Perhaps we should start a TTAG shooting league.
I’m in for that. I shoot at GAT pretty regularly at both the pistol and rifle ranges.
Picked up several of my items from them.
I’d completely be in for GAT event and we can follow it up with beer and burgers at either Diamond Jim’s or Emmit’s Ale House in downtown Dundee.
I love All Shooters Tactical in Woodbridge, VA. The staff is knowledgeable and loves to teach and help. They’ll hand you anything on the shelves with no pressure to buy. They have a great selection of accessories and such. Best of all – they do layaway! I have some great guns because of them that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
I agree Matt, They are awesome people who are extremely helpful and there is no pressure to buy anything. I love that I can ask about a gun and they hand it to you to look at while explaining about it. I have several guns from them too that I would not have because of their helpfullness.
Oddly enough perhaps, my best sales experiences at gun stores have been with women and older guys. The young guys at my LGS are unfriendly and disinterested to the point I won’t work with them anymore. I have actually waited 45 minutes for a specific salesperson because I got fed up with surly service. If I wanted to be treated like a piece of meat I’d go to Cabela’s. Unfortunately, my options are pretty limited.
HA, ding ding we have a winner. Open to suggestions if you’ve got them. I like the selection and the rental range but the service leaves something to be desired.
Right around the corner, I’ve always had luck with Newington Gun Exchange. I’ve bought many handguns there. And but for a few occasion right when everything was first going crazy in 2012/13, the staff has always been helpful, nice, and willing to bs a bit if you want. I also like them because they typically have a large used selection.
Delta Arsenal in Wallingford has always been good to me as well, they have been helpful and professional. I have never bought anything from them but I have used their range.
Cabelas. Of course, they are big box but if you can get in at a less busy time you can get some small shop type service. They will even negotiate very slightly on some gun prices. The older guys running around the center section have been extremely good resources for reloading info. Edit – I see your experience with Cabelas is typical unfortunately.
Columbia Center Sports in Columbia, huge safe selection/inventory for a middle of nowhere store. Usually has a decent odds n ends and used gun inventory. The owner has always been very nice and extremely helpful to myself and my friends who have bought numerous firearms from him. Currently they are working on getting their FFL (the holder of the original FFL was the son who moved away recently) so they don’t have anything guns to sell. I expect they should be back in the gun business soon.
Jim’s Gun’s in Bristol. Extremely nice guy and knowledgeable; I bought some grips and other doodads from him. The owner talked to my friend and I for a good 30-45 minutes and not the trapping you there to listen to me rant kind of talking and answered our questions, etc. Literally a hole in the wall place but some very cool stuff in there.
Hoffman’s, you know about. I’ve had the worst most condescending I’m too operator for you service there from the younger guys and some very helpful and nicer service there from other guys. I’ve only bought one gun from them because of this but I do buy ammo, a bargain bin accessory, or reloading supplies form them; they are typically pretty well stocked on those 3 items.
Those are my frequent haunts, I’ve been to so many others and only browsed that vary in selection and service.
Bought many guns from Hoffmans, before I escaped from CT
Federal Way Discount Guns in Federal Way, Wash. Well stocked,they know what they’re doing and can inform you on the various guns as well as the pitfalls of other weapons. They can order you what your looking for as well as having a quick turn around time. What I do appreciate is if they don’t know something they’ll tell you upfront instead of laying a bulls**t story on you.
Eh, Moe will bullshit you if he thinks there’s money in it for him. Assuming they don’t walk away in the middle of the transaction to help the next customer. They’re kind of known for crappy customer service, especially toward women, and I think twice in the last year I’ve walked out to guy buy an identical gun down the street at Sportsman’s Warehouse or (shudder) SAA because I got tired of being fed false information (either out of ignorance or maliciousness, I don’t care which it is).
That said, if you just want to buy a gun, they have it in stock, and you get the right guy, you can be in and out quick and easy. Bought probably a dozen or so in the last year and a half from them. It helps that they’re only 5 minutes from my house and have a range attached, too. 🙂
Gunnies in Orem, UT. Great place. Great people. Prices very competitive.
Get Some in Orem has a great range, but it’s a little pricy. Ammo prices were around fair last time I was there, though. Not sure on gun prices.
I’ve found that gun prices at Get Some are generally the same as prices at Gunnies or a bit cheaper. Gunnies seems to have a better selection of guns, though Get Some has a good selection too.
I am from Idaho Falls Idaho, but I occasionally get into that part of Utah and hit up Gunnies check ammo see if there is anything I want to fondle, but both times I have actually tried talking to someone, the first time just talking shop the second time I had my wife with me and wanted her to handle some guns in loo of her getting her own they where not friendly and would not listen to a word I said. Especially when my wife and I where looking for her, the guy just wanted to sell us his favorite gun no matter that I told him that is not what we are interested in. If he was not trying to sell me what he wanted to sell me he would not even look me in the eye. Very disappointing considering I have heard many great things about the place. I still go to check on ammo when I am in town but I do not talk to the people behind the counter unless I see something I really want to fondle.
Ammo Bros in Cerritos, CA. Lots of cool black tactical stuff, but the staff is either condescending or disinterested. Know what you want when you go in and plan on spending more time there than you should, they live by the take-a-number routine even when the store is empty, so if you don’t have a number in hand it’s as if you’re invisible. Field Time Sports and Guns in Huntington Beach has FAR better service but smaller selection. Turner’s is hit or miss.
East orange shooting sports Orlando. Is my go to local place. Ultimate arms in Lakeland has a wonderful shop with great guns and a very friendly staff.
I guess I’m lucky here, we’ve got everything from Cabela’s and Bass pro “big box” stores to small “mom and pop” shops as well as everything in-between….. and ALOT of them. If you’re willing to make a few calls you can find pretty much whatever you need or want around here. Finding specific items in stock can cost you a pretty penny because the stores with the largest inventory usually deal with higher overhead in the nicer end of town.
Cabelas or Bass Pro – Big box – good selection of “standard” stuff
Knob Creek – Nationally famous gun range/store – Piles of stuff on hand, lots of militaria
Keistlers/Orion or Shooters supply – Large selection of guns/in stock items – Higher prices but carry higher end and hard to find items, They get what the small shops can’t because of their size.
Wal-Mart(yes wal-mart) – some around here have basic guns including AR’s(15-20), most have ammo – decent prices when in stock – limited selection – no high end anything.
Tilfords, Biffs, Raining Acorns, Cabin fever, several hardware stores have gun counters, Hi-tec…… All of these(and more) fall into the “mom and pops” range for me. Most of them have good deals on used guns or older Milsurp stuff but selection varies by the time of year, economy, panic buying or any other number of reasons. They sometimes have trouble keeping anything popular on the shelves and most of them don’t have huge budgets. Most of the small places are also appreciative of your business and seem genuinely happy to help any way they can.
My region is very gun friendly and with few exceptions most employees are respectful, polite and helpful.
My LGS is full of retards that say stupid shit all day…
AKA, the internet.
That’s just like my local ammo store.
Have a couple I frequent. Bought my first gun recently at Four Seasons in Woburn, MA. Pick up ammo sometimes at Collectors Gallery in Stoneham, MA. Four Seasons has pretty good deals on used guns from time to time.
BLYTHES in Griffith,Indiana. Wonderful shop. They do layaway, deal on prices, work with you. Did NOT price gouge last year. Also Cabelas in Hammond, Indiana is ok. I generally have no use for Illinois shops where I live. BTW I have no problem ranting about Obama
When I lived in CT the shops I used were horrible. They acted as though they didnt want their customers there. Staff would routinely make up their own answers to questions and become hostile when questioned. Angry Fudds who hated anyone who wasnt them. The Newington Gun Exchange wasnt bad. Wouldnt have found them if it werent for being treated so poorly by Hoffmans. There was another in the southeast corner of the state (Stamford or Norwalk maybe), I forget its name, where the owner was actually swearing at people and telling them to get out his store. I couldnt believe it. I used his web contact form to place a hold on a rifle. When I showed up with the confirmation to get the rifle he shouted at me “it’s gone, you should have put a hold on it!” I showed the confirmation and thought he was going to punch me. Field and Stream in Middlefield was terribly hostile. One up on the Post Road past Orange where I swear the owners were skinheads. I think it’s closed now.
In NH the experience has been hit or miss. Of the three I have used one was unremarkable, the other as hostile as my experiences in CT (found out the owner moved here from MA) and the third a long-time family owned shop has been absolutely a dream come true. It’s run by a woman, the staff is extremely friendly to the point of remembering peoples names and interests, if they dont know something they admit to it rather than just make shit up, they are very female friendly. It was actually the woman who runs that shop who got my lady to take up shooting.
I don’t know why this sector of retail attracts so many assholes and douchebags but in my time on this planet the good shop with the good staff seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
I’ll mirror the experience in CT, most were TERRIBLE(Hoffmans, I am looking at you) but I did really like NGX.
Name names in NH! I moved up here myself and have been traveling around the state to check out shops. We actually just got our 07/02, but aren’t going to be doing any retail sales.
Hoffmans keeps moving and getting bigger, Newington Gun exchange has not changed in 15 years, I don’t think they have even cleaned the floor, but I did buy many guns from them in the past. Anyone remember The Trading Post just down the Berlin Turnpike?
Shooters Outpost in Hooksett NH. Greeat staff, prices, etc. Bas Pro just opened up in the same town and Outpost blows them away (no pun intended)
I fully agree with this, Shooters is an amazing store with a huge inventory between the Hooksett and their sister store, Manchester Firing Line Range. Riley’s up the street has better ammo prices, but their service is hit or miss and the store in general just feels like a cramped garage.
Agree 100% about Shooters’ Outpost. Great owners, great staff, great selection, and decent prices.
Before they opened I used Riley’s – which is also nice, but it’s a bit farther from my house. Some people might like the cozier, down home feeling at Riley’s. Both places have extremely knowledgeable staff who are willing to talk and explain.
Of course, in NH, I don’t hear two of the most disgusting words in the English language: “… plus tax.”
i agree. people are very helpful and friendly. the prices seemed good.
Everything is at least an hours drive away. And that’s with no traffic.
So, brownells, midway, pat’s, wideners, etc…
Big gun shows every other month, and a big network of like minded people.
The small gun stores? Pretty nice.
Bass Pro? They adopted this inane policy of not allowing anyone to handle a handgun without already having MD’s Hangun Qualification License (HQL).
I can see both sides of that policy. At times I wish they would do that around here but I’d rather see them just B**chslap the morons who muzzle sweep everyone else in the store.
Has nothing to do with that. The morons trying out shotguns still muzzle everyone nearby.
Bass Pro’s legal folks decided to follow the strictest interpretation of SB0281 and not allow anyone to even touch a handgun without the license (read: $50 MD tax).
Virginia Pistol is a great local gun shop located in Linden, VA. It’s the type of place you pop into as much for conversation as for shopping. Mike keeps the shop running well while Jim is an excellent trainer I believe in the PDN style.
They have a pretty decent selection of guns new and consignment (I think). They try to keep ammo in stock and reasonably priced though, well, with a digging there are cheaper prices out there. Still, reasonable enough that I’ll buy local when I need it.There’s also an on-premise gunsmith that’s taken care of a few oddball issues I’ve brought to him.
I’ve seen Mike work with prospective owners adult-to-adult. He’s told me one of the most difficult problems he has is when the boyfriend has already picked out the 44 magnum for his girlfriend’s first gun. 🙂
At least 50% of the emphasis at VA Pistol is training. I’ve taken the concealed carry and one of the combat concepts courses so far. Both were well worth the time.
Rich Rubin K&R Gun distributors, Yonkers, NY. Former Yonkers cop with ZERO cop attitude – very friendly guy to everyone whether they wear, wore or lack an LEO badge. Excellent prices on guns and ammo – never gouged during the worst of the ammo crises.
My LGS is Norton Sporting Goods. Really nice staff, seems like a hole-in-the-wall when you pull up. Rest assured that is not the case. The store is very well stocked and has anything you could want, and if they don’t have it, they will find it for you. Great customer service, they feel like family.
I have no regular gun shop hang out yet. I feel kind of cheated. The shops I’ve checked into so far have proven to be either too clique, too overtly political or just plain shifty. The bulk of my transactions have been either private or online. Am I freak?
No, you aren’t a freak. I deal with a similar issue. Most of the LGS’s in my area are also Pawn shops. The employees don’t know anything about guns and the prices are absolutely ridiculous; they are preying on the uninformed buyers. I saw a Gen3 Glock 17 with stock sights and only two magazines for $650 in one of these places. No thank you. One of the local guys is really nice, but his prices just aren’t competitive. He knows that he can’t move enough volume to get his wholesale cost down, so he focuses a lot on just doing transfers for folks. $20 and he is really nice to deal with and only a 10 minute drive for me. There is another store in the area that has pretty good inventory and the prices are competitive with those online. Only problem is that it is almost an hour drive for me. The gas and sales tax usually make it cheaper to buy online and pay the $20 transfer fee.
YOJ Andover hunt and fish. 100/10. They will give the best prices even possible. They got me a 500$ shotgun for 350 and let me trade in a shotgun barrel for a different one. They are an awesome store. Also RTSP. The best indoor range in New Jersey. It doesn’t beat Andover hunt and fish prices but it has fair prices, a professional staff, a digital shoot house, a regular shoot house, a great selection of guns and good classes. 100/10. These are easily the best places in NJ.
I second Andover Hunt & Fish…
Bought my first gun from them when it was just YOJ Sports (and they didn’t carry any firearm inventory), but ever since Garrett bought the shop he has improved their on-hand selection dramatically. Great amount of fishing and archery items as well.
So far I only have one gun that I didn’t buy from them…
I stopped in Andover Hunt and Fish yesterday for the first time! I havent been in since it was yoj which was about 3 years ago! I was also supprised to see how much guns and ammo they have! I picked up a 2 boxes of 9mm for a decent price too! Nice little store and they said they are expanding the kid said which would be great! Great little shop over all and was happy i stopped in
Have the Outdoor Sportsman in Wake Forest, NC and Hunter’s Haven in Rolesville, NC. Both are newer shops so their selection is lacking due to them (I’m assuming) trying to keep a lower overhead. Both shops have very friendly staff that doesn’t get “high and mighty” and they’re very respectful of my fiance.
Was just in Outdoor Sportsman over the weekend looking for ammo and a conceal piece for my fiance and the gentleman (don’t remember his name, shame on me) working with me was not only super helpful with my purchase but hopped right on with his distributors trying to find me the heater. Showed me what his cost was and we discussed what the final sale price would be, was willing to lose a sale to tell me I’d get a better deal elsewhere. Gratz to him, he’ll end up getting the sale just based on his forthrightness.
A few of the other local LGS’ are pretty bad. Loaded with tactitard or OFWG staff who automagically assume you’re a mouth-breather because they’re old enough to be your sire or you “don’t look the part.” No money for asshats like that…
Carolina Rod & Gun: Definitely a more traditional sportsman’s gun shop. Fairly decent selection of hunting rifles and shotguns, not much in the way of more tactical or 3 gun oriented stuff. Pretty good selection of quality pistols though, but I’ve never seen bulk ammo or much selection of by the box stuff.
ATP Gun Shop & Range: Much larger selection of pretty much everything, but still geared towards the more traditional sportsman. Pretty good supply of ammo and reloading supplies, but again I can’t recall seeing any bulk ammo. They are a Class 3 dealer; when I finally have a situation that permits it I’ll likely get my first can from them. Their prices always seem a tad high to me, but not too bad.
There are other shops in the area I need to check out, but those are the two I’m familiar with. They’re OK, but they make me miss New Frontier Armory.
There are two local guys down there, one is called Carolina Silencer, the other is Working Man’s Armory. Both in Mt P. Good chance they’ll hook you up better on price, and I have never been impressed with ATP, prices or staff.
Go visit Henry at HHB Guns; he’s on Hwy 78 in Summerville. Tiny shop, but he’s expanding. Good prices on ammo and guns. Best rates for transfers in town.
My buddies and I say ATP stands for Always Triple Pice. They have a decent selection, but they are always pretty high and the staff seems to ignore people.
East Coast Guns are friendly, but the selection is smaller.
I also like Carolina Arms and Ammo. Very friendly staff.
Always Triple Price- That’s what my buddies also call ATP. If you want to know what something there costs, just look up the MSRP and add 20%. The only thing they are good for is showrooming. I like to support local businesses, but paying 40% over Bud’s is not gonna happen.
Limehouse out on John’s Island has very fair prices and are nice people.
Carolina Rod and Gun has my prefered gunsmith
No such thing as class 3 dealer.
Lanco Tactical in Elizabethtown, PA. I had delivery/transfer of a VEPR 12 through them and was very impressed by their customer service, so now when I want to go brick and mortar, I go there.
The staff I’ve encountered are knowledgeable and friendly. I mentioned I hadn’t really dealt with the AK platform before, and even though they were only getting my money for the transfer fee that day I was shown how to field strip the weapon and basic functionality. They didn’t have to take that time – and I’ve been plenty of places that wouldn’t. I’ve ordered a few parts there, and I’ll probably order my next couple of range toys there. Highly recommended.
I’m planning to take their AR15-101 course next month. I have heard good things about them as well.
Ain’t no local gun store here. All closed up. I drive 30 miles to New Castle, De for Millers, which is rather good. There were four or five when I moved to Delaware county, Pa twenty five years ago. Really depressing. And no, I won’t be going in to Philadelphia for my firearms need. It may be only eight miles, but, really, it’s WAAAY further than that.
Have you tried Targetmaster in Chadds Ford? I’ve used their indoor range for pistol practice for the last twelve years, and they did a good ventilation upgrade three years ago. Outdoors for rifles I go to a place just past Valley Forge. I’m in LM, Montco.
SafeSide Tactical in Vinton, VA is my choice. I am willing to drive the 40 minutes right past Trader Jerry’s II in Salem and Gander Mountain in Roanoke. They have a large selection of rifles, a good selection of hand guns, and a case with suppressors and a preban Colt AR with a happy switch on display! I bought a Glock 41 and a 10/22 from them two weeks ago and had two employees help me! The gunsmith only works on a limited schedule but his milling of Glock slides and general Cerakote work speaks volumes for itself! I also shop Bryansteen’s in Roanoke as it is a classy spot for used guns from all periods and some new. They also have a large safe and archery department. For a big box store I have really enjoyed our local Sportsman’s Warehouse for my reloading supplies. I try to shop the other two for the rest of my needs. All three stores are very different in purpose but all three have one thing in common: consistent, polite customer service.
Visit SafeSide at:
And Bryansteen’s at:
Keep small business alive! Support those who don’t change their standards with the market!
Trapper Dan’s is right down the street from Safeside. Smaller shop, but will cut you a great deal.
i hear now and then what Carter’s Country used to be like back in the day, and it makes me sorry to see it now. the staff at the one on shaver is surly and condescending. id rather give my business to a real, honest to God gun store than to walmart, but i hate rude behavior in a man. i wont tolerate it.
Collectors Firearms over at fondren and richmond sounds like a gas, though. havent yet had occasion to ride over and see yet. any of yall?
I’ve actually been there–fascinating place, has all kinds of guns and stuff, new stuff, old stuff, military stuff, books, manuals, gear. For the most part the employees seem to be really good at what they do. One of my pet peeves got tweaked once by one of the clerks trying to sell a lady a Glock she obviously couldn’t handle (long story, not for here)–but right across the store, another clerk was responsibly serving an older frail-looking gent. Great place, if it hasn’t gone down the tubes since I was there last.
I have many LGS’s that I frequent. Shooter’s World in Avondale seems to be the one my wife likes the best. Most of the Cabelas counter guys give her the “hey there little lady, do you know which end the bullet comes out of” spiel. That doesn’t really sit well with me, especially since she’s probably the only person in the place that will continue to observe the 4 rules even when she’s at the gun counter. I’ve had mixed experiences at Scottsdale Gun Club (my dad is a member). They always got the ‘in demand’ merchandise in stock, but at a premium I’m generally not willing to pay. I’ve had the best luck with ‘in stock’ merchandise and reasonable prices at Pistol Parlor in Mesa. I’ve never really stayed in there long enough to hear the political talk, so I can’t speak to that aspect. I’ve been to many others around the valley, but those are the ones I have gone to the most.
The Gun House, Saint Joseph, MI
It is a small (by most other I have seen) shop, well stocked and if if you have a special they will have it for you quickly, and notify you as soon as it is available.
Discovered them when I needed a FFL to receive a firearm I ordered online. Transfer prices are reasonable and shop has an excellent selection of weapons on hand.
I have seen them also treat the women as equals, help them select (fit) weapons that they can control or are more comfortable with.
I cannot say enough good things about this shop, the owners, or the competitive prices.
The Gun House is the kind of place ALL gun shops should be modeled after.
Unlimited Firearms and Outfitters, 302 S 2nd…Cabot AR…..friendly helpful staff…laid back and comfortable…always ready to give GOOD SOLID advice on firearms and anything related =)
Gun Master: Plano, Texas: Good Selection, but same good ole’ boy, old man, condescending demeanor. Walked in for a Glock 26, and the old guy behind the counter would have none of it. Every reasonable, educated question I had went back to how he didn’t like Glock and the best bet was an upsell to a Sig. He wasn’t the only one either. the Whole store was staffed with people like my salesmen. That cost them 550$. I won’t go back.
Mister Guns: Plano, Texas: Complete opposite of Gun Master. Young Staff. Cool Owner. Great selection of new and used. Owner personally emails any customer asking stock questions, sell or trade questions ect. I’ve sold one gun, and traded 1 shield for a glock 19. Way better experience.
The LGS never seem to have what I am looking for in stock. I will just stick with Cabelas and miss out on the bargains. Little chance for me to be left out of a thousand dollar order like I was when a LGS went bankrupt also.
Green Mountain Guns in Colorado, if they can be bothered to be distracted from whatever they’re doing, will “harrumph” through your purchase if you’re willing to put up with the condescending attitude. Great selection, biggest shop in the area, but don’t expect to, for example, have them sell a 1911 to a female without a whole lot of judgment and egging you on towards a pink .380acp.
Colorado Gun Broker on the other hand, is a small shop, run by a group of younger guys, where they know their stuff fully, just not as big of a selection, and are as friendly as any place I’ve been. Sometimes they even have BBQs and range shoots for their customers. Will work with you on almost anything.
I try to take my business to the latter, but sometimes I have to look for stuff at the former, and annoy them with giving them my money, which they make clear they couldn’t care less about.
Oh, then there’s Machine Gun Tours. They have awesome stuff, only place I know of with AR parts bins, but if you’re not MIL, ex-MIL or LEO, they *will* laugh you out of the place unless you keep your head down. They make it clear they aren’t in business to service civilians, but will tolerate it from time to time.
Ditto on Green Mountain Guns… I think I’ve been in that place twice over a period of two or three years and I won’t bother again. Sadly they seem to be the norm among front-range gun-stores, too fat and happy to care.
I stopped in Colorado Gun Broker once. Despite being packed with people, it had a good vibe.
Machine Gun Tours is pretty hit or miss depending upon who is working (they make their money on the ammo for their machine gun bachelor parties). I don’t mind shopping there, but 5280 Armory is 10 minutes from there and typically has a better selection and lower prices.
Depends on what I am looking for. Universal Pawn in Brandon has a nice selection of new and used weapons. they over priced. Ultimate Arms in Lakeland fl is good choice. for my AR needs Core15 in Ocala Fl……
Adventure Outdoors, Smyrna, GA. All around great store, excellent stock, good service. My family and I have bought most of the guns we have from there; a 1911, Zastava PAP, Saiga 12 and countless ammunition.
In NE Ohio, I usually shop at Fin Feather & Fur. The staff at each of their 3 locations is consistently abundant, friendly, and helpful. Prices for guns are reasonable the majority of the time; when guns go on sale, they’re usually cheaper than wholesale. Ammo is plentiful; they almost always have at least some .22LR on the shelves. I can’t really comment on their selection of accessories, as I usually buy that stuff on Amazon. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve walked into that place and NOT left with a new gun.
Nicest range would be Close Quarters Tactics in Shelby Twp MI, but prices are a bit on the high side. No condescending attitude from employees, some of them are women all open carrying. When I lived on the West side of the state I liked Silver Bullet in Grand Rapids. Great prices, good selection. Occasional crappy service, but the good experiences out weighed the bad and I bought a majority of my current handguns there.
Murfreesboro Tn – I recently shopped around and bought a Glock 26. Murfreesboro Outdoors had a brand new Gen 3 for $589.99. Down the road a ways is The Outpost Armory still had Gen 3 26s for over $600. Went to Mid Tenn’s Pawn and Loan and paid $509.99 for a new Gen 3 Glock 26.
Slim pickin’s for Indianapolis. Sad for such a gun-friendly state.
1) Don’s Guns – It’s OK, kind of in-da’ hood. They actually had a fatal DGU about two years ago. The clerk took a round but last I heard, he’s doing OK.
3) Indy 1500 Gun/Knife Show (4X per year).
Lafayette ain’t too far from Indianapolis, and we’ve got 10 gun stores.
ERG (Emergency Response Gear)-Low Selection
Cash, Loan, and Pawn-Low selection, but you can find a gem every now and then. Had several FN FALs a while ago
A-Z Exchange-Owner is an ass, but they have some neat guns
Ram-Z’s Exchange-Family-operated pawn shop with fantastic customer service and great prices
Walker’s Taxidermy-Large selection, good service, mil-surp every now and again, high-ish prices
Four Guns-Service is generally good, can order anything you want, they have an SBR’d, Full-auto (pre-86) Mini-14 with a folding stock, if you’re into that. Selection is limited, but not too much so. Prices are fair.
Haley’s Lodge-Helpful, and they usually have “oddball” ammo. Selection is pretty good, but not many used firearms.
Dick’s Sporting Goods-Fudd-tier guns all day long, a tad over-priced.
Applied Ballistics-Usually good pricing, usually good ammo selection, selection of firearms is limited. They also have an indoor range and full-auto NFA items to rent, as well as a selection of handguns for rent.
Hope that helps, if you feel like drivin’ less than an hour north.
Lately, the best way to describe the 2 gun shops I go to is… empty of stock. Last time I went into 1, they looked like they were going out of business, but it was just that everyone had bought out their stock.
One thing I do like about one of the shops… they have a section for historical and old weapons. It’s where I picked up my 1942 Walther P38; and where I almost (wish I had) bought an old Mauser ‘broom handle’ pistol
Big bend outfitters in Perry Florida. Excellent staff. The owner is young but knows his stuff and is enthusiastic to help anyone who comes in. He also a primarily female staff and is friendly to everyone. Prices are awesome he actually beats wal mart
Good to know. I go through Perry pretty regularly.
FOB Kalagush, Nurgaram District, Nuristan Province. Everybody knows what they’re talking about, and though selection is quite limited (especially clothing and ammo) everything is basically free. Full auto-friendly range is right outside the gate. Occasionally targets shoot back (wildly) using FMJ, steel-cased ammo, so evidently that’s also approved for the range. One year minimum memberships (with renewal encouraged) available, though I hear those may be going away soon. Impending sense of danger keeps conversations focused.
It would appear that you have won at the internet today.
And thank you for your service!
I never LOL. but that made me LOL! I salute you!
Gunshows only. Local shops are smug gougers.
I hear you, but at my local gun shows the vendors are almost all local gun shops.
Your state has a price gouging statute on firearms?
Even so, it’s in play 12 months out of the year?
My LGS is Northeast Trading in Attleboro, MA, and what Northeast Trading likes is money. Period. So I do my actual purchasing at Four Seasons Firearms in Woburn. It’s a long drive, but the prices, service and people are worth it.
Trop Gun Shop, Elizabethtown, PA
This shop has been around for years and was there was nothing remarkable about it. It was the sort of place where if they didn’t know you, you had to really be persistent to get some service. New owner took over recently, really expanded the place, brought in new inventory and changed the feel from “Fudd” to “Tactical”. Then last year they moved across town, into a larger facility, and opened an indoor range and lounge. It is a much better experience there these days, but I think they have gotten a bit full of themselves of late. They’ve opened an online store which is apparently where they currently sell their .22lr at jacked up prices. Very rarely is it on the shelves.
Ram-Z’s Exchange. It’s a pawn shop in Lafayette, IN. They’re very good with negotiating on price at the gun counter, and will often give discounts because they feel like it. I always feel welcome there, and my girlfriend actually felt comfortable enough to go in without me and order my birthday present (1943 Mosin-Nagant 91/30). They are pleasant, courteous, and fair. And if you’re selling a gun, they won’t try to low-ball you too bad. A little bit, because they’re a pawn shop, but not in the extreme. And you get more if you’re looking for store credit.
They also usually have some neat and interesting pieces for good prices.
Not too many gun stores here in Jersey, but I’d like to mention one name that NJ gun owners should avoid like the plague: Bullet Hole in Belleville, NJ, just off Rt. 21. Hands down the WORST customer service, not just in the industry, but in the retail world. I think the only reason they remain in business is because for the longest time that was the only store with a range in the area. It was either that or drive over 1 hour to the next closest range. Except for a friendly range officer or two, their behind-the-counter customer service is unbelievably, painfully bad, so save yourself a headache and do not go there, for anything.
Have to go with dan on this I also frequent the Fin being from NE Ohio I like the staff and find them helpful
Palmetto State Armory here in Columbia, SC. Great selection and great people. Chances are some of you have bought from them online.
I have. I hope to visit the shop if I am ever back in SC.
The online store and the local shop in Columbia are sort of separate, from what I understand. But damn that is a nice shop. I stopped in there just to look around when I was there for Christmas. Beautiful looking pistol range too.
Its the same place but their online operations are run from a different physical location (at least thats my understanding). The pistol range is nice. My wife and I go there on Fridays usually (or did when ammo wasnt so expensive).
I buy guns at three places in the Eugene, Oregon area. Cabela’s (good selection), BiMart, Northwest, (Often have sale prices, like 10/22 for $179) and Gun Pro, Springfield, Oregon. This is a typical very small man & wife operated gun shop. Good prices and especially low (10%) consignment fee for selling your gun.
I’m lucky to have six (!) different shops within ten minutes of my doorstep here in the Greater Dayton area of Ohio.
The “best” is Vandalia Range & Armory by the Dayton Airport. Excellent indoor range, staff is generally friendly, range officers are kind old fellas. Prices aren’t the best, but selection is excellent.
We also have a Gander Mountain in the area- their selection is similarly good, but their prices are worse (usually right at MSRP) and the gun counter is understaffed.
The other shops in this area are a mixed bag of things like selection, prices, and staffing. I’ve noticed that the staff at smaller shops tend to be less professional and like be chatty about unrelated things (primarily politics, the standard complaints about the Political Left). Getting along with customers isn’t a bad thing, though. I’m inclined to think that the larger shops simply have more restrictive “chatting” policies to not put off potential buyers from “alternative” political viewpoints. I’m sure everyone reading understands how local gun shops are often a bastion of conservatism.
Take Olde English in Tipp City- nine out of ten of the staff are FUDDs, but their selection is good and prices are respectable. Vandalia Tactical has a good selection and average staff but prices are higher. 3G Tactical is a small shop that doesn’t keep much for guns in stock, but has plenty of accessories and will do smithing jobs. Staff is friendly, helpful, and experienced, but also falls into political discussions often.
Outside that ten-minute radius, in Fairborn OH is a small one-man shop called NFA Arms. The proprietor, Max, holds down a day job at Wright-Patt AFB so he doesn’t need to make much profit on his gun shop. His pricing is very hard to beat. But, his hours are evening-only. Very friendly fellow, I recommend him to everyone I meet. He’s also very well versed in NFA items, and I remember one evening where we sat down and he walked me through the SBR process.
Ambrose Armory in Escondido CA
There are actually several LGS that I use, depending on my needs, but this has become my default shop. They are just great people to deal with, and there is a real gunsmith (not just an armorer) that charges reasonable rates and doesn’t take months to get a job done. It’s still a small shop, but growing, so they don’t yet have a lot of in-store stock, but will order anything that is available fro the distributor. Prices are not the absolute lowest, but are fair.
Larry’s Pistol & Pawn in Huntsville, AL. It was an old establishment when I moved there in 1990. Boasts a million dollar inventory. Has ammo throughout the shortages, although for a while there was a “3 box all of different calibers” limit. Always had .22 and didn’t gouge. Larry is a staunch supporter of 2A issues. He’s a board member of Charco Arms, and distributor for S&W, Ruger, and ATK ammunition. Prices are excellent ,as is the staff. Class 3 items can be had there too. He has an indoor pistol range, “The Ammo Dump” in back. Since about 3 months before Obama was elected, it’s been a standing room only place. Folks come from many miles around for the deals or to gape at the selection. Larry’s motto, “Where there’s a gunshow every day!”
Heavy Metal Firearms in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, great small shop sells at lower prices than big box and employs yours truly on weekends!
Fort Mill Gun Shop in Fort Mill, SC. Always friendly, inventory is a lot of used and consigned but they will find you pretty much anything you want and do transfers with no problems.
My LGS is rather new and right down the street from me. Gunworld of South Florida. been in there a few times but find them very condescending because I bothered them to ask a question. This past weekend I ran in to pickup an extra PMAG while running errands. Waited at the register for 10 minutes while they shot the breeze and only once another customer came in did they finally ring me up (after dealing with the other customer). I got better service from Bass Pro and Gander Mountain.
2 local stores in my area. One wants full MSRP on all guns, the other gouged through the shortage and recommended a 44 mag for a new shooter. I travel over an hour to do transfers from a home based FFL I did business with at a gun show. I don’t buy new anymore so I sometimes plan a reconn of 50 – 150 miles to stalk a number of stores as well as gun shows. I did find the Thruway Market Sporting store in Walden, NY to be straight up on one of my reconn missions.
I’m not beholden to any one store, I visit several pretty regularly, but none religiously.
It’s always the same nonsense everywhere I go…
“.45 is a one shot death day and 9mm couldn’t even muster a welt.”
“Revolvers are the best guns for women and new shooter because lord knows adults incapable of understand the advanced concept of “tap, rack, bang.”
“You don’t have aim a shotgun, just point and shoot.”
And, my favorite…
“The *insert gun type* is awesome, but the *insert gun type* sucks.”
I get all that I can handle around here.
Sounds like you live inside the internet…
United pawn in Jonesboro Arkansas. Gets me what I want at dealer prices. Just got me a pmr-30 for $389. They are mainly a gun store with just a little bit pawn. Last week they were selling gen3 glocks for $489.
Ron Peterson’s in Albq. NM; best selection from bolt action, break open shot guns, lever action rifles, black powder rifle and pistol, to semi-auto sporting rifles, semi-auto shot guns; big selection of pistols; new, used, collectable; and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.
And plenty of ammo.
Top Gun Shooting Sports, Taylor, MI
Excellent range, excellent supply of weapons, a bit limited on ammo. Prices are about 5% higher than they should be. They include a 3 month membership in the price, but you can normally walk out of a smaller store for less than what TGSS charges before tax. I think it should be an option to take the range membership or get the 5% back. They also PROHIBIT OPEN CARRY in their shop, which as a private business they are free to do, but is a little hypocritical, considering the staff all carry open and we’re all supposed to be good freedom loving little buggers.
I also have SP Guns and Ammo, Southgate, MI. Excellent prices, a few good old boys own the place, very pro gun, very pro rights. Willing to make deals. Willing to sell your crap on consignment. I wish they had a range and more ammo and I’d make them my primary.
Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantily VA. Indoor range, generally friendly staff. Lot’s of woman shoot there and there is no detectable bias against them. Very culturally diverse staff. They have a good selection of handguns but not a lot of rifles or shotguns. They will order for you.
My other favorite place to shoot and buy is Clark Brothers on Route 29 near Warrenton. It is a good old boys “huntin and shootin” place with a nominally “free” 100 yard range but you have to buy your ammo and targets there so range time isn’t really free. You can use your own ammo if they don’t have it n stock. An outstanding selection of new and used firearms although not the best prices. It is a Virginia institution that is always worth a visit.
Virginia Arms in Manassas, VA.
It’s a nicely-stocked store, but it is the staff that really sets this place apart. They are both very friendly and very knowledgeable.
American Shooting Center in Miramar near San Diego. It’s an older, somewhat scruffy range/shop with mostly older guys, a lot of former LEOs. They’re polite, serious, knowledgable and happy to answer your questions thoroughly. You could not dream up a better gun shop. They’ve usually got a couple/three off-list weapons that’ll make you drool (like the rare Walther they had the other day). Unassuming, non-pretentious, completely no-bullshit. There are other shops and ranges you’d take your girlfriend to on a date or scour for a bargain. ASC is better than your favorite bar, perfect. 100% recommended.
I usually go to Johnson Firearms in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. Yes, the delicious irony of a well-stocked LGS in an “artsy” enclave. The building is done up in an artistic take on camo patterns and survival themes, so the kids think it’s a gallery or bar, til they see the signs on the door that signify it’s an actual gun shop.
As for the store itself, the selection is tops, they have a great variety of the major brands of pistols and rifles in stock. They also do NFA items and sales, there’s a few suppressors under glass now. The staff is bar-none the best. They don’t judge based on skill or mindset, they just tell you what you need to know so you are good-to-go. They’ll do basic repairs and installation on most items for free, too. In addition to firearm-specific gear, they also have survival equipment and supplies.
The ammo situation is still a “in one door and out the other” situation, but that’s to be expected with smaller local shops. You kind of have to catch them at the right time.
Check ’em out at http://johnsonfirearms.com/
Fun fact – they were the gun store in the movie ‘Pain and Gain’ from last year.
Ammo, I usually make a trip to Gander in West Palm Beach. Sight-unseen they always have a lot of everything. I make it into an afternoon trip.
Thanks. I will definitely check out Johnson’s.
Clayton’s Hunting & Fishing in Horsham, PA.
Fair prices and indoor range.
Always seem to have ammo in-stock for use in the range (including .22LR at a reasonable price).
They’re usually too busy for idle chit-chat.
Mid America Arms in South St. Louis… I drive past 5-6 other stores to get there, two of which are within five minutes of my house. Prices stayed consistent through 2013, SOT, extremely fair trade in / used market.
Graf’s Reloading in St. Charles for reloading supplies. The employees are hugely helpful and reloading wizards. Prices are decent, not great but they do actually have regular shipments of powders.
Once again Farago shows his hatred of Traditional Americans. Maybe he would be happier back in one of the hell holes his ancestors came from. Farago is just another example of our failed immigration policies.
Seriously? What did he say that showed hatred towards “traditional Americans” was it the decrying Obeyme part or not wanting to listen to people being condescending to the fairer sex?
Nothing. Consider the source. CM is a loon. We’ve learned to disregard anything he posts with the expectation that sooner or later he won’t be allowed computer access in the asylum.
Dibs on the moniker “Farago’s Traditional American Hell Hole”!
Bar, Grill, and Shootin’ Range
Nichols Guns & Drugs. Been in business as drug store for 50 plus years. Opened the gun shop in the pharmacy in 2012. Very friendly, knowledgable and helpful staff. They are young guys that know their stuff. They also just opened an 18 lane indoor range. Offering CHL, pistol and other classes. Have a ladies night too. Good south Texas people.
There is an Ace Hardware in Loveland Colorado that has a pretty nice gun section. I like the idea of combining retail markets but never heard of guns and drugs in a legal establishment.
It shut down a year or so ago but we had a really nice new gas station built a few years ago across from one of our Walmarts that had a gun shop inside that even handled NFA stuff. They always had a huge selection of silencers seen some AOW and SBRs there as well. While you pumped gas the screen that would normally scroll deals on soda, beer, or tobacco had guns and ammo instead it was pretty awesome. I don’t know what exactly happened I think its a Kangaroo gas station now and where the guns was is now a restaurant. I went in when they were closing they said they were opening a new bigger store don’t know where it is though might be this new 701 store I have heard about but they said they were gonna build a big indoor range including lanes just for bows.
Perry’s gun store in Wendell,NC. Great selection of guns and optics that are very reasonably priced. They even sell Trijicon optics well under retail. But I have stopped going there for ammo because they charge double what most places do for ammo even though they have a ton of almost all caliber. Went to go buy some wolf 7.62×39 last week and they wanted $500 for a case of 1k. Give me a break. As soon as i got in my car I ordered the same ammo for $210 and got a .50 ammo can for free with the order online.
Tanner’s Sports Center Jamison, PA. Good prices and knowledge, friendly staff. They ROCK!
GAT Guns in east Dundee. 15 minutes from where I am at( I’m in Kane county). Huge selection. Decent prices and an excellent indoor pistol and rifle range, though a little expensive. Big staff. The younger guys and gals are great, the older guys are hit or miss as far as service and attitude go. Also, GAT will give lifetime warranty on any gun you buy from them, for a modest fee.
Phil’s Village Sports Center, Arlington Heights, IL. Small, but nice to deal with, very good customer service and advice.
Went in to buy a pistol. Initially ignored and then condescendingly questioned when I told owner what I wanted. I think he was trying to embarrass me in front of several old codgers that were hanging around. Once he decided I knew what I was talking about he deemed it okay to sell me what I came in for. I almost walked several times in the whole process. Will not buy from this guy again!
My preferred one is Nagel’s here in San Antonio, Texas. They have a pretty big selection and can have some pretty decent pricing too sometimes. Sometimes the pricing is horrendous ($3,000 for a SCAR-L/16? No.) sometimes it is pretty decent though ($400 for an XD9, NIB) especially when it comes to used guns, which they have in droves. Staff is friendly too.
The other big notable one is Dury’s, which is a much nicer looking shop but I have never bought anything from them and what I have seen has been pretty overpriced in general. Then there’s A Place To Shoot, which has a sparse selection but good prices (buddy picked up a Ruger SR1911 Commander for $670 IIRC before tax). I’ve been to just about all the others around town but they all seem pretty overpriced from what I recall.
B2 Enterprises, Cotati, California. Good inventory. Great customer service. Knowledgeable and helpful. Can’t say enough good things about these guys.
I’m so happy to see someone mention a shop that’s relatively close to SF Bay Area. I will have to check this place out when I’m up in Sonoma county.
I visit lots on my days off, but Sportsman’s Warehouse in Midvale Utah is my regular stop. Friendly, non commission staff that treat you like a small shop, and aren’t afraid to call their boss to try and swing a deal.
My local shop is Frank’s Gun Shop on Rt.30 in Gloversville NY. They’re always busy,have a very good selection and fair prices. Just outside of the Adirondack State Park, they’re also an excellent source for Fishing gear and live bait. They get all my business.
I second this recommendation.
Florida Gun Supply in Inverness, FL. Good guys selling guns and accessories at great prices. Nice range.
My local Gander Mountain is excellent. It has a live range, virtual range, and a simulator. Its concealed carry class instructors are very good. It has a large selection of firearms and ammunition. Service in the smaller gun stores in the area has improved since they now have to compete with Gander. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a gun club bore draped over the counter at any of them. That subspecies now seems to stick to gun shows in the area. Unfortunately, one of them is frequently either the cashier or hand stamper at those events.
My favorite local shop is 707 Guns in Myrtle Beach, SC. They have a friendly staff and competitive prices. The staff isn’t a bunch of assclowns like at some of the other shops around here like Myrtle Beach Indoor Shooting Range which is right across the street from me. That place has had the crazy 2013 prices forever sure they probably went up even higher during the scare but a few years ago Tula 7.62×39 was $15 a box to give you an idea and Gen3 Glock 19 would cost you around $600 too. Not only do they have outlandish prices some of the staff say some of the most stupid things you ever heard. 707 Guns has their own indoor range now and Shooting Solutions comes in and teaches our SC and non resident UT classes there they also offer advanced CCW classes and carbine courses think they have basic handgun and rifle classes too each class is $100 with them they are both local homicide detectives. We have tons of shops around here though 707 is just my favorite if anybody lives in the upstate Upstate Armory Groups is awesome but they are at basically ever gun show I have ever been to in SC with great prices, and Palmetto State Armory is another that is kinda local to me that I get to go to occasionally not just web surfing.
As far as big box stores go we have Bass Pro and DIcks here locally as well as 8 or so Walmarts some of which selling guns all have ammo. Academy Sports is awesome but the closest for now is in Columbia, and Sportsman’s Warehouse which is right next to PSA’s main store I always hit at least a couple of those whenever I get to Columbia usually after a gun show. Cabela’s is finally coming to the SE too, think the one in Augusta, GA is open now and one is coming to Greenville, SC both are about 4-5 hours away from me but better then Wheeling, WV which is the only one I have ever been to or even seen. Same with Sportsman’s Warehouse think that is more of a western store never seen another besides the one in Columbia but I think there is one in TN and VA.
Two shops in Northern Illinois come to mind:
On Target in Crystal Lake, IL – both pistol & rifle indoor ranges – knowledgeable and friendly staff
GAT Guns in East Dundee, IL – one of the largest gun shops in the upper midwest with a total of 75 indoor pistol and rifle ranges (up to 75 yards).
Tanner’s Sport Center
2301 York Road Rt.263
Jamison, Pennsylvania 18929
Knowledgeable, well-stocked, friendly and post ammo and gun availability each week on Facebook.
I haven’t been there (yet) because there’s too many other gun stores between me and them that I haven’t visited yet. But I hear nothing but good about these guys.
Other than a Dick’s and a WalMart, all I have is a couple of pawn shop FFLs, so I do most business online (slickguns.com). It’s probably a good thing, cause if we had a good LGS nearby, I’d be there all too often. The folks where I do transfers are nice and all, they all carry, and transfers are painless, particularly if you have a CCL. Firearm prices are awful though. Sold them my first 1911 for cash a couple years ago, and last I checked, it’s still on display for more than I paid for it new (probably because they gave me more than they should have for it). They are finally starting to get some 9mm and 45 ammo in stock at reasonable prices, so I drop by for it on occasion. I usually by ammo online as well, but only when I can get free shipping.
How does Sportsman’s Finest keep the OFWG’s out of the store? I used to work gun shows with a friend who’s dad had a storefront FFL. I did it off and on for 10-15 years. Enough to know I could never work full time in any retail sales environment involving the general public as customers. Thank god we have prisons.
I’ve been going to the Shoot Straight in Apopka FL for 2 years. They have a great selection of guns with negotiable prices, a good attitude with shooters of all experience and the range has a/c.
Thumbs up for Dunn’s Sporting Goods in Pevely, MO
My LGS is the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.
They may not always have the greatest selection, but their clientele has to raise their right hand and swear an oath to support and defend the constitution. That makes up for not finding the latest and greatest toys on the shelves most days, and the fact that the profits from my purchases go to support MWR programs for military members and their families does the rest.
Not to say you can’t find som pretty nice toys there. If I could just find another $5000 I could pick up that Barret they can’t seem to offload!
Idaho Falls, Idaho, “The Gun Shop” Can’t stand it they are rude know it all’s that don’t know jack and won’t give me the time of day. For example I was looking at getting a new .22lr bolt gun and went there to see if they had any of the ones I had been researching. I was wanting to see some of the new savage models. I approached the man behind the counter (one of the salesmen they employ.) I told him why I was there gave him the name and model numbers of the ones I wanted to see, after he looked at me confused he stated that they do not carry that gun then continued to stare at me I looked over his shoulder at the wall of guns for less than 5 seconds looked at him in the eye and said there are three of them right there. After looking annoyed with me he retrieved one and let me inspect it. I then tried to engage him in conversation on what I was looking for and if he had any experience or advice he could give me. After once again looking annoyed he said no that he did not. I have been in there on 3-4 other occasions for similar reasons or to talk shop a little and whether they are busy or not they could care less unless I am at the register with money in hand to pay for something. I have talked with the owner and many other of the people he employed and received the same treatment. I refuse to go there anymore.
I can only ever think of two reasons that people like that keep their jobs: Nepotism or blackmail.
Sportsman’s Arms and Independence Armory, both in Petaluma, CA. SA is a very small shop, the owner is also the only person I’ve seen behind the counter. They have a very nice selection of rifles and shotguns, and a small case of used and antique handguns, but there selection of new handguns is limited. They’re also the only place in the county where I can regularly find .30-30 Winchester ammo, which is nice. IA is a larger shop that doesn’t seem to carry any new firearms at all, but they have a very nice selection of revolvers for me to drool over.
Franktown Firearms in Franktown, CO. I love the place. Friendly staff. No “unload and lock up your guns” policy (i.e. openly carry your loaded pistol and they don’t have a problem with it).
They say they’ll start construction on their indoor range in a month or so; that will be the closest (about 3 miles) range to me. Based on what they told me a while back, they’ll have 24-hour range access for “members”, and won’t have any rate-of-fire restrictions; they expressly described “full auto” as what they planned to allow.
Ammo prices and selection aren’t Walmart or Internet, but I don’t expect that of any LGS. They do have every caliber available (well, as of 21MAR, they didn’t have any .22LR – surprise).
I’ll second this. They didn’t have a huge selection by any means but they have the right attitude.
They even hold an annual (well, it has been twice now, hopefully it will continue) Open Carry Appreciation Day.
Cedar Valley Outfitters used to be awesome when Ernie was running it. Now the people who work there are giving bad advice and generally not very helpful. Ernie Still runs it but he is never in the shop because he is busy with teaching CCW classes and what not.
Have you been in Midwest Shooting’s new store in Hiawatha? The new indoor range is impressive. Sad to hear about Cedar Valley Outfitters. I haven’t been in the new store lately. Ernie is a great guy who knows how to treat a customer right.
Wild Sports in Orangevale, CA. East of Sacramento. Best prices I’ve seen, the people are pretty good with service as well.
In short, best store I’ve found.
Aside from Hunter Essentials (which seems to have random operating hours) most of the gun stores I’ve been to in NYC and Long Island are filled with alpha-male know-it-alls.
There are three LGS’ in Bryan/College Station, TX not counting the big box retailers.
Champion Firearms has the only local indoor range and teaches CHL courses. The classes are very well done and the owner is very knowledgeable. The range is small but serviceable and they have a $5 for 5 rounds out of any of their range pistols which the $5 will be applied to any new/used firearm purchase that day. A neat approach that I have recommended to several people I know shopping for their first firearm. The selection is pretty broad for both MSRs, pistols, and more traditional hunting options. They also sell suppressors. The store is clean and well organized if a little sparse on my preferred accessory brands and items for my preferred firearm brand. My issue is that their staff has been not unfriendly but rather uninterested and indifferent anytime I have been there. It is an uncomfortable shopping experience. Additionally, their transfer fee is 10% of their retail cost of any gun they sell and they won’t (as of the last time I checked) price match.
The second store is Burdette and Sons which is a firearms and outdoor store. The selection is much smaller than Champion with much more resale merchandise (I still kick myself for not grabbing the Ishapor SMLE I saw there last year!). The store is also very cluttered. You can generally find a cluster of people at the counter talking and both the regulars and the staff seem oblivious or indifferent to said regulars blocking access to anyone who might be trying to see the handguns. The conversation is more interpersonal than “gun shop” related.
The third (and newest) is Gun Corps. I have only been in once and it is a very small store front though the building they are in looks like there is room to expand. The merchandise is geared exclusively to MSRs/tactical products. The store is clean and well laid out though based on its size the stock is also limited. Even with a few regulars in chatting up the staff one of the staff detached himself and greeted me at the door and spent the next 30 minutes I was in the store answering questions and just being available (IE he did not return to the conversation but stood unobtrusively near by in case I needed something). I was told, without prompting, that if there was anything I wanted they could order it for me so points for anticipating the question. As we talked I was also offered a military discount when they found out what I do so more points.
Over all for a metro of between 165K and 240K people (college town so it depends on if the students are here) we have an adequate number of choices. For selection it is hard to beat Champions and it is nice to be able to try before you buy. Just make sure to say thank you when the staff does you the favor of acknowledging you. For used and surplus Burdette is the place to go but bring a map to the counter and a cattle prod to clear space near it. Gun Corps is or would be if I wasn’t moving soon my preferred shop because I can actually get served there without any issues and what they don’t have they will get as soon as they can. Plus as a veteran owned business I am more inclined to shop there to support the guy.
Elite Sound and Security, Texas City, Texas, it is absolute crap. The owner is bipolar and runs a sloppy business. Once yelled at me for wanting to pay what the pricetag said vs what he wanted. Box of hornady 7.62×39, tag on box said $33(fair) and he wanted 40something and started yelling and cursing at me when I respectfully showed him the pricetag and asked if he would honor it. I had bought numerous guns there, this was a few years ago and they have lost a customer that knows alot of gun people. Poor choice lol.
Acme Armament here in Londonderry, NH is my actual local gun store. It’s a tiny shop run by a great family. They’ve got a friendly german shepherd that roams the store and both the owners are very knowlegeable. Last time I stopped in, the lady behind the counter spent about half an hour walking my wife through finding a good handgun for her, ending with a suggestion to rent some of them at the nearby range before making a purchase. They’ve got a modest selection (it’s a small shop but full to the gills) but it covers everything from AR15 build parts, hunting rifles, modern rifles, shotguns, handguns, reloading supplies, ammunition, etc. They’re a class 3 dealer, too, they seem to mainly have AAC suppressors.
Also, they’ve got a machine there that you can put in loose change and the machine counts your change and gives you a gift card for the store. So that’s where all my change goes now.
We have two here and they both kind of suck. I got all sorts of shit at one for asking about a pump or semiauto 20 gauge for home defense (stuff along the lines of “can’t handle a 12 gauge?” and “what, you want your wife to be able to use it?”) and the other is just overpriced and has shit selection. It’s sad.
For most purchases, it’s Fuquay Gun & Gold in Fuquay Varina, NC. Always well stocked (even in the ‘dark days’), always a fair price, and Clay (owner) is just a stand up guy. During the recent run, he’d post on Facebook the night before what was going on the floor tomorrow. Kept his margins the same as before the run.
For ‘specials’, Sovereign Guns, also in Fuquay. They usually have more AK’s, Uzi’s, and Saiga’s and other such items.
FV gun is my local shop and are top shelf in service, selection, knowledge and price. No over the top ego issues either. Clay and staff are trustworthy and honest. I have bought numerious rifles with no regrets.
Fuquay Gun are excellent, great selection and prices, no increase in prices during the recent crazy times. Bought about a dozen guns there since they opened. The Raleigh area now has a Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shop, and next year a Cabelas.
There are a surprising number of good gun shops in Northern New Jersey. I usually go to Meltzers in Garfield NJ. Great prices and will wheel and deal on used firearms. Most used pistols have only been fired once or twice. I also patronize Heritage in Rahway NJ, which has a lot of high-end military collectibles.
I have been to the Heritage Guild in Branchburg, NJ and the one in Easton, PA. They both have great selections, and the range at the one in Easton is great aside from the lack of somewhere to put your stuff down. The problem with both of the stores is that half of the employees are awesome, and half of them are an absolute nightmare. I always seem to end up dealing with the nightmare ones, and they are some of the most rude employees I ever dealt with in a retail setting.
Colonial Shooting Academy. Polite, they carry everything from $200 shotguns and 10/22’s, to $20K transferable M16’s. The on site smith is polite and eager to please, the have their own range, and allow you to rent out what they carry (and a few giggle switches). Awesome place.
Oldag Guns in beautiful New Braunfels. Deryl and his wife Jennifer and their 3 yr old son are always there and always helpful. The perfect store for this town! You always see someone you know in there which makes me very happy and comfortable. Also, Lamarr Smith just had Deryl testify before his committee on the impact of sales tax policy re: internet sales and the effect on small businesses. I’ve done business with Deryl for 4 years. In fact I was his first sale! And many more sales after that……..
I’m amazed no one mentioned Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine. Great place, my LGS when in NH. Worth the trip.
I wouldn’t even loot Target Sports in Royal Oak, MI during a disaster. The staff is so arrogant, they must survive on something other than customers spending their disposable income! It’s like you owe them a favor as soon as you walk in.
The internet was made for putting places like this out of business.
Arkansas Armory, Sherwood, Arkansas. Nathan runs a shop devoted to self defense & concealed carry. Nice 6 lane indoor range, good prices, happy folks trying hard to please.
Runner up is Ft. Thompson Sporting Goods just across the highway from Ark. Arm. Ft. Thompson has a huge inventory, friendly staff, but is hunting, archery & shooting sports all together.
$45 PMAGS, overpriced ammo, and overcharging on background checks.
Now a gun shop that I will drive an hour to visit. Lanco Tactical. Guys are nice, know their stuff, and leave you alone until you need them. Good prices and a nice selection.
OMFG if my gunshop looked like that I would still buy guns and be broke! I’d take the G3, MG42, and oh maybe an MP5 and MK23 to round it out!
I live in CT so were left pretty much with bolt guns, shot guns and a few tacticool .22’s. So lame, which is why I’m not adding to my collection anymore.
I was thinking about getting into high end bolt guns and get a TRG42 but since I live in a state with no ranges over 200 yards…it would be pointless. That’s like buying a Ferrari and never getting it out of first gear.
While its unlikely youll find someone who likes hating on Obummer worse than I do, I dont necessarily think that someone hangin around a gun shop chatting with a salesman while I could be actually checkin out merchandise is cool, in fact it is surely bad form. Nor is it cool to forcefully share your opinions with others, particularly to strangers. However my wife is usually with me so the sexism thing I rarely encounter either.
I do, sadly, get to deal with a lot of very know it all, subtly demeaning, salespeople at a Plano gun store I frequent. The gun smiths however are very cool, polite and knowledgeable in all my interactions with them and they do good work.
Precision Arms in Escondido CA has good prices, great service, and very few know more about long distance shooting than John Harms. Love this store!
They have some VERY exotic rifles!
Sydney’s Dept. Store. The owner is an old family friend. The place is a little crowded, but once you know where to look its all pretty clear. The staff there are always great. Steve, the owner, is one of the friendliest and kindest souls I’ve ever met. He always takes care of me. I sometimes stop by just to chat up Steve and the other guys working there. They also have a huge selection of knives, lights, and mil-surplus. He also does custom uniform work and has a lot of police/tac gear.
There is also a helmet with a claymore attached to it.
I have a few that I return to. I like a local tac supply store, Primary Arms, who’s great with mags, parts, cases, slings, etc. One guy owns it and he answers the company emails personally. Somehow, he also manages to have really competitive prices on name-brand goods. Doesn’t carry Wilson Combat, but that’s more about them than him.
For guns themselves, I grew up with Academy and still buy there today, even though the founding family sold it off to a private equity group in 2011. Firearms Dept. Mgr. of my favorite location looks like Santa Claus, which always kinda makes me smile whenever I’m buying a new gun.
Florida Gun Supply out of Floral City Fl! They are amazing and always super helpful. The owner Andy also teaches Concealed Weapon Classes and is phenomenal.
Super Nice gun store. Huge pistol and rifle selection but its very pricey. Ammo is usually pretty good. The range is THE BEST in the state or country!!!
OoInterestingly enough Randy Potter of GAT GUNS is being interviewed NRA NEWS as I type. I did buy a magazine from them a few years ago. They seem great but I’m 70 miles away. I DID remember they had very good prices.
Platinum guns in jax,fl sucked. The dude behind the counter muzzle swept me when he was showcasing guns. The prices were horrible, and they claimed their nagants were the cheapest you’d find anywhere at 250. I couldn’t stand their arrogance and know it all attitude. Probably why they are no longer there
I live deep in the Catskill mountains, and there are not that many shops around. There aren’t that many people around either (except for July and August and that’s when us locals go and hide).
Big Dog Arms, Roscoe, NY. They’re a bunch of swell guys, and they have a humongous selection crammed into a really small shop, and they are nice to my kids, a big plus.
A local gunsmith does a brisk trade in used guns, also a very nice guy, but I’m not sure he wants too much publicity.
Gander Mountain about 45 mins away from me in Middletown, NY, noxious nitwits behind the counter. I always have a bad experience in there, and one day I came back complaining and my wife just said “So why do you keep going in there? Their prices stink, their service stinks, and your friend the gunsmith is where you’ve bought most of your stuff anyway.” And I haven’t been back since.
Davis Shooting Sports in Goshen is as far afield as I will go, about an hour, but they have a 100 yard indoor range. They charge a lot for range time, but it’s a 100 yard no membership indoor range in the Hudson Valley, and it’s the only non-“Fudd club” range I know of within 75 miles of my house. (Like I said, I live deep in the Catskill Mountains!)
Wiser owl firearms and tactical in San Diego. Good people, good atmosphere.
My chose shop is Mississippi Auto Arms over in Oxford MS. REALLY solid guys. It isn’t really a complain about them but it would be nice if they had a larger show room. But that can’t be helped.
Hicks trading station in Pinckneyville, IL ( several hours south of crook county) has good prices and the largest inventory (that i know of) in the area , albeit they are a tad fanboyish when it comes to AK’s…
The Outdoorsman in San Angelo, Texas
Best ever! Always a pleasant experience, well informed staff.
Florida Gun Supply, Inverness Florida. Andy and Matt run a great shop. Always have great selection in store and through their online site. Their prices are the best I’ve seen. They run concealed carry classes is often which are informative and relevant. These guys are smart and know their product but they don’t make you feel dumb. On-site shooting range is a plus. They are off the beaten path but well worth the effort.
The Outdoorsman in San Angelo, Texas
Best ever! Always a pleasant experience and staff is well informed.
Treat customers like family; respect
turners outdoorsman. not much of a lgs (hour and a fifteen min away). it is a big chain company in so cal. good prices and nice people, but not the most knowledgable employees. my closest gun shop is 30 min away, but it has a horrible atmosphere. mean people and way overpriced products.
Franklin Gun Shop in Franklin , TN they have stuff you only read about and yes it’s all for sale. Bring cash and don’t be afraid to make an offer. Top notch gun store.
The Reloaders Bench in Mt. Juliet, TN a reloaders and bargain diggers paradise.
Nashville Gun Company total assholes.
Everything Weapons in Brentwood , TN.
The owner is a total dick.
Tim’s Guns in Elbridge, NY is great. The guys there are always super helpful and willing to work with you to get what you want, and just as willing to hang out and bullsh*t if that’s what you’re interested in. Their prices are only ok, but the folks that work there are what keep me coming back.
Mega Sports in Plainfield, ILis also a decent place. Great selection and a nice range.
Folks seem to know what they are talking about and are generally pretty helpful.
Between them and GAT in Dundee, a lot of my disposable income gets, well, disposed.
Alquist Arms in Turlock, CA. Not the closest to me, but good, knowledgeable people who respect everyone, while managing to bring in the best local selection at the lowest prices around.
I also like Barnwood in Ripon, CA, Central Valley Arms in Los Banos, and can +1 on Tracy Rifle and Pistol
Newington Gun Exchange, Newington, CT. Knowledgable, helpful, friendly, polite service and fair prices. Small store packed with new and used guns. Interesting assortment of old military rifles-Moisins, Mausers,etc.
My local gun shop is Classic Firearms. I think they’re about a thousand miles from my house but hey you can’t have everything. I use to be able to tolerate the gun store douche bags from my area when I was young and single. Now that I’m old and married, not so much. The last straw was seeing how awful they treated my wife. I’ve never seen such condescending creeps. My wife, while not an expert, comes from a very rural part of the country and guns were a big part of her upbringing. Even if she were a newbie, actually especially if she was a newbie, these guys should never ever be so condescending. My story has a happy ending however. Ever since going the internet route we’ve had nothing but easy, pleasurable buying experiences . Thank you Al Gore!
My gun dealer is Davy Keith , Ellisville , Ms. Great guy recommend him highly , he is the Owner of Rebel Rifle Ordnance . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .
Three shops I have frequented, since moving to So Cal. Turners (a So Cal chain), Gunrunners in Duarte and Wimpey’s Pawn Shop in Azusa. A little bit at fud at all of them. Most blatantly at Turners, trying to make a sale. Most innocently at the pawn shop where they usually are better inform, but hey its CA easy to make a mistake here or there with proposed legislation. Won a gentlemen’s bet with the guy at the counter about the fate of certain bills last year.
The pawn shop (they sell new too) tends to have the best prices, even new, and are the friendliest in my experience.
Red’s 45 in Oshkosh, WI. He does not care much for tire kickers, but if you are actually looking to buy something you will not find better prices anywhere.
I also had good experiences with Charles Wells in Bennington, VT, Bob’s Guns/Lethal Weapons Training in McKean, PA, and Alder Run Gun Shop/VT Tactical in Franklin, VT.
I live near Wichita, KS, and there are quite a few LGS around.
Cabela’s- wouldn’t go there again if my life depended on it. Rude, condescending, and very sexist. I went with a guy friend (I’m female) and the guy behind the gun counter refused to acknowledge my presence, even though I was the one looking to purchase a firearm. They lost a $1200 sale and a potential loyal lifetime customer; I walked out & will NEVER go back.
Gander Mountain- I’ve bought a couple of guns there, as they’re the closest ‘big’ LGS. Their prices suck, but they DO price match- so I generally price out what I want elsewhere (usually Academy) and buy from Gander. Service has been pretty good, the guys are usually friendly and respectful; I’m in there often enough that they know me by name. They have a great 10 yard live range which is, quite honestly, the best I’ve ever seen. It’s soundproofed to the max, the range officer is awesome, and they even provide the targets. I think they also have a simulator range (don’t know much about it, I do live fire only). They usually have a good selection of ammo, except for .22LR, .38SPL and 9mm (which are never in stock). I shoot .40S&W so there’s always a ton of that around, lol.
Academy Sports- I picked up a Marlin 336 30-30 from them for about $200 less than what Gander was charging just before Christmas last year. The high-school-aged guys behind the counter were very friendly, though I have more experience and knowledge with firearms (37 years’ worth) than they did. I’ll give them an A for effort, though. They had a pretty good selection of rifle ammo and their prices were reasonable, but only a fair-to-poor selection of handgun ammo (which was overpriced).
Bullseye- this place is in the seedy ghetto part of town, though the owner assured me that the crime rate in the area mysteriously drops during their normal store hours. They have a 100 yard indoor rifle range, which is great- except for the fact that there is no way to set up a proper bench rest in order to sight in a rifle. They have a handgun range as well, but I’ve never used it. Staff seemed helpful enough, but the place was cramped and crowded. Their range fees were pretty steep, too IMO. They seem to cater mostly to the tacticool crowd.
Bullet Stop- this is my preferred LGS. Every Weds is “Ladies’ Day”- which mean female members shoot free all day; the range fee on other days is per day, not per hour/half hour. The store itself is a bit on the small side, and if it’s busy, you’re grunting to push past other customers in the narrow aisles. I’ve never had a problem with the staff; great group of folks, and they do cater to women, as well as military & police. During really busy times, I’ve actually stepped in and helped to answer customer questions, because they can be kind of short-staffed. (I don’t mind, though. Heck, I might even ask ’em for a job one of these days lol.) The range itself is 25yard indoor handgun & .22LR only, gets kinda cold during the winter, but that’s ok. As far as gun selection goes, it’s kind of limited, and their prices are steep. They carry reloading equipment, some tacticool stuff, and ammo (which is a few bucks more than Gander, but not crazy.) I probably won’t buy firearms from them, but I love shooting there.
There are a few other places around the area, but the ones I mentioned are the only ones I have recent, direct experience with.
Bowers Tactical in Centenniel Colorado.
They have or can get anything AR, Glock, 1911, Rem 870, S&W M&P related. Free install on anything you purchase from them.
I’ve drove past bowers, just never been inside
Ive been to gun shops and gun shows all over the country. 99% of them are all the same. I have no idea how most of them do enough business to keep the lights on. High prices and bad attitudes keep me away. The only use I have for a gun shop these days is to receive a firearm that I ordered and paid for from somewhere else and do the paperwork for $25. Everything else is cheaper on line and to my front door. The only exceptions in this state is Jim’s Gun Jobbery in Fayetteville and Mackeys Ferry Guns in Mackeys Ferry. Jims has always had the more exotic military rifles and Mackeys has thousands of guns. Honorable mention to Midsouth Guns in Wagram for having at least 1000 shotguns in stock st all times.
I live a couple of miles from the Buda, TX Cabela’s. Good selection, prices a little high, but better than MSRP. Going on the weekends they are crazy busy, and their staff is hit or miss – the one fella I got the other day was great, should have got his name. They have a few racks of used long arms that turns over stock pretty fast, seen some odd things there. That’s where they put their Mosins, when they get them, so one can check the chamber, bore, bolt, furniture, etc, everything but trigger. They seem to keep everything in stock pretty well but .22 ammo, with decent prices. The Academy’s around here (San Marcos and 2 in south Austin) have better prices for the same weapons, but stock is iffy. They ration their 22 ammo when they get it, so I can at least get 2 boxes from them occasionally. Walmart has ammo only, poor stock but pretty good prices.
Lockhart has a nice gun range, good people out there with a lot of rental guns ($10 for 1st one, $5 for each additional). Facility is a little rough, could use some improvements (ie, some cement or gravel sidewalks or firing line – got to be careful of your footing). I just took my CHL class out there with them.
Then the only local (non-big box) store I’ve found so far is Gun Guys and Gals in Kyle, owner is a good dude, he’s been helping me with researching some possible purchases, letting me know what he can get in, and has provided good advice. Pretty small store, he just opened last year. $50 for FFL transfers, he does gun-smithing as well, and was honest in telling me he can’t beat prices on certain things from the big guys. Only been in there twice so far, so I can’t offer much more of an opinion. Haven’t found any other LGS around.
JD Armory, South Point, Ohio
Great prices on guns and ammo. They believe in the volume principle and in pleasing customers. We’ve done a lot of business and I often hang out there as if it were a social club. At times I even help out behind the counter and receive ammo discounts for my efforts. To say I love my LGS would be an understatement.