Why I hate gunshops

I am in 100% agreement with The Gun Shots on this issue.

My pet peeve—besides not being greeted by the staff—is to walk into a poorly lit retail operation and realize the shelves haven’t been dusted since the end of the Bronze Age.

The local area gunshops in Indy are pretty dismal, actually.  It’s one of the reasons why I actually prefer to pay the higher costs and go shopping at Gander Mountain, instead of one of the local joints.  Despite the fact that the costs are higher, sometimes it’s worth it to go to Gander Mountain, because at least one of the employees will talk to me like I’m a customer.

Now, the guys that run Eagle Creek Range do have a gun shop which I haven’t been to because it’s out in Plainfield – which might as well be Egypt.  I would imagine that if they run their shop like they run the range, I’d have a pretty good experience.

But here’s my “gunshop horror story”.  If you’ve seen my picture, I have a youthful face.  I look about 19-21 most of the time.  When I go into a lot of gunshops, I get treated like a dumb kid 90% of the time.  It’s really freakin’ annoying.  For example, I was in a local establishment not too long ago, and they had a Steyr 1911.  I WANT one of those, and have been interested in picking one up.  They had one, it was in decent condition, and in my price range; when I asked about it they said “Why would someone your age want that?  How about a Glock instead?”  Needless to say, I left without spending a dime.


  1. Yeah, I get that “why not a Glock” or “why not a 1911”. I’m lucky to live in an area that has a few particularly nice gun shops. When I lived in WV, I didn’t. Shoot Straight, here in Tampa, is staffed by mostly people my age (or younger) who treat me like a customer (i.e. only give advice when asked, instead of ramming their own preferences down my throat.)

  2. Egypt? Plainfield’s maybe a half hour from you.

    But I’m with them on the gun shop issue too. Most of the gun shops I’ve been in have been poorly organized and unwelcoming. One in Lafayette that I used to go to seemed to be targeted at law enforcement. I never felt welcome there, even when I bought my first pistol there. Another place is disorganized, overpriced, and has a poor selection of ammo and supplies. All of them felt like a semi-private club. I’ve felt more welcome looking at guns at the pawnshops. So, my sporting goods purchases mostly happen at the new Sportsman’s Warehouse.

    I have to admit that I understand the mindset, being a programmer. I’ve realized that I really can’t talk about computer stuff to non-geeks. I end up being a condescending ass without meaning to, so I try to avoid the topic altogether.

  3. I’ll never forget that at my first gun show, every time I stopped to look at a table, if anyone spoke to me at all, they would ask where my father or boyfriend was. It doesn’t get much better in most stores. I will say that some aren’t like, and the ones that aren’t are amazing. This guy I called Gun Shop Joe certainly didn’t have the most organized or professional looking place, but the welcoming attitude made up for it. He also had a nice touch of having letters from local law enforcement thanking him for previous service – both as a gun shop and as an officer – posted that I thought were great to give people that personal connection.

    Of course, given that it was only a mile from the all girls college in MA I attended, most people were just horrified that any gun shop existed. 🙂

    What frustrates me so much is that he was a great example of even though he didn’t have a fancy shop, the largest inventory, or an eye for retail decoration, his attitude helped overcome all of that. The stores I consider unwelcoming usually lack the same things Joe’s did, plus the attitude.

  4. …I have had better luck with the Indy gun stores. While some of them (I do not say the name of The Overpriced Chuckler) aren’t so nice, others are fun. There’s a shop in Plainfield that’s fine (he sells all manner of things, from carry purses to just about any size brass you need for relaoding) and another on the far South Side — actually, a couple, one gunstore and another hunting-sporting-goods-guns — that’re pretty good. The boys out at Washington and Post are just standoffish; once they get to know you, they’re all right. (I think they’ve been shot at once too often). I was lucky enough to have taken a couple of classes there and to have first shot there with my ex, so the boys were able to see me shoot enough to figure out that I kinda like guns and am not completely clumsy with ’em. That plus range membership (cheap compared to the hourly rate at their range if you shoot often) means they’ll take me seriously. They kid me about Glocks a lot, ‘cos I’m no fan of Tupperware. 🙂

    Gunstores take a lot of flak from fools, both in person and in the media. The people who work there are quite often wary of new faces; it’s not just youth, Ahab. It takes awhile. –But there’s no excuse for a place being disorganized or majorly dusty.

    Gander Mountian is my first choice for selling guns locally. The kind of oldies I like, most of the other places don’t want to give much for them. GM just looks them up in the bluebook, guesstimates, and makes an offer.

  5. Wow. I’m so lucky to have my close by little shop. They’re so friendly, always asking about the fam by names and what’s new with them. I’ve never gone in that they aren’t wiping down the guns and situating ammo boxes. I’ve never seen a streaky smudge last long on the mile long glass counter. They never push something off on me, they ask what I’m looking for and then tweak it to point me to stuff that interests me.
    I guess I got it goooood!!

  6. I strongly believe it is a universal truth about gun stores, because not every one I’ve ever been in was kept, staff had no training in customer service or knowledge in their product. Therefore, not unless you were very specific on what you wanted, you could either end up with some different or nothing at all.

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