Seems like people here are always asking about shops.. I know I have. I spent a little time around several the past few days and thought I would post my findings. And I'm just bored.
The Gun Rack - Kernersville
It was the first time I had ever been there. I got there fairly early Saturday. When I arrived, there were two men working and only one other customer in the store. I didn't get a "good morning" or "hello" or anything of the sort. I browsed my way towards the front where the two employees were, and struck up the conversation myself. Said good morning & asked to see a couple handguns.
The guns did not have locks on them, and the employee didn't bother to clear the action & make sure they were not loaded before handing them to me. Now granted, I was probably the first customer of the morning to look at anything. They had probably just taken them out of the safe. But to me, there is simply no excuse for not clearing the action and checking the gun before handing it to someone.
I handed the gun back and browsed some more. Without sayin a word, the guy went back to sitting on his stool and eating his crackers. The other employee was fiddling with some papers or something. Finally I asked to see a 2nd gun. I might as well have been asking the guy to share his crackers. He didn't seem to care very much whether he sold anything or not. Again, he just hands it over without checking it.
I try to express that I am very interested in making a purchase, and ask if they can come down off the price of gun #2 if I purchase gun #1 as it is marked. He tells me no, he can't come down on anything because blah blah blah. He then continues to discuss the two guns with me. He didn't really offer sells pitch, but just made casual chat.
The place was VERY low pressure. I like that, but I also got the feeling that to them it was just "Buy it or leave it. we could care less". They weren't rude or anything. They just weren't as outgoing as some people and I can see how it would rub some customers the wrong way.
Another guy came in while I was there and was looking for a P3AT. They were pretty short with him and I would be surprised if that guy didn't just tell them to kiss his arse and leave. But he didn't.
Their prices were about average. The S&W 642 was $30 higher than the cheapest place I found it. The Ultra Carry II was about $50 cheaper than the 2nd cheapest place I found. Most other guns were comparable. A G36 with standard sights was about $510. The P3AT was $250 (I thought that was pretty decent).
PDHSC - Raleigh
They have pretty decent prices here. The S&W 642 was $350 - the cheapest I found it. They seemed pretty much willing to help everyone who walked through the door. While I was there, they talked to a man who looked about 65 who wanted a handgun for his home / a girl who just turned 21 and wanted her first gun / a man who just has his first baby and wanted something for home protection / a guy who looked like a complete thug who had no idea what he was looking for. They seemed to treat everyone with equal respect and help them as much as possible.
I would likely purchase a handgun from here in the future.
Davi's - Raleigh
This place was big! They had a lot of customers, and a very good selection. They were also pretty proud of their guns because their prices were pretty high. Me & the guy I was with were treated somewhat rudely. I probably wouldn't purchase a handgun here just because the couple of people I saw working with customers & helping me treated us like we didn't know anything. Different strokes for different folks. It seemed like a pretty popular place, so they must be doing something right.
Arrington's - Greensboro
This place is a joke. I have been there before and always been treated rudely. I went this time with a fresh attitude. I decided to give them one more chance. Once they learned I was civilian, they seemed like they could care less. I will never purchase a gun or anything else from them in the future. I would not recommend them to anyone. I have heard others here say the same. I'm sure they would gladly pucker up and kiss my tail if I was LEO, but oh wel.
Southern Firearms - Greensboro
Seemed like pretty nice people. They were pretty up front and seemed honest. I would buy a firearm here in the future if they had a decent price. Unfortunately, the were generaly about $25-$35 higher for each gun I looked at.
Gander Mountain - Greensboro
Ok.. I would never REALLY buy a gun from here. I just went to browse out of boredom one evening when everything else was closed. The girl behind the counter seemed pretty knowledgeable at first, but then pretty quickly proved me wrong. When I asked to see the Ultra CDP II she said "Oh, that has night sites? Weird!!"
Their prices are ridiculous and the employees don't seem to have much of a clue about what they are selling. I expect that, but it's just disheartening to hear them give poor advice to customers who are just trying to purchase their first handgun.
A guy who was in his early 20's was in there. He was very quiet. He was standing right next to me, and he told the girl he wanted to buy his first pistol.
Guy: "I want something kind of small because I want to get my carry permit. It will also be for home defense though."
Girl: "Oh ok. You're right.. you want something small. Because small is good. They shoot slower. You want a slower moving bullet so the bullet will knock the person down and stop them. Fast bullets will just go right through them without knocking them down."
As soon as the girl turned around for a few minutes, I sorta said hi & told him about a few shops around and recommend he go somewhere like PDHSC. Told him he would get much better advice and save money on the purchase. He seemed to appreciate the advide and said thanks, but still hung around there. Hope the poor guy didn't get taken for a ride, but who knows.
Jim's Guns - Raleigh
I didn't actually go visit Jim. I only called him. I ask him if he had a minute & told him what I was looking for. He told me he didn't have it at that time, but would be more than happy to take my # and call me back if he came across one. He also explained that he has people in Texas that he orders from at the lowest price he can. He said he basically makes $20 on guns he orders from them, but will be happy to do it.
I wasn't familiar with his store/operation, so I asked him to fill me in. He was more than happy to explain who he is & what he does. Jim seemed like a very nice guy, and from the impression he gave me, I would gladly buy from him.
L&J Gunsmithing - Greensboro
Folks, Larry Crump is one of the nicest guys I have met in the firearms business. He doesn't have stuff for sale, but he does great gunsmithing work, and also will be happy to do an FFL transfer for you. He has transferred several for me in the past and always charged a flat $20. I haven't found anyone else around who will match his price. He has also shipped a couple of guns for me and charged me the least he could for his troubles. He once charged me only $25 to ship an AR-15. I think he realized he didn't make much on that, because he charged me slightly more to mail a handgun, but it was still much cheaper than me having to overnight it via FedEx or what not.
I go back to Larry for all of my gunsmithing needs. He'll be more than happy to install your night sites or anything else you need done. I've heard his custom work is excellent.