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Old 04-11-2009, 14:44   #1
Waylay Heat
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Shooters Choice Columbia SC

I don't want to get off on a rant here, but I bought a Glock model 19 at Shooters Choice a few weeks ago. I first went into the store and couldn't get the time of day until I met Rick Padgeant in the range area. This guy is very knowledgable and will take time to discuss different types of weapons and shooting tips with you. We talked extensively about Glock 26,27, and the 19. He helped me make a practical decision about which type of weapon I wanted and ultimately purchased that day. Once the guys in the front knew that I was serious about buying a pistol the mood somewhat changed.
NOW, I went in to shoot today and was treated good when I went in and the shooting range is pretty cool..I had a friend with me that was an excop and we took our time and spent a couple of hundred rounds..
When we were finished we left the range and went back into the store and the personnel had changed. Needless to say the people we encountered leaving the range and going into the store were different. The Range Master (TOM) acted as if he was doing us a favor to help us and the guy at the counter (RLM on the sales reciept) acted like we were bothering him. My friend wanted to buy a holster and this guy (RLM) couldn't have been more of a....Lets just say unprofessional.
I don't know who owns Shooters Choice, but I know he has employee's that don't care about their jobs or the people they serve in their store. Now let me say that I have talked with 3 other guys that work there that actually have personalities and are very cordial. To bad Shooters Choice can't get rid of the bad employees.
In this Country today their are hords of people buying Guns and ammo in ridiculous numbers and this is a great time for the Owners at Shooters Choice to establish relationships with repeat customers..Not run them off with bad attitudes....
I'll still take my chances when I go in...However it will be only to shoot and stay as far away from the disgruntled employees as possible.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:48   #2
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welcome to shooters choice. and, dont bother asking them about AR's, i went in their to inquire about a 16" barrel for my ar10, they said you cant swap barrels out on ar's. i said "do what", and turned around and left.
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Old 04-13-2009, 21:23   #3
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I live in Hartsville. I called to ask them about a price on a Khar and a Ruger. They told me to come in to the store to look. I told them that I lived an hour and twenty minutes away and I would like to know what they had and what their prices were. They said "I'm sorry we are really busy right now and those guns are on the other side of the room" I am not kidding, that is what the guy said. They lost a customer. I have many places to shoot locally (outside and not at a range, but they work well), so I will not be visiting them ever again. They think they are hot *****. I was prepared to make a purchase. The place I deal with in Columbia right now is Lawman's Saftey Supply at 3315 Broad River Road. They will treat you right, and they have very good deals on ammo. Here is an example- .40 180gr GDHP $26 for a 50 round box. 9mm 124gr Golden Saber 25 round box for $14. Those are great prices. A Ruger LCP for $275. Need I say more, and they are curtious and care about their customers.

All that being said, I have been to Shooter's Choice and found folks that are knowelgable and curtious, it is just a crap shoot as to who you will get, but all and all, I will avoid them in the future...in fact, I will only go there if they have something that no one else has, and I need it, but so far, I have not come accross that yet, and I will continue to buy from others that apprecate the customer, THEIR customer. There are many places that apprecate my business...Shooter's Choice does not seem to be one of them.
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Old 04-14-2009, 15:02   #4
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Maybe I'm just lucky, but I have yet to have any problems with Shooter's. Just today I called them up to see if they had any 6.8 ammo. The guy said "just a minute" and I could hear him call out to a guy across the room to check on the ammo. Then he put the phone back up to his face and said "I'm sorry we don't have any right now, but hopefully we will get some more in soon. You can try calling back in a couple of days."

IMO, the range supervisors are the nicest people there and the easiest to talk to. When my wife and I first went there to try out a Glock, the range guy talked us through the Glock and even came into the range to check on how we were shooting. He even gave us some tips to shoot better.
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Old 04-14-2009, 17:58   #5
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For the most part, they don't seem like they could give a CRAP about customers. It seems like they think since they have the largest selection, they'll sell guns no matter what.

I've gotten guns there in the past, but not by "choice", per say. I hate to go there to actually "look" at something I may want. In the past, I've ALWAYS known what I wanted, walked in, waited, waited, waited, then when I finally caught someone's eye, I'd say, "I want to buy xxxx."

The last gun I bought was an overpriced Sig Mosquito. I could have gotten it nearly $60 cheaper from a guy on Sigforum, but I was impatient, and wanted it then. I called, asked if they had one, and they did have one, I asked the price, and then said I'd be there in 30 minutes to buy it. I was surprised when I got there, they actually had my name on the box. At least they did that right.

Anyway...poor customer service, and mostly inflated prices. I wish they acted like they valued their customer base.
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Old 04-14-2009, 20:42   #6
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I suppose that I can lump myself in with the "lucky" bunch on this one. I've always gotten exceptional service and have bought many firearms, new and used from them at decent prices after negotiating. I do attribute much of my success to the fact that I am in there at least once a week or so and have done alot of business with them in the past.

And the OP is right about Rick. He is one of the most knowlegeable people working there along with being one of the most affable. I've stayed at Shooter's Choice many times after getting done shooting to pass the time with Rick.

My only advice would be to talk to Ronnie (the owner) and not give up on them quite yet. I know that some of the guys that work there seem to be completely lazy in doing their job and that they are the ones who are less than interested in selling you something or offering a reasonable opinion. But they do have several guys that are knowlegeable and interested in helping you find the appropriate firearm or accessory for your stated purpose. The service at Shooter's Choice is still leaps and bounds ahead of places like Sportsman's Warehouse and most of the local pawn shops. Don't let them take your business for granted, talk to Ronnie. He'll get you set up right.
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Old 04-19-2009, 14:10   #7
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Go to Palmetto Firearms on Broad River Rd. and speak with Chris. Or any of them. Chris spent 2 hours with me going over my new DPMS AR, which I did not even buy from them!! Incredibly knowledgeable and very friendly. They are now my first choice. Lawman's is also very good. In fact, I shouldn't say this because I want to buy it all...but they have (Lawman's) 50 round boxes of Speer GDHP 180 gr. for $26, very good price IMHO.
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Old 04-19-2009, 21:01   #8
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With one exception, I've always gotten great service at Palmetto Firearms. And the one time that I didn't, that guy went back to contract work with Blackwater shortly after my brief encounter with him. Turns out that he was very knowlegable about firearms, but his customer service skills were a little lacking and I was one of many who complained about his rude and abrupt manner. A person has to be aware of where their strengths lay. I don't hold it against the guy, just too much time in the sand box on the sharp end of the stick to be in a sales oriented job.

Lawman's is a different story altogether. I've been in there twice now and never gotten good service. No more Lawman's for me, no matter how good the price.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:46   #9
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Does Lawman's sell to civilians? I don't know why I always got the idea that they were a discount place for LEO and Military.

Palmetto Firearms is a good place. I bought my 2 G26's from there. Very nice people.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:16   #10
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Lawman's sells to civilians with the exception of certain LEO items. Unfortunately, that includes Glocks. I went there thinking that surely they would sell me one at the regular price, but the guy told me that selling a new Glock to me would violate the agreement that they had with Glock and would cause them to lose their ability to be an approved LEO/Military dealer.

They will try, albeit not very hard, to sell you one of the few used guns that they have onhand. The only reason that I would go there is if I desperately needed some piece of 5.11 clothing. But now Palmetto Firearms has increased their selection of 5.11 stuff to the point that I have no reason to visit Lawman's at all.
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Old 04-26-2009, 17:54   #11
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I grew up in Columbia.

I guess I'm a little different. I never get good service from a gun store so I've learned to not expect it. What I look for in a gun store is a clean/safe/welcoming environment and competitive prices. I've found that in my visits Shooter's Choice. Could their people be better....sure, but I'd place them above other places I've visited. It is pretty much the only gun shop my wife will visit and I'll give a big thumbs up on Rick in the range as he treated my wife great a few weekends ago. Their range ammo for 9 mm white Winchester was only $14 which in today's environment is cheap. My wife even said "Wow look they have gift certificates...Now I know what to tell people in Columbia to get you." ...Yes she's a keeper.

I've been mislead so many times by sales people who have an agenda that I simply view their opinions as I do anybody I read on the web. I don't place anymore value on it than some stranger I read on a web site forum. I also no longer buy something without doing a ton of research. I consider myself a research o'holic and generally know more about the items I'm looking at than the sales person.

I've found Shooters to be competitively priced as I picked up a new G19 someone traded in for $420 a few weeks ago. I visited Palmetto a couple of months ago when I was in Columbia and I thought their pricing was on the high side so I just walked out without talking to anyone.

I also liked Sportsman's Warehouse, but that place looks like a ghost town now.
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Old 04-29-2009, 16:28   #12
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Quote:
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I also liked Sportsman's Warehouse, but that place looks like a ghost town now.
I was in there on Monday.

I stated, "Wow, you guys are pretty bare!"

"Well, it's actually gotten better, there's a lot up there."

Me: "Well, the whole wall USED to be full..."

The some smart-ass behind the counter walked by with an attitude and said, "Yeah, and gas used to be $0.23 a gallon." His tone was very rude.

I then said, "I guess you know your selection is PATETIC when I own more handguns than y'all have on display!"

I simply walked off after that.

My first bad encounter at SW.
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Old 05-04-2009, 20:30   #13
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I visit Shooters Choice almost every time that I'm in Columbia. I like the big selection of guns they carry and the fact that they still have some reloading supplies in stock for sale.
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Old 06-02-2009, 13:14   #14
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I too have had less than stellar salesmen at Shooters Choice. They have a good selection and the prices are not as bad as Lexington Pawn on 378. Lexington Pawn has/had a S&W revolver 38 or 357 that had a price tag covered up by a new one that was clearly seen, only $150 more. At least replace the tag! Way too high prices!

I would have to say that my first 'choice' would be Lawmans and Palmetto. I have had good salesmen at both. I bought at least one pistol from each this year.

Too bad Larry is not at Lawmans anymore. Palmetto has alot of used guns as of last week! One side of their cases are almost full!
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Old 07-01-2009, 19:56   #15
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If you don't walk into Shooters Choice with a credit card stapled to your forehead and a sign on your back screaming "I'M BUYING TODAY" then you'll be treated as a 2nd class citizen...period. Especially by the fat guy with the slicked back grey hair that always has the .38 SPL on his hip.

I only go there if I am to impaitent to wait on the UPS guy to deliver something from an online store.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:13   #16
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Especially by the fat guy with the slicked back grey hair that always has the .38 SPL on his hip.

You nailed that one.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:54   #17
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You nailed that one.
I think it's hilarious that everyone in Columbia knows exactly the guy you're talking about! He told me once that "If it ain't a wheelgun, it ain't a real gun!"
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Old 07-08-2009, 13:39   #18
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Lawman's sells to civilians with the exception of certain LEO items. Unfortunately, that includes Glocks. I went there thinking that surely they would sell me one at the regular price, but the guy told me that selling a new Glock to me would violate the agreement that they had with Glock and would cause them to lose their ability to be an approved LEO/Military dealer.

They will try, albeit not very hard, to sell you one of the few used guns that they have onhand. The only reason that I would go there is if I desperately needed some piece of 5.11 clothing. But now Palmetto Firearms has increased their selection of 5.11 stuff to the point that I have no reason to visit Lawman's at all.
I don't know if this will help, but they extend their LEO pricing and inventory to military as well, both active and retired.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:54   #19
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I don't know if this will help, but they extend their LEO pricing and inventory to military as well, both active and retired.
Thanks CarlosC, but unfortunately I'm not active or retired from LE or the military. I did a 6 years and change in the Army, but got out in 1992. Oh well, looks like I'll just be picking up more good deals here on GlockTalk.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:18   #20
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I don't know if this will help, but they extend their LEO pricing and inventory to military as well, both active and retired.
You also qualify for the LEO price if you are an EMT/Paramedic or firefighter.
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