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Old 07-18-2007, 15:36   #1
The Habit
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Virginia Outdoorsman - Smith Mtn. Lake???

My g/f lives in Westlake right off 122 and I just noticed the store Virginia Outdoorsman adjacent to Kroger. I googled them up and the web site looks fairly promising. They also are affiliated with Gallery of Guns.

I haven't been able to stop in yet but am wondering if anyone has done business with them? Do they keep handguns in stock? Prices competitive? I probably won't get a chance to eyeball the operation myself for a few weeks since my g/f spends most of her time with me in Roanoke.
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Old 07-19-2007, 17:33   #2
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never been there, but as you say they are re affiliated with Gallery of Guns. I have done some searches and they look like good prices.

If you do stop in, please post a review.


I'm about 1 1/2 hrs from them I believe.
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Old 07-19-2007, 18:12   #3
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I live near Bay Roc Marinia. If I have time Saturday, I'll drive down and take a look.
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Old 07-19-2007, 20:51   #4
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Im guessing Im about 30 min away from there... I will have to check that out.
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:46   #5
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Virginia Outdoorsman

Sorry Habit, I tried this last night. First, my puter glitched. Then, with that taken care of (hopefully), GT went DOWN SOUTH or something.

Anyway:

I stopped in the VA. Outdoorsman. Today, that was yesterday. I think that my Grandfather, a motivated and skilled angler, would have marveled at all of the gear hooked (pun) to the walls and shelves. Well actually, probably not as that was not his character. He'd likely have looked around and asked what they needed all of that for... when, "those two {pointing} will catch anything you want."

I'm not a fisherman of any caliber, but most of the vast lures, reels, hooks, swivels and doodads seemed higher-end. I did not see any stuff remotely near WallyWorld quality. The rods were few, maybe the rest were hanging out in the sectioned off back room, which to me appeared to be an office. Here again though, I could tell that the displayed rods would fish all day without getting snapped over one's knee... you just couldn't crack nice sticks over your inabilities and bad luck.

The shop is small and has a certain feel of clutter. I'm almost sure that they'd not want the Fire Marshal to stop by in his official capacity. There were about seven people inside. Five perusing the stock and two staff to coral us... the walls were closing in a bit.

As soon as we strolled in, a pretty young man (not "pretty young," but "young and pretty") greeted us with a smile from behind the center console register. A quick, but vigilant size-up revealed no personal threats; making GT'ers happy with my situational awareness.

On my 20 foot narrow stroll straight back to the gun corner, I noted several varieties of inflatable, tow-behind the boat, types of apparatus. Again, all high-end toys, not your typical and mundane inner tube ride thingys. Of course these big balloons are packaged and stored above, less the two leaning outside, because the available space does not lend itself to any other arrangement.

In only a couple of minutes, I was approached by another gentleman. Mike is either the owner or the 'authority.' I'd opt for the proprietor based upon several factors: our good conversation, his knowledge of the operation and its history, his willingness of ****-chat and ability to answer my questions. And, he obviously is the FFL holder.

Seems that VA. Outdoorsman is long-standing staple. Yes, it is new to the Westlake side of things, but aren’t they all? VO lived over in Moneta for many years prior to its move to the Hardy/WL (ahem, read money) side of the tracks.

Now! Onward to the good stuff. His gun section is sparse and probably the area that I got that cluttered feel from… well, not… but that’s where my concentration lived. He has several long guns of the hunting ilk and was uncrating two more as we spoke. He’s got a few HGs and a limited selection of ammo. There are no firearm related accessories such as holsters, belts, gadgets and the like. I didn't note any gunsmith-ing indicators either, although I failed to ask. However, his willingness to ‘get whatever my heart’s desire’… is more than comforting.

Mike explains several positions related to his firearm operation. First is something that we all understand, the overhead and profit margins just don’t allow him to carry a vast inventory. He brokers many used guns, saying that the widows in the area bring him a melee of different and interesting toys. The one’s he can move within the shop, so he does. The ‘unique’ arms, well, they seek love on the Gallery of Guns site as to preach to a wider congregation. His FFL is also registered with many net vendors, cutting our hassle. Mike says to simply give him a call to let him know what's transpiring and that he will take care of you.

Mike’s pricing is fair, more than fair considering his operation. For example, he has a KT P32 that is only nine buckaroos over what I’ve seen in a local shop (his $259)… and actually less than I’ve seen in many others. His other arm prices seem down the middle, not too shabby for a small shop. I suppose saving that overhead makes a difference after all. He has several upper-end scopes peeking from behind a glassed display.

Mike will do an FFL transfer for $25! That is the best I’ve seen in these parts. He clarifies with his fees include the IBC and any other associated administrative costs, such as phone calls and FAXing his FFL etc.

I was extremely impressed with Mike's attitude toward gunners. We talked about consignments etc. He explains that he simply covers his costs, plus a little boot... that he's not interested in making a ton off of other's misfortune. He seems very interested in ‘helping out’ the gun owner as opposed to gouging us... and from what I witnessed, I believe it.

For you outdoorsy types looking for backpacks, hiking shoes, ropes, cordage, biners and other naturalist's bling, best look somewhere else. If you’re in the market to fish and/or pick up a firearm, give Mike a holla.

As we were ending our venture, both employees made the effort to bid their 'goodbyes' and to welcome us back at any time, and for anything they could do for us. Mike had engaged a local man over a broken rod. Both of them were on a first name basis. Mike was answering question after question while simultaneously sanding on the rod's eye-missing tip as if he was going to make some attempt at fixing it for this discouraged sportsman, and obvious acquaintance... I am duly impressed.

All in all, Virginia Outdoorsman seems like a good and friendly operation. They receive a A- on the fishing gear, but a D on their arms inventory. HOWEVER, VO gets an A+ for friendliness, willingness to help gun owners and my general gut reaction to its operation. I'll give them an overall C+ and will be sure to return for a visit. I give that average grade truly based upon their available space... and the fact that this -IS- a gun board and his gun attention is understandably less than his fishing one... albeit, his 'gun attitude' is way above what I've experienced in many other shops and places. Mike's demeanor and attitude receive an AA++.

If you are claustrophobic, stand outside on the walkway and speak with them via the open front door. If you don't know that you 'are,' in fact, fearful of tight spaces, you'll find out once inside the Virginia Outdoorsman.

Oh, and they also offer a guide service for SML.

Virginia Outdoorsman
Mike Snead
40 Village Springs Dr.
Hardy, VA. 24101
(540) 721 4867
www.virginiaoutdoorsman.com
virginiaoutdoorsman@gmail.com
"located on Rt. 122, directly across from Wendy's at Westlake"


See Ya’ll

{edit in for scopes, forgot 'em}
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Last edited by Truckee; 07-22-2007 at 13:38..
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Old 07-22-2007, 12:52   #6
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TR, Nice Review!
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Old 07-22-2007, 13:21   #7
Truckee
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Quote:
Originally posted by DannyR
TR, Nice Review!
HEY DANNY!

Especially considering -your- level of competence, I'll humbly take this compliment... thank you.

Hoping that you are well. Fire off an email and update me on 'things.'

later,
t
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Old 07-22-2007, 16:53   #8
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Excellent! Thanks for the info.

This sounds interesting:

We also have a website through which you can shop, check prices, select and purchase new guns and accessories online. Just go online to our http://www.galleryofguns.com website and when prompted for a VIP Code, enter 978513. This gives you access to a huge selection of new guns. Then just select the firearm you want, register with a user name and password and go to the screen that summarizes the total cost (including shipping and sales tax). Once there you can either confirm your selection and secure the gun online with a deposit (credit card) or choose another gun. When you find and confirm your gun a check for the full amount of the deposit will be sent to the Virginia Outdoorsman. When the gun is shipped, you will receive an email with the tracking information about the firearm, so you will know when it arrives in our shop. Then you just come to the shop where you will do a quick instant background check (which usually takes less than 10 minutes), pay the balance in cash and pick up your gun. Remember to bring your Virginia driver license and one additional form of identification with you with the same address (auto registration, hunting or fishing license, voter card, etc.) for the background check. Very fast and simple.
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Old 07-22-2007, 18:15   #9
vafish
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Re: Virginia Outdoorsman

Quote:
Originally posted by Truckee
... I think that my Grandfather, a motivated and skilled angler, would have marveled at all of the gear hooked (pun) to the walls and shelves. Well actually, probably not as that was not his character. He'd likely have looked around and asked what they needed all of that for... when, "those two {pointing} will catch anything you want."


I once heard a story about a fishing shop, a new fisherman asked what all the lures were for, guy working behind the counter said "These couple over here are for catching fish, All those over there are for catching fisherman"
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