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Old October 4, 2013, 01:10 PM   #26
Two Old Dogs
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In addition to all the good points mentioned above, NEVER dry fire a rim fire firearm, revolver, pistol or rifle. Dry firing a rim fire will damage the firing pin, the rim seat of the chamber or both.
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Old October 11, 2013, 11:10 AM   #27
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American citizen living in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America:

I would say...

1. Don't walk in there like a total nob, unless of course you are in which case act like a person with genuine interest in purchasing your first weapon. Ask, listen, repeat. Most employees will be delighted in turning a fellow citizen into a gun owner and into a repeat customer.

2. Don't walk in there like Mr. Expert-in-all-weapons-in the-world, throwing gun terms, brand names, calibers, and such all over the store.

3. If and when you do go go with at least with the mindset to buy a gun then or at some point in the near future. Remember, a gun store is a business for profit, it is not a public park for you to hang around in.

Allow me. Case in point, whenever I show up at my armsdealer he knows that a) I'm looking at what my next gun purchase b) I'm going to slap some money on the counter for a new gun c) I'm there to pick up some boxes of ammo c) I'm in need of some sort of accessory for my cache.

4. And lastly, keep your word. If you get them to set aside a piece for you then it should be done with your full intent to return to close the deal.

Well, I guess that's it. Hope they help.

Last edited by Tom Servo; October 12, 2013 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Borderline language
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Old October 11, 2013, 12:20 PM   #28
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In addition to all the good points mentioned above, NEVER dry fire a rim fire firearm, revolver, pistol or rifle. Dry firing a rim fire will damage the firing pin, the rim seat of the chamber or both.
I've heard this and respect it, but I have dryfired my rimfires ALOT. Still, with other people's guns, I respectfully ask.

About respect....
I feel crazy saying this, but it has to be said. First, it might be valuable to do an NRA basic course before you buy. Also, gun store salespeople are people. They may know more or less than you about guns. Ask your questions, take your answers, confirm with multiple sources, then come back ready to buy. I do this even with my Father's advice and he has shot a sense he was 5! So have I, but I will likely always lag behind him in experience...still, I don't always follow his advice.

I tell every newb I intro to guns to buy a S&W revolver, XD, Glock or 22 rimfire as a first gun. Most buy a M&P, which isn't bad!

So, personal experience is a best teacher. No reason to embarass the guy behind the counter. I have occasionally refused a gun requesting they check it first or asked they not point it at me!

Last edited by Nathan; October 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM.
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Old October 12, 2013, 05:16 PM   #29
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Asking permission to open and work the action usually isn't necessary. If I don't know how to operate the particular firearm I'll ask for instructions.

I always ask if its ok to dry fire no matter the firearm.

Always work the action carefully. Be firm but not rough. It isn't glass, nor is it a block of granite.

If the clerk hands me a firearm without showing its unloaded I simply take it and clear it myself. (If you aren't familiar with firearms ask the clerk to prove it).

When checking out the sights keep your finger off the trigger and aim at the floor or the back wall. Don't sweep anyone.

That should do it. Be nice, don't be a jerk or a know it all and you should be just fine.
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Old October 12, 2013, 05:24 PM   #30
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Note to shafter:

"prove" may be a loaded term which may carry the connotation of a challenge.

P.R.O.V.E. is a very specific term (acronym) which may not be familiar to monkeyfist (the Original Poster). it also may not translate into Spanish.

PROVE it safe:
Point the firearm in the safest available direction.
Remove all cartridges.
Observe the chamber.
Verify the feeding path
Examine the bore for obstructions

Lost Sheep
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Old October 12, 2013, 07:00 PM   #31
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Be polite and do what everone else has said.

One other thing, if you get bad vibes, advice that seems off or they act rudely or snotty towards you, walk out.

There are good gun stores and there are bad gun stores. A good gun store will have helpful, knowladgable (and by that I mean, if they know they tell you, and if they don't know, they'll say they don't know) staff that will deal with you honestly and fairly.

A bad gunstore will let you walk out with the worst choice possible, glad for your money and glad to be rid of you.

Demanding good service is something we should do everywhere we spend money. I think it's particularly important in gun stores. If you are benifiting a place by giving them your business, then they can benifit you by giving you a good experiance and a good product.
Don't be shy about it.
Mal: "If anyone gets nosy, know... shoot 'em. "
Zoe: "Shoot 'em?"
Mal: "Politely."
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Old October 23, 2013, 08:12 PM   #32
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Working with guns 24/7 specially in todays climate has us all on edge really.

Biggest things that annoy me when I hand someone a gun... they point it at me... granted I am scarily used to it by now, it usually ticks us off.

Secondly unless its a rimfire I personally can care less if you dry fire it, but not everyone agrees with me so it IS a good idea to ask first.

The biggest piece of advice I can honestly give you before hand in dealing with us gun counter guys is at least do SOME research before showing up to a store. I love teaching new shooters as much as the next guy, but as we all know it has been extremely demanding on us in the last months, and there sometimes isn't enough time in the day to fully help every single customer to the fullest extent.

I am not saying come in looking for a specific gun, but atleast know what you intend to mainly use the gun for.. like target shooting vs. CCW, and just have an idea in mind of what you want it for, then just ask. I would much rather a customer tell me he or she is clueless about guns, but is looking for a gun to keep in the night stand, vs just ask to see every gun in the cases in the matter of 30 mins.

There are good gun stores and there are bad gun stores. A good gun store will have helpful, knowladgable (and by that I mean, if they know they tell you, and if they don't know, they'll say they don't know) staff that will deal with you honestly and fairly.
Best point made yet. Yes I work with guns every day... No I am not a walking encyclopedia on them. Granted most of us know a lot... but no one knows everything. I am the first person to tell someone when they start asking me about high end trap shotguns that I have no idea what I am talking about but I love my Benelli M4 . Please don't expect... or demand... we all know everything about anything. I am a rare bird in knowing my limits when it comes to certain things like black powder and high end shotguns so I ask one of my other guys to come help a customer.

Last edited by HKFan9; October 23, 2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Old October 24, 2013, 07:01 PM   #33
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Explain to the gun guy what your interest is and that you are new to purchasing, so please tell me what I should be looking for in a gun. As mentioned, tne lack of attitude and humility will be appreciated.
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Old October 24, 2013, 09:15 PM   #34
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1, dont ask for a box of ammo when your currently holding a gun in your hand
2. dont pull ammo out of your pocket and try to load the gun

3. dont get offended when the sales idiot points a gun at you.

4. dont be offended when the sales idiot complains when you point out 3
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Old October 24, 2013, 10:30 PM   #35
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Here are a few things that spring to mind.
  • This is a store for grown-ups. No attempt has been, or will be, made to child-proof it. That means there might be sharp edges to bump into and fragile stuff within reach.
  • Yes, it's a store for adults. That doesn't mean we resort to casual profanity or sentiments unsuited for polite company.
  • I don't want to hear politics. I've heard every conspiracy theory, every hackneyed slogan, and every possible pun on the President's name. It doesn't endear someone to me.
  • We don't stay in business long by not knowing the law. If I say something is illegal, that means it's illegal.
  • Nudges and winks, or "let's say I know a guy" don't make the discussion of illegal topics any more acceptable.
  • The same goes for bigotry of any sort. I have valued clients of all proclivities, all heritages, and all walks of life. Again, nudges and winks don't make crass comments about "those people" any more acceptable.
  • Yes we have OMG WOMEN WORKING AT A GUN STORE. They are not range bunnies or window dressing. They're here because they know their stuff, and they're good with people. They know just as much as the guys do, and some stuff we don't.
  • "What's a good gun for a woman who's not here, who's never shot one, and who I'm pressuring into it" is a question that makes my blood boil. There is literally no honest or responsible way I can answer that.
  • There is no such thing as an unloaded gun. Ever. If someone yanks a gun out of a holster or bag, I'm going to insist on them proving it clear. I'm amazed by the frequency and vehemence of conversations I have over that.
  • I refuse to put a "clearing bucket" or any other such contraption on the premises. If there's an expectation of handling a gun on the floor, it needs to be cleared before it's brought in.
  • "I'm a cop/P.I./ninja/knew a guy" doesn't excuse a lack of safety.
  • I hand guns to customers with the action open. Believe it or not, it's a real novelty when they have the courtesy to hand them back the same way. Slapping the action shut and dry-firing at my crotch does not earn bonus points.
  • It would be really nice if folks asked before dry-firing weapons. It would. While it won't hurt most firearms, it can hurt rimfires and certain older actions. If I say not to, there's a reason.
  • "I don't want the one that's been touched by other people. I want one fresh in the box" is especially galling when it comes from someone who just showed an utter disregard for the prior two points. It's fiscally and logistically unfeasible to double inventory just to satisfy someone who doesn't understand that these are tools.
  • There are, of course, some exceptions to that last point. Those guns are marked "serious inquiries only" for a reason, and I'm not going to hand them to someone who's shown carelessness with our other wares.
  • I will not allow someone to handle a gun and its corresponding ammunition at the same time. They can examine one or the other. This policy is based on several close calls and a few (fortunately injury-free) calamities.
  • If I never hear the words "Call of Duty" again, it will be too soon.
  • Same goes for any conversation in which a Dremel tool is mentioned. We have gunsmiths because they know how to do some things better than the rest of the general populace.
  • If I have some down time, I'm glad to elaborate on neat historical or technical stuff. I enjoy a good conversation. That said, I may be able to do that on a slow Monday. Don't take it personally if I can't take the same time on a busy Friday.
  • Our time is money. Like any asset, we have to make good use of it. Margins stink, and assets can get stretched thin. I can't devote 4 exclusive hours of my time to sell a Glock that only nets us $40 in margin (and even less in profit).
  • We stock products we have a chance at selling. I'm not going to order the $5000 custom Loudenboomer .560 in this month's gun rag just so folks can fondle it. For stuff like that, we're going to insist on a nonrefundable deposit.
  • There are some product lines and brands we refuse to carry. That's because those have a verifiable track record of being unreliable or unsafe. Liability is a concern, and we tread lightly in that area.
  • The person I treasure most is the person who admits their ignorance. It tells me where we stand, and it gives me a starting point for a constructive conversation. When I hear, "I need an EDC for CQB zombies and for 1000-yard MOA knockdown power," I know I'm in for a long, painful conversation.

I'm sure there are others. I'll add them as they come to mind.
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
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Old October 25, 2013, 02:57 AM   #36
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^^^ Amen, brother!
0331: "Accuracy by volume."
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Old October 25, 2013, 12:02 PM   #37
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When handling a gun at a store I wouldn't put my finger on the trigger or look down the barrel. This came back to bite me in the ass when I took an sr22 home and the frame was warped. the only way you could tell was looking at it head on. I sent it back to Ruger who claimed to fix it but sent it back looking exactly the same. From now on I look a gun over really good before I take it home and I will pull the trigger in the store. I don't care if it makes anybody at the store nervous either.
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Old October 25, 2013, 12:25 PM   #38
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Some of this stuff is so simple but, for some, it's SO hard. The other day I was in a shop when the owner took out his personal weapon. His finger was on the trigger and he was waving it around. I tried to get small in a hurry and asked him to clear the thing. It was loaded!

Listen folks this happens time and time again! All they have to do is to clear it or open the cylinder for all to see, keep the finger where doesn't belong and have muzzle awareness. I made the mistake years ago about not being conscious of where the muzzle was pointed and got a stern lecture.
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