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Old 09-08-2012, 04:49 AM   #1
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Default gun store etiquette

I am new to firearms for the most part with the exception of some shooting about two decades ago. I plan to purchase my first firearm in the next couple weeks and I don't want to be a complete moron when I do it. Background, I sell cars for a living, if someone walked in with a pile of money and told me they had never purchased a car before, it may not work out in their favor. I also believe in supporting the local guy. Generally speaking, are most local gun stores honest, can I negotiate? Also any other general etiquette pointers would be great.

I would love for my first gun to be a 9mm, but I worry my opportunity to purchase an AR may be more limited than my cash flow...

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:09 AM   #2
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Some shops negotiate, if it's a chain, forget about it. If it looks "nice" probably not. They got too much overhead to pay for "nice". If there is a grip of employees, nope. Shop around man, it's your first purchase so take your time and finger bang every gun you get your hand on to get the one that FITS YOU. People can recommend all day long but YOU are the one that is buying it. Oh yeah, don't buy a high point. Do some shopping online to get prices, budsgunshop.com is a good place to get an idea what they should sell close to.

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:44 AM   #3
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Find a couple of LGSs- local gun shops. Do not show up on Saturday or the day before opening of deer season- they are going to be REAL busy.

Yes, explain that you are a noobie. MOST LGS will be a sole proprietor type business, and are more honest than most politicians. When you want to look at a gun, ASK. Do not dry fire a gun, and watch where you are pointing it (some of us are crotchety old men that will offer to insert that gun in an uncomfortable area if you point it at us again)

Sometimes there MAY be some room for negotiation- if it is a used gun. Consignment, not really. New- maybe, but a small degree. Couple of non-aggressive invitations to haggle a bit- "Discount for cash?" (credit card charges cost the merchant about 3-4%) "Do you have any wiggle room in the price?"

Do not be afraid of used guns if they are a quality brand, and if the store has a guarantee (one of my local shops offers a 30 day repair guarantee)

You might find ammo a dollar a box less at Wally World. But when you need one screw for the scope ring, it is nice if that LGS in still in business.

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Old 09-08-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Since you sell cars, I assume you know all the tricks that those other salesmen use (the up-sell, steering you towards the latest cool trend, etc) as well as some mistakes that uneducated car shoppers make. Watch out for similar things at the gun stores - especially the larger chain stores. Also, keep in mind what the intended use for your first gun might be: home defense, concealed carry, critter control, hunting, target shooting or whatever. If you communicate that to the salesman, it'll help him/her point you in the right direction. Bear in mind that no single gun can likely fill all these roles. (Another car analogy - a V8 minivan with off-road suspension & gangsta-style spinners...)

c3shooter offered some great advice, I'd just like to expand on one thing: It's not always wrong to dry fire a gun, but it definitely is against 'etiquette' to do so without permission. If you find a gun that you like & seems to fit but you'd really like to test the feel of the trigger, ASK if you can dry fire it. They should be OK with 1 or 2 test pulls - just not several times on every gun you handle. That's kind of like the car shopper that wants to rev/red-line the motor of every car he sits in.

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Old 09-08-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Do some online research on the type of guns you are interested in. What is legal in your state, what kind of action you desire, da/sa, sa, dao. How do you plan to use the gun? Home, range gun you may want a hi capacity all steel gun. Ccw you may want something small and polymer for comfort and lite wieght.

When you figure somethings out, go to a range that rents different types of guns you are drawn to. Nothing like shooting a gun before buying one.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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I think there are two shops I'm going to lean toward, one is in the basement of an old house with a bazillion weapons of every type. The other is a range with a full museum and even tanks... COOL! ( I live in Colorado, I think everything is legal here. I like the fact, no CCW required to carry in your vehicle). They are both family owned and sell used guns, which I am not apposed to. If I select a gun to purchase, should I also ask them to show me how to disassemble it and clean it, maybe a five minute tutorial?

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #7
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My first purchase was from a local gun shop. Didn't know the difference between a 45 and a 9mm. I picked up both S&W 457 and Glock 9mm and asked
what the difference was. The salesman pointed to his partner behind another counter dealing with a customer. "You see that man there? If you shot
him with this 9mm he would fall back against that wall and become very angry with you. If you shot him with this S&W 457 45 he would be long gone."

Needless to say the partner was over 350 lbs. I immediately placed the 9mm on the counter and said: "I'll take the 45." It is now my avatar.

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoguy View Post
c3shooter offered some great advice, I'd just like to expand on one thing: It's not always wrong to dry fire a gun, but it definitely is against 'etiquette' to do so without permission. If you find a gun that you like & seems to fit but you'd really like to test the feel of the trigger, ASK if you can dry fire it. They should be OK with 1 or 2 test pulls - just not several times on every gun you handle. That's kind of like the car shopper that wants to rev/red-line the motor of every car he sits in.
I agree with this. When I am looking at a gun I always ask if it's okay if I dry fire it. It all depends on the gun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TankTop View Post
If I select a gun to purchase, should I also ask them to show me how to disassemble it and clean it, maybe a five minute tutorial?
There are very good Youtube video tutorials on almost any gun you can think of. I did not ask for a demo at the gun shop on how to clean my guns. I did ask here on FTF and received many links to very good Youtube videos. Also, the manual will have a step by step procedure to follow to clean the gun. Between the videos and the manual and the experienced people here on FTF, you will be able to disassemble and reassemble your new gun with no problem.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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Agreed you do need to dry fire a gun before you choose to purchase it. Always ASK first though, I almost got yelled at.

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:24 PM   #10
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Dry firing a brand new revolver etches a visible circular scratch around the outside cylinder. The gun becomes "not new" anymore to many people - so many shops will not allow this.

Dry firing a 22 will start collision damage between the hammer and the edge of the cylinder chamber. Damaged edges can result in future failure to fire for 22's. Most shops will not allow 22 dry fire for this reason.

Most shops will allow dry fire of centerfire semi-autos - because these two trouble don't apply to those guns. But it is very much etiquette to ask permission for dry fire - even in those cases - it is the man's property - and it is not sold - and he will feel the way he feels about it - at the time. And it could have to do with what he just ate, or the bill that just came in the mail, or the wife's phone call, or the previous bad attitude customer, or....

Always ask. Don't make enemies...

If you feel you must dry fire - use "snap caps" --- plastic "pretend" cartridges. This will work or the 22's and centerfire auto's - but NOT for the new pristine cylinders of a new revolver. Again, this approach will work - if the owner feels like he wants it to "work".
Go find a used revolver which has already been "etched" for dry fire.

And do not point any gun (yeah - even though it's empty) at anyone or even close to anyone - point at the ground - off to the side. Gun people notice this handling of guns VERY MUCH.
Always verify that a gun is empty - and nothing in chamber for semi-auto's - mag empty. Always. Always.

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