I truly miss the old mom & pop local gun shops

Discussion in 'rifle related' started by Grumpy, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I truly miss the old mom & pop local gun shops, when I was younger , back in the late 1960s-to even the 1980s
    its was rather common to see a small store front gun-shop in some of the older strip malls , these varied a great deal, but there was generally a guy behind the counter that actually knew how to work on both hand guns and rifles,there was usually at least one guy who was a gunsmith and a back room small machine shop where the guy who was a gunsmith could repair your problem firearm in a day or so!
    and there was maybe a second or third guy, in the shop.
    after several visits you got to know the guys and they eventually recognized you, it was very common to meet friends with similar interests.

    if you walked in the guys actually said HELLO! and smiled, and maybe had a few new jokes , and if you asked for a couple boxes of remington, 10 ga double 00 buckshot shells, and a couple boxes of federal 10 ga slugs, they did not think too call the cops, but asked where you were going hunting.
    and if you wanted to buy a mil surplus garand , or K98 mauser, they could find you one in near pristine condition at a reasonable price.
    in a lot of ways they reminded you of a pawn shop, but with out isles of pawned non-gun related tools, and stereos, and bikes cluttering up the place.
    I used to walk in, and the guys behind the counter were happy to talk about hunting, reloading and what was on sale, or about to be on sale , if you wanted something specific they did not have in stock, they were happy to order it.
    there was usually a bunch of rifle and hunting related magazines for sale and usually a copy of the SHOTGUN NEWS that was thicker than the sunday paper crowded with adds for about anything related to war surplus or whole sale guns, and you could generally pick out any add, add, shipping and maybe 15% to the advertised price and -20$ for shipping, and and order what ever struck your fancy right over the counter on the spot and it was not all that rare, to order a surplus mauser and have the on-site gunsmith re-barrel and re-chamber it for you in a dozen popular calibers, add custom sights and expect to have a rifle with a custom stock, in your hands for under $600 , which was a bit less than a new weatherby rifle costs but it was something both unique and custom built for you!
    you could be fairly sure the guy knew something about rifles, hand guns and shot guns and you could generally get reasonably good advice, if you asked intelligent questions.
    there was generally a glass display case with a couple dozen to maybe 60 plus pistols and usually a wall rack with maybe 60-150 various rifles and shot guns on display, and it was not at all uncommon to have a floor rack with a wide selection of older used and mixed military surplus rifles for sale rather reasonably priced.
    back then, you might find a new Winchester model 70, or Remington model 700 in 30/06 or 270 win on sale for under $230 , and you could pick up a good serviceable 1917 Enfield or 98 Mauser for well under $100
    I remember you could pick-up a new marlin or winchester lever action in common calibers like 30/30 on frequent sales for just a bit over $100 , and I purchased ac 12 ga pump mos-berg , for $95 , and regretted it a bit later when I found them on sale for $87 a week later.
    (BTW never buy a mosberg 12 ga pump, it was a total P.O.S., they are popular mostly due to low price, and because many people buy but seldom use a shotgun enough to find out its reliability is less than expected ) and I found the remington 870 was only a bit more money but much more dependable and later the H&K 12 ga, and a Beretta 12 ga I bought were both much better still
    now If you want a rifle or a handgun, you generally deal with a large chain store like cabelas, bass pro shops , gander mountain, or a chain gun shop like shoot strait,and in some cases its obvious the guy behind the counter is a minimum wage guy who got assigned to sporting goods and hes more interested in selling skate boards , sneakers,and bikes than rifles and ammo, because there less paperwork, and less questions., and he won,t have to call for help because he does not have the keys and hes under 21 so he can,t touch anything you ask about
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  2. Gibbles

    Gibbles Clicker of buttons

    That's really too bad, around here we still have lots of mom and pop gun shops, and they are usually much better priced than cabelas, or basspro.

    However cabelas is usually better priced when it comes to ammo...
  3. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I wonder how many of you gentlemen occasionally stop by the local pawn shops to see if you can spot a bargain priced tool or two?
    theres a pawn shop across the street from the machine shop I use the most.
    every once in awhile if you know what certain tools or other items cost you may find a bargain priced item.
    I generally stop by several local pawn shops just to browse , in most cases the pricing on used tools is marked higher than the retail cost,
    but of course you can make an offer and occasionally you'll be able to strike a bargain.
    I know one guy that spotted a nearly new snap-on tool chest , that was nearly identical to one he had been wanting for several years.
    similar to this picture below, it was marked with a tag for $7K
    my friend assumed it was full of tools so he asked to look it over, it was empty and appeared to be very lightly used.
    now my friend was a bit worried it was stolen, but the pawnshop owners assured him he could check it out and he would provide a, bill of sale title, receipt
    so my freind offered him $3600 cash, the guy did this big song and dance about how he had paid almost $6400
    (my friend knew that was absolute BULL $HIT) no pawn shops going to pay retail,
    so my friend left his phone number and as we were about to walk out I noticed a Browning BAR on the wall.
    I asked to look it over , it had a few minor wear marks, it was the older version but it looked virtually new inside,
    like it had rarely if ever been fired and it was a caliber 338 win. and it was price tagged at $999,
    I would love to grab that if he will drop the price a couple hundred, to the $750-$800 range,..., I doubt he paid over $600,
    so I also made an offer and left my number....
    I kind of hope he calls but if he does , I will have a hard time convincing the wife that I need a new elk rifle....
    I don,t but if the price is decent I'd still like to grab it!
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  4. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

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