You know how it goes, you walk into a gun shop and have a simple question, so you ask the guy behind the counter a question, and then he proceeds to pass on advice that seems like it came from some cheesy Hollywood film. We have all been there, friend, and the best thing to do is realize that some, not all, gun shop gurus are there to sell you on their breed of gun and their way of thinking. Be ye not afraid though, we can wade through the knee high horse hockey together.
Having visited gun shops often enough over the years I have heard some pretty outlandish trinkets of wisdom passed on to the potential gun buyer, some better than others. One of my favorites is when a new gun owner is looking for a defensive arm for the house, the clerk shows off a pump action shotgun and then racks that slide in a mucho grande fashion and then explains how this sound is such a great deterrent to the imaginary law breaker in your home. Usually by now I am over looking at something else trying not to laugh. I talked this subject over a long time ago when I was young and a bit more naïve, this gentleman was a former Army Ranger and was also a weapons instructor and as he told me, why on God’s green Earth would you want to give away your position when you rack the slide. You just informed the bad guy right where you are. Secondly, most people if their home gets broken into are woken up out of a sound sleep and now are trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, who is there etc. If you confront the bad guy with an empty chamber in a hurry you might end up hearing a click instead of a bang. Not a good thing.
Another priceless gem I have heard over the years regarding personal defense is that when the bad guy approaches to blast him and then drag him inside your house. I think I have personally heard this stupidly reckless piece of advice parroted around gun shops and gun shows at least a dozen times. Apparently these folks don’t have a clue how good forensics have gotten in the last couple of decades. This is the type of advice that can get one person killed and another visitation through a plexiglass window on the weekends (some weekends). People spouting that type of bad intel should be called out immediately and on the spot.
Gun shops are a great place to hear one caliber get run into the ground in comparison with another. I have heard the .38 Special trashed while the 9mm is touted, even though both are really not that far apart from one another in ballistics. I tell people when they ask me about a gun to do as much homework as possible before they go out and buy anything. I recently knew of a guy who was talked out of a .357 Sig pistol simply because he was told how much better the 9mm is—a complete falsehood regardless of anyone’s personal preference. The gun jockey simply sold him a bill of goods along with an expensive pistol. Buyer beware applies to guns just like everything else.
So what do you do? I have told several people if the guy behind the counter starts to veer you away from the gun you are looking at, steer his butt right back there, remember it is your hard earned dollars not his. I have walked out of a gun shop before because some kid tried to tell me I didn’t want the gun I was looking at, but what I really needed was some other polymer framed pistol that was three times the price of the gun I selected. I was told the whole line that what I was looking at (a revolver in fact) was out of date and why would I want to buy anything else than the gun he had in the case? Stick to your guns, no pun intended.
Gun shops are a great place to visit but remember what you are getting into. The guy behind the counter has a job to do, and that is to sell you something. When you are buying something, remember that it is the salesman’s job to sell the good stuff. Not all gunshops are like this, but I see it more and more with the newer ones than with the guys who have been around for awhile. Avoid the ones telling you the tall tales, and be careful with some of the advice you get, especially with personal defense guns. You don’t want to bet your life on the information coming from some snake oil salesman. It’s up to you to sort through the facts and the farce.