Wednesday, January 27, 2010


When I went to pick up the 617 they had a Model 40 in the case for me to fondle. I aksed if I could somehow pin the grip safety down and swap out the grips with something else. The response?

~shrug~ "Idunno..."

And that made me remember other questions I have asked at gunstores. Not just that one.

"What company makes the Chiappa Rhino?" ~shrug~ "Idunno"

"Is it ok to shoot .22 short in this revolver?" ~shrug~ "Idunno."

"Which do you have to watch out for? Shooting a .223 in a 5.56, or the other way around?" ~shrug~ "Idunno."

"Were you always this ignernt, or did your folks drop you on your head as a child?" ~shrug~ "Idunno."

I have come to the conclusion that quite a few gun store owners/employees know somewhere between diddly and squat about the stuff they are selling. They are experts at collecting your money and pretty good at filling out gummint forms. It is only the promise of collecting quanties of filthy lucre in denominational units higher than 20 or 21 (depending on whether they are female or male) that they even have a grasp of counting.

Some of them might know a little bit, but that knowledge is often specialized and granular to one subject. Hunting shotguns or SA cowboy revolvers. That sort of thing.

Sadly, gunstore employees can't all be Tam types. If Tam was selling me something in a store and didn't know the answer to my question about something I bet she'd know how to find out right quick. Certainly before I lost interest in the store.

What did folks do before the internet, I ask again?


Carteach said...

If our Tam was on the counter at a local gun shop, I would likely be there weekly. If not to buy (who am I kidding?) then only for the education. She knows more than any three experts in a pile.

The fact that she's right easy on the eyes is just a bonus.

Anonymous said...

I believe Tam probably learned it because she wanted to, not because she had to.

IIRC, she got hired into the industry first, and then became an expert over time because she had a genuine interest in it.

My guess about it would be that the profit margins are so low in the Death Dealing industry that most gun shops simply can't afford to pay a premium for experts. The pay in the gun shops around here tends to be less than what you can make delivering pizza.

I think their highest priorities in hiring are people who can pay close attention to detail in filling out the forms and bound book entries, and have good handwriting.

Knowledge about guns is secondary.

But look at the bright side: at least the people you have questioned have at least had the integrity to admit that they didn't know and didn't just try to baffle you with BS...which I've also seen on more than one occasion.