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  • Dust

    Active Member
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    Nov 24, 2008
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    Mito, Japan/Georgetown, Texas
    Gonna be coming back from Japan in a few weeks, and wanted to get some while the getting was legal. Looking for a flattop AR in 16 or 20", and a Savage 10FP, Remy 700, Mossberg ATR, or Tikka T3 in .308. Willing to drive down to south Austin, and will be driving through DFW after Christmas. I think the gun shows will be a seller's market, so I was hoping to see what you guys suggested for shops. A shop with cheap FFL transfer fee would be nice too.
    Target Sports
     

    rrent

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    Oct 28, 2008
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    Many places are out of AR's ---here's a few to check all have websites --just Google the name and city/state

    a small gun shop in Waco
    Guns R Us

    in Austin
    McBrides
    Sportsman's Finest

    in Round Rock
    Sportsman's Warehouse

    in Cedar Park
    The Gun Store

    in Pflugerville (and South Austin)
    Red's Indoor Range

    in Buda
    Cabelas

    All over Texas
    Academy Sports
     

    phatcyclist

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    Feb 22, 2008
    882
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    Austin, TX
    Mc Brides has Tikkas, I have a T3 Lite in .308 and for the money I don't know if you can get a more accurate rifle.

    Heritage is right around $20 for an FFL transfer I believe.
     

    rrent

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    Oct 28, 2008
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    here's a guy in Round Rock --its probably been a year or so, but he's done the receive a gun and transfer to me thing for me several times ----$20.00

    Advanced Armament
    The Cutting Edge
    113 E. Main
    Round Rock, TX 78664
    512-244-1175
     

    dglockster

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    Jul 13, 2008
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    In Dallas, you can try
    Bachman Pawn



    Address:
    2926 W Northwest Hwy
    Dallas, TX 75220, US
    (214) 351-3628
     

    SiNNiK

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    Mar 26, 2008
    56
    11
    Austin, Tx.
    Never heard of that one, and I'm reeeaall close to that area. As a result, I've been to Heritage Firearms several times and I swear by that store.
     

    CDF

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    Dec 4, 2008
    166
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    N. of ATX
    Dust-

    I'm surprised nobody in Austin has mentioned this place yet. Part of me says to keep this under my hat (so I can suck up the best prices for myself) but these forums are about helping others out so here goes:

    Try GT Distributors in N.Austin.
    The last time I was over there, they had a wall of AR's available (around 3 weeks ago)- I think all Colts were spoken for but they had many MP15 and Bushmaster rifles and even a few of those MSAR AUG Clones. Even if you can't find an AR, the Savage and Remington should be easily obtainable there. Most of the time they have Rem700 department trades for a real good price and they stock Savage Rifles.
    I can pretty much guarantee they have the cheapest prices on rifles and ammo in Austin (and even online in most cases)- I've shopped all the local stores.
    Yes, the front door says you must be LEO, EMT, etc, but they will let us civvies in the door (I believe that is still the policy, but it helps to know the manager)- you will just be restricted from purchasing some of the items: badges, Glocks, 40mm grenades, red/blue lights, etc..

    Heres the website for your viewing pleasure:
    www.gtdist.com

    Good luck in your search.
     

    perdurabo

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    I went by GT Dist. some months ago and I must say that I was impressed by the selection of "tactical" gear and "cop supplies" but their pricing was WAY out of line. Most of the accessories could be had much more cheaply via MidwayUSA or Brownell's (especially if you have a C&R on file). Their new gun prices were far higher than what I could buy it for online via stores like Bud's Gun Shop and have it shipped and transferred here in TX. Their ammo prices were higher than Academy and they didnt stock any military surplus or Russian steel cased/Eastern European brass cased ammo. I was very put off by having to be buzzed in the front door too because I'm not part of the "in club" of LEOs. Overall, not worth it.

    As for Heritage Firearms, I will never set foot in that place again after the BS they tried to feed me. I went in there several years ago to look around and see what they had going. I was unimpressed with their selection and prices but figured that since they are not far from me they might be a decent place to get a transfer from. Well, the guy behind the counter was Dick Doak, who claims to be some flavor of ex-cop. I go up to the counter and ask how much they charge for an FFL, both a regular transfer and shipping out a pistol on a USPS form 1508. I also asked if theyd be willing to give/sell long boxes to ship rifles in.

    He tells me their regular transfer fee is 10% of the firearms value (not a flat fee). He then feeds me a big fat stinking giant line of BS about how its illegal for any non-FFL holder to ship ANY firearm of ANY type via ANY carrier across state lines and that I would certainly be locked up forever if I tried to ship any firearm direct to an FFL in another state and the ONLY way to avoid this certian fate was to pay their overinflated sucker price of a transfer fee to have them do that for me. If this guy has been in the business at all for any length of time or has ever spent 5 minutes reading the ATF FAQ website, he HAS to know this is complete BS. Right then and there I knew these people were asshats and not to be trusted. I just smiled, chuckled, turned around and walked out the door, and I've never returned since. I will NOT tolerate someone trying to sucker me that way and I trust any other sensible person would do the same.

    McBride's has a great selection of various arms and its a great place to paw over something before you buy it elsewhere, but their pricing is often WAAAAAAAAY out of line and I've seen prices on many occasions at McBride's that were OVER the MSRP sucker price. The only people buying at McBride's are ignorant suckers who don't know they are being seriously gouged or the ultra-rich high roller types who simply don't care that they are overpaying. Although it seems lately the High Rollers have been taking most of their business over to Sportsman's Finest in Bee Cave where they REALLY know their customers dont give a crap about being gouged. That place is awash in blue bloods and tech millionaires who couldnt care less that they are spending far more than they have to on gear, ammo and guns. Once again, a great place to gawk, but youd have to be a fool to spend your money there.
     

    gunbubba

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    Jan 2, 2009
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    gt distributors

    GT has a lot of ammo at great prices, but a lot of it is restricted for sale to law enforcement because it is special pricing for LEO. The same goes for a lot of their new handguns, many of them can only be sold to a licensed peace officer with letterhead from their department. Their used guns are all fair game, and sometimes those are great deals.
     

    jimmy-buffett

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    Oct 22, 2008
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    When I noticed the local range/shop in Plano was charging $200 more for a $700 pistol that I bought online, I kinda threw buying a gun at a "gun store" under the bus.

    I'll buy generic guns at Academy or Wal-Mart but the specialty stuff all comes from Gunbroker or other places online now. It's not like buying a car, you aren't going to see them every 6 months to change the oil, so there really is no value to a "relationship" with the local gun store.

    My FFL does transfers out of his home for $15.
     

    gunbubba

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    Jan 2, 2009
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    GT distributors

    I was in GT today 1/6/09 and they actually had some AR's in stock. Rock River carbines and maybe a Bushy or two. They also had a LOT of ammo. I found out the only ammo they have restrictions on now is Hornady. They will sell everything else (Federal, CCI, etc.) and their prices were very good. They do limit you to a couple of cases of ammo at a time.

    As far as handguns, they don't sell much in the way of new handguns to the public due to their special pricing for law enforcement.
     

    kville79

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    May 24, 2008
    443
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    Austin
    I checked GT's website and if you are active (usually active reserve/gaurd is included in this) or retired military you can buy new Glocks there. And if you're Active military you can also buy Sig and S&W handguns there as well. This is per there webpage... Since I'm active reserve I think I might hit that place up!
     

    gunbubba

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    Jan 2, 2009
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    GT distributors, McBrides and Heritage Firearms

    Thanks to Kville79. I never knew the discounted/special purchase items were available to military/retired military. The pricing on that stuff is pretty much untouchable by the other gun retailers so anyone with a military ID should definitely check that out.

    As far as perdurabo's comments about Heritage Firearms and McBride's I have had several guns tranferred in by Heritage, they charge a flat fee of $25. They may have changed their policy since you were there. I have never had a problem with them on any level. Dick Doak is a retired police officer and Vietnam vet and, from what I can tell, a pretty decent guy. I don't believe you would want to call him an asshat to his face. I've been in that shop many times and I have never heard him feed anyone a line of BS unless he was giving some friend of his a ration of crap in fun. He has always been a stand up guy around me. Since I didn't hear your conversation with him I don't know what was said, but I will tell you that I have tried to ship firearms directly to FFL's in other states and the biggest problem I have had is getting someone to accept them for shipment. In spite of what the law says UPS will not accept firearms from a non-FFL unless it is going to a gunsmith for repairs, good luck talking UPS into taking one. The post office will only ship long guns per their rules and regs, no handguns. Fed EX says they will accept firearms, but you have to ship them priority overnight which usually makes it cheaper to pay an FFL to ship if for you.

    I have heard the same "McBride's prices are high" for a while, but when I actually price shop they are usually pretty competitive. Don't forget that if you have a problem with a gun you buy from Bud's or some other online retailer you can't walk back in and hand it back to them like you can with a local retailer. The reality is that most gun stores don't have much mark up on new guns between their cost and MSRP. The difference between cost and retail is usually pretty slim compared to the margins they get on used guns and accessories. I have made some great deals on used guns there. The only time I could imagine McBride's asking over MSRP would be if something was not available through their regular supply channel. I also know that on some lines, like Benelli, they are under a strict 'no discounting' policy in order to be a Benelli distributor. McBride's is direct with most major manufacturer's so they get pretty decent pricing from them. Currently I know they are probably over MSRP on AR-15's for instance, because the price they are having to pay their distributors has been going up with the recent craziness. If you know what you are looking for McBride's can be a great place to buy a firearm, especially used, you just have to catch Joe on the right day. Sometimes things are overpriced, sure, when they are don't buy them.

    I've been in pretty much every gun store in town, each one has plusses and minuses, but unless someone is just an absolute crook I don't think we need to spend time flaming them and calling names. We are now in a time when it is going to be hard enough for gun stores to stay open at all, so how about saying something positive about the ones you have had good experiences with? For me I would rather be in a gun store than not be in a gun store, even if it's not my favorite gun store.
     

    perdurabo

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    Since I didn't hear your conversation with him I don't know what was said, but I will tell you that I have tried to ship firearms directly to FFL's in other states and the biggest problem I have had is getting someone to accept them for shipment. In spite of what the law says UPS will not accept firearms from a non-FFL unless it is going to a gunsmith for repairs, good luck talking UPS into taking one.

    I ship long guns via UPS all the time (from me, a non-FFL to an FFL in another state). You have to drop off you package (whether pre-paid or not) at the customer center, which in the case of Austin is off 290 & Tuscany Way. The one time when I had a problem with an ignorant representative, all I had to do was bring them a copy of this webpage from UPS:

    UPS: Shipping Firearms

    A quick call to their supervisor and all was taken care of. If indeed Heritage has changed their policy and pricing on transfers, its good theyve gone to a flat fee instad of the BS 10% nonsense. However, Steve Ou/Spreadfire Arms, who has an office about 300 yards further down Anderson Mill will do that same transfer for you for $10, and Steve is active on the Elgin PD. Steve will also ship pistols for you on a USPS Form 1508 for $10+actual shipping. Sam Randall, just a little ways up 183 in Cedar Park at Action Pawn, will do it for you for $20. Unless heritage has lowered their prices and changed their attitude significantly since the last time I was in there, I see no reason to frequent their shop.

    As for McBride's I havent seen ANY prices in there that were anywhere remotely reasonable, ESPECIALLY on used guns. Can you give me any examples of prices you thought were reasonable there? I certainly have never seen any.

    I've been in pretty much every gun store in town, each one has plusses and minuses, but unless someone is just an absolute crook I don't think we need to spend time flaming them and calling names. We are now in a time when it is going to be hard enough for gun stores to stay open at all, so how about saying something positive about the ones you have had good experiences with? For me I would rather be in a gun store than not be in a gun store, even if it's not my favorite gun store.

    I don't really have a lot good to say about ANY of the brick and mortar gun shops in Austin. I will say that the Guys at Tex-Guns on Manchaca have a lot of neat milsurps in stock and dont tend to cater to the high roller more-money-than-sense Fudd types that McBrides and Sportsman's Finest cater to, but they are still an overpriced gun store with too much overhead that is forced to charge sales tax.

    I can buy just about any ammo, components, and accessories online from places like MidwayUSA (especially with my C&R discount) FAR cheaper than I can find it at any brick and mortar store (and when I HAVE to buy local because of time constraints, I generally shop big box stores like Academy and Wal Mart first because frankly their prices are lower). For guns, its always cheaper to buy used from individuals using forum sites like this, ar15.com and falfiles.com and then have it transferred via a local FFL. And even when it comes to transfers, theres also no reason to use a gun shop when just about anyone with an 01 or better FFL, which includes pawn brokers, gunsmiths and "kitchen table" dealers, can do a transfers cheaply and dont have a brick and mortar gun store's overhead to deal with. When I have to buy a new firearm, I buy from places like budsgunshop.com to avoid the BS retail markup and most importantly, sales tax. I avoid having to deal with returns by DOING MY HOMEWORK FIRST and knowing what the hell I am doing before I buy. 90% of all retail durable goods returns are the result of CONSUMER ERROR, not DOA. Stuff just doesnt break that much, and in general when it comes down to price vs. potential hassle if i have to return it, price ALWAYS wins EVERY time.

    Guns arent like cars where I am expecting to be coming back every 6 months or so for an oil change or tune-up, theres nothing to gain from building a "relationship" with a retail gun dealer with a brick and mortar store. Their prices will ALWAYS be high and any "buddy deal" they might be able to get you can almost always be matched or beaten by someone else out there in internet land who doesnt care whether you are a buddy or not. Any so-called "expertise" or advice thay could offer can be found on your own in less than a half hour of searching with google. These days, price is king, especially when were having to pinch as much as possible in these tough economic times. I hate to see local businesses go under, but to be frank its a good thing if that business just doesnt make sense. Small corner brick and mortar retail gun shops dont make sense, and they cant offer me anything I cant get more cheaply and easily elsewhere. They are going the way of the dodo and I'm not afraid to say Good Riddance.

    If the shooting sports and our gun rights are to survive, we need to get as many people interested as possible, and the very best way to do that is to make them ACCESSIBLE and AFFORDABLE. That means LOWER PRICES and MORE RANGES. If lowering prices means everyone has to buy their stuff online, then so be it. There will always be places like gun shows where people can paw on various firearms for fit, function, etc, but ultimately we need to be more concerned with lowering prices as low as they can possibly go if we are to keep our gun rights and the shooting sports alive. I am not convinced that small high markup gun shops are helping with that at all since all they seem to do is add more markup and very little other value to the products they sell.
     

    gunbubba

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    Jan 2, 2009
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    local stores prices/service

    As far as used gun deals at McBride's, I bought a used stainless Para Ordnance P-14 for $450, a 640 Smith and Wesson for $300, lightly used Kel-tec P3AT with a nickel slide for $185, a Sig 226 for $400, Glock 17 with an internal Lasermax for $475, a used Bushmaster AR15 with a Knights rail forend for $550 (the plastic part of the sliding stock was cracked, those jerks at Heritage gave me a take off replacement for free). These are purchases over a couple of years, but they seemed pretty good at the time. I've probably paid too much for a gun or two there also, but that's my own fault. Some of their used stuff is high, but some is at great prices, it usually depends on the deal they made when they bought it. I think Pythons and Smith revolvers are overpriced there, but they are overpriced pretty much everywhere else right now. Since you are so sure about everything being overpriced there why don't you throw out some examples, too? You have to shop and haggle, but the deals are there you just have to be patient. Same holds true for Hank Fleming's place, TexGuns, Heritage, The Gun Store in Cedar Park, Red's, Cutting Edge, etc. you never know where a deal might be.

    I've also bought on line from Gunbroker, Auction Arms, AR15.com, GlockTalk, etc. with mostly good luck. I'm not saying that online stores aren't a good way to go, just not the only way. I like not having to pay sales tax, too, but I have a feeling the government is going to find a way to start collecting it on purchases made out of state eventually, especially with the budget shortfalls we are going to see. Hopefully I am wrong on that one. The sales tax dodge only really works when the price of the weapon gets up over $500, with shipping running an average of $25-35 and transfer running $20-25 it starts to be about even with tax. (by the way, kitchen table FFL's can't legally do transfers in Austin, the City has gone after them on zoning issues, Hank Fleming years ago and Hansen Precision recently) I am usually looking online if the gun is over $6-700, but sometimes I find better deals locally. There is no 'best' place to find a gun deal.

    McBride's is still selling new 870's in riot configuration for around $320 when they can get them, their standard 870's are around $290 this is pretty competetive with other big box stores, I think Academy has them for $280. I don't buy much in the way of new guns, so I can't run down the inventory list for you and go point by point on those, but the next time you are in the market at least give them a call or drop in and compare. They are selling .223 PMC Bronze for $7.75 a box, you can get it for $7/box at Bud's but if you buy 100 rounds at Bud's the shipping adds $10 to the order and makes it $9/box. McBride's had XM193 at around $420/1000 the last time I was there, Bud's had it at $8/box, but none in stock, and shipping is another $23-4, no tax at Bud's but you get to carry it out at McBrides. I think GT actually has it cheaper than either of them. You may be able to get a C&R discount, but most of us are comparing straight up on-line pricing to in store pricing. I price shop too, and some ammo I buy at Walmart or Academy but they only carry the most common calibers and most common configurations. You won't find Federal Match ammo at either of those stores, and by the way GT Distributors has Federal 223 Match (69 or 77 grain) at $18.99/20, which is a price I haven't seen matched online (Bud's has it for $28). I've also bought ammo from Aim, Ammoman, Midway etc. to save a few bucks when I am picking up a couple of thousand rounds at a time, if somebody has a deal.

    When you say that you do your homework so you don't need service, I've seen new guns from typically good manufacturers come out of the box with something wrong. Parts do indeed occasionally break due to being improperly manufactured or assembled, it's not always some stupid consumer. "90% of all retail durable goods returns are consumer error" Where do you get your statistics? Keep in mind that a lot of people don't research their purchases and don't know what they are doing, but hey, they need a place to shop, too.

    As far as not wanting to pay 'BS retail markup', what mark up is Bud's making, non-BS retail? All of these guys are in it to make a profit. At least the local guys put some of that money back into the local economy and work on local issues.

    Another reason to do business with local guys when it makes sense to do so: Joe McBride has spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars to lobby the legislature both formally, and informally through his relationships with customers who are politicians, over the years to work on things like getting a Texas CHL passed. Back in the days of statewide Democrat elected officials in Texas he was one who went to the Capitol and testified against bills that were trying to shut down ranges and curtail shooting and hunting rights. He has worked to try to get Parks and Wildlife to spend money on public ranges and to keep anti-gun provisions from effecting the use of public lands. I don't think the guys at Bud's have made it to any hearings. The guys at Walmart and Academy don't spend any time protecting your gun rights either. Over the years Joe has donated money, guns and time to help with the NRA, TSRA, Austin Rifle Club, Ducks Unlimited (multiple chapters), Quail Unlimited, etc., etc. He has also donated money/guns/ammo to groups that introduce kids to shooting. He's not the only one, Red's Indoor Range donates to many of the same groups, as does Sportsman's Finest.

    Perdurabo, I'm not sure why you hate local gun stores, but I imagine with your attitude they aren't spending a lot of time missing you either.

    Go in peace, and if they won't let you go in peace, go well armed.
     

    perdurabo

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    The last time I seriously bothered walking into Mcbride's was about two years ago, the pricing was so bad I didn't know whether to laugh out loud or be disgusted. In particular I was looking for a new 5" Springfield XD-45 to paw on to see if the grip really was significantly slimmer. I saw one in the case and I about had an aneurism when I saw the price on the tag. They wanted $600 when the MSRP at the time was about $550. Thats just bugnuts insane. I still like going into McBride's on occasion for a good laugh or to paw on something Im considering buying elsewhere, but if they closed up shop tomorrow I wouldnt shed a single tear, to be sure.... and I'm a native Austinite and have lived here for 36 years. The only thing I've ever bought there in the last 10 years were some used reloading dies from the used reloading junk shelf upstairs. Joe can go pound sand if he thinks he can laugh all the way to the bank with MY money.

    I'm not sure about their ammo pricing because I havent bought any loaded ammo in almost three years apart from .22lr in 550rd bulk packs from Wal-Mart. I purched large stocks of military surplus and reloading components back when ammo prices were sane between 2001 and 2005 and I stopped buying loaded ammo when it was getting ridiculously high... and I dont intend to buy any more ever again until prices either come back down or I absolutely have to.

    As far as buying guns online vs locally, for the most part I always look for used before I buy new. If I have to buy new I'll buy from someplace that has the absolute lowest price *including* shipping. Most big internat gun retailers like Buds Gun Shop will either waive shipping charges or have a reduced shipping charge... generally a lot less than the $25-$30 most of the small dealers have to charge. Plus, I never pay more than $10 for a transfer if I can help it. There are planty of pawn brokers, gunsmiths and kitchen table FFLs that can legally do transfers for less than $20. Gunsmiths who already have a storefront for their gunsmithing business can legally do transfers and dont have to worry about zoning. John Hansen wasnt forced out of business because of the city, he quit because his business was too slow to cover his liability insurance premiums and he came down with cancer. He's working as a baliff now at the Travis county courthouse. In any case, the upshot is that you dont need retail gun shops in order to have FFL transfers.

    I don't really care what the likes of Red Hyman and Joe McBride do with their spare time. All I know is they don't get a dime of my money until their pricing gets significantly better. All I see are a bunch of shopkeepers who either run their business so poorly that they have to overcharge their customers to stay in business or they think that their customers are so ignorant or lazy that they can get away with overcharging them. Either way, I'm not going to support that kind of attitude. You either give me what I feel is the best price possible or you dont get my business at all, its as simple as that.
     
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