Davidsons for guns?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by LDBennett, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to buy a couple of different handguns through my CA FFL transfer dealer. Unfortunately Davidson is the exclusive distributor for both, US Fire Arms and the 75th Anniversary Browning High Power. We had zero success, thanks to Davidsons (a wholesale distributor).

    They had zero stock on any centerfire USFA Single Actions and USFA says it is a 5 to 6 MONTH waiting period to order directly. Apparently Browning has an exclusive with Browning on the 75th ANN. High Power as no other distributor has any and they have "99+".

    Then there was the 13 round mag problem as all Davidsons' High Powers were only that and CA can not receive any 13 round mags (10 round only and Davidsons has none of those looose to slip in the box). To top it off they wanted my FFL dealer to resubmit all his paperwork and no longer will take credit cards (COD only). That sounds to me like a cash strapped business with a cash flow problem (???).

    Oh Well! I guess I'll have to forego both those gun and live without! Too bad as I really wanted at least one of those two.

    LDBennett
  2. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I checked my supplier for the browning hi power 75th ann. They had some hi powers but were out of the ann. model. It is listed as out of stock, my cost is 819.00. I am not familiar on the US firearms. My supplier has US repeating arms. I just sent you a PM
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Double D:

    Thanks for looking.

    The ANN. model is highly polished blue, made in Belgium assembled in Portugal, with "75 ANN." engraved on the top of the slide. It looks like "old" High Powers did 25 years ago instead of the combat flat blue of all the other current Browning High Powers. I missed out on buying one years ago (never had the money then!) and always wanted one like they used to be. The ANN model is IT! I have a Charles Daly Hi Power but it is not the same.

    The USFA is a clone of the Colt 1873 Single Action Army revolver except made better than even the Colts and made here in the USA. The demand is highly outstripping the supply apparently. It is a production made custom gun. Those that have them say they are better made and fitted than third generation Colts. I'll admit this gun is second on my list, below the Browning High Power.

    But oh well, such is life. I am still holding out for the rich, smart, agreeable, beauty queen girl friend.... By the time I find her I'll be on death's doorstep!

    LDBennett
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    LD, they are nice. I ordered these in May, went out of town over Memorial Day after I placed the order and mailed the check and FFL. Finally got 'em in October. But I think they are worth the worth the wait. That was 2003, so there's been a waiting list for a while.

    [​IMG]

    As for your Browning, if you ever get one, and you end up with 13-round mags, and need to dispose of them so California don't bite you, I'll be glad to swap you the two ten-rounders I bought back during the ban. :p
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  5. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 New Member

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    As Davidson's is one of the biggest distributors in the country, 1st or 2nd I'd say, I don't see them as "cash strapped".
    COD expectations is often due to something on the receiver's end or not having an open account. Pay first or pay on arrival...what difference does it make?
    Resubmitting the dealer info is not a big deal and is something that gets updated in the system occasionally. Usually when the FFL's license gets near to its expiration.
    As for them not having the Browning shippable to CA...well if it's an exclusive (all the distributors do these exclusive runs) I can understand not wanting to make a change for a one-off sale.
    USFA => Check *********.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    BlkHawk73 said:

    As Davidson's is one of the biggest distributors in the country, 1st or 2nd I'd say, I don't see them as "cash strapped".

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

    COD expectations is often due to something on the receiver's end or not having an open account. Pay first or pay on arrival...what difference does it make?

    My FFL made it sound like ALL sales were COD but you may be right as he had not order from them in a long time. The difference is Cash Money has to be presented to the carrier rather than a credit card number. I don't normally have thousands of dollars in cash laying around my house nor does my FFL dealer. It is convenience.

    Resubmitting the dealer info is not a big deal and is something that gets updated in the system occasionally. Usually when the FFL's license gets near to its expiration.

    Davidsons backed down on wanting all the info after the FFL dealer complained a bit. It seems they "found" his file and finally agreed to only the updated FFL need be resubmitted.

    As for them not having the Browning shippable to CA...well if it's an exclusive (all the distributors do these exclusive runs) I can understand not wanting to make a change for a one-off sale.

    California gun sales has to be more than a couple of guns. California is not the only state that requires 10 round mags. I would bet that at least 25% of all the guns sold in the USA are sold in California. Davidsons bought more than 99 (their "available" field is limited to 99+) and they were not smart enough to buy any 10 rounder editions? Someone reading this post did a search and it turns out that Jerry's has them in the 10 round configuration.

    After some more research by me and my FFL dealer we decided that all the "Standard" models are highly polished like the 75th Anniversary Model. That is what I was after, not so much the "75th" engraving. So I sent my FFL dealer on a search for a "Standard " HP with adjustable sights. That should be easy or we may go to Jerrys and get the Anniversary model. I really do not have a preference of one over the other. I just want a HP that looks like they did in the 1960's and 1970's, not one with a painted on finish or modern features.

    The availability of the USFA Single Action apparently is a long standing problem. See the post from ALPO. It was a 5 months delay in 2003!

    I still think, as does my FFL, that Davidsons has not been nice to deal with so far. It may be the high level of pressure the BATF is now putting on dealers and distributors to get everything absolutely right. They have been jerking licenses on dealers for paper work errors. The NRA is now in a fight to get the BATF reined in with new legislation in the US Congress. We'll see how that works out. I don't have much hope with the Dem's in the Senate and the liberal OBAMA in the White House but you never know.

    Anyway thank you for your comments. My venting here has brought some resolution to the problem for me and I more than likely will be getting the HP I really want. Before I made up this thread I had given up and now all may be good (??).

    LDBennett
  7. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I have set up an acct at davidsons but have never used them. My other suppliers have allowed me to make payment by fax check or credit card or cod and when I first opened davidsons wouldnt do any of those options. I would have to go to the bank and get a certified check and mail it to them. None of my suppliers would extend credit to a new business. Davidsons has now started to allow fax checks but their gun prices are the highest out there. The only way they compete is they have better shipping rates.
  8. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 New Member

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    Sometimes but COD doesn't automatically equate to "falling" or "cash strapped". If a dealer requires a down payment or cash up front does that place him in the same category?



    Credit card + ATM = cash. If ya gotta use a credit card (money not available) maybe think again about the purchase. Never bought one if the cash wasn't in hand on in the account. Dealer sounds "cash strapped". ;):p I know not all dealers are bound by the COD thing.


    His words or theirs?



    I doubt the 25% amount. Too many not allowed in CA. Evidently there's some marketing folks that have a bit more insight as to what would sell and what wouldn't. Could also be that w/ Jerry's having the 10 round variation it excluded Davidson's from having them.

    Can understand the frustration - See and hear it a lot but most from folks that have never been on the other side of the counter nor step abck and consider another vantage point other than their own. Good luck with finding these treasures, especially that USFA! :cool:
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  9. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    I buy all my new stuff from Davidsons.

    The prices are competetive, and they offer a lifetime warranty.

    I've never had a money issue with them. I just choose my firearm and where to send it to. Enter my cc info, and it's a done deal.

    When it arrives, I go to pick it up, fill out the paperwork, and a 60 second phone call sends me on my way.

    Not sure what ya'lls other issues are, but it's the cleanest transaction I've had in buying a firearm. Repeatedly.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    BlkHawk73:

    I have continued to pursue this with the FFL transfer dealer and finally determined that it may be that he only uses two distributor today while in the past he did a whole lot more business. While he had a working relationship with Davidsons it was many years old and little used. He explained later that the "new" way distributors tend to work, probably because of BATF pressures, is for distributors to not be interested in suppling single guns to non-stocking dealers which is what he is.

    The COD only may have been only a requirement for this transfer dealer because of his lack of business with them for an extended period. I was not there to hear both sides of the conversation and only got the dealers take which made Davidsons sound pretty bad. In the end they agreed to only requiring his updated FFL. I do not know if they waived the COD requirement. But they did not have the 10 round version of the 75 ANN HP in stock nor any 10 round Standard versions. I understand CA sales are tough on out of staters because of CA gun regulations and providing guns to CA may be not on their priority list especial one offs. They did seem reluctant but perhaps for good reason.

    As for COD and cash on hand, where I live the closest source of cash is 4 miles away and there is a limit to how much can be withdraw at any one time. Both me and the transfer dealer live in a semi-rural area with nothing less than 4+ miles away and that includes groceries. My actual credit union is 100 miles away. It seems to me that a credit card is just as fast as a vender doing a COD for getting his money but I suppose a credit card transaction can be reversed and a cash deal can not. Anyway COD is an inconvenience for me and for my dealer. Normally COD is used instead of a line of credit. A credit card is not a line of credit with the distributor but with the credit card company and I do not see the advantage to COD orders over credit card (with the exception of the possibility that the credit card transaction can be reversed under certain circumstances).

    In the end this transfer dealer is limit to getting guns from the two distributor he is established with and could not get either gun for me. He can act as a transfer dealer which he does on a regular basis. So if I want either gun I have to find them, buy them, and then transfer them through him. OR visit my nearest dealer who I trust, either 75 or 150 miles away and see if they have either gun. Of course there are no "deals" through these guys.

    This venture to update guns I already have has not turned out to be easy and has me thinking that maybe I am not suppose to update. This thread did highlight for me after more discussion with those here and the transfer dealer that the business has changed since I had an FFL over 15 years ago. The BATF has done an excellent job of inserting itself between legitimate sources of guns and the citizenry, if even by the fear of those sources. I think the BATF has become much akin to the IRS for power over the people.

    Thank you one and all for you comments.

    LDBennett
  11. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It is a fact that several suppliers will not sell guns to an FFL that does not have a store front. I had to e-mail pics of my shop to some of them and they had to see actual signage. I started with lipseys and realized they had 2 prices. Store dealers and non store dealers. But at least they will sell to non store dealers. I have struggled with being the "little guy" since day one. Trust me, you are treated as such. They could care less about my business. They always ask me "is that it?" after I place every phone order and they shuffle me thru in a hurry since they have the rich guys waiting on the other line to buy 50-100 guns. This is a tough business for someone with limited funds and there is very small profit involved. By the way, there is an additional 10.00 added to every c.o.d. order. It really stinks.
  12. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    I was reading an article on the gun Biz last week. There was an article on USFA. It seems they are going broke. They are predicted to fail before years end.

    RC
  13. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Did you ever consider that maybe Davidson's is getting tired of dealing with
    the BS of selling into California? They wouldn't be the first manufacturer or
    distributor to decide that Cali just isn't worth the hassle.
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Distributors that treat new small dealers badly (or even home FFL holders who sell few guns today) will eventually hurt their own business. Little guys can grow to be big guys eventually. If treated badly by one distributor they are likely to go somewhere else when they can when they get big.

    Today businesses are shooting themselves in the foot when they concentrate on maximizing profits today at the cost of tomorrow's profits. It is rampant throughout the corporate world and all the big gun guys are corporations with stock holder that only care about the stock price and this year's profit. Long lasting businesses look to the future, and build customer relationships no matter the size of the customer. But that apparently is no longer the way to do business in the USA. Too bad.

    LDBennett
  15. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes it is too bad, but what can you do. If the big boys are offering the same product for 10-15 dollars less, almost everyone will go where they can save money. It really hurts the little guy. Such is life. I spend probably 20 hours a week just pricing guns for people for free. And then half the time they go to the big boys anyhow.
  16. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Well, I gave up on the USFA Single Action (5 to 6 months wait is too long), and I could not get a Browning Hi Power for CA (no 10 rounders that my FFL dealer could deal with and the Charles Daly Hi Power I already have is probably good enough).

    I also tried to get a Ruger Stainless Bisley Vaquero but the my FFL dealer (Transfer dealer) claimed you could not have them in CA. He was wrong. They are exempted as are all Single Action revolvers with barrels longer than 3 inches and that have an OAL of more than 7 inches. While he dithered the only ones in 45LC I could find were sold.

    I gave up on my FFL dealer and went to a local (50 miles away) gun store and he ordered one (hopefully) in 357 as all the distributors appear to be out of the 45 LC version. That's alright. I could use the gun in 357 as I have only one other 357Mag pistol and that's a S&W 686.

    It sure is a bummer when gun stores are so far away for buying guns. Everything else is no problem to buy over the internet but it takes multiple trips in CA. Hopefully this is done! I don't think I'll be using that FFL transfer dealer again.

    LDBennett
  17. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

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    You already have a 686 and you need another .357? or you want another .357?
  18. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    noslolo:

    Every gun I own I NEED. I have three safes full of guns. I WANTED every gun I have. I NEED every gun I have.

    Every gun I have has its own personality. Every gun is a little different to shoot. I buy guns that I fancy, not guns that the world view says I should buy. I shoot all the guns I have including collectable guns, vintage guns, and modern guns.

    The only 357's I had was the S&W 686 and a Winchester Model 92 re-chambered by someone else [perhaps 50 years ago) for 357. The Ruger will make a nice stablemate for the Winchester.

    LDBennett
  19. al45lc

    al45lc New Member

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    In the 5 years I purchased for a large gunshop chain, Davidson's was the LAST place I would go to get a firearm for a customer. They were always difficult to work with, and usually higher priced than others.
    They did however, almost always have an item not found anywhere else on many occasions.
    I flat out disliked working with them.
  20. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am almost forced to do business with Jerrys. They always have more than anyone else including davidsons. Problem is the shipping. They ship to me second day air and I dont have a choice. I have paid ip to 50.00 for 2 handguns shipped to me. It is NEVER under 30.00 for one handgun. Matter of fact I am getting a ruger lcp with a lazer for someone today and the shipping is 30.00. For an lcp. Then, when I price something I cant hardly make a profit because of the shipping. I deal with another supplier that charges me 10.00 flat rate for shipping 2-3 guns, but they dont have the inventory and I am usually forced to go to jerrys. This is why I discourage anyone wanting to get their FFL if they are strapped for cash. The big boys will step on your neck and keep walking.
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