New FFL here. What guns should I offer customers for CCW?

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by LGSOO, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. LGSOO

    LGSOO New Member

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    Hello.
    I'm a new FFL and was wanting some opinions on what brands and models to offer my customers for a CCW option.

    Thanks
  2. Boris

    Boris Former Guest

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    Something my favourite mom n pop shop did when I was in WA was keep C&R guns in stock and they sold bunches of them! THere are lots of 9x18mm Makarov pistols that can be had cheap, they are a great carry round and I never hear of a Makarov style gun being unreliable.

    FOr carry get a bunch of Keltcs and LCPs. I know alot of people with both and never hear of a complaint and the warranty is awesome on both if there ever is a problem....

    Offer Glocks on the police, firemen, military discount. If you get them guys commin in you will have customers that will return....

    Just a few himts I can think of.

    Welcome to the forum. You should check out how much alot of respected members here like Silver bullet gun oil. You could sell alot of it......
  3. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    .40 & .45
  4. carver

    carver Moderator

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    You got to have a good stock of reliable guns that will fit in the pocket, and don't forget to add holsters, and ammo. Wheel guns, and semi-autos both. Unless you got some deep pockets it will take time to get your stock up to where you will be comfortable that you have what the shooting public wants. 380's, 9's, 40's, and 45's of all sizes and shapes! And please don't forget those that reload!!!! Good luck with your new venture, and welcome to the forum.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  5. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    1911's draw a big crowd. theres a local gun shop that has a whole case devoted to them. then theres another local that doesnt stock them but never has any used ones for some reason.

    i'd say you cant go wrong with smith j frame and taurus 85 size revolvers. although im not a big fan of taurus.

    if you can find a supply of good used mags im sure you're to sell penty of them if the price is right

    one thing you might do is offer up free coffee. one local pawn/gun shop does this and there are some regulars that frequent. its nice to have a good atmosphere, kinda like being at kinfolks's house instead of walmart

    stocking a few surefire models is always a plus too. the g2 series is inexpensive and everyone should own one.
  6. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is a hard question to answer. I am also a ffl and I find that everyone who walks in the door wants something different. Unless you have deep pockets, you will have to order alot of your customers guns in. I have probably 45-50 different pistols in stock and a few AR-15s and a couple shotguns, but you cant predict what everyone will want. In my area there are alot of people buying the 300-400 dollar guns mostly. Since there is not much profit in the gun business you can tie up a pile of cash in a hurry. I have a few higher end guns but they dont move like I would like them to.

    I would start with some of the mid range stuff and try to get a feel for what your customer wants and bend over backwards to find it for them. I spend alot of time pricing guns for people. I pride myself for being the best price in town, but, I only make an average of 20-30 bucks per gun to be the lowest price. It will take you some time to get a feel for your area. Good luck to you. I hope you have another source of income to keep you going at least until you get established. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have in the future. Cheers! Dan
  7. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    I would think that to get the best price (what you pay) from manufacturers you should carry a full line of that brand. I can think of two that offer something for everyone. Number one would be Ruger. You've got large and small revolvers and large and small autos, as well as a fair number of rifles big bore and rimfire.

    The second would be Springfield Armory. Their 1911's and XD's are quite popular. Having one or two M1A1's on the wall wouldn't hurt either.
  8. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    as tempting as it might be to sell lower end guns such as cobra enterprizes ( formerly davis ) i'd stay away from them. yes they work and yes even people on a limited budget should have the option of owning a gun but the hi-points and cobra enterprizes, seem to attract the wrong crowd. i was a part owner of a gun shop for many years and yes i would order those types of weapons but only for "good customers" or people i knew . if i had a bad feeling about someone lets say for example a low rent acting thug and he wanted a hi-point i would send him to my competitor down the road. " sorry i don't deal with those" became my standard answer. even though the person may have the legal right to buy and own a gun, i didn't want the atf coming around checking my books, which had happened more than once do to a shooting. or a straw sale etc... once sold a surplus 32 acp can't recall now if it was a cz 50 , 70 or some other lower end gun but but it was involved in a crime and was traced back to me. yes it was legal but it had me under the microscope and i didn't like it. from that point forward i became selcetive as to whom i sold too.
  9. Boris

    Boris Former Guest

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    I get what you are saying. I worked at a high volume gunshop for 3.5 years a good bit ago and when 'thugs' came in and asked for 32s I asked if they wanted 32ACP, 32SW 32SW long, 32 H&R mag...... Told them I couldn't sell them ammo if they didnt know what gun it was for. Same went with 9mm, I would rattle off 9mm of every sort. Worked great. Even then we had the police and ATF come in to question people, but after the books were gone over and it was clear an employee did not break a law there was few questions asked unless they went through a bunch of lawyers first. I never answered a single question because all my sales were 100% legal. But that was the great thing about working for a big gun retailer with a bunch of lawyers and the fact all paper work was triple checked before a sale happened.

    FWIW, the last job I had as a civilian I sold an Axe and a chipper shredder that was used in a murder. Police had some questions but it was the same story. Big corporation had some lawyers for them to talk to first.

    SO unless he has some big lawyers lined up. Thats good advice from where I sit and what I have seen........
  10. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I bought two glocks when I first opened a year and a half ago and still have one of them. I still have a s&w 1911 compact tri-tone with scandium alum. frame that lists for 1265.00 and I have it priced at 899.00. If I sell it for that I will have made around 20.00. I have had it since day one. I have 2 AR-15s that are priced around 200.00 less than my competitors and have hung on the wall since day one. People in my area arent spending money on springers and smiths. If thats all I stock, I close the doors. Heck, I wouldnt recommend the gun business to anyone that doesnt have a pile of cash. I just about give guns away and work alot of time for free and people still try to squeeze more on prices. The big shops spend piles of money on guns and get discounts on shipping and just about everything while the little guy struggles. I price like 5 guns for someone and they find that same gun in the big city for less at the millionare gun shop and call me back just to tell me they found it cheaper.

    So, good luck to whoever wants to give it a shot but dont get your hopes up to high.
  11. Regular Joe

    Regular Joe New Member

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    These responses are not encouraging! I had thought that the sub compact lines of Glock and CZ would be super cool, but only for an educated public. But they're not. Did Charter Arms ever get off the ground with that new line of auto caliber wheel guns? Maybe now I understand why a lot of FFL's are content to do mostly transfers.
  12. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    Hi, when I had my shop. We sold alot of the low priced stuff at a small markup. Yet the shop was actully a custom shop and warrenty center. Believe it or not our biggest income came from cleaning expencive shotguns like the wesly richards ect. or the very mondane scope mounting on enfields and nagants. It was the little jobs that were between $35 to $100 that paid all the bills.
  13. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    ^^ just talking with some coworkers the this week about gun shops not making very much off of the guns themselves but rather other services/merchandise.

    My dad gave up renewing his FFL about a decade ago, too much hassle for what we did then.

    gotta stock what people want, not what you personally want (something I couldn't do)... as much as I love 1911's and glocks and XD's etc etc, lots of people still want and buy 'junk' guns...
  14. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    oscarmayer,

    If I came into your store looking all thug-ish and wanted a low dollar Cobra or Jennings or Hi-Point, you'd turn me away? What if I came in looking all thug-ish and wanted that tricked out, over rated and over priced Kimber? Would you sell me that? Just curious.
  15. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    more than likely since most don't want the risk loss of a high ticket item by doing something dumb with it . looks don't matter as much as demeanor, all you have to do is watch cops and you'll see what type of guns the cops are finding on the thugs i speak of, and trust me it's not kimbers, h&k's sigs or colts... that is unless they were obtained on the street and not by legal means, if my reply offended you it's based on more years experience than i care to recall.
  16. wyoredot

    wyoredot New Member

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    Howln, would you really walk into a store in that way? The guy I know at the gun shop would run you out and not think twice. He has a very respectable clientele and don't need no riff raff as he is fond of saying.
  17. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    The ATF revokes FFLs all the time for the smallest little errors. It's the proprietor's responsibility to protect his business and livelihood. Sometimes this may mean turning away suspicious-looking customers. It's at least as hard for the shop owner to do (because he has a finite economic interest in making as many sales as possible) as it is for those of us on the outside to hear about, but it's within his rights. I personally think it would be irresponsible and foolish to ignore this.
  18. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    "We reserve the right to refuse service at any time", right?

    wyoredot, excellent quote btw...
  19. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Since my brother is a biker that rides with a well named club, I dont judge people by the way they look. He would scare alot of people, but is a good hearted guy that would give you the shirt off his back. If they can pass the background check who am I to say he or she cant buy a gun? Their money is just as good as any others. If I felt threatened by someone personally, then I may decide to turn them away. It is EVERY law abiding citizens right to buy a gun no matter what they "look like".
  20. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    I have seen guys being brought into a gun store in a wheelchair and having the wheelchair guy buy guns for the group. Not cool. When a group of (use your imagination) walks in talking **** and calling ak's choppers you are taking a big risk selling to them. Gun dealers dont make squat on a sale. It sure would be sad to get in a trap and go to jail over a profit of 30 bucks. Dont think atf will not trap you. If they want you shut down they will do it.
    I have seen it happen in the New Orleans area. 3 dealers went to fed prison. I knew these guys and i can tell you they would not break the law. aft pined them on straw sales. That is how atf gets rid of you if your selling high volume in the city.

    :mad:

    To get back to the original post of this thread I think it is better to offer ccw classes and build a relationship with your customers and order what they want, not what you want them to own. Most people "feel" safe with some type of protection, what ever it may be. It is your job as a salesman to inform the customer of what is best for their money. At the same time once the customer has made up his mind the sale is made. Stop selling and ring up the deal.
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