Jan 26, 2013

A Survey of Gun Stores in the Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Hawaii.

Update: I updated listing for a store that was forced under by the ATF and for a range as well as added another Vermont gun store. Expect another update with California gun stores soon

Update: I have recently moved to Hawaii and decided to expand on this ever-popular article. And I added one store in Connecticut, just to make it that much more comprehensive. As always feel free to post any additions or thoughts of your own in the comment section

Sahiem and I have been checking out the numerous gun stores that can be found scattered around New England/Hawaii. I thought that I would post some of my impressions of them for the benefit of my readers. I will update this as time goes on and the staff of The Revolution Script continue to search out the best deals on ammo, guns, accessories and other supplies. Note that none of these stores should be considered "pinko friendly."

Vermont:

Back 40, Windsor, VT - I haven't been there myself, but Saheim tells me I'm not missing much. One positive note is that they sell mil surp guns on consignment that are built by a local gunsmith, a very talented guy that I have met at the range. Recently it was a Romanian RPK build.

John's Gun Shop, Morrisville, Vermont - The owner of this store is an über-Christian survivalist and as such provides great deals on ammo and a fair number of civilian black rifles as well as Class III fire arms. The owner gives you a free CD of his Christian music with every purchase. NOW CLOSED.

Powderhorn Outdoor Sports Center, Williston, Vermont - Thanks to Soob for adding this store in the comment section. I recently made the trip to see what all the hype was about and I am glad I did. Their selection is unrivaled in Vermont as far as military weapons are concerned. From collectible broom handled Mausers to AK variants from multiple country to FN FALs, the Powder Horn will not disappoint the discriminating revolutionary. The store also stocks knives, gear and plenty of current production and mil. surp. ammo, although their selection of 7.62 x 39mm was noticeably lacking when I visited, except for tracers, which I have never seen in that caliber before or since. Their prices on guns seemed reasonable and I saw several items which I might have to pick up the next time I have seven hundred plus dollars burning a hole in my pocket.

Charles Wells Jr. Gun Shop, Bennington, VT- This store was the worst gun store I have ever been to. It is attached to a gas station and is small and cluttered. On top of that they have virtually no selection of guns and the worst prices I have ever seen on ammo anywhere, more than double what you pay at other stores. Don't even bother.

Barrow's Trading Post, Quechee, VT- In addition to yet another unfriendly store owner, Barrows doesn't offer anything particularly unique. The selection consists of a small handful of hunting weapons, carbines and second-rate handguns such as Hi-Points and Tauruses, all of which they are asking $50-100 too much for. No mil surp ammo or rifles. Plus I know for a fact that certain members of the Revolution Script Fan Club frequent the store...

Orvis Retail Store, Manchester, VT- It's pretty cool if you like expensive yuppie clothes and $35,000 hand engraved hunting shotguns.

Dattilio's Discount Guns Tackle & Archery, South Burlington, Vermont- The complete opposite of Charles H Wells in Bennington. This gas station and gun store combo actually has reasonably priced ammo and a good selection at that. Whether you are looking for steel-cased practice ammo or high-performance self-defense loads, chances are they have it. Saheim and I have both been impressed with our visits. If you ask, they will let you into the back room which holds two cases of long arms, a mix of military and hunting rifles and shotguns.

R&L Archery, Barre, Vermont- This is more of a sporting goods store with an extensive gun selection than a gun store. Think of it as a Cabela's, except much, much smaller and locally owned and operated. Their firearms selection includes a relatively small number of guns, mostly hunting rifles, shotguns and handguns. The website has a gun list, although based on the over all quality and amount of out of date info on the page I am not sure how well this list is maintained. They do have a rather comprehensive ammo selection that is decently priced, but a very poor selection of military rifle calibers. The store also sells bows and arrows as the name would suggest as well as camping gear, paintball and airsoft, etc. A nice store that I would like to visit again some day, but not nice enough that I am in a hurry to do so.

Parro's Gun Shop, Waterbury, Vermont- Probably the best gun store in the state if you are law enforcement or military and a pretty damn good store for everybody else. Parro's focuses on the police market, offering body armor, tactical gear and a twenty percent discount to cops. But it does have a whole lot more for everybody else. To begin with, most everything, except for their large collection of handguns is not kept behind a counter so you are free to look at and hold all the ammo and all of the long arms without having to harass the store clerk. The store has a top-notch selection of military firearms but sadly not mil-surp ammo to match. They do have a good, not great selection of ammo. Prices in the store are fairly reasonable but notable higher that similar stores. The staff was very nice and I even walked out with a stack of promotional paper targets.

New Hampshire:

Welch's Gun Shop
, Lebanon, New Hampshire- Your friendly neighborhood gun store, home to the infamous Junior, a wheelchair-bound old man who is nearly deaf from shooting guns. The store is nothing special and doesn't have the greatest selection outside of hunting firearms. Occasionally you can find a good deal there and the helpful staff have been know to allow themselves to be haggled down quite a bit when the customer is paying cash. Don't expect to find any military surplus ammo or any deals on military calibers.

Riley's Gun Shop, Hooksett, New Hampshire- The largest gun store in the state of New Hampshire, Riley's is well worth the drive and always fun to stop by. Their selection is great even if their prices on guns aren't always the best, although the do have the best prices around on Judges. The usually have good deals on military surplus ammo and right now they have cheap cases of .223, including mil-spec Lake City/Federal. In the past I have found some East German 7.62 x 39mm there, which turned out to be corrosive even though they told me that it wasn't. Also check out their bargain shelf for great deals on ammo and magazines.

Alstead Gun Shop, Alstead, New Hampshire- I was surprised at how many guns they had in stock, even more so at their high prices on many items. They did have a good selection of ammo, including military calibers. Recently I snatched up some super cheap South African brass case for my new AK and my old SKS. And I saw they had some deals on Russian made AK mags. It was a nice store and it came highly recommended but I probably won't go out of my way to visit it.

Sporting & Hunting Depot, Charlestown, New Hampshire- Right off of Interstate 91, the store down in Chucktown is a hidden gem. This store has it all, a great selection, even in terms of assault rifles and their magazines, good prices and a convenient location. They don't usually stock too many kinds of mil. surp. ammo but I have found limited quantities of Norinco 7.62 x 39mm lead core on the bargain table in the back that Clinton banned from importation. I have also found real good deals on mags from the bargain table and recently walked away with some East German and Chinese AK ammo with some stripper clips. I have heard nothing but good things about this place from multiple sources

Lewis Arms, Bow, NH- Just down the road from Riley's, Lewis Arms seemed pretty standard when I recently visited. There prices seemed a little high but there selection was actually pretty good. I saw a Norinco AK there, something I haven't spotted at any of the places listed on above. They had a VERY limited selection of mil. surp. ammo and not too much else besides hunting rifles and other guns which I don't really care about. Also, I felt like Brad Lewis, the owner was giving me the stink-eye the entire time I was there, something I am used to at gun stores at this point. They do gunsmithing on site in what looked like a pretty comprehensive workshop.

Birch Knoll Gun Shop, Lyme Center, NH- This is probably the smallest gun store I have ever visited. With a small collection of handguns, rifles and shotguns, this place wouldn't be my first choice to buy a SHTF gun. He told me that he makes a habit of not stocking black rifles. The owner was a super nice guy and didn't mind shooting the shit. They did have a couple of good deals on ammo, including U.S. gov 12 ga. buckshot and some Aguila 12 ga. Minishells, something that you don't see just anywhere. Note that the owner is EXTREMELY right wing, so don't bring up politics, including gun laws as he will get real worked up like. Other than that he is a good guy trying to keep his store afloat in a bad economy, so I would encourage people to stop by. He no longer advertises in the local paper, I am not sure if that means he is closed... or what...

Rody's Gun Store, Newport, NH: I was pleasantly surprised when I visited Rody's. It is a pretty small store own by a NH native and WWII veteran who seemed like a nice enough guy. A great selection of ammo for the size of the store and when I visited they only had Kalashnikovs in terms of assault rifles. I saw some good deals on Ruger's, whose factory is also located in the town and for whom Rody does repairs. They took their sweet time repairing a comrade's Ruger SP101 but did it for free through the factory. There is a public skeet range out back and a shooting bench from which customers can test fire guns before buying them. If you are in the area, stop by and you will probably find something that you like. When I returned after my first visit, I found that the ammo supply had dwindled and all the AKs were gone. Obviously they don't get new inventory in very often.

Massachusetts:

Valley Sport Center, Easthampton, MA- One of the few sporting goods stores that I have come to respect as a gun store. A varied and interesting selection of guns that are very reasonably priced and a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable owner make this store stand out. Of course I could never take advantage of the store's selection as I do not have the necessary permit to purchase guns and ammo in Gungrab-achusettes. NOW CLOSED

R and R Sport Shop, Belchertown MA- Much less friendly place than the Valley Sport Center. Good prices on hunting firearms but very little, i.e. one SKS in terms of military arms and no mil. surp. ammo that I saw. Stop by if you are in Belchertown visiting the Quabbin, but its not really worth going out of your way.

Personal Defense Specialists, South Hadley, MA- Maybe the most poorly set up gun store ever. Their VERY LIMITED selection, maybe 30 guns total are kept on the wall fifteen feet behind the counter. Their prices were pretty high and I can't really recommend that anyone go to this store, unless you are visiting the Polish Pottery Shop next door.

Smith and Wesson Shooting Sports Center, Springfield, MA- A great place to visit if your in the area. Beside the shooting Academy on site, there is a store with a mini-museum and a complete selection of Smith and Wesson handguns, knives and accessories. Their prices are factory prices so don't expect any deals. My favorite part is the indoor range where you can rent a gun or three and go shooting with some comrades. Be aware that you can't legally shoot anything with a human face on it in Massachusetts. S&W makes some nice pistols so it is nice to be able to pick your favorite or try their latest models, like the R8 series. RANGE CLOSED INDEFINITELY,

Connecticut:

Cabela's, East Hartford, CT- I have made a couple of visits. They have what you would expect at any Cabela's in terms of guns and gear. Ammo availability was pretty volatile, sometime the shelves are empty, sometimes flush, but always pretty pricey. If you are looking for CT/MA/NY compliant guns, this would be a good place to check out, the staff will be able to help you navigate the various laws applicable guns. Some military type weapons and a good variety of ammo in military calibers, just be ready to pay for it.

Hawai'i:

Magnum Firearms, Honolulu, HI- This store has a great selection on guns and gear, in fact one of the best selections of military firearms I have ever seen. Not too many stores stock Galils, RPKs and Dragonuvs, or even AKs to begin with. Too bad that their prices are through the roof; 650 for a Judge, 800 for a WASR-10? Outrageous. No mil-surp ammo that I saw, but they do sell cases of military caliber ammo. Definitely worth a visit just for the eye candy.

Security Equipment Corporation, Honolulu, HI- A nice little store that is geared toward police officers. They don't have a ton of guns in stock, no AKs, just ARs and M-14s, plus a good portion of their handguns are for law enforcement only. Decent prices on guns and ammo and lots of tactical gear.

Gun Source, Honolulu, HI-
This was probably one of the emptiest and least decorated gun stores that I have ever visited. There was a distinct lack of inventory in the areas of holsters, tac gear and other accessories. Their military arms selection was pretty good with ARs, M-14s and lots of Kalashnikovs, including Saigas in .308 and 12 ga. There prices were OK but I saw no military surplus ammo. When I visited the store a second time, I found their customer service to be excellent, very unusual for any gun store.

Waikiki Gun Shop, Honolulu, HI,
A tiny other one in Waikiki had a nice selection of guns, standard ammo selection and some pretty good deals on accessories and gun parts. They had some cheap Tauruses and Hi-Points. They reload their own ammo for the range but I didn't see any for sale.

Hope y'all found that useful, cause there's more to come.

16 comments:

subadei said...

Great list. I'd add the Powder Horn in Williston VT. They've got a decent selection of military sorts and handguns. As well as a Dragonuv I've got my eye on.

subadei said...

Sorry, that should read Dragonuv type rifle.

The Red Son said...

I have heard good things about the place but have not yet had the pleasure. Thanks for adding to the list.

Anonymous said...

http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=7264

Casey Brown-Myers said...

What the hell is "stink eye"?

The Red Son said...

Stink eye is the look that says "WTF is this long-haired hippy doing in my gunstore!?"

And I have already posted about mdshooters.com, but thanks for the heads up.

subadei said...

Spent some time in Parros in Waterbury VT. Nice store, great selection. I'll be picking up a rather cheap SKS there on Monday as well as some rounds for my Sig.

And, you've been tagged.

The Red Son said...

Thanks for adding another another store to the list. Where is the SKS from? They are great guns and tons of fun to shoot. Mine is a Norinco but my armorer and fellow TRS contributer, Saheim Al-Azad owns a Yugo. I like mine better. Also what kind of Sig do you have?

Anonymous said...

Also don't forget Northeast Trading Post in Attleboro, MA. Good selection (for Mass) good prices and a helpful staff.

Anonymous said...

Bob's Gun Shope in Georgia VT is a good store to shop in as well. He has a large selection of hunting firearms, shotguns and handguns.

The Red Son said...

I wonder if they are the same store that does Century repairs?

Anonymous said...

There is somw good shopes in the Newport VT, area too. Wrights sports has an ok show room but are pricey, they will negotiate though. The big ticket is their firearm auctions, that are, well, huge. A whole day of good deals on mil type weapons, antique weapons, ammo, reloading, hunting gear, archery ect. The auctions are two to three times yearly, and if you have the cash on that day you will find an ubeatable deal on the gun you want. People come from all over the country to go here. Mr O's is a small but full service shop, that will beat all local prices, and is willing to order anything you want. Impeccable customer service, and super friendly. Green mountain sports in Irasberg is a new small shop that has not much but is expanding and growing out of a small corner, but they do have good pricing. There is also a couple smiths that do by apptment only stuff, but build some super custom guns, and are fully equipt to do so. But still Wrights sports and auction house is a trip worth while on a auction day.

Anonymous said...

Your posting of New Hampshire need to add two more good gun stores. Shooter Outpost in Hookset NH Its about 5 miles from Riley's. Ne Place opened last year good selection of new guns and cloths.. it is the largest gun store in NH now.
Collectable Arms and Ammo in Merrimack NH should also be added. Great selection of new, used a military surplus weapons and lots of ammo.

The Red Son said...

I stopped by shooters outpost twice this summer, I was really impressed, although it did seem like they hired a bunch of fuds to work there who aren't that knowledgeable. Although the "ATF compliance guy" was very friendly and took time to tell me all about the gun laws i was curious about.

marlae said...

Hoffman's Gun Center & Indoor Range in Newington, CT is probably the 1st or 2nd best depending on who you talk to for central CT. Before Cabellas, it was always Hoffmans. It's where I always went to shop (I live in CT).

marlae said...

Hoffman's Gun Center & Indoor Range in Newington, CT is probably the 1st or 2nd best depending on who you talk to for central CT. Before Cabellas, it was always Hoffmans. It's where I always went to shop (I live in CT).