Does anyone have any experience with buying guns from Wal-Mart? You can pretty much get any gun you want from them and I have noticed that they are about $50 to 100 dollars cheaper for the gun I want than local companies. Just wondering if anyone has had good/bad luck.
If I were you ,I wouldn't. They don't do service after the sale. I have found that a local gun shop is the way to go. Wally W. sells the mess out of guns,but that doesn't help you when there is a problem
Liv, for special orders, check to see if Sports South has the gun in stock, and print out the order at Walmart on line. The Walmart clerks are hopeless, but if you do their work for them, you can save serious money.
I don't think there is a simple yes or no answer. My 2 cents is:
As long as you are aware that after-sale service will be through the manufacturer for warranty work, I don't see why you wouldn't buy from Wal-Mart. Having noted the caveat for warranty work, I have yet to send a new firearm in for warranty work. The one time I thought I had a problem, it turned out to be a particular lot of ammo. Even if there is a problem after the warranty is done, I head for the local gunsmith anyway rather than going through the manufacturer.
I like to buy at least some of my firearms from the local gun shop since they tend to have or be able to get items that are not commonly available and I like to help them stay in business so I have options to choose from. On the other hand, since money ain't raining out of the sky into my yard, when I want a Rem 870 Express or the like, it would be foolish of me to not want to save a few bucks, so off to Wal-Mart or equivalent I go to make a purchase. If someone thinks I am a low-class shooter for doing so, so be it.
I purchase a Rem 1100 from WallyWorld 4 years ago.I was told by some of the guys that I shoot skeet with that it wouldn't last because it came from there. Almost 20 THOUSAND rounds later, it's heading to the range tonite,again! I bought it for about $150 less than any of my local dealers.I ain't made from money either. I buy all of my loading supplies from local dealers and have recently bought 2 guns that I wanted. If Walmart has something on sale that I want,yeah I'll buy it but to keep our local small dealers in bidness I'm trying to buy from them.
Don't forget that the smaller dealers can provide better info on their products also. Nothing burns my butt worse than when I ask a question to one of the sales persons at one of the BOXMARTS and I get this slack jawed look from them. DUH I don't know...let me find my manager(turns out the manager is the one who learned how not to drool while talking to customers).
I will buy from Wal mart if the price is right. Heck, even if you buy a gun at Academy or Sportsmans Warehouse you have to send it in to the manufacturer for service. One thing I noticed in the Wal Mart catalog, Ruger was not in there and that is the ONLY brand of rifle I have ever bought that needed to be fixed before I could shoot it.
I just bought my son a Weatherby Vanguard 270 from wal mart and I saved big money on it.
As mentioned earlier, if you do your homework and know what you want, you can have good experiences buying through Wal-Mart and save a bit of money, especially if on clearance sale. If you need help, they may not be so good. I haven't ordered a gun from Wal-Mart but have done so for electronics and yard equipment. Their not doing warranty work is a non-issue, most small shops and gunsmiths around here are not authorized repair centers either (unless it is a Mossberg or Remington) and will send your gun back to the factory for you if you want it done for free. Otherwise it will cost you, even if you bought the gun from them. I've sent in two long guns (one was a rifle for a recall) and one pistol under warranty. The pistol cost me $50 for overnight shipping (UPS requirement) which was reimbursed to me by the manufacturer. That was the only out of pocket expense I've had so far. I guess I wouldn't object to a small fee from an independent shop since I am taking some of their time and space but I wouldn't suggest it.
As for knowledgable staff, that can be iffy with the independents too. My local shop is very knowledgable of military long arms, Remington, Winchester, and Weatherby rifles, Remington and Mossberg shotguns, S&W revolvers, and reloading but are virtually ignorant of other pistol brands or types, not familiar with Tikka, Sako, CZ, or Savage rifles and questions regarding Browning or Beretta shotguns throws them into a catatonic state.
Again, if you do your own research and Wal-Mart can order it, you can get some good deals from them. If you need help, find a shop that knows what they are talking about, it may take some searching here too.
I just bought the last (closeout) 243 Win ADL at my local Wallyworld. It was priced at 270.00$ including the 30$ mail in rebate. I have bought at least 5 other guns from Wallyworld and they have all been 15-25% cheaper than the "independents". The secret is, you have to buy the guns when they close them out. Wallyworld is the worlds largest gun retailer. If something sits on the shelf longer than a year they begin to knock the price down.
I deal with a local gunshop most of the time but I have a friend that works at the WW gun dept. and she will call me when there is a really good deal/closeout on guns or ammo. I have gotten some super deals that way.
There's the MYTH that the big-box stores get "second run" merchandise. I've heard this about guns, appliances, watches, tires.
It's a MYTH.
The manufacture would be nuts to release second rate merchandise to any retailer.
You're buying the firearm from the manufacture. The manufacture handles the warranty and service issues. The dealer does little more than sell ammo. A dealer may have a bit more leverage on a marginal warranty issue -- like a shotgun that won't pattern accurately -- but most gun manufactures provide excellent service on any warranty issue.
The only time I've ever had issues with a gun was with EEA. Eastern European Arms -- which is a DISTRIBUTOR, not an manufacture. They buggered a Baikal coach shotgun I purchased.
The whole issue could have been avoided if they'd had a customer service number to call. I thought the stock was "warped." It's off-set. But some clown decided to buff the "burrs" off the barrel embossing -- removing the blue.
When I requested that the blue on the barrel be replaced, the same clowns painted the barrel black -- with paint.
EEA -- Eastern European Arms.
They refunded the full purchase price on the gun, but didn't reimburse me for shipping the gun to them THREE TIMES. That's about $45 in shipping costs on my end.