I know we all start somewhere but COME ON!

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Thread: I know we all start somewhere but COME ON!

  1. #1
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    Array limatunes's Avatar
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    I know we all start somewhere but COME ON!

    Despite the strong move toward equality between men and women there remains to be a sense of sexism in the gun world that will just seems to be taking it's good, sweet time to equal out.

    You can see evidence of this fact almost every day when you come into the gun shop I work at.

    It is assumed that men instinctively know more about guns and it is breaking some kind of manly bond to ask a woman to explain the operation, function, or use of a particular tool when it pertains to guns.

    This is okay. I'll wait it out. But more than anything, it's hilarious.

    I get to see some of the dumbest stuff happen because some have too much testosterone to ask a girl for help.

    Point in case:

    I love talky customers who try to tell me about guns as though I am the one who needs the schooling.

    It really does make my day.

    A customer asks to see a Glock 17 in .45 ACP. I look at him quizzically and say, "You mean the 21?"

    "No, I don't want a 21. I want a .45."

    "No, that's the full size Glock in .45."

    Blank stare. "Well, yeah," rolls eyes like he knew that all along, "that one."

    Now, if you've ever looked at a Glock new in the box you will know that it comes with the gun, two magazines (one in the gun and a spare) and a magazine loader.

    The customer can't shut up about the superiority of the Glock and the .45 ACP and how wonderful of a combination the two together happens to be and I smile and nod as I watch him pick up the magazine loader and try his darndest to fit it on over the end of the slide and barrel.

    To this day I have no idea what he thought that magazine loader was for but it was REALLY fun watching him explain to me how much experience he has with handguns while trying to force the business end of a Glock into a magazine loader.

    Case in point:

    While working both in Pennsylvania and here I have gotten a score of customers who come in looking for a gun to go with them to Iraq.

    I have yet to have one of these customers strike me as a person who knew exactly what they were talking about.

    It's always the kid who was told by his recruiter that he could take his own personal gun with him to war or the guy who is joining Blackwater and was told that he needed to have his own handgun to take with him. The idiot who is a private contractor for XYZ company who is going to try to smuggle his gun into the country with him and have his girlfriend mail him the ammunition.

    Nevermind trying to tell them that it is very unlikely they are going to be able to take their personal handgun with them to a different country. They know better. They have their information from a reliable source. Who am I to argue. Let's get to the guns.

    "I want a good, reliable handgun that can withstand the sand and extreme conditions of Iraq but I'm on a budget. What do you have for less than $300 in anything larger than a .40?"

    Now, though I very seriously doubt the validity of them taking a handgun with them to a foreign country for combat or any other purpose I do try to help just in case I may be mistaken.

    "Does your agency have any rules and regulations as to what they want you to purchase? Have they laid any guidelines out as to whether it needs a safety, must be in a certain caliber or capacity or any specific make and model?"

    "I don't know."

    We are off to a wonderful start.

    "What about a 9mm? That way ammo is a little more readily available from the military that is already there."

    You would be amazed at the kind of disdain I get for even suggesting the 9mm.

    "I could get a standard issue 9 any time I wanted. That's the point. I want something bigger."

    Okay. "Do you have anyone else who is going with you? Anyone who you are going to be in a team with? You might want to consider getting a common pistol and caliber so that you can share ammunition and magazines."

    You would be amazed at how many times I get the response of, "Why?"

    Do I need to explain to combat ready individuals why you might appreciate common magazines and ammunition in a team?

    When we proceed to actually looking at guns I just watch as they push on the thumb safety to drop the slide, ask if it's supposed to do that when the slide locks open after racking the slide with the magazine still inserted, search in vain for the illusive magazine release, jump two feet in the air when the button they pressed was a decocker and the hammer falls.

    Case in point:

    We get a new employee who doesn't know very much about handguns. He's a pretty good kid but little cocky. He likes to think he doesn't need help figuring things out and I have to keep my eye on him as every other time I look over at him he has something stuck, with a very guilty look on his face and he's desperately trying to hide the fact that he doesn't know what he's doing.

    I'm trying to be very open with him and show him that there is no shame in asking me questions and I'll never make him feel stupid, but it's taking awhile to stick.

    His most frustrating accomplishment was the take-down of the 1911. But as any 1911 owner would warn you, not all 1911s take down the same way.

    I find him with a Para Slimhog and he's desperately pushing on the slide stop that is jutting half out of the frame.

    "What did you do?"

    "Nothing. I've got it."

    The slide will neither more forward or back and it's obvious there is something wrong.

    "Give me the gun. We'll figure it out."

    He reluctantly hands it over and I help him explain what he did wrong and how to fix his problem.

    Thinking he's learned his lesson I turn my back for 20 minutes to show another customer a Beretta M9 and turn just in time to see that he has a Kimber Ultra CDP II in pieces and he's trying to get the slide back on the frame. This time his problem is not with the slide stop but with the firing pin safety pin. He has it engaged because he's depressed the grip safety and he's proceeding to slam the slide onto the frame with increasing force.

    Anyone who is intimate with a Kimber will know that breaking that firing pin safety pin is as good as rendering your beautiful Kimber into a fabulous paper weight.

    "WHOA! STOP! No, no, no, no."

    Another couple minutes explaining the Series II firing pin safety.

    I'm SURE he's learned his lesson now.

    A few minutes later I turn to see he has a BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT stainless Springfield Loaded Model in his hands and he's biting his tongue in concentration and frustration as he's trying to press the slide stop into place in the frame.

    I could see it from a mile away; that slip of the thumb that swings the slide stop up, gouging a horrendous scar into the polished stainless steal of a brand new Springfield.

    We had a little talk about asking for help and some discussion on the take down of various 1911s and other handguns.

    There are customers who would rather try to put on a slide backward than ask for my assistance. Those who try to force magazines in backward. Those who speak of their unbelievable (seriously, I don't believe them) accomplishments with firearms as they try to find the hammer on a striker fired gun. They tell me that the reason a majority of modern semi auto have barrels that tip up when you rack the slides is because people have a tendency to shoot low and this corrects that problem. They tell me that a 1911 is not a lady's gun and that no girl would ever choose one for themselves.

    Sometimes I try to fight the good fight, but most of the time I just store it all up in my memory for times I get to share it with you fine people.

    They are my comic relief for the day.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Lima, you will one day be a writer for a big name gun magazine I predict. In fact, I think you would be a great female counter part to the "Gun Crank" pages in "American Handguner" magazine. You can always make me smile. Partly because I too work in a gun shop part time and I have seen most of the things you write about myself.

    Keep them coming. I love reading them.
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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    It may please you to know that I asked a female employee of the range to help me with the first handgun I ever purchased / shot. She was quite helpful.

    I'm an equal opportunity scorner -- I think that most people are idiots -- my only strategy is to limit my interactions with strangers. To the topic: IIRC, I have run into ~3 female employees (gun counter) who knew their 'stuff' and ~3 who did not. Approximately 50/50. Probably about the same ratio for the men.

    The sexism comes from the fact that more men shoot / own guns than women. At least I think it's a fact in my own sexist mind.

    Keep on truckin'

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    On the rare occasions I find a gunshop with a female behind the counter, I go directly to her. Those crabby old guys aren't any fun! I was at Dillon Precision one day and there was this gorgeous blond behind the counter. I started talking upgrading to the 650 and we talked for 15 minutes. I wasn't too impressed by her knowledge, but who cares? Finally a guy with a million dollar camera comes out and says it's her turn. They were shooting for next year's calendar!
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    They tell me that the reason a majority of modern semi auto have barrels that tip up when you rack the slides is because people have a tendency to shoot low and this corrects that problem.
    That made me laugh so hard!

    Do the stupid customers act the same way in front of any of them employees at your shop, or just in front of you?
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to get hired at a gunshop. I should have picked up cards today at the show. For a 21 yr old college student im pretty "into" guns in a strictly NON-mall ninja sort of way, and I think i could do a pretty decent job selling them. Any tips Lima or Mike? I've been going about it (trying to get hired at a shop) pretty haphazardly for like 6 months now, seems like you have to know someone.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    I thought the GLOCK magazine loader was intended to serve multiple functionality as a slide racking aid and an emergency optics mount and flashlight holder?
    Now I'm confused.

    "What do you have for less than $300 in anything larger than a .40?"

    Suggest a Hi-Point the ultimate firearm for standing up to the ultra-extreme rigors of sandy desert conditions in Iraq.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Reading this whole thing reminds me of the scene in Mr. Mom. Mr. Mom just shot someone and was asked, "Did you use a 38? He replied, "38, 39. Whatever works."

    Sounds like you have to much fun to be calling this a job.
    Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.

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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    And yet another example of how men are continuing the age's old tradition of "open mouth, insert foot".

    I do have to admit to being an equal opertunity scorner myself, but there is one thing I appreciate about women other than the obvious. They tend to not let an ego get in the way of doing good work.

    Hang in their Lima.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    Member Array Whyveear's Avatar
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    Turn around is fair play I guess. I usually find the same ignorance you described behind the counter.

    It's been said that there are three areas where a guy needs no tutoring: driving, sex, and firearms - just ask him.

    If only I knew of a single gun store clerk that knew half as much as you Lima.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whyveear View Post
    If only I knew of a single gun store clerk that knew half as much as you Lima.
    Amen, brother!

    Lima, I hadn't seen you in a while and was beginning to wonder what happened to you. I'm glad all is well.

    +1 on going straight for the girl. I don't have to hear about the latest Glock in .88 Magnum that will remove fingerprints if used properly. A gun range/shop I went to in Texas had an ex-stripper that worked the counter. She was a hoot to talk to.

    I'm pretty sure I would have laughed hard enough to pee my pants if I had seen a guy try to put the mag loader on the end of the barrel. How do you keep your composure in a situation like that? You can't help him if he doesn't want help, but laughing probably isn't the right thing to do, either.

    Just so you know it happens on both sides of the counter--My favorite gun clerk story involves me asking about magazines for a Ruger Standard Auto. The guy rolled his eyes and huffily told me (and everybody else in the store), "There's no such thing as a Ruger Standard Auto." I had never seen a middle aged man do such a good job impersonating a teenage drama queen.

    To make a long story short, his dad (who is the ONLY reason to go into that shop), came to his rescue and retrieved one from the back of the store.

    Cheers,
    Herk
    I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I love reading your stuff Limatunes!
    Although it's inconvienent while drinking coffee first thing in the morning........

    'cuse me, need to wipe down my screen .
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    One of the stores I shop at, "Shooters", in Valatie, NY, is owned and operated by a great woman, Patsy. She is knowledgeable, friendly, and always willing to help!
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Genius. It's stories like these that get me thinking that maybe, just maybe, some sort of knowledge/proficiency/non-blathering idiot test should be required in order for people to own firearms. I know that's the wrong way to go about it, but for crying out loud...

    In any case, I'd bet a months combat pay that most of those "Iraq bound" super-studs are completely full of it. Most military folks know that they are going to have a really hard time getting an unauthorized weapon and ammo over there, and then concealing it from everyone for a year or so. And any of them that actually use the thing can look forward to a stint in Kansas making big rocks into little rocks... And Blackwater (and the other top protection contractors) may have their share of problems, and the quality of hires may have dropped a bit since the days of all "tier 1" operators, but I have yet to encounter a single one of them who would be as dumb as the folks you've described.

    I used to think I wanted to own a gun shop when I retired...now I know I wouldn't last a month before word got out that I kicked out half my prospective customers for terminal stupidity...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Actually we are equal Lima. As a man I was treated the same way behind the counter. I learned not to fight it and just go with the flow. I was there to sell guns and accessories, and keep the customer happy.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

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