Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Screw Bass Pro Shops and the Elmer Fudd Horse They Rode In On

Well, folks, I finally took the plunge and went into the new Bass Pro Shop in Leeds, Alabama. I made the mistake of going up to the rifle counter. There were at the time five folks behind the counter with two customers at the knife case being taken care of by one employee. The other four scurried back and forth behind the counter, doing their dead-level best to ignore me, the only other customer.

Finally I announced to the knife customers, "You know I don't have to put up with this, I can go home and be ignored by EXPERTS." Still, I had to walk the length of the counter and track down two of these "customer service" types.

"Excuse me," I interjected, are you out of AR-15s?"

One counter guy gave me the old fisheye, and announced with a sniff, "WE do NOT stock 'assault rifles.'" (He said the name sneeringly, with emphasis.) "We only carry SPORTING weapons."

I looked him dead in the fisheye and replied, "Now you're startin' to piss me off. Not 'sporting weapons'? I'll tell you what, sport. When they ban semi-auto rifles, they will immediately BECOME 'sporting weapons.' It will be open season on politicians then with no limit. Now that's MY kind of game, Mr. Fudd."

I don't think he got the 'Mr. Fudd,' but I turned and walked away, to the laughs and agreement of two other customers who had arrived.

It'll be the LAST time I darken their door.


Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience years ago at a popular shop in NoVA called Clark Bros. They proudly had a banner outside "Authorized HK Dealer". Inside I didn't see any HK-91s or HK-93s, only their "sporting rifles". I asked where their HKs were, and they mentioned that they had HK-made Benellis on the rack to look at. I said, "no, HK rifles" like the ones I listed above. "Oh no, we only stock sporting rifles and shotguns, no 'assault weapons'". I said thanks, and left. I never purchased from them again. They were too expensive anyways...

Anonymous said...

Wow, in Alabama no less. I guess that this particular guy was a deep, deep, deep undercover member of the 3%ers.

Seriously, that kind of crappy treatment of customers for ANYTHING in ANY retail location should be a firing offense. Retail is hurting BADLY, and this moron just chased away a customer who wanted to buy a rather expensive item (and, probably, some higher-profit margin accessories). Not good business practice...and out of a place that sells lots of guns and stocks ammo for damned near anything that shoots, one would certainly expect understanding, even if there's a personal disagreement.

I'll have to try that here in San Antonio, just to see the result. I'll also take note, on the way through the store and up the stairs, of the size of the discounts on various items...just to have something to say, if the need arises.

Anonymous said...


I have to agree with you on this one. The guys behind the counter at the Bass Pro here in Vegas quote the company line, but don't like it and say so.

But it's not just guns. I tried to get them to order me some Hornady ammo for my Steyr M95 (8x56R), Mosin Nagants (7.62x54R) and my K31 (7.5x55). This is brand new hunting ammo. They won't order it because it's "military." Even so, I can get 8mm mouser, 303 brit, 6.5 Carcano, .223, and 7.62x39.

I now give my business to the gun shops for all that stuff.

Weaver said...

For now, the only way we have to fight back against this kind of stupidity is with our wallets. I have been to Ass Pro Shop only a few times but you can bet your last round of 308 I will not be back. Their prices were pretty much crap anyway.

tom said...

My regular shop has an extensive Class III/Title II selection as well as double rifles you'd have to mortgage your house to buy and are polite to everybody from 10/22 buyers to people buying 20mm takedown rifles and M2s.

I've never seen a reason to go anywhere else, except midway/brownells for some things. There's a Cabelas not too far off but I've honestly never been there.

My local's Firearms Manager even occasionally says to me, "Hell, be cheaper for you to just order that off the internet instead of me bothering ordering it for ya."

The way a gun shop should be.

Happy New Year from Texas y'all,

j said...

Geez, I had no idea - I haven't been there since they opened. Now I won't bother. Although, I SHOULD feel much safer in their store, knowing they don't carry Evil Black Rifles. Maybe that is where Feinstein and Brady shop.
I can still get ammo cheap from Cabela's by mail, and our local Simmons shop or Academy Sports also have a lot of good stuff and people who love - and know! - firearms.
Plus a gun show is coming up this weekend and if circumstances permit, I'll head over there Sunday afternoon and see what is offered. But Ass Pro Shop is now on my crap list. Thanks for the heads-up.

tom said...

Midway has better pricing than anybody else, as far as if you were to average it out.

Not paid to say that, it's just true.

And they and Brownells have entire catalogs devoted to black rifles.

Cabelas really only is a price beater in archery and ammo if you don't mind not having any specs on the ammo they sell in their "buy a bunch of this and we give you a plastic sealable box for free" promotions.

Bass Pro Shops is a good place to get anti-rattlesnake wading boots and some jigs and line, though their tackle prices and Cabelas pricing are pretty durn close and my local Machine Gun dealer sells fishing tackle too, so I support him.

Anonymous said...

Let ASSpro know what you think of their political correctness:

Anonymous said...

Sportsmans Warehouse I know carries the Remington R15/R-25 series, as well as other Utility Rifles, and ammo to suit. And they are about 130 miles closer to me than BassPro-less. And I have a very good choice of gun shops here in Tucson. C'est la vie...

Unknown said...

Mike: It is clear that the fellow at Bass Pro needs is an education. In this case, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I suppose there is a time and place to come forth with the cold dead hands and open season on politicos comments, but most will write that off as the talk of a crazy blowhard. I will choose to educate people like the fellow at Bass Pro, and continue getting positive results.

Anonymous said...

Assault rifles? Definition please?

Don't these guys know that in Ayatollah Sarah Al-Baradi Paradise Great Britain, even the most ordinary breakfast knives are being banned under the name "assault knives?" I am not kidding, look it up. Thats the sorry state of affairs freedom will turn into if we keep being politically correct.

Anonymous said...

An "assault" weapon would be ANY weapon one is using to "assault" someone - nothing more and nothing less. Thus a .50 Barrett being used to shoot a 50 gallon drum is NOT an assault weapon, but a knife brandished during a rape IS.

Galyan's in Indianapolis did the same thing to me when I asked to see what laser sights they had (for my 14 year old daughter to keep with her when she closed up the chickens at night, as the .22 pistol is a good possum and raccoon eliminator, and we were losing many chickens to them, but the laser sight helped in the dim light). They informed me only gang-bangers liked that kind of stuff. Two years later they were out of business, and I'm SURE the last blow to them was the fact that I never bought anything from them after that!

Anonymous said...


Excellent point, although my request for a "definition" was just sarcasm.

I have to wonder just who the heck coined that phrase "assault rifle". A rifle is a rifle is a rifle, whether it is that nicely polished M-1 Garand that your granddaddy used to fight the Krauts, or that sci-fi looking AR.

There is no such thing as "assault" unless the tool or object in question is being used to commit an actual crime, and by actual crime, I don't mean someone's semi-auto breaking down and letting off a three-round burst, SHEESH.

closed said...

These idiots are behind the curve.

Shooters are buying most of this stuff, not hunters.

Hunters are becoming a dying demographic.

Anonymous said...

In 1991I Found an ad in Shotgun News for an FN-FAL Para i wanted I walked into the Local Store and asked about using their FFL to Order it and they blew me With Simlar Comments and I went to a Second Store and they did the same the Third store let me use thier FFl and I was their best Customer until they closed a few years Later. No the funny part BOTH of those stores that refused to Order the FN now Stock Ar's and Other Military Style Semi-Auto Rifles regularly. So I got the last laugh After all

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with a good guy at Bass Pro shops named Larry (he called me in response to my email). He told me that Bass Pro carries Bushmasters in some of it's stores. I encouraged him to carry them in the new store in Alabama. I don't live anywhere near a Bass Pro so I cannot visually confirm which ones carry them. I learned this from talking to him: If you live near a Bass Pro that DOESN'T stock ARs, make a personal request via suggestion box, that they start. That is the most effective way to get a positive change.

Anonymous said...

You are all blaming local bass pro employees over things they have no control. It is not up to them what merchandise they carry or if it is in stock, and if you are in the market for AR guns you should do your own research before going to a corporate store like bass pro.