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Ladies Forum A place for our female Calgunners to discuss, share and interact without the 'excess attention' sometimes found in online forums.

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  #1  
Old 06-09-2009, 10:54 AM
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Default Female Friendly Gun Stores

You've all been to the gun store where there's a couple of guys in the corner all talking with one another and avoiding new customers. It's especially common when a woman enters the store. You get ignored or treated like the "little lady."

I'd like to start a review of stores in California. What are your experiences? What stores are friendly and open to women? Which ones should we avoid?

I'll start with the Bay Area. J&R in Livermore is friendly. Sportsmen Supply in Campbell is also a winner. Avoid Castro Valley like the plague. The owner (seldom there) is a good sort, but one of the guys he has working there is a jerk. He treats nearly anyone who isn't a regular like they've got a disease. He's especially unfriendly to women and minorities.

How about your experiences?
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:01 AM
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^Welcome to the forum, glad to see more women participate.. Great review idea for the Ladies.
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Old 06-09-2009, 4:08 PM
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That sucks and I hate to hear crap like this. I drive a Jeep offroad and fish and sometimes I get guys who think no women should be allowed in the treehouse. The first time I went shooting was at an indoor range here in San Diego called Discount Gun Mart. The guy was funning and laughing/joking and asked why four women were coming to the range and how he was getting worried. The guy was genuinly joking and the staff was very nice. I would only hope every shooting establishment would be like that.
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Old 06-09-2009, 4:55 PM
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Up here in NorCal, I can recommend Irvington, J&R, Reeds (rental side- Yancy is truly a wonderful and patient human being) and BAGV without hesitation. Irvington has been a favorite of Mrs.Wildhawker (Reeds is her fav indoor range), but she's had positive experiences with all of the above folks. I'm sure there are others, but I thought I'd share some of our positive experiences.
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Old 06-09-2009, 5:34 PM
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For the most women-friendly gun store I recommend Glenn Quagmire's Gun Exchange.

Giggity, giggity...Allright!

On a serious note...Ammo Bros in Cerritos has a nice selection and outstanding customer service.
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2009, 7:09 PM
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Sooo, glad to hear that more women are interested in guns, shooting sports, and protection.
Sam (sam.38) and I are (were, at least) trying to put together an all female Utah CCW class sometime this year, I'd be happy to try and arrange it again if there was enough interest. Between her and guruwes (her hubby) doing a wonderful job of hosting, and Matt's lecture, and even having a notary right in the class too, the last class was a great success!
I think we'd both like to see how many ladies would be interested in participating in this.

I know that Matt said he would be happy to do that class, would tailor the lecture better, etc.

.
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Old 06-10-2009, 2:02 AM
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I have a small 38/357 revolver; does that make me less of a man?


LOL!
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Old 06-10-2009, 7:42 AM
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The Gun Store in Lancaster will treat you like a customer no-mater if you are female or male, they even like me!
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:52 PM
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Riflegear in Costa Mesa is everyone friendly. One of the shop owners is a woman (Eiko not sure on spelling) she has a pink Hello-Kitty AR-15.
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Old 06-10-2009, 3:42 PM
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I know I am way up here, but like I have said millions of times before and its even in my signature, but the guys at River City Gun Echange are great. When my wife went in to buy a Kimber 1911, Paul took his time to answer all her questions, there was no push to sell her a gun at the time. He must have shown here about 8-9 guns before they settled on the Kimber.

I have also been in there many of times and have watched other employees take the time to answer all questions and not hesitate to let a female hold a firearm to make sure thats what they really wanted.

And no I do not work for them or get any special treatment for mentioning them, I do it because out of all the guns I have purchased through them and all the guns I just fondled while at their store, I have always recieved great service.
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Old 06-10-2009, 4:31 PM
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Ade's gun shop is owned by a woman.
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  #12  
Old 06-10-2009, 6:14 PM
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I keep reading negative things about Castro Valley's service but I had just the opposite experience. My wife who is anti-gun but understanding of me being pro-gun went in to buy me a 1911 for my birthday. She had nothing but good things to say about the experience (aside from comments on the decor "very manly"). I have since directed a female friend there to buy a pistol and she had a similar outcome. Sorry to hear about these situations but I can't corroborate them.
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Old 06-10-2009, 8:01 PM
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Bay Area Gun Vault would be a another good place in the Bay Area to visit. Just about everyone there is very knowledgeable and very friendly even for first-time buyers.

I'd also give another vote to J&R up in Livermore if you are up for the drive. Nice people, great prices, and very friendly atmosphere.
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:17 PM
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I definitely give J&R in Livermore a huge thumbs up, as well as Irvington Arms, and Bullseye right across the bridge, these places get great marks from myself and the wife,

HOWEVER, theres a gun & knife shop in Dublin that will never get my business ever, due to the snobby elitest counter people. Its so bad, my wife refuses to go there and shes as big of a gun nut as I am. I dont remember the name of it, its on Dublin Blvd and Hopyard I think.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadjeep View Post
I keep reading negative things about Castro Valley's service but I had just the opposite experience. My wife who is anti-gun but understanding of me being pro-gun went in to buy me a 1911 for my birthday. She had nothing but good things to say about the experience (aside from comments on the decor "very manly"). I have since directed a female friend there to buy a pistol and she had a similar outcome. Sorry to hear about these situations but I can't corroborate them.
I think it depends on who is in the store that day. There's one guy in there who was just a total jerk. I don't remember his name, but he was the former owner. Light colored hair and thick glasses.

He's supposed to be gone now. I'm planning on going back into to verify.

When I was served by the owner, I thought the place was terrific. It's been cleaned up a lot and there's much better inventory. The owner has assured me that treating all customers regardless of gender or race has been a topic of discussion.

Andreotti's, not too far away, is tiny and treats everyone who is not a regular with apathy. The place reeks of stale tobacco smoke, too.
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  #16  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:56 PM
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Dom's Outfitters, Livermore

I went into Dom's Outfitters today looking for a Browning Buckmark and they were great. They didn't have any Buckmarks in stock, but that wasn't their fault. It seems Browning has experienced high demand lately.

In any event, I give them good marks for female friendliness. They checked the back for a possible pistol and brought out the catalog to discuss ordering. I can't fault them for service.

Their selection is rather small, but seemed to have a respectable number of Sig's. They seem to be more hunting-oriented.
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2009, 6:22 AM
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Every experience I have had over 28 yrs, when I've seen women in gun shops have been positive. Any joker who would ignore, give a hard time too, etc. needs to be run out of town.
Any man with a brain should know that women and children hold the key to our gun future. Common courtesy is a must for anyone, especially women. Besides, women are funner to talk too and look at.
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  #18  
Old 06-14-2009, 8:57 AM
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My goal is to visit every gun store in the Bay Area and possibly as high up as Napa and Sonoma and over into the closer parts of the San Joaquin and report.

Bass Pro Shop - Manteca

They're a busy bunch on the weekend, but I've been in a few times (mostly in search of ammo). I've had positive experiences, however, when going to the counter to check out their guns. Yesterday, I broke down and bought a Beretta Neos. (Yeah, I need another .22 like I need a hole in my head, but it had a picatinny rail that would fit one of my red dots).

I have to say the experience was very positive despite it being a big chain and busy.

Next, I went to Hook, Line, and Sinker in Oakley. I'll have to go back when they're less busy to give a report. There was only 1 or 2 guys working and a pretty big crowd. They did have a lot of 9mm ammo, so I may go back during the week!

Next, I hit Triple A in Vallejo. You have to be buzzed in at this store, but I've seen that in other places and it's no big deal. If you knew the neighborhood, it wouldn't surprise you. The guys were also friendly.

I just mentioned that they had a High Standard and the guy was pulling it out for me to look at. I'd give them a thumbs up, too.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2009, 1:29 PM
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I went to Ammo Bro's in Cerritos to do a purchase and they were great. They where very helpful and did not talk down to me when I was in the store.

I was not judged because I was a female nor because I am African American.

So I would reccomend them.

On Target In Laguna was also very friendly when I went in there with another Female friend. Quite helpful and answered all my questions with out any additude.

Firing Line in Huntington Beach is also great.
Now my first impression of that place was not very good because one of the guys who worked there was very short with my friend and my self, how ever I let a friend talk me back into going there and my self experience was much better. Now I have a membership there and I have nothing but praise for them.
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2009, 2:51 PM
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Irvington hands down. I walked in there one day, full on sweet lolita. Bunny ears and all and bought a gun. Never an issue with them giving you to real 411, and the respect a paying customer expects.

Bullseye, a popular place for those who not so season. You can try out many things from the rental selection.

Castro Valley has two gun shops. First one is the Castro Valley gunshop, now has been acquired by Bullseyes. My experienced was just post acquisition. Walked in there same day as I visited Irvington. They didn't treat me seriously, and gave me FUD about OLL. The business went to Irvington that day.

Andreotti. He's not ignoring you, he's is ignoring everyone. Equal opportunity grumpy old guy. jumped on OLL band wagon quite late. Sells featureless BB set up.

J&R. Friendly place to shop, good all around. Too bad it's far from me.

Triple A. Arias is the owner. He's good guy, get to know him. Lots of evil stuff to sell, and about the only place that sells evil AK's up in the northbay.
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  #21  
Old 06-18-2009, 1:08 PM
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Castro Valley Gun Shop on Redwood is great; friendly, just gives you a hard time in a joking manner. J&R too is really helpful.

Disagree with other about Reed's, great place to shoot indoors, but don't spend your $$$ there. I have had multiple purchases there and always made feel like I am imposing on them. Dont go there unless you know exactly what you want to buy
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Old 06-18-2009, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rimfire17 View Post
My goal is to visit every gun store in the Bay Area and possibly as high up as Napa and Sonoma and over into the closer parts of the San Joaquin and report.

Bass Pro Shop - Manteca

They're a busy bunch on the weekend, but I've been in a few times (mostly in search of ammo). I've had positive experiences, however, when going to the counter to check out their guns. Yesterday, I broke down and bought a Beretta Neos. (Yeah, I need another .22 like I need a hole in my head, but it had a picatinny rail that would fit one of my red dots).

I have to say the experience was very positive despite it being a big chain and busy.

Next, I went to Hook, Line, and Sinker in Oakley. I'll have to go back when they're less busy to give a report. There was only 1 or 2 guys working and a pretty big crowd. They did have a lot of 9mm ammo, so I may go back during the week!

Next, I hit Triple A in Vallejo. You have to be buzzed in at this store, but I've seen that in other places and it's no big deal. If you knew the neighborhood, it wouldn't surprise you. The guys were also friendly.

I just mentioned that they had a High Standard and the guy was pulling it out for me to look at. I'd give them a thumbs up, too.

I liked Bass Pro too... my problem is that I can only push one cart and pull the other behind me. Drives my husband bonkers when I tell him the carts are too dang small - lol (You can NEVER have enough guns/ammo and tackle!)

Sweenys in Napa is a nice shop if you haven't been there before.
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  #23  
Old 06-18-2009, 2:05 PM
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Excuse me for butting in (unapologetically male) but Ten Percent Firearms in Taft is very female friendly. The full time person there in the store is female.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:27 AM
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You may try Diablo Valley Gun Works, in Pleasant Hill (behind Casper's). If Robin is working, she is perfect for finding arms for women. You could ask her husband Ken... but he will refer to her. If I am in (look for the youngest looking kid in the shop) I love helping everyone find what works for them, even if it is at a different shop.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:00 PM
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I am new to guns and to this forum, but I have been to two shops in the area (besides Big 5 and Walmart) so here are my reviews...

Fowler Gun Room located at 358 S. Tustin Ave in Orange has a huge selection of firearms, ammo, and accessories. They buy, sell, and trade. I memorized the ammo I needed so I wouldn't look like a know-nuthin' little lady, so I was chanting the two kinds I needed in my head over and over. There were quite a few people in the store considering it was a weekday and mid-afternoon. I immediately noticed I was the only female. I was greeted when I first came in, but was left alone to look (I hate it when salespeople breathe desperately down your neck when you just want to look in peace), and when I looked like I needed help, someone approached me. The salesman was very nice, and treated me like a customer, so I felt comfortable enough to share that I was new to guns, and wanted to look at a few 22's. He was very knowledgeable, and so were the other salespeople I encountered. They even offered to order a couple Crickets so I could compare them before I decide what to get for my son, and they also have a layaway program. As I left, I noticed a woman was in there shopping around, and she seemed quite at home there, and I had a great experience as well. I'd definitely go back, and I get the feeling their prices are negotiable.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:17 PM
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Triple A Sporting Goods in Vallejo is my go-to local store. Aris is a great guy -- he even offered me some of his BBQ once (and laughed when I said, No, I'm not taking off my helmet) and Herman's not bad either (when he's not tossing one of my motorcycle gloves to the floor). Don't know the name of the other guy who helps out on occasion, but he, like Aris and Herman, have always accommodated me in trying out firearms there. And whenever I have a firearms question, Aris is more than willing to answer my call. But sometimes he's not in and that kinda annoys me, if you know what I mean. lol

I've also been to Bullseye in San Rafael, Canyon Sports in Martinez and Diablo Valley Gun Works in Pleasant Hill. I've had only good experiences at these places. The men have never talked down to me or not answered my questions, and have always been willing to show me whatever pistol I was interested in gripping. I called that gun shop in Vacaville once or twice and maybe J&R in Livermore once or twice as well, and each time the guys answering the phone were pleasant, helpful and willing to check their inventory for me.

Honestly I do not understand why some women feel they are mistreated at gun shops. But then again, I've learned not to take offense at the things some men do and say because I usually know what I want and I don't let stupid people bother me. For when I ask a question, I usually already know the answer. What I'm looking for is honesty and sincerity, as well as a good deal, and if I don't get any of that, well, then no sale.
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Old 06-25-2009, 7:32 PM
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[QUOTE=ChibiPaw;2640638]
Andreotti. He's not ignoring you, he's is ignoring everyone. Equal opportunity grumpy old guy. jumped on OLL band wagon quite late. Sells featureless BB set up.

Oh, you're right here! Andreotti's is just a cranky, stinky hole in the wall where no one who isn't one of his pals gets noticed.
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Old 06-26-2009, 6:02 PM
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you might also want to check out nicks gun works theres a lady there that knows her stuff too and there all very nice good people to deal with..
just picked up my rockisland 38 super from them and they gave me excellent service..
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Old 06-27-2009, 2:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rimfire17 View Post
I'll start with the Bay Area. J&R in Livermore is friendly. Sportsmen Supply in Campbell is also a winner. Avoid Castro Valley like the plague. The owner (seldom there) is a good sort, but one of the guys he has working there is a jerk. He treats nearly anyone who isn't a regular like they've got a disease. He's especially unfriendly to women and minorities.
Write a letter to the owner.
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Old 06-27-2009, 2:36 PM
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Howdy Ladies-

My girl is not a member here but I'll chime in with her report. She gets the "Little Lady" treatment a lot. She is a grad of Tactical Handgun Phase III (her 4th class after taking Level II twice to feel like she had a better grasp of those tactics) at WTS in Jamestown.

Irvington Arms. The BEST! They treat everyone the same. She has bought and transferred there and says she never feels "Talked down to". Lisa says; "If I was taking a friend to buy her first gun it would be at Irvington. I would make my recommendations and then turn her over to their expertise!"

Old West Gun Room. A lot of people complain about the old dude running the place but Lisa reports nothing but respect from him and said "He seems figure you out real fast". No problems.

Triple A's in Vallejo; Not great. She was there to meet someone to do a PPT. She showed up first and while waiting they crapped on the gun she was buying and the price she was paying. They kept trying to tell her what was "Too much gun" for her (her regular firearm is a 4" Kimber 1911 .45acp). When the other party showed up the guys in the guys in the shop knew him and changed their tune! She hated the whole experience there.

She loved Trader's in San Leandro but they are out of the gun biz.
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Old 06-29-2009, 6:32 PM
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Write a letter to the owner.
I did and he assured me the problem was taken care of. So I checked back in the other day. The same misogynistic bigot is working there. So I'm going to write another letter.

Anyone who says that it's always "open season on pigs and n***ers" shouldn't be working there anymore. This isn't being "politically incorrect; it's downright inflammatory. If you knew the guy it was said to, you'd be freaking pissed off, too. CM is one of the nicest, most mellow, gentlemen I know and a damned fine range safety officer, too.

I might have been able to pass on being treated like some nitwit female, but advocating killing people because of their race is beyond the pale.
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  #32  
Old 06-29-2009, 7:42 PM
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I sent my wife over to City Arms in Pacifica.

Took her test to get her Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC).
Did the paperwork for the pistol she now owns.

I did not go with her. She came back with a smile and a good story.

You can't attain a better review of a gun shop than the return of a happy wife. Err yeah, that could read a little weird. Let's just say she had a good experience.


I'll echo the comment about Irvington Arms. The few times I was there were women customers present. Treated as well as anyone in the store as far as I could tell.




.

Last edited by Vectrexer; 06-29-2009 at 10:20 PM..
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  #33  
Old 06-29-2009, 9:41 PM
Cowtown44 Cowtown44 is offline
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Guns, Ammo and Other stuff in Vacaville seems to do a pretty good job. I see lots of women purchasing guns upstairs and they seem to be treated pretty well.
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  #34  
Old 06-30-2009, 3:09 AM
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In Los Angeles/ So Cal Oaktree Gun Club. They'll take all the time you need so you can make an informed decision.
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  #35  
Old 06-30-2009, 5:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mig4444 View Post
you might also want to check out nicks gun works theres a lady there that knows her stuff too and there all very nice good people to deal with..
just picked up my rockisland 38 super from them and they gave me excellent service..
+1 on that. They are extremely helpful and willing to go the extra mile. My mom did business with them on my behalf since I was down in SLO and she had nothing bad to say about them.

Edit:They are in Lodi by the way.
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  #36  
Old 07-03-2009, 8:54 AM
TA1911A1 TA1911A1 is offline
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Ladies,

Don't waste your time at Wild Sports in Orangevale. I give their treatment of my wife who was attempting to do a PPT on her 1911 a big F. The manager at the counter was demeaning and really put a negative aspect to my wife's first actual purchase of a pistol. I have purchased several guns from them over the years without issue but, when my cute little blond wife wants to have them do a PPT for her 1911, they have nothing but attitude. We wouldn't purchase anything from them ever again even if they were the last gun store left in Northern Kalifornia.

They have lost a customer.

Last edited by TA1911A1; 07-03-2009 at 8:57 AM..
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  #37  
Old 07-05-2009, 3:20 PM
WyldWendy WyldWendy is offline
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I've been to Grant Boys in Costa Mesa and found them to be nice and friendly, there is some females that work there, but mainly in the camping ad clothing areas.
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  #38  
Old 07-05-2009, 4:05 PM
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My wife and I shoot regularly at Iron Sights in Oceanside. No problems at all ever. All the staff is always professional every time. They even have ladies night with free range time. I believe it is tuesday after 6:00 PM
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Old 07-07-2009, 6:39 PM
WyldWendy WyldWendy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missiondude View Post
My wife and I shoot regularly at Iron Sights in Oceanside. No problems at all ever. All the staff is always professional every time. They even have ladies night with free range time. I believe it is tuesday after 6:00 PM
They did or do have a female employee as well. I shot there a few times with a Marine I used to date.
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  #40  
Old 07-07-2009, 6:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyldWendy View Post
They did or do have a female employee as well. I shot there a few times with a Marine I used to date.
Yes they do, one of them seems to run the place when she is there. Female employees do not gurantee a female friendly range/shop, but in this case as I said, all the employees have been professional to everyone any time I have been there.
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