Me and GB went to several local gun shops in preparation for my first gun purchase. We scoped out Scheels, Cabela’s, Safe Shot Indoor Range and Mark-Fore and Strike Sporting Goods looking for a 9mm Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact. We have a Bersa Thunder .380 and it fits so nicely in my hand. Plus, Bersa firearms come with excellent warranties. With .380 ammo being so cost-prohibitive for me, I was hoping to pick up the 9mm. The Hi Point could share ammo with it and it (hopefully) would be small enough to fit in my hands and use comfortably. I wanted to try it on and get a feel for it before I purchased it, so we began to shop around.
Scheels was busy and crowded with guns and people! They did have female shooting vests, but none were for lefties. The prices were a bit high, but okay.
Cabela’s was busy, but they had a take a number system to ensure everyone was treated fairly. They had an excellent selection of new, used and collector’s guns. The prices were good.
At Safe Shot Indoor Range, they didn’t have a gun I was interested in there at the first visit, but promised one would be arriving the following Monday at 1pm. We went by on Monday after 1pm and they didn’t have the gun. But it wasn’t that simple. The man at the counter who we spoke to on the first visit saw us and said he’d check on our gun for us. Then he went back to chatting with his customer who had just purchased a firearm. Another man helped us for awhile to pass the time looking at other toys. This man asked the other man twice more to check on our choice weapon. Finally, after a long wait, the first guy checked. It wasn’t on this order after all. Two trips and a lot of time waiting to find out that I couldn’t hold and maybe then purchase the gun I was interested in.
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On the upside, the staff at Safe Shot Indoor Range took plenty of time with us too and their prices were good. Cabela’s online price for the gun I ended up purchasing was $20 less than the price I paid at Safe Shot, but I didn’t want to drive all the way back out to Cabela’s again and I don’t know how their online prices relate to their store prices.
We found that the prices at Mark-Fore and Strike Sporting Goods were at least MSRP and each of the other stores had better prices. But the service there was wonderful. The guys were friendly and chatty, willing to drag out gun after gun for you to look at. One gentleman coached me on holding a rifle properly and told me stories of his granddaughter who is just fresh out of the Marines.
None of the shops had in stock the 9mm Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact that I was looking for. But I found, fell in love with and purchased a Walther P22 at Safe Shot Indoor Range.
Purchasing the firearm was easy. I furnished my driver’s licence and they took a copy of it and entered me into their computer system. My license has a bar code on the back of it that will help them to make the paperwork easier for me next time. The form was only one page long and simple to fill out. The gentleman at the register phoned in my information to a lady named Rose who popped back an approval super-quickly. I plunked down my credit card and that was that! The gun was mine to take home.
The Walther came with its little black plastic carrying case, three different rear sights and one rear sight blank, a key to the built in gun lock safety system, a gun lock and keys, two different back straps, one magazine, a barrel wrench, dowel and instruction book. With the small back strap on, the P22 fit perfectly in my little hands. My palms and fingers were all comfortable and happy. It is as if this gun was molded to my hands. I love that it’s cheap to shoot and easy to shoot too. I could easily rack the slide and release it and operate the ambi safety. The ambi magazine release will take me some getting used to because it’s a different style than I am accustomed to, but I can work it with both hands as well.
I’m sad that my money is gone. : ( But happy that I spent it on my first firearm. : ) Two days later, I am still in love with the P22, but I haven’t taken it to the range yet. I’ve requested time off of work and hope to take it soon!!