Which are your go-to gunsmiths/retail stores?

#1
Hi guys

Which are your "go to" gun stores for kit? I'm looking for recommendations for stores that provide you with a good level of customer service, knowledgable staff and a decent stock of equipment.

We are bringing our trade sales back in house after an unsuccessful link up with RUAG for the last couple of years so I am looking for recommendations from you guys and then I will get out and about and spread the Spartan word about...

Any help gratefully appreciated.
 

FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
#2
Ive used Bushwear, Swillingtons, Uttings, John Norris and the Sportsman retailers in the past year and have recieved great service from all.

Must admit im a bit of a bargain hunter, so keep a keen eye on their promotions.
 

Jim xyz

Well-Known Member
#3
Steve at Ivythorn
Greenfields in Salisbury
Sportarm in Dorchester


Have used all three and would recommend all of them to anyone; Steve doesn't do clothes or much in the way of accessories but is a top bloke if you're after a new rifle. Nothing much between the others just depends where's closest.
 

ljs

Well-Known Member
#5
Chris over at swillingtons great to deal with nothings a problem ,and very reliable and can source things not listed on his site ,exellant service and after sales back up ........
 
#9
Im lucky enough to live near Ivythorn (Steve Beatty), best service Ive come across and wouldn't dream of anywhere else for a new rifle/shotgun, moderator or bipods etc. basically anything that I would want to discuss/test before buying.
 

Cottis

Well-Known Member
#13
This is a real bug bear of mine with so many shops I visit failing in some regard. Firstly, I point blank refuse to visit places that are rude but I also hate places where you walk in and some locals who have no life are sat there daily with a mug of tea chatting to the owners and despite walking in with your wallet open, nobody gives you much help. They are all too busy talking about shooting rather than actually being out doing it.

Knowledge is also key. You know the places you walk in to with a problem with a rifle (a gun you know inside out) that has a problem and the stock answer from the "expert" is "give it a clean, the gun will be fine"

Then there are places where they have plenty of knowledge (sometimes too much) and lots of stock with everything you need but they are so bloody disorganised that it takes an age to sort anything out. You might have to go back and if a small problem arises, despite being perfectly able to sort it out, they just ummm and ahhh and fart about. Cannot be bothered with them either.

You want availability of stock, prompt yet polite service, reasonable prices and quality knowledge in terms of all rifles, all stock, all maintenance and rifle work. As yet, Normal Clarke is the only place I have been that reliably always ticks those boxes. Never once have they let me down. Good on the phone, they put stuff by for you, they have lots of knowledge without being patronising. Many places could learn from them. It is a shame they are not slightly closer but the 70 mile round trip is always worth it.
 
#14
I’m based in Sussex I can pretty much source anything. One of the main reasons I set up was I’m fed up of twats talking to me like I’m a retard trying to sell me tat and generally not giving good customer service. Anyone needing anything shooting related let me know. Of the big boys I like Swillingtons and mcloeds both Gregor and Chris chapman are 2 of the good guys!
 
#15
I have always had nothing but superb service from Optics Warehouse. Not sure if they would stock bipod and accessories (they do sell picatinny bits etc) but they're always really helpful on the phone, have a great (and up to date) web site and postage is always next day.
 

Cottis

Well-Known Member
#16
I didn't think of Optics Warehouse, I was thinking of actual gunsmiths but agreed that they are very good, friendly and helpful. They never blink if you need to send something back and there is a reason why I have spent waaaaay too much money with them over the years
 

cjm1066

Well-Known Member
#18
Forest Lodge Guns in Wragby Lincolnshire, they don't trade via their web site, they like to meet and chat to customers. They carry a huge amount of stock and will happily order items specially without pushing you to buy what's in stock.

Now the 3rd generation helping in what is a friendly family business. Prices are always very good as well, perhaps that comes with nearly 30 years custom.
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
#20
I'm in Sussex too (East) and we do have a few to choose from.

IMHO FA Anderson in East Grinstead is excellent with great customer service and a good range of gear(especially if you reload)...I'll be driving up there tomorrow. CH Weston is very good too but fairly small and a bit 'touristy' being close to the pier. Nice guys though. Theres a not very well known place in Hailsham called MFC Outdoors which has lots of airguns, knives, clothing and a few s/h guns. The only local one to me I wouldn't recommend (just through personal experience) is Chris Potters in Tunbridge Wells. You might be ok if you're turing up in a Land Rover with a lab and dressed in tweed but they've never been very welcoming to me (in jeans and a T shirt, but with £ to spend) in there.

Online, had happy dealings with Countryman of Derby and SGC...always found Bushier a little expensive.

Best gunshot Ive been in by a country mile is Fenland Rural Sports just outside Warboys/Huntingdon. RIDICULOUS range of guns and gear...wish I lived closer!
 

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