Local vs. Chain Store Gun Shopping

Should You Shop at Cabela’s for Your Next Gun or Stick to a Smaller Local Gun Shop?

Whether it’s for target practice, opening day or just to add to the collection, a new gun is an investment. Researching where to buy can be overwhelming and time-consuming with so many options available. So, where is the best place to start: a big-box retailer like Cabela’s or Walmart, or a small local gun shop? It all depends on what you’re looking for and what the gun will be used for.

Personal Handguns

If you’re looking for a small weapon to carry or put up for protection, a personal handgun is a good choice. Handguns can be bought at local gun shops and shows easily, but the problem is, the person selling may not know the history of the gun if it’s used.

How well it was cared for and where it’s been stored are major components in how it will fire and withstand future use. Cabela’s also sells used guns, but guarantees the gun components and makes the necessary repairs for proper firing.

Collectible Shotguns, Pistols, and Revolvers

Collectible cartridge firearms, especially vintage pump shotguns, pistols and revolvers are a popular trend among gun enthusiasts. When looking for an antique firearm to start a new collection or add to an existing one, choosing a specialty gun shop, maybe a local one is a good option. Most of these purchases will come with a certificate of authenticity and a history as to how it was used and its current condition.

For shoppers really wanting to make a connection with their purchase, smaller shops typically offer a more personalized touch when making a final sale on one of their guns.

Hunting Rifles

When buying a bolt action or semi-automatic rifle, it’s typically the hunter’s preference as to what they choose. Big-box stores like Walmart, Bass Pro Shops and other retailers carry an array of both used and new hunting rifles in numerous brands and sizes. In addition, Cabela’s is known as a one-stop-shop for ammo and gear for even the most advanced, technical hunter.


Finding the best rifle to get the quickest shot is important for the avid gun lover. The best part is most semi-automatic weapons can be customized to the shooter’s liking. Visiting a local custom shop may offer more of a selection of buildable parts than a major retailer. In addition, many local shops have their own gun range, so it makes it easier to try out different models prior to purchase.

A gun is more than just an investment, it often turns into an heirloom that’s passed down from one generation to the next. No matter if it’s a mega-retailer or a small mom-and-pop gun shop in town, finding the perfect firearm is just within reach.

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