Friday, December 4, 2009

My Bulls Eye Experience Today

I am getting impatient. I've waited nearly six months for my custom Rock River Arms AR-15 upper receiver to get here. It's maddening because when I ordered it, Rock River Arms had a (minimum) 6 month back-order on any AR-15 upper receiver half, barrels, or A-4 style systems. Now, I walk into the stores and I see tons of them, but none of them exactly how I want them to be: 16" chrome-lined 1:9 twist barrels, A-2 front sight, CAR-15 grips, A-2 flash-hider, A-4 flat-top receiver with a beefed up bolt carrier group, and a standalone Rock River Arms rear sight (no handle). Most have chromoly barrels with A-3/A-2 receivers, or perhaps some varminter combination with stainless steel 24" barrel, or just a CAR-length upper half with a gas block with a rail instead of a solid front sight. Bah! That's exactly why I ordered mine the way I ordered it. I want something that is basic. I want a simple gun. I want a stupid gun. I want a gun that is so dumb that it shouldn't be allowed to cross the street without a helmet. So, I ordered it 6 months ago, and am still waiting for it.

I drove over to Bulls Eye Shooter Supply, located in Tacoma, today. I've been kind of babysitting on this issue because I don't want my order to get lost. Considering this half of the gun is going to cost me $600, I'm more than a little concerned about it getting lost, sold to someone else, or screwed up. I know some of you folks sleep in beds stuffed with hundred dollar bills, but $600 is big money to me, especially when it pays for only 1/2 of the gun! But I digress...

I walked into the store and the woman that has been handling my order from day one recognized me. I told her I wanted to pay another installment on the upper half. She pulled up my account and asked me how much I wanted to pay. I pulled 3 crisp Benjamins out of my wallet and laid them on the counter. She smiled and gladly took the money. I waited and she handed me my receipt. Woohoo! Only $285 until it's free and clear. I told her I'd come in and pay the rest when the upper came in. She then reassured me by saying they'd call me as soon as it comes in (which is like any day now).

While I was there, I saw a man behind the counter in front of some holsters. I casually walked over and asked him what he had for a Ruger SP-101. He pulled down two comparable holsters. One was a Kramer horsehide outside the waistband holster (OWB) and the other was a Desantis cowhide OWB. Both are nice. The Kramer felt much stronger, thicker, and higher quality though. However, the price tag reflected this: $115 for it vs. only $75 for the Desantis. After some conversation, I decided that the one I'm going to get is the Kramer. The guy knew his holsters and the deal maker was the fact that he wasn't just pushing the product. Actually, there were two points: 1, Kramer holsters are made in Lacey, WA (about as local as you can get in Tacoma) and 2, he was wearing a Kramer OWB and it cradled his custom 1911 nicely. Would you have guessed this? He also has one for a Beretta 92 FS. Hmm, I have a Beretta...

We got to talking about Rugers, the LCR and the SP-101 specifically. It was good to talk to someone who understands good ole Rugers and agrees that the SP-101 is easy to shoot, even with full magnum loads. It's hard to find someone who actually finds these guns easy to handle, even in rapid fire. He even gave me a Ruger patch and Ruger's 2010 catalog.
Then I started to think that these guys were being way too nice to me. Then again, if someone came into my store and dropped $300 on my counter, I'd be nice too. By the way I figure it, Bulls Eye will be getting another $400 from me in the next 6 weeks easily. Not a bad sales tactic. But then again, I thought that since I come in a couple times a month, they must all recognize me by now. I surely know all of them. Who knows? Of course they want my money. But a lot of these guys love a good conversation too.

Anyhow, a reassurance that they'll call me on my AR upper half when it comes in, a free Ruger patch, a catalog and some good conversation - not to mention my new future holster - makes for a good day in the gun shop.

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