I was travelling to see my parents in Ballarat last week and with my wife having to stay home, I decided to make it a mini gun-shop road trip, stopping first at Smiths Outdoors in Bendigo and then Golden Flash Firearms in Maryborough to purchase some of their homemade .310 Cadet ammo.
I won’t go into detail on Smiths as I’ve done a review of them on here previously and they kept to that high standard. Friendly, great range of everything, including weird old shit which is my thing. Staff had all the time in the world to get stuff out and show me. They also have their second had stuff in cages you can walk up to rather than back behind the counter where you can’t see shit.
Happy as a pig in mud, I made my way to Maryborough. I have actually visited Golden Flash once before but it was a flying visit just to stick my head in. Didn’t buy anything. For those who don’t know, this store’s big thing is that they manufacture their own ammo for a variety of old rifles including .310 cadet and .222. It is pricy but very convenient. The place has also been for sale for a long time. Like, two years or so.
I walk in, tiny store, no one in it. No other customers, no staff. Lady comes out from the back, sighs and says ‘yep?’. Not a greeting or anything, just like, ‘what do you want?’. I ask for the ammo, she gets it off the shelf. I mention that I’m into old military stuff etc, does she have anything like that? Also mention that I’ve been looking for a cheap side by side. She replies ‘I’ve got what you can see behind me…’. The racks behind her are crammed and far enough away that seeing anything other than the super obvious is not going to happen. At that point, I give up, tell her not to worry about it, I’ll just grab the ammo.
Look, who knows what is going on in their lives but if you run a small business, especially a rural gun shop which is a pretty tough way to make money, don’t you focus on what you can do well at? Namely, service? I get that they have a captive market in terms of farmers in the area who need ammo and weirdos like me who need odd ammo but really, come on.
Maybe I’ll mention to Smiths next time I’m in there that they should buy Golden Flash just to take over the ammo making business.