How not to sell a rifle and lose customers

A recent conversation I overheard at a gun shop…

A fella walks in and in a very tame, I very new kind of voice asks the shopkeep about rifle recommendations for deer hunting.

He is asked what range he is going to be shooting at, to which he responds - up to 1000m. I twist my head to take a look at this optimistic newcomer, who is then asked if he is licenced and he says no, he doesn’t have a licence or a firearm and this will be his first rifle. And he will be shooting out to 1km. Yep…

At this stage, a good salesperson would stop, explain to the fella that most shots are taken at a much closer range (in Vic) and that perhaps for a hunting rifle he should consider these options… And discuss calibres, weight, rifles, type of hunting and just have a normal conversation to extract some useful information to assist with the sale. That’s what I would do and that’s what I would expect if I was new.

BUT NO! The guy immediately suggests 338Lap because it has enough energy at that range and proceeds to saying something that I didn’t bother listening to. I am sure the guy will go home, do some research, look at the price tag and then realise what was going on. What a short sighted view…


Just because he works in a gun shop, don’t assume he has any idea about actual shooting.


Because he works in a gun shop there is a higher chance that he is just a fan boi with no real world experience.

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What does that even mean, real world experience? I am pretty sure all salespeople at a firearm store would be licenced shooters and hunters.

Yes I agree that they would be licensed and firearm owners. But does he just own a 22LR and has never shot a 338.

Uh, okay, no idea, I just didn’t like the sales tactic.

Its a bit bizarre wonder why he stopped at the 338 and didnt recommend a 50 cal or a 375 ch they give a bigger kick and cost more to run. More $ to the shop for ammo.

LOL don’t stock a fiddy and doesn’t know 375 exists maybe, who knows…

old mates probably been watching NZ hunting videos haha

I have a theory. There are two types of new gun owner. Those that accept they are new and openly ask questions to gain knowledge. Then there are those that for whatever reason are desperate not to seem noobish. Often distinguished by the ability to rattle off a ton of specs, velocities and various other data coupled with a constant need to tell people how awesome their firearm is. I’m guessing gunshop staff would be bombarded with armchair experts and perhaps become jaded. They know “this clown will never shoot at 1km, but he wants a big gun”. He works retail. If someone wants to drop $5k instead of $2k who is he to stop him, customer is always right etc.
So I think they give up trying to convince people.
You want to shoot deer at 1km, ok buddy you need a .338LM.
Kaching $$$, thanks mate, see ya later when you want a more reasonable rifle.


Yeah, that’s really not the way to go. The 416 Cheyenne Tactical is much better for the new guy at 1000m.

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Let’s be real…he wont shoot many at 1k…all the planets need be inline when you get out there…

Many or ANY

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Yep more like ANY…A newcomer could develop a flinch with such a caliber, and never shake it, or even realise they have one