Four Seasons is awesome!!

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drgrant

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OK, how come Carl has a truckload and then some?

Because he's smart and he's probably been prepping for this since Obama got elected.... -the first time-.

I'm thinking of starting a thread about this to see if anybody here is in the know or maybe somebody will answer here but how is it that the few professional shops we have in MA are always as well stocked as supply allows while the majority of the overpriced, tiny little FUDD idiots will claim its impossible to get something. Do they not work with the same distributors to get ammo?

Not all the time, thank god. A lot of the "fudd" shops you speak of are also lazy as hell, if it's not coming on the "camfour truck computer thingy" they don't want to be bothered with it. They don't wanna do leg work and make lots of phone calls.

The other problem is in the gun industry if you haven't been around a long time and have low sales volume the mid levels distributors basically treat you like shit and you are at the end of "the list" when it comes to getting stuff. The bigger shops get better representation (eg, higher positioned sales reps) with distributors which in turn get allocated more product to sell, etc. This means small shops have to be a lot more resourceful (do more legwork) in terms of getting stuff like ammo if they want to have a chance of competing with the big dogs.

Does one have to be "able" to buy in very large quantities to even buy from the distributors who people like Carl must go to?

Yes.

Basically whats the difference between where, say, Zero Hour Arms gets their ammo and where FS gets their ammo?

The tiers of purchasing power between the two aren't even comparable, for starters. People like Rileys, Shooters, MFL, FS, MFS, etc, are on an entirely different plane than the smaller shops. Small gun shops are usually working in terms of a few cases of ammo here and there. The ones I just mentioned are working off pallets. Bigger shops also have more capital to lay in a bigger supply of ammo when the price is stable, so in turn they still have something to sell when the prices turn to shit.

-Mike
 
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I am a big four season fan! Along with the other two shops within a 20 minute ride up there just wish they were.not 1.5 hours away... Why is it the best 3 shops in the state as far as price and selection and at least 2 out of the 3 have incredible service are all in one place..... can we not get them to share the love around the state?
 

EJFudd

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FS stands out pretty easily above most everything else in MA because Carl is one of the handful of people who make an effort to have "as much store" as the law will allow. I have my issues with the place, I think it could look nicer, be more customer friendly from a browsing perspective and be in a bigger/better location for the $ Carl has BUT he is pushing tons of product that people want and he is a huge fish in the small pond of MA gun ownership. Its hard to argue with it when its a formula that is working for him and keeps most of the MA people happy because they know no different. I'm not thrilled with the place in general to be honest but I'm used to free state gun shops.
My feelings exactly. I'll admit that I've not been a big fan over the years. The traffic, the crowds, the cramped store, the long waits... the whole hurried atmosphere is piss-poor compared to free state stores of equal stature and sales volume. I wish Carl would move to someplace a lot bigger and better but I know that is never going to happen... because despite the hassles, he has hit upon a formula for success that works. And there is no question, it DOES work. The place has got to be a gold mine.

That said, I have warmed up to Carl's way of doing business in the last year or so. I like his website. I like his "tweets." I like being kept informed like that. I like his attitude and I like his skill at getting what the people want. I like that he advertises his prices. I like his consignment operation. Most of all, I like his attractive prices and his 2% discount for cash. I have accepted the fact that this is the People's Republic of Taxachusetts and we are never going to have large, modern, truly great gun stores like they have in the free states. The restrictions and crazy political atmosphere here make it far too risky an investment.

So it is what it is. It's not going to change. If you want (or need) the very best pricing and availability, you've got to go see Carl. I continue to support the smaller shops when feasible, but lately, more and more of my business has been going to Carl.
 

rocket500

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It's a great shop, they deal in large volume and this is why their prices are good and they keep the shelves better stocked than most. Carl there is a good businessman.
 
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Wow, another Fs is the best thread. My one experience there was crowded. That was OK, my problem was the extremely rude sales people I dealt with. Me: "I'm going to buy a carry gun today and I'm trying to choose between those two, may I look at them to see which one I want please?" FS Guy: "Grunt, sigh" with a pained look on his face. At least that guy didn't ignore me.
 

GunGrey

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meh fourseasons is alright ive been a couple times nothing too spectacular

i dont really judge gunstores on customer service, I research the shit out of guns before i buy them/ try to shoot them before hand also. So having a prickely counter person isnt too bad i just act like a dick back. If ammo is cheap and guns are priced correctly i would deem them a good gunstore.
 

drgrant

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How are their ammo prices? Similar to walmart or dicks?

Almost no one is as cheap as walmart on pistol ammo. Dicks? Not sure but Dicks ammo prices and selection were always shitty so I never contemplated actually buying ammo at Dicks.

Problem with walmart right now is they pretty much have no ammo, or when they get it in, the good stuff is gone within 24 hours of the shipment.

If I was to put FS on a pricing plane though, they are better than most of the "typical" MA gun shops on ammo pricing, but not as cheap as the price leaders in New England... but you're gonna have to drive at least 45 minutes to an hour away from FS to get to any of them...


-Mike
 
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meh fourseasons is alright ive been a couple times nothing too spectacular

i dont really judge gunstores on customer service, I research the shit out of guns before i buy them/ try to shoot them before hand also. So having a prickely counter person isnt too bad i just act like a dick back. If ammo is cheap and guns are priced correctly i would deem them a good gunstore.


It's not that I don't do my research: I just don't want someone to treat me like a d'bag if they're trying to get me to part with $600-800 of my hard earned dollars. I guess everyone has an off day...
 
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I wish Carl would move to someplace a lot bigger and better but I know that is never going to happen... because despite the hassles, he has hit upon a formula for success that works.

I love this sentence because it summarizes his business strategy in a nutshell. He has chosen to differentiate his business through a low-cost strategy. Everything is as bare-bones and efficient as possible, note the new computers to replace the paper forms, to allow him to have super-low overhead. His business model is the way of the future for brick and mortar stores. I know more about guns than anyone in that store simply because of internet forums like this and the crowds of knowledge that I have access to. Imagine the overhead of Shooters Outpost or MFL, that just cuts right into the profit of the business and I am not sure that they are doing that much more volume to justify the expense.

Chris
 

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Four Seasons? Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded! [rofl]


I have a choice of three gun shops closer than FS. One is owned and operated by a friend of mine. While I do give my friend some business, I have been a customer of FS for many years and continue to buy from Carl.


Chris
 

Glockster30

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I've been a customer of Carl's since he bought the store about 20 years ago. The previous owner, Al, ran the store with his two sons. Al was a good guy too. He passed away suddenly (heart attack, I believe) around the age of 45 (iirc).
 
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I have been to Four Seasons twice.....bought a new handgun each time....each time had great service and great experience.....hope it remains that way !!
 

Rob Boudrie

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I know more about guns than anyone in that store simply because of internet forums like this and the crowds of knowledge that I have access to.

I wouldn't rush to make a claim like that. I was in the store once when someone brought in an old Colt for trade, and Carl asked the older clerk "what year". The older clerk looked at the serial number, stated a very narrow range, and his answer proved correct when they checked the book. I know a lot about guns, and handguns in particular, but I never could have matched that performance.
 

mac1911

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It is funny how every shop like any other business runs their ship...they do what works for them....some are big fancy really nice places with shit to choose from others are small dank stinky holes that when you move a box or two you go whhooaaa look at that thing.( ex. fat cat sports, RIP)
As for shop owners who say they cant get it, well I think someone nailed and said lazy or just stuck on camfour distributor only. JSC is another distributor also that comes around, just to name 2.
Then you get some one like Gene owner of OutbackArms in plympton who in less than a year is (opened around nov 2012) has a well stocked shop many different guns in stock and has been getting more ammo in than any other shop around(good price you decide, I dont really buy ammo anymore) He had buckets of 223 coming in when other shops dont...hes put forth a great effort and managed to stock his shop even through the BS. I hear he made a trip to vagas to secure the ammo he recently got? I love 4 seasons but in the past few years the 45min drive can turn into a hellish 2+hrs with traffic more times than not. Unless im making a specific trip to save good money on one of carls deals i do not go any more....sad but true
 
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