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Great gun sellers that could also sell used cars

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by senior smoke, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Hello:
    Over the years I have met some of the all time great gun dealers. Some were funny, some not so funny. Some were patient dealing with the sick, the lame, and the lazy that walked into their store's and tents at major shoots, and some not so patient. I have seen some of them go out for lunch and dinner with a new customer after a purchase. I have also seen some of them throw the customer out of his or her shop with last words being heard, "don't ever come back".

    Two memorable gun dealers to me where Frenchy Frigon and Elmer Fairchild. I would look forward each year waiting for Frenchy to arrive with his wife pulling up with his trailer full of guns at the Wisconsin state shoot.

    Frenchy had some nice guns, and let's just say some less than nice guns. Regardless, I always felt he was fare to deal with. He would always say on a trade, tell me how much you want for the gun, I will either say yes or no. If I don't agree to your price, we are still friends, ok partner? After the deal I would sit with his wife and discuss how things were going as they traveled the country from state shoot to state shoot.

    The last time I saw Frenchy, he just pulled into the Wisconsin state shoot and was informed that his sister had just passed away. That was the last time I ever saw him and his wife. I miss them both.

    Now, Elmer Fairchild was something else to say the least. The best description of Elmer, well, lets just say, you had to see him sell guns in action. It was unbelievable.

    There is a common thread among these seasoned old gun dealers, they could transition into selling used cars very easily. These gun dealers are part of what makes the shooting sports great. Without them, good or bad, the folklore of the shooting sports would not be the same.

    We had a guy in my area by the name of Bob who would open the box the gun came in and proclaim the sight of great wood on the gun before he actually opened the box. If you brought the gun back shortly after to trade it in, he'd would ask, what did you do to the wood?

    I could not sleep this morning, so I was looking at some of the descriptions used by some dealers in reference to their guns in magazines. Some comments and descriptions are comical to say the least.

    Here are a few:
    for sale Winchester model 12-Legendary gun, broken more clays than a careless trap boy. Now that's funny!

    Beretta 391-Fired once, his wife didn't like the noise.

    A real beauty for the most picky shooter.
    Always a good one, "test fired".
    A real sweet shooter.
    Best wood I have ever seen.
    You've been waiting for this one.
    A real beauty.
    A real bird shooter.
    Great shooter, sat in a gun cabinet for 35 years, unusually clean.
    As new.
    Like new.
    Nearly new.
    New in box.
    As new in box.
    Salesman sample, best wood ever put on this type of gun.
    Excellent value.

    It goes on and on. These guys and gals could of sold Desoto's back in the 50's very easily. Without some of these snake oil salesman, trapshooting would not be the same. The majority of them are good honest people just trying to make a living, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some of these adds are funny, enjoy them. Are there any gun dealers that you enjoyed dealing with from years past or even today?

    Steve Balistreri
     
  2. jeffprigge

    jeffprigge Active Member

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    car lot sayings , This unit is cleaner than the board of health !! Its knee deep in rubber !!!
     
  3. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    jeffprigge:
    That's funny!
    Steve
     
  4. Hitapair

    Hitapair Active Member

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    Steve, Why do you speak of Elmer in the past tense?
     
  5. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Hitapair:
    I guess, because I have not seen him in years.
    Steve
     
  6. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    Bought my first trap gun from Elmer back around 1969. He managed a gun store for M.E. Wolfenbarger near Independence, MO (Sportsmen's Haven). Met Frenchy about that same time and knew him until he passed away. Some of the gunsmiths of old were also a big part of our sport if you traveled the tour much. Remember Paul's Gunsmithing and Bruce Bowen at most of the midwestern shoots??? One thing these guys had in common was that they were great story tellers. Ask Bruce about leopard hunting in Africa. Ask Frenchy about his son Phil's shooting ability or ask Elmer about anything...you'll get a story!

    God bless all of them.

    milt
     
  7. need to shoot more

    need to shoot more Active Member

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    Sales 101 #1 customer has need or pain #2 explore his/her need or pain ( real or not)#3 make friends/bond and show empathy #4 show items with benefits #5 present #6 close

    have a friend and a customer for life including thier family and friends
    I am not suggesting any fraud here this is just how the text book sales process goes.
    Jim
     
  8. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    senior smoke, ole Elmer is still gabben away. He was in Tucson last month singing his meloday to many a shopper. Getten alittle more pugy from the good life of basken in the sun and being way to good of a spokesman.

    I too miss the ole style dealers. They were a hoot and as stated, endless aray of stories from the past. I enjoyed the challange of dealing with these ole gents. Most of todays dealers are either buy it or walk types with the lacking ability of conversation and definetly no story tellen. He!! the art of the past is even lost here as well.

    On a personnal note I hate dealing with a brick wall! THere's not a darn gun out there other than the Parker #200001 that I desire. But the ole gents, Frenchie, Elmer and some others could actually show/prove to you simply by stopping by what you were actually needing.
     
  9. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    mette56:
    I am laughing because I forgot about some of those stories. If BS were vegetables, they would of owned Campbell soup.
    Steve

    Jim:
    What you say is true. If a customer would of said he had a case of Leopardsy, they would of said they just sold a gun to a guy with the same condition and talk for an hour about it while filling out the paperwork.
    Steve
     
  10. smsnyder

    smsnyder Well-Known Member

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    Car salesmen can sell anything. LOL
     
  11. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Steve: We have been to the same dealers over the years and you have a good description of Frenchy and Elmer as I have purchased from both 0f them.

    I have one of the Barrell Rods and cleaner that Frenchy sold, and am still using it, have worn out a lot of bore brushes with it, it screwed together and you could stand on the handle and work your Bbl up and down and really get it clean, with that white POTION he sold with it, and it all could be put in the box when broken down.

    I just used it yesterday.

    Remember the Frigon Guns, I have a friend shooting one.

    It was hiliarous to watch Elmer in action, he could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.

    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  12. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Gary:
    I remember when Frenchy first came out with the special rod to clear the barrel and whip off the excess all in one, pretty neat.

    I once saw Elmer dealing with a trade in, another guy that wanted to dicker on a price, and another guy who was upset. He was like a arm paper hanger. Buy he can sell guns.
    Steve
     
  13. OLD ONE EYE

    OLD ONE EYE Well-Known Member

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    Yes the old days were special I dealt with Bill Poole and many others long forgotten but the DeSoto I will never forget the Adventure model in the 1950's was a classic I always wanted. I did get a 1958 Plymouth Fury that I loved with that gold metal stripe down the side into the fin with 2 four barrels on a 318 motor.
     
  14. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    A salesman can usually just about anything... An honest salesman will get repeat buyers..
     
  15. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Old One Eye:
    My grandfather purchased a Desoto. Was it considered a step up from Chevy or not? Now I remember the Fury, sounds like a fast car. Do you recall how much you paid for it?
    Steve
     
  16. mcneeley5

    mcneeley5 Member

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    Frenchy sold a gun cleaner that would disolve all the plastic in your barrels, I always wondered why it was in a plastic bottle??
     
  17. Dbl Auto

    Dbl Auto Active Member

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    Elmer had a Green Browning Double Automatic for sale that I wanted at the 2009 Ohio State shoot at the Cardinal Center. The more he talked, the more I wanted to buy it, but we couldn't get together on price. He still had it at the 2009 Cardinal Classic two months later. As I walked up to the tent, he said "I still have that green Double Auto". I should have bought it, as now all I have is the story and my money.
    Doug Allison
     
  18. OLD ONE EYE

    OLD ONE EYE Well-Known Member

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    Steve I got it used for 1200.00 I did buy a new Corvette when I got out of high school in 1959 it was a 1960 model 270 hp solid cam white 3300.00 off the dealer floorAM radio but great music back then.
    I could not sleep for a week I was so excited. I used to drive threw the center of town late a night so I could see myself in the reflection of the store windows I just could not believe it was mine. One day I woke up and looked out the window and it was not in the drive way my heart sunk I ran into my parents room and they were gone got up early and took my Vette for a joy ride gone for 4 hours. It was a very tense time til they got home went for breakfast out in the country. My Dad had a Studebaker Landcruiser he was a car guy and taught me how to take care of and tune and repair them. I still remember every time I came home I would get wet towels and wipe it off then dry it so it was always ready to go. Now I still have some fun cars a Black 1989 BMW 325 convertable here in FL and a 1997 Camaro SS 6 speed Dark green with T tops in Idaho just wish I had the energy I had back then clean it and hit the road now clean and a nap
     
  19. twotimer

    twotimer Member

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    Steve, been to the Fl state shoot so I missed this one. I think life is pretty much a car deal... " She's got four steel belted radial tires, She's a beaut! Let's write her up!!!" Mike
     
  20. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    I love cars. My father's first new car was a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda. I had to clean and wash it as a kid in order to drive it. That back window was hard to clean. It had a small v8 in it.
    Steve
     
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