I decided to arm myself a few months ago and began doing my research about which handgun to purchase. Since it would be a first gun, it had to be inexpensive, durable and easy to learn with. I landed on an American brand with a long history of providing all those qualities in their guns. I went to several major retailers in Southern Maine and found almost the model I decided on but never the exact one. The big box stores all had the fancy, expensive models and several times I stood at their counters waiting for assistance that never came. I felt invisible actually and just turned around and walked out more than once! One day a good friend of mine told me about Jim's Gun Shop and mentioned that he had a gun like the one I wanted in his display case. A few days later my friend took me to the store to meet Jim and to see the gun and there it was...EXACTLY what I was searching for. Jim showed me the pistol and gave me his opinion of it which was good so I bought it. I paid about twenty dollars more than I would have at one of those big stores but being able to get personalized service and the right product the first time was well worth it.\r
Jim helped me again about a month later in a different way. My father-in-law passed away in Arizona and my wife and I were there with family for about a week. He had several rifles in his garage and I decided that I would like to have one of them. I called Jim because I needed his help in transporting a firearm across the country in a legal fashion. He told me how it had to be done and faxed the needed paperwork to the shipping agent. A week later and after some additional paperwork on this end, again provided by Jim, I had a family rifle safe and sound in my home in Maine.\r
Sorry for the long winded story but if you are looking for a big fancy store where you get ignored then go to you know where but if you are looking to get personalized service and an honest opinion then go to Jim's!
Pros: Deal with the owner who knows his stuff!
Cons: Not the big fancy store you might be looking for.