Once upon a time, the experience of going from store to store to shop around before making a major purchase was as much a part of the pleasure of the buying experience as taking the item home.

At my father and grandfather's (and great-grandfather's) car dealership, people would attend "car showings" each fall when the new models were introduced. Whether or not they were even really in the market for a car, customers would respond to invitations to come and enjoy a donut and coffee while kicking the tires, feeling the plush seats, smelling that 'new car' smell and taking a look under the hood. In much the same way, before the hunters and sport shooters of previous generations made a purchase, they wanted to get their hands on the product, either at a brick and mortar gun store or gun show. They wanted to feel the weight of the cold steel in their hand, smelling the oil, and admiring the beauty of the craftsmanship.

Today's generation of consumers, however, puts a priority on time and convenience. And so it is that a growing segment of the firearms industry is focused on online sales. Want to research your options in the convenience of your own home before making a purchase decision? Want to know if that gun you are considering is priced competitively? Don't have time to wait for the next gun show in your area, or even to drive across town to the gun store? No problem! Just pick up your favorite Internet-enabled device and click away.

One website that is seeking to meet this growing demand for convenience in researching and purchasing firearms and accessories is, which identifies itself as a "family owned and operated company located in Dallas, TX." I recently had the opportunity to take a closer look at the site, and thought I would share my observations.

At first, for a guy who thinks having 10 or 12 combo meal options at McDonald's is too many, the selection at is overwhelming. For example, the site lists 2243 items under the semi-automatic handgun tab, 932 under revolvers, and 146 under derringers. Similarly, there are 1623 items listed under "complete AR rifles," 333 AR uppers and 138 AR lowers, and thousands more shotguns, rifles, and even air guns. (One segment that was not overwhelming to me was "used guns" - only one was listed at the time I reviewed the site, and it was out of stock.)

Upon closer look, not every thing listed on, say, the "Complete AR Rifles" tab is a "complete rifle." Magazines, hand guards, barrels, lowers and more are among the 1623 items listed under "complete AR rifles." (Note to programmers: The "AR" in AR-15 does NOT stand for "assault rifle," and I didn't see any assault rifles listed on your website - only semi-automatic modern sporting rifles - so why does the "Complete AR Rifles" page alias say "Complete Assault Rifles" across the top of my web browser?)

Annoying anti-gun media-inspired terminology aside, I was thankful to discover that the site offers something that helps me greatly. Much as popular websites allow car shoppers to narrow results to a certain mileage range, specific color or equipment feature, and price point, allows users to filter a search by name, price, caliber, manufacturer, action type, barrel length, capacity, frame material and more.

The website also offers a full line of shooting and hunting accessories, including holsters, magazines, optics and mounts, archery equipment, shooting accessories (targets, ear protection, and apparel. Basically, if you would expect to find it in a gun store, you'll find it at

Something that is sure to disappoint the online shopper is a lack of pictures for many firearms. Even though I'm not at the gun show fondling everything in sight, I still want to be able to at least be able to see the product. Unfortunately, many products say "picture unavailable" or feature only a manufacturer's logo. In one case, I found a rifle (Century Arms AK74 545X39 16 inch 2-30rd for $397.90) that featured a nice picture of a pair of tactical pants patterned in desert digital.

As is common for online shopping sites, offers customers the ability to post product reviews, though few visitors have taken advantage of the option to date.

One of the most common myths repeated these days by the anti-gun rights extremists and their sycophants in the media is that one can just buy any gun they want over the Internet with no background check at all. This is, of course, false, and's ordering guide lays out the real process for the uninformed. (Yes, Mr. Bloomberg, there is a background check done at every purchase at, because they, like all online firearms retailers, are only allowed to ship guns to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) who will then complete a background check for a small fee before allowing the customer to take possession of the gun they bought online.)

If you have to returned an item, it must be done within 30 days, and "all non defective returns are subject to a 8% restocking fee. and that items returned without packaging or destroyed packaging will be subject to up to a 50% restocking fee. Also, if you order a firearm, keep in mind that "returns on firearms that have been transferred to you are not allowed." Finally, make sure you have that FFL paperwork ready to roll when you place your order, because "firearm orders over 30-days old without FFL paperwork will be canceled and charged an 8% restocking fee."

Prices for firearms on are about what you'd expect pay at a large brick and mortar gun store, and look to be a bit lower than what you will see at the smaller chains. Of course, there is always a price for convenience, which comes in the form of shipping and the FFL fee.

As far as price comparisons on all the other items go, I'll let you decide which are good deals. All it'll take to know for sure is a few more clicks!

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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