Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 10 months ago

I was born in '77. I was told that if you were born before say, '60, they sold GUNS in Sears, Penny's, Montgomery Ward, K-Mart just about ?

Any large department store.  And that it used to be normal even in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, for hardware stores to carry a small variety of the most popular calibers-.22 long rifle, 12 gauge #5, .30-30, etc.  And that in rural gas stations, up until the late 1970's, they would carry a small amount of ammo for sale.  Is this true?  

13 Answers

  • 9 months ago

    Sure is. I was also born in 77. My dad worked at Sears before and after he went to Vietnam. He always said he wished he'd bought one of the M-1 carbines they used to sell there in the store. I forget what he said they were going for. But I want to say it was around $35. I bought my carbine in 1999 for $300 and he thought that was outrageous. And his deer rifle to this day is a Ted Williams .30-06. Ted Williams was the Sears brand of guns. His was actually made for Sears by Winchester if I recall, so it's basically a post-64 Winchester 70. But all the markings are Ted Williams. 

  • 10 months ago

    There was a time where you could order surplus rifles from the US Govt and they would mail it to your house.

  • 10 months ago

    It's true.  Gun dealers didn't even need Federal licensing until 1968.  That got fouled up after the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    You're born in 77. If you're born a little earlier I'll say this: OK Boomer.

    To answer your question what you said seems realistic.

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  • 10 months ago

    I dont know about but that's crazy if true

  • shroud
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    true, many stores carried guns for sale, you could even get them by mail

    all without any checks or waiting period

    they were even ads in comic books sent in the money get a rile

  • 10 months ago

    Very true, I bought a few guns at western auto. they even had barrels full of surplus rifles for like $30. Like 1962.

    You could get something like Stevens shotguns through sears mail order.

    Yea, back in those days, everybody had guns and could find them selling all over the place. Mont Wards even had a decent shelf of ammo.

    The local feed and tack store had Herculese 60-40 dynamite and caps the locals would remove stumps with. Yea, the local stone store quick mart and gas station had .22 LR ammo for about $.50 a box or $5.00 a brick.

    Most of this ended about 1968 with gun control and that is when all the Shiit started.

    I live in a pro gun state and you can still get guns a lot of places. A background check takes about 15 minutes, pay and take your new rifle home. One of our pawn stores has a nice selection of handguns and rifles, and one even sells like the Barrett M-82, but expensive. Our Walmart has guns and ammo, but corporate, have quit selling some handgun ammo. 

  • 10 months ago

    Sears once was the place to go for all things guns.  The Gun Control Act of 1968 made mail order guns illegal and that was the decline of guns at Sears.  By 1971 you noticed the gun counter was small and the guns were tapering off - no more pistols, then no more pistol ammo.  By 1979 Sears was out of the gun selling business.  Many, many gun owners - including me - saw this as Sears kowtowing to the anti gunners.  We stopped shopping there unless it was a real emergency or no choice.

    Back in the 60's and 70's lots of auto parts stores - sold shotguns and cheap pistols.

    Me - I noticed a decline in people's attitude about gun safety when K-mart and Walmart started selling guns.  Before then - about every 50 miles in the US there would be a small mom and pop gun shop/gunsmith shop.  These small gun shops always had a list of all the local ranges and the times they were open - plus a list of rifle, pistol, shotgun instructors that would do classes at the ranges, or, would even come to your home and teach one-on-one.  If you knew nothing about guns - you simply told the owner what you wanted to do - he would sell you the right gear, ammo, and hook you up with someone to teach you to be safe.  And give you a map with safe places to shoot and try out your new gun.

    The pimply faced kid at WalMart is not going to tell you where to get the best holster or accessories for you new gun.  That fat girl from cosmetics coving the gun counter is not going to know how to help you when you have a problem.


  • L.N.
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Yes, it's true. I had a J.C. Higgins 12 gauge bought from the local Sears and Roebuck. Guns are NOT more available today than they were back then, most people were familiar with them and there were a lot fewer crazies in the world.

  • Adam D
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    I can't speak for places like LA, but what you've described was true here well into there 1990's and early 2000's.  Lots of stores that have hunting gear in the sporting goods section still sell firearms now.  And there are still a few gas stations around here that sell ammo.

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