Coming to you from the lab where we talked about guns year training and everything in between riding shotgun is my co-host Vicky. I’m your host Mike and this is the gun experiment.
Welcome to the gun experiment episode 2 this week. We talk to manager of smoke wagon Firearms review mantis-x and cleaning kit discuss new gun buyers and cutting the cord. I’m excited for episode 2. And of course by my side my co-host the big man big Keith. How you doing big guy? How you doing? Like I’m hanging in there hanging in there. How was your week so far so far so good. You know, I got a lot of chores done around the house that I had been neglecting.
So, you know, I got a nice powerwash back house and finally put that garage door opener up on my second garage that has been in a box for 3 years and I agree with her. It’s it’s been a nice change to have a slower Pace. You know, we’re always on the go every weekend, you know us, we’re always busy.
Send rate for like a few weeks to not have to really know where anywhere nice nice. Yeah, definitely before we go any further the most important for the entire night. What are you drinking tonight? I’m going with a little rum and and Cherry Coke. I’m doing a Gentleman Jack on the rocks and I should probably just say proactively that the mic May pick up some ice sloshing around but you know, we don’t have the Joe Rogan Studio here. So we we have to just deal with it.
We drop new episodes on the 2nd the 4th Monday of every month to be sure to tune in to subscribe. And without further Ado Our Guest today is the manager of smoke wagon firearms in Montgomery New York established in 2017, as a family-owned-and-operated gun shop with a business model designed offer customers the lowest prices in the area, please welcome our guests Trevor fickler.
Trevor how you doing? Hey, what’s going on? How are we we are doing well. We’re doing well how you doing? Can’t complain just try to survive like everybody else. You know, what are you drinking tonight Trevor crazy?.
I just love your crazy for the three of us then appreciate it. Now. We’re at we are excited to have you so Keith came in and I know he bought a new firearm from you in that kind of got the ball rolling, which is great. I know Jason but I who is the owner of the store? But I’ve actually never met you. How did you first get into guns and shooting is it something you’ve always been into and I was 15 or 16 at the time honestly and I’ll be at a local store down by where I grew up in Rocklin and the owner would be needed a discount and that I should start working there so you can get one and slowly but surely, you know, I just got to work my way into his store Davis Shooting Sports down for first.
From there another for probably almost a decade now. Alright, so I knew that you were at you first met Jason kander, correct? Correct. Yes my first met each other right experience in the industry working again door. And then for those that don’t know Thruway is kind of like a smaller Market but still like box store or the local cheap local place and now you’re at a smaller place. So kind of working in each one in and just your experiences in those sure are usually smaller family-owned shops.
There’s a lot of good things about it. There are some bad things about of course just like anything else about you get to know ownership very quickly. Feel free Chowder you build up a large trust and power of the bigger one. So sometimes you’re limited in that respect to the pros definitely outweigh the cons in that going from someplace like Gander, you know, I’m chasing after I speak to us as well as situations and corporate buying things of that nature has a lot more transparent the whole process so we can get a lot done in a more personal around Jason.
Go now and you know, we just had a vision and you know, I was working for the time going to work for take to the next level. Yeah, I mean, I I’ve shopped at all three of the locations that you worked at. Yeah, and I and I vow I stumbled across Jason. I think I was looking for something and I and no one else had he had it and I went in there and you know you walk in it. I mean, it’s a tiny shot very small, but man like I love it.
I like I was just love it there like I love walking in and then you know, he’s always been just so cordial to me and he never rush them out the door. He just even I’ve just one there just to shoot the shit a little bit and you know, he’s he’s a great.
A guy and you know, I could agree with you more melee working for him and working with him has to be an absolute pleasure. What I like to say is where we really win with Jason and eyes are customer service, you know kind of much time, you know your guys do today and I can pick for the customer and I understand, you know, we want to get the customers are customers the best deal that weekend and I’ll keep you guys coming in from the castle.
That’s awesome. That’s that’s great. You say there’s a lot more smaller family gun shops in New York. Now, what’s like the biggest one in our area for privately owned family-owned establishment. They are popping up which is nice cuz you know, it’s kind of like a Grassroots movement and that’s how it always was back in the day. I mean,.
Like I said, I can think of for off the top of my head is really just stopped and sale of firearms. I think I definitely has something to do with it, you know any of the men when they don’t stop as a whole I think he knows that customers within our community in terms of you just said that like other a small ones are popping up and I have to say this speaks a lot about like your character in and I know Jason’s very similar like you could have said like all these a lot of popping up with a lot of competition that never was even like something that you see what you was doing for the industry and its tremendous pretty industry.
You know, we have to we have to have people that are passionate about this because.
We don’t you lose this absolutely. Absolutely. I mean they went out as well my tribute it to you know, if a management not being passionate about the product and just being a little old-fashioned too big for their britches because the selection of people going to pay a premium for especially when the I think that’s awesome that you that you guys have that attitude. I think it’s important because you know, we we obviously have to make sure that this movement continues to move forward to scratch with movement.
So obviously right now we are in a very strange situation. This coronavirus is really sort of shaking things up. What have you experienced in terms of the industry in selling Firearms? What have you experienced with this take of sales?.
Huge unprecedented. It’s it’s a great thing from a number standpoint scary thing. You know, I mean you have people that I’ve never purchased guns is coming in to purchase and you know, that’s an interesting situation and you know, I haven’t articulate to these people, you know that I do’s and don’ts of basic safety rules. Yeah. We’re on the same page and we’re all trying to survive a Ross trying to do the right thing and it’s nothing on the shelves right now. Basically we’re closed right now not only due to health concerns in the state mandate but also because we’re just playing a lot of stock.
I mean, I don’t have anything on the shelves right now people call up together yards and I got to tell him.
It’s from a distribution standpoint. I just got an email today from where my main Distributors so I mean, you know, you can come up to me and say hi to get special order it is so it’s probably ministration. What about President Obama first elected? I thought he was going to put through a lot more legislation did 22 shortage and all that stuff. I was nowhere near as my sister taking sales and I want to point something out because I kind of want to get to this because I’m actually curious but I also think it’s something that people listening should here right now.
There is very low stock and supply and demand says hey if you have guns you can ask whatever you want and Jason.
Show me this the first time I met him and I was almost like I believe this but he said we don’t praise God we never do we never will and he’s reiterated that to me in this crisis. That’s amazing. Yeah there any people have that? Why why is that your policy? And would you like to speak to that a little bit? Like I said, they were both working and it’s we understand you know, that everybody can afford six seven eight hundred whatever the number is style rifles and you know, we mark up our product to start percentage cuz I’m icy guys online is cheaper than dirt.
They were charging like it when people are scared. That’s awesome.
So somebody wants to buy a gun in their first gun there nudist industry. They are there they never wanted to come before and they say I’m going to go over to buy a gun from you guys. What advice do you have for new gun owners before they come into the shop? Because I know there’s this crazy stories of where to get someone a little later in the show. But you know, what, would you like to tell someone who’s just about to go in and they’re panicked and the nervous and never put it that every one of them before now they want one formation information is easily accessible.
I mean, I’m staying a little bit of homework. It is difficult to narrow win sometimes exactly what your needs are. I’ll let you at least know that you liked.
Some questions have a list of questions stop in the other day and he said that we simply I’m looking for a rifle about more what you’re looking for in rifles pretty broad term. My wife scared. She just said to get something you really got an arrow in on what you’re looking for and support I just had no idea and me being in as soon as I was not going to spend too much one-on-one time with them in stock is approaching the end of Newhart.
Call Mark formation. No excuse not to really have no idea what you’re looking for and just have a list of questions. You know, it’ll really help us both at the end of the day. It’ll help me narrow in on what you’re looking for and it will help. You know, what you’re looking for as well and I will both be happy at 10 today. Definitely especially the newbies. You know, what New York being such a.
Strict state in 04 for gun rights in the wall things to make them compliant featureless rifle Ministry. They have no idea what the next process is.
Give me there’s a lot of people out there that you know, just to listen to CNN on Show loophole and everything else confusion, but it’s nice to see that you’re realizing Second Amendment situations like this process involved as well. Skeleton Crews.
You know how you would get the message of personal responsibility with regard to Lake Boating to get you no more more pro-gun people. I mean, I’m sure some of these people that are walking in before are individuals that maybe never thought they’d be in that position ever need is a gun and maybe voted that way and now they bought a gun and you know, do you think they have a personal responsibility now to vote because your way because they’re purchasing a gun at the case simply put and it’s.
Come election time. You got to remember the situation. I we were in and I think it if you know you’re voting for people that already know against our rights against the rights and it’s it’s it’s the other way definitely, you know, the situations like this. They’re not going to stop. This is the third coronavirus yourself and she loves absolutely. You know. Maybe they were.
On on my on the show. I try not to like do the whole like left right thing and I tried cuz there’s people who are liberals are pro-gun. So I try not to like alien ate them, but people who are anti-gun and tend to be politically more liberal. Do you feel that people who are now coming in and they’re like, I’ve never voted Republican in my life and I’ve never been a pro-gun person. But now I want a gun do you think that they will now see the light and say, you know what I understand whatever were saying now and and at least maybe vote that way a little bit you think that that some people will stick around.
I hope so, you know, because people people forget easy man, and it’s so difficult to call they forget about things so.
We just got to keep talking about it. I know it’s something like Neo Trevor. You said you’ve been talked about something. I’ve been talking about a lot more to how about with you know, of course not using any names or have some fun ones. That’s okay. It’s been the funniest interaction you have with the date.
That’s a that’s a tough Wonder. There’s been quite a few in my time. I mean the most recent for memories just kidding, but it could have been so much. You know, I mean, I know you said funny situation, but that’s like the first thing that pops to mind but funny was probably that guy walking into just saying his wife was chewing a mounting a rifle in the house coming out. That’s great. Where can people find you guys online on social media like where it is if you want to find you guys work where can I go find us on there on Instagram handles at?.
And I would you also have our website shows a couple of brands that we hold no inventory or anything like that. No precious could be made there, but it’s just smoke wagon firearms.com.
Awesome, so they way out there to listen to looking for a firearm or anyting firearms-related. Look them up. There. They are like I will vouch for them. They are a great great small store, but they are great and they were absolutely and I and I say that from the heart really so Trevor on this show. We have a little game we play with our guests and I keep him the first one and the second is called run-and-gun. Okay, it’s running gun, and I’m going to ask you 10 questions and I just want you to be the first answer that comes up.
Stop your head. Okay. Alright, what is your favorite gun in your personal collection?.
Spike’s Tactical sweet. What car would you buy if money was no object?.
Browning 16-gauge and lightning over and under there you go. If you could draw if you can have a drink with one person living or dead. Who would it be favorite caliber?.
Favorite hobby not gun-related. She said you were going to say that if you could have one superpower, what would it be?.
Much rather be okay Trevor all hell breaks loose. Is it better be armed or trained?.
Perspectives on the road.
I’m going to go Farms. Don’t care fair. Is it better to be loved or feared?.
Rifle pistol or shotgun shotgun.
You’re in the worst scenario imaginable. Who do you want to have your six other than your spouse?.
All right good answers you ran it and you did well, very very very nice. Cool. Appreciate.
Okay. So today is discussion of the day. We’re going to go get a new Shooters and gone over. So we kind of have done that already with you. But so there was a a video of a Firearms dealer in California was Riverside California gun shop owner and I’m going to just take one quote from him. The quote was you first-time gun buyers are irritating the fuck out of me and he goes on to say that you know, you can’t just come in North me more money to rush it and all these other things and he’s a hundred percent of he was clearly irritated by this and we had a bad thing and he decided to take it to the social man crazy.
So is everyone seen the video? So I just want to talk about this and let you know we have obviously people from different.
And how do we feel about the subscriber? You’re our gas going to let you go first, we how do you feel about this some frustrations out of myself? I and others in the industry with this going on. I mean, it’s so overwhelming, you know, just paperwork Shooters coming in and like I said, one of my main Distributors just three weeks Avenue explain that to somebody explain that one thing I take away from that video is it’s just the frustration. Could you set things a little bit better sure if you sit there.
Speech for a ranch, I don’t think everything you said was I was just what I take away from his pure frustration and Stephanie felt fine industry as a whole yams clear. It definitely had a feeling of frustration about a hundred percent agree with that Keith. How do you feel about it? I mean, you know what I’m able to look at that in separate it into a box that is ghetto satire. And I definitely think he was doing it for a little bit of you know arise and maybe even a laugh out of us that understand the frustration of the people who can’t separate peace lily.
You know, I feel that the message was a little bit. Probably tough and not necessarily the one that we should be advocating for especially if we won’t be more people to be gun owners and broke and pro-gun.
But I definitely can understand in and did get a little bit of humor out of out of what he’s dealing with. You know, I just it’s the card when everything is so public and so sensitive is the word I was looking for you know, so I think I think it’s just people aren’t able to to accept it for what it probably is which is you know, probably a guy that a bad day just looking to vent a little bit and probably pick the wrong for him to do it.
Yeah, I kind of agree with in terms of the wrong for like he obviously had a bad day. He could have said no, but let me sleep on it and think about this and he didn’t write but there’s an old saying in the saying is there’s no such thing as bad publicity and the man has a shop owner and let’s be honest. It’s now out there right now get over to me, but that’s how it appeared. For sure. I mean the prophet here’s the problem I have with it and Trevor what you just said if I put myself in your shoes as a gun shop owner manager, I get it.
I totally get it. I have bad days in my 95 Keith you a bit easier 95, but Trevor hasn’t been on Facebook saying you’re irritating the fuck out of me. You know I’m saying so like so first you are entitled to feel that way a hundred percent you didn’t act on it. That’s my first thing the second thing is I feel like as an advocate for the Second Amendment and.
My reason for doing the show is cuz I really want to be a positive force in this industry, but.
We have people would never even thought about owning a firearm. Maybe they hated firearms and now they’re coming out and they want to join our ranks. We can either welcome them with open arms and then train them and make sure they understand things or we can push them away. And I think the worst thing we can do is push them away. So I completely understand, like you said you can separate the two but this is not a good look for the Second Amendment. You don’t even like it’s it definitely is going to welcome people in make people feel good about supporting our cause and that’s my only served.
The only thing I don’t like about what he did, you know, I like restrictions. They’ve grown a little bit in California over the last few years right after coming close second behind New York. I think if I’m not there by the neck and neck I feel like.
You know, we’ve been stuck in this for New York for quite some time it so maybe I mean like I just I will talk about this and some other shows were going to come and see this running topic. But you know, I just think we have to really be smart about how we serve bring these new movies into the fold and I think it could be a really good thing for us. If we if we do it the right way, but at the end of the day, I mean the guy was frustrating it’s obvious, you know, I agree with both of you on that Trevor.
Do you think some of these new these new gun owners would be would be would pay and you know, in addition to their firearm like, you know, what an extra fee of whatever for like a half hour of your time for training or something before it was encouraged with whatever you’ve decided to use pistol rifle sounds of whatever situation we be.
There should I think there is a market? I think it’s rather safe teas and and you know.
How much weed do you know? We generally go over a generally we do go over safe operation of the firearm explain send that the owners manual is a wealth of information. I’ll be in in Ohio is discouraged that it’s a huge information. I’m on page 45 of mine. Okay struction site if we do encourage is listening, you know, whatever and whoever you have available to be my recommendation.
Nra certified at a basic level in the area take some classes with some difficult with the volume that we have going on right now prices apart from each other. So getting into a.
Situation where you could effectively teach someone is normal but still obtainable is by your gun in the habit of sticking to my nightstand drawer bedtime with the Irish. Tell people look if you’re not going to train as it sometimes it could become a bigger danger to you or something on the other side of it for you until all right, so we are going to get into gear review.
Trevor imma give you a chance to talk. Is there a piece of gear that you’re really into right now? Is there something that you you know what to talk about thinking about that out before we started up today and something I got turned on to really recently is the Vickers 2-point slings with quick address. I’ve been just plain Jane nylon, they stopped making it work but high tide patroller move around or anything like that. Then you come in contact or situation at the fire. You loosen it up comes right up.
I mean it’ll have both of those so easily adjustable. You know, I’ve always had that problem with the one point.
Turn off for a while and just turned onto an absolutely loving the two points. Do they go for fifty bucks to retake? That’s not bad. A different designs and stuff. I’m sure.
Nice, what are you Keith?.
I am at my gear for this. This episode is under fifty bucks or at least I got it on sale under fifty bucks. It’s a real Avid Master Universal cleaning kit iPad like just ad hoc cleaning supplies that I put together in over the last few years for cleaning guns. And I decided that it was time to get something a little more organized and just kind of fit the bill. It was a great starter kit. I think probably should have began with this. It’s got a lot of little tiny plastic picks and in Hooks and some brass rods that are for cleaning cleaning Rossford for barrels and things like that.
But the dog was it had this padded oil resistant mat. That’s like probably a solid.
You know 2 and 1/2 ft by maybe 18 in.
And it’s all of the pics and brass rods and parts tray and everything is attached to the Mat-Su simply roll it up for for storage and all the pieces are locked in place with lids but it’s got like a set of Parts tray for all your tiny bits and 12 to 20 gauge. Mops and brushes 22 45 caliber mops and brushes and I really really great in that self-contained rollable portable pouch with a you know, like like a nice tie straps it up and it’s been great cuz I I put it right into my workbench drawer take it out when I need to you know, clean something spreads out keeps everything right there and nice and tight and you know, I’m not running around the garage looking for a fuel looking for the things unless I make a mistake.
Nice and I mean basically like where this whole show is sort of all about new gun owners, right? And this is something you buy this thing and it’s going to basic cover your for all your shotgun needs. Most of your pistol needs at least for the average person at least getting into firearms and you know, you could always buy a couple extra pieces and then you have your rifles taken care of a wide range, you know, I have a few pistols and in some rifles and and now that they are and in some shotguns, but you know the way that my stuff breaks down.
This is perfect, you know, the only additional thing that I would, you know going to consider the near future, especially because I bought that AR is it some sort of stand that I can attach the AR to take apart those seem really really cool. But other than it’ll serve it’ll serve its purpose for Religious Ed quite some time for anybody definitely definitely so my my piece of gear tonight is a product called.
Mantis X and in all these the blood links in the show notes of these things but mantis-x is a it’s a small want to call. It looks like a little tiny box that you put on the front of a pistol or a rifle and they do make versions for shotguns as well to the rail. Right? And if you don’t have a real they even have little attachments you put on I think like the bottom of the grip and it actually can attach that way as well and what it does is it lets you do both dry fire live fire and also like CO2 like we having a gay blicka blicka direct blowback what they call those.
Republican you know and it monitors are shooting. So it tells you all about your your trigger squeeze it tells you if you’re breaking your wrist and it makes correction tells you exactly what you’re doing wrong and I’ve been a lot of it with dry fire and there’s a little one with all the games but little like challenge you you can challenge you go through and man. It’s really cool. I really get you thinking about these little nuances of shooting and right now we’re in a kind of an ammo shortage and I really don’t want to shoot a lot of livefyre and you know, what’s so this is like it I do my bedroom at you.
I do it a couple times a week and I go through the challenges and it it definitely is good for a new shooter. It’s good for advanced chute.
It is a great great product early on if there were some problems with it, but I had zero product problems with it. And I think they’ve improved some of those things but I the one I have is if it was 169 and it’s I would highly recommend that version there’s one that’s full of cheaper. I think it limits you in a lot of ways and there’s one that’s more expensive and I don’t think most people would need that one, but I highly recommend that I think it’s a great product very very good company shooting better.
It has not but that’s enough. I actually had with arrange one day and night and I was doing with a live fire and it did correct me a little bit. It did it did I would look down I want I miss that shot of whatever and I was able to make an excuse I was next to you and you know, probably distract that is fair, but I did notice that I was able to make her.
Directions and improve now. Does that mean that it may be a better shooter know it was able to sort of guide me in the right direction and I think that’s what’s important for all Shooters. I just knew Shooters will I think it’s time around? Okay. So before we on the show, we are going to finish up with a segment that we like to talk about stuff other than guns. And today we are going to talk about cutting the cord when I say that I mean cutting the cable cord so Trevor, do you have cable TV or like kind of old school cable TV, or do you just stream stuff?
What is your Netflix?.
Play Cut the cord. You’re a pioneer.
What are you keep I’m with Trevor. I’ve been I’ve been off the cord for about the little over 3 years and I just I stream everything is well through you know, where are casting or whatever and look at a smart TV. You can get to link your phone up to it and then passed over to your TV.
So yeah, I undoing Netflix YouTube. I watch a ton of YouTube and that’s about it. I mean, you know, most of my news, you know from you either I belong to a couple of new stuff pay prescriptions and for you know, or they have a lot of black stuff on YouTube now.
All right, so I am quasi cut. So what I mean by that is I decided I wanted to cut the cord and my wife has this thing that she likes to listen to news in the morning. And I was like, okay, I’m sure there’s a way to do that like through streaming, but she wanted like the actual like turn on like Fox News and yell like listen to The Morning News and.
Now we’re even do that anymore. But I have to call the cable company and actually tell them we don’t want the service anymore. Like please get rid of it and I have not done it out of sheer laziness. And I know that that is exactly what they Bank on so it really irritates me that I’m talking about this right now to call and cancel tomorrow probably not but I didn’t show it but I mean, it’s awesome. Right? I mean like this so much out there now. It’s like back in the day.
You were kind of like pigeonholed into whatever like they were getting at mad or something from Unit 10 years ago. You could find it in like 3 or 4 minutes and you know, sometimes maybe have to pay a couple bucks for it. But like I mean.
My kids my kids really are those are the driving Factor behind me cutting the cord, you know, they you know, they really were monopolizing a lot of the TV and you know, which is fine. We were watching, you know good things for them as they were growing up and I was after a couple months of that. I was just like what am I paying this bill for like, you know things that they watch a rat or whatever I could just sign it. So I wasn’t really watching it enough to justify the expense.
You want to blow me like you want one like totally like mind-blowing thing when our kids are adults. They’re not going to know what commercial is like and I’ll give you a kid you’d see a toy because I want that for Christmas. They don’t even like there’s no commercials and even know what that is. It’s the weirdest thing.
Which of the generational thing I can see how it’s just the new Norm I guess but I think we should do that sometime. I think slowly but surely will start seeing some advertisements on Netflix send out. Is there a tornado makes more money? I’m sure that is fair fair for being on the show and give him one more chance to let us know where we can find a guy Trevor. Where can we find you at? All? Right, so you can check us out on Facebook just search for smoke wagon firearms on Instagram are handle.
Is that smokewagon and then also on our website ww.w that smokewagon firearms.com and thank you guys so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
Thank you to everybody. Yeah. Be sure to check them out there a great great store. If you like this episode and can support the show by hitting the Subscribe and share buttons. And of course don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook at the gun experiment so we can keep the conversation going.