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Wal Mart and Ammo

Apparently, even if they mess up, all sales are final.

12 Responses to “Wal Mart and Ammo”

  1. Paul Boughton Says:

    It is not a store policy, but a federal guide line. I ran into the same issue at a Scheels when I bought some 3″ shells for a 2 3/4″ chamber. I explained my error and they said they did not have to take back the box, due to a federal statute, but they did anyway after inspecting it for completeness.

  2. Mikee Says:

    The reason they won’t take back ammo is that there is a liability associated with handling something so “dangerous” after it has been out of their store. If they take it back and resell it, and a gun explodes, they will be sued for not knowing the ammo was “bad” – whether it is the ammo’s fault or not. If they take the ammo back and don’t resell it, they have to dispose of it in a way that none of their employees can snag it, use it illegally, and again present a liability to the store. In either case, the liability cost exceeds both “customer goodwill” and “customer loss” costs. And there are likely freaks out there who would think it very amusing to double-charge a round or three in a box and then return it, just to make the point that “guns and ammo are bad” and should not be sold.

    In many states, underwear can’t be returned once sold (for reasons too icky to go into further) and that policy is enforced by law. I doubt ammo has the same legal restrictions on returns to retailers, but liability concerns win out. So I think it is more that liability sucks, more than “you suck, and Wally World hates you.”

  3. Mikee Says:

    I defer to Paul on the existence of the federal statute – which seems similar to the underwear laws.

    Step 1. Sell ammo or underwear.
    Step 2. ???
    Step 3. Profits!

    We now see that Step 2 may involve federal and state laws against returns to the store.

  4. Paul Boughton Says:

    I was taking the word of the clerk that was hesitant to return the ammo. Mikee could be more correct, however I don’t know why the clerk would refer to an unmade law/rule.

    Comes back to the old rule of being sure what you are handed is indeed what you asked for. Life experience learning processes can be expensive.

  5. bob r Says:

    Given the number of (very) unscrupulous people there are in the world, I’m not going to hold this against Wal-Mart. It would be quite easy for someone to modify some ammo and return it; could be disastrous for all involved.

    Wal-Mart could have problems even if the returned ammo didn’t _ever_ cause a kabooie: someone, somewhere is going to have a problem and _blame_ Wal-Mart claiming that they took back tampered ammo and then sold it to said someone. How do you defend against such a thing? Seems avoiding it completely is the easiest way.

    Xrlq getting bent out of shape about this is kind of funny too: he thinks it is okay to make a hotel liable for injuries inflicted on a guest by a criminal just because the hotel didn’t tell said guest he was in a “high crime” area. Seems to me that Wal-Mart’s liability would be much greater and that Xrlq should have paid more attention to what he was getting.

  6. Xrlq Says:

    Ah yes, the “kaboom” excuse. Which somehow is supposed to explain why they would have done the same goddamned thing if I had bought a firearm, and the idiot clerk had given me the wrong firearm. Maybe I had tampered with the firearm to make it dangerous. Then again, maybe I had tampered with any other product I might try to return to Wal-Mart, or anywhere else. If they were really worried about liability, they should have given me my money back and told me to keep the ammo. That would have cost them less than $20, with no added liability exposure. Instead, they chose to be pricks, which will cost them a hell of a lot more than that.

  7. JJR Says:

    It’s the customer’s responsibility to be sure of what s/he’s buying. Insist on inspecting the boxes yourself before you swipe the plastic or hand over the cash. You were in a hurry and got burned…quit whining. Ammo sales are final everywhere, not just Big Box stores, get over it.

  8. Gun Blobber Says:

    Ditto to JJR. Never buy anything without looking at it first. I have purchased a gun at Wal-Mart, as well as ammo on multiple occasions, and I always make sure to examine everything thoroughly because they are very explicit about the “no returns” policy.

    And now xlrq is asking in his comments whether he can use .357SIG ammo in a .357 Magnum…… pshaw! And here I was, thinking that xlrq was a smart guy who knew about guns! And he snarks about morons….. It is a basic rule of firearms safety not to put ammo in a gun which is not chambered for that kind of ammo. There are certain exceptions (.357Mag/.38Spl, .22LR/.22L/.22S, various Ackley Improved calibers) but in general, NO NO NO. I actually don’t think that .357SIG would even fit in a .357Mag revolver; the cartridge diameter is too big.

    And it should be easy to ditch that ammo at a gun show for $10-$15.

  9. Xrlq Says:

    JJR: If I tell a salesman “I’d like some X, please,” and he says “sure, here you go, here’s some X,” then I think I’m entitled to assume that what I’m getting is, in fact, X. By your reasoning, Wal-Mart could sell someone a huge box purporting to have a $2,000 arcade game inside, only to take it home, open it up, and find a box of .22 ammo inside, instead, and not be able to return it because gee whiz, all ammo sales are final, dontcha know.

    GB: Speaking of morons, as you yourself acknowledged, there are some exceptions to the general rule that one caliber cannot be substituted for another. I shoot .38 specials in my .357 all the time, for example. However, I don’t own a .357 Sig, never have, probably never will, and until that dumbass at Wal-Mart gave me a box of .357 Sigs instead of the .357 magnums I had requested, had never even heard of the caliber. So if simply asking a simple question to readers who are more familiar with that caliber before I give it away to a stranger at the range makes me a moron in your book, then with all due respect I would like to invite you to be the guinea pig to test my other theory that while a .357 Sig bullet is not an acceptable substitute for a .357 magnum, it is an excellent substitute for a suppository.

  10. Gun Blobber Says:

    Xrlq: I’m sure “.357 SIG” was printed boldly on the box in multiple locations. If you got home with a box that said “.357 Magnum” but it was filled with .357 SIG, you would have a point. But that’s not what happened.

    Moving on…. the most rudimentary inspection would reveal that the .357 SIG cartridge is too wide to fit in your .357 Magnum revolver chambers; and even if it did fit, it would fall right through because it lacks a rim; it is obviously not a revolver cartridge nor a cartridge related to the .38Spl/.357Mag, based on a cursory examination. A simple Google search would reveal the same information. You would also come across other information, such as: 1) the .357 SIG is a necked-down .40 S&W; 2) as such, it is designed to function in auto-loading pistols, not revolvers, and therefore does not have a rim; 3) while there are some revolvers that are designed to use auto-pistol ammo, these are the exception, and as far as I know, none are available for .357 SIG.

    I mentioned the “morons” post because, in it, you exhibited a reasonable level of knowledge of firearms. Cleaning procedures and the relative performance of .44Mag are not things that I would expect your average non-enthusiast to know. Even more, you went so far as to label these folks “morons” for their lack of knowledge that you, apparently, knew off-hand. While they might indeed be morons, I strongly doubt that they are the proprietors of highly-traffic’d blogs which feature firearms-related topics regularly and generally display very high levels of intelligence. In other words, given who you are, I’m disappointed that you even asked. To be fair, I was disappointed in the same lack of initiative by KDT today too. Simple Google query “.22LR in .22Mag chamber” brings the same results he got.

  11. Tam Says:

    Paul Boughton,

    It is not a store policy, but a federal guide line. I ran into the same issue at a Scheels

    It most certainly is not a federal guidline; whoever told you that was either lying or an ignoramus. It is a pretty standard practice in the retail firearms industry in self-defense against liability-lawsuit-happy lawyers. Given the policy’s origins in trigger-happy litigiousness, I find its latest indignant victim to be unintentionally hilarious.

  12. Xrlq Says:

    If it’s not a federal guideline, then refusing to refund my money (whether they wanted to take the ammo back or not) is not just unreasonable under the circumstances, it’s probably illegal. The idiot clerk told me the ammo was .357 magnum. His representation was part of the basis of the bargain. Nuff said.

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