A visit to Buds Gunshop

As part of my road trip to Louisiana, I also stopped by Lexington, Kentucky. There I bought a pistol but in the conversation with the seller, he pointed out that Bud’s Gunshop is located in Lexington. So of course I had to pay them a visit. Buds Gunshop is a little notorious on the internet, some loving it, and some hating it because of bad transactions. Either way you look at it, the shop does have a good presence online that not many other individual shops have. The website lists over a million customers since 2003 as per their customer counter. So here’s a little preview of the physical location!

The shop itself is pretty big on the inside, with lots of room not just for the firearms and supplies but also for general browsing and moving around. Sometimes gunshops are in small buildings and it’s annoying just getting to places you want to go. As a comparison, the shop occupies a little less space than the Knob Creek gun shop if any reader has been there. It appears that there is a larger warehouse portion of the shop where the shooting range and online stocks are kept.

I walked out with a cleaning kit, but I was also interested in 9mm snap caps they had on sale. One of the store reps checked in the back and said they didn’t have any, but just as I was leaving the building, he ran up to me with their last set he had scrounged out of a box. Good customer service indeed!


The indoor range entrance area. I think it was about 15 dollars to use the range, and you have to sign a waiver.


The second of two indoor ranges, pretty well built up with all the wood! This one has steel targets in the background, the one range has paper target trolley’s set up. I’m curious as to how much more lead and steel particle problems they deal with because of the increase in metal fragments.


A view from one corner of the store. Each little stand is organized by type, magazines, cleaning gear, bags, etc.


Such as this one, just for Smith & Wesson accessories!


And racks of glory indeed! Prices are before State tax is added. This can be somewhat discouraging when browsing, especially because Kentucky State Tax is something like 7 percent. So looking at a USP going on sale for 800 dollars will be more like 850 dollars after tax. There’s a shop in North Carolina that includes the state tax on the price tag, which makes buying a little bit easier because the total price on the tag is exactly what you’re paying, no more.


And a glorious scope case!


All of these are brand new and organized by caliber. There is a separate section for used firearms.


A view from the front of the store as you walk in. The corner over by Buds Police Supply is for Mil/LE, veterans, and first responders only.


A bulldog .45-70 at the very front of the store. Display purposes only, it isn’t for sale.


They gave me this free sticker! Yay! A free sticker to go on my computer.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • Worm

    Just cause they wanted a good write up, trust me it was all for show, there customer service is poor and rude. While some employee are good, most could care less if your there. When your looking for at a firearms or trying to find some help, most employees at like you don’t exist. I know tons of ppl have had bad experiences there. I’m one to say, I’ll never return.

    • Adam-12

      “Dispatch, this is Adam-12. Send me a meat wagon. Somebody just murdered the english language.”

      • Worm

        My bad, at work…didn’t have time to proof read…but you don’t have to be a douche about it.

        • Swarf

          Oh come on, that was funny.

        • uisconfruzed

          Learn to laugh at yourself, and with us. It’s funny. I’ve had my chops busted for the same thing at times. It’s still funny.

        • Guido FL

          The trolls have to come out from under their bridges once in awhile ………………

      • Don’t call me Radio

        Adam-12, Dispatch. Cancel; Unit 91 en route with schnozzberries and shenanigans.

  • Russ

    I had already ordered 3 times before I saw one of the bad review sites. Made me wonder about my next order for sure. I’ve had a 10 or 11 FAs shipped from Bud’s without an issue (thankfully), but there sure are a lot of unhappy folks who’ve had issues with their orders. I’d take a read before placing a FA order with them so you know what you could be getting into.

    More than likely, however, I’ll continue ordering (until I run into a problem). I will say that I tend to order more now from Grabagun and KYGunCo now.

  • Panzer

    I am not inclined to do further business with Bud’s due to a purchase gone bad. Bought 3 mags for a Springfield EMP. The ones pictured in their ad were modified OEM mags which is what I wanted, but what I got was the unmodified OEM mags like came with the gun. No amount of whining on the phone with a customer rep did any good. No offer to take back the unopened, unused mags or exchange for the ones pictured. If this had been $600 deal gone bad, I would have been even more steamed. Nope – Not inclined to do further business with Bud’s after that.

  • Don Ward

    Must all gunshops look exactly the same? Do they all have to have the exact same displays and even the same color of paint in the stores?

  • iowaclass

    I’ve read that scary-bad customer service is pervasive in firearms retail.

  • neoconfection

    I had a good chuckle at the 7% sales tax.


    A resident of the People’s Republic of Ontario, paying 13% sales tax.

    • uisconfruzed

      Do you also pay: 18% gas tax, property tax, income tax, grocery tax, fart tax, blink tax. walking tax, sleeping tax, etc, etc, etc??
      I hope you don’t

    • Sickshooter0

      Well, 8% for Ontario and 5% for your “free health care”, et. al.

  • Valhalla

    bought a few guns from Buds- great prices, delivery is hit or miss as far as speed. got a Sig 716 for $1550 delivered and a Taurus Millennium G2 for $200 delivered. you really have to keep on eye out to grab some bargains.

  • Jim Bobble

    Bah, Whittaker Guns in West Louisville, KY is where it’s at. No real online sales and nigh impossible to get through on the phone, but the store is awesome and prices can’t be beat.

    • Matt

      Owensboro, KY. “Louisville” is the name of the street they are on. I frequent there and give my endorsement.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    In Colorado, it’s ‘buds, AND gunshop’.

  • 3XLwolfshirt

    Buds is notorious for posting misleading pictures of the gun that is actually for sale.

    Besides, my credit card got stolen from them back in 2010.

  • Patrick Mingle

    bought off them once. Besides a long wait time for it to ship it was a very pleasant experience

  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    Jeez, I think I must have purchased 15 guns or more from Buds online. Never had a problem.

    I was surprised to hear they have a bad rep with some people.

    My last purchase was a S&W revolver that suddenly became available. It was on my wish list and I was notified by e-mail. I placed the order but I wasn’t quick enough. I called them up to cancel the order because I didn’t want the gun to come in when I was low on cash. Son of a gun if by the time I got off the phone with them the revolver was on the way to my FFL

    The internet is a big place, I guess..

  • Marcus D.

    I did one transaction with them where I bought a gun as a gift for my daughter, had it shipped to an FFL in her state, where she picked it up, paying a very nominal transfer fee. No issues at all. But sadly that will be my last buy, despite the fact that the guns I want can be found on Bud’s but not at my local FFLs, because all the local dealers charge a $75 transfer fee on a gun they didn’t sell you. Kind of takes all the fun out of shopping on the internet.

    • Risky

      If you look hard enough you can usually find a home-based FFL nearby that charges little to nothing for transfers. Good folks to build a relationship with especially if you need to be shipping guns often for custom or warranty work.

      • Marcus D.

        Umm, I wish. There is a home based guy just a few blocks away–and he charges $75 for all transactions. The only way to make money, I guess, if you are in it as a business.

        • billyoblivion

          You might check and see if your state has requirements that make it difficult to do it for less.

          There is a guy just up the road from me that does transfers out of his garage. IIRC he only charged me $25 or 35 (almost 2 years ago) to get a rifle in and process it. But because it was a rifle there wasn’t any state bull to deal with.

          When you think about what they have to do 25 or 50 bucks isn’t unreasonable. 75? Depends on state requirements.

          • Marcus D.

            FTF (or PTP is you prefer that acronym) Is capped at $25, but dealer/internet sales are not, except by the local competition.

          • billyoblivion

            So generally gun stores charge you $75 to get a weapon shipped to them and DROS it to you, and the local “garage” guy charges the same.

            Seems to me that with a small investment you could have a nice garage business going. Make a little money evenings and weekends just by making it clear you will do *fully legal* FFL transfers for $50.

          • Sven79

            In Kansas my non-storefront FFL had a 50 percent price increase, but I stuck with him, since it only went from $10 to $15 for an internet transfer.

  • plumber576

    I’m glad sales tax isn’t put in the price so you know just how much the government is taking from you.

  • BD

    I wonder what would happen if I walked into their store. I was banned from Buds after I complained about their sales policy. I had recently moved from NY to a free state. Because they had my NY address on file previously and the gun I wanted had a 15 round magazine they wouldn’t sell it to me. That’s right. Because I used to live in a commie state they refused to sell me a gun with a 15 round mag in my free state. F’ Buds.

  • s

    I have only purchased one firearm from Bud’s, a Thompson Center Dimension in .308 and a few other items. It arrived to my local FFL who only charged me $10 for the transfer, packaging was good, delivery was quick so all in all a good experience.

    However I have a had a couple of buddies who had horrible experiences with them. I usually buy local that that rifle was nowhere to be found.

    Of course if I ever have a bad experience I won’t frequent that business again.

  • Ratcraft

    Buds has always done me right. I’d say 5 buys from them. One gun had some issues. It was a AMD65. It was $350 I didn’t expect a gem. I fixed the issues myself like I do with most issues in life.

  • john huscio

    Bad expirence, shady pricing. Never again.

  • ozzallos .

    Bud’s was gracious enough to accept all of my ‘Make An Offer’ bids…

  • ghost

    I don’t buy firearm related items often, but when I do, I go to Academy.

  • Martin Frank

    Ordered a gun from them once, there was an issue due to my wifes name being on the CC. Had to purchase a giftcard for price of gun, wait three days for it to clear, and then order the gun in my name. And of course by then the price had changed! (Down) so i have like 7$ in credit to them. Wth am i gonna get for 7$! Butttt.. When i recieved my gun it was in the best condition i have ever seen this particular gun in (nib) and it was an out of production gun they still had as new old stock. Gun was 350-400$ when still in production. I got it from them For 402$ Free shipping. Ffl where im at (free state of iowa) is only 20$ Could not have been happier. Its in my pocket right now! Thanks buds, you were the only way i was ever going to get one of these nib. Btw after my order they were out of stock. (Last one!). Those 3 days sure went by slow!

  • MySpin1776

    I’ve used Bud’s for two gun transactions and had no issues. (They gave me fair trade in value for a Taurus pistol. And, I bought a S&W M&P 9c for $100 less than my local shop.)

  • Leigh Rich

    they are the KING of Gun sales..Just got a Heizer Pocket AK from them.

  • Tango Down

    I’d like to know what the store was that was mentioned in the article that was in North Carolina? I am aware of one of the greatest gun stores that I have EVER been in that’s in North Carolina in a little town called Wendell, named Perry’s! Perry’s makes Bud’s look small and the sales people are extremely nice there as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, Bud’s is OK but definitely not the best, they have some serious issues! But they do have nice ranges and they also host training sessions in addition.

  • skjtnc

    I’ve been a BGS and BPS (now rolled into 1) internet customer for 10 years and have probably bought about 15+ FA’s. In those orders I’ve only had one problem with a missing magazine which did take a while to resolve (Bud’s said the issue was with Beretta) but I eventually got it. I have to say though that their “processing” period before shipping sucks. If you have that much volume in your shipping department hire more people. For that reason they will be losing some of my business.