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Poth shop offers guns, ammo, service

Poth shop offers guns, ammo, service
Bear Mountain Guns shop owner and gunsmith Bill Adkins examines a rifle brought in by Chris Titzman for repair.

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Wilson County News
January 25, 2011
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POTH -- For years, firearms enthusiasts from the area have had to travel to San Antonio for a number of specialized goods and services. From a sound gunsmith to a pound of gunpowder, some things simply seemed unavailable locally. But that all changed last September, when Bear Mountain Guns opened in Poth.

Selling everything from new and used firearms to cleaning and reloading supplies to targets and spare magazines, Bear Mountain Guns is truly a one-stop shop for all things firearms.

Started by Bill and Arlene Adkins in December 2007, Bear Mountain Guns originally began operations in California. Bill hails from Mammoth Lakes, a town in the mountains of Eastern California, and his wife, Arlene, is from sunny Southern California.

For Bill, the road to his shop in Poth began at a young age. His father was a gunsmith, and he grew up working on firearms throughout his childhood. But as an adult, Bill quickly recognized that guns had changed a lot over the years, and he attended a gunsmithing school to increase his knowledge and develop his skills further.

“I’ve always had a passion for guns,” Bill said. “I’ve always enjoyed working on them, and I realized that repair and retail really go hand in hand. So one day, I decided to open my own shop where I would sell and repair them.”

But life for a gun-shop owner in California isn’t easy.

“The laws there are just crazy,” Bill said, “and it seemed like they were changing almost every day.”

Since Bill and his family had lived in Floresville about four years ago, he and Arlene decided to move back to South Texas, to the communities they enjoyed so much.

Bear Mountain Guns -- the Poth edition -- officially opened for business Sept. 1, 2010. The displays weren’t quite complete at the time, and he was still waiting on some inventory, but Bill was happy to open the shop and to begin meeting new customers.

“The response has been good since opening,” Bill said. “Everyone’s been excited.”

In the short time he has been open, rifles and shotguns have been the biggest sellers, and that didn’t come as a surprise to Bill. He explained that trends in gun sales are largely seasonal, and that rifles and shotguns generally sell well during the late summer and fall months, and he expects pistol sales to pick up now that the new year has begun.

Whether you are looking for a new rifle, shotgun, pistol, or revolver, when it comes to firearms, Bill can “get you nearly anything.” Remington, Ruger, Glock, and Springfield have been in the greatest demand. Bill wants to please his customers and can acquire nearly any make and model.

But there is much more to Bear Mountain Guns than just a firearms retail shop. Bill is a competent gunsmith, and said that service has accounted for 50 to 60 percent of his business so far. He can handle everything from general service and repair to the construction of custom rifles -- a task Bill considers as his specialty.

“Building custom rifles is really what I do best,” Bill said. “It’s what I enjoy doing the most.”

For those in need of his gunsmithing abilities, Bill said he will evaluate the repair needs of his customers as soon as possible, and then let them know right away what exactly they are dealing with.

“Shops not getting back to their customers is one of the biggest complaints I hear,” Bill said. “I don’t want to do business like that.“

First-class service and a friendly atmosphere is what Bill and Arlene are aiming for with their shop. Before opening the business, Bill worked in and visited a number of different gun shops. What he discovered was that many of these stores didn’t take the time to visit with their customers, or to fully answer all their questions.

“I guess you could say I did my homework,” Bill said. “A lot of times people don’t know a lot about a particular gun, but are interested in learning more. Some gun shops don’t want to take the time to tell them all about a gun they’re interested in, but I don’t want to be that kind of shop.

“I want my shop to be a friendly place, and I want my customers to feel like they have been taken care of,” Bill added. “Not everyone knows what they want when they come in, and that’s fine. I want to help them find out, and I want this to be a shop that’s fun to visit.”

For those who choose to purchase their firearms at the popular big-box retailers, Bill said he understands and harbors no hard feelings. But, he also knows it’s unlikely you will receive the same level of service and support that he can and will provide.

“Those places have some smokin’ deals; I get that,” Bill said. “But if something goes wrong, they are going to tell you to deal with the manufacturer. I won’t do that, though. I will help the customer until we get the problem solved.”

Taking customer service another step further, Bear Mountain Guns provides 60- to 90-day layaway, will sell firearms on consignment, and also will accept trades. Texas hunting and fishing licenses are sold at the shop, and Bill hopes to begin offering concealed-handgun classes in the near future as well.

And for you bow hunters, Bear Mountain Guns has you covered, too. The shop is an authorized PSE and Martin bow dealer, and Bill said he is happy to help archers with their setups, arrows, broadheads, and accessories.

So whether you need a new or used firearm, a new bow, a pound of Unique gun powder, or just a package of targets, Bear Mountain Guns has nearly everything you could ask for -- and it’s a whole lot closer than the “big city.”

The shop is located at 120 Dilworth Plaza, and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

For more information, call Bill and Arlene at 830-484-2100.

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