Best Sporting Goods

Bob Ward & Sons

Readers' Pick

Also, Best Store for Guns

The sales staff at the gun counter talk firearms better than Gary Marbut. When we quizzed Jeff Heiskell about Bob Ward’s bestsellers, he rattled off a list of comparisons between the Tikka hunting rifles and the higher-end Sako models. The barrels and actions for both are made at the same factory, but the Tikka rifles, which run between $500 and $600, offer a similar bang for slightly less buck. The same sort of detailed information can be found throughout this enormous, Montana-owned sporting goods store, making it your pick whether shopping for Gore-Tex shoes, golf balls or Glocks. Bob Wards: 3015 Paxon St.; 728-3220;

Finalists, Best Sporting Goods

2. REI 3275 N. Reserve; 541-1938;

3. Trail Head 221 E. Front St.; 543-6966;

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