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Old October 13, 2012, 10:33 PM   #51
SVO
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:12 AM   #52
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That's it, I'm done with gun shows!

Went yesterday and bought 1000 ss109 pull downs, I inspected several bags of 250 that all looked good. I should have bought those. the box of 1000 has a percentage of bullets that are unusable.

I have bought pulled bullets before, they were all usable.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:02 AM   #53
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One more thing. Why would you expect to find a real "deal" on something, anything at a show? You just PAID to get in the door to buy something. You WANT to buy something. Why should the seller cut his price?
I still like going to gun shows too. I arrive at 10 to 11:00 on Sunday, see everything first, and then by 1 or 2, go back to see things I was interested in. You can find good deals at gun shows at 7:00 Saturday (while everyone is setting up) and Sunday afternoon. I don't have anything to sell, early Saturday is out. If you are a private person who has been sitting at a gun show table for 2 days, without selling anything, and along comes someone with enough money to actually buy something, and is reasonable in what he offers, there's a good likelihood that seller is going to want to sell.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:48 AM   #54
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Good point, Skans. The vendors are paying to sell something, as well.

I never buy anything on my first trip around a show, unless it's a steal. Saves me from impulse buys I might regret later.

I don't take any trading stock along on the first round. Saves me time dealing with the 'Wachu got/Whachu want?/Giveu hunnerd bucks' goobers.

I don't act particularly interested in guns I'd otherwise drool over. The first round is a recon mission, pure and simple. I compile a mental list of items and locations and I decide what I'll give/trade for them. Then I get after it.

Word to the wise- an awful lot of junk gets unloaded at gun shows. Look over your prospective purchases real hard. Some vendors won't like this much. Don't argue, just set it down and move on.
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:43 AM   #55
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'Wachu got/Whachu want?/Giveu hunnerd bucks' goobers.
I love those guys! I can linger around a table pretending to look at something, while the "wachu got goober" gets the run down from the guy looking to sell something I might be interested in!! The Wachu got Goober never buys anything, so if I'm interested, I'll approach as the seller is walking away, dejected. In fact, at the last gun show I attended, someone was trying to sell a nice Imbel FAL for $700 - the Wachu got Goober let the guy walk away - I really didn't need another FAL (unless an original sear-cut FAL), so I let it go.

What I really hate are the "Ooglers". These are the gun show attendees that hover over you as you are looking at a gun you actually want to buy. Now, they wouldn't know a nice gun if it bit them, until you happen to be holding it, considering purchasing it. Then, the Oogler ooohhs and ahhhhs about the gun as you are checking it out, making the seller feel pretty bold about their price.

Last edited by Skans; October 15, 2012 at 09:50 AM.
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Old October 15, 2012, 10:04 AM   #56
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I've had success selling guns at a few shows and have bought a fair share but the last few times I've been have been "Why did I bother?" events.


There is often not much variety at gunshows so if you go wanting something specific that's not glock/sig/AR you you are likely to be disappointed. If you have your eyes open you can occasionally find deals - or at least prices close to internet+FFL fees. For me it's about knowing the prices of anything I might be interested in before hand.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:42 PM   #57
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I attend as many gun shows as possible to look for specific S&W revolvers, but don't like to see good space wasted to accommodate vendors selling those cheap gaudy knives, jewelry, candles, candy, etc. Those vendors would quit showing up if people would simply quit buying the junk they sell. But i'll tolerate them just to look over some fine guns... and I've recently gotten some very sweet deals on S&W wheel guns at gun shows.
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:19 PM   #58
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My experiences at gun shows lately have been that most of the space is taken up by a dozen vendors selling the same Chinese made accessories and knives as the other booths, with a bunch of Magpul stuff on the side. Other booths tend to be the guys selling anti Obama tshirts, Nazi memorabilia, more Chinese made 40lumen "tactical lights", crazy knives of no utility value, beef jerky, and some leather holsters here and there. there are usually about 4 or 5 gun vendors, which sell beatup old rifles, and the standard assortmentof AR's. The two or three handgun tables have about 12 1911's, and a thousand guns from Taurus, Glock, and some Springfield XD's. Prices are the same if not more than the local shops. Their nylon gear selection has been crap, the quality of the merchandise in general has been crap. Ended up buying the pistol light I was looking for from a local shop in the end.

IDO occasionally find good ammo deals. last one I went to I ended up with 200 .308rounds for 90bucks (old as dirt but still shoot nice), and 500 .40 rounds for 115.

The ammo prices though really haven't warranted a burning desire for me to return to this upcoming gun show. The shop I buy ammo at sells at or below gunshow prices anyway.
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Old October 16, 2012, 07:21 AM   #59
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Those vendors would quit showing up if people would simply quit buying the junk they sell. But i'll tolerate them just to look over some fine guns...
If you only had private sellers selling firearms buying tables at gun shows, you wouldn't have gun shows.
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Old October 17, 2012, 12:51 PM   #60
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I use gun shows to stock up on ammo. They have better prices (not including sale prices, of course) than the local shops and Wal-Mart for the most part, and they're about even when it comes to online prices. Mainly, it's an excuse for me to get out and look at guns and stuff. If I can get a thousand rounds or two for a good deal, well, all the better.
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Old October 17, 2012, 04:31 PM   #61
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These threads seem to pop up fairly regularly. I agree that the prices of most items, especially NIB ones, at gun shows are outrageous compared to online prices and often local dealers. However, the shows have a much wider selection of items than any dealer I've ever seen.

This is why I still like to go every couple of months. I generally don't go to look for something specific. If I know what I want, I can find better prices online and have likely ordered it before the show began anyway. I go to look out for guns and accessories that I either haven't heard of or been able to see in person yet. If I find something new I like and it seems like a reasonable price, I might buy it. Otherwise I'll file it away in my "want" part of my brain and look online for prices and availability.

Case in Point: Early this year I was looking for a good mid-size semi-auto pistol that I liked simply because I don't own one yet (only have revolvers and now rifles, but not at the time). I found out at the Houston Gunshow while at school that I love the look and feel of a CZ 75 compact. However, here at home where I can actually buy a handgun legally without extra steps/stress, they seem to be non-existent. So now I know exactly what I want and just need to save up the funds and find it somewhere, likely online.

So for all of you guys that have been part of the hobby for decades, maybe the gun show scene isn't what you want or what it used to be, but for a relatively new shooter it's the best place to see a wide variety of different or sometimes even obscure items that just don't regularly show up in local shops.

It also helps that there is an ammo booth there that has a wide selection and prices that rival Walmart. So if nothing else, I can at least stock up on ammo every show I go to.
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Old October 17, 2012, 08:49 PM   #62
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Before the halcyon days of the internet, dealers were able to charge MSRP. Sometimes, they were able to charge over that, depending on how knowledgeable their customers were. As such, a guy at the gun show could sell a little cheaper, and gun shows seemed like a deal.

That's no longer the case, and most dealers are selling at a fraction over wholesale to compete. The retail side of the industry has hit a price floor that can't be beaten by the vendors at gun shows anymore.

Add to that the fact that one major promoter has been playing some games with pricing the last few years, and most major dealers don't see the point of attending. What's left are a few folks hoping to catch uninformed consumers, vendors selling freeze-dried food and survivalist weirdness, and private sellers.
I agree about the days before the internet, no doubt. Unfortunately, now they dont even try to come close to a decent price. I have never asked a brick and mortar store to beat an online price, but I do ask them to not charge me MSRP, or in some cases, over MSRP. Unfortunately thats the name of the game at gun shows anymore. More than anything its preying on the uninformed.
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Old October 17, 2012, 08:54 PM   #63
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Last gunshow I attended (Aug) had good prices on AMMO cans.

I haven't seen good deals of firearms at gunshows in years....I go to gunshows just to compare models and see what's new in person not just on the net or in mags.
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Old October 20, 2012, 05:50 AM   #64
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It's been several years now, but I had the neatest experience at a g-show. I'm like the guy above, when I enter a show, I'm on a recon and focused. But then, I'll slow down and enjoy the atmosphere. On one visit, I spied an elderly gent behind a table- poor feller looked bored out of his mind and kinda lonely. He'd try to strike up a conversation with folks but they'd just ask his prices and then mosey on. I don't remember what the conversation was- but I struck one up with him. Stood around talking til my feet got sore, then he offered a chair behind the table. Wow, the things that old man saw! The dust bowl, a war in the Pacific, friends and family hack out a living, friends and family live and die, a whole changed world. A guy came by and asked him what he wanted for a 1903 Springfield. The old guy flopped out a price- $700 or so, and without batting an eye, the looker grunted and walked away. I made some comment about that being a fair price. The old guy said, "It ain't about the price anymore- you're the only feller here who took the time to just talk with an old man." He said, "See anything up there you like?" I said "That 1903 tickles my intrest, but I don't really have that kinda money." Again, he said, "It's not about the price anymore- how's about $250 for it?" I saw where the deal was going and told him I couldn't give a dime less than $350 cause I learned a lot and appreciated the time spinnin yarns too. He laughed, said something about it being a funny world and only giving $16 for the rifle years ago. Anyway, I beat his price by $100 and we both had a good day. That was the best g-show I think I ever attended.
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Old October 20, 2012, 06:06 AM   #65
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I think my problems in my post sprout from my past experiences. Growing up in Houston, the gun show is like an exotic arms bazaar. There's all sorts of cool booths, it looks fairly clean, and they'd have pretty much any gun you'd want, pre-ban, post-ban, whatever. And the prices were excellent... mainly because that's what people went to the gun show for

The ones where I am now are maybe a quarter of the size, and really are only geared towards recognizable names and bargain bin accessories.... all marked up.
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Old October 21, 2012, 04:03 AM   #66
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I went to our Pioneer gunshow today, actually yesterday... little difference, since I'm on the midnight shift. Anyway, I thought about this post a bit as I cruised the isles. The whole affair was kind of a downer. There seemed to be fewer tables with the non-firearms related knick-nacks and whats-it's this time. I did take a longer harder look at those tables whose wares seems to be the same items that have been there for years. Namely, plain jane Mausers with crude and sometimes hidden import marks and Nagant rifles all priced triple of what they can be had for at the local stores. Dozens of police trade-in 59 series handguns sans the majority of their finish, 1911's that were carried by folks who might have known folks that carried one similar to it, no-name shotguns that would barely be safe to adorn fireplace mantles, rifles resurrected from parts bins with gaudy high gloss cammo jobs- all insanely priced.

I was kind of... amazed(?)... that the recent words of the POTUS hasn't had much effect in this area yet. I would have figured there would be a major run on high cap clips, AR's, and anything associated with AK's- Nope. Twas still mostly the usual visitors with the usual bolt action hunting rifles, lever actions, single action revolvers, etc. Ammo prices were still where they had been or pretty close to it.

I ran into my old friend of whom I discussed in a thread or two above. Today I found out he's in his mid-80's, and it would seem that whatever liberties he may have taken in life to try to cheat time- time seems to be exacting it's revenge on the man as of late. Again, we sat and talked a while and passed the time. I told him that it had come to my attention that I'd never had a .25-06 or a .22-250. We talked about those a while, and he relived high times of taking antelope, deer, and such with grand old quarter bores. We told a few jokes and cussed such things as age and motorized wheelchairs. Somehow he sent me away with another 1903- an A3 this time. A Smith Corona. In .30-06... not .25-06 or .22-250. I'm kind of starting to wonder if he isn't a little more of a shrewd salesman than I had given him credit for. By the time the old man got through with me, I could no longer afford to even think about one of those .25-06's that have thus eluded me for so long. I guess it was still a good show, and I'll probably go back to another one in a few months if my wife lets me.
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Old October 21, 2012, 04:23 AM   #67
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My basic thoughts on the current state of gun shows:

Hmm. I need to buy a Glock 17 Gen 4, 500 rounds of ammo, and maybe some cool accessories for my Remington 870.

Option 1: Gun Show

Go to gun show. Pay $15 fee to exist there. Dodge table of genuine authentic Japanese swords used by the samurai. Consider paying $11 for four ounces of very sketchy looking jerky in a ziploc bag. Find Glock 17 Gen 3 mislabeled as Gen 4. Get in argument with dealer who insists it is a Gen 4. Dealer goes on about how rare and tactical the Gen 4 guns are. But he likes me, so for me it's only $700. Go to next dealer. Grab 500 homegrown Bubba reloads for the same price-per-bullet as the sucker boxes of defense ammo. Find beat up Blackhawk folding stock for the 870. Clearly used. Labeled new. Pay $200 for it. Try to survive the trip back to my car while being muzzle swept by people who have never held a gun being instructed by people who are somehow even worse with them. Dodge group of Neo-Nazis in the parking lot who are there for the Third Reich swag. Go home. Take a bubble bath. Cry. Two weeks later everything I bought breaks. The stock snaps in half and the Glock gets blown up by the reloads. I never see any of the dealers again.

Option 2: Internet

Bud's: $539. Shipped free. $25 to my FFL. Any problems? No sweat. We'll refund for any problem. Just have a look before you accept it. We support the Second Amendment and stand behind our products.

SGAmmo: 500 rounds? No problem. Here's a crazy awesome deal on ultra-modern defensive ammo. We're a family run business that supports the Second Amendment and stands behind our products.

MidwayUSA: Yeah, our shipping prices suck, but look how great and easy our site is to use. Plus, we actively support the Second Amendment (like, a lot) and we stand behind our products.

- Fin

Note: I am not associated with any of the businesses I named. My compliments arise out of continued awesome personal experience.
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Old October 21, 2012, 02:51 PM   #68
Andrewsmith1
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I don't go to them. Half the booths are selling knives and Zippo lighters or other junk and the ones with gun stuff are over priced. I buy most stuff online. This week I have ordered a Savage ..270 and a Mini 14 that are being shipped to my ffl. Last night I ordered all the supplies I need to start reloading 4 calibers and 1000 rounds of ammunition from Midway from my laptop while in bed. I can get my supplies cheaper online even with shipping and never have to drive or pay a fee to get into a show. I live in the city that Bass Pro started out in so I will head there tomorrow to pick up some powder and primers and I should have some hand loaded .223 by this weekend.
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