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Old October 12, 2012, 09:05 AM   #26
KMAX
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Two gun shows a year.

In my town we have a gun show twice a year (same show). I go to socialize and look at stuff I don't get to see very often. I usually only buy a new bumper sticker or two. Guns and ammo I can walk across the street from the show to the LGS and buy cheaper or go to Walmart, Cheaper Than Dirt, or Cabelas. I consider the shows to be entertainment rather than shopping opportunities. I did buy a pound of powder once that I can buy locally anytime for the same price. Felt kind of obligated to buy something and I needed the powder that day anyway.
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Old October 12, 2012, 09:15 AM   #27
mitchntx
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As far as supplies and consumeables go, I prefer to mail order that stuff.

The UPS guy is paid to break his back lugging all that heavy stuff around. So let him. My contribution to the local economy ...
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Old October 12, 2012, 09:23 AM   #28
Mike Irwin
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I've toyed with the idea of giving up on gunshows for many of the reasons that have been stated.

But.... when I'm looking for a gun, about 99% of the time it's not a new gun, but one that has been out of production for a long, long time.

Of the last 10 or so that I've purchased, only one has been made post 1980... Several are post WW II, but quite a few have been pre WW II.

Kind of hard finding those at the local gunshop.
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Old October 12, 2012, 09:39 AM   #29
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lets see here once, $5.00 to park, $10.00 to get in the door, $9.00 if you have the dollar off coupon, walk around looking at all the jewelry, jerky, glassware, mini helicopters, flashlights, knives, body massage gimmicks, foot care products, hearing protection devices, etc., etc., you might just find a gun that you could buy for twice the price of what it is worth at your local gun shop, i told one dealer who had a large supply of powder and bullets that i could NOT buy from him any more, i could make an order from Wideners for the same products and get free shipping for half his prices......, he just grinned as i walked away with my $1,500.00 and laughed at him, for being a "jerky" peddler !!!
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Old October 12, 2012, 09:43 AM   #30
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I still love going to gun shows. Here are some personal guidelines on how I approach gun shows:

1. I bring lots of cash
2. I never buy accessories, ammo, holsters, toys, food or junk, etc. at gun shows. I can find most of this stuff on Ebay, Gunbroker, Ammoman.com, and my Fridge. I buy guns at gun shows, and rarely anything else.
3. I have a mental list of about 10 guns that I am looking for. I will deviate from that list, but it really has to be something special, something that "dazzles" me.
4. I educate myself on values and don't pay attention to asking prices. I will offer a fair price on something I really want.
5. Wear sunglasses if you are attracted to shiny things. There are lots of shiny knives, and whatnots that will cause you to part with your money if you aren't careful. Ignore shiny things. Buy guns only at gun shows.
6. Buy low. What I mean by this is when the assault weapon ban thing starts heating up, don't buy military style guns, look instead at vintage and classic revolvers. When Pythons and SAA's are spiking in value, steer clear of them and look at something else that interests you.
7. Be flexible. This means look at all guns. You never know when you will find something you don't ordinarily collect (or shoot) that might be really neat to have. I recently found one of the first 50 Colt Mustangs ever made - sporting genuine ivory grips in 99% condition.
8. Don't over pay for a gun, but don't walk away over a difference of $50 on something valued at over $500. If its a good buy at $500, it's still an "ok" buy at $550, especially if you really cannot easily find another one.
9. I'm very nondescript in the way I dress - I look like I could be attending a tennis match, or taking the family to eat at a Pizza restaurant. Some might think I'm a cop - I don't get a lot of attention, and I like it that way.
10. I don't chit chat at all, unless I'm really interested in something, then I'll engage in a little "jawing". When I'm ready to purchase, I let the seller know that I really like the gun - I don't sit there and point out flaws. If I see something that turns me off on a gun, I will just walk away.

Some shows are productive; some aren't. The good thing about a show that's not "productive" is you get through sooner and you have all of your money still in your pocket!
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Old October 12, 2012, 10:01 AM   #31
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Too much hard thinking for me, Skans

I go to few gun shows these days. Occasionally, I pick up reloading components or a used holster. Used gun prices at shows are beyond retarded. They're all waiting for that one Rube, with a pocket-full of money.
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Old October 12, 2012, 10:47 AM   #32
Technosavant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchntx
A gun show has a lot of variety allowing a psuedo test drive before purchasing.
That, to me, is the one remaining value of a gun show. I can see great variety in an hour at a show that would take the better part of a day of driving around and visiting shops.
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Old October 12, 2012, 02:45 PM   #33
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I still enjoy going to the gunshows, in fact i am going to one saturday in Houston. May be different where you guys live, but here the show prices are still cheaper than just about anywhere else, atleast on new guns, i dont even look at the used ones.

I go just cause i enjoy them, whether i buy anything or not, but i rarely get out w/out buying something.
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Old October 12, 2012, 02:46 PM   #34
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I had not been to a gun show in several years, and went to a local one with my son-in-law earlier this year (actually a couple of months before the wedding). Poor selection, largely dominated by Hi-Point and Jiminez, with prices above MSRP when we did see something that interested us. Tried to buy a couple of magazines without success, due to rude and inattentive sellers. The only money we spent was on admission and barbecue, and we decided we would buy the barbecue without spending an admission fee next time.
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Old October 12, 2012, 03:32 PM   #35
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The deals are fewer for sure. At the biggest local gun show the best deals are by the largest dealer who already has the same prices every day at his shop. So it is fun to see them all laid out in great quantity but you can't get anything there you can pick the next week or the week before the show.

It used to be that shows either provided lower prices from lower overhead or selection of items you couldn't find locally, or saving of shipping charges for heavy stuff like ammo and bullets. Now, most tables price that back in so the prices are about the same as what you would pay over the Internet with shipping.

There may be a few exceptions now and then. Probably one of the better places to shop in person for something used, but don't expect a bargain, just wider selection and better chance of finding that elusive rifle or handgun or part. It is depressing though to see the shift in number of tables away from guns to non-gun fluff.
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Old October 12, 2012, 04:06 PM   #36
bumnote
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I only go to shows know for two reasons:
Powder selection. I can usually get any powder I'm looking for without having to order it and pay haz-mat shipping fees, so there is a savings there.

When I have a friend new to firearms and they're looking to buy I take 'em to the large shows here, but not to buy. They can get their hands on a lot of different firearms, find out what they like and feels best...and then I show 'em where to order it from off the net and save a few bucks.

There are a couple of small shows around here that only happen once a year that are worth a visit.
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Old October 12, 2012, 09:38 PM   #37
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Kinda funny but my LGS travels & sells at gun shows all over Texas. His in-store prices are higher than his gun show prices. Also, due to traveling to shows every weekend, most of his stock is not on display in the store, it's loaded up in a trailer waiting to be hauled to the next show. If you ask about a certain gun, they'll tell you they have one, but it's in the trailer, You gotta really want to see it for them to go dig thru the trailer to get it out. Plus it's going to be priced higher than what yo can pick it up at the show for. So my shooting buddy & I find out if they have a particular gun and then saddle up to drive to the local gun show to purchase it.
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Old October 12, 2012, 09:58 PM   #38
StukaJU87
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Quote:
The only thing I buy at gun shows is reloading supplies because I can get them cheaper then shipping to me, no haz-mat fees. Maybe small parts such as screws, etc. New guns at the show near me are always higher then MSR. Used guns are priced near new. Ammo is outrageously high. But I go just for a good laugh at the prices, and if I’m thinking of buying a new gun, the gun show is a good place to see touch and feel something. Then I go to a shop to buy.
+10

The gun shows in my area are just that, "shows". The days of finding really good deals everytime you go is just about over. It seems like more and more they are only interested in showing off their collections instead of actually trying to sell anything. The sellers wont budge on prices and if you tell them their prices are higher then the store down the street, you get the usual: "then don't buy it", or "go buy it there", or they just shrug and walk away. I understand they need to make money but come on!

The last show I went to, a guy was selling a used Ruger 10/22 for $250. The store across the street had them for $205, new, and in stock! Seriously, why would you pay $250 for used when you could save $45 and buy new? I just don't understand their reasoning. Only thing I can think of is pure greed.

My absolute favorite at the shows has got to be the WWII 1911s. The prices on those make me laugh everytime. There always seems to be 1 or 2 guys there asking between $11,000 - $18,000 for some really beat up non number matching pistols. Gotta love the modern gun shows.
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Old October 12, 2012, 10:56 PM   #39
Crankgrinder
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I still like going to gun shows but rarely buy anything there. My philosophy about the shows is 1. go there to look at/handle lots of guns of interest. 2. go someplace else and buy the one you like for a better price.
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Old October 13, 2012, 03:37 AM   #40
mitchntx
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Quote:
It used to be that shows either provided lower prices from lower overhead or selection of items you couldn't find locally, or saving of shipping charges for heavy stuff like ammo and bullets. Now, most tables price that back in so the prices are about the same as what you would pay over the Internet with shipping.
Been noodling on this a while. I have become pretty good friends with my LGS owner and we have talked about store vs show vs internet pricing.

Volume sales is the only thing that affects HIS purchase price. And it doesn't take too many units to start getting a decent discount from his distributor price.

And he passes that on to his customers.

He told me that if the gun is under $500 HIS cost, he adds $50 for his asking price. Under $1000, $75 and $100 for anything over $1000. 10% margin isn't much when you look at his overhead.

So as far pricing goes, supply/demand drives the price. And we all know that demand is at an all-time high. I'm wondering if gun show pricing has gone up, LGS has come down or the fact that competition has closed the gap between them?
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Old October 13, 2012, 07:15 AM   #41
9mmsnoopy
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"Kinda funny but my LGS travels & sells at gun shows all over Texas. His in-store prices are higher than his gun show prices"

Is that AJC sports shop you are speaking of? I bet it is.
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Old October 13, 2012, 08:02 AM   #42
Sarge
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Just FWIW, I use the Marlin Model 60 as a price barometer. I've always liked these rifles so I stop and look at them regularly. Decent used examples are bringing roughly $80-90 in gun shops, for about half of what it would cost you to get a new one out the door at WalMart.
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Old October 13, 2012, 08:53 AM   #43
Chuckusaret
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Here in West Palm Beach we have eleven gun shows per year at the Florida Fair Grounds, yes we have one this weekend. Do they have any good deals to be found after you navigate through the pots and pans, jewelry and other none gun junk tables? IMO, No!
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Old October 13, 2012, 10:15 AM   #44
Skans
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Another reason I like gun shows is that they provide some price validation. For example, I've been looking for an early 1911 - 2nd & 3rd year production (mfg-1912 is just to expensive for me). So, at the last gun shows I saw several ranging from 1914 - 1918. One guy was asking $2,300 for a year-1918 Commercial; very little bluing left. I asked him "how much" he said his price and explained that he knew it was quite high, but asked me to make a counter. Given the condition I might have offered in the $1,000 range, but that wouldn't have been perceived well by the seller, and I'm not looking to get into a haggling war of make someone feel bad about their gun, so I said "I'll think about it" and just walked away.

What this did, however, is tell me what folks are wanting to get to part with these early 1911's. Sure, I've been scouring gunbroker and other sites checking prices. But, seeing one in person while talking to the owner, getting his thoughts and impressions on where he might be willing to part with the gun, was valuable to me. So, when I found a 1911 mfg-1913 in fairly decent condition (still waiting delivery) for $1,200, I snapped it up. It's probably a fair price for what it is in today's market, but next year it will be a 100 year old 1911, and I will appreciate it that much more. Yes, I'm a bit of a freak about manufacturing dates and 1st production runs - it's just my thing.
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Old October 13, 2012, 10:19 AM   #45
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All you people who don't go to gun shows anymore, good on you. Helps thin the crowd out at the ones I go to.

I can walk around a gun show for hours and not spend a dime unless I buy a bottle of water, or a hot dog. Big deal. Prices are too high. No problem. I don't buy it. I don't want/need any jerky or T-shirts. No problem. I walk on by. I might buy my wife a necklace or a pair of earrings if she wants them.

But if nothing else I get to see all kinds of neat stuff, talk to interesting people, get some good laughs at some of the others. All for a few bucks to get in the door. Win-Win.

Once in a while, I might even buy a gun. Not often, but it has happened.

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?
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Old October 13, 2012, 03:45 PM   #46
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I usually do a little research online the night before for prices on ammo and accessories I'm interested in. If the vendors at the gun show will match the price, I buy. Many will negotiate. If not, I spent time with a few good friends and got to see a whole lot of interesting people.
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Old October 13, 2012, 05:44 PM   #47
Glenn E. Meyer
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Just went to a TX gun show and it was just fine. There was a wide selection of new guns and quite a few used. Gun prices can be better than the local best priced big box stores by a few tens of dollars.

Ammo isn't that hot a deal. Saw some new fun things like a Chiappa revolver and the Keltec double magazine shotgun and 30 round 22 mag semi pistol. Lots of ARs to look at and compare.

Best was that I took a Colt revolver that I bought a few years ago for 350 and got offers of 600. Back into the safe for a bit. No need to sell that nice profit yet.

I've seen crappy gun shows in FL though.
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Old October 13, 2012, 05:54 PM   #48
TheNatureBoy
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Between Norfolk, Hampton, Virginia Beach and Richmond theres a gun show every other month. There was one today at the Convention Center in Hampton and, as usual, I didn't see anything that I wanted to spend my money on. I spent more time looking at price tags and shaking my head at how over priced certain guns were. Its been a while since I purchased something at one of the shows. I go just to have something to do for a few minutes to an hour
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Old October 13, 2012, 07:16 PM   #49
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The only ammo I buy at shows is a vintage box of cartridges for display. I look for bayonets to fit the milsurps, and spare magazines for what needs 'em. A good milsurp or bargain handgun is going to get looked at pretty carefully, the run of the mill stuff is going to sit there forever. You can find a quality bargain and tuck it away, just can't find it at every show.
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Old October 13, 2012, 10:13 PM   #50
jeff_troop
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I quit going to gun shows about 3 years ago. Then this past July I went to one out of boredom. The shows around me are small and cost $6 to get in and about $16 in diesel round trip. I had money to spend and couldn't find anything that even remotely interested me.

So today there is another show and this happens....

http://djournal.com/view/full_story/...es_left_column
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