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Old April 22, 2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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What are Gun Shows like in your area?

I very much enjoy GS's & that's where I usually buy primers & powder & targets. They are part of my sport. When there was talk in Austin about totally shutting them down, it really bothered me.

There are quite a few GS here in TX & their "atmospheres" differ. The one is Fredricksburg is small but much more specific to guns & shooting. The giant shows in San Antonio & Austin have everything including people selling jewelry, candles, switchblade like knives, books on how to make munitions, toy helicopters, etc. Sometimes too much of a carnival for me! But the big shows also have a lot more of the good gun stuff that I like to look at & hear about.

Just wondering, is this normal everywhere?


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Old April 22, 2013, 11:08 AM   #2
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Re: What are Gun Shows like in your area?

They're ridiculous here. Steep cover charge and EVERYTHING is 2-3x retail. Not even worth going.
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Old April 22, 2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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Well, the Saxet show and Freeman shows in San Antonio (already mentioned) are pretty decent as to the price of standard guns. By that, if you want a Glock, Sig, etc. you can do better than the stores - usually.

I do laugh at the side show - I remember a recent show where the biggest table was for Egyptian Cotton Sheets.

I went to a show in FL a bit ago and it was terribly overpriced.
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Old April 22, 2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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Gun shows around here are much more similar to one another than different. Lots of guns and accessories at greatly varying prices. You can still find deals at gun shows here, more often on Sunday afternoon than Saturday morning. The biggest complaint I hear from people is that the entrance fees are too high. They used to be 3 or 4 dollars, but lately they have skyrocketed to 6 or 8 dollars. I like shows here, I go to them often, always have a good time when I do, and sometimes something follows me home.
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Old April 22, 2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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I've never seen a gun show here in NJ and I think it's because FFLs aren't allowed to have a temporary location to sell. So I used to go to a number of them across the river in Philly and suburbs, but haven't been in over a year. People go assuming things are cheaper, but it doesn't seem to be the case any more. If there was a specific long gun I wanted, I'd probably go because there doesn't seem to be much variety in the LGS's around here, but there's nothing I want right now, especially since I smoke my own jerky.
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Old April 22, 2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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Gun shows in NJ HAHAHAHA Never.....

You might get a private sale but they don't come around to often....
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Old April 22, 2013, 05:37 PM   #7
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In this area of Tx. there are lots of tables, and lots of guns. Very few bargians. Most guns are marked up a wee bit over what they would cost on the store shelves. Ammo is marked up to prices that I will not even waste my time going up to the scalper's table.
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Old April 22, 2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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Years ago they were good here in SW Florida but the last few years its just over priced guns and alot of beef jerky and trinkets. I went to a few out in Phoenix when i lived there just before obama got elected and they were actually good but then obama got elected and it turned into the same as it is here in FL now. My friends still go but complain about it after each one.
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Mostly overpriced junk, I miss the good old days...
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:13 PM   #10
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What are gun shows like in my area?

I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:59 AM   #11
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More tables filled with jerkey, pork rinds, and other trinkets than guns. Guns are overpriced. Same for reloading components.
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:40 AM   #12
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To put it bluntly the gun shows around here are like low class Flea Markets.
They are filled with vendor tables of all types of junk, not even good junk at that, very few vendor tables with guns and gun related items.

As a matter of fact there's two large Flea Markets that take place twice a year in our area and I see more guns and gun related items at them then I do at gun shows.
Another plus for the Flea Markets besides seeing more guns is, you don't get ripped off for an admission fee.

Best Regards
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:40 AM   #13
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Still mostly over priced black rifles but, at the last show, I noticed the prices varying quite widely. Some vendors were selling at just barely above pre madness prices while others were in the stratosphere. Still there were LOTS of gun purchases being made. I did buy a cleaning rod and butt stock cleaning kit for an AK variant I recently acquired. Plus lunch for the kids and some fudge and chocolates for the wife. Afterwards I picked up a spam can of 7.62x54r for $80 at a store near there. I go looking for deals but the main idea is being out with the family doing something we all enjoy. So it was a win any way you slice it.
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:58 AM   #14
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I used to go to one every month or two. I haven't been since early December. Stories tell me of 2 hour wait to get in, an hour long line for parking, and another 2 hour long line for the ammo booth so you can buy your brick of .22 for $60. I doubt I'll go to one this year...maybe near the end of the year just to see if it's gotten better, but I have no interest with this panic going on.
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Old April 23, 2013, 03:26 PM   #15
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"My area" is the key here.

I'm fortunate in that I live in an area where there are 3 other states within a 20 minute drive, so I can access several different "circuits" of dealers, simply by going to different shows.

I'm unfortunate in that I live in the formerly free state of MD.

I've found a lot of people misunderstand what a gun show is & then get dissapointed when it doesn't meet the expectations they have. I look at a gunshow as a specialty flea market. There's everything from trash to treasure & everyone from helpfull expert to know it all PITA.

I love the ones nearer to the big metro areas, the selection & table count is bigger & the selection wider, so those are where I try to go most. I'm open minded about what I'm looking for, working from a "wishlist" I periodically update & revise, so I usually find something. I horse trade, without being obnoxiious or trying to offer lowball prices & flexible in the deal so we can both usually walk away contented.
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Old April 25, 2013, 11:05 PM   #16
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I rarely bother with the ones here in Austin any longer. I went to the one in Cedar Park a couple of weeks ago, just because I had not been in a while and wanted to see if anything had changed. Nope. Way overpriced on pretty much anything I looked at (except maybe a few of the t-shirts) and so many of the dealers were acting like they were doing you a favor just by being there.
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Old April 25, 2013, 11:30 PM   #17
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It's still much better online

I haven't been to one in the last 5 years where I felt there was something for sale that was a better value than what you could get online.
Plus there seems to be a lot more huxters selling crap to the unsuspecting.
The screwest deal I saw was from someone claiming to be "the largest reloader in the US" selling reloads for about 5% less than new, but you had to agree in writing the count was right (an ammo box full), waiver of about 10 conditions, all without opening the sealed box to check.
I felt offering him $100 to sell me a list of everyone that bought his wares.
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Old April 25, 2013, 11:49 PM   #18
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Put simply... "Junk From Jerks"...

The last one we had in my little part of CO. was a demonstration in those panicking and those ready to take advantage of them. Of course, between the Ombongo and our own Gov. Hickenlooper breathing down all our necks, this was to be expected.

Tons of rusted junk, banged together to go bang along with every flavor of AR you can imagine for too much money. Ammo at insane prices (9mm 115 FMJ for $1.00 a bang) and the usual t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers.

Aside from taking my eldest daughter (15), a tradition for us and having a very nice lunch with her, a complete waste of time.
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Old April 26, 2013, 01:42 AM   #19
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They are the only place to handle various, unexpected varieties of milsurps, compared to one gun shop which has a really limited variety and ludicrous prices: Classic Arms, Cordova TN.

My very experienced middle-aged friends also are interested primarily in milsurps, but nothing sporterized.

The fact that most guns are priced higher than what people are willing to pay doesn't matter to a number of them.
Some of the sellers rent tables in order to socialize.
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Old April 26, 2013, 06:12 AM   #20
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Gunshows in OK are hybrids: A cross between an indoor community garage sale and a flea market.
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Old April 26, 2013, 02:34 PM   #21
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Thanks Everybody!

I learned a lot in this thread. Like I said in the opening post, I'd be a bit upset if they shutdown GS. But I see now that is not a universal feeling across all shooters, everywhere. I've been to a few GS that were such a circus that I could see it being fuel for the anti-gunners.

The almighty dollar always wins, but I wish GS were really just what they are called!

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Old April 26, 2013, 03:27 PM   #22
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Last one I went to was huge and everything was crazy expensive. Walked out without buying anything.
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Old April 26, 2013, 03:33 PM   #23
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They are pretty bad in my area, but people are always lined up at the door to get in. I go once a year just to join the NRA and get in free.
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Old April 26, 2013, 03:59 PM   #24
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What are Gun Shows like in your area?

I've been going to GSs here in Utah for 20 years. They haven't changed much. There's always the overpriced dealers, the private "horse traders" and the collectors. Sure, there's the Tupperware lady and the R/C helicopters and the "Egyptian cotton" sheets but the majority are guns and gun-related items. Range bags, holsters, reloading stuff, ammo and the like. Plenty of surplus gear and some prepper stuff(freeze-dried food, water purification etc)There's coin guys/gold and silver dealers as well.

I haven't paid admission for years. Usually have a friend with a table that can get me in. Since September I've had my own private-seller tables and have done well but it's hard to walk around and see what's there when you've got to tend a table. Having a table allows me to better trade with folks that bring guns to sell though and that's nice - you never know what treasure some guy will pull out of his backpack, zippered gun rug or other. I enjoy talking with people, swapping stories and trading/selling. Great way to spend a Saturday!

I do know that admission has steadily climbed from 6 to 8 bucks, then 10 and now 12! Folks are still lining up like it's the last helicopter out of Saigon, though it was a bit calmer at the one 2 weekends ago(April 13-14?).
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Old April 26, 2013, 04:13 PM   #25
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The last one I went to was a little over a year ago. Best thing there was the barbecue, and I can get that somewhere else without paying admission. The rest was High Points and Jiminez. When you saw a decent pistol, it was priced well over MSRP. Pffft.
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