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Old June 24, 2018, 09:30 PM   #1
Prof Young
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Lack Luster Gun Show . . .

Went to Gun show at Belle Clair Fair Grounds in IL yesterday. I usually go to restock reloading stuff, occasionally buy or sell a gun and mostly to handle guns I've not handled before and talk to people about guns and shooting.

Got there mid afternoon and it there were not many "customers" there. Even a few empty "tables."

Did manage to sale an old bolt action 20 ga. Stevens shotgun for almost what I paid for it. Guy I sold it to said he had lots of Amish customers frequent his shop always on the look out for inexpensive guns and this one certainly is that.

I picked up two different brands of reloadable 7.62 x 54R for the Mosin. Now I'll have 30 reloadable cases for that gun.

Handled a few guns but nothing there really tripped my trigger. Saw a few good prices on guns I knew the value of and a few way overpriced too. But that's normal.

Checked my shelves before I left and really didn't need any reloading components. Would have bought more accurate 2 or 5 powder if I'd seen any but no one had any that I saw.

All in all it was okay, but as the old saying goes . . . nothing to write home about.

Life is good.
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Old June 24, 2018, 10:52 PM   #2
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The only “gun show” that I’ve been to in the last 10 years that would get a passing grade was the 2017 Shot Show.
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Old June 25, 2018, 12:00 AM   #3
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Grew up around Sparta and have been to the Belleville show a time or better. Not bad but it's been near 10 years since I been.
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Old June 25, 2018, 12:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXAZ View Post
The only “gun show” that I’ve been to in the last 10 years that would get a passing grade was the 2017 Shot Show.
I know it's not open to the public but it always blew my mind that they don't allow CCDW at Shot.
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Old June 25, 2018, 07:49 AM   #5
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Im not sure what it is with gun shows lately. The prices are down right foolish around here. I think people are using gun broker as their price guide, jacking up prices on junk then no one buys. Prices well above even the local Mom n Pop gun shops. And not much of anything thats interesting.
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Old June 25, 2018, 09:56 AM   #6
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I haven't gone to a gun show with any expectations in many years. Long ago, they turned into "Knife, Sword and Beef Jerky, With a Side of WWII and Prior Rifles Shows"

I suppose that name is too long, so they just stick with "gun".
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Old June 26, 2018, 12:07 AM   #7
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The problem at guns shows is most of the guns, like 80% of them, are guns that are made today, easily available, and cheap. I can't count how many Ruger Americans, Savage Axis, Charter Arms, Kel Tec, etc. I've seen. Then on the other side, I see way to many 1911's and vintage S&W revolvers for a grand each.

After seeing that EVERY TIME I go to a gun show, in between the .454 Rossi Puma's and 9mm Speed Six's that actually do interest me because they stand out, I seldom bother going anymore. If I want to look at row after row of cheap Savage's and Ruger's, I'll go to Dick's Sporting Goods and look at them while I ask the counter guy, "Where are all the AR's?"
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Old June 26, 2018, 04:39 PM   #8
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That stinks. I went to a gunshow sat and it was great! Went looking for AR retro parts and came away with an early A1 upper for $100. What I really wanted was an A2 upper though. Lots of cool demilled ordnance (RPG rocket!) and milsurp rifles. Found a MO stamped M44 for a decent price and a NEW mosin nagant converted to 30.06. Wish i had the money for those. Lots of decent carcanos and a couple decent priced czech she rifles. Overall a great show and im proud of myself for only spending $100.
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Old June 28, 2018, 10:30 AM   #9
mr bolo
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since I also collect militaria, sometimes I find hidden gems at gun shows, but there are lots of people like me looking for the same stuff

something I do notice about gun shows, is the dealers often have the defective or not as collectable items at shows, it almost looks like they use the gun show to dump off all their junk or stuff thats been messed with, and save the nicer stuff for auctions.

almost a like a swap meet, all the nice stuff has already been picked through and they unload the junk at the show,like a yard sale.
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Old June 28, 2018, 11:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
something I do notice about gun shows, is the dealers often have the defective or not as collectable items at shows, it almost looks like they use the gun show to dump off all their junk or stuff thats been messed with, and save the nicer stuff for auctions.
I've noticed this...

Quote:
Long ago, they turned into "Knife, Sword and Beef Jerky, With a Side of drastically overpricedWWII and Prior Rifles, and a slew of ARs and Glocks shows"
Fixed it... but your overall point is correct

Quote:
The problem at guns shows is most of the guns, like 80% of them, are guns that are made today, easily available, and cheap. I can't count how many Ruger Americans, Savage Axis, Charter Arms, Kel Tec, etc. I've seen. Then on the other side, I see way to many 1911's and vintage S&W revolvers for a grand each.
And yup this as well...


I haven't been to a gun show in 10 years where I haven't been disappointed overall. I like a wide variety of firearms, along with knives and frontier replicas. I like ARs... but I don't feel compelled to own 10 of the same rifle. I like Semi-Auto pistols, which most gun shows don't have a shortage of... except almost 90% of the wares will be a polymer and striker fired and I don't feel compelled to own 10 different variants of this either. Very few lever rifles, and what is there is overpriced... usually. Heck anything that is wood and steel will be overpriced. C&R guns? Yup, 90% of the time it's a mismatched numbers beater with a pitted bore with a price tag that would correspond with a numbers matching example in great condition if you looked around and priced it. And there are VERY few, if any, revolvers excluding the table or two that has a variety of S&Ws (newer and vintage) which are... you guessed it, overpriced (usually extremely so). I specifically looked for a Ruger revolver, any ruger revolver, the last time I went to one. I found one table that had 4 or 5, none were SA. That was it!

I have come to the conclusion that it's not even the fault of the gun show. I understand prices are negotiable and the guys are trying to make money... but when the price is at a 10-20% premium to my closest LGS (which isn't known for great pricing) I don't care to even begin negotiations. Plus I know a lot of the pricing, especially on mil-surps, is posted hoping some sucker will bite. Also my tastes have evolved and are not the current flavor of society. I have my "tool" guns, and don't really need anymore. Anything else is more of an "add to the collection." Wood and steel fits that bill, and that is not the direction the gun industry is going. So for me to be left "wanting" at a gun show is as much the fault of my taste preferences as it is the vendors at the gun show.
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Old June 28, 2018, 12:18 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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I did get a good deal at a gun show once....

Found a Rem 870 that looked brand new, real wood stock. Somebody had done something to it, as it had a pinned, cantilever rifled slug barrel. I don't think they ever made that combination. I paid $350 OTD, added a Shurshot stock I got for ~$50 (and sold the wood stock on eBay) and essentially had the $650 SPS "Super Slug", only one better (IMO) with the scope mounted on a cantilever instead of the action.
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Old June 28, 2018, 01:05 PM   #12
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Cheap...Crap knives!! They are everywhere in the shows anymore.
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Old June 28, 2018, 04:03 PM   #13
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There is a gun show five minutes from my house several times a year. I went in February for the first time in several years, the non-attendance being because of all the complaints previously voiced in this thread. Gave it another chance, though, because my brother in law was down from Illinois and wanted to take the class for a concealed carry license for Florida. Only thing I bought was a couple of those bullet-shaped bottle openers. They were two for five bucks, so I got two and gave one to my brother in law. Should have grabbed a rub of Renaissance wax while I was there but forgot. Guns? Nope, no prices I would pay, nor reloading supplies.
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Old June 29, 2018, 05:33 PM   #14
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I go to gun shows without any expectations. I still find something that interests me at about every other gun show I attend. The last one I went to I ended up purchasing a very early, low serial number Dan Wesson .357 revolver, in box! I believe I paid about $450 for it. I see someone's got the same exact gun on Gunbroker listed at $695. I really like this early example of a Dan Wesson .357. Not the bargain of the century but a fair deal, I'd say.
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Old June 29, 2018, 07:14 PM   #15
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I find that the local Cabelas doesn't charge you to park your car or enter the store. That's why I haven't been to a gun show in a long time.
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Old June 29, 2018, 07:23 PM   #16
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Most are lack luster...

Every 1 in 10 I'll find some great deal or a piece of gear/firearm that I wanted to see/touch up close.

I'd rather there be gun shows, than just be limited to Cabelas, gun shops with only the most popular brands, etc.
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Old July 1, 2018, 11:20 AM   #17
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Actually, Cabela's gun room has a lot of antiques and relics showing up, usually more than I see at gun shows.
No nacho vendors though.
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Old July 1, 2018, 11:56 AM   #18
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I live in an area where gun shows happen about once per weekend. At least it feels that way. I grew up going to gun shows but watched as they slowly transformed into potato peelers, beef jerky, and $4000 CETME's (slight exaggeration).

Thankfully, there are still a few that are worth attending. Plus, it's a family tradition for me, so I keep going.

Oh, and first post to the forums! Hello everyone. Thanks for letting me be a part of the community.
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Old July 2, 2018, 04:25 PM   #19
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I used to go the show at the belle clair fairgrounds. Havent been in over a decade. Used to be a great show. Lots of stuff to look at. Decent deals. Every now and then I think about making the drive up there but it sounds like it has went downhill like all the rest have.
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Old July 2, 2018, 10:10 PM   #20
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The big promoter here in Wisconsin is Bob and Rocco's, They run shows all over the state but for some reason they are missing from the scene completely this year. Went to a few last year and after paying the $7.00 entrance fee and coming out empty handed I gave up going.
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Old July 3, 2018, 12:14 AM   #21
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I go to gun shows quite often but only find the big shows (700 tables or more) worth going to.
The best as far as finding military type stuff is the Knob Creek machine gun shoot & show. It's held twice a year in West Point Ky.
You get a good show to go along with a machine gun exhibition that is second to none.
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Old July 26, 2018, 11:37 AM   #22
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I go to a lot of gun show. I travel to Ohio and Pa. Most are no better than the ones here in NY. I go to shows farther away hoping to see something different. It usually doesn't happen. I have no interest in new guns. I like to see used stuff and buy parts. This weekend I'm going to a gun show in Watertown , NY. I hope to see a fresh bunch of dealers.
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Old August 6, 2018, 02:53 PM   #23
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And despite previous disappointments, I decided to take my daughter to the Dixie Gun & Knife show in Raleigh this past weekend and... we both had a great time! There was a very good variety of firearms, including tons of revolvers. I even found a table or two with some Ruger SA revolvers (can I say I was not impressed with the F&F of Ruger's new production?). Lot's of C&R items, most of it only slightly overpriced. I learned that a larger local machine shop had decided to open up a manufacturing FFL and has a VERY competitively priced line-up on ARs and parts. I can't speak for their quality, but I will keep them in mind and was told I could tour the facility if I arranged it with one of the owners. Most of the firearms were priced in line with reality. Obviously a little high, but also obviously no one pays asking price at a gun show anyway.

I saw quite a few fellow local holster makers, a couple of which do some really nice work. One gentleman nailed a replica of Doc Holiday's crossdraw holster from Tombstone (the one worn when he dueled Johnny Ringo). There were several very talented knife makers, lots of hard to find ammo at a decent price (not great but decent), and plenty of powder and primers.

There were still plenty of tables selling crappy stun guns and cheap knives, but I honestly saw a lot fewer crappy nylon holsters and other garbage than I did in gun shows of the past. Either way I was well pleased. I'm glad I gave the show another chance.
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Old August 11, 2018, 08:15 AM   #24
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San Antonio has a monthly show and while 80-90% of the time its mostly identical stuff and tons of AR items, I have found the occasional eye raising item that keep me going. I also know that very soon I will be retiring back to the North East and I will be limited in my available gun shows as they are fewer and far between up there. A key to keeping them fun is no expectations and that "kid in a candy store" mentality...the prices may be inflated or not as good as online but at least you can see/touch/handle most of the items after asking....that's priceless intel on if I buy the next toy or not
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Old August 11, 2018, 08:24 AM   #25
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Is there one place or publication that list all or most of the "significant size" shows nation wide. I have the time and I might make an over night stay just for something to do.
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