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Old August 24, 2014, 08:45 AM   #1
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Best Gun Show Purchases?

I went to the Gun Show at the Augusta, Maine Civic Center yesterday with my shootin' buddy Chuck. Didn't buy/sell any guns, but had a good time and came home with 3 boxes of .224, 53 grain Hornady V-Max bullets and a thingy made of plastic sign board that holds clay targets for rifle/handgun shooting. Cool rig.

I was just trying to remember what the best guns I've bought at shows over the years and decent deals. Here are some:
1. Older 10-22 Deluxe with good walnut stock that I accurized and shoots better than any other I've shot.
2. Used Ruger MKII, Bull BBL. Fantasic shooter!
3. Mossberg 144 in a Barrel for $75 at the Lewiston show. Worked on it and sold it for nearly three times as much.
4. A S&W Airweight 642 Bodyguard .38 SPL+P at the Augusta show. Great carry piece! Got it nearly new for $340 last year.

I never bought a hunting rifle or shotgun at a show.

How about you folks?
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Old August 24, 2014, 09:54 AM   #2
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Best would be the first purchase I made at the first gun show I went to. Was about to leave when I spotted a pristine S&W 5906. After a bit of bargaining the seller agreed to 'eat' the sales tax and I took it home. First semi auto hand gun I owned. Still have it.
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Old August 24, 2014, 10:03 AM   #3
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In 2008 Bought a practically new in bag HK USP Match 45 Stainless for $1000.00
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Old August 24, 2014, 10:12 AM   #4
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A good deal is when both parties are happy !!!

The best deal I ever got, was a .36 TC Seneca, pre-stamp, that supposedly, had never been shot. The fella selling it did not know what it was and after I told him, it still didn't make any difference to him and commented that it looked like I should have it. Made the deal, shook hands and then he handed me a bag of accessories worth about another $40.00. Didn't expect that. ....

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Old August 24, 2014, 10:43 AM   #5
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Years ago I went to one in Baltimore.

Bought a 6.5 Japanese for $40.
Bought a Winchester lever action, in 32 Remington. Had the gold sides, lever, trigger. Bought it for my dad. $600

Also bought an original 1861 Harpers Ferry 58cal, 3 band. $600.

Have sold all, and made money on them.
Wish I still had the Harpers Ferry, and the 6.5.
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Old August 24, 2014, 05:02 PM   #6
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My best buy was kind of unintentional. I went to a show and didn't have a lot of $$ to spend,but I was walking around hob-knobbing with folks and just looking at stuff. There was an elderly feller there around 80-ish. I stopped to talk to him, he invited me to sit behind his table, and we just whiled the time away talking. Must've been an hour or more. Anyway, they announced closing time, and as I was getting up to leave, the gentleman asked if there was anything on his table that I liked. I told him I wouldn't insult him because I only had $250, and the least expensive item he had was a Smith Corona 03A3 still in GI correct form for $650. He said he didn't ask how much money I had- he wanted to know what I liked. I said, "Well, the Smith Corona." He said "Take it. Out of all these people here- you're the only one who stopped to talk to an old man, and I appreciate that." I told him that I enjoyed our visit too, but didn't think it was right to take his rifle for so little money. He insisted, so I did. I remember him shrugging and saying, "Oh well, I bet I didn't pay $25 dollars for that thing back in the '50's."
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Old August 24, 2014, 05:29 PM   #7
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I can beat all of you.

Got my K-31for $300.

Beech stock, mirror bore, all matching, ID tag, 5 stripper clips (fully loaded, and a brick of GP11, and a Salt and Pepper Swiss Bread bag (that still had breadcrumbs from the soldier in it!)
Proud owner of three (four-ish) pieces of history!
K-31, Mosin-Nagant M91/30, M24/47 Mauser, Norinco SKS.
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Old August 24, 2014, 05:31 PM   #8
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Best buy was a Russian Berdan II rifle for $30.00 (Sestroresk arsenal). Someone had thoughtfully coated EVERYTHING with linseed oil.

Once the linseed oil was cleaned off, the bluing was about 95%, the bore was mint and the wood was excellent.

Second best: A 98% Polish Radom Nagant revolver for $35.00; I was looking for a Russian Nagant, but this was the only Nagant at the show that was reasonable, so I "settled" for it.

Third best: A Hungarian Femaru 29M in about 90% for $225.00. (Three digit serial number, 56x.)
As always, YMMV.
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Old August 24, 2014, 05:31 PM   #9
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Nice story, 10-96!

I bought a pristine K31 for $200 back when most of them in that condition were already around $300.

I got a nice used Glenfield 30 (Marlin 336) for $175 a few years back when they'd already skyrocketed on the used market for some reason (but you know, only 2 years after that would have been paying way too much).

I got a rough Savage 24f in .22lr / 20 ga for $150, and a nice Dan Wesson 15 (Monson) 6" for $200. Those were decent deals.

Can't remember any other great deals from shows - I'm usually the one on the losing end, getting my head taken off, ha.

I've gotten a couple of decent deals off of gunbroker.

Beech stock, mirror bore, all matching, ID tag, 5 stripper clips (fully loaded, and a brick of GP11, and a Salt and Pepper Swiss Bread bag (that still had breadcrumbs from the soldier in it!)
If that was in the last 5 years, then that was indeed a very good deal.
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Old August 24, 2014, 05:37 PM   #10
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Two come to mind. First was my Colt Delta Elite, bought NIB in 1989 for $425. At the time, my FFL holding friend was going to have to charge me his price of $540, no charge for the paperwork. Guy I bought it from must've had a bunch. He was writing up paperwork for 3 at the time.
Second was actually before the Delta, my SAR-48HB, bought NIB for $645. Was offered over 2K for it during the AWB.
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Old August 25, 2014, 08:56 AM   #11
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I still love gunshows
I usually go with a full wallet & an empty mind, but back up with a written list of chachkes I'll buy if I find them.
So far my scores over time, only one rifle.

Lee-Enfield matching numbers No5 *koff, koff* "Jungle Carbine" in really nice shape $350 OTD with an original web sling. The bayonet lug is ground off but I have no use for a bayonet anyway.

Sweet real Damascus "Puma White Hunter" type knife $120.00:

Excellent quality astronomical/spotting scope (tripod not included) with 3 eyepieces & all the prisms/erectors Etc. to give me 26X & 52X mag. $85.00

Oldelft HV5x80AT Mark IV (Aka RS4TS)
Gen 2 night vision sight in excellent shape with mount. *ahem* under 200.00.

A boxed, sealed case of .303 British ammo. $ 10.00, (actually free but I insisted on at least paying his admission to the show so I wouldn't feel a total bum)!

There's more but now you'll see why I still love gun shows.
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Last edited by wogpotter; August 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM.
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Old August 25, 2014, 09:33 AM   #12
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I haven't bought much at the few gun shows I've been to, but my favorite purchases have been non-firearms.

1. Taurus PT1911 retention holster with matching 2-mag holster. Scored it for $30. I went back and forth about it, and my father in law spilled that my wife was going to get me a holster for my 1911R1 for Christmas, but this was probably going to be better than the one she picked out. When I got home, she was a little surprised, but happy I got one that was specific to my pistol. Not sure if $30 is a good deal, but I was/still am happy with that purchase.

2. A snap cap for my Mosin. Probably paid more than I should have (by a buck or two), but I didn't have to go online to get one, since no store around me has them for 54R.

I've bought a few enblocs for my Garand, but never really thought they were a great deal. I needed them, so I bought them.
Remington 1911R1 .45ACP ~ Remington 870 Express SuperMag 12G ~ Smith & Wesson 629 Classic DX .44 Mag ~ Parker-Hale Model 1200 .30-06
CMP M1 Garand Special .30-06 ~ Tula '39 Mosin-Nagant M91/30 7.62x54R ~ Romanian M1969 Trainer .22LR
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Old August 25, 2014, 11:36 AM   #13
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1942 M1 in great shape for $700
WW1 1903 for $600

Both from the same guy
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Old August 25, 2014, 01:04 PM   #14
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The best deals are the one's I didn't get, but there was the guy selling his Dad's ammo stock from his old gun shop. Bought 20 boxes of Winchester. 250-3000 shells for $100, and another 20 boxes of. 22 Hornet for $100. These were all the old Grizzly Bear boxes in mint condition. Needless to say, a good purchase.
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Old August 25, 2014, 01:13 PM   #15
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I don't think I have ever had a really good deal at a gunshow.

I have found some fair deals and been satisfied, but never a great deal.
Not one, in 7 states or in 46 years

I think the first gunshow I ever went to was in 1968, and the last one was a few months ago.
I still go and I still like them, but I don’t go expecting to get more value than I pay for. Just has not happened to me at a gunshow.
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Old August 25, 2014, 04:26 PM   #16
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Bought a Belgium Browning A5 Light Twelve with 7 extra barrels (not a miss count) for $1000. I ended up keeping the gun and 3 other barrels and made my money back.
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Old August 25, 2014, 09:48 PM   #17
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One that got away due to my own stupidity... a pristine Sedgley 30 06 for $800.00.
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Old August 26, 2014, 04:06 AM   #18
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About 10 years back I picked up a 7.7mm Arisaka with the mum intact for $35 the stock was broken but I bought one off gun broker for probably 2x what I paid for the rifle. I kept it for a few years then got bored with it.

A few years back I put it up on commission at a local gun shop and it paid for 90% of a very nice 3 screw Ruger 44 mag revolver. I don't miss the Arisaka and I don't think I'll ever let go of the revolver but I don't shoot full power loads out of it either...

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Old August 26, 2014, 04:27 AM   #19
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No matter what sort of deal you think your getting in Australia I simply google value in U.S. and want to cry, the limited amount of importers to aus have us over a barrel so to speak, I've looked into trying to import myself and.... Well ...... I didn't have the 6months available for paper work or see the point when fees freight handling etc blew costs out of reach....... So in final answer you will never get a good deal at a gun show in Australia unless seller has a brain freeze or falls madly in love with you.... Haven't had either yet but here's keeping fingers crossed!
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Old August 26, 2014, 09:09 AM   #20
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Let's see over the years I picked up a 400 dollar python and a ww2 m1 carbine for $400. A Siaga 12 for $450 a STI LS 9 for $429 overall I have done really well at gun shows.
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Last edited by grizz223; August 29, 2014 at 12:56 PM.
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Old August 26, 2014, 09:21 AM   #21
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At a gun show late last year, I found a stack of Shilen Chrome-moly uncountoured barrels. Supposedly these were left over from a gunsmith's shop when he passed-away. The vendor wanted $50/each. I bought a .277 cal 1-10" barrel for $40. Why I didn't buy the rest of the barrels still bothers me. IIRC seems like there was a 6.5, .224, .458 & more. At this small gunshow, most shoppers didn't give a barrel blank a 2nd look. I sent the blank to Shilen & they contoured it for $45 plus $20 shipping. I haven't put it on a rifle yet but for $105 I feel like I did pretty good(?)

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Old August 26, 2014, 10:12 PM   #22
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So in final answer you will never get a good deal at a gun show in Australia unless seller has a brain freeze or falls madly in love with you.... Haven't had either yet but here's keeping fingers crossed!
Did you try wearing lipstick, high heels, and a wig to the shows?
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Old August 29, 2014, 10:05 AM   #23
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Can we manage the signal-to-noise ratio in this thread, please? I haven't issued any infractions, but posts have been deleted.

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 August 30, 2014, 03:27 PM   #24
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K31 with beech stock and tag for $89.95. It is in nearly perfect condition. I almost bought another one for the same price several months later, but bought a P64 for $169 instead. I like the P64, but looking back, I should have bought two more of the K31s instead. It quickly became my favorite rifle.
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Old September 1, 2014, 11:58 AM   #25
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Traded a Remington 770 for her and a few hundred rounds of ammo

Bought the bayo and mag pouch later.
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