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Gun Shows? Where are the good ones?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by buzzerd bait, Dec 12, 2011.

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  1. buzzerd bait

    buzzerd bait TS Member

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    What I mean by good ones , I mean friendly dealers,dealers that are willing to deal not make you feel like your on "Pawn Stars" quality guns, minamal (flea market type stuff). Thank You. Jeff
     
  2. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Gunbroker, Gunsamerica, and Auction Arms. They're open 24/7, you can find what you want at a price your willing to pay, and you don't even have to leave your chair.

    In all seriousness, the internet has pretty much killed the gun show. The only stuff there now is either overpriced, or junk, or overpriced junk. Of the last 10 i've been to (I go to kill time and get some exercise walking around), i've bought a couple empty shell boxes and thats it. Only saw a couple deals worth a second look, but nothing i couldn't live without or that I knew I could find at least as good of a deal on at a later date online.
     
  3. Crickets

    Crickets Member

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    Depending on where you are, TALLEND who posts here does the gun show circuit, and could probably tell you. I've had good dealings with him. Shoot him a PM
     
  4. rhett1977

    rhett1977 Member

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    Wannamaker Gun Show in Tulsa is always really great. They're one of the largest in the country and always have good prices and have a range of products for just about everyone
     
  5. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    I used go to the Louisvuille KY show. It was the biggest of all I have attended
     
  6. eightbore

    eightbore Well-Known Member

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    Fly to Beinfeld's Winter Vegas in January on a cheap flight, stay in the Riviera at about $40 a night weekday, $60 a night weekends, never go outside, Sunday morning take a cab to the airport. You will be attending the best show in the country, with dealers who really want their stuff gone, for a total outlay of about $400 if you eat cheap and don't gamble.
     
  7. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Gun shows used to be THE #1 place to go to find what you were looking for. But, that has changed.....

    The internet is #1 today. It is fast, (cheap to go to) and you will see just about every available specimen in the country of whatever you are looking for. Plus, most have 3-day return privileges.

    #2 is probably the major gun auction houses. That puts gun shows down to #3.

    The one thing that keeps gun shows going is the social aspect of meeting and visiting with old friends who share the hobby. Also, there is nothing like holding a gun and giving it a detailed examination before making the purchase decision. But shows are expensive to attend and the quality is not what it used to be - probably because the top quaility guns are going to the auction houses where they bring the most for their owner/sellers.

    Although I still attend (and have done so for 20 years), Tulsa has declined in quality over the last two to three years. There are more "camo and ammo" dealers and less top quality gun dealers. Louisville is really declining rapidly in both size and quality. Denver (Colorado Gun Collectors) is still pretty good; and, of course the Vegas winter show is still a strong one. There are decent second tier shows in places like Texas and Ohio. But, nothing else stands out head and shoulders above the pack....

    Everything has its time, I suppose. I sure hate seeing gun shows decline. But, that is what is happening. That said, I like this old quote:

    "The difference between a good show and a bad show, is buying one gun you've been looking for".

    Mike
     
  8. Mark425

    Mark425 TS Member

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    There are no good gun shows.

    Mark

    p.s. unless you are looking for some low quality survivalist type weapons.
     
  9. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I am wrong and Mark is right.
    Mike
     
  10. billyboy07208

    billyboy07208 Member

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    One thing internet gun buying has done, besides all mentioned,
    is the FFL transfer fees.When the math is done,I`ll only save at most a c-note.
     
  11. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Click the link. Private, but guests allowed. Serious collectors and enthusiasts. Big but not too big like Tulsa. Their display shows are breathtaking.

    -Gary
     
  12. buzzerd bait

    buzzerd bait TS Member

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    I have been to the one in Las Vegas in January, I dont remember the name of it but I do remember it was good.
     
  13. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Here's my gun show rant from almost a decade ago....

    Typical gun show:

    Arrive early. Usually a short wait to get in. For parking that is. Overpriced parking that costs more than show admission. Gunshow is usually held at the same time the Women's Knitting Society Doll Show is held, and they open earlier, so all the good parking is snapped up. Oh well, I suppose no one in Oregon has any right to complain about walking in the rain.

    Now we've got the line to get in. Let's see, there are three lines. Gee, this one is a bit shorter. Oops, why is it going so slow? Why the #### is everyone in MY line paying with loose change? Cripes, the other lines have cleared out twice over. Finally get to the booth. Oops, now it's shift change. At 9AM?

    Now for the line to get in. Everyone has to be checked for guns. No, I'm not carrying a gun. Thank goodness. The old geezer rent-a-cop is having trouble trying to figure out how to open someone's 30-30 action.

    OK, now we're cooking with gas. Literally. I have to run the gauntlet of BBQ grill dealers.

    Ah, a gun table. Looks interesting. Oops, spoke too soon. Someone must be kidding. These are parts guns and this guy wants 50% over MSRP? Move on.

    Here's a familiar sight. This old fella always has a table full of Winchester Model 71's. The same table full. Meaning he hasn't sold any for several years. I guess he's just displaying his collection and is tired of saying they aren't for sale, so he's resorted to putting astronomical prices on them to discourage sales. At least that's what I can figure out.

    Oh look, the Beanie Baby dealer has managed to move closer to the front door.

    Now I have to run the gaunlet of safe dealers who take your order but never deliver. My sister had to get the state attorney general involved to get her money back from one. Quickly move on.

    Make quick pit stop. Wish I had gone before I left home. The facilities are so filthy that I cannot describe them here. Wish I had used the safe of the ripoff dealer to relieve myself.

    Now I pass the snack bar. I could never figure out why it is located right next to the restrooms. People are standing in line for hotdogs that look like they've been cooking since the last gunshow. The smell of hotdogs and urinal mints must make some people hungry, I guess. Quickly move along.

    This guy seems to have quite a crowd around his gun parts. Wait to get close to table. Dang. It's all the pot metal 1911 bushings with built-in comp and bayonet lugs. Work my way out of the crowd and on to the next table.

    More Beanie Babies.

    Now a jerky and sausage vender.

    Ah, some real gun parts. Unfortunately none for any of the many gun projects I have. but it's good to know that if I ever get a Mondragon that this guy has cornered the market for firing pins.

    More beanie babies.

    Say, here's three tables with books. Let's see... "How To Turn Your 10-22 Into A Thousand Yard Assault Sniper Rifle". "How To Make A Fully Automatic 10-22 Assault Sniper Weapons System". "Converting Your 10-22 Into a Fully Automatic Thousand Yard Assault Sniper Weapon". Hmmm, I'm begining to see a pattern here. Move along.

    Ah, the mountain man muzzleloader dealer. This guy seems knowledgable, reasonably priced, has lots of inventory and accessories, and is friendly. Too bad I'm not into muzzleloaders.

    Here's a fellow I can't figure out. He is a collector. Yet he brings glass display counters. Six of them. Full of brand new guns with warranty. No 4473, cuz he ain't a dealer. He's a collector. Gee, wish I could be a collector and sell dozens of brand new guns still in the box from my collection each weekend.

    Next is the eight tables of guns from a local storefront dealer. They are selling like hotcakes. Can't be the price, because they are marked up even more than what they sell for in the store. After looking over the guns and hearing "You gunna buy or what?" from three different clerks, it begins to dawn on me that people are there for the abuse. Quickly move along.

    Here's a table dedicated to sniping. He sells sniper rifles, sniper scopes, sniper ammo, sniper clothes, sniper books, sniper bumper stickers, sniper posters, sniper conversion kits for 10-22's, sniper jacket pathes and how to snipe video tapes. Quite a crowd too. The seller is telling some youngsters about the brave and noble Waffen SS snipers who would hold their fire while old Russian women crossed the street with their babies. Made sour mental note that perhaps Waffen SS snipers might be a level above Lon Horiuchi.

    Stop at a little table with an interesting old pistol. Unfortunately, the seller is not there, but his sister's cousin's daughter's boy is, and he's watching the table. Have to come back later.

    Oh look, the magazine dealer. This old gentleman makes my visit worthwhile. His prices are pretty high, but it's amazing the magazines he comes up with. I need a magazine for a Walther P-38 in 22LR. By George, he's got one. New in wrapper. $60. Ouch. Buy it anyway. Have to make the parking and entrance fee seem worthwhile. Wish he'd sell out of his house, but no, only at gun shows.

    More Beanie Babies.

    Another magazine dealer. Let's see what he has. Lots and lots of bins of magazines for every imaginable military firearm since WWII. Uh oh, they are all USA magazines.

    And another book dealer. Let's see. "How To Turn Your 10-22 Into a...." QUICKLY move along.

    A pawn shop table. Cheap jewelry, watches and junk.

    Another sausage and jerky dealer.

    Alright! An old west firearms dealer. Rusted pre-war Win 1894 - $650. Rusted Iver Johnson topbreak 32 revolver with peeling nickel finish - $400. Halfway decent Colt SAA - note says it was owned by Jesse James. (sigh)

    Another parts dealer. Yep. Lots of parts alright. Too bad they all are either demilled by being torch cut or look like they've been salvaged from a sunken U-Boat.

    Here's an interesting table full of guns. Decent prices. Decent looking old guns. Hey, just what I'm looking for. Says the bore is good. Can you please snip the ty-wrap so I can inspect the bore? Why not? Oh, you aren't allowed to do that? Show management said so? How come all the other dealers do it? You won't sell to me because I'm a trouble maker?

    Surplus military clothing. Lots of it. Along with surplus moth holes. All at non-surplus prices.

    Table full of cheap toys made by slave labor in communist China.

    Oh boy, this looks interesting. Lots and lots of reloading equipment, much of it in older boxes. Might find some obsolete dies. Yep, just what I need. 25-35 and 32-40. I figure $20 each is fair. What? Do you know your price is double the new RCBS price? Take it or leave it? Leave it.

    A guy selling gun stocks. Do you have a stock for a pre-64 Model 94 Winchester? Looks around, slightly confused, then says his stocks fit all Winchester 94's. Sorry, but no, they don't, they are the same stock as the Win 1892. Well sonny, I've been in the stock biznuz for thutty yaars, and I oughta know.

    Familiar looking cast bullet dealer. Lots of nice looking bullets. Ask him the same question I ask at every gun show. Do you have soft cast 45-70 and 45 Colt bullets with either SPG lube or no lube? I see, only hard cast with lube so hard it might as well be plastic.

    Another gun dealer. Hmmm. Interesting Broomhandle Mauser. Say can I ***HEY MISTER YOU WANT TO SELL THAT SPRINGFIELD?*** look at your ***WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR THAT WINCHESTER?*** Broomhandle Maus- ***I HAVE A BAYONET TO FIT YOUR GARAND RIGHT HERE*** Give up and leave. He'd rather cast his line at fish going by than one nibbling on his hook.

    Another Beanie Baby dealer.

    A table with all sorts of old junk, none of it having anything to do with firearms, being manned by a kindly looking old lady. Politely smile and nod and move along.

    Table full of project guns. All torch cut in two. Yep, they'd be a project alright.

    Samuri sword dealer.

    Nazi collectibles dealer. Why are these guys always about 330 pounds, need a shave, have a tooth missing, wear plumber's butt jeans and wife beater t-shirts and have their hair slicked back? Oh, the 'DEATH TO ZOG' bumper sticker is a nice touch. Skip whole row.

    Demonstration row. Here's a guy with a hotplate and tea kettle showing how his goop fog proofs your eyeglasses. He's a guy showing how his vacuum cleaner can pick up a bowling ball (will keep that in mind when the bowling ball buildup on my carpets gets out of hand). Here's a guy selling a complete butcher shop kit. Bandsaw, huge sausage grinder, giant meat slicer, more knives than a Ginsu ad, everything to keep Jeffery Dahlmer happy. Here's a guy selling a meat blade that attaches to your chainsaw to cut up your deer. Must be for the high volume hunter. What else? A knife sharpener. Carpet shampoo. Car wash. Kit for making 800 lbs of jerky. At least walking this isle was better than going by the hotdog and urinal mint stench.

    More Beanie Babies.

    Table with lots of AR15's. And the obligatory old geezer spouting off to no one in particular, "By gum, that be them thar ay-salt wippins thet be gettin the rest of ouh gun rayhts taken away, yessir. No self ray-spectun sportsman would evah own one o dem. No sir. They need ta be banned." Notice at least he has a wide space around him. Maybe it's a plan to keep from being jostled by the crowd.

    T-Shirt vendor. Has t-shirts like "DEATH TO ZOG". Gee, this guy is about 330 pounds, needs a shave, has a tooth missing, wear's plumber's crack jeans and a wife beater t-shirt and has his hair slicked back. Shake head wondering if he's related to the Nazi collectibles dealer.

    This table is loaded with all the gun gimmicks of the last 30 years. Glow in the dark sight paint. Folding 10-22 Assault Sniper Weapon Stocks with Flash Hider and Built In Bayonet Lug and Oversized Tactical Safety and Magazine Release kit. Barrel heat shield for 10-22 (they get might hot after conversion to a thousand yard fully automatic assault sniper rifle, ya know). Ah, this is interesting. Why I don't know. A 150 round snail drum for a Charter Arms AR-7. At least when you're living off the land you won't have to reload all winter.

    Jerky and sausage dealer.

    Bikers selling Harley parts.

    Local pro-gun group who says they are raffling off a Winchester 338 Magnum rifle with a 3-9 scope. Raffle tickets are $10 each and go to defending gun rights. Ask them who won the last 338 rifle they were raffling off. Sorry, can't tell ya. Privacy and all that. Do you at least have a photo of the winner holding up his gun? Uneasy silence while they all look at each other with that "gee, maybe we'd have more credibility if we faked a photo like that."

    Guy with a few bins of gun parts and a HUGE-BY-LARGE sign that says I CARRY ALL GUN PARTS - JUST ASK!. Do you have a loading gate for an 1886 Winchester? No. Do you have a firing pin for an 1892 Winchester? No. Do you have an extractor for a Rem 788? No. (Hmmm, let's try an experiment.) Do you have a kit for converting a Ruger 10-22 into a thousand yard fully automatic assault sniper rifle? Yessir, sure do.

    Old woman at a table full of books. She weighs about 330 lbs, has a tooth missing, greasy hair and is selling books with titles like "DEATH TO ZOG". She vaguely resembles someone. Shake head and move on.

    Only a couple of tables to go. Getting hungry too. And need to make a pit stop. Figure I'll drive to the nearest McDonald's rather than risk the toilet mint aroma hot dogs and the filthy facilities.

    And what are the last two tables?

    Beanie Babies.

    And a guy who has REALLY figured out marketing. His table has jerky, 10-22 conversion books, rusty gun parts, old reloading dies, a few Nazi medals, and a rusted up top break Webley revolver, formerly owned by Jesse James.

    My contribution? Parking fee, entrance fee, bought one spendy magazine, headache from the toilet mint smell, and two black tire marks out of the parking lot.
     
  14. ysr_racer

    ysr_racer Active Member

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    You missed them by about 30 years.
     
  15. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Brian, I enjoyed your post. I find the best deals on my clubs bulletin board. HMB
     
  16. buzzerd bait

    buzzerd bait TS Member

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    Brian , Thats awesome I was reading it thinking about all the shows Ive been to, Almost to the TEE. Thanks for sharing
     
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