1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Typical Gun Show

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Mar 22, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,251
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    I wrote this gun show rant quite a few years ago after attending the Portland Expo Gun Show. It's been posted here before, but several years ago. Thought we could use some levity.

    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 gauntlet 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 vendor.

    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 beginning 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.
     
  2. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,649
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    You went to the range after that, right?

    HM
     
  3. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,054
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Brian:

    It sounds like the last gun show I attended at the KY State Fair Grounds in Louisville, KY. The basic difference would be to replace the beanie baby dealers with tables full of overpriced gun cleaning supplies.

    The best action seems to be in the parking lot between private individuals. One casual friend bought a Springfield Armory 1911 style .45 and two magazines for $250. I advised him to have the police check the numbers to be sure that the gun was not reported stolen.

    While at the show, there was a guy dressed in a very authentic looking Nazi uniform. I think that he was auditioning for a new Mel Brooks movie.

    To me, the most common activity is vendors loading up unsold, overpriced merchandise on the last day of the show.

    There was one table run by two brothers that were liquidating their deceased father's collection of about 30 big game rifles and Browning humpback shotguns. I almost bought a 12 gauge skeet gun with a Cutts compensator on it. The deceased father must have hunted Alaska and Canada because he had several .338 Win mag rifles and a .444 Marlin lever gun. The boys sold out quickly, mostly to other dealers.

    I used to get some good deals back in the 1980's at gun shows but I have just about given up on them.

    Ed Ward
     
  4. WesleyB

    WesleyB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,484
    Perfect description.
     
  5. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,965
    I feel if the people having the show would just do the right thing and keep the flee market crap out and have only guns they would in time do better. No none gun stuff, just gun related items. It will work if they are willing to do so. I to am tired of all the junk that is now in gun shows.
     
  6. david636

    david636 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Very funny, very accurate. Great post!
     
  7. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,939
    Great thread Brian. I haven't been to a gun show in ages, but that's how I remember it.

    I enjoy going to gun auctions and watching the uninformed bid on guns. I take notes and call my insurance guy to up the value of my collection. Lol.

    ss
     
  8. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,482
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Very funny and well-written, Brian. But not the usual gun show experience in these parts. I go to almost every one nearby and that's at least one a month. There is only one place - the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex - where there is a charge for parking and even there, the magazine and sausage vendors are few in number. Many are smaller shows held by gun clubs and fire companies.

    The one I like best is held at the East Berlin Fish & Game Association - I may as well plug them - where they host one in the spring and one around Labor Day. Admission usually is $3 and their shows attract a lot of non-dealers selling their collections. Nobody is hawking their wares; just a bunch of mostly older gents sitting behind a table displaying their guns. In a rural area like that, there apparently are a lot of guys who invested in new guns, often Remingtons, years ago and are now cashing in on those investments. Finding rifles and shotguns truly new in their boxes is commonplace and I don't believe I've ever left one of their shows without a very desirable gun.

    I would only attend a show like the one you described once.

    Ed
     
  9. EE

    EE Banned User Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    540
    I sell a few guns at gun shows, and I agree 100% with Brian's post.

    EE
     
  10. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,364
    Location:
    Prairie State
    Brian... bring's bad back many a painful memory! (lol) nice job!

    Jay
     
  11. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,722
    jcl I have attended many HAMFESTS w/father now deceased, we they used to have a hidden transmitter hunt at the show. The biggest one I attended was in Dayton, Ohio, I used to go with dad to Universal Service owned by Gibby in a wheelchair.

    The Car hidden transmitter hunts were our favorite, rule were you had to stay in the County, you could see the HAMS driving around with an LOOP out the drivers windaw and rotating for best signal, and note the direction on the county map. get 2 or 3 directions and where they criss-crossed we headed there, and VOILA there he was. This is from the 50s and 60s. W8KVV was his call letters.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  12. hoffman06

    hoffman06 Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    482
    Location:
    Marcola Oregon
    There is a lot of truth here but at least we can still go to a Gun Show, for now.
    Carey
     
  13. EE

    EE Banned User Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    540
    At the gun show I was at this past weekend, on the table at the front door was a big jug full of assorted loaded cartridges. A sign on it read "Taken from UNLOADED guns."

    A couple months ago at a show, some idiot fired a blank in the building, for some stupid reason. He's lucky he got out without getting his ass beat.

    EE
     
  14. whiz-bang

    whiz-bang Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    841
    Well Brian if you don't like the format of the gun show why would you go? I understand your frustration and you apparently been to theses shows before and know there not very good so why go? You can normally determine if a gun show is good by the promoter and never attend his shows.

    If you desire to attend only good shows you will have to travel. Go to trophy shows there always good.

    I attend many shows some the best some not. The best and coming up in two weeks Tulsa. Have tables on lower end I do both spring and fall show nine hour drive. In January Kansas city trophy show six hour drive. February Sioux falls South Dakota trophy show and another smaller one in march three hour plus drive. I do very well at these shows buying and selling. And yes there is a table or two selling sausage nuts and other goodies and tasty snacks.

    As far as vendors selling Nazi items just about all quality shows have them. I collected and sold Nazi daggers and items at many shows for 28 years and have yet to come across any dealers or collectors as you describe. I sold my collection four years ago and i have the up most respect for my former dealer collector friends.

    I now collect Winchester and Remington 22 rifles,Ammo,shooting gallery and related items and learned a long time ago to find the good stuff you go to the good shows not ones that have flea market items mixed in.
     
  15. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,482
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    I went to the Cabela's in Hamburg, PA two years ago to buy a bolt-action .243 for our daughter that they had advertised. The clerk took a rifle from the display rack that another shopper had just handed back to him and handed it to me - there was no trigger lock on it and the clerk never opened the action! Luckily, it was empty but...

    Ed
     
  16. Steve W

    Steve W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,118
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Where are those $3 and $5 gun shows? We paid $13~14 for shows here in S. CA.
     
  17. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,715
    Exactly why I don't go any more. At one I found a pistol magazine at a decent price sitting on a vendor's table. I picked it up and said "I'll take this." As I was reaching for my wallet the guy grabs it out of my hand and says "That's not supposed to be out there" and quickly sticks it under the table. He must have forgotten to mark it up 600%.
     
  18. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,482
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Steve, there's one almost every weekend within 50 miles of my home in south-central Pennsylvania. I often skip the "big" shows because you do find more "junk" vendors at them as well as a higher percentage of "black gun" vendors. The smaller ones at fire companies and gun clubs are the best for quality guns in great condition.

    I left the 2009 spring show at that gun club I mentioned earlier with a blued Remington 700BDL/DM with an "enhanced" (engraved) receiver in .270 Winchester. Detachable magazines are no longer offered in BDLs and BDLs had engraved receivers only in 1997-2001. At their fall show, I bought a Remington 700VLS in 6mm Remington with a 26" barrel. The 6mm Rem is a super long-range/windy day varmint round and is not offered in many Model 700s any more. Also, many VLSs have 24" barrels. Both guns were new in their boxes and being sold by private parties. I felt that the price I paid for each - $600 - was fair for both parties.

    Ed
     
  19. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,645
    whiz bang you have to understand that brainoforeegon is smarter than every one else, he knows everything except trapshooting.
     
  20. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    5,419
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Sounds kinda familiar....most of the time there are no trapguns...not much in the way of high grade anything and there's always one guy with a couple of low end Parker's, Fox's and L.C. Smiths who prices them like thy're Purdey's and Hollands.....so I don't go much anymore...
     
Similar Threads
  1. maclellan1911
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    582
  2. JZ
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    1,471
  3. 27hotrod
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    1,187
  4. Brian in Oregon
    Replies:
    13
    Views:
    2,435
  5. Beni
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    2,761
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.