I have only been to two,my first one and my last one.
This is a discussion on Guns shows...do you like them? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have only been to two,my first one and my last one....
I have only been to two,my first one and my last one.
Retired (traveling and loving it!)
Served in U.S.A.F.(jet engine mechanic)
Don't Leave Home Without It!
Gun shows are like window shopping. You go, and play with toys that you want, but most of the time, they go back on the shelf :(
When I lived in Virginia, I got my best deals from individuals there walking around selling stuff as opposed to the dealers participating in the show. I need to look that up in Florida to see if that's kosher before I go to a show down here.
Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.
Oh, they are OK. So long as you know what stuff is worth.
I recently went to one in north Georgia with about 2,000 other people, OMG! You need to do your homework before you go. It's just like going car shopping, know the purchase price in a store before you go to a gun show. Example, there were several dealers selling LC9 for $319, went to another dealer and found one for $299. You may think something is a good deal until you purchase it and then look around, you always find it cheaper somewhere else.
I love going to gun shows. I got a M1903A3 at the last gun show I went to that I enjoy. Just walking around and handling all the hardware is a lot of fun, and sometimes I can find some good deals.
Not many deals, but the people watching sure is interesting. Where else can you see Bubba walking around in full camo BDU's with four 1911's and bandoleers crossed over his chest!
Guess I'm the only one from AZ responding to this post. The Phoenix area gun shows put on by Crossroads of the West are mostly really, really good. First, the ones at the State Fairgrounds in Phoenix are pretty big. Sure, you get probably 25% of vendors selling stuff that's not gun-related (like t-shirts, jewelry and jerky), but that just adds to the diversity. Next, there is a huge ammo distributor/retailer (Miwall) whose prices on ammo and components are routinely hard to beat. Even with sales tax, their prices are cheaper than most mail-order houses once shipping is factored in.
Is there a lot of overpriced junk at the show? To be sure, yes. A few of the "tactical accessory" and magazine specialists are probably good to steer clear of, but you'll see similar stuff in the Cheaper Than Dirt catalog. But serious collectors abound as well as pawn shops and local gun shops, and there are indeed bargains to be found. If I was looking for a specific gun at the absolutely lowest price, no, I wouldn't start at the gun shows, but I've had good successes with both new and used guns. I found the Kimber CDP model (NIB) I was seeking for $150 under anyone else's price, and then I got a Kel-Tec mouse gun and a spare mag for a few bucks cheaper than I'd seen anywhere. The used gun situation is even better... I've scored a nice S&W revolver and a barely-shot Marlin 336 for about half of retail at the gun shows.
I find it best to go to the shows with specific items in mind, so you're focused, rather than just letting $ burn a hole in your pocket. I truly believe that the very best deals are to be made across the counter at a local gun shop, but I allow for serendipitous finds at the shows. Be prepared to walk away from any 'deal' if it doesn't seem right.
And don't forget to enjoy the people-watching! At the Phx shows we get an older Asian guy who shows up in WWII Japanese footsoldier uniform and gear, others who show up like Grizzly Adams, and others dressed up like cowboys (maybe not a disguise here in the west). It all adds to the entertainment value.
NRA Endowment Member
NROI Chief Range Officer
I've got decent deals. I remember buying my first XD there for $359 brand new. This was maybe 2005-2006.
Picked up a Gen 4 Glock 17 a couple of weeks ago for $399. Obviously this was used!
Got some decent prices 7.62x39 one time.
But yes, there is a lot of stuff that is just way over priced. Particularly used guns. Especially when the next row over has the same gun brand new for less.
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i like going just to look,prices are too high to buy anything though..
I try to hit one at least once a year. I like seeing whats out there and if I can find a good deal or not. Usually not but I enjoy looking. My dad used to take me when I was younger and tell me about different guns that interested me so I like to go with him cause its something we both enjoy. I can honestly say that I have never purchased a firearm at one though which surprises me.
Here in Wisconsin 20 years ago they were great. Now they are events put on by a promoter. Reminds me of a used car sales man on payday.
They charge you to park they charge you to get in. On top of that they are more anti gun as far as CC or open carry than the libs across town.
Lots of tables of junk, lot of parts for conversions some good some cheap. All of it can be purchased all over now with out paying to get in.
Good shaped used Weapons mostly over priced. Worn out used ones over priced. Price on anything else can be had or beaten at a local shop with out paying to park or get in.
On the slim chance a vendor has something you need chance are they also have an online site you can order it from. Without paying to park or get in.
Point made I guess I see no reason to pay to park or get in to buy what I can buy all over the place.
Rocko your a con IMO.
I find great deals on concealed carry badges and Nazi momentos at gun shows. Guns, not so much.
(so I rarely go)
I quit going to the woodworking shows for many of these same reasons. Got some good deals on accessories, but the crowds and the incessant noise was not to my taste. The shows are heavily promoted and it seems that about 10 years ago they quit being interesting. Maybe it's just me.