Gun show coming up. First timer.

Gun show coming up. First timer.

This is a discussion on Gun show coming up. First timer. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Next weekend there is a gun show in town. I've never gone to one but since getting back into guns I'm getting really excited about ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array Bob2.0's Avatar
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    Gun show coming up. First timer.

    Next weekend there is a gun show in town. I've never gone to one but since getting back into guns I'm getting really excited about this. I understand that this particular one is an annual thing, and that they start lining up to get in an hour before the doors open. I've already heard about how there are no real deals at these shows, but I'm looking forward to seeing all of the guns in one place and plan to bring a few hundred bucks along with me just in case something comes up that I have to have. Any advice for someone new to these things?


  2. #2
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    If there is a particular gun you are looking for do a little research beforehand to make sure you get a fair price. Contrary to popular opinion there are some good deals to be found but you really have to look for them. Have fun as you will meet all sorts of people there and get some interesting stories from venders about firearms they are selling.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Have fun! You'll likely see a ton of stuff an LGS just won't get.

    And be careful. Gun sellers can be similar to used car salesmen - most are fine but some will try to take advantage of a customer's lack of knowledge. If you have a smartphone, charge it up! It's great to be able to google what you're looking at.
    squid86 likes this.
    "Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way... The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way."

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    Member Array clint80651's Avatar
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    20 years ago, you got good deals at gun show. one thing I do know you can find ammo there at fair prices.

    if I am looking for a new gun and I know what I want and what my LGS charges for it.
    I go the last day about 2 hours before closing with CASH in hand and make them a offer.
    I have gotten a few for about 10% to 15 % off and others have given me free box or two of ammo with the gun.

  5. #5
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    Array Sister's Avatar
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    They are so much fun. Use to be that you got a deal at the gun shows but last time I was there I found you could usually find it cheaper on-line. I've bought two guns at two different gun shows. My S&W .40 I pretty much broke even on what they were selling for. The Winchester 308 I practically stole! I would bet that the man was kicking himself later, saw it on-line for over double of what he ask for.

    Take cash (some charge extra for using a cc) and like msgt said, look at prices of what you want or think you want before going so you will know if you are getting a deal or not.

    Have fun, and it's a great place to make new friends
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    A good deal is hard to find but possible. They are great if you want to try out a lot of guns in one setting. Like another poster wrote, if you have a smartphone have it fully charged so you can google and research possible purchases. Gun shows can be great if you're trying to find accessories/mags for discontinued guns.

    Get ready for some great people watching. "Who moved the rock?" is a question that may come up at the show.
    StormRhydr likes this.
    "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"

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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Long ago so called Gun shows turned into flea markets. Junk sold than I can list. Many are run by a promoter that make big money off it.
    They often charge to park, charge to get in.
    Many products sell at or above LGS prices. And tables littered with fake knock off parts.
    I attended one a couple months back only because I needed an AR stock and buffer tube to finish off a mutt I was putting together and did not want to wait. It took me 1 hour to find what I wanted at a normal price and I had to talk with them 3 times to get it down to what it should be.
    With the parking and entrance fee it was over priced.
    chandler4228 likes this.

  8. #8
    Member Array synx's Avatar
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    Every Gun Show Experience, Ever
    -Expensive parking
    -Expensive admission
    -Nobody bathes
    -Everyone is drenched in cheap cologne/perfume
    -$1200 WASR10s and DPMS/Shrubmaster toy-grade ARs
    -Walmart Ammo purchased that week, marked up 100-300%
    -BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT
    -Beef jerky
    -$40 T-Shirts
    -Tables full of $700 Norinco/Yugo SKS's (May be tagged as "RARE AK")
    -Catastrophically bubba'd milsurp rifles
    -$300 91/30s still drenched in cosmoline.
    -Absolutely zero good deals on anything new.
    -More BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT


    Have fun.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    The big one in Houston is at the downtown (Geo.R. Brown) Convention Center. Parking is expensive. I like the more local ones, but I will go to GRB one or two times with friends.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by synx View Post
    Every Gun Show Experience, Ever
    -Expensive parking
    -Expensive admission
    -Nobody bathes
    -Everyone is drenched in cheap cologne/perfume
    -$1200 WASR10s and DPMS/Shrubmaster toy-grade ARs
    -Walmart Ammo purchased that week, marked up 100-300%
    -BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT
    -Beef jerky
    -$40 T-Shirts
    -Tables full of $700 Norinco/Yugo SKS's (May be tagged as "RARE AK")
    -Catastrophically bubba'd milsurp rifles
    -$300 91/30s still drenched in cosmoline.
    -Absolutely zero good deals on anything new.
    -More BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT


    Have fun.
    You forgot about the table of WWII Nazi memorabilia.
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synx View Post
    Every Gun Show Experience, Ever
    -Expensive parking
    -Expensive admission
    -Nobody bathes
    -Everyone is drenched in cheap cologne/perfume
    -$1200 WASR10s and DPMS/Shrubmaster toy-grade ARs
    -Walmart Ammo purchased that week, marked up 100-300%
    -BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT
    -Beef jerky
    -$40 T-Shirts
    -Tables full of $700 Norinco/Yugo SKS's (May be tagged as "RARE AK")
    -Catastrophically bubba'd milsurp rifles
    -$300 91/30s still drenched in cosmoline.
    -Absolutely zero good deals on anything new.
    -More BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT


    Have fun.
    That's pretty much spot on IME, too. My dad and I usually go together (disabled vet) which eliminates any parking fees.

    There are deals to be had, they're just far and few in between and buried on a table.

    If you're looking for something specific, research it to hell and back beforehand and +1 on having the smartphone charged up.
    "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." - C.S. Lewis

  12. #12
    Member Array chriscw81's Avatar
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    i also think gun shows are a great place to find cheap bulk ammo. at least at the gun show you dont have to pay for shipping

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array GeorgiaDawg's Avatar
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    Great place for people watching.

    It's a pretty fun atmosphere for anyone who loves firearms, or who is politically Conservative (the t-shirts and bumper stickers are interesting).

    The biggest draw for me is the variety of firearms that you can (usually) pick up and hold in your hands. There have been several guns that I had an interest in that I saw at a gun show (they weren't available at any LGS) and handled for a minute and found that they weren't a good fit for me. I'd recommend anyone in the market for a new firearm to do a lot of research and then head to a gun show to "try on" several.
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

    “The purpose of the law is not to prevent a future offense, but to punish the one actually committed” - Ayn Rand

  14. #14
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    I shouldn't be so negative about gun shows. On the plus side, if you like to window shop, there's ample makes and models available. So if you are a gun nut that likes to spend his time looking at lots of guns, they are great (that's not an insult, either, I've been through that phase).

    Don't be insulted if dealers won't let you cycle actions or dry fire guns at gun shows. If they allowed you and everyone else to do it at the show, then at the end of the weekend their inventory of new guns would be an inventory of used, unfired guns. I did buy a new Marlin 39A at a gun show but the dealer would not let my cycle it (I wanted to check for basic issues, e.g., the action no closing, simple stuff). But he agreed to let me try it after I filled out the paper work and passed the check, and if I found a problem he would then cancel the sale with no charge. That Marlin is now in my safe, and has fired many a round since I purchased it.

    If you plan on buying, make sure you do your homework. Some of the prices are for Suckers Only, and we can all be that Sucker at one time or another.

    I've never found a good deal on ammo or a gun at a gun show; at least nothing better than what I could get at one of the LGS I frequent. As for the price of my Marlin, it was a good price, but not a "deal" - it was simply the same price he had at his shop.

    I don't go to them anymore because I'm tired of "looking," and I'd rather be home or doing something that I now find more enjoyable.

    As for the Nazi memorabilia, I kid you not, there were a couple of tables. I don't get why people want that kind of stuff, unless it was brought home by Grandpa after his tour in Europe.
    357and40 likes this.
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

  15. #15
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    During the height of the panic I could get ammo at the gun shows at decent prices. Haven't bought anything other than that at a gun show in a while.


    About 10 years ago I did buy a Benelli 12 gauge at a gun show from a LGS that was going out of business. They were asking $750 for a $1100 shotgun. Did the transaction and their credit card phone reader wasn't working correctly. After more than a few minutes the guy prints me out a receipt and I go on my way. When I got my statement I was only charged $450. Love that gun....
    welder516, synx and 357and40 like this.

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