Gun shows are becoming a big disappointment for me

Gun shows are becoming a big disappointment for me

This is a discussion on Gun shows are becoming a big disappointment for me within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Today and tomorrow is the 35th Annual Alaska Gun Collectors Association gun show, and I decided I would go to see what they had. I ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Anchorage Alaska

    Gun shows are becoming a big disappointment for me

    Today and tomorrow is the 35th Annual Alaska Gun Collectors Association gun show, and I decided I would go to see what they had. I paid $7 to get in the door, and made my way around the tables. I found most of the tables consisted of accessories, and cheaply made knives. There were some tables with pistols, rifles, and shotguns, but none of them really caught my eye, except for a few 1911s. I really did like a 1911 I found made by S&W, and I liked the Taurus PT1911. I'm really thinking about eventually adding an extended thumb safety, and beavertail grip safety to my Springfield, because the beavertail really does feel better. I was hoping to score some 7.62x39 ammo for my AK47, but no luck there. I walked out with some 230 gr. reloaded ball ammo for my Springfield. This guy there was selling a wide variety of reloaded ammo, that he made himself, I guess it's his business. He was the only one there selling ammo, and all of it was reloaded, so I hope I don't regret buying someone else's reloads.

    Anyway, overall the gun show was a big disappointment for me, as the one last year was too. Is it just me or are gun shows starting to suck?
    USMC rule # 23 of gunfighting: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

    I am the God fearing, gun toting, flag waving conservative you were warned about!

  2. #2
    JD is offline
    Array JD's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Central Iowa
    They are, mostly it's all AKs and ARs, and some MILSURP stuff, the prices on ammo aren't all that great compared to what you can find on-line or from a good local supplier.

    All the really good stuff is drying up, It's been a while since I've been to a gun show and saw somehthing that really caught my eye.

  3. #3
    Member Array Plan B's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    St. Louis, MO

    Guns shows

    I went to a gun show late last year (the last one I have been to) in St. Charles, MO and was stunned at what I saw. While most of the stuff there was as some have previously described - Milsurp, AKs, M-16s, lower end knives, etc., there was a very big contingent of white supremicists on hand. While they weren't vocal about their beliefs or prejudices (as percieied by me), their merchandise spoke volumes about their personal beliefs. For example, nazi flags, military uniforms, badges and whatnot. I suppose that from a historical perspective this stuff has some value, but it struck me wrong. It might just be me. In any event, since then I've stuck to smaller gun shops where I actually know the owners.

    Has anyone else noticed that type of thing in addition to just lower-end merchandise at these shows?


  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    only since the 70s clint. I just ignore them , the beanie baby or what ever tables , and the jerky salesmen lol .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  5. #5
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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    South West PA
    I have stopped going much now because of the trend towards crap and not many good guns.

    I think perhaps THE gun show of them all that remains is the Wanenmacher show ... Tulsa twice a year.

    At least last year when I went it was not only huge but - well served with gun dealers and not just mil surps either. Of course there will be exceptions I expect with smaller shows where things could still be like old days but the downhill trend seems ongoing.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  6. #6
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    Array goawayfarm's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Fork Union, Virginia
    I look at gunshows as a social event more than a place to find great deals.

    It gives me the ability to pick up & feel things I've read about or heard about. I also can price compare before going & know what may be a good deal.

    I get some reloading supplies & DON'T have to pay shipping!

    I also come across good deals occasionally....the last show I got a Springfield TRP for $900........good price for a like new gun!

    Deals may not be as easy to come by as they used to be, but again look at them for the enjoyment of looking around. I'm not a social person (anybody notice my screen name?).......but I feel like I'm in my element at a gun show. Where else will find so many like-minded people? sure isn't going to be the mall.

    Besides, where else are you going to get that entertainment for $6-$7?
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

  7. #7
    1943 - 2009
    Array Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    I used to rent a table at the at the AGCA show when I had my own gun shop in Anchorage in the 70s. Always did well, usually always carried less out of the show on the last day than what I carried in on the first day.

    Back then, gun shows weren't the glorified flea markets they are now. This is a direct result of the stigma that the liberals have placed on them. You know, the so-called "Gun Show Loophole".

    I went to a gun show in Kalispell today, as a matter of fact. Went in with cash in my pocket, left with cash in my pocket, same amount. Did get some free literature from an IRS protest group, tho.....

    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


  8. #8
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    I hear what you are saying...the Nazi/white suprememicist crap really drives me nuts and although I understand the organizer's need to sell table space, from a 2A perspective, it makes us look bad (i.e. lumped in with them).

  9. #9
    Member Array Plan B's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Repairs View Post
    only since the 70s clint. I just ignore them , the beanie baby or what ever tables , and the jerky salesmen lol .
    LOL - I guess I need to get out more, huh?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Waponi Woo
    To be fair, there is a rather large collectors market out there. Some people collect the WWII stuff like uniforms, rifles, bayonets, patches and what not from Germany, Russia and allied countries. Others are starting to get into the Vietnam era now. They are no different than people who collect Colts.

    I know of more than one person who collects nagants. One has well over 50 of them from many countries and in many variations. Heck, the US even made some for certain countries. He likes the history aspect of them. finding out where they were made, who used them, who they went to next, etc. He doesn't get into the uniforms and others items though. Other people are the opposite. They'd rather collect the clothes than the weapons.

    Not everyone who sells that stuff is a Nazi/white supremacist.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Texas, South of the Sabine
    after going to at least a half dozen gun shows per year for many years, I think I can safely say that I have never found a "deal" from a table dealer... particularly with anything new. I have even had dealers snub me at their booth when I was in the market for a good double gun. Good thing since I saved a good bit from going to a local dealer the next week and ordering from him. I realize these shows are for dealers to display their wares to a larger audience than they may normally have in store, but they really don't seem to want to sell much (except the Kel-Tec dealers ordinarily seem to sell out).

    I do understand the ammunition sales issue. If I were a dealer I would not want to transport and handle a 10 buck brick of .22 LR's instead of maybe 2 S&W airweight models at the same weight.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    It's not often you find a good bargin at the shows these days. The table costs alone jack up the prices. I prefer to try to deal with the folks that bring their guns in to sell/trade. There are some dandy bargins in that pool. Also, the gun shows are the best way for me to get ELEY TENEX .22 ammo. The people watching is worth the admission peice.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    There are still good buys if you look hard! I must admit I hate fighting the crowds to spend my hard earned dollars from traveling salesmen.
    So it must be unique for me to stand in line and wait while we wait
    to process paper work usually standing up.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    I've got to agree with the majority opinion here. I used to love gun shows and find deals on things that interested me at them.

    Not any more. Long lines, high price of admission, no difference in the price between the gun show and the gun shop (or online).

    Waste of time anymore, and I guess we have the internet to blame. That, and somewhere along the line people who ran gun shows figured out that they were a source of revenue instead of a get-together for hobbyists.
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."

    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Last gun show I went to had a bad selection of reloading supplies, but I still got 5,000 WLP primers for a good price. I also got 350 185 grain LSWCs for my .45 for a good price.
    Found some Hoppe's at half the price I could order it for, and without paying shipping. Got some extra bore brushes etc... for cheap.
    If I had a set of my orders with me I likely would have walked out with a nice little Seecamp .32 ACP too.
    And it wasn't a good show either. I took my wife with my and pointed out to her what different things were, made jokes about the crap for sale. Asked around about the prices for some knives (Cold Steel and Benchmade) on display.
    This was in Southern California, at the Crossroads of the West show. They did have a bunch of WWII paraphenalia, but it didn't bother me. People can do what they want to as long as they don't bother me.


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