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Is it just me, or has the quality of gun show offerings gone way down lately, while the prices have jumped?

I know, a lot of folks on DC & other forums have complained a lot that they never go to shows anymore because they see nothing but overpriced crap, but I have not generally found that to be the case around here - at least until now. Over the last few years, I have found a LOT of good deals on some cool guns and accessories at shows. I've found a couple of 40+ year old revolvers in mint condition at amazingly low prices. A year or so ago I found a Sig 938 NIB for a price lower than I would have believed possible. I'd guess that close to half of my gun buys in the last ten years were at shows. I'm sure that that's partly because I've been more interested in older guns lately, and I'd rather buy them at a show than sight unseen online or something.

Well, I've been to two shows in the last three weeks, and found nothing that I would consider a good deal, let alone a great one. Not on a gun, or ammo, or anything else! Asking price for old beaters that I would expect to be $150-$250 were more like $400-$500, $400 guns were priced at $600-$800, guns that should have been $600 were marked $800-$1k, and so on. Most new guns were priced close to MSRP, or just a little below; certainly more than they can be found online, even allowing for shipping & transfer fees.

I've got a few guns that use some obscure old calibers; .38 ACP, .32-20, .41 Colt, and now .351 WSL. I'm always keeping my eyes open for ammo in these calibers, 'cause you're not going to run to Walmart, Academy, or the LGS for it! Between the two shows, I visited 5-6 vendors who sell rare old hard-to find ammo. Not a single round of any of these calibers to be found at any of them!

Guess I'm just venting a bit, but it was a little frustrating. I don't know that I've ever been to two consecutive gun shows where I walked away with nothing in hand, and all my money still snug in my pocket. [Hmmm, maybe that's not such a bad thing! :hand5:]

Anybody else notice this happening just lately?
I've never been to a gun show, but I suspect that it's largely a sellers' marketplace.

That said, I'm sure that I'll attend one some time, if only to "check the box".

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The local gun show has 2 ammo dealers with good pricing. Other than that I don't ever see much in the way of great deals.
 

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I usually go once a year but have yet to find anything I couldn't get a lot cheaper on line. I keep going hoping to get lucky. And for the $8 admission and short drive it's worth it to spend a couple of hours checking out the goodies and handling newly released firearms.
 
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There is one here a few times a year and it's really bad. I went just a couple of years ago. In and out in maybe 20 minutes. It's more like a flea market now only you pay to get in.
 

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Last time I went to a gunshow was 2012, I'd rather use Gunbroker or gunstore than be in a crowded room moving at sloth pace.
 

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I do not go to them. In my area, you can't bring a loaded gun into the show, even if it's your EDC that you are not intending to unholster. So they have created a "functional-gun free zone," which I think is a contradiction in terms for a "gun show." I know all the reasons for it, insurance, etc. but I still think it is BS, so I choose not to play. Also, I have read that from time to time, there are undercover ATF and other LE at these shows. They observe transactions, take license plate numbers, etc. I can't prove that is true, but why take the chance? Finally, the vast majority of gun people are great, wonderful folks. But in years past when I went to shows like that, there was always an element of a real "gun nut fringe" that showed up. I respect those folks' right to be however they want to be and act how they want to act. But I just don't want to be around them.
 

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I agree that the prices have become steadily going up even though the selection is lacking! It seems to me a lot of the old codgers have the same guns show after show with no change in inventory.:confused: I guess that is why they are called "Gun Shows" and not Gun Sales!:frown: That will never fit into the mainstream media narrative though!:ticking:
 

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Gun shows in the DFW area have been very disappointing in the past years. Quit going about 5 years ago.
Better deals at my LGS.
I also hate crowds.
 

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I think it has been about ten years since I last attended one. I will only go if I am looking for something in particular. Last one I was at I scored a couple of older model Crimson Trace grips. Only reason I'm even contemplating one now is to help a co-worker who is looking for his first AR.
 

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I may go to one gun show in Indiana every two or three years. I prefer to attend periodic gun auctions. Auctions are set up so that participants can view the catalog of offerings on line a few days before the actual auction. On the day of the auction, all of the weapons and accessories are laid out on long tables so the public can wander around and view/handle every item or lot of items to be auctioned off.

Promptly at the advertised start time for the auction the auctioneer typically asks everyone to rise and remove their hats for a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance with the predictable admonishment, "If you don't feel like takin' off yer hat and standin' up, there's the door...get the hell out." When the yahoos and applause dies down he leads the crowd in the Pledge and launches the auction. People can bid live or follow the action on-line and bid via computer.

The auction may run for five or six hours straight. Prices are all over the map, with many surprises. Some bids are ridiculously high and others are so low they provide incredible bargains. No single piece lasts more than five minutes and many go in 60 seconds of bidding or less. If one lusts after a weapon that is one of the first hundred items offered they will find a lot of bidding competition but an item that is offered late in the day tends to be available for a much better final bid. All attendees must pass a standard background check before they can take possession of the weapon purchased.
 

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Went to a show this weekend. It had more vendors and attendees than last year. .50 cal ammo cans for $10, .30 cal for $5. All cans looked brand new. Ammo could be had a good prices ($.16 per round 9mm from a local ammo company). Gun prices were "reasonable", and most were being offered at discounts. There appeared to be a lot of people buying both handguns and long guns. There was pretty much any flavor of "assault weapon" you can name, some of which I'd never even seen in person. Lots of AR pistols. I got to handle new hand guns I hadn't seen yet. I am intrigued by the P365 XL as a potential HD gun with the Romeo One RDS. But it was sellling for near MSRP. I'll wait until prices come down on the XL and RDS before giving them more serious consideration.

My daughter went with me to her first gun show. As someone who is considering getting her TN HCP, she got to handle a wide variety of guns to help narrow down what she might want to rent and shoot. Many of my guns she has not shot, so we'll start with those. She liked the SCCY 9mm, but I'm not sure of the reliability and told her to let me do some research on them. Prices were consistent with the same models on Gunbroker at comparable prices.

All in all it was a better experience than last year. And the prices seemed encouraging. The only thing we ended up buying were two bags of candy coated cashews.
 
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I gave up on the big gun show in Portland, Oregon about five or six years ago. My wife's uncle and I went and the parking lot was full. They told us to go to the Portland International Raceway to park and walk back. The PIR parking was full and they told us to go across Portland to the dog race track and catch a shuttle bus back. We went home instead.

I attend a couple of small local gun shows at rural county fairgrounds. I very rarely buy anything at a gun show.

I prefer Winchester Silvertip 175 grain 10mm for my Colt Delta Elites. It can be hard to find. A couple of years ago, I was at a small gun show and there was a guy with a large display table of ammo. He had Winchester Silvertip 175 grain 10mm for $15.00 a box. I bought all of his stock.
 

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I go to a couple of shows a year just to see what's new and available. Once in a while I see an OK deal that I'd start negotiations but RARELY a great deal. Lots of overpriced beaters. The shows seem to be catering to the noobies that take the CCW classes at the show. They buy on impulse and overpay.
 

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The suck factor has gone WAY up on gun shows in recent years.

At least, the ones I attended. Been over a decade since I've gone to one and it sounds like they're still on a downward trajectory.

I don't feel like I'm missin' a thing.
 

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I used to go to the twice yearly gun shows every time they were in town. It was my twice a year meet and greet with other collectors. But that was pre internet! Now I talk to those people weekly, scan what is on the market, keep up on the sold prices, and sell a few things all from my desk.
I do still go to collectors shows, and gun shows to meet people face to face. I often buy things and arrange to meet the sellers at the show. I also order my powder and primers from gun show sellers and pick it up in person with no hazmat, or shipping fees.
I consider the admission just the same as a movie ticket it's entertainment. I don't suspect that gun shows will be around long, It used to be the only way to get your product in front of a crowd, now its done so much easier from your home computer! DR
 
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