Gun shows and gun deals?


September 16, 2004, 08:23 PM
My father and I are going to our first gun show. I don't know what to expect but I hear some people get very good deals. We're from Massachusetts and the gun show is in New Hampshire. A couple of points of interest: can I buy a gun in New Hampshire if I'm not a resident, and if so, are guns really sold at a good price? Meaning specifically, the Sig 220. Thanks.


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Gary Brommeland
September 16, 2004, 08:37 PM
Hi Laura,

Gun laws vary quite a bit from state to state, so I would be cautious in dealing with interstate transactions.

Federal law prohibits the sale of a handgun to a non-resident.

Federal law allows the sale of long guns to non-residents, but your home state and/or the state in which you intend to purchase a firearm may not.

To be safe, I would get a copy of a local dealers FFL (Federal Firearms License) and have the out of state dealer ship the firearm to them, thereby guaranteeing total compliance with all federal, state and local laws. The FFL holder will usually charge a fee for this (it's called a "transfer") - usually $25 tp $50 (but be sure to agree upon the amount beforehand).

Gun shows can be a blast. Have a great time, but be careful - people who are really into guns often use them as a place to dump a "turkey" (a gun that has mechanical problems) on a stranger.

Good Luck!

Ps. FWIW, a Sig P-220 is my all time favorite defensive handgun. Great choice!

September 16, 2004, 08:43 PM
Thanks for the info, Gary. We'll be traveling for an hour so I don't want to get a lemon, because I won't know where to turn. The Sig 220 will be for my father -- a gift from me to him. Hopefully, I can find a good deal within my own state.

September 16, 2004, 08:54 PM
The thing about gun shows is that the show itself is only as good as the quality of the vendors and the people that frequent it.

I've been to the gun show both as a visitor and as an exhibitor.

The exibitors first priority is to pay for the tables, if they cant make money they're not going to go back and do the show again. That and making sure nothing walks off the table.

Some are flexible, some are just plain retarded, and some people just dont want to sell anything less than a 15% markup.

Also, the statistic that 95% of the vendors at a gunshow dont have FFL's is right because 25% of the tables in the room are BBQ grill dealers, timeshare salesmen, beanie babie collectors, BDU vendors and tons of crap that has nothing to do with guns or are slightly gun related at best.

You'll figure it out.

September 16, 2004, 08:58 PM
Maybe I can pick up a decent pair of grips and some more powerful ear protection.....

September 16, 2004, 09:45 PM
It would be good to know the value of what you're shopping for. The prices can vary widely from MSR and from table to table. Most if not all items will be sold "buyer beware." Eat some jerky and have a great time!

September 16, 2004, 10:02 PM
You should be able to buy a gun from a private person without any trouble. Be careful on the trip back! MA has a mandatory one-year sentence for bringing an unregistered gun into MA, so don't get caught speeding or something.

Old Dog
September 16, 2004, 10:31 PM
Can't speak for the New England area, but here in Washington state we have some pretty decent shows ... strongly recommend perusing your Schwing's and Fjerstad's Blue Book before going, know the values! -- and make sure you know what to look for as far as condition of the guns while knowing what you're talking about. Savvy table folks can spot a mark real easily ...

I agree with Gary B. -- knowledgeable gun owners know how to dump off a lemon or a POS at gun shows (I will admit I've been a victim) ...

September 16, 2004, 11:47 PM
Gun shows are a good place to see guns,gadgets and gear first hand.

Your local gun shop is a better place to actualy buy a gun,IMHO.
Not only do I like to support a local dealer 99.9% of the time,you dont take a chance of running afoul of ATF regs,and a better chance of getting a good,reliable firearm.

that said,I hope you enjoy the show and come away with the deal of the day! :)

September 17, 2004, 06:02 AM
Don't count on finding a great deal at a gunshow. That way if you do happen to run up on one it will be a suprise instead of a disappointment.
And NO, neither thru a dealer or private sales can you legaly purchase a handgun from someone who doesn't reside in your state unless the deal goes thru a FFL in your state handling the transfer.
You do get to see and possibly handle many different models on the market, but research the price and availability of your chosen model before you attend. Then you would know if the deal is worth the trouble and expense needed to eventually get it home.
Find a local FFL who will do the transfer reasonably and get a copy of his signed FFL to take with you to the show just in case you run up on a deal and you will be all set. You won't get to take it home with you, but it will then be shipped to the dealer who gave you the FFL.

As aways, BUYER BEWARE! Know exactly what you are looking at and what to look for. If you don't then make sure you have someone you can trust who does know. Minor problems can become major headaches when you find the dealer you bought from could be hard to catch up with if yo need him/her. Some dealers attend many shows and it could be difficult catching them in their shop, especially if they are not local.

September 17, 2004, 07:42 PM
I've saw some really outrageously priced weapons at guns shows and some really good bargins.

The last two gun shows i attended this year i bought:

A pair of new in the package Hogue goncolo alves grips for a S&W J frame for $20.00.

Two pairs of Taurus wood grips in nice condition. One pair was the checkered target grips and the other pair was the compact target style. I gave $10.00 for both pair.

A pair of nib Packmayer compact grips for a Charter Arms for $4.00.

A pair of nib Packmayer compact grips for a Taurus 605. I had to give $15.00 for them but i really wanted them and it was still cheaper than mail order.

A blued 4" Ruger Security Six in very nice condition for $150.00.

September 17, 2004, 08:28 PM
Laura. There is a gun show in Malborgh Ma Sept 25 & 26. Call 508-460-0700 for details. I know some types of handguns cannot be shipped to Mass. Check out four seasons web site gives a list. Also they have some good deals on handguns. Plus they will do all the paperwork there.

September 17, 2004, 08:38 PM
Laura I just check the four seasons web site they have a new P220m .45acp for $686 Not sure if this is a good price.

September 17, 2004, 08:52 PM
1. Know how much a fair price for something is. By fair, I don't mean fair for you, but both for you and the dealer. Last show I went with the intent to price Springfield GI pistols, NIB ranged from $389 to $550.

2. Know what you want, you'll find a lot of junk being peddled off as something similiar to it. I don't know how many Yugo Mauser bayonettes being sold off as authenticc German K98 bayonets. Unfortunate for the guys buying the bayonet, as it isn't what they think it is, and unfortunate for me, because the bayonet is priced way higher than it should be

3. Most importantly, Have Fun :D (and do try the food!)

September 17, 2004, 10:14 PM
Like someone already said, our local gunshows have the same people selling fudge and coin collections every time. We also have tables selling used firearms for higher than used prices. Mostly, it's a great place to be around other "gun people" and MAYBE find a good deal. Good luck!

September 18, 2004, 01:24 AM
Gun shows are a good place to see guns,gadgets and gear first hand.


The only reason I pay the outrageous $12 admission fee is to be able to see how a certain gun that I've been reading about online feels in real life. If it's acceptable in-person, then it's a quick trip to the local dealer for an order at 5% above cost. :D
As for buying at the gun show.....:rolleyes:

September 18, 2004, 09:24 AM
Most advice given about buying at gunshows and seeing greater prices of local dealers usually apply to new guns. The gunshow does give you the opportunity to possibly see the older out of production models that don't show up in your area. There is where they can be a gold mine.
Get to know some of the dealers. Most love to talk if they have the time. They can look out for certain models for you and bring them for the next show. I have a few dealers who do me that favor.

September 18, 2004, 01:25 PM
Gary, Gary, Gary.....Your holster work is flawless...some would call it art work...Your fit and finish are what I strive to equal with every holster I make...


SIG?? SIG!!! :what:


WAY to much glue today..:neener:

September 18, 2004, 02:27 PM
Maybe it's too late but I thought I'd respond anyways. You will occasionally find a good deal at a gun show. Rare, but it does occur. I've been to shows in NH also. I've noticed myself and been told by others that the closer the shows get to Mass, the higher the prices are likely to be. The Concord and Seabrook shows I've noticed this especially. The dealer count on the folks from Mass. to pay the higher asking prices. As told to me, they count on the "Mass money". Typically, they have higher wages so they'lll willingly spend more, especially since there's so many guns they cannot get in the Commonwealth now.
I use gun shows to see and handle potental purchases then simply make the actual purchase from my local shop. Better price and I help the local guy.

The Manchester, NH is in Oct and is usally fairly good. I'm hoping to make it.

September 18, 2004, 03:24 PM
Alas I have yet to find one. I usually get bulk ammo from Georgia arms and a few mags. Never see much else worth the $$. It IS fun to look though.:)

Gary Brommeland
September 18, 2004, 07:38 PM
"SIG?? SIG!!!


Hey Dave,
Thanks for your kind remarks regarding my work. As far as my Sig fetish goes, what's wrong w/ my P-220? It works every time and is superbly accurate. It does take some time/training/effort to master that DA first round, but it can be done.

However, just so you don't think that I'm a total lost cause, my daily carry piece is usually a 5" 1911 - it conceals much better than the 220.

September 18, 2004, 08:43 PM
Your very welcome..

<However, just so you don't think that I'm a total lost cause, my daily carry piece is usually a 5" 1911 - it conceals much better than the 220.>

AHHH now that is more like it!:D

Nothing wrong with the Sig P220...Well nothing that trading one in on another 1911 or a Springy Xd-9 wouldnt fix... :neener:

September 19, 2004, 08:47 AM
That was the worst show I've ever been to!! One guy had a glock 30 for 685$ *** is that??

September 19, 2004, 08:58 AM
That was the worst show I've ever been to!!

What show was it?

At the Seabrook, NH show, one particualr dealer (from MA) had most of his stuff priced at or above suggested retail. His sales pitches were absolute comedy. Told one prospective buyer that the .22 he was looking at wasn't any good for him 'cause he was a big guy and needed a big gun (hands him a .44 ) This was to be the gentleman's first handgun and this jack@$$ hands him a .44 mag!? Made a mental note of it and who it was and will never even bother to look at his wares again. Some dealers are just in business to pray on the uninformed.

September 19, 2004, 02:52 PM
The show I am refering to was in concord NH but I'm sure the same dealers were at both.

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