ANOTHER Gun Show Rant


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captain obvious
October 12, 2004, 07:59 PM
I think I have finally had it with Virginia gun shows. :fire:

I went to the big show in Chantilly this past weekend, and was astounded by the prices and poor service from the vendors. It seems as if, as has been the case in past shows, all the vendors treated the prospective customers (ME in particular) as criminals, and were guilty until proven innocent in every sense of the phrase. I may be 19 years old, but that is no reason to treat me, or any other younger shooter, with contempt. One table denied me a purchase of a SAR-1 because it had a pistol grip (even though I already have one). My little brother, with me at the show, after seeing table upon table of $800-$900 1911s, asked me what exactly these pistols were made from.

The shows here in West Virginia, are far more relaxed (Class III dealers don't even lock up their guns here - one told me that he didn't worry too much because "most criminals end up dead around here"), and MUCH cheaper. I've seen tables of $60-$70 C&R rifles, and lower prices on just about everything else.

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PATH
October 12, 2004, 11:55 PM
I guess that's the way things go sometime. The beauty of it is that you can spend your money where you are given respect and treated properly. It sounds like you are happy with the West Virginia shows. I would, if I were you, spend my time and money there. That is my .02 cents!

The Grand Inquisitor
October 13, 2004, 12:17 AM
I'm in my mid twenties and I still get treated like Sh*t by many of the good old boys in the firearms world. My friend and I are both in our middle/late twenties, both have jobs (well, he does at least, I'm a seminarian/academic) and both like to keep up in the weapons world, and often, we know a bit more than what we a talking about than the well fed warriors who ignore us.

Word of advice: you are young, and unfortunately, quite a few guys out there will treat you like an idiot of the next 10 years or so, but just keep learning and avoiding the idiots and before they know it, they'll be obsolete idiots while you'll know the real score.

P95Carry
October 13, 2004, 12:18 AM
I share your disgust with gunshows .... some at least. Regional factors seem all important.

I have only ''done'' three or four this year ... at one I lucked out on a nice M27-2 ... hardly cheap but fair price. Otherwise it has been almost entirely an ammo buying trip ..... with observations on far too many silly prices.

Having said that .. my PA shows were for most part offering quite fair C&R deals .. considering the saving on shipping. I did find a nice re-arsenalled M38 at one show too ... only about $60 out the door .. I couldn't complain at that.

Seems sometimes you gotta go - just to find out!

ralphie98
October 13, 2004, 02:23 PM
I hear ya on the being young part, and yes, it will last a while. I'm 24 and have trouble getting any clerks to help me at the local Gander Mountain when all I wanna do is buy some handgun ammo. On the rare occasion I go there, I'm usually looking at a 10 minute wait minimum standing at the counter staring at guns in the case before I can get them to hand me a few boxes of 9mm blazers. At the one gun show I've been to I can only remember 1 dealer even saying hi to me. Kinda sucks, but that's just another reason shopping on the internet is nice.

Smurfslayer
October 13, 2004, 03:31 PM
First, what vendors were treating you like crap?

2nd, you have to understand that the Chantilly show is under a microscope of scrutiny by several anti gun factions, to include Fairfax county police, FFX Fire Marshall, ATF, VSP and local government officials. They are desparately searching for something - anything - to go wrong, so they can go to the General Assembly to whine for their gun prohibitions. The dealers at this show know that they are under this particular scrutiny, and are going to do absolutely nothing to screw it up for everyone. I know it sounds like a cop out, but if you think they're bad here, try going to a MD gun show. I went to one in PG Co. a few years back and there were over 120 police vehicles present, and there were more LEO's in the building than buyers...

I noticed that there were a lot fewer people at this show than the 1st, and yes, I saw some "pretty average" to "pretty outrageous" prices, but I also found a couple bargains.... But, I knew what I was looking for, and the market value. I saw a couple of AK's with bayonet lug for ~ $350, which just warmed my heart :D If I didn't already have one, I'd have bought it, on the spot. I also picked up a USP for about 120 less than normal... NIB.

You said:
"The shows here in West Virginia, are far more relaxed (Class III dealers don't even lock up their guns here - one told me that he didn't worry too much because "most criminals end up dead around here"), and MUCH cheaper. I've seen tables of $60-$70 C&R rifles, and lower prices on just about everything else."

SS: I'd venture the shows in West-by-God-VA aren't as crowded too. Yes, there were some high prices, but there were some values if you looked for them... I've found regulars like Trader Jerry's & Dark Sun have pretty good prices.

Just because you get Shotgun news, and know what the distributor price on a given gun is, doesn't mean you're going to get it. The red tape a dealer has to go through to sell a gun is pretty onerous, and it costs the vendors far more to be at the show than it costs consumers to get in.

Also, just because it says $800 on the price tag, doesn't mean you can't offer the dealer / seller $650 for it... What's the worst that could happen?

He'll say no thanks, you move on to the next item.

Personally, if the seller were rude to me, I would not hesitate to tell them to stuff their gun where the sun doesn't shine, and go immediately to the next table and buy something there out of spite. There's no excuse for that kind of attitude by a vendor, and it should not be tolerated.

A gun shop was rude to my soon-to-be wife once. I confronted the owner, telling him I didn't think it was good business to have a reputation as being "rude and inconsiderate" to women. I showed him a gun which I (spitefully) purchased somewhere else, and prophetically predicted he would be out of business... Within the year, Wal-Mart killed his business.
It was Accokeek Sports, in Waldorf, MD. It may not have been my doing, but it sure felt good.

jefnvk
October 13, 2004, 04:31 PM
I am 18. I walked into a sports shop the other day, and the owner acted like he didn't want me there. I asked about a gun, he told me it was sold, and walked away. If the stores made any money off hunting licenses, I probably would have waited on buying it.

Most people just get nervous when teens ask about the AK, especially the high-end target shooter and hunting types. They may be retired and have all the time and money in the world, but I sure don't.

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