Gun Show


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dandamien
October 8, 2006, 02:49 AM
I'm new to shooting and I plan on purchasing my first weapon here in the next week or two. I'm heading out to a gun show tomorrow and I wanted to see if anyone has any advice on what to look for or stay away from buying at these gun shows. I'm going to the crossroads of the west gun show in Del Mar, CA.
I'm also new to this site and everyone has been really well informed and helpful, so I thought I'd see if you guys have any thoughts or sugesstions about these gun shows. Thanks again.
Dan

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SigfanUSAF
October 8, 2006, 10:01 AM
I wanted to see if anyone has any advice on what to look for or stay away from buying at these gun shows.

Advice? When I go to a gunshow, say looking for a good deal on the P225 I've been wanting for some time now, I always leave with $4-500 in damn gunparts instead. Barrels, stocks, slides, grips. They yell at me as I walk by, "Hey buddy, I have a mint bore", or "Come on, you NEED another spare G3stock set", or, the worst "You know you Want another set of Nills, I'll look great on that P220". They will get ya, beware.
Stay focused, have goals, go early.

Glockfan.45
October 8, 2006, 10:06 AM
Take cash and only what you can afford to spend. Leave the checks, credit cards, deed to your house at home. I have a hard time going to a gun show (or gun store for that matter) without buying something. I always think gee I could use some more mags for my AK, or hey that 10/22 stock looks sweet. Worse yet sometimes its "I wonder what that gun feels like in my hand?" tends to turn into "I wonder how I am gonna sneak this past the wife".

statelineblues
October 8, 2006, 10:20 AM
My advice - DON'T buy your first gun at a gun show.

I would suggest you look over what these people have on display, ask questions, compare prices (go to the websites of gun manufacturers - many of these will give you the MSRP of their products & TAKE THIS INFO WITH YOU!), but I really think your first purchase should be made at a local, established gun store. If you really want to get something, bring along a freind who is very knowledgable about guns.

I've seen too many dealers at these shows trying to offload junk on any unsuspecting person that shows even a slight interest in their stuff.

Go, enjoy yourself; I always like prawling around the tables and checking out all the neat stuff. Use it as another way to gather information, meet people, etc.

2TransAms
October 8, 2006, 10:29 AM
Take cash only.That way you stick to your limit.

Know what you want.That way you don't blow your cash on jerky,sunglasses,Chinese knives and questionable AR15 magazines. Three of those four you can get at Wal-mart. Don't be afraid to ask for a lower price,or to try and get a better deal if you're trading.Worst they can do is say no,if they get pissy I tell 'em thanks and walk away.

eta:You may be better off buying your first gun at a gunshop,or full-service range where you can rent some before making the choice of which one to buy.If you buy one and don't like it you'll eat the cost of rentals when you trade it in anyway.

GlockFan,did you make it to Belleville yesterday?

The Lone Haranguer
October 8, 2006, 10:49 AM
I'm new to shooting and I plan on purchasing my first weapon here in the next week or two.
In your position, I suggest buying a new firearm from an established dealer whose store is in reasonable proximity to your home. Reason one: a new firearm (which will have a factory warranty) from a dealer will give you a degree of recourse if there is a problem, which will not be the case with a private seller. Reason two: you will have to travel to the store (after the 10-day wait) to pick the firearm up. Even some dealers come from 100 miles away or more.

XavierBreath
October 8, 2006, 11:28 AM
It's difficult to not get taken at a gun show if you are new to guns. Heck, it's sometimes difficult if you are extremely familiar with 'em! Gun shows are great for finding older used guns and for fondling new ones. The prices on new guns are pretty much the same as in gun stores, and are not very negotiable.

I agree, for your first gun, go to an established dealer near your home and build a rapport. Be a repeat customer. Buy your ammo there. Use the gun show to familiarize yourself with different guns and prices, and to help you decide what you want/can afford. Write down the make and model. Your dealer can then order it for you. You might even come out paying less on a new gun!

Xavier's Gun Show Rules (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2005/10/xaviers-gun-show-rules.html)

knuckles
October 8, 2006, 11:53 AM
Many times I find that even after shipping and transfer fee online deals can, at times, be the best. Exhaust all of your resources before you buy anything anywhere. When you've done all your research, you'll know a good deal when you see it...

dandamien
October 8, 2006, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the info. I have a dealer picked out not too far from home when I'm ready with the gun purchase. I appreciate the advice. I'm planning on just cruising around the gun show for the experience and to just check it out. I was just curious to see if they have certain items that are always best to pick up there or things that are good to steer clear of.
As always its good to get your guys' take on it. Thanks again and if anyone else has any advice, the more info the better.
Dan

FTF
October 8, 2006, 10:15 PM
I agree to avoid purchasing guns at a gun show unless you know EXACTLY what you are looking for, EXACTLY how to tell if it's worth it and EXACTLY how much it's worth :D

Some people find good deals at gun shows... but I assume they know a lot more about guns than the average layman.

I saw and/or picked up some decent stuff when I went to my first gun show down here. Stripper clips for SKS, AR magazine couplers, slings, cheapo pocket knives, a switchblade for around the house, speedstrips, some surplus ammo... stuff that I usually can't find easy around here or would order online and have to pay postage. I checked out a few of the guns but knew I could fine most of them in a store around here that would at least work with me if I had issues.

Still fun to go though! Lots of guns to play with.

VHinch
October 8, 2006, 10:28 PM
There are still deals to be found at gun shows, but they are fewer and far between now. I now enjoy going more to interact with the other attendees and see what they brought to trade/sell. There are still a couple of dealers that I deal with at the local shows, but for the most part its all tables full of overused, overpriced crap.

V

22-rimfire
October 8, 2006, 10:35 PM
Dealers in my neck of the woods seldom have many used guns for sale (especially handguns). Gun shows are great places to look at a much broader selection than is commonly available in your local area. It helps to know your prices for the stuff you're interested in. I bought some ammo over the weekend at a show. Price was okay.

On new guns, I think you are better off going to the local gun shop unless they are significantly higher than show prices. Not normally the case though. It is good to stay informed.

Manedwolf
October 8, 2006, 11:11 PM
I get hard to find ammo like GP11 for my K-31, and surplus ammo chests that'd be too expensive to have shipped.

That's about it. The guns themselves are usually priced in the "Yeah, right" realm. :)

MachIVshooter
October 8, 2006, 11:21 PM
"I wonder what that gun feels like in my hand?" tends to turn into "I wonder how I am gonna sneak this past the wife".

Get enough and they all start to look the same to her. Most of my new purchases walk right through the door, hidden in plain view. I don't tell, she never asks.

Couldn't pull that one off with the AR-50, though. It kinda stands out.

Dandamien:

Get an idea of what you're after and do a little research on market value for the ones that interest you. I have seen the same gun with 20% or even 30% and more price difference from one vendor to the next, so don't buy until you've walked the entire show at least once.

If you happen to be after something less common, be sure you know it's value. If it's a fair deal, you can grab it before someone else does, rather than walk the rest of the floor and come back to find it gone. Believe me, this can be most frustrating.

It is easy to get taken at a show, but it can also be a good place to find deals or less common items.

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