Gun show protocol in FL?


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Packman
January 21, 2008, 03:24 PM
I'm planning to go the the Palmetto gun show next weekend. It's pretty big, I've been twice before but never bought anything. Well, except a set of grips.

When you buy a gun there, do they run the NICS check? If I have to stand around and wait for that, I can assure you I won't buy anything, because at my local shop, at least I can sit down while I wait. I'm not about to stand in front of the counter and wait, especially if it's not a prompt check.

If I do buy anything, what's the protocol on taking it to the parking lot? Is it ok to carry a rifle out by itself, or do I need to have it in a case? If that's the deal, I'd have to buy a case inside to fit the rifle, and I'd rather support my local shop.

And finally, anyone else going?

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XDKingslayer
January 21, 2008, 03:59 PM
Yes, they usually do the phone-in NICS check. Yes, you might have to wait a few minutes.

Protocol for taking it to the parking lot? Umm...you put your left foot in front of you right. Then you right foot in front of your left. Repeat as necessary. You don't have to have it cased in anything.

Honestly, skip the gun show. It's a Sun Coast Gun Show and they're pretty much a ram job. Prices will be at least $100-$200 ABOVE MSRP! After 5 minutes you'll want to choke the screwball selling tazers because he insists on turning one on every 30 seconds and having it make that clicking electricity sound.

Oh yeah, and avoid the guy that looks like a 60 year old Mr. Clean selling new guns at outrageous prices ($270 for a 10/22 carbine) and don't bother asking him to lower his price, you'll only be insulted. If you don't heed my warning and do this anyways, be sure to tell him you'll go to Wal-Mart instead once he's done with his tirade of insults. This will take him instantly to coronary-level blood pressure and it's funny to watch.

eric.cartman
January 21, 2008, 04:01 PM
Went twice to Ft. Lauderdale gun show.
Crappy.
Will not go again.

ceetee
January 21, 2008, 04:43 PM
You just have to look at the show from the right perspective. It's fun to handle dfferent firearms, and if you're looking for one thing in particular (or you may be looking for a variety of things), you may just find what you want at a decent price. Nobody's giving away guns, and the dealers aren't giving away money for what you want to sell, either. If you havew something to sell, and you know what it's worth, don't settle for less. And if you see something you want to buy, and it's priced right, buy it. Don't be afraid to counter-offer with your correct price, he may take it.

I've bought all my most recent guns at gunshows, but I got what I wanted, for the price I was willing to pay, and I'm happy. Those that wanted too much for what they were selling just didn't sell it - to me, anyway.

xsquidgator
January 21, 2008, 05:13 PM
You just have to look at the show from the right perspective. It's fun to handle dfferent firearms, and if you're looking for one thing in particular (or you may be looking for a variety of things), you may just find what you want at a decent price. Nobody's giving away guns, and the dealers aren't giving away money for what you want to sell, either. If you havew something to sell, and you know what it's worth, don't settle for less. And if you see something you want to buy, and it's priced right, buy it. Don't be afraid to counter-offer with your correct price, he may take it.

I've bought all my most recent guns at gunshows, but I got what I wanted, for the price I was willing to pay, and I'm happy. Those that wanted too much for what they were selling just didn't sell it - to me, anyway.

+1. You just have to have the right frame of mind.

You will find junk and overpriced firearms and ammo, yes.

I go to a couple of shows a year to get components, well, I used to go for that, now I cast my own boolits and do bulk buys from Powder Valley for powder/primers. But still, a gun show gives you the opportunity to handle guns that you might have only seen pictures of.

The phrase "if you think education is expensive, try ignorance!" definitely applies. If you go in to buy especially a firearm without having done a little research, you probably will pay too much. But if you do some legwork ahead of time, there are occasional good buys to be found. I like seeing a selection of things in one place, especially things like holsters and other accessories. Sure I could get all that from the internet, but I'd still have shipping on every order, and I wouldn't get to put my hands on it first.

All that said, I've gotten some at least ok buys, including a couple of guns that I'm very happy with. I have a good time browsing and don't get offended by people trying to sell me saiga's for $450, I just keep on walking past those tables and look for other stuff.

As far as protocol in FL goes, like others have said you'll have the ATF forms and the phone-in background check if you buy from a dealer. The Orlando show I've gone to allows you to carry guns around, they just have to be checked and the action tie-wrapped open by a state trooper at one of the entrances. I'm not worried exactly but I definitely watch my six when I'm going from the flea market hall to my parked car. A year or two ago a guy got strong-arm robbed and pistol-whipped in the parking lot. Just be careful in the parking lot (I try to stay near a group of people) and have some fun with it.

XDKingslayer
January 21, 2008, 05:47 PM
You just have to look at the show from the right perspective. It's fun to handle dfferent firearms, and if you're looking for one thing in particular (or you may be looking for a variety of things), you may just find what you want at a decent price. Nobody's giving away guns, and the dealers aren't giving away money for what you want to sell, either. If you havew something to sell, and you know what it's worth, don't settle for less. And if you see something you want to buy, and it's priced right, buy it. Don't be afraid to counter-offer with your correct price, he may take it.

I've bought all my most recent guns at gunshows, but I got what I wanted, for the price I was willing to pay, and I'm happy. Those that wanted too much for what they were selling just didn't sell it - to me, anyway.

You've never been to a Suncoast Gun Show have you?

Handle firearms? Not at a Suncoast Show. Most of them are all cabled to the table with one long alarm cable. You might have a chance at actually touching one if you're serious about buying it, but you can pretty much forget about it if you're just browsing.

There is one dealer there that had things at a decent price. It's usually the guy with 3 dozen tables, 8 guys helping him, and actually uses a Segway to get from one end of his setup to the other. He's a nice guy, his people are knowledgeable, but it's not worth the price of admission, price of parking, just to see his stuff. His prices are better than everyone else's at the show, but they're still above MSRP.

No, nobody is going to give away guns, but why insult my intelligence by asking for $200 above MSRP? I mean, come on.

Finding interesting stuff? Sure. Nazi memorabilia, beef jerky, custom, overpriced, overdone Pakistani knives, beenie babies, and a guy selling flowers. Trust me, Suncoast shows are the poster child of all the things people here complain about with gun shows.

Now the other local and private gun shows in Florida are great and are what gun shows should be. But not Suncoast shows. Go give your business to your local guy instead this roving band of thieves.

Vonderek
January 21, 2008, 05:49 PM
I still go to Ft. Lauderdale and once in a while Miami and Palm Beach. I go now only for the entertainment value of killing a couple of hours and seeing a few familiar faces. Years ago, I calculated everything into a gun show visit--price of parking, admission--and then figured on how well I did when I bought guns and ammunition. Back then, there was true competition amongst dealers and deals could be had if you did your homework and shopped the different vendors. Now there are no deals to be had on guns although once in a while I might find ammo by the case that I come out a little better on when you figure in the cost of shipping if bought elsewhere. Also, there are rare occasions when I'll find interesting C&R handguns although it's been a while since I've seen anything besides CZ52s and a few Makarovs. For me, the gun shows now are more of a social thing and an opportunity to hang out with friends I probably wouldn't see otherwise.

Packman
January 21, 2008, 06:31 PM
Well, I see everyone's points, but I'm still going to go anyway. My dad likes to go, and I'll go with him. There's a guy there selling .32 S & W Long ammo for 23$ per 100, which we can't beat elsewhere, so it's worth it for that.

The guy with the segway cracks me up. I like going in just to look at the guns, even if you don't buy. Besides, my local store, while I'd rather support it, is not exactly bargain city. I was there yesterday and they had a WASR-10 that they wanted 475 for. C'mon.

iiibdsiil
January 21, 2008, 11:22 PM
I went to the Lakeland show. We walked it in about an hour an a half, which included a 30 minute detour at Anvil Arms picking up a receiver and having it laser engraved.

We waited for maybe 5 minutes for the NICS check and a receipt to be printed. Really not that bad, and probably faster then your regular gun shop just because they have so many people to deal with at the gun show.

The show sucked. Everything was stupid high priced that I saw, and we got real sick of the morons that just STOP in the middle of the aisle blocking traffic. On top of it all, there really wasn't much to see. Great people watching though! Us gun folk can be some weird people...

Wes Janson
January 21, 2008, 11:36 PM
There are frequently certain rarer items you'll find at the gun shows that you're not going to find in a store. Just the nature of the market.
Handle firearms? Not at a Suncoast Show. Most of them are all cabled to the table with one long alarm cable. You might have a chance at actually touching one if you're serious about buying it, but you can pretty much forget about it if you're just browsing.

I'd have to disagree...you'll probably set off the alarm if you tried to see how well that nice pocket pistol works in your IWB holster, but I've never had any problems picking up and inspecting handguns or longguns, from any of the dealers, without pulling out the alarm cord.

XDKingslayer
January 22, 2008, 10:54 AM
The Lakeland show I couldn't go to was a great gun show. They had it in that big center in Lakeland. I was at the center for my daughters Tai Kwon Do tournament and had to sit there and watch people going into the gun show.

It was huge and it wasn't a Suncoast show. It was so big, just the people carrying stuff in amounted to more guns than a Suncoast show.

If you ever get a chance, go to the Miami show. Last time I went it took a whole weekend just to see everything.

Wes, I've had nothing but trouble trying to handle firearms except from the guy with the Segway. Like I said, he's the only one there that doesn't have the personality of a fish. Mr. Clean wouldn't even let my daughter shoulder the 10/22 carbine to make sure the pull was short enough for her. Luckily, Segway guy had no issue with it.

That's why I've quit going. I only go to the local shows now. Port Charlotte puts on 2 good shows a year with people that actually understand what a gun show is.

snow92686
January 22, 2008, 11:50 AM
That gunshow is actually very good. I have bought several there ... The best company there is the guy that takes up the whole center isle with tables on both sides... most of his prices are very fair and Ive bought several different guns from him. I wish I was back in town so I could go but Im at school right now. You have to wait for them to phone in the NICS but he has chairs for you to wait. I even picked up a taurus "air lite" 38 spl for 150 brand new. He had a ton of them, and I I got a glock 17 from the 96 olympic police for a good price too. Overall I always have fun at that show.

ceetee
January 22, 2008, 03:31 PM
I can't say if they're Suncoast shows or not. I bought a handgun and a rifle at the Ft Lauderdale show and another handgun at the West Palm Beach show. I've found that some vendors don't want you to handle their guns without them watching, and some vendors have those crappy cables that don't stay connected when you pick a gun up so the alarm rings. I usually ask before I handle a gun anyway. I've never had anyone ask if I was really, really, fer sure, no foolin' serious about buying - the worst I've heard is, "Whatcha looking for?" at which I reply, "Not sure, zackly, but I'll know it if I see it."

Again, I treat it as a day away from the Missus and kids, and just enjoy the sights. Heck, I even bought the Missus a Mother's Day present at a gunshow... It was a neato painting from this guy that had a bunch of English-style cottage paintings. Only reason I bought it was cause she really likes that kinda stuff...

XDKingslayer
January 23, 2008, 10:57 AM
The guy at the Suncoast show that sells flowers is the only one there with brains.

What better to do when you spend your paycheck at a gun show but bring your wife home flowers as a pre-emptive strike?

gym
January 23, 2008, 11:14 AM
Good advice, that one tall fat guy who walks around with the cordless phone in his ear, has a bad mouth. He showed me a 340M&P, and pulled it out of my hand when I questioned why his was $300 more than the guy at the next table. Made a few insulting remarks,and under different circumstances, I might have beat him to a pulp, but it isn't worth the effort, I used to go to the suncoast shows when Firearms plus was there, but they don't go anymore because the dealers all got together and had them banned for selling guns too cheap. I bought several from them, they are in FT. Lauderdale, you would be better off just going there for what you need. The old man who sells holsters is a good guy, he sells them cheap. And the guy who sells ammo by the bag, is ok also.

AirForceShooter
January 23, 2008, 11:33 AM
Don't forget to print out the $1.oo off coupon that Suncoast offers and parking is free.
Otherwise the show sucks.

AFS

classic095
January 23, 2008, 11:42 AM
I see a bunch of you are here in Florida, The Hernando sportsmans club hosts a small show about every 3 months at the fair grounds in Brooksville Fla. They have a show coming this weekend Sat and Sun the 26 and 27 of Jan..

Cannonball888
January 23, 2008, 12:01 PM
Been to a lot of shows in FL.
Cliffhangers (http://www.cliffhangersgunshows.com/)at the Jacksonville Moroccan Shrine Auditorium have been my all time favorites. 400+ tables.

ceetee
January 23, 2008, 05:37 PM
The Hernando sportsmans club hosts a small show about every 3 months at the fair grounds in Brooksville Fla.

Whew... that's about a 4 1/2 hour drive for me.

XDKingslayer
January 23, 2008, 05:44 PM
'Bout 3 and half for me.

razorbuc
January 25, 2008, 08:14 PM
I don't know who bent you over so bad at the Suncoast shows KDKing........but I always have fun at them...If you go the circus with a sour outlook...you'll have a sour time.

I've go to every gunshow that comes along,unless I'm out of town,or have something important to do(read that as wife has something "important" for me to do.(Lakeland is by far the best,but the Suncoast shows are ok..waaay better than mowing the yard.)

I love the atmostphere,and there are always lots of guns you can handle.The cable doesn't bother me,but the grouchy guys with the DO NOT HANDLE signs...just as well write.."DON'T LOOK AT THESE GUNS"...same with the guns with no prices...my buddy that always goes with me is the same way...we don't even consider the guns that don't have prices(putting this in,in case one of you is guilty of that dastardly deed.)

As far as the sellers....I can't believe how many of them are aloof and arrogant....at any gunshow I've ever been to....like the one poster said...it's really enjoyable to chap their butts good....all you have to do is ask for a decent price.

Most of the guys selling are smart enough to be nice to the people they want to sell to.The few who aren't nice,are just window dressing as we pass them by(we know all the a/holes on sight at the suncoast shows)

My favorite dude at the local gunshows is the big guy,who always has a big velcro belt around his waist.and sells the black and camoed gun cases..he always says the same thing....."normally 49.95...today only...39.95....lol..I ask him every time we go,just to hear him.(plus he's a good guy and we've bought lots of holsters and gun cases from him.)

Anyway..I was at Lakeland...I'll be at Palmetto..and will be where ever they show up...supporting our right to have the shows...and our right to bear arms.

Rustynuts
January 25, 2008, 08:29 PM
Sure all the guns are LISTED at stupid prices, but you need to haggle. You're not going to get super deals, but I've bought several from Shoot Straight (Segway guy) and from Pompano Pawn at these shows. You should see Shoot Straight's store prices! I've been able to match or beat Bud's Gunshop online at these shows (once you factor transfer fees, shipping vs sales tax). Got a bi-tone XD40 SubC for $480 last year (the bi 40's are still hard to find) and an SP101 357 for $418. Plus tax for both of those, new in box. Not outright steals, but decent prices and I don't have to wait a week plus for an online "deal".

You need to know what you should pay BEFORE you set foot inside, and then play one dealer off another. I always ask "what's you best price" right off the bat. Show's you're not even considering the sticker. If you don't like what you hear, go to the next dealer with that price to match or beat. repeat as necessary.

I've never had a problem handling any gun I wanted to see at these shows. Some dealers are jags and put their guns under a net, but not most.

XDKingslayer
January 25, 2008, 10:14 PM
I don't know who bent you over so bad at the Suncoast shows KDKing

Why should I pay $5.00 parking, $8.00 admission only to not be able to look or handle guns priced $200.00 above invoice?

I can go to my local gun shops and local gun shows and get much better treatment and service at prices that don't insult my intelligence.

If you enjoy that type of ram job, be my guest. But I'd rather support my local guys than this roving band of thieves.

ceetee
January 25, 2008, 11:02 PM
But I'd rather support my local guys than this roving band of thieves.

There was this one gunshop I used to hang out at. The couple that owned it were nice folks, their guns were priced reasonably, and even though I was pretty much a newbie, they didn't treat me like I was a total idiot. They were always happy to share their knowledge with someone less experienced than they were, and I bought my first three guns from them, as well as ammo, cleaning supplies, knives, cases... you get the drift. Eventually, they got divorced, and the shop closed. I moved on, and where I live now, all the gunshops fit into the same mold: I have to buy their ammo to shoot at their range. They talk to me like I'm a total idiot. If I happen to ask for an item they don't stock, their answer is, "What the hell would you want that for?" Those items they do stock are usually priced at 150% MSRP.

If I had a decent local gunshop, I'd love to give the owner all my business. If you have decent gunshops local to you, count yourself very lucky!

razorbuc
January 25, 2008, 11:39 PM
KD....I didn't mean to get personal on you,in retrospect that sounded a little more smarta_ _ than I meant for it to......peace brother:) I was just getting at the fact that you have to take the suncoast shows for what they are.

Sometimes a gun show will have the best price,and sometimes the guy in one of our gun shops will have the best.I try to buy from the locals,but sometimes they push me to the gun shows with their prices.

I have a safe full of guns that were bought mostly at the gun shows around west central Florida(usually Lakeland,but occasionlly SunCoast).I've never paid too much,because I won't.There are occasionally good deals because I have made a few.

The parking fee stinks.But I know it takes alot to put on one of those shows.I don't want to think about the liabilty Insurance price for something like that.

I just hope people keep going to the gun shows,even the lousy ones,because it sure would suck out loud if they(gunshows) went away.

pharmer
January 26, 2008, 12:11 PM
The LRPC show in Lakeland last week had lots of good deals, on the tables and especially walking in. Everyone was toting something to sell. Didn't notice the jerky sellers or the guy selling purple crap wanting to clean my glasses. Joe

dourdave
January 26, 2008, 10:21 PM
I splurged and went to the Palmetto (FL) gun show today. $7 well spent.

I was looking for a Walther PPS and any BHP. The Segway guy and his cohorts were very co-operative, pleasant and helpful. No PPS but they did have a BHP "trade in" and I could fondle it as soon as it was logged into the books. Asked if I had any special BHPs in mind and I replied that I am interested in all of them. Got a chuckle out of that. When I returned to the table, the sales person got the BHP for me to fondle. He actually saved it away for me.

It was a two tone. I asked if he would lock back the slide and he asked if I knew how. I smiled and he said "do it". (It was not yet attached to the cable so I had free rein.) He cut the tie and I locked the slide. The barrel, ramp and all of the internals visable were very clean and looking like new. He told me I could field strip it if I didn't make a scene or took too long. "Go ahead" he said, but I noticed something of interest: The black slide and the "silver" frame were spotted with dots that looked like oil splatter. There was also black pitting on the backstrap. We couldn't wipe the "oil splatter" off. Probably a good shooter for $500, but I passed. I got good shooters.

Found one more---$400 and it looked like it had been dragged behind a Jeep on the Rubicon Trail. I also passed. No PPS's.

I had a fun time and enjoyed talking with the gun people. The other stuff there has no interest for me.

Dave

Packman
January 26, 2008, 11:35 PM
Well, I went today, and had a good time. It's nice to go and look, sometimes you see stuff you didn't even know existed and will never see in a local shop.

Lots of over priced stuff, but tucked in between are a few deals. Sure was sad to see the ammo by the bag guy wasn't there this year though.

jdc1244
January 26, 2008, 11:59 PM
The Lakeland show I couldn't go to was a great gun show. They had it in that big center in Lakeland.

Thatís the Lakeland Center and it is a SunCoast Show.

My sons and I went there last November. Itís a great place to take your teenage sons regardless of the price; as they get older they get tougher to entertain. :)

We had a good time and had no issues with the vendors. There was an interesting collection of 1911s and Colts in particular we enjoyed seeing. Weíll go again this March.

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