First gun show


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gunNoob
March 6, 2008, 02:49 PM
Hey everyone, there is a gun show this weekend and I was just wondering what I should know? Any tips while looking at the guns? Thanks

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bladecp
March 6, 2008, 03:01 PM
Yes, do your RESEARCH! If you have something you know you want, be sure to arm yourself with what a fair price for it is. If you see something you really want on the first day but don't know what it's worth, see if you can slip the guy a $20 or something to hold it for you to the next day. You can go home and google away to see if the price is fair. Print that info out and bargain if you need to...make sure the money you gave him to hold it goes towards the purchase price. You may find some good deals, but they are few and far between. Take cash if you can because sometimes you can get a cash price for less than when using a CC. Not all vendors will take CC, also. Haggle with them as they usually know their stuff is over priced. Oh, and enjoy all the extra "fluff" of jerky, beanie babies, indian jewelry, cheap knives, airguns, tools, toys, etc. LOTS of non gun stuff has become the norm at these shows.

CountGlockula
March 6, 2008, 03:02 PM
Wheel and deal my friend, wheel and deal.

gunNoob
March 6, 2008, 03:12 PM
thanks for the good info!

John G
March 6, 2008, 03:16 PM
Write down a list. Heck, even better, read Xavier's Rules for Gun Shows: http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2005/10/xaviers-gun-show-rules.html

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 03:18 PM
Check out the crowd for some amusement. Lots of weird people frequent gunshows. Everyone from bubbas to bangers to ninja wannabes. Sometimes you'll even see a smokin' hot hick wife/girlfriend. :evil: Be sure to look for the 400+ lb ex Seal/Ranger/Special Forces, etc types who are experts on every firearm on the planet, too. :rolleyes:

Brian Dale
March 6, 2008, 03:30 PM
If you buy anything, the first thing you'll hear afterward is that you paid too much. Don't worry about that. It'll even out over time.Any tips while looking at the guns?Four Rules, always.

Buy the gun, not the story.

Clear any firearm as soon as you pick it up or it's handed to you. Many or most shows nowadays will have all guns zip-tied, but look it over anyway.

If you want to take a shotgun apart, field strip a pistol or the like, ask the seller to do it for you.

Don't drop the slide, bolt, etc. on an autoloading firearm without slowing its travel with your hand. Ask first before doing this at all.

If you're in the market for revolvers, you can print out Jim March' Revolver Checkout thread: Click Here! (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1430)

Carry cash. :)

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 03:34 PM
Good advice, Brian. Also be sure to ask permission to dry fire anything because some people are anal about that. I've had dealers clip the zip tie off so I could and then re-zip it up.

Brian Dale
March 6, 2008, 04:07 PM
Thanks. :) Also be sure to ask permission to dry fire anything...I absolutely agree.

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 04:11 PM
I go so far as to ask before touching or picking anything up, too. Just common courtesy, I guess.

Tribal
March 6, 2008, 04:13 PM
If you have snap caps for a caliber you're looking at, definitely bring those.

Find out if there's free WiFi anywhere nearby and bring your computer or iPhone with you to check prices. Heck, have the phone number of dealers in your area and if you think you see a good deal on a new gun, call them up and ask them how much it would cost to order that gun (figure you get one question per dealer).

Ignore any Nazi paraphernalia dealers.

Don't sell to anyone standing outside of the convention center (or wherever it's being held); DO be willing to buy/sell from individuals inside the show.

Trading gets you better deals than buying; cash gets you more than credit.

Rokyudai
March 6, 2008, 04:14 PM
Be on the look out for the rare, rat-tailed mullet. Double points if it's female. :evil:

Take in the scenery but keep an eye on your wad/wallet. 'It' happens.

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 04:18 PM
Don't forget to check out the bubba trucks in the parking lot for amusement. Look for any NASCAR number, especially #3 and "May he live forever" and how #24/Jeff Gordon blows. Calvin pissing on anything and everything. Fake nutz hanging off trailer hitches (no kidding!). Bullet hole stickers across the tailgate. The requisite K&N filter sticker. Any number of NRA/gun stickers. Air horns on the roof. Confederate flags/The South shall rise again stickers. Git-R-Dun and anything Larry the Cable Guy. The list goes on and on! :D

Rokyudai
March 6, 2008, 04:51 PM
blade,

Is it possible to market "Gun Show" bingo pads? Kind of a scavenger hunt really....

"Ok...I need to find 1 Nazi dagger, 3 crystal dolphins, and a unicorn sweatshirt!" BINGO! :neener:

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 04:53 PM
ROTFL... :D

Need to provide photographic evidence, though! Could be fun...

I see your three crystal dolphins and raise you 6 elk jerky sticks and 1 dreamcatcher. ;)

Rokyudai
March 6, 2008, 06:26 PM
Too rich for me! All I have left is this 1/2 eaten plate of nachos and the guy that turns the stun gun on to call attention to his table.

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 06:36 PM
Yeah, I think we all know the flashlight/stun gun combo guy. Bzzz zap, bzzz, zap! :rolleyes:

Now go find me some pewter revolutionary war figurines and anything with fake silver/turquoise made by gen-U-whine Navay-hoes. :D

Vaarok
March 6, 2008, 07:05 PM
Look but don't touch without asking permission first, don't buy anything you don't know the value of, inspect before you buy, and buy the gun not the story.

Also, tell us where you're at and chances are somebody here is also going, and you can get somebody to tag along with you for a second opinion.

SASS#23149
March 6, 2008, 07:54 PM
Don't go ezpecting a zillion hot deals,ur luck if you come acrosse ONE.
Don't interrupt a seller who is dealing with a customer,it ain't polite ya know.

CWL
March 6, 2008, 08:05 PM
Cash is King if you are shopping for a deal, cash always beats check/credit card when haggling. Know your prices beforehand.

Watch your blood pressure y limiting exposure to Jerky vendors.

ingram
March 6, 2008, 08:07 PM
My first gun show was a BLAST.

If heaven exists I think it is something like a good gunshow.

2nd 41
March 6, 2008, 08:12 PM
I wouldn't buy a gun at a gun show. I like recourse. I prefer my local gun shops. Just my way of buying.

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 08:23 PM
Why? I've bought several guns from dealers at a gun show that were local to the area. I found a Kahr PM9 with night sights "gunshow special" from a local dealer at $100+ off the normal "asking" price.

2nd 41
March 6, 2008, 08:34 PM
That's just me. Not saying the sales people are not reputable. Most might be. I'd rather pay the difference and buy from an established store. I buy knives, accessories & ammo at gun shows.

bladecp
March 6, 2008, 08:38 PM
What did you not understand about me buying from dealers that were LOCAL to the area? These guys ARE from established stores. Sometimes they run "gunshow" specials. If I had a problem, I could always easily go back to the store later. YOU try finding a NIB PM9 with night sights for under $500 when the "normal" store price was well over $600 and get back to me when/if you ever do.

I wouldn't buy a gun at a gun show. I like recourse. I prefer my local gun shops. Just my way of buying.

I'm never going to say I wouldn't buy a gun from a gunshow...

I'd rather pay the difference and buy from an established store.

But, hey...if you want to overpay for the exact same thing, be my guest. :rolleyes:

Stevie-Ray
March 6, 2008, 10:51 PM
The only gun I ever "took back" was from a reputable dealer. Never from a show. He couldn't do anything anyway, it had to go back to AMT.:fire: 90% of the dealers at my show are semi-local, and that's a plus.

Make sure you look at all tables, as some of the gun prices will be spread over 50 dollars or so. Tell the dealer you're interested in that you can get it cheaper down the aisle. You might be surprised.

gunNoob
March 7, 2008, 07:37 AM
Thanks for all the good info guys! I'll be going to the show in Belleville, IL. If anyone else is near by, let me know.

catfish101
March 7, 2008, 07:51 AM
The last gun show around here was way over priced. Everything was high from guns to reloading items. A set of Lee dies was 10 bucks higher then local sporting goods stores. It was crazy.

Good luck though. You may find a deal.

Lamb of Gun
March 7, 2008, 08:09 AM
If someone gives you crap for haggling with the price don't be discouraged. That's why it's a gun show and not the guy's gun store.

If they are firm on the price tell them you will buy more

Example: You ask a dealer if he'll sell you 7.62x39 for 2.75 box instead of 4. When/if he says no, tell him you'll buy 50 boxes.

Also, be prepared to look through wave after wave after wave of shotguns no one is interested in.

gym
March 7, 2008, 11:30 AM
Stay away from guys dressed in Camafloge clothing and jeeps with machinegun mounts on them. Have fun, and make sure you know how much the items you are interested in cost. You can walk 10 ft, and find the same gun for a hundred less.

Wopasaurus
March 7, 2008, 11:45 AM
My biggest advice, will be to go in with what you want to buy in mind. And look EVERYWHERE for it. Make a mental note of every place you see the gun you want to buy. Don't settle on the first one you see, because 3 aisles over, you might find it a few bucks cheaper.

Plus bring cash, not only will they not 'eff you with the 3% credit card markup fee, but you will have a better chance of getting a more reasonable price.

ColinthePilot
March 7, 2008, 11:46 AM
I can't stress the research enough. and the Iphone is a huge plus if you have one. Last one I went to I was kicking myself because I only priced a few guns before hand and that didn't include variants on those guns.

Also, +10 to shopping around. I saw 2 identical Mossberg Pursuaders about 20yds apart for $50 different.

Also, trading is always good. I was carrying a Yugo SKS around in a cheap rifle bag. I unzipped the bag to used the rifle sling, and the butt was sticking out a little, just enough apparently to spark curiousity. I had 3 or 4 folks ask "whats in the bag." One sat there and told me how trading or selling will never be profitable at a show, while another dealer on the other side bought it from me 10 min later. its all hit and miss.

lee n. field
March 7, 2008, 12:04 PM
Hey everyone, there is a gun show this weekend and I was just wondering what I should know? Any tips while looking at the guns? Thanks

Have a good idea what stuff's worth before you walk in. Know what's legal, too, 'cause private sellers may not have a good grasp of that, and you do not want to run afoul of ATF. Pay attention to the house rules. Ignore the goofballs, and have a good time.

Also, "garage sale rules" -- watch for bargains you weren't looking for, that you might be able to use later, or cash in later. I'm still kicking myself for not grabbing the Dillon Square Deal B in .357, for $100.

Wopasaurus
March 7, 2008, 12:04 PM
I can't stress the research enough. and the Iphone is a huge plus if you have one.

agreed. With my iPhone, my friend got a NIB subcompact XD 40 for $450 out the door.

Easily worth the money.

jackstinson
March 7, 2008, 12:07 PM
Have fun looking around at all the stuff you may never have seen!
Research the stuff you'd like to acquire.....before the show.
Take with you the amount of cash you are willing to spend.
Look over every table twice.
Ask before touching. Ask before manipulating.
Be nice.
If you don't find anything, don't buy a gun just to buy something.
Have fun! Can't say that enough times!

That said; Last weekend I made two rounds of the show and on my way to the exit I passed a table I had already been to once. It was the last table on the way out. The guy had put a few more guns out 10 minutes before I came around the second time and I snagged 2 that I had been looking for. So you never know what might come out after your first pass around the room.
Have fun,
Jack

bladecp
March 7, 2008, 12:13 PM
If you don't find anything, don't buy a gun just to buy something.

What?!? Blasphemy!!! :D

I usually always come home with something. I figure those cheap sub $200 Makarovs aren't going to be around for ever. I have a bunch of them.

gunNoob
March 7, 2008, 01:13 PM
Another question. What kind of waiting period do they have at gun shows?

CountGlockula
March 7, 2008, 01:15 PM
It depends on your state gun laws? In CA, we have a 10 day wait for any sale.

Also, don't forget to stop by the Jerkey table. Buffalo, elk, deer jerky....Mmmm.

bladecp
March 7, 2008, 01:16 PM
I take it you live in IL since the show's in IL. You'll have to comply with whatever IL's waiting period is. Too bad you can't get a concealed carry license. I can walk in and buy one and be on my way in minutes.

edited to add: Just found this. You also need a FOID card if you don't already have one.

From: http://www.ichv.org/summarylaws.htm

15. WAITING PERIOD
Is there a waiting period when purchasing firearms in Illinois?

YES. State law requires a 72-hour waiting period for all handgun sales and a 24-hour waiting period on all long gun sales. The waiting period is used by law enforcement to run a criminal background check to make sure the buyer is not prohibited from acquiring firearms. In addition, state law requires gun buyers to obtain a Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID) before purchasing any firearm. There is up to 30-day wait to acquire Firearms Owner Identification card (FOID) after the application is received by the Illinois State Police.

72 hours for handguns. I wonder how the out of state dealers handle this and if they have to ship it back to an IL FFL. This may factor into total cost, too. If you buy a handgun, make sure you can easily get to the dealer after the waiting period.

strat81
March 7, 2008, 01:26 PM
State law requires a 72-hour waiting period for all handgun sales and a 24-hour waiting period on all long gun sales. The waiting period is used by law enforcement to run a criminal background check to make sure the buyer is not prohibited from acquiring firearms.
How is the background check different on each type that it takes three times longer for a handgun???

Why is it that countless other states can run the background check in five minutes while you pick out a holster or choose a box of ammo???

Don't you love it when our own governments LIE to us?

jackstinson
March 7, 2008, 01:46 PM
If you don't find anything, don't buy a gun just to buy something.
---
What?!? Blasphemy!!! I usually always come home with something.
It's not blasphemy at all. I will not buy anything anywhere just to "buy something".
If I do not find a gun I want at a gun show, I have a fair number of shops around the area which always have a great selection of new and used guns on my "list". I usually take any money I don't spend at the gun show and spend it on something at Vance's or Norton's.
Last Sunday I was a few feet from the gun show exit and had bought NOTHING. It was luck that the guy at the very last table I passed had just put out a couple of guns that I wanted.
I work hard for my money and I try to spend it wisely. I've a lot of other things to spend it on besides guns as well. In these times, I'm perfectly happy not spending money simply for the sake of spending it. :)
Jack

Kind of Blued
March 7, 2008, 02:42 PM
Question:

I'm going to a show this weekend also. I have a new unfired AR that I MAY consider trading, although unlikely. Unlikely enough that I don't really even want to lug it around. Is it ok to leave it in the trunk and just look around and if I see something for potentially fair trade, mention my rifle, go get it, and carry on?

trinydex
March 7, 2008, 02:55 PM
bring money for ammo. there's always good prices.

Cannonball888
March 7, 2008, 02:57 PM
Ode to the Gunshow (edited for language)
By McUZI

Saturday's a coming And I can't wait
Gunna hurry on over, Cuz I can't be late
I'm going to the place We all love and know
The local overpriced nightmare gun show

I had to park my car twelve miles away
The walk to the door takes me half a gosh darn day
I go to the door and pay my entrance fee
Walk around the floor, to see what I can see.

I get a sample Beef Jerky that taste old and stale
Some lady's selling left over garbage from her last garage sale
I see a table with some hardware that's looking mighty fine
I pass a pair of homies gawking at a Tec-9
I get to the table and what do I see?
A gun I've always wanted. There just for me.

I ask the dude behind the table, (How much is this thing)?
I was hoping that the price was right and wasn't going to sting
He thought for a second, and rubbed his Grizzly Adams beard
His demeanor got somber, and his face looked weird

"This very gun was used by a NAVY SEAL
but I'm in a good mood, so I'll cut you a deal
Ordinarily, I'd need to get a grand for this gun
But I'll sell it for $800, howse that sound to ya son?"

I about soiled my pants!
"$800? EAT MY SOCK!
It's a worn out police trade-in ratty old Glock
I think you were drinking when you wrote your price tags
So you can keep your stupid Glock and your lame post-ban mags"

But I didn't despair, I just went on my way
The Class-3 table ought to brighten my day
The man behind the table was a sketchy old cat
With dark tinted glasses and a MOLON LABE hat

He stood there looking proud at all his full-auto goodies
The kind of guns that could give a gun-nut woodies
I asked him how much he wanted for the Colt M-16?
He snapped his head around and started to scream

"THESE GUNS AREN'T FOR SALE!
DIDN'T YOU KNOW?
I ONLY SHOW THEM OFF AT EVERY GUN SHOW!
I HAVE NOTHING IN THIS WORLD, NO KIDS, NO WIFE
WITHOUT MY MACHINE GUNS I'D HAVE NO LIFE!"

His arms were flailing 'round like a bat out of hell
And just at that moment, I caught a horrible smell
I felt kind of bad, but it still made me laugh
What he has is machineguns, what he needs is a bath

So I pulled up my shirt to cover my face
My eyes were tearing up like I got nailed with mace
I walked off quick, the smell was just too rude
Till I got to the table of the C&R dude

"This rifle is handpicked and personally chosen
by the Czar of Russia as the Worlds finest Mosin
Now lest you think it's out of your price range
I'll let this gem go for $200 and change"

I said "Dude, your nuts. Out of your freaking mind.
Those guns sell for $50, for the exact same kind"
He got really mad, and threw a hissy-fit
So I told him he could keep his outdated old kit

I needed some ammo, so over I went
To the ammo display in the green army tent
The ammo guy named Tom told me to come in
And look through the baggies in the little blue bin...

He said his 10mm ammo should be somewhere in there
Loaded by his drunk brother Willie, hot enough to kill bear.
I politely declined, and wandered back out on the floor
And slowly but surely made my way back to the door.

As I left the building. the promoter said "Have a nice day"
To which I replied "Your gun show was lame"
They asked if I had plans on ever coming back?
Yeah. Maybe the next time I'm strung out on crack

The moral of the story is "modern gun shows suck"
And are no longer the place to go if you want to save a buck
While there are things there that we'd all like to get
It's all just overpriced crap bought off the internet.

RP88
March 7, 2008, 03:04 PM
speaking of internet...alot of good prices come off of the internet. Shop around on your computer to get a good idea of what a fair deal is (calculate shipping and transfer into it as well--usually 5% for tax, then about 25-35 bucks shipping and transfer). That way, you'll know when you actually see a bargain. Dont forget to learn what to look for to make sure a gun you want isnt busted or junk metal.

Brian Dale
March 7, 2008, 03:22 PM
Also, be prepared to look through wave after wave after wave of shotguns no one is interested in.That's how I found a silky-smooth Wingmaster last year for $140 plus sales tax. :D

bladecp
March 7, 2008, 03:31 PM
MDeViney, I'd just sling it over your shoulder with a wooden dowel down the barrel and a paper flag on it saying "for trade or sale". I've seen it done all the time. You'll get more hits that way from all the other gunshow customers and not just the dealers you'd have to ask first. You'd probably make out better selling it cash to someone else than trading it in. Besides, carrying it would be much easier than running out to the car for each and every dealer. There's NO way they'll quote you a price for sale/trade without seeing it first.

Stevie-Ray
March 9, 2008, 07:04 PM
While there are things there that we'd all like to get
It's all just overpriced crap bought off the internet.For the most part I have to agree. It's years since I've gotten a really good deal from a show. Most times, though, they're not more expensive than the local guys. In fact a good many of the locals are there. Generally they have what you want in stock, though. That's the thing. If I have to order, I'll do it from my dealer.

We used to have Bill Goodman's Gun & Knife Show, at least once a month here in Detroit & Dearborn. Now there was some good prices. It's been too many years since those days.

jdorian
March 16, 2008, 05:45 PM
Not many deals at gun shows lately, but maybe I am simply not looking for the right items. Gander Mtn can get me used guns at similar prices if and when I am lucky enough for them to have anything I want. People selling ammo are all trying to claim that their prices are good, but they often are barely less than the expensive retailers, and normally more than the sale prices of most local places. It really helps when you know market prices.

Ala Dan
March 16, 2008, 05:50 PM
Hope its better than The Alabama Gun Collectors Show, held at the
Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center (BJCC) on March 15-16~! :eek: :uhoh: ;)

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