Went to my first gun show today!


March 20, 2010, 05:03 PM
Although I've been into the shooting sports most of my adult life....I've just never bothered attending one of these things. Not much of a "crowd-person" I suppose. I only went because a fellow employee at work talked me into meeting him there. Since he knew I was looking for a 1911 .45 auto he said at work last week: "c'mon.....you might just find what you are looking for at a decent price!" So I went. Got up early. Got there early. Berea fairgrounds. Met up with my co-worker and you wanna know something? I had a blast! It was a great time. It was simply a thrill seeing everything on display and for sale. Even though most of the stuff was way too expensive for me to take home......it was a thrill anyway. LOTS of WW2 stuff both real and re-pro. WW1 stuff too. Not just guns but Flags, uniforms, canteens, helmets....you name it. Heck I even got to see and examine a pair of Colt 1919's in person for the first time in my life. Lots of really cool muzzle-loader stuff both real & re-pro.

I have to say, I don't NOW understand all the talk of S&W, Ruger and Colt revolvers being difficult to find because there were tons of them in just about every model you can think of. I'm talking both new and old. Lost count on how many Pythons I saw. And 1911 .45 autos? LOTS. Simply lots of them....in every price range and make you could imagine...but would you believe it?.......NOT the 1911 I was looking for. (SA "GI"). Oh there were plenty of new & used SA 1911's......just not brand new in the finish I wanted. The used ones I examined had scratches below the slide stop.:cuss: You 1911 guys know why THAT happens! Oh well. I suppose I'll just visit a local shop next weekend and order one.

Here's the best thing about today. Everyone I met and talked to were extremely freindly, and it was a massive crowd. Usually when folks are crammed shoulder-to-shoulder trying to navigate the isles nerves begin to get on edge. Not today. Must have heard "excuse me" or "pardon me" a zillion times! I've never witnessed such a polite & patient mass of people.

What have I been missing all these years? There are more gun shows in my future.....and next time I hope to actually buy something besides coffee!

Well I guess I don't really have much interesting to say here except that I had a GRAND day today and I just wanted to relate it to you all.


If you enjoyed reading about "Went to my first gun show today!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 20, 2010, 05:29 PM
Good to here you had a good time. If you get a chance check out the Summit county Gun Show it's off rt.91 Summit county fair grounds. Lots of isle space so your not shoulder to shoulder. A lot of good dealers also. :)

murdoc rose
March 20, 2010, 05:35 PM
there fun to look at not much fun to buy at though

March 20, 2010, 05:38 PM
Wait a miniute...a gunshow thread with no mention of jerky or Nazi memrabilia? Wow.

March 21, 2010, 10:23 AM
Wait a miniute...a gunshow thread with no mention of jerky or Nazi memrabilia? Wow.

Hmmm, I don't mind the Nazi memorabilia. Maybe because I only really see it at one local gun show. That particular gun show focuses on antiques and C&R. It's a nice change from the sea of polymer at the other gun shows.

OP: glad to hear you had a good time! Even if you don't buy anything, it's always fun to look.

March 21, 2010, 10:34 AM
Hello all, RON L here - SERE SURPLUS

As one that has the experience oif "BOTH SIDES" of the table, i'm happy that you decided to attend your first show! Gun shows are often Milaigned by many and they are not what they used to be? That said, thier are real Reasons? It's BOTH sides of the tables Fault that shows are not as good as they once were? Dealers that want to ask or charge more than new for used guns, those that say out loud of course I maker up the Price, I have t Pay for the table, some bad attituded and more? Conversly, the Public who comes to the show, often has no idea what an item slls for, wants to buy it for what they saw if for years ago, or my favorate, they come to the show complaining about the $4-6 to get into the show, then have no $ left to buy anything???? I'm Glad that your experience is positive and that you went into the show the right right way and with a great attitude and I'm glad that the experince ya had was good, Just Keep going and you will find all that makes us all want to return? Dealers and buyers alike, lets clean up our act at shows, so the experience this fellow has is the norm and not the exception?

As far as the nazi or WW2 stuff goes, if it's a respectfull show and sale of the items great, more than welcome, if it's a Group recruitment center for pin heads, then No, I'm not a fan? LOL I've seen both at many shows as well as the folks that attend them?


March 21, 2010, 02:22 PM
Well regarding the "Nazi memorbilia" .....I like to refer to it as "WW2 German military historical artifacts"....and there were some tables with items on display having the swastika on them. One fellow even had a large flag with the swastika. I honestly don't think anyone was offended by this. I certainly was not......because the feeling I have is that the items on display were NOT on display to honor OR sympathize with WW2 Nazi Party ideals. There were lots of Japanese WW2 stuff as well.......and I was no more offended in the Nazi flag than I was in the Japanese "Rising Sun" flag I saw on display at the Japanese artifact table. Many of these items were not even for sale, but just for the folks to look at....much as one would see at a mueseum.

Its all about the context in which the items on display are being presented.
...See a guy flying a Nazi flag in his front lawn....THAT's a different story!

You know, now that I think about it....I DO recall seeing folks of many race attending the show: Asians, Afro-Americans, Indians, Latin Americans...etc...etc. What I witnessed and experienced was hundreds (thousands maybe) of folks simply having a very enjoyable day. No one seemed to care. Granted...if anyone DID I suppose they kept it to themselves.

Don't wanna derail my own thread into something getting too controversial.....so I'll change the subject.....and relate a BIG lesson I learned at the show, and that is this: IF you see something at a good price that you want badly......ACT FAST!!! Get it. Don't waste time because the next fellow is gonna snatch it up!
I saw a nearly PRISTINE S & W model 629 classic....8 3/8" barrel....just like the one I regretfully sold back in 1994. Woman was asking $700.00. I walked around for a half hour to ...."think about it":rolleyes:.....when I went back to her table the sucker was GONE-baby-gone. She just smiled at me and said...."Sorry, it WENT". Damn.


March 21, 2010, 02:33 PM
I was at the Raleigh one yesterday. Not as big as when Dixie organizes it (the mag guy, surplus guys, cleaning supplies guys, and AK guy were not there, for instance).

I was looking at compact .40s and pocket pistols, and browsing some rifles. I saw LCPs at $299 one at $274, I think it was. M&P's mostly $550, XDs in the high fours, and glocks also in the high fours, mostly. I saw one Mr. Dem (Magnum Research Desert Eagle Micro) in black in the high fours.

There was plenty of other stuff, that's just was I was keeping an eye out for.

I saw one seller of .380 ammo for $37 a box (HPs).

March 21, 2010, 02:36 PM
Beef Jerky........................ Yummmmmmmmmmm!

March 21, 2010, 02:42 PM
Can't recall seeing Beef Jerky....but I did see LOTS of beef sticks.

.....venison maybe?


March 21, 2010, 02:43 PM
My wife and I went to the one in Harrisburg, PA today. She walked out with a brand-new Ruger LCP (did I tell you that she's an ardent Democrat and this is her very first gun?) and 4 boxes of .380 for around $425, of which $100 or so was the price of the ammunition. Damn but .380 is expensive. Some yahoo was selling WWB .380 for $45 a box. That's absolutely obscene.

March 21, 2010, 02:50 PM
I'd have to say the most crazy prices I saw were on two items. One guy had a WW2 "GI" 1911 .45, he wanted $3000.00 for it:eek:

....another guy had a S & W model 29, blue, 6" barrel (early pinned & recessed)......he wanted $1650.00. Early or not...I felt the gun was $750.00 too high.


Mt Shooter
March 21, 2010, 04:57 PM
You did pick up a RPG, a few grenades, and a full auto AK Thats what is sold there you know.....Well if you listen to the media that is.

Elm Creek Smith
March 21, 2010, 08:57 PM
Now that you've been to a gun show, you need to come to Tulsa, OK, on April 10th and 11th (plan for both days) to see the Wanenmacher's Tulsa Arms Show at the QuikTrip Center on the Fairgrounds. They'll have over 11 acres of tables (approximately 4100 tables are all ready spoken for). There will be stuff here you've never seen anywhere else.


Mr. Bojangles
March 22, 2010, 08:51 AM
Now I can imagine how my wife feels at a shoe store...

rocky branch
March 22, 2010, 08:57 AM
Glad you had a good time.

Good point on grabbing a good deal when you can.

Ot will be gone if you come back for a 2nd look.

March 22, 2010, 09:06 AM
I love gun shows, dont buy much but once in a while I find a good deal. Police trade in ruger police service six for $264.oo

Old rusted pocket Knive that I can restore.

Lots of good conversation, and yes mostly polite people.

On sudays one dealer even has the NASCAR race on a TV

March 22, 2010, 09:16 AM
Its all about the context in which the items on display are being presented. Excellent point. Historical militaria is sold at many shows. In that context I'm happy to see old weapons and insignia and banners.

I've had enough good deals get away from me while I was thinking it over that I advise everyone to not hesitate when an opportunity is in front of you.

March 22, 2010, 01:06 PM
It's just nice to go and be with your people. At least that's what a buddy of mine says, and I tend to agree with him.

March 22, 2010, 05:46 PM
Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I don't believe I've ever bought a firearm at a gun show, but have purchased many other things at the many shows I've attended. They are always fun for me.

March 22, 2010, 06:39 PM
Hmm. The best time I had at a gun show was actually making it there in the morning early enough to score a couple bags of ammo in The Great Ammo Drought of '09... smh. It's good that you had fun. Sometimes, it's like walking into a museum that you actually want to be at.

March 22, 2010, 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by Mandolin
Wait a miniute...a gunshow thread with no mention of jerky or Nazi memrabilia? Wow.

Haha. I always see the WWII german stuff, pistols and moth balls etc. I never seen beef jerky! though I did see the pampered chef. No kidding!

If you enjoyed reading about "Went to my first gun show today!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!