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Moment of Weakness.....I went to a gun show

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by hillbilly, May 14, 2005.

  1. hillbilly

    hillbilly Well-Known Member

    In a moment of extreme weakness, I attended a gun show in Fort Smith, AR, today.

    A couple of years ago, I swore off gunshows.

    I got tired of the rip-off prices, and seeing more junky knives, canteens, and beef jerky strips than guns on sale.

    Well, today, I went back to my first gun show in a couple of years.

    I'm not sure why.

    I guess I had a nostalgia attack, or maybe I was still in a haze from sitting through yet another college graduation as a faculty member......Maybe it was like the person who quit smoking years ago, but who walked through a cloud of second-hand smoke on the sidewalk, and just couldn't resist buying one more pack.....just for old times' sake.

    It was total waste of six bucks. Six freakin' bucks down the toilet.

    The show was small, and full of junky knives, canteens, and beef jerky strips.

    The only real buy I saw were Butler Creek 25 round 10/22 mags for $15 each.

    But that was only one table.

    On another table, I saw the exact same mags for sale for $50 each.

    Another guy had a 12 gauge pump shotgun of some sort, looked like a Rem 870, with a $500 price tag on it.

    Mosin Nagant M-44 rifles (available from AIM for as low as $59) were marked $175.

    One guy had six cases of .223 Wolf ammo for the low, low price of only $179 per 1000 rounds. (Same ammo available from ammunitionstore.com for $117, and that includes shipping!!!!)

    So, when adding in the six bucks at the door, you could have stocked up on Wolf 223 for $185 per case of 1000, or more than a case of British Radway Green 5.56 would run you from Aim Surplus.

    Everything was junk. Everything was grossly over-priced, especially the entry fee.

    All the vendors were sour-faced and haggard-looking. They were overwhelmingly grouchy old men, with a few grouchy old women thrown in.

    All of them looked like they were just coming off a week-long Mad Dog 20/20 binge.

    Who ever buys anything at a gun show any more?

    It was like the awful junky ripoff Hell that time forgot.

    I can't believe I was stupid enoug to go in there.

    The only real moment of the whole show was when I thought I had found my stolen MAK-90 on a table. And to be honest, that was the only real reason I went in there....to look for my stolen guns.

    The serial number matched on the MAK-90, except for the last two digits.

    So that MAK-90 was made in the same run as my stolen one, but it just wasn't my rifle.

    Oh well.

  2. BigSlick

    BigSlick Well-Known Member

    I've been to that show in times past.

    It does leave a lot to be desired.

    Most shows have deteriorated because the promoters will sell a table to anyone who has the money.

    The last show I went to there were dog houses, jewelry, cell phones, candles, incense, paintings, a table completely dedicated to sewing machines, beef jerky, candy, get your picture on a beach towel and more insidious garbage.

    Most of the gun related tables were from the same people at every show, with the same guns with the same unreasonable prices. There were a couple of bright spots, but not more than that.

    Call the promoter and tell him how you feel. He probably won't care, but if enough people voice the same opinion, maybe he will work a little harder to sell the show to vendors who will actually be of interest to the attendees.

  3. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    So how many days did the show run? Up here, gun shows are only run on Sunday mornings from 0800 to 1200, usually every couple of months. Depending on the club sponsoring it. Never more than 50 or so tables. Lots of over priced junk, but every once in a while...
  4. hillbilly

    hillbilly Well-Known Member

    Sunray, in the states, gun shows are almost always at least two days, and often times three days.

    Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am--5:00 pm is typical.

    Some shows even throw in a 5:00pm--9:00pm Friday night session.

    I have just about reached the stage where I don't care if gun shows never happen again.

    I swore off gunshows two years ago because almost every single vendor in them either didn't know, or pretended to not know about this little thing called the Internet.

    You know, the Internet...where I can find out within seconds that a case of Wolf .223 ammo is worth at most $129, most certainly not $175.

    But, like an idiot, I went back for another dose today.

    It's going to be at least another two years before I go back to another gun show.

  5. hillbilly

    hillbilly Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, one more thing about this gun show to cause revulsion and anger.

    At the door, the dowdy, unattractive chickie-poo taking the six freakin' bucks it cost to get in asked every single entrant if they had any guns concealed on their bodies.

    A man in front of me asked why they were concerned about that, since Arkansas is a shall-issue CCW state. She said, "Our insurance won't allow us to let folks carry inside the show."

    So, there you go.....a gunshow that disallowed CCW.

    Funny thing was that inside the show, I saw a vendor, a pot-bellied grouchy old white-haired man in a tactical t-shirt, and he had on his hip a stainless steel 1911 with those faux-ivory USMC grips on it.

    And the magazine was in the pistol and it was cocked-and-locked.

    Sooooo...if you are one of the peasants who shell out six freakin' bucks to get into the show, you can't CCW in there because the promoter's insurance "won't allow" it.

    But, if you are one of the sharks who shell out probably fifty freakin' bucks so you can set up your table to prey on the peasants, you can apparently carry your 1911 .45 ACP on your hip inside the show.

  6. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    I was quite suprised, and disappointed, when at the last gunshow, the entire thing was guns. And guns priced halfway decently.

    Why disappointed? They were all new (well, not new) commercial guns. Out of 600 tables or so, maybe a half dozen C&R's. I missed the tables of milsurp junk and ammo.
  7. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    We get this HUGE gun show a couple times a year. What a smorgasbord. Good stuff too.

    And then there's the little VFW shows... :barf:
  8. Matthew748

    Matthew748 Well-Known Member

    That comment you made about "junky knives, canteens, and beef jerky strips" really got a laugh from me. There must be a law somewhere saying that every gun show in the US must have at least one vendor selling crappy knives and one vendor selling homemade mystery meat sticks.

    On a serious note, I go to a lot of area gun shows and buy pretty much all of my military surplus type ammo from them. The reason? No one will ship ammo to my county of residence. All the great deals available online do me as much good as a knock on the head.
  9. pm2790

    pm2790 Member

    Well, I did pretty good at the last show near me. A couple of buys from fellas walking through the show. A decent project gun off a table and a like new AMD65 kit from a vendor. A couple of cases of SA .308 for less than the shipping and sales tax added to AIM's price- sometimes it sucks to be in Ohio- and they loaded it in my truck for me. The pluses of gun shows have always been the ability to look at the exact item that you are shelling out your money for. No arguing at a distance over 'shipping damage' to an item that arrived in a perfect box. No squinting at a computer screen trying to make out details on a blurry photo. Gunshows aren't perfect; neither is the 'net.
  10. eagle45

    eagle45 Well-Known Member

    Six bucks is what I spend to get into the Bill Goodman's gun shows in the Dayton area, but I've never felt like I wasted it.

    It is true that I see some 'junk' there. Stuff like candles, t-shirts, home made pillows etc. And I must say I see more of it than a few years ago. There are also vendors with toys, even toy guns and accessories. I actually like seeing that. Have you tried to purchase a toy gun lately? When I was a kid you could get them anywhere! (Ok, that was a long time ago! :D ) You are lucky to find one today. One thing I have noticed though is with all the other items there, it is more family oriented, you see more men there with their wife and kids. That's a good thing, as long as the main theme is still firearms and all the things that go with them.

    What I like about it is that there are always a few local dealers there that haul in a lot of new and used guns for sale. Most of the new guns I've purchased in the last few years have been purchased at the Dayton show. There is always a lot of milsurp too, thought they don't meet AIM's prices, if you know what you are looking for you can still find a good deal. There are a couple of Glock armorers there for all the Glock fans (not me, but they stay plenty busy). You can purchase just about anything you need for reloading (and save the UPS charge) and there is usually a large selection of ammo as well. There is one knife dealer that actually sells name brand knives (and lots of them) and has old collectable ones too. He'll beat any price in the SMKW's catalog, or even order for you and you can pick it up at the next show. You also have the option of picking up a used gun from a private seller too, as long as the sale is handled out of the way. You can even buy a gun safe there. Well, you get the idea.

    The show is never perfect, the bad vendors I simply stay away from. There's just something about walking around all those guns and ammo that makes for an enjoyable day. My dad (he's 77) and I go just to walk around and look, whether I have any money to spend or not. It's always a good time for us.
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  11. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    I went to a small local gun show last fall.
    There were quite a few interesting guns including a bunch of Winchester side by sides. I saw a couple 28 gauge pumps which have been hard to locate here and a bolt-action Savage .22 pistol that tempted me a lot.
    Unfortunately the club always has this show when I'm broke.
    I just bought a couple of books.

    I missed the spring show due to illness. Looking forward to the one this fall.
  12. larry starling

    larry starling Well-Known Member

    I to have found myself turned off by the flea market apperance of gun shows lately! But I finally decided to attend one and found one heck of a great deal! A blue 98 percent colt delta elite! so I maintain hope that there are some bargins to be had at shows! :evil:
  13. pm2790

    pm2790 Member

    I guess that's the point I see about these gunshow rants. No, the gunshows aren't like they used to be. I remember the Washington Court House shows that I went to as a kid with my Grandpa back in '63-'66. Trapdoor Springfields piled 6-8 deep on the tables- plenty of original parts and pieces for SAA Colts and Winchesters (66 thru 95), etc., etc. Well, I can't pull out of the car dealer with a nice new car for $1200, either. Things change. $6 for a gunshow, even a poor one, still beats most of the movies out there. I almost always learn something new at a show. Maybe that's just because I started out really dumb.
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I think it's a lie.
  15. wundudnee

    wundudnee Well-Known Member

    In the past year I have found several nice and economical buys at gunshows.

    A S&W early model 610.

    A S&W .45 model of 1950.

    A S&W model 18-2

    A S&W model 10

    A Colt .38 Special Diamondback.

    And at my favorite gunshow in the country, www.tulsaarmsshow.com

    A Winchester model 69 dual sight.

    I think you are going to the wrong "freakin" gun shows. :rolleyes:

  16. PershingRiflesC-7

    PershingRiflesC-7 Well-Known Member

    hillbilly --

    IMO, the only show in this area (OK/AR) worth paying money for is the Wanamaker show in Tulsa in April and October. Sure, it has some of the stuff that you noted as irritants but the wide range of guns shown makes up for it. Some of the pricing is even reasonable. I have bought there before and probably will again. Now that my son and his wife live in the Tulsa area, I can even convince the wife to go along to visit while my son and I go to the show.
  17. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    Just about all the shows in Houston have the 30.06 CHL Felony sign out front with a couple of cops check guns and putting tie wraps on them.

    Some of the smaller shows in Houston suck, but some are okay. The big Houston Gun Collector's show doesn't sell ammo, but they usually have a wide number and variety of guns.

    EVIL5LITER Well-Known Member

    You just described nearly every gun show that goes on here.

    Sometimes they really piss me off that I wasted money.

    Guys that STILL want $75+ dollars for hi-cap Glock mags. Not to mention the table full of M16 mags that look l like they ran them through a blasting cabinent before they brought them in, and want $35 apiece for them.

    Toy guns, junk knives, etc. All crap. It's so hard to find a dealer that sells stuff for decent prices anymore. It's getting to where I have to buy all of my stuff off the net. I don't like to go into a show (or a store) where the price is 25% over suggested retail and haggle them down to what a normal person would pay at a major retailer. It's a huge turn off for me.
  19. cortez kid

    cortez kid Well-Known Member

    Gotta agree with you. The first gun show I went to in years and it was totally junk. Then I went to the Harrisburg show. Big difference. Lots of tables, tons of guns of all types. All the revolvers, what I'm interested in, were expensive. They're all expensive everywhere now. The biggest difference was that some of the vendors there, smiled. Some were down-rite polite. Still a bunch of sourpusses, but enough good natured people to actually make the 2 hour drive worth it. Some poor slob actually made a double sale because he was nice!!. Going back to the other show next weekend. Wish me luck.
    good shootin
  20. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

    I pretty much swore them off not too long ago too. Guys hawking at the door waiting for someone to come in to sell a gun. Then they pounce on him looking to steal it. Junky guns on the tables at top mark up. And all that for a measly 6 bucks. Who needs it?

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