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Tall Tales from a Gunshow

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ozarkhillbilly, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. ozarkhillbilly

    ozarkhillbilly Member

    Jul 18, 2005
    I went to the local gun show yesterday, while I know it is possible to get some good deals, but most of the dealers reminded me of TV used car salesmen. I have never seen a car salesman tell the amount of lies and bs I heard yesterday.

    Just a few examples.

    I overheard a dealer tell a guy that his Mauser 98s where brand new never been fired especial made for the USSR by Germany as war reparations.

    A guy wanting to sell his model 700 in .270, the dealer says that .270s aren't worth but maybe a $200 on a trade because nobody was buying .270s anymore.

    I talked to a dealer about a H&K P7 psp grade B, he wanted $699.00, not a bad price I probably would have bought it until he told me that this would probably be my last chance to ever buy one because his was the last of the imports in the country and no other dealers could now get them.

    I looked at several Colt 1902 .32acp a dealer had, you could see on the tags clearly where he had marked the price on all of them up $300, when asked about it, his reply was that he had been sitting on them for awhile.

    Is my experience typical to experiences you have had at gun shows?
  2. Aguila Blanca

    Aguila Blanca Participating Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    You went to a gun show that actually had GUNS?

    How'd you find the guns amongst all the beef jerky and Nazi memorabilia?
  3. Bigjake

    Bigjake Participating Member

    May 30, 2003
    North Central Ohio
    Try finding guns among the rabid Ron Paulian tables at my show.... Ironic that they pick a guy whose record is decidedly anti-gun as their champion.
  4. 2RCO

    2RCO Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Were those 1903 colts? Or was it a.38? If it was and 02 .32 I'm a bit impressed. Or was this an Albanian/Kenyan war era battlefield pickup.
  5. SomeKid

    SomeKid Participating Member

    Aug 25, 2005

    Where do you get your information? I am just slightly curious, as I want to avoid your sources. Also, lets try not to turn this into another RP thread. We have enough of those. Let this be about gun shows.

    The last gun show I went to was about 4 years ago. Maybe 5. About a third of the tables had guns, bad prices and unpleasant vendors, and the rest had other things.

    Gun shows in my area tend to have decent ammo prices. Or had, no idea about current ones.

    As for tall tales, I had one clown (at the one I went to) tell me Wolf was banned from importing ammo, and this was it (what he had.) I did not believe one word he said, but bought all his ammo. Guy had nice prices.
  6. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    That's odd, because Ron Paul's record is in actuality completely pro-gun, and for the right reasons too...not one of "to preserve duck hunting". The show I went to this weekend was chock full of Ron Paul signs as was last month's show. I didn't see any Romney, Thompson, Duncan, Giuliani, or Huckabee signs at all. Clearly this candidate has struck a chord with a reasonable share of dealers renting tables at the gun shows. As mentioned, not to derail this thread, but please refrain from making statements without supporting evidence.

    The beef jerky is always good, and there are plenty of guns at the show here. I hear horror stories about how some gun shows are more sportsman shows than actual gun shows. The WAC shows here I attend are about 80% firearms, 10% knives, 5% books, jerky, jewelry, and 5% miscellaneous. The only qualm I have is that the optics offered are usually lower end stuff. There aren't many people selling Leupold, Zeiss, Leica, Nightforce, etc.

    Just like staff and customers you meet in gun stores, you'll find honest folk, liars, and people that are downright scammers at gun shows. Best know your stuff if you're to make a purchase. I usually attend once or twice a month and one of the best things is networking with folks and sharing stories. You'll find out who to avoid and who you like to deal with.
  7. Tribal

    Tribal Active Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Virginia 757
    The ones I've attended (in Hampton, Norfolk, and Richmond) have all been pretty decent. Of course there were people selling jerky, "WWII" memorabilia, crafts, and Chinese knockoff junk, but the majority seemed to be split between those selling actual firearms (half new or modern, half older) and those selling accessories and ammunition.

    Of course the gun dealers varied, with some charging extremely high prices and not wanting to negotiate. However, quite a few readily pointed me to others who had what I wanted and sometimes even worked to convince me (they were right) that a proposed trade I'd been offered was a good one. Overall, the ones I've been to have been good experiences and I've been happy with both the quality of the purchases and the attitudes of the people there.

    My "wishlist" would have two main items:
    1. Removal of shady guys outside constantly asking "What's in the case? Whaddya want for it?"
    2. Banning of large Nazi displays. If you've got a big box of WWII stuff then no big deal (although having a swastika twice as large as the American star and the British roundel is kind of iffy). If you've got a big display of flags, half of which have a swastika and no historical precedent then I'd prefer you not be there.

    Of course, I wouldn't mind having a bluegrass band or something off in the corner near the concessions, but one can't have everything.
  8. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Active Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    WAC shows are great. Guess that is the difference between having a club show and a strictly commercial venture.
  9. Bob R

    Bob R Active Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    The Dry Side of WA
    There was a guy at the last show I went to that had a gun I wanted. He had raised the asking price on the gun by 200 dollars since the show 3 months ago.

    All he did was write the new price over the old, kind of tacky IMO.

  10. bogie

    bogie Mentor

    Jan 2, 2003
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    Suggestion: If you see an offensive dealer (i.e., nazi or klucker), go find the show promoter, and tell them that (a) you don't really want to come back; and (b) if the media shows up, guess who they'll gravitate toward to show how _their_ show works...
  11. 98C5

    98C5 Active Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    SW Va
    The shows around me aren't too bad. Yeah, you have the Nazi articles guy, the beef jerky, the knife guy, and the jewelry lady. But, there are several dealers with nice pieces and pretty good prices. One had a polished nickel Rock Island in .45 for $375. I thought they only had those in .38 Super. I told him to write the caliber on the tag, he'd sell it faster. He smiled and did. After debating it 20 minutes, I went back over to buy it. Nope, gone! He said that after I left he heard a customer say ".....but it is in a .45..." and bought it. I smiled and said "maybe next time". Yeah, pulled the rug from under myself!

    Oh well, picked up some ammo and AR mags and was happy.

    The worst one I heard is that when I was trying to sell a Dan Wesson 10mm NIB, I heard "...the 10mm isn't popular" and "Dan Wesson is an okay brand...."

  12. hotpig

    hotpig Active Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    SW Illinois St Louis metro east
    I stopped setting up at shows around here. It was hard making enough money to pay for the table. I'm in Illinois so it is more of a social event than buy or sale event.

    As far as a 270 rifle I would not give anything for it. It would never sale locally. I would have to put it on auction arms and hope to come out on it.
  13. SGW42

    SGW42 Active Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    Shows I've been to have been okay. There's not too many "little guys" wheelin' and dealin'. Just what are obviously essentially traveling gun stores. But I don't mind, because they have had ridiculously low prices on NIB guns, and I can pick and examine whatever I want at my own pace.

    I'd say there is usually about 70% guns, with one guy with pallets and pallets of ammo, the Taser demonstrator, "Huge Pile O' Magazines" guy and one jerky booth. I actually just like to go just to see the "Huge Pile O' Grips" guy and rummage through his bins. :) I've found some really nice finds for dirt cheap.

    My only complaint would be there is always so much tacticool stuff and not nearly enough hunting-type rifles to look at.

    All said and done I think it's worth the price of admission just to stroll in and people watch.
  14. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Senior Member

    Jun 2, 2005
    Hmmm...the last show I went to had plenty of guns, and I didn't see much in the way of food/beef jerkey/airsoft/junk, either...

    I picked up an excellent Marlin Camp 9 carbine from a private seller for $285, and a new mag for my Winchester 69. Oh, they had some good books, too, and I picked up Enemies: Foreign and Domestic and Domestic Enemies.

    I hope to go back to one. I need more mags and books, but I don't have any money for guns left...
  15. Wedge

    Wedge Participating Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    I have been to TWO (2) shows in my life. Both were very disappointing experiences. Admission price was about $5/person (I had my wife with me) and I was looking for handguns under $300 (just got my pistol permit in NY).

    High prices, lots of junk, Nazi guy, jerky, NASCAR. Okay ammo prices, but I find that with most "shows" (gun, electronic, etc.) I spend as much as I would have on admission as what my range fees are and waste an hour and leave unsatisfied...

    Now going in to people watch would be more entertaining and probably a better use of time and money than looking for non-existant deals.

    Now, my grandfather has some Nazi memorablia...namely a Nazi marked P38...that he plucked off a dead German as a war trophy. Selling gigantic swastikas and flags though kind of makes me want to go buy an Allied rifle (Enfield, Garand, Mosin-nagant), affix the bayonet and stab the guy. But the First ammendment...much like the Second isn't about protecting what you approve of but what you don't approve of so I just try to ignore them.

    I have yet to go to the one in Austin, perhaps I will give it a try.
  16. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    0 hours west of NC
    Yeah, I don't really get why people complain about the gun dealers lying.
    It's not like you're sooooo offended by his moral character that you'd never buy a firearm from him. If he told you he was the "lost Dolphin", but offered to sell you a Garand for 59.95, you'd buy the Garand and ask him when he plans to take back his throne.

    People do this all the time. At car dealerships and all manner of places, they worry about the character of the salesperson, when in reality it's the price of the item that is really all they care about.

    So, some guy has a table full of guns and fabricates reasons that its worth more. Offer what you think is a fair price and either buy it or move on. But, worry about your own moral character and mind your own business.

    And, I tend to not worry too much about the beef jerky, Nazis, "Tyranny Response Teams" (militias- to use the common parlance), booksellers, conspiracy guys, or the cheap chinese gadget guys. If they didn't show up, there wouldn't BE a gun show because no one would be renting booths. If you don't want what they've got, just keep walking.
    Kinda like the aisles in a grocery or convenience store. I may not buy ho-hos, a pair of pantyhose, an unbreakable comb, and a newspaper every time I stop for gas, but I can get what I went there for and leave without passing judgment on the clerk for having products I don't buy, even if the clerk tells me that my regular unleaded is vintage fuel from a WW2 crash site in Roswell and that's why it's 3 bucks a gallon.
  17. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Senior Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Northwest IL--the other 'Downstate'
    Went to one across the line in Iowa this last weekend; very crowded.

    Wanted a Yugo SKS firing pin--none to be had. Did pick up some ammo.

    If you go to the same shows, you see the dealers that are friendly and honest over and over again. Good dealers will become repeat dealers and fixtures. Like adjusting the squelch on a two-way radio, you mostly learn to ignore the jerks (and there are always jerks a a gun show).
  18. GEM

    GEM Senior Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    You have to know your stuff and find a few of the good dealers.

    For Austin, AJC - although he can be cranky has good prices and decent on trades.

    BTW, coin shows are the same way. Try to sells something there - lucky if you come back with your shorts on. Again, you have to find a good dealer.
  19. SGW42

    SGW42 Active Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    Another thing is I always look at who the promoter is. Here there seems to be a show every weekend, but there's at least 4 or 5 different promoters doing them. The first show I went to (as described above) I enjoyed, so I only look for shows when they are coming back to town (High Caliber, if anyone is interested) and those are the only ones I've been to.
  20. ceetee

    ceetee Participating Member

    Sep 7, 2003
    I do it myself. I like honest people, and I tend to reward them for that honesty with my business. If a guy is lying to me about a particular item, and it's an obvious enough lie that any well-informed gun hobbyist would catch it, then what else is he going to lie about? Besides that, what kind of lies is he telling to people that don't know better? 'Minds me of the time I heard a gunshop clerk telling a potential female customer that once she bought her new Glock, she should just shoot at any unexplained noise she heard in the night - apparently, that Glock would make her accurate enough to hit the target without even seeing it.

    Honest dealers are a credit to the whole firearms industry. Dishonest ones do us all a disservice.

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