1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tall Tales from a Gunshow

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Member

    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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  21. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    The local club I belong to sponsors three shows each year.

    Mostly a decent mix of guns, gun parts, ammo, gun accessories, knives, reloading equipment and supplies, gun and military related books, and milsurp stuff. Usually one guy selling some or all of the aforementioned stuff plus porn. Usually one guy selling coins. Usually one guy selling the knockdown gun safes. Once in a while the beef jerky family. Sometimes one or more politicians or political parties.

    I am not real fond of the porn guy (although he is quite personable), but no one at the show seems to care, and a lot of it is kind of collectible. He has a autographed posters and such. A lot of it is Ginger Lynn stuff and she is from this area, and for some reason some people collect her stuff. He is reasonably discrete about it.

    The beef jerky family makes some awesome beef jerky. So if they are there I usually get a bag. Maybe two. :)

    I find I end up buying a few milsurp ammo boxes at least once a year.

    Over the years have acquired four (maybe five) guns via the shows. It could be I have forgotten some over the years though.

    Have bought some ammo and reloading supplies. Not recently though. Much more cost effective to buy over the Internet, and a much better selection. Or I can get some stuff such as cast bullets through other sources.

    I think I may have bought a few zippered cases as well as a range bag at the shows too.

    Probably have forgotten as much stuff as I have remembered.

    I have found most of the prices are competitive, but no screaming bargains on anything. Used to be the prices were much better at shows. I think the brick and mortar dealers have learned to better compete these days.

    Now and then I will closely at a firearm. The dealers sometimes seem to have a good story about them, sometimes not. I don't pay much attention.

    Don't see a whole lot of Nazi of KKK type stuff. A few odd pieces there and there, but not whole tables.

    Have not seen the druggie looking people from the LP in a while. The latest LP people I saw at a recent show looked pretty straight. It is real hard to take a political party seriously when it seems that most of its local operatives care only about making pot legal, and could care less about guns at all.

    The constitution party was there a few shows ago. So have several republican party candidates over the years. Never have seen a democratic party candidate.
  22. harmonic

    harmonic member

    Aug 10, 2007
    When I first got into this hobby it was not unusual for people selling guns to make up preposterous tales about their "particular" gun.

    Such as taking off the grips of a handgun and there were the initials "BK" scratched into the frame. Then the seller would say as how this was "Billy the Kid's" personal firearm.

    I've never heard anything that ridiculous. I guess the most ridiculous thing I ever heard was when I was at a show and picked up a dealer's 29-2. I was standing there looking at it and the dealer said it was unfired.

    The gun was extremely loose. The barrel had a severe case of leading that nobody had even attempted to clean. And I just looked at the guy making that claim to make sure he was from planet earth.
  23. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    I hear ya. And you know it's really a bad show when all the jerky is shaped like swastikas :rolleyes:

    Not defending Nazis, but it is amazing that I never hear anyone complain about all the Soviet memorabilia when it is a fact that Stalin killed far more innocents than Hitler.
  24. Ash

    Ash Member

    May 10, 2004
    Anywhere but here
    I had a guy at the Hattiesburg gunshow who was looking for my SIG 220 tell me that people weren't all that interested in SIGs around here. I looked at him, my eye brows up, and "You mean to tell me you don't sell SIGs?" He said he didn't and that the best possible on the 220 was $200 because they just don't move. I wasn't trying to sell to dealers, but always let one look if they ask. I was asking a very sellable price for a West German 220 in 95% ($400) as that was what I had in it. I just smiled and took my pistol back and kept wandering. I didn't have to sell. But then, perhaps 30 minutes later, the seller walked up and told me he would pay the $400 in cash. I sold it to him.

    The worst was once I was told by a dealer the best he could offer on a Colt Trooper Mk III in 22LR and nickel finish, 100% condition, was $40 because they just weren't worth much. Knowing their value being in the $600-$900 price range, I just smiled and took it back. He has a shop in Hattiesburg (pawn shop). I will never, ever buy from him because he was trying to cheat me. A low ball price is one thing, but less than a tithe value is dishonest.

  25. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Morgan County, Alabama
    I guess I'm lucky where I am. While I don't always find good guns where I go, I have got some good guns at a few shows. I have always enjoyed the experience even when I find no interesting guns.
    At one gunshow I even got to examine and handle an M1A1 Thompson. Not the Kahr semi auto woosified version, a rebuilt WW2 full auto. The guy who owned it probably had every federal license available. The only downside was it had a rebuilt receiver after '87 and couldn't be transfered. OTOH maybe that's not a huge downside since I would NEVER have been able to afford it!
    The only time I've been disappointed is when they're held in a small room and there's not too much there.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page