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What can I expect from a gun show?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jfanzen, Feb 26, 2007.

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  1. jfanzen

    jfanzen Member

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    There will be a gun show in Tucson, AZ march 3-4 at the pima county fairgrounds.. what can I expect from the show? Any fake guns if possible? do they take credit cards? Just curious never been to one and dont want to be lowballed./.. any input is appreciated.. thank you much!
     
  2. 3rdpig

    3rdpig Member

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    You can expect high gun prices, a crowd full of illegal aliens, thugs and Californians all tying to find straw purchasers, beef jerky, candles, sunglasses, cheap optics and a lot of other useless crap. Most the larger vendors will take plastic with an extra charge, most of the smaller vendors will not.

    I go to almost every gun show in the Phoenix area. I used to go to the Tucson and Flagstaff shows too, but cut that out a couple of years ago, it just wasn't worth the money. With a $12 entrance fee and a $6 parking fee, I'm about to give up the Phx shows too.

    Unless I'm wanting to buy a goodly amount of bulk ammo, I'll just stick to the smaller local shows from here on in.
     
  3. Gendaito

    Gendaito Member

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    1. Cash is king. Some places may take checks, and fewer may take debit/credit.
    2. Expect lots of beanie babies, beef jerky, and airsoft crap.
    3. Do your research before the show in order to avoid getting hosed. Prices may vary wildly.

    good luck!
     
  4. sorensen440

    sorensen440 member

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    Deffinatly do your research first
    I dont know how many times ive seen a price at the gun show on a used gun that seemed high and when I got home and checked it out it was new gun pricing
     
  5. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    People sell gold too (coins, nuggets, etc), watches, jewelry, lots of knives, milsurp, NRA memberships. I saw lots of optics, but nothing over $200. You can usually find good deals on magazines and miscellaneous parts for more popular firearms. You also see a lot of beat up old crap for ridiculous prices.

    Ammo is probably the best reason to go. You can usually find something reasonably priced. In bulk, it'll be tax free and likely cost much less than buying locally with tax or paying a ton for shipping fees out of state. Money can let you haggle a little too if the person is willing to play ball. Some people with tables don't seem to want to sell anything though.
     
  6. XeRoFuN

    XeRoFuN Member

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    There's one in my area next month as well. Was thinking of going but I don't really hear good things from shows. Only good experience are people buying guns off people unloading their stuff at shows.
     
  7. jfanzen

    jfanzen Member

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    hmmm ive heard more negatives than posotives... ill probably cancel
     
  8. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    you CAN find good deals, you just need to know what to look for. Truth be told though, you can find many better deals over the internet. Also the supposed "gun-show loophole" ie, Face to Face (FTF) transfer... yeah, the only people I ever find selling guns at shows are FFLs. So you still have to pay the stinking sales tax.
     
  9. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Here in central Alabama, you can expect too see a bunch of old fart's
    with weapons that command insanely high prices, sitting around eating
    cookies and drinking milk~! :uhoh: :eek: :scrutiny: :banghead:
     
  10. default

    default Member

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    Just as I said in response to a simlilar question over at TFL, expect a lot of fantasy swords, Nazi regalia, mystery ".40SW +p+" reloads in a plastic bag, and beat used pistols for a fraction of their new price - usually about 5/4. (It's an old line but a good one). :D

    Having said that, gun shows are fun, bargains on milsurps, ammo, books, magazines (both kinds), parts, etc., can be found, some people bring their exotic NFA stuff to show off - I've seen a real MG34 and '50s AR10 on display, sometimes collector's associations have great displays of Garands, Winchester lever-actions, Lugers, and so on, and it is, after all, a huge room filled with thousands of guns. They're not usually an ideal venue to purchase current-production or recent used firearms, at least in my experience, but overall, not a bad afternoon's entertainment for a few bucks.
     
  11. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    I hate gun shows and rarely go to them. The only thing I enjoy about gun shows is that you do get to see (and handle if you ask nicely) a lot of weapons and other items that you don't normally see at gun stores. All kinds of odd junk is sold at gun shows. I find that attending one gun show about ever 5 years more than satisfies my needs.
     
  12. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    You can expect a lot of beef jerky, and other kinds of jerky as well :)
     
  13. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    I've only picked up ammo and ammo cans. Those are dirt cheap. Accessories are good too. My friend's wife picked up a large ammo bag that she now uses as a purse. Most of the vendors at my local gun show (held almost every month) take plastic, but I'm sure they'll work a bit for cash. Research is key, as others have said. Remember, these are guys out to make a profit of some form.
     
  14. Leif Runenritzer

    Leif Runenritzer Member

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    You should go at least to see what it's like. I'm sure that many gunshows are as trashy as we always hear, but not the one's i've been to.
     
  15. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Wow! Those descriptions may (or may not) be accurate in some areas, but most places they would be, at best, somewhat jaundiced.

    In fact, gun shows can be good places to buy guns, if you know what you are doing. And there is no better place to look at guns and learn. One of the major failures of beginning collectors is not looking at enough guns to know what is right and what is not. Gun shows can help remedy that problem.

    Whether the show is mainly guns/accessories or mainly unrelated junk depends on the show sponsors; they approve the table applications. As to people trying to buy guns illegally, most shows in this (VA/PA/MD) area don't have much of a problem. The sponsors police them pretty well and there is often some (usually unobtrusive) BATFE/police presence. Due to the state laws, most sellers will be FFL dealers, but that is not always true.

    If you plan to buy and are not from the state where the show is being held, make arrangements in advance with your local dealer to take a shipment for you. It is even better if he will give you some signed copies of his FFL, so you can give one to the seller and he can ship. If you have a C&R license, take it with you and you can walk out with C&R items. You can also walk out with antiques (pre-1899).

    One thing to remember is that the seller rarely cheats the buyer; the buyer cheats himself by thinking that he has found something worth paying too much for and that the seller doesn't know what he has. That is true once in a while, but usually it is the buyer's delusion and the buyer's loss.

    Unless going to the show is inconvenient, go and enjoy. See for yourself, don't take other people's word on it.

    Jim
     
  16. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Not much I can add to what everyone else said, but even then I still enjoy going. The only thing's I've ever bought at one were a Makarov pistol, and a couple of magazines for guns I already had, but it's just fun to walk around, and look. I'm not looking for anything, and there are a lot of shall we say "characters" who show up. I'll usually find some old coot like myself to talk to.

    Where else you going to get to see all three pistols that Hitler used to kill himself in one room? (and one of them was a Glock. ;) )
     
  17. default

    default Member

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    Jim Keenan makes some great points. They can be educational, the well-informed and calm shopper generally has nothing to fear, and the ones I've been to, although they did have fantasy swords and Nazi regalia and some rinky-dink ammo (I've never actually seen "mystery .40SW +p+ reloads", I just think the phrase is kind of funny), the majority of the tables featured guns and gun-related accessories, parts, and books.

    If you've been to a few, the humorous or questionable aspects can tend to stick in one's mind, that's all. :)
     
  18. cracked junior

    cracked junior Member

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    i posted a couple weeks ago about legality of buying a rifle in kansas, while being a nebraska resident. gun show across the border into kansas. i went to it but didnt buy anything. it was like others have said. everything but good firearms. there were used rifles that cost more then cabelas new pricing. jerky, candy, coins, gold, clothing, military clothing, stripper clips, used m16/ar15 mags, homemade crafts.

    one table had a used and abused m6 laser sight/light combo, the sticker said 300. the guy wouldnt come down at all. i i finaly said i can buy new for cheaper and he turned away.

    i did talk to a guy that i havent talked to in a few years. so it was worth it.
     
  19. default

    default Member

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    Ha, good one. 2 shows ago I saw a Luger with a crudely hand-lettered sign that said something like "Hitler had one". Apart from that being a somewhat unappealing sales pitch, wasn't he really more of a Walther man? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    By most accounts, Hitler was not much of a gun person. He never hunted and was a strict vegetarian. He carried a gun at times for protection in the early days, and it was a gun belonging to him that Geli Raubal used to kill herself, but he had no collection, as Goering did.

    The Walther Hitler used on himself was a factory presentation piece. Sometimes described as "solid gold", it was not, though it was engraved and gold plated, quite the sort of thing that would be presented by a major arms factory to the head of state.

    Jim
     
  21. Tom609

    Tom609 Member

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    If you're into reloading you can save the hazmat shipping fees by getting primers and powder. Then again, after paying the parking and entrance fees, you could just patronize your local shop.
     
  22. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    I enjoy the living daylights out of the gunshows I attend. Perhaps I'm a bit too easily pleased, or the shows I go to are "different", but I always appreciate the chance to go.

    One major factor unmentioned so far, is that you often can actually see (and sometimes handle) guns that you have only read about, or have no realistic expectation of owning. Some exhibitors/sellers are literally founts of information about their particular fields, and I have LEARNED a great deal from chatting with such folks.

    At our small-town local show, with perhaps only fifty tables or so, I found the absolute best deal I ever expect to find. It happened as I was ready to walk out the door, when I glanced back and saw a revolver GLITTERING at me from easily 50 feet away. I went back, and found a Smith & Wesson SPECIAL PRESENTATION GRADE pre-Model 27 .357 revolver, in excellent-plus condition. It was engraved as a Camp Perry prize gun for the 1959 National Matches.

    The price was $275. I even beat him down to $250, and having sold two Ruger three-screws at the show for a $140 profit, I figure the S&W cost me only $110 out of pocket! The gun's history was confirmed by Roy Jinks, S&W's historian, as was the Presentation designation (of which I had never heard).
     
  23. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    beef jerkey, overpriced crap, beef jerky, tacticoolnees at inflated prices, beef jerky, overpriced stuff, beef jerky, the occasional deal, oh and did I mention beef jerky?
     
  24. rugerdude

    rugerdude Member

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    You can find good deals! Nothing spectacular, but I have found the guns I was looking for and I paid their online price, but since I didn't need a dealer transfer, or shipping, I saved some money.

    I've actually bought both of my gun show purchases from the same guy, but at different gunshows. He always seemed to have what I wanted, at a great price. I told him he had the best prices and he simply said, "I'm not here to get rich like some people, but I try to make a little."

    Guess who I'm going to find next time the big gunshow hits town? I could probably get him to knock a few buck off the sticker price because I've already bought two guns from him, but I'd rather pay full price and give him some extra money for his honesty in a place of some very dishonest people.
     
  25. ScotZ

    ScotZ Member

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    WOW:eek: The gun shows around here are not like what was described above. I try to go early because they get too crowded. Most of the vendors are friendly and go out of their way to help you find something. I picked up a SIG 229 40cal for $529 at the Dayton gun show. I guess maybe I should stay in Ohio:confused:
     
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