View Full Version : No deals at gun shows... where do you go?

01-08-2014, 12:25 PM
Do any of you guys still find any deals at gun shows?

In my area the shows are anywhere from $6-12 admission, they usually charge for kids, so I can't afford to take them, and I find everything priced higher than LGS or ebay! I have also found that the vendors don't even want to negotiate on their prices unless they know you. This applies to reloading stuff, parts and guns.

I had stopped going to shows for a bit but when the fish weren't biting last saturday, I decided to go to one of the areas bigger shows that was only 10 miles from where I was sitting on the ice. The only decently priced item I saw in the whole place was primers for $35/1k. I say decent because that is what they sell for at the one LGS that has them and Cabella's.

We have lost all of our more traditional pawn shops in the area and now only have ones that are chocked full of e-waste and won't touch firearms.

Where do you guys go to find deals?

01-08-2014, 12:44 PM
I still find what I consider good deals at gun shows, the best at the smaller shows IMO.

However I buy very little, my collection is fairly large getting close to 200 arms now, .22 rimfire probably more than I'll ever use up other than match ammo, reloading components, same story, have bunches. Reloading gear, got all I need and even have all the moulds I want. Lead? I on the BOD at our local indoor range, got hundreds of lbs of smelted lead on hand and buckets of range lead to go yet.

Summation, I'm set, but still see deals out there.

Heck I even picked up a new Winchester 94 in 30-30 at our local pawn shop for $175.00 last year. Was there a few days ago and they had a nice T-C Hawkin in .50 cal for $125.00.

01-08-2014, 12:47 PM
Still gunshow deals to be had, but not as plentiful as in the past and I have to work harder to find them.

Also, attend only a few shows per year which is many fewer than in years past.

01-08-2014, 12:58 PM
Gun Broker has deals occasionally and LOTS to see.

Unfortunately the model of the seller not knowing what he has and getting
a huge bargain is pretty much killed by the huge marketplace of the internet.
Online, you usually pay what something is worth, unless it is somehow "out of favor" with
the majority now. Of course, there are the crazies that go nuts bidding and pay
three times what something is worth sometimes.


01-08-2014, 01:23 PM
The downer to the auctions is the shipping, which is often around $50.00, plus an extra $25-50.00 for the receiving dealers. I always do much better at gun shows, where I can deal with people face to face. Some people don't want to deal, and they get to leave with everything they bring with them. Our gun shows are social events, and much more dealing take place before the show than during it. If the public isn't buying, which is a common thing in Lincoln, the dealers start feeding on each other. One thing, don't expect give away prices on new guns, the costs are fixed, and the dealers overhead is often high. Used guns is where the action is.

01-08-2014, 01:57 PM
Looks like meet me on the side of the road and we will deal.I have noticed that around here they will advertise to sell a gun but most want new prices or better for a gun.I guess there are some that will give the exotic prices and think they are getting a good deal.

01-08-2014, 02:00 PM
I do a lot of shows in the East. I find a lot of Good deal not cheap but Good if I want it. Reloading stuff is only worth what people will pay. antiques are now an "investment". Some dealer will bargain if your serious. Individual walking around always go home with it. They alway quote the "Book". My pat answer is Sell it to the book > I have cash

AK Caster
01-08-2014, 02:36 PM
I quit going to gun shows a few years ago as most of the stuff was priced above retail. Stopped looking for deals a long time ago. I see no sense in buying something just because it is a "deal". I go on searches for different things I already decided I want to buy.

01-08-2014, 02:39 PM
I often see people moaning about the cost of admission to gun shows. GOOD GRIEF, AMIGOS!

Have you priced the cost of admission to a first-run movie these days? You get to pay a high price to sit in the dark and watch overpaid LIBERAL (even COMMIE) metrosexuals at work trying to tear down our country and its social structure! And, you PAY them to do this???

Admission to a gun show is the price for great entertainment, even if you don't find a super "deal" on something. You can spend an entire day poking around, talking to people of similar interests, girl-watching....and folks COMPLAIN about this! I see any "deal" as a bonus to the whole thing.

It's just a matter of attitude. I lived for decades in an area so remote that there were absolutely no gun shows within about 800 road miles. I, for one, am very grateful indeed for the shows that now lie within my "visiting range"....say, 200 miles.

Many people simply don't appreciate what they have.

01-08-2014, 02:49 PM
I don't tend to go to gun shows anymore. The prices weren't that great and I've pretty much filled up my gun safe with everything that I can reasonably even *think* that I want to collect. These days, I watch CraigsList and Armslist for deals. Sure, people are not *supposed* to sell firearms on CraigsList and the leftists on there will flag and delete your posting fairly quickly, but that just makes it more fun when you do catch one before it has been removed.

01-08-2014, 03:04 PM
I look at Craigslist quite often. Deals come up from time to time. But unfortunately people use the Internet to find out what's something worth new. And then they want that for a used item. I'm able to find deals at the gun stores by me. They don't set the world on fire but they are still a deal. Hell, I even find firearms deals at Cabelas. You just can't be in a hurry.

The best places for deals is the classifieds on this site. I know it's not a gun show. But my wallet likes the classifieds here a lot better. I stopped going to shows because it's shoulder to shoulder mall ninjas. I don't like ARs and AKs and the amount of wood and steel firearms drops w/ every show.

01-08-2014, 03:11 PM
Last gun show had a .410 Browning pump. It was as new in the box and very nice. It was something that looked like fun to shoot the birds in my cherry trees. Looked at it several times as I walked the show. Went home without it.

Next day my wife wanted to go shopping and I went back to the last day of the show to see if anything new came in or something I'd missed. .410 was still sitting there in the box. Just before I was going to leave I walked back to the table and asked to see it. The guy said it was sold and returned for a trade but never fired. I asked for "his best price", he dropped $50.00 and said a "lot of people looking at it" and that was a good price for it (it was $100 below current retail on the tag before we started dealing).

I said yes, but it's still sitting here!! He dropped another $50.00 and it came home with me.

01-08-2014, 03:38 PM
In area it's $10 admission, I stopped going.

01-08-2014, 03:47 PM
LOL Gun show admissions cost as much as a so called burger and fries at McDonalds, no way will I pay that. lol No I don't know how to do the purple thing. lol

I'm pretty much like Bruce, I go for the entertainment, and really what else can you do until you just get tired doing for even close to the cost???

01-08-2014, 03:56 PM
It has been a very long time since I found going to gun shows enjoyable. There is so much jerky, black nylon **** and other stuff you have to walk buy just to see a gun. Many of the folks selling guns misrepresent their wares, they just can't be so stupid as to believe "that is the original finish" even those most of the marking have been polished off etc. etc.. I have zero use for liars and cheats there are way to many of them at gun shows these days.

Therefore I don't go to gun shows but once every year or so. With the current panic buying on all things firearms related, there is allot of gouging going on. I grew up and still live in the Texas Gulf Coast and we get our share of hurricanes and bad storms. I have seen way to many folks gouging others in the wake of such events. My personal ethics does not include kicking people when they are down for profit.

I know, it is the choice of folks to pay gouge prices or now and that is capitalism and all that nonsense. But, my distaste for gougers, liars and cheats is so great, I find it best just to stay away from where they hang out, lest problems arise. When somebody looks me in the eye and tells me a lie, I seldom let that pass by without comment.

01-08-2014, 04:24 PM
After 30+ years on the buy side of local (within 50 M.) gunshows.I decided I'd better switch over before SWMBO sold my "things" to Cabela's (or worse) for 40-50% of going internet sales. With the benefit of the internet to guide me, I consider everything I offer to be value priced, and knowledgeable buyers must agree. I consider it a minor error if I display any firearm that there is more than 1 other(same caliber,or gauge) at that show..So those looking to save 99 cents from Cabela's ,Dick"s, Or Sportsmens Warehouise latest ad price for a Rem.870 express can pass right by..Conversely,should you be seeking a Stevens 425 in 35 Rem to complete your collection,I'm your huckleberry..AND I try to adhere closely to Char-gar's credo re: "look me in the eye and tell me a lie". Helps a great deal in keeping the gypsy gunshow dealers away on set-up day..Not to be knocking all other competitors,as some selectmen have been of great aid,in finding that special thing that only shows up on G.B'K'R one every 2-3 years,and fetching it back here for me..(allsamee Stevens Mdl.425's, et al) FWIW and TEHO... Onceabull

01-08-2014, 04:33 PM
Where do you guys go to find deals?

I vote with my wallet. Wherever the good deals are, my wallet leads the way!

01-08-2014, 04:46 PM
I avoid all of the large gun shows but I love the small country shows. How do you tell the difference? Look at the admission price. Large shows know they are going to gather a large crowd so they can and do charge a higher fee. The smaller shows, usually located in a fire-hall or community center charge a smaller entrance fee in order to attract more customers. I have never found a deal at a large show but the smaller shows with smaller dealers often have good bargains.


01-08-2014, 04:47 PM
We have only one show here in So. Cal. - and it has not been worth going to for quite a few years. Before the hoarding and subsequent empty shelves, I would only go to buy powder and primers from the tent outside the main building. I never ventured into the building because it only housed several tables of over priced rifles sprinkled in about an acre of swap meet junk and beef jerky.
And they hit you twice here - If I remember correctly, the mafia (ace parking) charges 12 or so bucks to park, then Crossroads hits you the same amount to get in!

I'm at the various ranges shooting most every weekend, and thats where the most interesting stuff shows up anyway...

01-08-2014, 04:57 PM
I only find going to a gun show worthwhile if
A). I have specific item or items to purchase with sufficient total cost that the additional admission price added on is worth it.
B). If I have a good idea of the going price for the item so that I know a good deal vs. a overpriced gouge.
C). If I have something I want to sell. In which case item B applies.

Taking into account that just because someone on Flea Bay is asking $$$ for the same item does not mean a dealer is going to pay that price for mine. I had some old Weatherby ammo in the tiger box, online people asked prices of around $50 at gun show three different dealers would go $25 which seemed fair given the condition of the box and the fact that they would have to invest that $25 until such time as they could sell it.

No point in going to a show to purchase a $25 or $35 item I could purchase online unless shipping costs would push total cost above gun show admission. Before the whole ammo thing got out of hand I would set aside funds to restock ammo supply and use that purchase to justify going to the show knowing that purchase of a couple of hundred dollars worth of ammo justified the admission. Then I would enjoy browsing all of the neat stuff, reading the t-shirts (for sale or worn by patrons) and maybe talking with the vendors, all in all a pleasant experience that left me with full ammo cans for a good price.

Given current ammo prices and spotty availability at shows I don't think I'll be going to any shows until things settle down.

01-08-2014, 05:42 PM
Well, group....

It seems that I'm in a distinct minority here, in regarding gunshows to be, first and foremost, SHOWS.... and secondly as a place that I MIGHT find something that I can't stand to be without. That's fine, since I'm very much a rookie at the gunshow schtick despite my advanced age. This is due to the aforementioned isolation that I endured for so many years.

I believe I've been very fortunate, in that most of my show experience has been at the Big Reno Show, which has consistently satisfied all my reasons for going to a show in the first place. From many comments about other shows, the BRGS is a throwback o a time when gunshows were about..... GUNS! It does NOT have all the junk-and-jerky sellers I read about, and I'd estimate there are well-over five thousand assorted firearms at any of the times I've attended.

I note the comments about smaller shows, too..... here in Winnemucca there's a smallish annual show which is VERY interesting, and which has yielded a couple of very fine guns for me at excellent prices. Other "stuff" too..... like a Lyman 450 in great condition with FOURTEEN sizing dies.... for $35! A nose-pour Hoch 45-425
for SIX dollars, in new condition.... a few things like that sweeten the pot considerably.

01-08-2014, 06:29 PM
I used to really enjoy gun shows. Back when there were crates of various bolt guns, SKS's from 5 different countries, parts kits for dozens of various foreign rifles, and crates of surplus ammo for them stacked in the aisles.... I loved going. Too bad that's about over with.

01-08-2014, 06:38 PM
I find one or two deals at each show I go to, now weather I want that deal or not is another thing.

Example, I saw a really nice M1 Garand for $700 that a gentleman was selling off his collection. If I was in the market I would have snapped that one up pronto!but I wasn't so I let it lay and sure enough 30 min later it was gone.

found some 223 rem pointed soft point ammo $15 per box, old green and white boxes, MINT condition. bought some, rest were gone in 40 min's...

they are out there, you just have to look everywhere and be ready. It may not be what you're looking for, but there are deals out there.

01-08-2014, 07:14 PM
I'm still seeing things BruceB's way, and would likely be at BRGS ftit if the overhead was not prohibitive for an out of area seller... Word reaching me over the past few years is that it's mo"betta to buy here and sell there, as a lot of the pricing is geared to the big California market..The storefront dealers here that do go there maybe once a year tell me that they only buy enough tablespace to display items priced at 1k and up...IN that price arena, I'm normally satisfied with the GunBroker or GunAuctions for what sales I do... although a local collector did pay up for my 1886 Ultralight 33 WCF. in the fall of '12... Onceabull

01-08-2014, 07:22 PM
I'm with Bruce. Go to gun shows for fun and MIGHT find a deal every so often. Mostly not much.

An afternoon out with my gun show buddy. We have been going for over 20 yrs together, been shooting
together for 34 years.


01-08-2014, 07:27 PM
I avoid all of the large gun shows but I love the small country shows. How do you tell the difference? Look at the admission price. Large shows know they are going to gather a large crowd so they can and do charge a higher fee. The smaller shows, usually located in a fire-hall or community center charge a smaller entrance fee in order to attract more customers. I have never found a deal at a large show but the smaller shows with smaller dealers often have good bargains. Larry

Much truth here. and I'll add, in Minnesota anyway, that most gunshows in a metropolitan area or it's suburbs are run so keep out small sellers and private sellers, So it's just large scale dealers whether firearms or non-firearm dealers.

The small shows out in the 'sticks' run by the local sportsman club or similar (for a fundraiser) bring in all the small and private dealers...Lots of neat, unusual, nd old items and great deals. And the entry fee goes for a great purpose, as opposed to some large production company that keeps the small dealers out.

01-08-2014, 07:32 PM
I do it for the entertainment and to see and BS with the same guys every couple of months. There are a few retired guys who buy large quantities of inexpensive but good handguns to get a deal from the wholsaler, mark them up $50 and even let you negotiate that down a bit. I have bought from those guys. You can still find that if you go to the correct show. Otherwise, I take my kids and let them see every type of firearm in their video games in person... the nicer sellers will even let me handle them to show them. It's cool to see 500 different guns you'd love to have but never will. I like looking at the FNH's and others I'd never buy too.. especially the ones in the video games...

So the $7 it costs me to get in is cheap entertainment and occasionally I'll find a deal. There are two shops who specialize in reloading stuff that are always there... more expensive than Midway or Brownells usually.. but if I need one of something or want to avoid a hazmat, they are cheaper than the LGS's by a little and typically have more selection.. especially on the Friday nights before the sell out of powders.

I'd also say "a gun show in 6-9 months"... prices on everything at the last one-- except 380 ACP and .22LR ammo were almost back to pre-Sandy Hook and it looks like FFL's are starting to get stuck with inventory. One other suggestion.. the last show of the year before the "summer break", particularly on Sunday.. usually is a good show to go to if you want to wheel and deal... I think this year could be extra special in the last show too because I sense a buyers market coming up now that the crazy **** is slowing down..

01-08-2014, 07:51 PM
Know what you want and probably more importantly, know what it is worth. I collect and use Hensley & Gibbs moulds and will occasionally see a good one and might even be able to get it on Flea Bay at a reasonable price. Last one I bid on was a 4 cavity 38 special 158 gr round nose mould that went for $160+. More than I wanted to pay. I'll keep looking. Those deals pop up on occasion.
I don't go to gun shows any more because I don't want to be insulted by the huge asking prices, and have to stand in line for 2 hours to get in.

01-08-2014, 08:08 PM
I usually don't go to many gun shows, but there is one at the fairgrounds not far from my house that's open maybe twice a year. I like to go just to look at stuff, not necessarily to buy. Last time, I used a coupon for a $1 off, from their website, and when I went to pay, the gal said, you get another dollar off for being a senior. That was fine with me.

01-08-2014, 08:16 PM
I don't enjoy doing the slow shuffle, belly-button to butt with strangers. My bullets are nicer than the cast I find for sale at the Indy 500 Gun & Knife Show, primers are over priced, and jerky has too much sodium for my high blood pressure. I did do one smaller show this past year and got a good deal on Starline 44 Rem Mag brass. They are just too crowded and I don't find them very entertaining anymore.

01-08-2014, 08:24 PM
I agree with Blammer; I've been a gun show addict since the mid 70's, and they've surely changed, but I've never been to one that didn't have at least 1 real good deal, whether it was something I would buy or not. Think Sherlock Holmes: many look, few truly SEE.

01-08-2014, 08:26 PM
If you have patience then you can and will find deals at gun shows. I've missed some, and gotten some deals. I like going to them just to go and see what's there. I miss the gun shows of my youth and even into my teens. They were actually shows then. Folks had collections of firearms on display. Heck my dad had 2 different Walther pistol collections over the years. He won awards at gun shows for the quality of his collection and display. He has a couple of bronzes on shelves in his office that he won for his displays. I remember seeing collections of old Sharps rifles, Winchester lever actions, Colt revolvers, S&W revolvers, and a huge Luger collection. The Lugers would have taken up 5 or 6 tables laid out on their sides, but he had them vertical, slid down onto blocks that went into the magazine wells. The blocks were all part of the larger display, in layers, with each model labelled. You don't see displays anymore, and there aren't as many deals. A deal is what you make of it though; if both parties are happy, then it's a good deal. And it's still fun to go look!

01-08-2014, 08:43 PM
Personally, like others have found, I have decided "the bigger the gun show, the fewer the deals". I go to look for a particular item or just to experience the variety. I find my deals at one particular smaller gun show that happens twice a year. At that one I have always found some "screaming deals" where I felt like running like a thief after purchases such as $5 for a wonderful old 6mm Loverin style Lyman mold or a guy who wanted to get rid of some old brass Lyman 22 cal gas checks so gave me 3000 for one dollar.

01-08-2014, 09:01 PM
I quit going to the big shows. there was one I even used to set up at. but then they started to charge to park and then get in. others turned into black rifle shows with the mall ninjas running around in full dress. there is one guy started a new show circuit. admission is $5. they run about 60 tables. they are nice shows. he has one this weekend.

01-08-2014, 09:12 PM
The past few of them up here in the Scranton PA area! 20 minutes max until I walked out .......What a waste of money...( Unless you want to buy a over priced handgun on the quick!) Asked about Handgun brass & Boolit moulds & was informed I was in the wrong place! Way better luck here!

01-09-2014, 02:01 AM
A deal is where you find it and depends greatly on what you consider a "deal"!

Used to go to every show but I got a family and other bills so it slowly dropped off.

Last show I went to was in Costa Mesa last June, 12 to get in 10 to park. had a good time looking and found a few casting items.
wasn't looking for a gun but saw a deal or two had I been looking.

Costa Mesa is up again the end of this month, passed on the location a couple times last year ( just no time) and I may be in the market for a 410 O/U shotgun.

Two years ago Found a deal on a Star lube sizer, 140 as I recall, used it for awhile and traded it off for a PW shotgun press which I still have.

Wouldn't have found it if I hadn't been going slow and asking dumb questions, LOL!

Deals are where you find them!

01-09-2014, 04:00 AM
Fellers something to bear in mind is that a lot of the entrance fee is going to whoever owns the building. And they might even get a slice of the sales pie as well. That being said bargains are where you find them. I found a new group that has really impressed me...Hunters Gun Show. They have a website...google it. I went to their event in Shippensburg a while back and I am impressed. This is a group of old coots mainly and they have STUFF. Lots of stuff. I saw more reloading stuff than I ever knew existed and prices were, by and large, very reasonable. One fellow must have had a metric ton of dies, some for calibers I've never heard of. I saw beam scales from $30 and up most like new. Dozens of powder measures! I passed on a as new Lyman Great Plains with peep sights and a huge box of acc. for $300 and should have my bum kicked. I did drag an ammo box full'a lead out of there for $50 (if memory serves) and they said it was 50 lbs. I believe it was considerable more. Nice ingots and a 10lb. roll of roofing lead. :) The ammo boxes were selling for $15 so I actually paid $35 for the lead. :) I found a bunch of Hoppes Lead Remover kits for $5 and bought 3. (same as the Lewis) I'd rate these guys as excellent. By the way, if you're within driving distance of Gettysburg they have a show scheduled for this Sat. if memory serves. Check the website or google for gun shows in Gettysburg before driving. Also I do generally attend the Greencastle gun show. Lots of junk at that one but having built a friendship with Ed Kennedy there I got a bargain Remington R1 1911 for $475 out the door. (new) Get to know you vendors and don't treat all of they as rip-offs. Audie...the Oldfart..

01-09-2014, 08:44 AM
that is the group I was talking about. their show is this weekend.
it is in the reddings auction service building.
1085 table rock road
Gettysburg pa.

Thin Man
01-09-2014, 09:17 AM
My story is a "then and now" experience. THEN: I started going to gun shows over 40 years ago looking for gun parts, reloading and casting materials, and firearms that simply attracted me (and there were a lot of these). Traveled up to 3 hours one-way to interesting shows, went to every show I could get to, made a lot of friends, learned which vendors were honest and which ones to avoid, spent more $$ than I could justify buy always enjoyed the experience. NOW: I find that the older really interesting firearms from years ago are all bought up and gone (I've often said that now all of the really interesting firearms are in collections or estate sales), most current firearms do not reflect the quality I expect, sellers over price their merchandise, but worst of all many of my gun show friends have either retired from the busy life of the shows or have passed away. That last note really slows me from going to a show. Now I get to one show every 3-4 years if even that frequent. Have I just bought up all I would ever need? Probably, but I can still go through a show and hear 1 or 2 items quietly whisper to me - "Take me home with you. Liberate me." So I pick up the chatty item to give it look-over and a voice says to me "yield not to temptation." Almost as quickly as that voice stops I hear a second voice telling me to "go ahead and yield to temptation, you neven know when you will have the chance again." The fun continues, only at a different pace.
Thin Man

01-09-2014, 10:25 AM
Similar to what MtGun said regarding who we go to shows with and the social aspect of that - A few years ago I lost my great friend and gun show buddy. He was considerably older than me. We always had a great time at the shows. Anymore, I go to get primers and powder to avoid the hazmat. Needless to say, I don't go to many shows lately.
I had always seen myself selling most of my guns at shows. Now, with the plastic and all that stuff, I don't know if any younger guys will be interested in wood and blued steel. I guess we'll see.

01-09-2014, 03:45 PM
Back to the op's question. We still have gunshows that have a lot of private sellers. We also have a 1 hour radio show every week day called tradio, that people can call in to sell privately owned items, usually several guns a day on there. We also have a radio show on friday, called firearms friday, which is a talk show geared towards any and all firearms, that people can list anything firearm related for sale. Guns are banned from craigslist, but there are several most days that slip by, we also have Alaskalist, and Eilson base for sale that does have firearms sections, plus swapping and selling sites on a couple of forums.

01-10-2014, 11:05 AM
I'll hit a gunshow a couple times a year. I don't often find great deals but look at the show as entertainment and I usually end up spending a bit of time chatting with folks. I typically find a small item or two to take home. Most shows don't have much in the way of reloading and even less in the casting department. The only real selection is for whatever is popular at the moment, i.e. black guns and their accessories. The last "great" deal I found at a gunshow was probably two or three years back when I picked up a selection of 6-7 molds for 5$ each including a like new 311-041 hollow point mold. Last gun deal I made at a show was a couple years back as well, a Colt 1903 in .32ACP for 200 and change.

Baja Traveler hit it on the head for So Cal shooters. The gun show in San Diego is a complete rip-off with parking and entrance fees, it is hard to consider it entertaining. When I lived there I'd once or twice a year drive up to Orange county and hit their gun show. The entry fee was high but parking was free and it got me my gun show "fix" for a while.

01-11-2014, 02:53 PM
Baja Traveler hit it on the head for So Cal shooters. The gun show in San Diego is a complete rip-off with parking and entrance fees, it is hard to consider it entertaining. When I lived there I'd once or twice a year drive up to Orange county and hit their gun show. The entry fee was high but parking was free and it got me my gun show "fix" for a while.

SoCal is not alone in the rip-off department. There is a gun show in the Astrodome complex in Houston and you have to pay to park in large parking facility that surrounds the complex. Last time I went there, I believe that the parking was $6, but that's been quite awhile ago and I don't know what it is these days.

I miss the days of going to gun shows where you would find vendors with stacks of war surplus rifles still in the original Cosmoline.

01-11-2014, 03:16 PM
We are talking about very different gunshows. I try to never miss a gun show, but you couldn't pay me to go to a gunshow, or anything else in a place like the astrodome or hall.
The last time I went to the dome, was to a rodeo, I was in my twenties then, and have never had the desire to get in a crowd like that ever again. Just the traffic getting there would ruin the show for me.

01-11-2014, 03:31 PM
You need to go to small, local auctions, and not with the mindset that you must have a specific lot or specific firearm. Go because there might be something you like and set a maximum amount and don't exceed it. Also, unless you must have something in the first few lots, sit back and see how the bidding goes -- overpriced, reasonable, or a steal! I walked into a local auction and picked up a .22 Ladysmith Hand Ejector First Model Smith & Wesson this way, for only $275. Not something that was a must-have firearm, but, now that I have it, it is really neat and the best $275 I have spent! Then again...I went to a local auction that had a Winchester 1886 in .40-82 -- poor condition, stock was replaced with that scavenged from a Kentucky rifle, and I saw bidders fight over getting it for 5 grand. It was a parts gun, at best!

01-11-2014, 07:28 PM
Went to a local Gunshow here today, found some mags for a rifle that haven't been made in a long time. Pricy? yep but at least the guy had them, so there goes some bucks next week when the Government drops me another deposit.

Firearms wise my LGS has better prices and selection, ammo especially 22lr way to expensive for someone on ss income. The good thing was at least there was a lot of firearms for sale.

I saw a rifle, winchester mdl 94 26 inch barrel and mag tube, octagon, 30-30 for $1850 that was in worse shape then the one I laid away at my LGS, just yesterday and for less money. I don't collect closet queens so my choice in firearms is different from a lot of folks. I saw some nice pretty closet collector firearms and the prices matched that view. Why buy a firearm you never intend to use?

01-11-2014, 07:32 PM
I don't look for deals too much.

I know what I want and if I see it and the price is decent then I buy it.

01-15-2014, 10:26 PM
The last decent price I saw on anything at a gunshow was in 2004. The last show I went to was the day that giffords got shot and there was a GREAT deal but I missed it by 15mins a guy had an unfired AR50 with scope and a few boxes of ammo he sold it for $1500 since he had lost an arm from an IED and "no longer had any use for it".

I just have a hard time paying money to go look at overpriced ****.

01-16-2014, 03:10 AM
I think where a lot of the frustration lies is that "Good Deals, or Killer Deals" have been shrinking since the 80's.

Just today I was talking with a guy almost half my age. I was explaining how in the 70 's and 80's most everyone at gun shows sold for wholesale or close to it. Now it appears those days are long gone. Most guys are going for retail or close to it. Sure there are deals, but just much, much harder to find this day and age.

01-16-2014, 04:06 AM
I consider a gunshow a days entertainment. I still find on occasion the great deal on some small obscure item that may have not been in production for quite some time that I had been looking for. I don't go with the hopes of finding great deals but enjoy the comedy of the so called experts and the BS they try to pull off at times. Just seeing and handling some guns that I could never justify or afford is worth it. I also see old friends so it's also a social event.


mold maker
01-16-2014, 02:12 PM
In my 50s I never missed a show within 50 miles. I was eager, hungry, and had very little income to spend.
In my 60s I went to the local shows and looked for things I thought I still needed.
Now in my 70s, my back hurts, and walking is a PIA. I only go if I can park close and only look for specific items. Now everything is priced like an investment, and I'm tired of making my way through the crowd, past all the jewelry, jerky, and junk. I missed the last 2 local shows, and wont be going out of town for the rest. The next local show will find me standing outside selling.

01-16-2014, 03:00 PM
I think everyone goes for different reasons. I seldom spend any time at dealers tables especially the ones with new guns. I like looking through the older stuff.
I have to wonder how much is high priced, and how much is plain old sticker shock. I know I catch myself all the time thinking the guy is asking way too much, because I didn't pay that new 30 years ago. lol

Rattlesnake Charlie
01-16-2014, 03:43 PM
Gunshows. I love them. I look a lot, and sometimes find a bargin. Always interesting watching people, admiring the honest ones, laughing at the phonies and wannabes. More fun when you go with a good shooting buddy.

Gunshow this weekend in Topeka, KS. I'll be there. I'll enjoy it. Maybe I'll even buy something.

01-16-2014, 04:41 PM
I haven't been to a gun show in a long time ... however the last one I went to, was because a LGS in the Sedona area, had a Beretta shotgun I wanted listed on gunbroker, I called to ask some questions, and the store told me that the partner had taken it to the gun show in Tucson, He answered my questions, I went, and disarmed myself (which I hate to do!) and bought the gun, and left. (It was what I wanted, the price was right, no bargain, but fair)

How many of you go to show's where you are disarmed? Gun emptied, zip-tied ...

Different strokes for different' folks ...

01-16-2014, 05:06 PM
How many of you go to show's where you are disarmed? Gun emptied, zip-tied ...

I've seen it with most of the gun shows around here. It doesn't stop anyone from carrying concealed in the show though if they truly wanted to. It's mainly an issue for those who might be bringing a weapon to sell at the show. It seems that all too often, there is an AD at a gun show because someone screws up. Sometimes it is even the dealer. If you are bringing a gun there that you will be taking out of your holster to show people because you are either trying to sell it, or trying to find an accessory or part for, I don't really have a problem with asking those people to have those weapons unloaded. If it is your normal CCW piece and there is no way that you would be showing it to anyone or selling it, then having to unload it is not all that important as far as I'm concerned. I've seen shows where they didn't even allow ammo sales inside the building. You could pay for it inside the building, but you had to pick it up outside the building.

01-18-2014, 11:55 PM
It's illegal in Texas to carry a loaded concealed weapon in a gun show. I figure that people who don't know the difference aka bad guys would assume there are lots of loaded guns at gun shows and would be unlikely to decide it's a good place to rob so have no problem remaining legal. The gun goes back where it belongs as soon as I get back to the car or truck.

I told SWMBO this morning as I left that I considered gun shows mostly entertainment. It was very entertaining visiting with Cactus Farmer at the show. I did find some stuff I wanted/needed. Bought 3 pounds of powder, all different types that I was low on. One pound was $25; another was $38- same manufacturer from the same dealer. The Varget was $38. I haven't seen it for less in ages but other powders were mostly under $30/lb. I got 400 old CCI small rifle primers for $10 simply because they were in the old packaging. Primers in the new boxes from the same guy were $4-$4.50/100. Only a few gun prices seemed reasonable; most seemed high to me. I could be 10 years behind on prices but there were, for example, Mossberg shotguns everywhere that had prices higher than they can be bought at Big 5. Really rough guns were offered at the same price as nice ones of the same model. Gun shows aren't anything like they were 30 years ago.


01-19-2014, 02:07 AM
I actually find that I get the best deals from friends or family. As far as firearm purchases go, friends or family usually sell them for what they got them for years ago. Usually they are in great condition. I got a great deal on a Savage Model 30 12 Gauge from my father in law. $20 and all it needed was a spring for the slide release which was easy to replace and cost me $9. I had a co worker sell me a 25 year old Chinese sks for $85 and it was in mint condition. He sold it because he re married and his new wife wanted it gone. That was the price he paid for it new.

01-19-2014, 10:21 AM

I go to the local gun shows generally expecting to pay $8 for admission and be rewarded with a few hours of entertainment.

That is what I generally get.
I might buy some reloading components if a good deal pops up and have bought a gun a few times.

Once in a while I will buy a t-shirt or a book from one of the vendors selling militaria
Prices on firearms at gun shows are usually higher than what I can work out with the owner at one of the LGS. Sometimes I see a lower price on the same used gun a week after the show at one of the LGS than he had on it at the show.

01-20-2014, 01:54 AM
I usually don't go to many gun shows, but there is one at the fairgrounds not far from my house that's open maybe twice a year. I like to go just to look at stuff, not necessarily to buy. Last time, I used a coupon for a $1 off, from their website, and when I went to pay, the gal said, you get another dollar off for being a senior. That was fine with me.

I may well have hit the same show. Parking was free, line moved quickly and most of the vendors were friendly. I bought a few small items from a vendor selling reloading equipment and when another vendor said he did not have powder but could bring some the next day the reloading vendor used his manuals to find equivalent I could use. The vendor with powder called the shop and had them set aside a pound so he could pick it up on his way home to bring the next day. All in all both went out of their way to help me out, plus I learned of a shop that while not close is in driving distance that I would be happy to do business with.

I also purchased 1000 primers.

Worth the $6 price of admission in this case, I may go to another in the not to distant future as there is an antique arms show, not in the market but it would be a fun social activity with the brother-in-law.

Powder Burn
01-20-2014, 01:19 PM
After years (40+) of going to gun shows, I finally purchased a firearm in 2010. An original finished Arisaka type 99 Series 1 - with aircraft sights, monopod, cleaning rod, dust cover all matching, etc. for $300. Other than that one purchase, I just go to get powder, bullets, and shoot the bull with folks. Much of the stuff is over priced. Sometimes you can find parts cheap or military surplus items that are interesting to put in the man cave. Now that I have 25 posts, I can trade/sell/donate some stuff here. Oh ya!

Love Life
01-20-2014, 01:32 PM
I like gunshows because there is a bunch of cool stuff there. Sometimes I buy a gun, but most the time not because I get better prices at LGS and on Gunbroker (including shipping). I also collect Military stuff and gunshows always have good stuff.

01-20-2014, 01:34 PM
15-20 years ago, I would hit every available gunshow I could find... And found good deals on tables as well as folx walking around with guns for sale... Now, 80% of the tables are FFL holders or non-firearms stuff... So I look for reloading supplies and generally enjoy the banter. Buying an entry fee is cheaper than paying a hazmat fee and shipping, so I like to get 8# kegs of surplus powder at the shows... and if somebody has something else that I can't live without, then that's a bonus...

Rattlesnake Charlie
01-20-2014, 02:01 PM
The gunshow in Topeka, KS this past weekend was good. Lot of guns and reloading supplies. Everything priced very reasonable. A lot less than at Cabelas, etc. I had a good time. I bought a holster and primers. 1K Winchester Large Rifle Primers were $35 with tax. There was .22 LR ammo there, but still like $4 box of 50. I did not buy any. Powder was like $20 - 25/lb. I didn't see many jugs, and didn't try to see the price. The place was very crowded.

01-20-2014, 05:51 PM
Just a thought.
If your religious leader is someone you see more often than twice a year, let them know you're a shooter, reloader, and boolit caster and willing to offer your services to help non-gun families of shooters in dealing with shooting related estate items.
Your integrity may require that you abstain from purchasing anything you help them price.

I knew a dealer who was specifically mentioned in at least one will, as a person to stay away from. ;-)

01-20-2014, 10:28 PM
I went to a small gun show last weekend, totally disappointed. It was so packed that I had to park way out in the boonies. Prices on everything and anything were insane. All I've really been looking for is a can of H110, but I'm too stubborn to pay $40 for one (assuming I could find some at any price).

I spent a total of $2 for half a box of .357 brass. I did see a good deal on an old Rem 700ADL in '06. $350 with an old Weaver K4 on it. If I was looking for a hunting rifle and had the money I would have bought it.

01-21-2014, 03:04 PM
It's illegal in Texas to carry a loaded concealed weapon in a gun show. I figure that people who don't know the difference aka bad guys would assume there are lots of loaded guns at gun shows and would be unlikely to decide it's a good place to rob so have no problem remaining legal. The gun goes back where it belongs as soon as I get back to the car or truck.

I don't remember any such law being gone over in the TX CHL course. Do you have a link to that particular TX statute?

According to this link (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/internetforms/forms/chl-16.pdf), we are now restricted from carrying a firearm in churches. When we first had the TX CHL enacted, I don't remember any such restriction. I also don't remember any such restrictions for hospitals, nursing homes, or professional sporting events, but these are listed now. It seems that the leftists are slowly nibbling away at our rights again.