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Thread: First Gun show... Not terribly impressed

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    First Gun show... Not terribly impressed

    I guess my expectations were a bit off. Lots of the stuff I saw pertaining to reloading was at or above retail (powder, primers brass). I did find a guy who does coated bullets 'online' that doesn't have a website for ~$31/500 (hitek), so that was a good contact. I had visions of finding people selling some cast stuff I could try out before plunking down on my first mold. I guess I will have to go to the FS/WTB section for that haha...


    I am thinking these gun shows are more for the oddball-obscura that you can't find anywhere but the internet (and/or you aren't an internet kind of person). Lots of cool old stuff to look at, but anything modern was full blown retail or higher. Fun experience overall. For $6 i will keep going back even if it is finding one new contact person each time.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master maxreloader's Avatar
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    It all depends on where you are located and how many you go to... there are major scores to be had, just be patient.
    You cannot win an argument with an ignorant man.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    also if you can be there the first day when they open the doors. A lot of venders have 1 of something when its gone its gone. Also, If you see someone carrying something your interested in Don't hesitate to ask about it. A lot bring ones and twos to sell or for trading

  4. #4
    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam_mac84 View Post
    Fun experience overall. For $6 i will keep going back even if it is finding one new contact person each time.
    Best way to enjoy a gun show is to just go and have fun. Forget about finding a deal.
    Look for something you need or just want. Shoot the bull, shake hands and buy something to eat.
    That's how I do it. Never waste time with expectations.
    Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Not all are winners. The one I went to a couple weeks ago was a dud but at the same run show at the same place six months ago I felt like running out like a thief after scoring a brand new (but old) Lyman 25 cal mold for $5 and the unused handles for $5. One good score a year is all it takes and they are fun anyway.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I have not been to one in NH for at least 10 years as they are a waste of time and money to get in.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I was using up some of my good karma getting to go today in the last 6 hours of the show (sat/sun show). Had my 5 week old strapped to my chest and my wife (who shoots as well) in tow. So, we survived the event, no meltdowns, and we were out of the house. I guess that is a win in general.

    I am emailing the bullet guy who i met tomorrow. may see if he can send me some uncoated as well (who knows if he is doing it himself) to try some PC from Smoke (yet to be ordered).

    So basically after months of lurking, what I am feeling, is that I have joined an online gun-show/swap meet haha

  8. #8
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    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    Gund shows are much like going to auctions. They are great entertainment if on focuses on that angle, where else can you spend $5-$10 for an hour to 4 hours of entertainment? And sometimes - you find a great value.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    We have two gun shows around here. One is hard core retailers with overpriced merchandise. The other is hard core collectors and that is a much better show.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Bigger city gun shows are usually not real good, lots of dealers with tables of black rifles and the newest auto pistols. Yawn city.

    The little town ones we have around here are old, eclectic collections of stuff and are usually big social events for the town. Most of the crowd is older and it seems like they're more interested in getting acquainted with each other than actually selling stuff. This is where I find good stuff and can stay interested.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    bbs70's Avatar
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    I agree that most of the gun show stuff is over priced, but no one is twisting my arm to buy.
    I like to look around and sometimes I do run into deals.
    Meet new people, see whats new, and spend time around people who share the same interest as me.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    The local gun show here was an all day affair for me and my wife. By the time we stopped and visited with all the table holders we knew and went thru the show. Ran into them and fellow club members and friends then the things that interested us. Along with a little lunch.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    GOPHER SLAYER's Avatar
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    Having sold at several gun shows in the past I will give you a little tip. Before the doors are open to the public most of the dealers make the rounds of the tables and snap up any bargains they see. What used to take place at gun shows were people who simply had stopped reloading or who wanted to get rid of surplus items. When more people started reloading it became very difficult to find anyone who had a surplus of anything.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  14. #14
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where you're located, but since you seemed interested in a great deal, look for gun shows with more small time private vendors.

    In my area, there is one or two shows every month in the major metropolitan area...and there are shows in smaller towns about once a month, that are 100 miles or so out of the metropolitan area...Now if one of the small town shows happens on the same weekend and a metropolitan area show...Most of the Big time dealers are at the metropolitan area show...leaving that small town show open to small private vendors...and those are the folks who will sometimes give you garage sale prices, as opposed to retail prices. Also, those small private vendors are usually the ones who are digging out the antique equipment out of the closet to bring to the show.
    Good Luck

  15. #15
    Boolit Master OptimusPanda's Avatar
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    It's been my experience that while there are a few deals be had at most shows, it's nothing I have any interest in. What I seem to find (often at inflated prices) is variety.
    It's only hubris if I'm wrong.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I quit going to gun shows. But I would be the first one in line to go back if they got rid of all the off the wall c r a p not even remotely connected to firearms and reloading.
    Tennessee

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Another is to look for "Club" gun shows held at shooting ranges and gun clubs. Mostly smaller venders and private sales at them also.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    time of the year effects things.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    Been going to gun shows for more than 40 years. Each time I plop down $5( years ago) $6 0r 7 now I tell myself I've just wasted the money. I do however enjoy looking and holding a lot of fine guns. The smell of fresh primers, new gun boxes, and 8lb powder jugs fills the air.

    Looking for a deal on a new gun? Your probably wasting your time as most prices (my area) are usually more than a new gun on gunbroker would go for. Sometime one might be able to pick up a loading press or a used scale at a good price.

    Mostly I go to run into friends I haven't seen in months or years. A place to sit down with a coke and shoot the breeze usually about guns.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I don't bother w/ the big ones. GunBroker has made it pointless to go to them. Only reason to go would be to hold it before you bought it. But w/ new guns I can do that at Cabela's for free. And w/ old guns I'm willing to take a chance w/ the auction descriptions.

    I will go to the small ones. Some of the clubs I belong to have them once or twice a year. The small ones are the only time I see reloading/casting items for sale. Sometimes the prices are ridiculous. Other times I feel like I've stolen an item.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check