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Thread: Gun Show report 11/23/16

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    As for the absence of carbines, 03's and revolvers - it is not a story that they are unwanted. They are wanted and kept off the sale tables because the owners appreciate them. I attended an estate auction recently and found these described firearms were fought for during the sale.

    I used to visit every gun show within driving distance from my town. Often times my attendance was to visit with long time friends. As this number of friends got lower my interest declined. The increase in plastic firearms, t-shirts and non-related materials, and the absence of traditional blued steel / walnut long guns has caused my attendance level to one show every other year, if even that often. Online sales have replaced the shows, but that is not a bad thing. Makes it easier (or even possible) to find that one specific item you would not even find at a walk-in show.

  2. #22
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    I haven't been to a gun show since the 90's. Why should I pay money to go see tables of overpriced firearms, jerky, and Nazi memorabilia?

    As far as lamenting the absence of blued steel and walnut... Yes, a quality blued S&W revolver is a beautiful thing, but it is obviously not as effective of a defensive tool as the average polymer auto. The polymer gun is lighter, holds twice as many or more rounds, is more durable, easier to shoot better, easier to conceal, cheaper, and is just a more effective weapon all around.

    Blaming their popularity on "Millennials" is ridiculous. They are a better weapon. Period. If they weren't, they wouldn't be so popular.

    I'm old enough to have been issued a 1911 in the military, and then a Beretta M9. My first carry gun was a S&W 686 4" revolver. My Glock 19 Gen 5 and S&W M&P40c are just a smarter choice for concealed carry.

    My first car was a 1970 Ford Torino 2dr. I now drive a 2019 Toyota 4Runner which is also a smarter choice for reliable and comfortable daily driving.

    Nostalgia is fine, as is having an appreciation for the craftsmanship and beauty of older weapons and vehicles, but trying to say that the new stuff is garbage or blaming millennials for it's popularity and existence is ridiculous to the point of absurdity.
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    I enjoy going to gun shows if they aren't too far away. I don't go for guns but usually for cast boolit supplies, brass, primers and other interesting things for the outdoors. I have gotten some incredible deals on molds (i.e. a Saeco custom three hole .257 cal 103 gr with handles for $10), mold handles, or checks (i.e. 2000 Lyman 30 cal. checks for $5). Small local shows that look more like flea markets are the best.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pressman View Post
    I always enjoy the shows. They are a great place to pick-up single shot 22's, my new weakness. Looking for vintage reloading tools that are usually not there any more, everything is on eBay now. Sometimes there is a bargain to be found on smaller items if the seller does not mess with eBay. And I have met some interesting people and made a few new friends. For that reason it's never a waste of time.
    I agree that I have no interest in long tables full of black plastic guns, I want to look at real wood and blued steel. Times, they are a changing, faster than I care to try to keep up with.
    Looks like we are on the same path as I have been on the old single shot path for the last couple years. Must have been millions made but they seem to rarely turn up for sale around here. Went to the Cedar Rapids show a couple weeks ago but I could only find high priced junk. There was one table selling estate reloading stuff with pretty good prices but I already have 3 or 4 of everything they had on the table. I have my best luck trying to catch guys bringing things in to sell.

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    A small town shooting range about 30 minutes away has a 15 table show every so often. No dealers; just Free America swapping and selling. I love that little show and I've gotten several "keepers" there. The D/FW big shows just kinda suck anymore. I'd like to give the Tulsa show a whirl someday.

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  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Depends quite a bit on the show. The Chisholm Trail Gun show in Wichita twice a year is the best gun show I've ever been to, period. Mostly old stuff, and lots of used reloading stuff. I cherish that show every time I attend it.

    I really like the small town shows around here too for the same reasons, just not the same volume of stuff.
    I went to the Chisholm Trail gun shows in the early 70's into the mid 80's I could pick up a free pass at the Bullet Stop. They were fun back then. Then the "Beanie Babies" and jewelry started showing up and I was done. then I started catching the gun auctions in Douglas and other small town and had a blast at those. Had a table at Tulsa a twice, now thats a gun show. Haven't been to Tulsa for close to 10 years, might have to make a road trip.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master

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    I haven't been to a gun show since the 90's. Why should I pay money to go see tables of overpriced firearms, jerky, and Nazi memorabilia?
    To each their own, but you're missing out if you haven't been to a good, old-fashioned club show. I go for entertainment, to talk to people, and occasionally find interesting odds and ends. Last one I went to I bought a Marlin model 60 for $25. It was in pretty rough shape, missing the trigger assembly and a few small part- screws, front sight and such. I bought a trigger assembly a few tables over for $10, and had the small parts in my box of junk at home. A little cold blue, stock finish, and elbow grease, and I'll have a good little rifle. Can't beat that for $35. I can usually find some good odds and ends or cheap project at a gun show, to keep me busy tinkering and out of trouble.

    To me, saying I don't go to gun shows because the last couple I went to were lame, is like saying I don't go to the movies because the last couple I saw at the theater were boring. They're not all the same, far from it.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daver7 View Post
    I went to the Chisholm Trail gun shows in the early 70's into the mid 80's I could pick up a free pass at the Bullet Stop. They were fun back then. Then the "Beanie Babies" and jewelry started showing up and I was done. then I started catching the gun auctions in Douglas and other small town and had a blast at those. Had a table at Tulsa a twice, now thats a gun show. Haven't been to Tulsa for close to 10 years, might have to make a road trip.
    I haven't seen any of that at the Chisholm Trail show in Hartman arena, just tables and tables of good stuff. Still have the occasional table of AR stuff, but not many. About the only thing there besides gun stuff was a lot of tables of custom knives, which I appreciate a good blade, just not into the hand made, artistic stuff.

    I did go to the one downtown the other weekend, much smaller show and a lot more non-gun stuff at that one, but was still worth going to. There was an old guy with a big table full of vintage target rifles of various types a few dozen of them, including a Sportco Palma rifle I'd never seen one of before and I really enjoyed talking to him about it. I kind of got the impression he wasn't all that interested in selling stuff as much as the social outlet of being there.

    I still like gun shows and try to get to as many as I can. There was one in Manhattan last weekend I didn't and I'm close to that one. The last one I went to there was much, much better than the Manhattan ones typically were, but I still wouldn't have called it a great show.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    I quit going to gun shows about 15 years ago.
    Everything I saw was way over priced, or just junk.
    Same for me. Total waste of time.

    Now, if the people sponsoring these gun shows would limit the sellers to guns or related shooting items I would go again. But the last couple of shows I attended there were at least 50% of the tables selling non related crap.
    East Tennessee

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
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    I have been to some fairly large shows, and some very small shows lately. I have been lucky a few times at the very small shows - 15 tables or less. Just seems as though you get more non-dealers with tables at the small shows. I agree with the others, that at least at large shows it is mostly plastic pistols. Not that I have anything against the plastic ones. But in my opinion the plastic ones typify the old statement that a firearm is just a "tool". I have a couple of Glocks and to me that is exactly what they are: reliable tools, nothing more, nothing less - do their job reliably, but they ain't perty.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master

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    Itís all about expectations too. If time is money for you, you donít care for browsing and socializing, and expect a smorgasbord of good deals laid out before you, then gun shows are not for you. Youíll be way better off just going to your local gun shop, buying what you need, and being on your way. Gun shows arenít bargain-bin garage sales. High prices are common. You have to search a bit to find bargains.

    If you enjoy taking the time and walking past the stuff youíre not interested in to look for stuff you are, then itís a different story. I went to a small promoter show here in town recently. Honestly it was a pathetic show. I spent a total of $7, and that was just getting in the door. I still enjoyed it. I spent the morning hanging out with my son, walking around looking at overpriced stuff we donít need, stopped and talked to a couple vendors when they werenít busy. It was a lousy show but still entertaining. I wouldnít bother driving very far for a show like that, but this one was literally a couple miles from my house.

    Iíve always heard the griping about jerky and Beany Babies, but never understood it. Itís just never really bothered me to walk past a couple tables of things Iím not interested in. To each their own. If I didnít enjoy it or was looking for a bargain on something specific, it would be a real waste of time.

    Whereís CondorJohn? His club puts on a great show every year in Eugene, Oregon. I havenít been in a while since we moved away, but it was always worth attending.

  12. #32
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    Pretty much mirrors my experience at the Dixie Gun and Knife last weekend in Raleigh, NC. Not a bad selection of wood and steel but tables and tables of plastic handguns and rifles. I did see an old 25-35 lever and was looking it over and the dealer came over. Told me it was very rare, it was a 25-38 and there weren't that many left around. I told him I bet there aren't and kept walking.
    One guy did have a very nice 25-20 but wanted $900 for it and it did not have the original buttplate. The replacement was old and well fitted but the price seemed high to me.
    One booth had a bunch of older shotguns like always but they are pretty proud of them and I've never seen anyone buy one from them.
    No used reloading stuff that I saw.
    I was actually there to find a sling for the new to me Yugo M48 but no dice. Also the only handgun I was actually looking for was not there, a Walther P99 AS. Our safety guy was up last week and showed me his and I was very impressed so wanted to look at one and see what price they wanted.
    I bought an IWB holster to try and it will probably end up in the shoeboxes with all the other extra holsters, 1lb of powder and some bullets from a guy I always buy something from as he was the only dealer to not raise his prices during the powder shortage. Got a silver dollar for the granddaughter, jerky for the wife and a gallon of Ballistol from an older gentleman that seemed delighted someone under 75 knows what it is. When I was looking at the bottles he started to tell me how great it was and I asked him if he had a gallon in the metal container. He was surprised and said he didn't usually bring one but dug under the table and found one and gave me $10 off. Told him I use it for blackpowder, blackpowder cartridge (he was very interested in my 43 Spanish), drilling lube, penetrating oil, leather conditioner etc. Got a kick when I told him my wife uses it for hand softener.
    Last edited by jonp; 11-27-2019 at 06:13 PM.
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  13. #33
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    . The D/FW big shows just kinda suck anymore.
    I learned that myself.
    They went away from only allowing 90% shooting/hunting related stuff on the tables.

    Now its mostly tables full of bumper stickers and phony Indian jewelry with a trashed out surplus rifle on them.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
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  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Within say 75 miles of my house the same organizer will have gun shows at different communities. Regular circuit of venues. I find each one is different, I see some of the same folks at the different shows and what they bring may shift with the area, then there are the vendors that come to a show 75 miles north of me that would never be at one of the other shows 50 miles to the east or west.

    Poly gun stocks and bottom feeding pistols are marketable for a reason. Price, value, functionality. The S&W revolver is a great gun, as is the Ruger revolver but as a friend recently pointed out no main stream law enforcement agency still issues or mandates revolvers as their primary side arm.

    I could buy a nice lever action 30-30 from a seller with several wood stock items for $700 as compared to a nice Ruger in .308 at something less than $500 NIB if I don't mind a stable moisture resistant poly stock. Plenty of variety to pick from, to some extent one needs to go to the shows that offer what they want. One close to the city it seems has a lot more tacticool stuff and a fair amount of sort of rough but bargain priced estate sale type items. Seen some good prices on ML and other used items. Shooter quality or thereabouts. Passed on a newer Mec Jr. press in excellent shape with extras for $100, I suppose I will forgive myself for that if dementia ever allows me to forget it.

    North of me in mid state more wood and steel, more surplus equipment, more estate sale type tables. Picked up a Pacific reloading press in dusty but good shape for a pretty decent price last time I went that way. Better than eBay and would be hard to ship it and still sell it profitably here or online for what I paid.

    West and south seems to have some vendors with mil-surp rifles and parts. More wood than poly rifles, other way around on pistols. Friend wanted a revolver to learn with. Had it down to a Taurus 85, Ruger LCR or RIA M200 or 206. Went there tried them for feel and heft, and ease of use, as well as some brands and models not on the list, S&W was another revolver, and a few semi-autos were also tried for ease of handling and use. In the end they were able to figure out what would work for them and make a purchase. Would have had a hard time finding all of those at a local gun shop to try. Along with an assortment of used that put more up market models in their price range.

    I have no interest in the shirts or bumper stickers but since the vendors show up at some shows it must work for them. Which means some of my fellow firearm enthusiast do make purchases there. Have only bought one belt in 10 years, never an axe but I see rack of belts and two tables of axes at certain shows where a vendor regularly shows up to sell them. If they were not "making table" they wouldn't come back. Most business people won't spend $50 on a table so they can sell $35 of goods, or even bring in $100 for a full days work and paying $50 for the privilege.
    Last edited by RogerDat; 11-27-2019 at 07:16 PM.
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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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