Gun shows definitely aren't what they used to be, but I still manage to find my fair share of deals and bargains. But my expectations are quite a bit lower than they used to be too.
You can learn some fascinating facts. I found out a 1990 P220 is a first generation Sig. I am still going to the show in Phoenix next week. Lots of nice people and great stuff there.
You're right. That's why we don't go
Well, sir, we can debate that. Many of the brand new guns are junk, straight from the maker. We had an example of it Friday. A guy came into our show with a still boxed M70 Winchester. He wanted a bunch for it because it was like new. For a price comparison, he was using another dealers Pre-64 M70. His unfired one should be worth more, right? None of us saw it that way at all. Same maker, same caliber, right?
We toss insults around freely here and sometimes at the gun shows. The OP here probably needs to temper his venom until he knows what he's talking about.
We attend the shows because they're fun. We make them fun. We talk and haven't seen each other since the last show. Our wives came along too. They sat and talked. I sold one thing all day, a P938 that I declared surplus. I only bought one thing, a cylinder of 1950 vintage BBs in the tube. I gave it to my son, who appreciated it. Yes, I paid more for the tube of vintage BBs that a new tube would cost. But a while back, like 15 years, I'd given him a Daisy with box from the late 1940s. Think "A Christmas Story".
I feel sorry for the OP here. He only has his point of view and is unwilling to accept that others have an equally valid one.
Unhappy ammo seeker
So I'm guessing here the goer's expectations are what causes the problems for the OP and others who come away disappointed. My superior view is that I have a history of finding one or two great guns a year. After attending at least a dozen shows. All I want is one or two guns a year. I don't want any new ones. I'm kind of a collector who pretty much knows the kind of thing I'm looking for. I don't have specific wants, just general ones. And I can be perfectly happy with a gun that cost $25 in 1933 and the guy wants over a $1000 for it today.
Its not just guns I want, its most anything gun related. At a price I feel is fair to me. So a big part of our differences can be attributed to my low expectation any others high ones. In all fairness, I have a higher chance of coming home happy.
Unhappy ammo seeker
|A Grateful American|
Eventually, all these nasty, worthless gun shows will go the way of the circus, county fairs and all those other things that have plagued Americana.
And no one will be insulted, offended or troubled, and everyone will feel safe.
"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" ✡ I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. FANGS OUT
|His Royal Hiney|
I find this interesting. How do you think being next to them helped you sell $11k worth of guns? Was it the woman, was it because she was a politician, or was it the hand made ball point pens?? I really want to know. You got my curiousity up.
"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
|Only the strong survive|
The OP needs to buy some books on the collectable value of guns he is interested in.
The older guns had a better polish and fitting of the parts. Today with computers for machining parts, less hand fitting is involved and in some cases less polishing.
And Dick Burg is right, there is the comradeship of people you meet at gun shows and the enjoyment of chewing the fat and finding the next collectible.
|quarter MOA visionary|
NO that does not make him a MORON.
It is his RIGHT to ASK anything he WANTS.
If YOU buy it then it makes YOU the moron.
If you don't like the prices > don't by and move on.
OR go open your own business.
Used to be really good shows in the Amarillo Civic Center back in the late 80's and early 90's. I remember buying a circa 1980 S&W 4" 657 .41 Magnum with goncalo alves grips for $475.00 and a Beretta Centurion 9mm for around $400 even. Even the People's Republic of Austin had a city coliseum downtown that held decent gun shows back in the mid-90's. Good days, those were.
And yeah, there was still all the same crap even back then...beef jerky, native American blankets and sculptures, Nazi memorabilia, custom made holsters and rifle slings and concession booths that charged an arm and a leg for a horrible hamburger and stale coke. But the gun prices were fantastic back then, and we knew it.
Sadly, with the proliferation of the Internet, video games and the supernova explosion of the Walmart Warrior-tactical insanity that's trickled down from our never ending war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems the gun buying population is 10x bigger than it was in 1995. As result, the boom has created as many leeches and parasites as it has foolish buyers with more money than IQ points.
That S&W 657 I bought, which was in 97% condition, would probably be $1200 today at a show or on GB. It was a great gun, but market forces and inflation aside, is it REALLY a $1200 gun?
Is any brand new S&W they're making now, with their stupid locks and Play-Doh MIM parts, really worth what they're asking for them?
No. Not a snowball's chance in Hell, no....
"Just A Wild Eyed Texan On a Manhunt For The World's Most Perfect Chili Dog...."
Can I ask what you paid for gasoline back then to drive to the show? What'd you pay back during the Obama heyday? Oil prices are tricky, they seem to slide upwards, but not back down.
Unhappy ammo seeker
Did not realize it, thank you.
Men who carry guns for a living do not seek reward outside of the guild. The most cherished gift is a nod from his peers.
I speak jive.
It's become like a Bingo parlor for men, or Bridge for rednecks, or something, a place to gather and socialize, maybe buy and sell something, and barely not a flea market.
I always enjoy going to the gun shows in Melbourne and Ft Pierce, FL. Mostly just to spend a couple of hours just to look around. Also a good place to pick up a couple cases of 9mm at a good price.
Like I said, inflation aside....the fact is that the price of nice used firearms has unreasonable skyrocketed and are stupidly inflated. New ones are worse. There is no way on this Earth that, for example, a brand new S&W Model 66 is worth $800. Even if you find one on sale for around $700, the quality is half of what they were years ago, and I seriously don't believe that old saw that production has to be done out of country and with cheaper materials to be able to make a profit.
A better equivalent question might be "What grade of gas was available in 1995 versus today, and what's the cost difference in relation to reasonable inflation?"
A brand new Smith & Wesson wheelgun today is 78 octane gas for $2.50 a gallon, while a mid-80's version of the same gun is 93 octane and was bought for $1.12. Even if you adjust for inflation and get the same price (which admittedly might be likely), you're getting El Cheapo products for the same money that used to get you solid, durable, quality stuff.
Back on the OP point, that's another reason I avoid gun shows. The growing rarity of nicer weapons and their stupidly inflated prices is annoying, but the flood of cheaper, MIM gutted products being sold at the high end of retail pricing makes them a waste of time to attend.
Better luck can be had scouring old local gun shops, if one wishes to find vintage treasure....
"Just A Wild Eyed Texan On a Manhunt For The World's Most Perfect Chili Dog...."
|Age Quod Agis|
I did the Orlando show this weekend, and for the first time in a long time, things were reasonable, especially the new stuff.
I picked up a Vortex Crossfire II scout scope with rings for $145 out the door. Online plus shipping has been worse than that, and more worserer (sic) still if tax is included.
9mm factory reloads in brass case were $.17/round; 5.56 factory reloads in brass at $.28.
Sig M-400 with Romeo 3 was $949 show special, law enforcement turn in stainless SIG P220s were $350.
The fudds with the used stuff were, as usual, too expensive for what they had to sell, but the larger vendors were pretty reasonable.
The stink quotient was pretty low, too. Show has been a lot less crowded since we made America great again.
"I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."
Captain William Mattingly at the Battle of Bulltown, West Virginia 1863
Used to, back when I still had a license. Used to go to most of 'em in my area.
Yeah, there was that. And, the last couple or three to which I went started to have tables for the "home arts and crafts" people and assorted other non-Ham-related flea market dreck.
But I'd usually find something I could use. Component parts. Little rubber baby buggy bumpers. (Aka: Rubber feet. You can never have too many.) Connectors. Switches. Shrink tubing.
Gun shows? Yeah... not so much.
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
"The dominant media is no more ``mainstream`` than leftists are liberals." -- me
I was cured of going to gun shows when I was in Western NY. They weren't really... "gun" shows. -More like a Harbor Freight sidewalk sale with a few guns included. Lots of Chinese made automobile glass breakers and tarps.
(I was told by the old hands that the NY shows used to be different but all I went to were that way until I moved).
I'm like RHINOWSO- the ones I miss were the 80's and 90's shows where people like the old gentleman (he may not be around anymore- bless him) had two or more tables with all of the 1911, M1 Carbine, M1 Garand, Springfield and other original parts in individual bins.
He was fantastic, kind, knew everything about those firearms and had all kinds of obscure things as well as holsters, stocks, barrels, etc...
The same fellow who sold reloaded bulk rounds that was at Camp Perry for the National Shoots in years past was at some of the older shows with ammo cans of 30 cal Carbine and other hard to find stuff. Dunno if he is still around.
(This was in Wilmington, Fayetteville and Raleigh NC area as well as Camp Perry).
|Page late and a dollar short|
Try the car hobby, with few exceptions all the good stuff is on Ebay or private party sales.
————————--Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even, usually, surpassing knowledge(E.J.Potter, A.K.A. The Michigan Madman)
|Drill Here, Drill Now|
I've attended gun shows while living in both Texas and Alaska.
I've never seen any Nazi memorabilia for sale.
Both had awesome jerky (I always have $50 on me for jerky purchases) and both had some crafts.
Alaska gun shows were always combined as a gun and outdoor show (i.e. firearms plus hunting plus fishing). Alaska seemed to have more of the same tables lugging the same 4 or 5 dozen well used guns to every show, but there was good stuff there too. Another interesting thing about Alaska, the Wasilla High School Hockey Booster Club held an annual fundraiser at Wasilla high and the fundraiser was a gun & outdoor show. How many people have been to a gun show at a high school?
The Houston area shows seem to have more new guns for sale.
Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity
DISCLAIMER: These are the author's own personal views and do not represent the views of the author's employer.
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