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View Full Version : Cheaper to buy upper from web or gunshow?


ThemBastards
05-02-2011, 4:25 PM
I DROS'd my lower over the weekend(Spike's Zombie w/color fill) and am looking at different "cheap rifle" kits out there like from Model 1 and Del-Ton and was talking to my buddy about holding off on buying the kit until I go to the upcoming gun show to check prices and he brought up that it would probably be cheaper to buy the upper from an out of state website because there wouldn't be any sales tax involved. Make's sense...

The last gun show I went to I paid absolutely no attention to the AR's so I don't know what the going rate/discounts on uppers might be. Can I get amazing deals at the gun shows for uppers? Enough to offset our states sales tax? You know until I claim it on next years taxes :rolleyes:

mlevans66
05-02-2011, 4:35 PM
Go look on the market thread first, then look at websites, check prices, compare. What gunshow are you going to anyway? Either way depends on what you are looking for. I like all three options cause you can get a deal on them all with luck.

762.DEFENSE
05-02-2011, 5:31 PM
Marketplace then the web by far.

ThemBastards
05-02-2011, 5:36 PM
Go look on the market thread first, then look at websites, check prices, compare. What gunshow are you going to anyway? Either way depends on what you are looking for. I like all three options cause you can get a deal on them all with luck.

Ive been watching the market intensely for a month now. No prices like the website prices, will be going to the Costa Mesa Crossroads OTW show next weekend. My lower will be available to me by then so I will be in more of a buying mood to get it going. However if i determine that it won't be worth waiting for the gun show to buy then I will most likely make my purchase soon to account for shipping times. I spend many hours a day searching for the best deals online....

Ding126
05-02-2011, 5:56 PM
http://www.ar15sales.com

http://www.m4store.net

http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=7&f=22&page=1

The more you search around, the more you learn and the more you can save $$

Pete at Legal Trasfers aka AR15sales have sold me uppers at 100.00+ cheaper than some sites..well worth a look

Fjold
05-02-2011, 7:11 PM
It's never cheaper at a gunshow.

Oceanbob
05-02-2011, 7:15 PM
It's never cheaper at a gunshow.

Sometimes I feel like the GUNSHOW is a Circus Scam.

By the time you pay parking and entry fees (over $20) you can never get a deal. In the old days it was cash and carry (no sales tax)

These days it's retail plus tax.

Not worth it.

Buying out of State already saves at least 8.5%.

Of course, you will have to find a deal that included shipping.

Don29palms
05-02-2011, 7:43 PM
Unless you know EXACTLY what you are looking for or know a large range of wht things are going for to compare it's very hard to find any sort of deals at gunshows. Gunshows are more for the impulse buyer that has no clue what they are doing. Just look at all the AR junk people buy.

rareair
05-02-2011, 7:53 PM
First, Crossroads of the West does NOT have a gun show scheduled for the weekend of May 7th-8th. There is one scheduled for May 14th-15th (Ontario, Ca) and May 21st-22nd (Del Mar, Ca)

Second, web prices are far better than gun show prices. However, there are a few vendors that will have cheaper priced uppers. With that said, those cheap priced uppers are just that- cheap. The reason these vendors can sell them cheap is because they'll cut costs somewhere. The hand guard will most certainly be from UTG or NC Star and the BCG will be from a no-name manufacturer.

If you're looking for a high quality upper, you'll need to do some judicious shopping & price comparison on the web

ThemBastards
05-02-2011, 7:58 PM
Sorry I meant the Ontario show

supertrooper
05-02-2011, 8:01 PM
i only go to gunshows for cheap ammo. everything else is over priced or airsoft crap. did you check DSA? i got a 16" carbine upper without the CH or bolt for $275. i also got their bolt for $110 and CH for $14. never had a problem with it and it fit my spikes lower nice and tight. just call them to see if what you want is in stock befor ordering.

Don29palms
05-02-2011, 8:21 PM
If you want a decent complete upper at a good price look at www.jsesurplus.com You can get a complete upper w/ charging handle and BCG for $375.

mlevans66
05-02-2011, 8:23 PM
First, Crossroads of the West does NOT have a gun show scheduled for the weekend of May 7th-8th. There is one scheduled for May 14th-15th (Ontario, Ca) and May 21st-22nd (Del Mar, Ca)

Second, web prices are far better than gun show prices. However, there are a few vendors that will have cheaper priced uppers. With that said, those cheap priced uppers are just that- cheap. The reason these vendors can sell them cheap is because they'll cut costs somewhere. The hand guard will most certainly be from UTG or NC Star and the BCG will be from a no-name manufacturer.

If you're looking for a high quality upper, you'll need to do some judicious shopping & price comparison on the web

Dang! The Riot Act!:eek:

I have to agree on what was stated above. With the price of gas, gunshow ticket and time you're going to spend alot anyway. You must be real picky if you ain't seen a upper on the market thread you like for price or choice. Some guys are almost giving them away. As for guns shows unless you live by Ontario I wont go. Just save your money for the Costa Mesa one next month. It's bigger and better.

ThemBastards
05-02-2011, 8:25 PM
i only go to gunshows for cheap ammo. everything else is over priced or airsoft crap. did you check DSA? i got a 16" carbine upper without the CH or bolt for $275. i also got their bolt for $110 and CH for $14. never had a problem with it and it fit my spikes lower nice and tight. just call them to see if what you want is in stock befor ordering.

Sorry I don't know what DSA is. :confused:

If you want a decent complete upper at a good price look at www.jsesurplus.com You can get a complete upper w/ charging handle and BCG for $375.

Another one of my problems is I don't know whats quality and what is not. I've checked into jse before I will keep them on the list.

Thanks guys

Don29palms
05-02-2011, 8:28 PM
Another one of my problems is I don't know whats quality and what is not. I've checked into jse before I will keep them on the list.

Thanks guys

If you don't know what to look for a gunshow is definitely not the place to look. If you don't what to look for you can get ripped off real easy.

ThemBastards
05-02-2011, 8:37 PM
Dang! The Riot Act!:eek:

I have to agree on what was stated above. With the price of gas, gunshow ticket and time you're going to spend alot anyway. You must be real picky if you ain't seen a upper on the market thread you like for price or choice. Some guys are almost giving them away. As for guns shows unless you live by Ontario I wont go. Just save your money for the Costa Mesa one next month. It's bigger and better.

Well I came into this thing wanting a 7.62x39 upper so that has limited my options... I am starting to become more open to the 5.56 though. Really the Ontario show sucks?

ThemBastards
05-02-2011, 8:47 PM
Another reason I was thinking of going the gun show route is that they will actually have the items to buy instead of this 4-6 week wait that I am finding on all of the kits/uppers I have seen online(the ones I want anyway)..... One last option, I am going to Vegas soon is there like a super spot there that is infamous for having awesome things that the CA gun owner is always looking for?

Vanilla Gorilla
05-02-2011, 8:51 PM
It's never cheaper at a gunshow.

^this^

i go to gun shows for ammo and some small parts only and to kill some time and play with cool toys :D

EasyE
05-02-2011, 8:56 PM
Sometimes I feel like the GUNSHOW is a Circus Scam.

By the time you pay parking and entry fees (over $20) you can never get a deal. In the old days it was cash and carry (no sales tax)

These days it's retail plus tax.

Not worth it.

Buying out of State already saves at least 8.5%.

Of course, you will have to find a deal that included shipping.

hahaha True story!! After parking, entry, your time, and money in gas...your deal is kind of out the window.


Unless you know EXACTLY what you are looking for or know a large range of wht things are going for to compare it's very hard to find any sort of deals at gunshows. Gunshows are more for the impulse buyer that has no clue what they are doing. Just look at all the AR junk people buy.

Although I do agree with Don too. Deals can be had, you just have to know exactly what you want and the price range of what you're looking for. There's a ton of STUFF there and I, being an impulse buyer, need to exercise self-control while I'm walking around.

rimfire78
05-02-2011, 9:18 PM
internetz for sure.

rojocorsa
05-02-2011, 9:23 PM
Another vote for the internets. Not to mention that one can get exactly what they want there.

I mean, I could go to Bravo Company USA and just order what ever quality upper I wanted (so as long as they're stocked). Far easier and the convenience mitigates the cost of shipping.

supertrooper
05-03-2011, 1:11 AM
dsa is known more for their FAL rifles. me and a friend have their 16" uppers and both have good fit and finish and both have been very reliable even with cheap wolf and tula ammo. sure the more expensive brands are good quality too but alot of the higher price if for the name like noveske (sp?).

RawImpact
05-03-2011, 1:25 AM
In my experience gun shows are hit or miss. There are some things that are above MSRP, usually for those that do impulse buys.

But surplus ammo is generally priced on par with online. Shipping is usually offset by entrance.

mlevans66
05-03-2011, 7:23 AM
Have you tried www.dsarms.com? They make some pretty good upper for some cheap prices. Man, you can make a whole rifle from that site at just under 600.00!

OutkastSL
05-03-2011, 7:41 AM
I've seen dsarms...are they reliable?

mlevans66
05-03-2011, 8:50 AM
found this

https://calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=330612

ask them

ThemBastards
05-03-2011, 9:04 AM
This looks good. All I would need is a bolt carrier group for it right?

http://www.dsarms.com/DSA-ZM4-A3-Upper-Receiver-16-Barrel-M4-HG-Parked-Chrome-Lined---DSZM4CBUPARKCL/productinfo/DSZM4CBUPARKCL/

rromeo
05-03-2011, 9:13 AM
Ive been watching the market intensely for a month now. No prices like the website prices, will be going to the Costa Mesa Crossroads OTW show next weekend. My lower will be available to me by then so I will be in more of a buying mood to get it going. However if i determine that it won't be worth waiting for the gun show to buy then I will most likely make my purchase soon to account for shipping times. I spend many hours a day searching for the best deals online....

As soon as you buy what you think is a great deal from an online company, you'll find some guy 2 miles away from you, selling the same upper with "only 50 rounds down the pipe" for $100 less in the CGN marketplace.
Well, I did. Your mileage may vary.

mlevans66
05-03-2011, 9:53 AM
This looks good. All I would need is a bolt carrier group for it right?

http://www.dsarms.com/DSA-ZM4-A3-Upper-Receiver-16-Barrel-M4-HG-Parked-Chrome-Lined---DSZM4CBUPARKCL/productinfo/DSZM4CBUPARKCL/

Yeap! and a charging handle, lower (complete) and some ammo. lol

Lead Waster
05-03-2011, 10:03 AM
Gun shows have GREAT prices ... on reloading supplies. Why? Shipping and Hazmat fees are not tacked on and cheaper than local gun shops generally.

Other stuff, I think is NOT cheaper. Here's my small example with JD Machine booth which had some good deals, and some not so good.

Gun show lower = $109. I've seen them for $99 online
Gun show stripper M4 upper = $70. Online = $90+ ??
Gun show bullet button = $20. Online = $20-25

So ... it depends. Shop online a bit, write down prices, then hit the gun show just to get a feel for the physical pieces. Also look for cheap magazines at the gun show.

Oh, and of course, get some beef jerky and samurai swords ;)

Lead Waster
05-03-2011, 10:15 AM
Another reason I was thinking of going the gun show route is that they will actually have the items to buy instead of this 4-6 week wait that I am finding on all of the kits/uppers I have seen online(the ones I want anyway)..... One last option, I am going to Vegas soon is there like a super spot there that is infamous for having awesome things that the CA gun owner is always looking for?

I'm guessing that any gun shop outside of CA has things that CA Gun owners want.

Whenever I go to Tahoe, our time share is right next to a gun shop, but I've never had time to visit it (because we go to Tahoe to go sledding with the kids, bit for me to go off to gun shops!)

stix213
05-03-2011, 10:25 AM
Gun show is not going to be cheaper than the web, but sometimes its nice to hold it in your hand first so worth the extra cost.

goodlookin1
05-03-2011, 11:09 AM
- Parking: Sometimes $$
- Entrance fees: Usually $1X-$2X
- Still pay sales tax

That ammo that was $20 less for 1000 rounds now just cost you AT LEAST the same, if not more than buying/ordering from a local store or online. I bought 1000 5.56 Winchester 55gr at the Cal Expo show out the door for $322 or something. Also had parking and gun show fees of about $20 or so. The next day, I see an ad from a local gun shop selling 1000 PMC 55 gr for $289. Would have been cheaper to do that and drive 2 minutes from my house! Instead, I drove 30 minutes to Cal Expo (gas $$), paid for parking, paid for entrance, to get what....$5 less on the before tax sale price???? Not gonna do that again.

Chintzy parts for airsoft type stuff may be cheap, but uppers and lowers in CA gunshows (even the Nevada Big Reno Gun Show) were all much more than what I could find online or piece together. I saw normal stripped lowers going for $179, a stripped .308 CMMG lower going for $450 (LMFAO).....Gun Shows = RIP OFF, IMHO. They are getting better because more cool stuff is added every year because of circumventing the laws (legally). But I can walk into two gun stores 15 minutes from my house, and both have much more "cool" stuff. When was the last time you saw a Super Kriss at a gun show? ACR? SCAR, etc? You just dont see that in CA gun shows.

+1 for JSE Surplus

Sgt. Slaughter
05-03-2011, 11:23 AM
I usually go to the shows for the beef jerky, beer, t-shirts and small glass figurines. When you CAN find actual firearms or ammunition, they are likely far more expensive than can be had online. It doesn't stop me from going or buying things though..... Just being under the "big top" is kind of fun, people watching and what not.

SPaikmos
05-03-2011, 12:17 PM
- Parking: Sometimes $$
- Entrance fees: Usually $1X-$2X
- Still pay sales tax

That ammo that was $20 less for 1000 rounds now just cost you AT LEAST the same, if not more than buying/ordering from a local store or online. I bought 1000 5.56 Winchester 55gr at the Cal Expo show out the door for $322 or something. Also had parking and gun show fees of about $20 or so. The next day, I see an ad from a local gun shop selling 1000 PMC 55 gr for $289. Would have been cheaper to do that and drive 2 minutes from my house! Instead, I drove 30 minutes to Cal Expo (gas $$), paid for parking, paid for entrance, to get what....$5 less on the before tax sale price???? Not gonna do that again.

Chintzy parts for airsoft type stuff may be cheap, but uppers and lowers in CA gunshows (even the Nevada Big Reno Gun Show) were all much more than what I could find online or piece together. I saw normal stripped lowers going for $179, a stripped .308 CMMG lower going for $450 (LMFAO).....Gun Shows = RIP OFF, IMHO. They are getting better because more cool stuff is added every year because of circumventing the laws (legally). But I can walk into two gun stores 15 minutes from my house, and both have much more "cool" stuff. When was the last time you saw a Super Kriss at a gun show? ACR? SCAR, etc? You just dont see that in CA gun shows.

+1 for JSE Surplus

IMHO, if you are looking for the best deal possible, then the internetz is best.

HOWEVER, if you're looking for a way to kill an afternoon, hanging out and shooting the **** with other hobbyists, then I think a gunshow is fine. I suppose you could spend that money for parking and fees on a weekend match or something else too.

The point is, I look at the entrance fee and figure it buys me a couple hour's worth of "entertainment". Would you rather watch a movie, or hang out at a gun show and cruise around different vendors? Or take in a cheap ballgame? I don't look at the whole experience as a way to optimize shopping; you'll hardly get that.

BobbyZ
05-03-2011, 12:35 PM
Oh, and of course, get some beef jerky and samurai swords ;)

Gotta love the honey glazed beef jerkey. My buddy got a sword last time we hit the Cow Palace and it is a really nice sword for $350. We've always had POS samuri swords in the past but this thing is folded and all. I used to do cabinets and know what's sharp and what's not. This thing is sharper than any blade I can think of. Way sharper than my razor blade set. Anyways...good stuff. Cheap mags and such, good window shopping and I have found major gun parts cheaper or equivelant prices to online if I go the last day of a 3-day show. Some vendors drop the prices each day.

mlevans66
05-03-2011, 12:42 PM
Gotta love the honey glazed beef jerkey. My buddy got a sword last time we hit the Cow Palace and it is a really nice sword for $350. We've always had POS samuri swords in the past but this thing is folded and all. I used to do cabinets and know what's sharp and what's not. This thing is sharper than any blade I can think of. Way sharper than my razor blade set. Anyways...good stuff. Cheap mags and such, good window shopping and I have found major gun parts cheaper or equivelant prices to online if I go the last day of a 3-day show. Some vendors drop the prices each day.

Wait, we talkin jerkey? Gunshow jerkey? Yeah that's some goood stuff, killa! I have to agree on the prices for show though. Some times you get over and some times you get hosed!:(

pyro3k2
05-03-2011, 12:46 PM
Only thing worth buying at gun shows is ammo and if they have any unique classic mil-surp rifles. Unless you know A LOT about AR's usually you are paying Colt prices for Vulcan quality.

oah and spare parts

SB23hater
05-03-2011, 12:50 PM
Soo funny...I was thinking the same thing when I was at the Antioch Gun Show...however I failed...:eek: bought a Glock 23 Gen 3 for $525 (NIB) and other things

Deals can be had, you just have to know exactly what you want and the price range of what you're looking for. There's a ton of STUFF there and I, being an impulse buyer, need to exercise self-control while I'm walking around.

rareair
05-03-2011, 1:58 PM
If you attend the Ontario or Del Mar show, check out SOG Armory. They are based out of Lakeside, Ca He usually sells complete AR uppers in the $375-$500 range, depending if you want a Chrome-moly, Chrome lined or Stainless barrel. His barrels are made by Citadel. His upper receivers by JD Machine. Good quality stuff and a more than fair price.

ThemBastards
05-14-2011, 3:25 PM
Feeling pretty good about myself not pulling the trigger on an impulse upper buy at the gunshow today. So this week I am convinced that I really want the 7.62x39 round for my upper so I was looking around for any great deals and I found one- at first sight. There was a 20" full quad rail 7.62x39 JD Machine upper. I asked the guy how much and he told me $475 cash out the door- cool that is a great deal especially since he answered yes that the whole upper was JD Machine so I tell him that sounds great and I will be back. The next aisle was the actual JD Machine table with their uppers at a price that I would expect from their name and quality. The guy manning the table let me know that the reason the other guys upper was so cheap is because it only had a JD Machine upper receiver and the rest were probably random no name parts but that there were some reputable guys at the show using their uppers and that it might be a good deal. He seemed like a cool guy who was refreshingly honest.

So anywho I continue walking around looking for a lower parts kit and a stock and a few other things then I go back to the table that had the upper and well they had a DPMS LPK and Stock kit available and they were offering the whole package for $595 without sites. Pretty good price if you want a full quad rail, then he started pulling out the BCG which looked used and the sights he had were UTG and no name clear plastic bag sights and the first 2 charging handles he took out of a bag were scratched up something inside me just said RUN. I didn't end up buying it because I want a new rifle that isn't pieced together from old used slash foreign made crap.

I ended up just buying a hundred .40 reloads and a knock off grippod for $20... So I kind of broke even on the price of admission and parking.

bohoki
05-14-2011, 3:35 PM
hmm depends shipping vs entry fee ,parking and sales tax

Wes
05-14-2011, 8:28 PM
i got the midlength upper from DSA and i love it! i got it for $275. it normally retails for $300 w/o BCG. i first tried to order the carbine, after two months of waiting and never hearing from DSA, i called, complained, and they sent me the upper for the same price as the carbine AND they didnt charge me shipping... worked out. the midlength if fluted all the way down

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/DFwes/IMG_20110303_110746.jpg

famous117
05-14-2011, 9:00 PM
Just bought myself one of these uppers at Elite tactical components... Yeah its a Del-ton and isnt chrome lined, but for what I'm going to use it its perfect. Plus the price with shipping was 399.xx and I ordered it on sat and it got to my place on thurs... Pretty pleased... Ready to fire right out of the box...http://www.elitetacticalcomponents.com/ar-15-complete-uppers/dti-ar-15-16-complete-upper-1-9-twist-chrome-moly-dt1009-s.html