PDA

View Full Version : Gun show observations/gripe


effinwhitey
02-24-2012, 12:18 PM
So, I have been into firearms and shooting since I was a little guy. My dad; ex-military and now retired police officer, started me off young with the respects and the joys of shooting. I remember going to gun shows with him as a kid and coming back home with a few bags full of items and him telling me about the great deals he was able to obtain.

From about 16 years old to 27, I had not been to a gun show due to the busy schedule of everyday life. However, over the past couple years, I started to attend some local gun shows and some gun shows out of state and realized;

There really aren’t many/any deals at the gun show. Most items I find for sale are available locally in store for a better price. Some gun show retailers offer 30% off “gun show special”, etc…; but $30.00 off of an item that is marked up $100.00 over MSRP still isn’t a deal.

The majority of items for sale are cheap import and knockoffs geared toward the “tactical” (don’t get me started on the whole mall ninja tactical thing) or AR market. I have a couple AR’s and fail to find a use for 90% of the products. However, if I ever need a hand grip survival kit with halogen headlights and laser pointer that can polish my car and make a cup of coffee and a pair of “tactical socks”… I know where to find them.

Maybe I am totally incorrect on my observations and jaded by days past when you could buy an SKS for $100.00 and take it home the same day. I always understood the concept of the gun show was for retailers to reach a broader customer base and the low overhead of not having a retail location afforded the patrons the ability to find deals not normally available. Additionally, individuals and manufacturers were provided with a method to introduce; new, unique, and hard to find items. These concepts don’t seem to exist. Perhaps the internet has a major effect or perhaps its a California thing.

If it was not for ammo manufacturers/reloaders (Miwall as an example) I probably wouldn’t go to another gun show. With that being said, by the time you pay $10.00 to park, $10.00 or up for entry fees, and donations to various organizations, I need to buy a good deal of bulk ammo to offset the costs.

This is all just my two cents and I may be completely incorrect on everything I said; for that I apologize in advance.

Im sure I will take heat for all of this, I do realize and notice that not all of the vendors at the gun shows are the same and my observation is not meant as a bash to on any specific vendors but rather highlight the climate of the gun show and what it has become.

oldsmoboat
02-24-2012, 12:23 PM
For me, gun shows died in the early 90s.
$10 for parking. $10 to get in. No deals to be found.
No thanks.

TheBest
02-24-2012, 2:08 PM
I've never been to a show because parking fee and admission (and then sales tax) turned me off to the "low" prices.

It's not like internet sites don't have overhead either (warehouses, employees, web hosting, computers, utilities, customer service, etc.), but they can still have low prices including the shipping costs and still profit.

Paper Boy
02-24-2012, 2:10 PM
I miss AZ gun shows and cash and carry.... I have not been to one in years because I never find any deals on what I want at the moment.

Capybara
02-24-2012, 3:05 PM
I hear you and I mostly agree. The last one I went to a few weeks ago, I did buy a soft gun case ($7.00, it was an exceptional deal, these are about $30.00 at the gun store) and I bought 1,000 rounds of 9mm and 500 rounds of .45 ACP from Miwall (amazing prices), bought a cleaning kit for $9.00 for my shotgun. It wasn't a bad way to kill an afternoon and there were some really cool WWII era Garands and stuff to drool over. But there was a lot of non-gun junk there as well and yes, our industry has become homogenized with 70% of the industry marketed as Tacticool.

Dan

OutlawStar
02-24-2012, 3:58 PM
Same gripes here: after going to the gun show in Ventura twice I don't need to go to another ever again. it was something like $9 for parking, and $14 just to get in. Ammo prices were on par with internet prices but they were charging tax too. Not to mention I had to maneuver around the children, baby strollers, and actually hunt for tables selling firearm related items. It seems they had an equal amount of beef jerky, flea market, and t-shirt items as they did firearms related tables. Always confusing.

I'm done with gun shows but I can tell most of the people there don't visit forums and look online for competing prices. It alright people watching but I can do that for free elsewhere.

effinwhitey
02-24-2012, 5:08 PM
@OutlawStar, I agree the last gun show I went to was just like a flea market. All I needed to find was a crappy used bicycle and some tupperware. Check that; tactical bicycle and tactical tupperware.

drifter2be
02-24-2012, 5:13 PM
After going to Ontario last weekend I have decided on never going to a gunshow again. Deals that are still 10-20% higher than internet prices even after the shipping costs, and all your real deals that you find being negated by the $23 you paid for parking and admission, plus dealing with crowds of inconsiderate apes. The only reason to go to a gunshow anymore is if you need some airsoft equipment, because thats what nearly half the stuff I saw was.

bruce381
02-24-2012, 5:16 PM
heh it is an afternoon on NOT doing crap aroumd the house that She who must be obeyd says to do. Also yeah prices have gone up from shows 40 years ago I look at it as a aftenoon of window shoping with NO wife = priceless.

jchen76@gmail.com
02-24-2012, 5:30 PM
Went to a real gunshow last weekend in Texas. Was I in for surprise. One dealer had more weapons than the entire floor at California show. I would go broke if I was resident.
Saw the brand new HK MR762-A1 for $3699, but owner was willing to sell OTD for $3500. A Steyr USR dyed black with Zeiss red dot for $2500. Only 1 jerky vendor and 1 ammo vendor whose selection was tiny. I wonder where Texans go to get bulk ammo, Walmart?

wikioutdoor
02-24-2012, 5:38 PM
I still love going to the crossroads show - my dad and I actually get to hang out. Yeah there arent alot of great deals but there is usually alot to look at and some cool mil surp stuff there.

Also there are some good vendors like Rifle Gear that go and display there goods, ooohhh must touch REPR ftw!!!

Too many people ***** about it but there have been many times when I got great deals on bulk ammo, an extra katana and a fried hot dog on a stick + gas. Plus trailer T&A - did I mention getting to see the nerds all geared up? Seriously gun shows, any gun shows are merica baby!

You'll see me there next year selling camo cowboy hats and ammo boxes made of old kegs!

Tarn_Helm
02-24-2012, 6:49 PM
So, I have been into firearms and shooting since I was a little guy. My dad; ex-military and now retired police officer, started me off young with the respects and the joys of shooting. I remember going to gun shows with him as a kid and coming back home with a few bags full of items and him telling me about the great deals he was able to obtain.

From about 16 years old to 27, I had not been to a gun show due to the busy schedule of everyday life. However, over the past couple years, I started to attend some local gun shows and some gun shows out of state and realized;

There really aren’t many/any deals at the gun show. Most items I find for sale are available locally in store for a better price. Some gun show retailers offer 30% off “gun show special”, etc…; but $30.00 off of an item that is marked up $100.00 over MSRP still isn’t a deal.

The majority of items for sale are cheap import and knockoffs geared toward the “tactical” (don’t get me started on the whole mall ninja tactical thing) or AR market. I have a couple AR’s and fail to find a use for 90% of the products. However, if I ever need a hand grip survival kit with halogen headlights and laser pointer that can polish my car and make a cup of coffee and a pair of “tactical socks”… I know where to find them.

Maybe I am totally incorrect on my observations and jaded by days past when you could buy an SKS for $100.00 and take it home the same day. I always understood the concept of the gun show was for retailers to reach a broader customer base and the low overhead of not having a retail location afforded the patrons the ability to find deals not normally available. Additionally, individuals and manufacturers were provided with a method to introduce; new, unique, and hard to find items. These concepts don’t seem to exist. Perhaps the internet has a major effect or perhaps its a California thing.

If it was not for ammo manufacturers/reloaders (Miwall as an example) I probably wouldn’t go to another gun show. With that being said, by the time you pay $10.00 to park, $10.00 or up for entry fees, and donations to various organizations, I need to buy a good deal of bulk ammo to offset the costs.

This is all just my two cents and I may be completely incorrect on everything I said; for that I apologize in advance.

Im sure I will take heat for all of this, I do realize and notice that not all of the vendors at the gun shows are the same and my observation is not meant as a bash to on any specific vendors but rather highlight the climate of the gun show and what it has become.

+1

CA gunshows are crap--for all the reasons you listed.

:mad:

effinwhitey
02-24-2012, 7:54 PM
Last time, I went to the gun show in Reno I realized the majority of the vendors were the same as at the California shows, which I should have anticipated given the close proximity to Sacramento.

There were a few vendors selling some unique antique firearms but at closer investigation the prices were astronomical! I mean, common, $2,500 for a Remington Rand 1911 without matching numbers... whomp whomp whomp.

The experience I enjoyed the most was walking through Scheels and Cabelas and they dont charge admission!

Wikioutdoor, I love seeing the "nerds" as you mentioned dressed up for Kmart kombat. My girlfriend had to get a picture with one, he didn't understand why (straight to Facebook).

capitol
02-24-2012, 9:43 PM
played out and so tired not to mention nobody cares.

theduece
02-24-2012, 10:20 PM
Lol....

I NEED that foregrip you mentioned. It makes coffee and will polish the truck???? Def must have for a am shoot.

I go to them anyways. Time spent with my boys. Yeah the mall ninja morons are out in force but.....

jyo
02-24-2012, 10:57 PM
Ever since they killed off the Great Western show, gunshows have been crap here in Kalifornia---I only go to the Glendale show because it is close-by and they don't charge for parking. Really only go to meet up with old friends.

warbunker
02-25-2012, 2:43 AM
As a vendor at some of the shows I must agree with you guys. I remember the great western show at Pomona, where it took 3 days to actually see everything! 8 buildings full of gun stuff, no jerkey and crap!, and even outside between building nothing but military tanks and vehicles along with, yes you guessed it, GUNS! I am just finishing liquidating some of my stuff and some stuff from my friends store he closed,sad but in california the liberals don't want guns here. I remeber when the gun show was a big thing and something you save for months to go buy some cool stuff at great deals. The shows as far as california is concerned died when pomona was shut down,thanks LA. Now it is all plastic AR stuff with tacticool mall ninja crap, beef jerkey every 5 feet and people selling crystal, really WTF? There are about 3 or 4 ammo vendors that all have the same price, parking is outragous, entry fee is enough to make you think twice, and the food and beverages are so overpriced I have heard alot of people say screw it lets just leave and go to ammobros or bass pro or even turners.What isconsidered gun shows now is a complete joke, and since vedors pay $90+ per table now, they pass that right on to you.Sad that when I go to other states and head to the gun show there I feel like a kid again. I remember going to the shows in pomona with my dad and walking till my feet were numb. But I enjoyed it because of all the cool stuff andguns around to enjoy. Now I only get this feeling when I leavethis state and head to a show in texas,oklahoma,tennessee,georgia,florida,basically and free state. I feel for you guys I really do. I just wish this state wasn't so screwed up but it will only get worse due to the mentality out here. :rolleyes:

cudakidd
02-25-2012, 5:54 AM
You guys have to know what to look for! I have always found deals, carry a Blue book of gun values, research beforehand and look at EVERY table to find hidden deals...

http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG5692.jpg
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG5368.jpg
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4174.jpg

All bought here at Bakersfield Gun show, limited run, pre lock S&W BELOW market prices.

Not to mention the various accessories, scopes, knives,etc I've found, BELOW market prices.

Don't be afraid to ask questions and haggle, CASH is King!

And yes there are Beef Jerky Sellers, toys, generic crap there. They keep the doors open by filling space for the promoter. Just walk on by, someone else may like them otherwise why are they there, show after show?

chuckdc
02-25-2012, 8:31 AM
Went to a real gunshow last weekend in Texas. Was I in for surprise. One dealer had more weapons than the entire floor at California show. I would go broke if I was resident.
Saw the brand new HK MR762-A1 for $3699, but owner was willing to sell OTD for $3500. A Steyr USR dyed black with Zeiss red dot for $2500. Only 1 jerky vendor and 1 ammo vendor whose selection was tiny. I wonder where Texans go to get bulk ammo, Walmart?

ammotogo.com, FTW. Their store is just over an hour from my door. They also set up at the larger gun shows here in Houston