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  #1  
Old 01-25-2013, 7:42 PM
HunterSwift HunterSwift is offline
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Default 1st time to attend a gun show (costa mesa)

Hi. New here. Just bought an AR recently and planning on attending costa mesa gun show. I have never been to one before. What should I expect? I plan on going in morning, what time should I get there? I will be looking to buy some ammo for my AR. Whats a good price per round? Do you think there will be any AR15s for sale there? Will they be really expensive? If I want to buy another gun what form of indentification do I need to bring? Do most vendors except credit cards? Any other advice? Sorry for all the questions...Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 8:22 PM
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cwilliams cwilliams is offline
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HunterSwift -

They are predicting 20,000 attend this show through both days. I'm going to tell you right now if you aren't looking for something VERY specific, consider staying home. The line just to get a ticket will be hundreds long, and the line to get in will be thousands long. If you are wanting to get 223 ammo, I suggest getting there at about 6am and wait with the other hundred people already in line. I truly do think it will be that bad. I have bowed out of attending this show because of the crowd and that I really don't have anything I'm looking for at the moment. I love going to any show I can, but I think this one will go down in the record books.

If you decide to go -

1. Expect thousands of people.
2. Get there no later than 7am if you want a chance at getting some bulk 223 ammo. Show opens at 9am sharp. Bring food. I know I said 6am above, but I'm giving my prediction that after 7am will be cutting it close.
3. Price per round has been fluctuating far too much lately. Walmart has been getting .223 back in stock. I just payed $8.07 for 20 rounds (before tax). If you can get cheaper per round than that, you're golden.
4. There will be AR-15's and yes they will be expensive. The price of used Mini-14's has jumped up as well.
5. Same identification to buy a gun as if you were buying it in a store. It's no different at a show. Handgun will need the HSC, ID, and your car registration.
6. The major ammo vendors all except credit cards. Others will vary.
7. Cash is king. Bring a few hundred dollars if you can. It's much easier to negotiate with someone when you have the cash in hand rather than try and scamper off to the ATM, pending it even works.

Good luck and keep us updated if you go. I took pictures of the line outside of Ontario and people were blown away.

Last edited by cwilliams; 01-25-2013 at 8:30 PM..
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Old 01-25-2013, 8:43 PM
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CoopsDad CoopsDad is offline
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^^X2^^ Ontario show was brutal... 30 minutes in line to buy tickets, waiting to be admitted into the building because they were over capacity, wading through masses of people who just want to buy anything they can afford to "beat the ban". I watched a guy buy $12,000 in bulk ammo. First time for that.

Get there early, be patient and bring as much cash as you have.
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Old 01-25-2013, 9:01 PM
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troysland troysland is offline
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Get there by 9 and you might wait 2-2.5 hrs to get in. If you can, buy your ticket online at crossroads of the west website. Print it out and have it ready. There's one line to buy tickets and another to get in. I was planning on going only if I could get there by 6:30am. Doesn't look like I'll make it with 85% rain in Costa Mesa on Saturday. 50% between 6-9am. Just not worth it, however, it WILL be an experience if it's your first Costa Mesa show. Enjoy.
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Old 01-25-2013, 9:16 PM
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cwilliams cwilliams is offline
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I should also mention that the ammo vendor Miwall was restricting purchases to 2,000 rounds of any caliber at the last show in Ventura. I would expect that to still be in place.

The rain will likely keep some people away, but how many remains to be seen.

An experience it WILL be!
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Old 01-26-2013, 2:35 AM
bigguns85 bigguns85 is offline
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Im new to this form. I just bought a stripped lower ar. Im going to the show to buy parts for the new baby. Anyone got any tips?
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Old 01-26-2013, 2:39 AM
unclejesse unclejesse is offline
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good luck
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2013, 4:47 AM
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sd_shooter sd_shooter is offline
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The gun shows are crowded even when we're between elections. Now the atmosphere is worse:
- We've seen what just happened to NY (Draconian gun laws passed overnight)
- Biden's task force
- Difi's ban along with many others at the federal level
- Yee's bills any many others at the state level, new ones appear daily it seems
- Obama's edicts

The only things that have ever been worth getting at gun shows are components, and even then only if you want to have them that day. Online you pay hazmat, but at the show you pay for the ticket & parking.

I would recommend you stay at home and watch for the threads about the show to see what you're missing.

Learn to shop online. These days it's pretty convenient to stay in touch with the latest prices and deals:
ammoengine.com
ammoseek.com
gun-deals.com
slickguns.com

Many others as well. I used to stock up on ammo by visiting my local walmart, but the 12ga dried up a couple months ago and that was my clue that things were really bad. The 12ga was there even during the first Obama election. Now the only thing on the shelf are some 22 shorts and some Tula 380 ACP.

When shopping online you may have to back order, but you'll actually find most of your ammo pretty quickly and almost at pre-craze prices. I've had three cases arrive in the last two week which is more than I would have been able to get at a gun show. More cases are on order.
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Old 01-26-2013, 9:33 AM
bigbobmegadeth bigbobmegadeth is offline
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I'm here now sitting in an ammo line to buy primers... Got here at 7am and I don't expect to be out of here until 1pm or 2pm. I was at the Ontario show too, and that was nothing compared to this. I've never seen anything like it. PM me if anyone knows of a primer and powder only booth.

-Sent from my iPhone
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:00 AM
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OcRyan OcRyan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbobmegadeth View Post
I'm here now sitting in an ammo line to buy primers... Got here at 7am and I don't expect to be out of here until 1pm or 2pm. I was at the Ontario show too, and that was nothing compared to this. I've never seen anything like it. PM me if anyone knows of a primer and powder only booth.

-Sent from my iPhone

Pretty busy huh? I was planning on going for the first time tomorrow with my dad and brother but I am starting to reconsider... bummer.
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:00 AM
HunterSwift HunterSwift is offline
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Ok it was definitely fun. Got there at 6:30 and already a huge line. But in a good place compared to everyone that came after. The line was huge. As for AR15s. There were quit a bit but all marked up. Uppers were mostly around 900 and 80% lowers from $165 to $225. Ammo lines were super long. I didnt even bother. Ammo bros only had 223 qty 100 reloads for $74. People were buying 10 at a time I passed. I ended up with a magpul ctr stock for $75 and magpul guards for $25. Bought another 10 round mag for $15 and a 30 round metal rebuild kit for $25. Also got some jerky. Thanks for the advice everybody.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:42 AM
honda_doc honda_doc is offline
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first time going there today, got there at 7am and there was a long line already in the parking lot,around 9:45 is when i got in,just got back,bought lower parts kit for 140,seems little to steep but I was already there so just decided to go with it,am just wondering if those upper assemblies are quality made? because am thinking of purchasing one when del mar fairgrounds come along
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2013, 4:28 PM
HunterSwift HunterSwift is offline
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What is a good price for .223 or 5.56 ammo? I found a 1000 rounds (reload 55 grain) for $800
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Old 01-27-2013, 5:27 PM
bigguns85 bigguns85 is offline
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I had a fun time with my dad and father in-law. I willl definatly go back when its here again in March. I even found the calguns booth and chated it up a bit. I was able to get a lower reciver parts kit for $175. The ar parts were raised alot more than stuff on the web, so i might just look for parts online as look for more deals next time. Just a heads up it was very crowded and the media was even there. I'm sure they did some bs gun piece.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:22 AM
sapro sapro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterSwift View Post
What is a good price for .223 or 5.56 ammo? I found a 1000 rounds (reload 55 grain) for $800
$40 is a good price, lately 50/rd is acceptable for factory fresh ball ammo
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:06 AM
timcorexxx timcorexxx is offline
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If its your first time get ready for madness cause its insane. Ammo lines were hours long and that's if there not sold out. Just letting you know it's chaos and not as fun as it used to be. But go and check it out for yourself maybe it's getting better but I don't think it has. But if u never been go and check it out, it's not like u won't find something u want. Just depends on what u want and what your willing to pay. You will have fun if you are passionate about guns.
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