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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I was curious to get some opinions about gun shows in general. Are they worth it? Are the prices on firearms/ammo higher than in stores? I've read that sometimes vendors lower prices towards the end of shows so they don't have to pack up as much -- is that accurate? Thanks for the heads-up.
 

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Before COVID, I found the prices to be about the same between stores and gun shows. But since the pandemic, gun shows are WAY over priced . . . because it's about the only place you could find certain stuff (like ammo), without waiting for Academy / Bass Pro / Walmart / etc. to get some in stock, then be up there at 5:00 AM waiting in line for them to open the doors. It's starting to get a little better now. Stores are getting resupplied a little quicker than a few months ago.

I never noticed a lot of discounts being offered by gun show vendors as the weekend was about to end. They know they'll be in another town next weekend, and have a chance of selling it at the higher price then.
 

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I’ve probably attended a dozen shows as an adult and I’ve never found a deal so great it was worth the time and effort. But I’m 36 and my entire frame of reference is in a period of abnormally high interest in firearms. I remember people talking about good deals when I was younger but I have no way of knowing if it was a good deal or a good find or neither. The internet has changed the way people buy things, I feel like gun show vendors are relying on you not knowing what you are looking at like thing would have been pre e-commerce.
 

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Before COVID, I found the prices to be about the same between stores and gun shows. But since the pandemic, gun shows are WAY over priced . . . because it's about the only place you could find certain stuff (like ammo), without waiting for Academy / Bass Pro / Walmart / etc. to get some in stock, then be up there at 5:00 AM waiting in line for them to open the doors. It's starting to get a little better now. Stores are getting resupplied a little quicker than a few months ago.

I never noticed a lot of discounts being offered by gun show vendors as the weekend was about to end. They know they'll be in another town next weekend, and have a chance of selling it at the higher price then.
Guns shows in the Covid era are like Obama era gun shows on meth.
 

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I’ve never found a deal so great it was worth the time and effort.
Every ""really"" good deal I've ever gotten at a gun show, has been from some regular guy, just in there walking around, (like me) who had something to sell. I've gotten what I considered "fair deals" from a vendor's table, but I've never gotten a "smokin' hot" deal from a gun show vendor.
 

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In my limited experience no, I go to them sometimes because I enjoy walking around and checking everything out, but usually everything is higher or on par with LGS pricing.
 

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years passed ive found some good deals.... SEVERAL marlin rifles some even straight stock 30-30'S NEVER PAID MORE THAN $350 several leupold scopes at good prices and even ammo back in the day NOW A GOOD DEAL IS FEW AND FAR BETWEEN BUT THAT DISEASE I HAVE HAS TO HAVE A LITTLE CURE EVER NOW AND THEN SO I GO BACK oh yeah last best deal was a new in the box BROWNING A BOLT MEDALLION 7MM-08 out the door price $575 philadelphia gun show couldnt believe it but like hunting or fishing you dont know till ya go
 

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Hey guys, I was curious to get some opinions about gun shows in general. Are they worth it?
It all depends on your definition of "worth it."

I enjoy going to shows. I get to visit with a bunch of folks that I wouldn't normally see. I occasionally pick up a deal or two here or there. Last Laurel show, I bought $350 worth of old Smith & Wesson grips for $120. Missed out on a really neat 410 shotgun pistol, at a great price. Didn't buy a couple of older S&W revolvers that were priced a bit low, but I'm expanding my collecting into a different area, so I passed on them.

I saw a lot of overpriced guns and ammo. It doesn't take much effort to walk on by. I generally don't even look at the big dealers tables, because I'm not real interested in new guns, unless I know the dealer and stop to chat. Mike Smith (Smiths Speed Shop) is the one I always check out, because he usually has a good mix of new and used, and often the best prices in the show.

I also set up a table at a couple of shows. I buy toys (guns), play with them, and if I don't really really like them, I sell them so I can buy other toys. I'm not always the cheapest, but I have a following of folks that stop and check out what I've got. I might be under pricing my stuff though, because the last Hattiesburg show I sold all I had but for two guns.

Some of the little guys will bargain more towards the end of the show if they haven't sold much. I bought a couple of guns one time from a guy that needed gas money to get home. The big guys don't usually have that problem.

I've been going to shows since the 80's. Not much has changed. Now folks complain that there's not much milsurp available. In the 80's they were complaining the deals from the 60's weren't still available. (Milsurp everything is drying up these days, gun show or gun shop or on line.) Some dealers were overpriced then, and some dealers are overpriced now. If you go looking for things to complain about, you'll find them. If you go with an understanding that now isn't like 10 or 20 or 40 years ago, you just might find that gem amongst the pebbles.

If you're looking for the absolute lowest price for something, the internet is your source. But don't forget to figure in the extra costs of buying online, and do your due diligence on the seller so you don't get scammed.

Me? I'll keep going to shows as long as I can. If nothing else, it's a fun way to spend a day, for the $6 or $8 it costs to get in. And you never know when that hidden gem might turn up.
 

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As far as new production guns go it always overpriced. To me the upside of a gunshow is the opportunity to pickup things that aren’t made anymore and while they’re generally overpriced there usually cheaper than going through gunbroker and paying shipping/transfer fees.
 

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I don't go to many these days, but I have found a few "steals" over the years. I'm no longer an active buyer so I look at it as entertainment. Costs about the same as a movie and fills a couple of hours.
 

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It all depends on your definition of "worth it."

I enjoy going to shows. I get to visit with a bunch of folks that I wouldn't normally see. I occasionally pick up a deal or two here or there. Last Laurel show, I bought $350 worth of old Smith & Wesson grips for $120. Missed out on a really neat 410 shotgun pistol, at a great price. Didn't buy a couple of older S&W revolvers that were priced a bit low, but I'm expanding my collecting into a different area, so I passed on them.

I saw a lot of overpriced guns and ammo. It doesn't take much effort to walk on by. I generally don't even look at the big dealers tables, because I'm not real interested in new guns, unless I know the dealer and stop to chat. Mike Smith (Smiths Speed Shop) is the one I always check out, because he usually has a good mix of new and used, and often the best prices in the show.

I also set up a table at a couple of shows. I buy toys (guns), play with them, and if I don't really really like them, I sell them so I can buy other toys. I'm not always the cheapest, but I have a following of folks that stop and check out what I've got. I might be under pricing my stuff though, because the last Hattiesburg show I sold all I had but for two guns.

Some of the little guys will bargain more towards the end of the show if they haven't sold much. I bought a couple of guns one time from a guy that needed gas money to get home. The big guys don't usually have that problem.

I've been going to shows since the 80's. Not much has changed. Now folks complain that there's not much milsurp available. In the 80's they were complaining the deals from the 60's weren't still available. (Milsurp everything is drying up these days, gun show or gun shop or on line.) Some dealers were overpriced then, and some dealers are overpriced now. If you go looking for things to complain about, you'll find them. If you go with an understanding that now isn't like 10 or 20 or 40 years ago, you just might find that gem amongst the pebbles.

If you're looking for the absolute lowest price for something, the internet is your source. But don't forget to figure in the extra costs of buying online, and do your due diligence on the seller so you don't get scammed.

Me? I'll keep going to shows as long as I can. If nothing else, it's a fun way to spend a day, for the $6 or $8 it costs to get in. And you never know when that hidden gem might turn up.
@Hoot G and @shoeshooter both have the current-day concept of gun shows, at least here in MS, described pretty well. I'd only add that in the 80s and early 90s, for a variety of factors, the Gun Show was a great place to be and find hidden treasures. Good prices and stuff that just wasn't for sale elsewhere, such as all of the ComBloc surplus and even some NATO stuff that came in as european communism collapsed. I can't say I've been impressed by any show in about 10 years now. Like Hoot, I go to meet people, usually, perhaps to conclude a previously agree-upon deal, often made here on MSGO. If I luck out on a deal so be it, but in general I don't go to shop.
 

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I enjoy going just to look and to occasionally put a face to an MSGO handle. Once, pre-COVID, it was the only place I could find powder. But, for the most part, I go to handle a variety of weapons knowing the price won’t be to my liking.
 

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I have found some great deals over the years. But right now not much is coming thru. I'm hopeing to go to an out of state gun show, so i can see some new old stuff. i have several friend with ffl that go with me from time to time.
 

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I have been going to the shows since I got back from overseas in the early 90's. I am and always have been a sucker for the wood and steel guns. You can buy the new stuff cheaper online than most brick and mortar stores. I look forward to seeing a few vendors I have gotten to know and like rummaging for parts for some old ones I am restoring. Are they worth it? I have to say yes, a lot cheaper than going to a movie and it gets me out of the house.
 

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I worked at 2 with a reloading dealer. I got items for my time instead of pay.
I've been to about 30 shows and haven't bought much so I'm in the hole with admission fees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It all depends on your definition of "worth it."

I enjoy going to shows. I get to visit with a bunch of folks that I wouldn't normally see. I occasionally pick up a deal or two here or there. Last Laurel show, I bought $350 worth of old Smith & Wesson grips for $120. Missed out on a really neat 410 shotgun pistol, at a great price. Didn't buy a couple of older S&W revolvers that were priced a bit low, but I'm expanding my collecting into a different area, so I passed on them.

I saw a lot of overpriced guns and ammo. It doesn't take much effort to walk on by. I generally don't even look at the big dealers tables, because I'm not real interested in new guns, unless I know the dealer and stop to chat. Mike Smith (Smiths Speed Shop) is the one I always check out, because he usually has a good mix of new and used, and often the best prices in the show.

I also set up a table at a couple of shows. I buy toys (guns), play with them, and if I don't really really like them, I sell them so I can buy other toys. I'm not always the cheapest, but I have a following of folks that stop and check out what I've got. I might be under pricing my stuff though, because the last Hattiesburg show I sold all I had but for two guns.

Some of the little guys will bargain more towards the end of the show if they haven't sold much. I bought a couple of guns one time from a guy that needed gas money to get home. The big guys don't usually have that problem.

I've been going to shows since the 80's. Not much has changed. Now folks complain that there's not much milsurp available. In the 80's they were complaining the deals from the 60's weren't still available. (Milsurp everything is drying up these days, gun show or gun shop or on line.) Some dealers were overpriced then, and some dealers are overpriced now. If you go looking for things to complain about, you'll find them. If you go with an understanding that now isn't like 10 or 20 or 40 years ago, you just might find that gem amongst the pebbles.

If you're looking for the absolute lowest price for something, the internet is your source. But don't forget to figure in the extra costs of buying online, and do your due diligence on the seller so you don't get scammed.

Me? I'll keep going to shows as long as I can. If nothing else, it's a fun way to spend a day, for the $6 or $8 it costs to get in. And you never know when that hidden gem might turn up.
Hey man, I appreciate your in-depth explanation, I sure learn a great deal of information, many thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
years passed ive found some good deals.... SEVERAL marlin rifles some even straight stock 30-30'S NEVER PAID MORE THAN $350 several leupold scopes at good prices and even ammo back in the day NOW A GOOD DEAL IS FEW AND FAR BETWEEN BUT THAT DISEASE I HAVE HAS TO HAVE A LITTLE CURE EVER NOW AND THEN SO I GO BACK oh yeah last best deal was a new in the box BROWNING A BOLT MEDALLION 7MM-08 out the door price $575 philadelphia gun show couldnt believe it but like hunting or fishing you dont know till ya go
Thanks for the heads-up, much appreciated.
 

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Gunshows aren’t worth it anymore IMO. $9-10 at the door to see mostly mid grade ARs or parts kit AR builds. Not knocking you, randy. Just disappointed at the quality and prices I’ve seen over the few years. As most would agree, pre Obama you could find a good deal and even see some interesting/nice pieces. I stoopidlee still go to the gunshows on the hope there’ll be something other than basics, but usually only walk out with a piece of cast iron cookware or the cash I came with...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gunshows aren’t worth it anymore IMO. $9-10 at the door to see mostly mid grade ARs or parts kit AR builds. Not knocking you, randy. Just disappointed at the quality and prices I’ve seen over the few years. As most would agree, pre Obama you could find a good deal and even see some interesting/nice pieces. I stoopidlee still go to the gunshows on the hope there’ll be something other than basics, but usually only walk out with a piece of cast iron cookware or the cash I came with...
Thanks for the piece of information, buddy.
 
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