Colt Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son, and I went to a gun show in southeast Florida today (Saturday). Attendance was great, we even had a tough time finding a parking space.

After entering the show, we started on one side to work our way around so as not to miss anything. We were about half way through when I realized that this show stunk! There were no decent Colt, or Smith revolvers anywhere to be seen.

We finished visiting all the tables, and before leaving stopped at the table of a guy that exhibits at most of the shows we go to. I mentioned what a lousy show this was for us, and that we had seen no decent looking Colt or Smith revolvers. A fellow that was at his table with him remarked that he had bought them all early this morning to sell on GunBroker.com. To prove the point, he opened his cases to show us some of the guns. My son asked him what he wanted for a 6" Diamondback that we could see, and he said he would only sell it on GunBroker. He said that he did this all the time. One of the revolvers he showed us was a Colt New Service that he said was "as new". The barrel in my opinion had been replaced, the grips were wrong, and the balance of the gun had been reblued sometime in the past. Buying a gun from someone like this from just photos has to be an experience.

We had carefully squirreled away a stash of cash to buy a couple of nice guns at this show. Before leaving, I was talking to another exibitor, and mentioned this guy, and he said he was buying revolvers Friday night as the show was being set up.

Am I P.O'd? Naw, disappointed yes. Will we come back to this show again? Never! Here we are driving an hour to get there, paying $14.00 to get in, plus lunch, and wasting a beautiful Saturday, and what we came to see is gone before the show starts. I am amazed at the shortsighted exibitors who sold their best stuff to this idiot before the show even started. I'm sure this guy chiseled their prices to death before buying from them. We probably would have paid at least a hundred or two more for each revolver because we were buying one at a time, and I realize someone has to make a buck on what they are selling you.

I have no quarrel with how anyone sells anything as long as it is done honestly, and this guy is not stealing anything.
We own a small business, and I do believe in free enterprise. I also believe I have the right to buy the way I want to, and that has changed somewhat today.

By the way I'm not whining! On the way home we stopped at a pawn shop that we know carries gun, and bought a pretty rare NIB Ruger 32 cal. Buckeye at a very fair price. This does prove a point I have said many times, most of our nice gun purchases come from small gun, and pawn shops.

Sorry for the rambling, but I wanted to share this with you all.
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
15,805 Posts
Re: gun show from HELL !

Pretty much standard.

Over the years I've come to the conclusion that with the exception of old military rifles, MOST gun show guns are "someone else's trouble".

In other words, somethings wrong with them, and they're overpriced.

The internet auction sites are good and bad.

The good is, it's a lot easier to find something you're looking for.
I searched local gun shows, gun shops, and both The Shotgun News and The Gun List for years and never did find a Colt 357 like I always wanted.

Now they constantly show up online.

The bad is, people can get VERY high prices online, and most sellers now know it, which is why they sell online.

Can't blame them, but gun price inflation is running away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Re: gun show from HELL !

I have seen "online" auctions/sales "ruin",IMO,some of my other interests,such as books and "collectables". While I still haunt flea markets,antique shops and bookstores,the selection is way down!

The plus side of "online",is that there is obviously a wider selection,and I have found some old model trucks,for example,that I never would have found locally(3 states!). Of course the downside,is that you are "bidding" against far more people.

Dealers know it,and you can't blame them!

Yes,I have seen the "cash talks"type of deals that you talked about Robba on the Friday nights BEFORE the public enters a show. I go to few shows now,but did get lucky a month ago,when a dealer refused the jackals on Friday night,and I picked up a nice 1954 vintage S&W Outdoorsman(98%) all original for $500 OTD,on Saturday,but I also had "helped" him appraise an SAA a few weeks earlier,so the low ball price on the 38/44 Outdoorsman was probably a "reward".

Recalling what shows and flea markets USED to be 10-20 years ago,helps ease the pain of being 62! At least I had some good years dealing face to face and seeing/handling items,not just looking at photos on a screen,not to mention the thrill of the search and the "dickering".

I don't feel sorry for the younger/newbie collectors though,as they just foster these online sales,and sometimes have to go through the hassle of "returning" an item that didn't live up to it's "photos"!

There are still live auctions,and I don't mean just "gun auctions" either,that with a careful perusalof the items for sale,one can still get a great buy. IMO,much of the online success is sitting on your butt,finding guns and other items! Besides,you meet some nice ladies at antique places!

When the time comes for me(or my "estate") to sell my revolvers and other "toys",it will be at a live auction.

Bud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,971 Posts
Robba, sorta glad I went Northwest instead of Southeast yesterday, but let me tell ya pal, the Suncoast Tampa show wasn't any better. Maybe six Colts and about a dozen Smiths in the whole show and all mostly junk and overpriced to beat hell, except one Smith 25-5 was decent, but overpriced at $595. Wifey and I whisked through the whole show in less than an hour, gave up and headed for the Olive Garden. As we left, there was still a long line to get in to see nothing.
The same thing happened last weekend at the Ft. Myers show, but left there and on the way home stopped in a small town pawnshop and "liberated" a mint Smith M57-1 .41 Magnum for $375 OTD. As dfariswheel said the better deals can be found at the little out of the way shops and pawnshops.

Even the big Lakeland show has gone from over 800 tables to less than 600 tables and the pickins have gotten slimmer.

I'm gonna do my "hunting" elsewhere!

P.S. I know the guy you are talking about and you can't compete with him, trust me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,350 Posts
In my 61 years, I've found gun shows are kind of like sex, there's no such thing as a "bad" gun show, but some are much better than others.... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif It usually depends on what you're looking for, and to me, the chase is just as much fun as the find. The old saying is "One man's trash is another man's treasure". I've found some of my best buys at small shows that may have had no more than a couple dozen tables, and spent hours browsing several hundred tables and left empty handed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Gunshows are a mixed bag. On a recent trip to a mid-west gunshow I helped a dealer/collector friend set up his table the night before. I was anticipating being able to pick up some good deals on pre-war colt's and smith's during set-up but came up empty. When the show opened the next day I picked up a perfect O. Police ca. 1929 in the first five minutes, an S series 2'' M&P (I don't know why I love these common M&P's) about two hours later and a pre-war Detective Special for (for $350) as I was about to leave.

I've seen great items sit on tables for hours, before the right person walks by that knows what they are looking at. At a show last weekend I picked up two 95-98% Police Positive Specials in 38 special and 32-20 for around $300 each (these pre-war revolvers are priced way too cheap!). On my way home, I stopped at a local gun shop and found a NIB Nickel S&W 39-2 for $350 (tools, paperwork, extra mag). Now, having stated my recent "wins" I am due for a dry spell on buying good Colts and Smiths (plus the bank account is a little low).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Re: gun show from HELL !

I only have one experience with "on-line" buying, but that one was entirely satisfactory.

I purchased a pristine Colt Cobra ( 1982 shrouded ejector series) from BT off www.GunsAmerica.com.

The idea of sending a postal money order to a complete stranger simply off a computer picture and telephone call make me uncomfortable, so I called the local LEO's at the city (San Angelo,TX.)in which the money order was to be sent, and was immediately assured of the reputation for honesty of the seller.

Money sent. Pistol arrived quickly in advertised condition and I hope to business with the gentleman again in the future.

Sad as it is, I do think checking out the seller before sending any money is just a necessary thing these days. I've read several posts where my personal happy internet business deal is not necessarily the norm.

Crooks and thieves abound all over, and the internet is no exception.

I try and do as much business locally as I can, but when you are looking for that "special" firearm, you generally have to range beyond your local area to find it. You just have to be a cautious buyer. Finding the unusual firearms is made much easier when you can use the power of the internet.

Just my old fart opinion.
Best Wishes,
J.P.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the heads up on the Ft. Myers, and Tampa shows. We looked at Tampa, but its a haul from where we are, and West Palm is just an hour away.

I think the dealers that pander to these characters that buy everything in sight are ultimately shooting themselves in the foot. They lost me! I have far more to do in the unknown number of years left to me, than to go to gun shows, and wind up annoyed that someone bought everything of value before the show started.

I have said many times on posts that gun and pawn shops are where we get our best deals on the choicest revolvers. We do not pass one by!

I have enjoyed your comments, have a great week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
I wonder if the gun show operator would refund your money, since what you came to buy, he allowed someone else special privaliges.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The money is not whats important. It's the waste of time going to something that turns out to be not as expected. I am not going to rush to many more gun shows. Gun Shops, and Pawn Shops are still our best source of decent guns. Just bought a NIB 22 Diamondback for a very fair price not at a gun show.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I've been attending gun shows in PA and New York (state, not city!) since the early 70's. About ten years ago, I had the pleasure of attended a West Palm Beach, FL, show and was really impressed by the variety and selection. Since then, West Palm Beach County halted private sales at gun shows, and that show now seems to be all "SWAT"-type stuff, so I no longer bother with it.

Back in the Northeast, the Clinton administration's zeal in cutting back on FFLs had a similarly chilling effect, reducing the number of tables at my favorite shows by about 1/3, and eliminating several other shows completely.

In all those years and over all those changes, I still believe, and have a fair amount of evidence that supports that contention, that the real deals take place on Friday evening among exhibitors. What's news to me is that the same dealers who used to just swap goodies between tables and/or buy things for their stores are now removing those guns from the show completely, thus denying me the opportunity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess what we have been seeing is that with the internet, and escalating gun prices, people are willing to do things for a quick buck they may have not done in the past. Greed has set in big time, and we might as well get used to it.

Gun shows for me are pretty well a thing of the past unless its close enough to get there in a flash.

Most of our gun buying now is at Gun Shops, Pawn Shops, or on the auction sites. Not everyone sees everything, so good guns are still there at reasonable prices if you look carefully.

This is a hobby for us, and I almost feel sorry for anyone trying to make a good living in the gun business anymore.

It can't be a whole lot of fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
The gun shows here in Tulsa are still pretty good.Ask addicted if they still have a couple good ones a year.There will be another Wanenmacher show in Tulsa April 1st and 2nd next year.Tables are $100 though,but I see it as a place to park your guns while shopping,take turns with your table friend to sell guns,and make a bit of money to cover the cost of the table.I suggest that anyone who wants to make a vacation and buy a few guns to come.There's still quite a few private sellers where you don't have to do paperwork.We were back to back with some people from Washington state.There's a couple guys who always come up from Louisiana too,,private sellers,who always get the table next to us.Here is the site.
http://www.tulsaarmsshow.com/frames.html

Keven,you're invited to do the same as this last show.Calvin thought you was a nice guy.We'll probably have some more room next show,,,as in lockable display cases so it wont be so crowded on the table.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Go to the WPB Gun Shows alot and your exactly right!!!! Very poor and very little in the way of "interesting" guns. Glad I was not the only one out who thought that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I will not go back to that show. The exhibitors run around the night before the show, and sell to each other.

Joe/Deb from Gunbroker buys all he can the Friday night before the show. He gets in because a buddy has a couple of tables.

I know our $12.00 isn't important in the overall gun show scheme of things, but if enough folks get fed up, it might.

There are many other excellent places to buy nice guns, than I have the money to afford!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top