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I have been disappointed in our local gun shows this year. There are a lot of new vendors have changed the entire atmosphere. It seems they have taken over the tables with very over priced guns, mostly polymer. There is still a large attendance but nobody is buying because of the inflated prices. The older vendors are still great and still have reasonable prices and will talk with you all day. I do not see them associating with the new vendors. The old vendors are also the only ones with collectible firearms. The new vendors do not want to speak with you unless they have a sale.

I have not seen a gun that I am interested in from a new vendor that I cannot buy for substantially cheaper at a local gun store or online.

I bought a Kimber Ultra II Onyx from a local gun store for $900. The prices at the gun show were $1,300 and $1,800.
I bought the new Cobra for $750 at a local gun store. The price at the gun show was $1,400.
But I did buy a pretty decent Woodsman for $400 from an old vendor at the gun show.

Its sad to say but I might stop frequenting the gun shows when the few remaining old vendors are gone.
 

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I use to go to the gun shows whenever I could, but haven't been going to any in the last few years.
There's still some of the older venders and I'm sure there is still some good deals, but I'm not interested in tables full of tactical ninja junk, or a bunch of overpriced guns. It seems like the shows are aimed at new buyers, CCW holders, and the young gun that needs the latest AR thingy. We went to a local show as we were driving past and went in. Sunday afternoon, not real crowded, some nice guns, but mostly average firearms, although there was a table with some nice S & W revolvers, but few Colt's.
 

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I am old enough to remember when gun shows were gun shows. I belonged to a collector's association which held two shows a year, and most everything there was collectible. The first professional gun show promoter I remember coming on the scene in my area was Ernie Bean out of Louisiana. He had what we called "camp followers" and if you went to one of his shows this weekend you would see exactly the same people and goods at one of his shows the next weekend, just a different town.

The internet has also had a huge effect on gun shows. When a seller can post something that will be seen by people all across the country there is no need to set up at a show where a few dozen people will see it. Some of the shows like Tulsa have become very expensive to set up at. With tables costing close to $200 now a seller has a lot of overhead before he makes the first dollar.
 

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Years ago there was a gun show once every 3 months or so and it was kind of a big deal...lots of vendors, commercial and private. Tables were inexpensive and there was very little jerky, candles, jewelry and pot holders.
Now there are two per month, 1st and 3rd weekend. Different venues but the same vendors at each show and many more tables of jerky, candles, jewelry and pot holders. The last one even had someone selling sun dresses! The tables are covered with black plastic wonder-pistols that all look the same.
There are still deals to be found but they are usually from people walking around with something to sell.
 

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I was going to go last weekend but decided that $14 plus at least $5 parking was a little much to look at beef jerky, bumper stickers, antiques, and maybe some guns. I haven't gone in a long time and of course I'm exaggerating (not about the price), but older sixguns are my thing and they are getting harder to find for sale.
 

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Our gun club puts on a show twice a year and it's the best show in the state. It is going to happen this weekend and I am looking forward to it. Now days I just look for leather or ammo, I just have no intrest in the new model guns. I guess getting old brings this on. :bang_wall:
 

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The Michigan gun shows are pretty decent. Yes, some of the dealers have very inflated prices, but I have found great deals. They also give money off because I am a veteran and a senior, so for me it mainly costs gas, the price of some of those toasted candied nuts and any gun I find.
 

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I think that the internet has done the most to kill local gun shows. Dealers and individuals that want to sell collectible guns can do so without the expense of paying for a table(s), travel, lodging and meals. Far cheaper and easier to sell them online to a much bigger audience.
 

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When I lived in WI, the spring show in Oshkosh was a must do. Scored a couple of nice S&W wheel guns from older gentleman liquidating their collections.

i paid less than retail, the seller received more than "wholesale".

i don't go to shows to buy from dealers, I look for the individual selling.
 

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Times, they are a'changin'. The "U.S's Greatest Gun Salesman" is no longer in office and the 2nd Amendment appears safe for the moment. In our area, there are now too many gun shows and the crowds are thinning out. No longer are there lines a block long waiting to get in at 9:00 a.m. Popular caliber ammo prices are on their way down. The strong will survive. Those with inflated prices will not. Uninitiated buyers will get stung once but rarely twice.
 

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Here in occupied territory which is the People's Republic of Maryland, gun shows are in a more or less decline. The state has passed such laws as 10-round magazine limits and bans on so-called "assault weapons" that many good vendors from out of state stopped attending the shows as they don't want to cull their merchandise of what's no longer legal to sell...it's not worth their time to do so plus not wanting to make a mistake and get in legal trouble inadvertently. I wouldn't be surprised if that was an unspoken aim of the law by those who wrote it.

The laws are so screwy...you can possess a 10+ round magazine but it's illegal to sell it, offer to sell it or transfer it to another person by handing it to him within the state. You can walk across the state line and buy a hi-capacity magazine and walk back into the state with it and that's perfectly legal. Maryland isn't a big state...a half-hour in any direction and you're in a gun friendly state to pick up what's banned here.

AR-15 rifles and M4 Carbines with skinny barrels are banned as "assault rifles" but the same guns with heavy barrels are cash and carry legal because they're "target rifles". I'd like to have a Colt SP-1 or an AR-15A4 but they're each banned but HBAR's are legal. Even M-1A rifles are banned in any configuration. What's the logic there?

Freedoms and liberties are too important to be left to politicians it seems. You just have to shake your head in amazement at the stupidity of so many lawmakers.
 

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It seems they have taken over the tables with very over priced guns, mostly polymer.
I saw the opposite last weekend at Council Bluffs, Iowa. There was a dealer that probably had a thousand new guns for sale on twenty tables. (The dealer uses a semi-truck to haul everything, and has a bunch of guys who carry it all in and out.) There were stacks of the same gun model next to a stacks of another gun model, all new-in-the-box. They were all priced at what I can buy them for "wholesale," or less, especially in the case of black rifles. At the end of the line of tables were two tables where two or three ladies with cell phones were doing instant background checks for people buying guns. I doubt than anyone else sold a new gun at the show, unless a buyer bought something before getting to this mega-dealer.
 

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I know the guy you're talking about and he sells one helluva lot of black stuff - it's a sideline hobby for him and volume gives him what profit he needs to keep doing it.

The 'net pretty much ended the local hunt, since I can look at ten of something I'm interested in, instead of one single piece.

I do go to shows if my schedule allows, but mostly to BS with older dealers I know and to pick up what they have set aside for me - I also look for the odd miscellany in the cigar boxes and under the table covers on the floor - I find good sights and parts, and other stuff that elicits a nostalgic feeling.

I've even found good McClellan saddles and old-time high cantle and pommel saddles (real-deal cowboy) as well that way.

Today, the younger dealers are seriously profit-driven and personality-free *********** who only know the 'black gun' field and the recently released 'milsurp' stuff that can be gotten wholesale.

If I want to go to an actual gun show - one free of beef jerky and macrame' made from used underwear - I go to Tulsa or the MVACA show in KC or other high-dollar shows, and always sell something and come home with something.
 

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Yep, the internet is now the place to go for firearms shopping. The vendors bring mostly crap or overpriced junk (the same junk show after show after show). Once in awhile I will see some 'good stuff' but it is rare. I go to two gun shows a year if I feel like it and it mostly to get deals on reloading supplies like primers and bullets.
 

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I managed to go to the Antique Arms show this last Saturday here in Novi, MI. I thought some of the prices were reasonable and a few great deals were there, but most of it was collector grade stuff. Found a few colts in the $400-500 range. Got to see lots of things I've only seen in pictures till this point. Ended up with a new holster for my Trooper mk3. Was the best show I've gone to in years.
 

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Idiots have made gun shows a business. No more tradin for a fair price! I tried to sell a few items and was told how can you charge prices like that! we're dealers and we need to make a "profit"! BS! I don't go to shows anymore.
 

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I and most of my friends who were into guns in the 70s and 80s seldom go to shows anymore. Maybe 1 a year. Yet there are about 10 a year that run in my location. I even skipped shows for about a decade starting in 2000, it was so bad. Now I just attend once a year to confirm what I already know: it's going away. The Jewelry and jerky and glasses cleaners and coins and pocket watches and indian pottery tables....why even call it a "gun show?" Just call it a "sales show" or something and be done with it. Yep, it was the internet that changed so much. A lot more info on guns so buyers know what they're looking for. And sellers think they know the "going rate", by checking ebay or Gunbroker on their phones every query.
 
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