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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I enjoy going to gun shows now and then to buy reloading supplies, buy specific guns and/or to sell a gun or two. The last show I attended in Phoenix cost $7 to park and $15 per person after a $1 off coupon. So it was $37 for the wife and I. It is buyer beware at these events, but with the added cost, some of the "bargains" don't seem as reasonable anymore. That said, with the fairgrounds parking completely full, the show brought in considerable fees in and of itself. Evidently, the public hasn't slowed down despite the costs, but it does give me pause.
 

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I agree it's cheaper to pay the hazmat fee and stay home.
 

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The gun shows that come to Grand Junction are usually only 5 or 6 bucks to get in. Most of the vendors are FFLs. Background checks are now taking an average of 7 days and 22 hours. Why would anyone go to a traveling gun show if they couldnt buy a gun there? I sometimes buy reloading stuff or cheap magazines. But that is just a back up in case I couldnt find a gun I wanted at a reasonable price. Hmm those have been like a unicorn for the last 5 or 6 years anyway come to think of it.
 

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My usual show is $2 to get in and free parking. They run about 80 tables and everybody is FFL. Haven't bought a gun at the show in over a year. Just started getting a reloading setup so I haven't priced components yet.
 

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I refuse to go to that Phoenix show any more. The local ones are about $5 with free parking. Thank goodness for all the flea markets!
 

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In San Diego, it's about $9 to park (!!!) and about $10-11 dollars to get in. The lines at the reloading and ammo vendors are long and slow, and you don't know what will still be in stock when you get in line. The show is too crowded.

For reloading components, it makes a lot more sense for me to make three or four big orders per year and pay the hazmat fees, which look more and more reasonable after a frustrating day of parking, admission, sales tax, lines, and "We're all out of that."
 

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Last one in Albuquerque, NM was $5 to park, $7 per person to get in. That was cheap, the expensive prices were with firearm's, ammo, parts, etc.
 

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I have been going to gun shows for a long time, likely 25 years. I have never bought or sold a gun at a gun show. I have bought shot for reloading shotgun shells. The only way I go to a gun show is when a large group of my friends go. It's a lot of fun to look at the over priced guns and goof around. No one buys anything we just walk around and have fun. The shows in the Jim Graham building in Raleigh have a door charge of $6 or $7 dollars with free parking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It is interesting to see what others pay elsewhere. In AZ, you can buy a gun and walk out within minutes. If you are not banned, they call in to the state police for a background check. If you have a CCW, it is like a "fast pass" and they do not have to do it since you are pre-approved. Some of the vendors are very proud of their wares (read expensive), so it is best to know prices while walking through.
 

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The one I went to yesterday in N. MS was free parking, a good hike to the door and 8 bucks admission. Plus about 30 minutes waiting in line.
 

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Been goi gto shows for a few years. Went toa couple in Dec. Went to one yesterday - Jan 5. It seemed different form previous shows. Kind of "soulless" or empty. It had far fewer interesting guns. The ammo's were picked-over. The vendors were hassled. Talked to a friend who has a major ammo display and business there. Many tables. He sold out early - popular ammo's. But popular ammo's are widening into not only 223 and 22 but 45 and 9mm. Not only that but he had raised his prices along with the industry - 20 rds 223 for $21. Big change - but he was still selling out. And he was ramping up his reloading operation and planning on driving 10 hours that night to get back to his home base - load up on his workers' reload efforts and haul them back for the second day of the show! - but still selling out. Waiting in line for 1 1/2 hours to get ammo...
The only AR-15 I saw in the show was a Colt for $2,150. Amazing stuff. Talk from the ammo guy of a 50 ish couple who came in and had just bought their first guns ever! another vendor saying he can't get anything from Smith and Wesson - like they have temporarily suspended shipments... Ruger back order for many months...
Crazy stuff going on.
Stories from a gun dealer of Bushmaster losing Army contracts due to the finding of a Bushmaster in the trunk of the Connecticut shooter's car trunk - not even used in the shooting - but politicians screaming for blood anyway!
These are crazy times!
And the whole complexion of the show seemed different - like you didn't want to be there.
 

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Vegas is from free to 4 bucks to park, and 14 dollars in the door, at any venue, but that will get you two days. The last one was a mad house. I won't go again until the hysteria subsides.
 

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There are really only two that I've seen near here. I rarely see anything I would call a deal. Mostly I go to hang out with friends and look at some of the interesting stuff there. I rarely buy anything.
 

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last gun show I went to was a bust. this was BEFORE the school shooting, but I paid $7 to get in the door, but once inside, I realized that the idea behind finding a deal at a gunshow was like finding a white elephant. everyone's prices were equal to or higher than what I could find on the internet, the only real advantage was that I could buy it and walk home with it same day.
 

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John_Deer said:
I have been going to gun shows for a long time, likely 25 years. I have never bought or sold a gun at a gun show. I have bought shot for reloading shotgun shells. The only way I go to a gun show is when a large group of my friends go. It's a lot of fun to look at the over priced guns and goof around. No one buys anything we just walk around and have fun. The shows in the Jim Graham building in Raleigh have a door charge of $6 or $7 dollars with free parking.
The first thing I ever bought at a show was there at the fairgrounds in Raleigh. I got a bayonet when I was 13. My dad was pissed they sold it to me at that age without a parent present. I still have it to this day.

However, as for prices nowadays, I have a buddy who runs the circuit. The only deals they have are people who come to sell their privately owned items that aren't vendors. One guy bought a 1990's Thompson for $400. That was a steal.
 

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what i have observed over the years is the larger the venue, the better the show. most of the smaller gun shows i have been to, not enough selection and many were wanting new prices for used junk or asking above MSRP on new firearms. given the cost of getting in just to view the firearms, it has for me, just a waste of time. i find my time would be better spent going to my LGS instead.

now i have gone to some very large gunshows in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio that were a gun lovers paradise! lots of selection and lots of potential bargains. lots of used firearms and lots of accessories. the larger gun shows are worth, IMO the price of admission.
 

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Hasn't been a gun show in my state for 20 years, they're banned. Used to be cheap and interesting with free parking. Have gone to the Springfield, Ma one and that one is huge about 5 years ago. Now is not the time to buy anything, it's crazy out there.
You see the crowds at the shows and you have to wonder how any of these anti gun people ever got elected.
 
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