Need gun show tips

Discussion in 'Ranges, Dealers & Smiths' started by dmpickers, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. dmpickers

    dmpickers New Member

    I've never been to a gun show and see there are two coming to Marietta, Gunshows of the South (RK Gun & Knife Show) and Eastman Gun Show. Is there anything specific I should watch out for? I assume I should bring cash to avoid any credit card fee. And I need to do my homework on prices so I overpay. Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. fuentesd99

    fuentesd99 New Member

    I use to work gun shows. YES BRING CASH!!! Also, RK has better prices then Eastman (In My Opinion) Gun prices at a gun show are better then going to a gun store. KNOW what you want. When you get there look around and compare prices. If you go on the first day, go when they open, you will have a better chance of finding what you want, but, if you wait till Sunday, you might get a better price since they are trying to sell as much as possible so they pack less. But again, you might not find what you want. They might have sold it the day before or that morning. MOST of the vendors will lower the price of what is stated, but, don't expect it to be a whole lot lower, just maybe a few bucks.

    I hope this helps.

  3. CountryGun

    CountryGun New Member

    If "400 Pawn and Loan" is there, make all of your purchase comparisons with what they have. They'll undersell anyone.
  4. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

    advice, that's easy: don't go
  5. dam294

    dam294 Active Member



    When I do go to gun shows I go to look at guns, not buy them. They're a great place to look at and handle multiple firearms but prices are typically higher at shows than they are at your local stores.
  6. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper New Member

    Do your research BEFORE YOU GO. Do not go to a gun show and buy there simply because you think you are going to get a better deal. With that attitude, 9 times out of 10 you will end up paying more than elsewhere, sometimes much more!

    I don't usually buy used items at gun shows. When I go to a gun show looking to purchase a new gun, I know EXACTLY what guns it is I am interested in. I know the specs of each inside and out, where to buy them, and what the absolute lowest prices I can get them for on the Internet are, what my shipping costs will be, what my FFL costs will be, and how much it will cost in gas to go to the FFL and back to pick up the gun. Remember you will pay tax at the gun show, which you can avoid online.

    Only then do I go to the gun show with the intent of seeing the gun firsthand and maybe, just MAYBE getting a better deal via negotiation. Normally, the prices at the gun shows are much higher than what I can get them for elsewhere. The dealers that I have found that are most likely to price realistically and negotiate (sometimes) have been 400 Jewelry and Loan, Forsyth County Pawn and Cherokee Gun and Pawn, at least for me.

    The same applies to ammo and reloading supplies. Don't just blindly buy ammo at the gun show thinking it is a good deal! Know what your rock bottom prices are locally and online before you go. Powder and primers can be a special case, because of the hazmat fees that get added on. But still shop around before!

    And while many online vendors charge a premium for taking a credit card, I have never run into that at either the RK or the Eastman gun shows when purchasing from someone that represents an actual business (like the three mentioned above). Those guys usually take a credit card without issue, and I have never seen them charge more for using a credit card. It is usually only when purchasing used items from individuals at a table that cash becomes key.
  7. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist


    I hear that an "RK" show has different vendors and a different feel than a "Matt Eastman" gun show.
    I've been to several Eastman shows, and a couple others that may have been RK or maybe somebody else.

    Prices are generally not anything special. Just like gun stores and pawn shops, some will mark them way up, and others will sell at highly competitive prices. Whatever is "hot" or "trendy" at the moment, expect to pay a lot for it. Ditto for anything "collectible." Old military surplus guns are often way overpriced at gun shows, but you can get the same guns for less at pawn shops. But the gun shows have so many more of them to pick from. It saves you a lot of driving around, and gas.

    Don't think that the same make and model gun will be priced the same at each dealer's table. Not true. THere can be a 20% variance in prices just by walking ten steps to another vendor's table.

    The selection of self-defense and combat arms is good. But sporting guns made for hunting are less common. There are enough of them, sure, if you're not fussy. But if you are specifically looking for something in particular, don't count on it.

    By the way: The gun shows all have a security policy that forbids loaded guns. If you carry one, have it unloaded before you get in line, and expect the cops or security folks to zip-tie it.

    P.S. There will not be too many private individuals walking around selling personally owned guns off the record. At any one time there may be half a dozen or so. If you want to buy from them, it may be off-the-record for cash, no receipts, no questions. But all the vendors at tables will be FFL dealers, and they have to do the background check, they have to fill out the form 4473, etc. And most of them take credit cards for 3% extra.
  8. dmpickers

    dmpickers New Member

    thanks for some great advice :righton:
  9. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    I agree with what Gunsmoker and Songdogsniper said.

    Know what you want (or atleasthave a good idea) before you go, and know what it's worth. At the RK shows there are some deals to be found, but you have to be an educated buyer. Some vendors may bargain with you and cash talks more than plastic.

    Sat AM or Sun PM can be a catch 22. Some dealers will bargain more late on a Sun, when theyare looking at guns that have to be closed, loaded up, taken back the store, and unloaded again. On the flip side, there will likely be a better selection Sat AM, especially if you are looking for something that's in high demand with a low supply.
  10. dmpickers

    dmpickers New Member

    So is selling your own gun allowed at certain gun shows?
  11. livesounder

    livesounder New Member

    In the state of GA, it's not illegal anywhere, any time a firearm is permitted to be present.
  12. XD9SC

    XD9SC New Member

    Do gun show allow reentries with same admission fee?

    If not I guess I need to buy things in acceding order of weight. So I don't have to carry around 1000 rounds of ammo for the whole day or bring a wagon to carry stuff.
  13. janedoedad

    janedoedad Liver Abuser

    They will stamp your hand, so you can leave and reenter.

    Also, be sure and stop by the GCO booth! :D
  14. Neener Neener

    Neener Neener New Member

    The best advice I cab give you is to not go and save $8, at least around here. Find yourself a good local shop who treats their people right and give them your business. With a little research, you should have no problem finding one who will have good prices and great customer service.
  15. Xiclotl

    Xiclotl Active Member

    I've noticed that dealers will start dropping prices in the last couple of hours before closing. They don't want to carry the merchandise back so they try to get rid of it for less. It's a crapshoot but may be worth looking.
  16. RickN

    RickN New Member

    Where's the fun in that? People watching at gun shows is like going to a well-armed Walmart.
  17. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

    Three good reasons to go to a gun show:
    1. To idea shop. You aren't going to buy, just research.
    2. To price shop. You can beat Internet+shipping+transfer pricing if you do your homework.
    3. To work a shift at the GCO table.

    Some shows you may find 30 of the gun you are looking for and others just 1. If you are price shopping, have an out the door price figured out before you go in. Don't buy at the first vendor that lists at or below your price. Instead make sure you checked all vendors first then go back to the best price. If you go with the purpose of idea shopping, leave cash, checks, and cards at home.

    Ammo, accessories, and used guns are often a toss-up. Sometimes there are great selections and volume, other times, not so much. Don't go expecting to beat Walmart's ammo price per round, but don't be surprised if such deals happen.

    To me, the big Atlanta shows are RK on the south side and Eastman on the north side up 85. Visit both at least once. There are differences, so take note, but I'd recommend both trips be more of the exploratory variety than price shopping.

    I like the idea supporting local stores, but to be honest, my location doesn't really offer me many options. If BWG, AO, 400 J&L, etc were in my backyard, it'd be a no brainer, but I'd spend more time driving than shopping and I wouldn't get to volunteer at the GCO table. :mrgreen:
  18. Suburbbus

    Suburbbus Well-Known Member

    Like someone else mentioned, Cherokee Gun always has better prices than most anybody. They pretty much have the same prices as in the store.

    Beware of Eastman Shows with the entrance fee. The last one I went to, I paid on a Saturday and got my hand stamped and then decided to buy something on Sunday and they would not honor the stamp. They told me I had to pay again. They did not like my reply and I left.

    RK does not do that to people as far as I know. All RK shows I have been to will stamp and it is good for both days.

    I agree with the others, shows are best for looking and handling.

    Edited to add: Cherokee Gun does not go to Eastman Shows.
  19. Verbal101

    Verbal101 Active Member

    Here's a bit of different advice from someone who frequents gun shows looking specifically for used guns & largely ignoring dealer tables:

    1) Don't be afraid to talk to anyone who is carrying a gun. If it's for sale, you might find that it's something you like, or get a good price, or at least learn something.
    - Side note: learn to recognize people who just bought a gun and are now just walking around with it - they tend to hold their new baby close to their hearts.

    2) Make a short list of what you want and what you expect to pay at a dealer's table or gunbroker. You might not find a used version of everything you want but when you do, you'll know if it's a good deal.

    3) When you find what you want, don't be afraid to negotiate. At the same time, if the price is good and you recognize it as such, pounce. It won't last.

    4) Beware of "walking dealers". You'll recognize them after you see them at multiple shows. They pose as individuals, but prices are comparable to a dealer's table.

    I respectfully disagree & instead suggest that it depends on the show. The RK show at the Atlanta Expo Center is a great place for private sales/trades. Ditto for the Eastman show at the North Atlanta Trade Center.

    Note that not all private sellers are walking around with signs on their backs. Anyone carrying a case or bag is likely to be a private seller. Just ask - the worst anyone can say is no.

    6) There are deals to be had. I've personally seen the following transactions in the past couple of years (either as a buyer or interested onlooker):
    - Yugo M90 AK-47 underfolder w/Ultimak tri-rail & 4 30 round Tapco mags - $400
    - Taurus Ultralite .38 w/Crimson Trace laser grips - $400
    - CZ 75 9MM - $325
    - Walther P22 green/black w/extra factory magazines - $275
    - Sig P228 9MM - $450
    - Ruger Mini 14 w/5 factory 20 rd magazines - $450
    - Sig P220 w/night sights - $600
  20. Atlanta777

    Atlanta777 New Member

    Gunshows are good if you make a list of what you might need before you go. If they are items you have to order online you might not save money but you can:

    1. Handle the item before you purchase
    2. Save on shipping and have it same day (Well the cover fee might offset this)
    3. Potentially negotiate a lower price

    I know about 50% of everything I ever purchased at a gunshow was for a discounted price.

    Its also fun to go and fondle all the guns... you are bound to expand your knowledge.