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  1. #1
    808
    808 is offline Junior Member
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    Gun show tomorrow ... what to buy or should I do internet buying

    There is a gunshow tomorrow in Houstona and I don't know if it is cheaper to buy online or at a show. Any suggestions???

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Supermanwoot's Avatar
    Supermanwoot is offline Junior Member
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    Do you know what gun you want to buy already? If so, ask in that section of this forum for a good price range for one before heading to the show.

    It really helps if you've shot a bunch of guns already or you're really going in blind.

  4. #3
    scottaschultz Guest
    The best thing you can do is go to an online dealer's website and see what the models your are interested in are selling for, or if they even have any in stock. Keep in mind that when you buy online, the gun has to be shipped to a dealer in your town with an FFL (Federal Firearms License) and you will have to pay him a fee (usually $25 or more) to process the paperwork. On the up side, some online dealers don't charge extra for shipping and unless you are in the same state as the dealer, you won't have to pay sales tax.

    Since you are apparently really new to buying handguns, probably the best thing you can do is go to the show and look around. Pick up several guns to see which ones feel right in your hand. You might want to bring a little notepad to keep tack of the models and prices. I know you are probably very anxious to buy your first gun and would love to take one home right away, but use the information you gather at the show to do your research after you get home. I know some of these guys at the shows can be very persuasive, but try to resist, even if they tell you they have the cheapest price!

    Another caution is about ammo. As you probably already know, it is really scarce. One reason is that a lot of small dealers have been clearing out the shelves at places like Wal-Mart so they can sell it in their shops and at shows. When you can find ammo at Wal-Mart, a box of Federal 550 "Value Pack" of .22 sells for $13.47. You know it came from Wal-Mart if it comes in a brown box. Also, a box (100 rounds) of WWB (Winchester White Box) 9mm sells for $20 and a box (100 rounds) of 38 Special sells for $30. Those are the ones I regularly buy at Wal-Mart, but I also buy some better stuff online. I know you will be anxious to shoot your new gun after you get it, but try not to be sucked into buying too much at inflated guns show prices. Yeah, I know these "poor guys" have to make a living, but I have a problem with paying over twice the going price for some of this stuff.

    Good luck and let us know what you found.

    Scott

  5. #4
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I'd check out the show and if you see something you want then go after it. I'd make sure that it's bought off a FFL dealer. You get a chance to see and pick up a bunch of different weapons. It will help being you will know what fits you best. Plus right you might fall into a deal

    THe online dealer will be there after the show. Just remember the prices you've looked at online and take that with you as another weapon to help you find the best deal. It might help you with some haggle room.
    Last edited by DevilsJohnson; 05-17-2009 at 03:12 AM.

  6. #5
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    I have bought or traded for a few guns, at gun shows, but it was back before the post-election panic had set in. It's hard to predict what kind of atmosphere and how large a crowd you will experience at one, these days. The last two I attended had what I can only describe as a 'carnival' atmosphere, and there were no real bargains, because there were too many buyers there who were willing to pay exorbitant prices. I'm not complaining about that, because charging whatever the market will bear is a hard and fast rule of capitalism, which I fully embrace...I'm just saying that I will leave those high priced items for people who don't mind paying for them.

    As has already been said, the best way to purchase at a gun show is to do some online research, and price out the models you like, apply the shipping charges and FFL fee, to get an idea of what a bargain would be. But, beyond that, you have to take into consideration availability and decide how much you really want a certain gun.

    The bottom line is that if they have what you want, for a price you are willing to pay, you will probably be happy with the deal you get, and considering what the ammo is going to set you back, paying a little extra for the gun, itself, seems rather insignificant.

  7. #6
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Go in eyes wide open, money NOT burning a hole in your pocket, knowing what you want, and what prices are for that gun. Check out http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php to give you an idea of prices. I hate gun shows and won't go again. I feel most of the vendors are leeches that prey on people who think that because it's a show, they're getting a good price. I've been to many in the past and have never bought a gun. I always end up ordering on-line or buying local because the guys at the show are overpriced and won't deal. And why should they? They've got a bunch of morons right behind me willing to pay for their overpriced merchandise. Plus, if something is wrong with the gun, who are you going to bring it to? If you buy from a reputable on-line dealer or locally, you have a store to go to or ship to, and aren't trying to track down some guy in an RV moving from show to show.

    Gun shows = Buyer Beware

  8. #7
    dovehunter is offline Member
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    Gun shows always get a bad rep. I'm guessing because the people that go there expect something and if they don't get it or see it, they get disappointed. Well, gun shows is what it is. It's a "gun show". It's a one stop shop where you can see/feel/hold a lot of guns. Do not expect to see bargains everywhere. It's a place to see and compare prices, etc. And since WalMart and others are running out of ammo, it's also a good place to buy it. At least that's what I saw the last time I went.

    Depending on where you are and where the gun show is being held, the show can be a bust. In Houston, I only go to the gun show that is held in GRB building. This is where most of the large dealers sell their stuff, and you can ask them for a discount or a price out the door. These dealers are not dumb, they know what the market can bring and they are willing to haggle.

    As for the new gun not functioning, well, even if you bought it locally from a reputable dealer, YOU CAN NOT RETURN IT BACK. Oh sure you can, but they are not going to give you the price that you originally paid for. The best thing they can do is send it back to the manufacturer for warranty work. They are not going to repair it.

    So in short, when you go to gun shows, just enjoy it, and take it for what it is. Do your homework before you go.

  9. #8
    truman565 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dovehunter View Post
    As for the new gun not functioning, well, even if you bought it locally from a reputable dealer, YOU CAN NOT RETURN IT BACK. Oh sure you can, but they are not going to give you the price that you originally paid for. The best thing they can do is send it back to the manufacturer for warranty work. They are not going to repair it.
    Not always true Dovehunter. I will say that a majority of dealers will react as you described but not all by any means. My case in point would be Lucky's Guns and Tackle in Cropwell,AL. I would strongly recommend anyone in AL or nearby doing business with these guys. They are stand up guys with prices that are better than anyone online (when you take shipping and FFL transfer into consideration).

    I bought a brand new CZ Rami P from Lucky's when I turned 21 a few years back. Within the first couple hundred rounds of firing I had several failure to feeds and several failure to ejects. I took it back to them and they checked it out and polished the ramp for me. Problem still occurred for the next couple hundred rounds. I went back and forth to Lucky's about 5 times trying to work out the issue with them. Out of about 700 rounds I was probably seeing about 20% FFTF or FFTE. I took it back to them one more time and they said they would give me a full refund! Not even full or partial store credit but a full refund! I didn't have to chose another gun from them but I was so impressed by there service that I spent a few hundred more and got a Sig P226 Navy on the spot. By the way that Sig P226 Navy cost me $780 brand new. I have yet to see that beat. I have since bought a couple more guns from them including a brand new Beretta 92FS with 3 mags for $440. Like I said they will always have my business.

    Sorry for steering the thread in a different direction but I thought I would just support the argument for buying local from a dealer. There are some great ones out there. However guns shows can be helpful too. You need to be patient and knowledgeable so you don't get ripper off like I did once but there can be deals found sometimes. I picked up a new Glock 26 a couple months ago at a show for $470 before taxes.

  10. #9
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by dovehunter View Post
    As for the new gun not functioning, well, even if you bought it locally from a reputable dealer, YOU CAN NOT RETURN IT BACK. Oh sure you can, but they are not going to give you the price that you originally paid for. The best thing they can do is send it back to the manufacturer for warranty work. They are not going to repair it.
    There's a couple bold, blanket statements. As many members here will attest to, a lot of dealers will take the gun back and even work on it, as a courtesy thing called "customer service". And for record, my statement about a shop to take it back to did not say anywhere to return it. It meant you have local place to start and possibly assist with help for your problem.

  11. #10
    Steve2112 is offline Junior Member
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    I went to a show here yesterday. Nothing really special, but this wasn't the big one that comes around a couple of times a year. I did spot one booth (local business) that said they were closing up shop, and I saw them lower prices on a couple of things while I was there. That NIB Ruger GP100 was looking good, as was the XD9. I was tempted to go back today and see if they were still there, and if they had lowered prices any more.

    In my experience, shows tend to be hit or miss. If you are looking for something a bit unusual, you can usually have better luck at a show. For common stuff, you will probably do better ordering online. I have to admit, though, that I have bought most of my guns at shows, mostly because of the "gotta have it now" impulse. It's also easier to work trades and such at a show.

  12. #11
    Onaway417's Avatar
    Onaway417 is offline Junior Member
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    Here's what I do...

    ...I go to the show, (or store, or whatever,) without any money (if it is local of course!) That way I can look around and not be as tempted to plunk down the cash if I find something I think I like. If I find something I think I really want, I go to the exit, get my hand stamped so I can get back in, and head for home/the bank teller machine. This gives me a little time away from all of the hoopla to think about the purchase and determine if I really want the item. If I do, I grab the dough and head back. If not, I go home and enjoy the rest of my day.
    Using this method I have never regretted a purchase in the future.
    All think is, of course, if you have a general idea of what you want to begin with.

  13. #12
    clanger's Avatar
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    My rule of thumb is: why buy there what I can get at my LGS?
    I believe is supporting your local business.

    Gun shows are an excellent resource, though. You can sniff and grip a ton of models all in one shot. (pardon the pun)

    And- you may stumble onto an oddball you can't normaly get at a LGS from regular stock. Sweet! ...a Detective Special! (I wish)

    Somtimes GS's get an undeserved rep as a flea-market and too many show up excpeting to make a killing on new stuff for free or half-off.

  14. #13
    beretta-neo's Avatar
    beretta-neo is offline Member
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    I went to that gunshow in Houston - actually, they probably have some of the best deals you'll find. Once has to weigh shipping and FFL charges for an internet sale vs sale tax. If its close, I'd rather inspect the gun and see what I am buying 1st.

    I have purchased many weapons at the larg Houston gunshows.

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