Gun Show Suggestions

If you’ve never been to a gun show before, you may feel like a kid in a candy shop the first time you attend a gun show.

What advice do you give to people attending their first gun show?

Here’s what Blogger Kat Ainsworth suggests for making the most of your time at a gun show:

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Get business cards, spend more time making connections with the dealers. It’s worth it in the long run.


Bring a charge card. Leave your debit card at home where it’s safe.


Assuming its a regularly held gun show, the first time (or two) should be just getting the lay of the land. Where are the bathrooms, the food, the pistols, the rifles, the magazines, the knives, the old collectibles, the bags, the targets, the clothes, the furniture, etc.


First: Only bring that which you can afford to spend in CASH. Cash negotiates and pays a flat rate, plastic pays the asking price + tax. Always remember on Sunday the less crap they have to haul back to the shop the happier they are, again cash is king. That said there are different rules for high dollar purchases (I’m talking well over $2K items)
Second: Cruz the show the first time at a quick pace. Note the locations and prices of things you are interested in and keep moving even if you are in search of unobtanium. Then compare notes and hit the places that have what you need at the better price or have more of the things you need in the same place.

If you need documentation in your location ensure you have it. Know the ins and outs of the 4473 and state paperwork. I live in an incorporated city, there are very specific rules for not filling out the “county” part of the form, know them if this applies.

Be prepared to shake your head, stifle a laugh or even bite your tongue. Do not “offer” your opinion on a conversation a seller and a potential customer are having. Its not your game, shut your yammer.

ALWAYS ask permission to touch, fondle or handle.
NEVER dry fire without explicit permission.
Watch where you point the bloody thing, if you can’t do what you need to do to ascertain functionality while pointing down at the table then you don’t need to be doing what you are doing.

Be polite, Be Professional and have a plan to make a new friend at every table you stop at.




Cash is King, and know your average retail before going to the show. And don’t take anyone’s word for it.

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yeah… cash is good, and going with leave the mortgage money at home!

also, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, consider handling the firearms you are interested in and pricing, then getting a card for that vendor, but don’t buy. Go rent it at the range and see if you still like it, then contact the vendor to buy.

If you do know what you’re looking for, shop the whole show for a price before you buy… and keep track of who you deal with. There are vendors who have a track record and will be there if you need them, I try to frequent the ones who’ve done well by me in the past.

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I usually don’t take noobs with unless it is grandkids. Always tell them keep your hands in your pockets. If you want to ask a question, be polite and wait your turn. There are always something they can get to bring home.

Adults are different. I hope they can read as vendors have posted signs about handling any of their products. And I slyly watch them. I don’t want to have to leave because of poor judgement behavior on their part.

I like to look for specific items that I can’t find on regular retail market. So I zoom zoom around the room to see where this show’s vendors are.

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I would say don’t buy the 1st thing you see. Walk or shop around if you will. I would also say go with a budget or a certain amount of :dollar: to spend. Get ready to see some cool stuff. The last show I went to was back in August. I didnt know much about Diamondback rifles but left the show interested in them after holding & examining several of their offerings. Finally, expect higher prices than online. :v:t5:

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I rarely buy anything anymore. Got more guns, knives, bows, and bullets than an old western movie. I do love to take in the sound, smells, ongoing debates and just good old fun that I find at the shows. For me, it’s just being thankful I live in a country where gun shows are a regular thing.

The show’s in my area are starting to have some very nice hand made knives.

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This has gotten people good deals. My advise is that if you want something particular and are willing to pay a higher “convenience” price, go the day it opens. If you want a good deal, go on Sunday.

Has anyone gotten a good deal at a gun show? I just buy ammo for the most part.

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@James I got my beautiful OD green and black Canik TP9SFX with the optics at a gun show… dont consider it a bad deal at all :grin: … especially since I’m now a canik addict… er… fan.