Gun Show Report - Meh!

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by icebear, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    This weekend's gun show at the Pima County (AZ) fairgrounds was a nothingburger for the Sako collector. The hall had a lot of empty space compared to pre-COVID shows. No collectible Sako or Tikka rifles at all. (Maybe an NIB T3 or two with synthetic stock, but nothing interesting.) Few better-quality sporting rifles of any kind. Little of interest in European military rifles or handguns. Asking prices were high and I didn't see a lot of guns changing hands. There was one table of garishly plated and engraved 1911's at price tags of 5K and up. Lots of anonymous modern semiauto handguns and a kazillion AR-15's. AR-15 "pistols" seem to be in, suggesting that hitting anything is out.

    I did stop to talk with the seller of a Wickliffe single shot in .45-70. The Wickliffe was a falling-block rifle made for a few years in the 1970's. It was kind of odd-looking, with a heavy pistol-grip stock like a bolt gun and a wide forend. Quite a contrast to the slender lines of a Ruger N0. 1, a Sharps, or an 1885 Winchester. The rifle had beautiful figured wood and a Leupold 3.5-10x50 scope and was priced at $1600. It didn't talk to me so I moved on. (In case you're curious, here's a link to an online photo of a Wickliffe. https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/1027/370/wickliffe-rifles-76rifle-3006) I looked at a Swiss 1911 long rifle, but didn't feel any strong attraction. There were some oddities, including a custom FAL with a Mexican crest on it, built by Arizona Response Systems. Kind of cool, but pricey and I don't need another FAL. I did see an original Martini-Henry in .577-450. Price was around 1200; no idea of value since I don't collect that sort of thing. There were some nice old lever actions around, especially Marlins.

    Ammo prices have come down some and supplies of most calibers now seem adequate, but prices are still high. I saw corrosive ComBloc military 7.62x54R at a buck a round. It should be half that, and I still have quite a bit that I bought for 15 cents.

    Masks were required because the fairgrounds is county property and the county is now requiring masks at all indoor events. Not surprisingly, I heard some grumbling about this. Personally, I find masks uncomfortable but I really would prefer not to get COVID, so I'll do whatever improves my odds. I did get some compliments on my Thin Blue Line mask.

    The crowd was something else. There was more than the usual contingent of young, hairy, obese, unkempt males who looked and talked like they got their firearms knowledge from a video game. I saw a large extended family that all looked alike - men, women and children. Each looked like a barrel on legs, with a pale, puffy face sticking out of the mass of flesh. Sort of like the Farkle family as seen through the eyes of Francisco Botero.

    The promoters introduced a new hassle. Instead of stamping your hand for readmission, they now have a "selfie wall," with the name and date of the show. You take a selfie, and then show your phone to get back in. No phone? Go see the manager at the desk in the back. I didn't have my phone with me, and I've never even taken a selfie, but it didn't matter because I had no reason to come back the next day.

    I bought nothing. The fudge lady didn't show up, so I couldn't even treat myself to some fudge. Maybe next time.

     
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  2. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    lol!
    There is a whole generation of gun experts that have learned about firearms on PlayStation and Xbox. It’s especially entertaining as well as unmeasurably annoying at shooting ranges ! But it’s true, and I guess we’re going to have to accept it. Watching a day of Outdoor Channel verifies it. Gizmos and gadgets clamped to very surface available. AR modern sporting rifles, with airbrushed paint schemes straight off of Call of Duty.

    bloo
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Is that where all those weird new camo patterns are coming from? I see ads for AR-15 furniture with what seems like dozens of patterns I never heard of. "Urban Winter Penguin," "Bolivian Jungle Speckled Anaconda," etc. I'll settle for ARVN Tiger Stripe, Woodland, Desert Tan, or whatever I can whip up from a couple of cans of Testors hobby paint.
    2x Mini-1.JPG
     

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  4. caberslash

    caberslash Active Member

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    Never had the chance to go to a gun show as I am in the UK :( but I suspect CV19 has pushed most of the market online.

    The 'good deal guys/gals' have probably made a killing off GunJoker. What with the ammo panic buying and Biden bans, some people's stock must have doubled, tripled or more in 'value' (what people will pay) over the course of a few years...

    Why bother moving your stock, paying for a booth and sitting there all day when the internet is there 24/7?
     
  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    While it may be unfair to judge people solely by their appearance, this description of a plurality of gun show attendees in recent years is one reason why I normally skip all but the most promising shows. Many of the attendees, not to mention a sizeable portion of the sellers, appear to be there for reasons that are less than admirable. Is it any wonder that "guns" have a negative connotation among the population in general?
     
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  6. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    I must say Icebears crowd description is hilarious. By contrast I hit a local show that appeared to be a giant dud, then whoa, can it be? An early bofors deluxe forestor with an early stag floorplate! And high sako rings!! No tax, no shipping, no ffl fee! No selfie!
     
  7. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    !
    ?
    Stag? I’d like very much to see this one jeffy1 , Deluxe floor plates are one of our favorites subjects!
    Photos? Please .. with sprinkles on top! :)


    I live in West Virginia, over half the population can fit the description at times. Appearance is one thing, mentality is another. It’s more about the negative verses the positive influences…some grow up with DeerHunter on PlayStation…some with Grand Theft Auto on Xbox!

    bloo
     
  8. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I should keep my mouth shut.....seems to me the gun show attendees are a reflection of the show merchandise. For many years I was a regular attendee of the big winter show in Las Vegas. I haven't been in about 7-8 years so I don't know what it's like now. When I was going it was 2 shows (antique and sporting) in separate rooms at one venue. If you stood at the front door waiting on your buddy to show up, you saw plenty of attendees arriving in airport limousines and taxis, with many wearing dress clothes. But what really got my attention was that where were no signs on the table instructing you to ask for permission to handle the guns. I might add that a large number of the guns were very expensive. Attendees walked up to a table and picked the guns up without asking for permission. I had to ask the dealers about freedom to handle the guns and they all responded that telling some attendee to not pick up the gun could very likely mean you miss a chance to sale a $50,000 (or more) gun. Bottom line is that stuff like early Sakos and most of the other old stuff we like has disappeared into closets and the dealers don't have any to sell, so they sell black guns trying to make a living.
     
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  9. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I used to enjoy going to gun shows and went to every one I could. Lately, however, the gun shows have lost their appeal for me as well.

    Very few collectors or private sellers with interesting items at the last several shows I attended but rather table after table of ARs, AKs, and related parts. Very few quality firearms to see but many items are priced as if they were high quality.
    I used to be able to pick up reloading components at gun shows but that isn’t possible these days.

    There didn’t seem to be very many good deals at the last dozen or so shows I attended and I discovered I could buy the same items dealers were offering at the same prices by simply going into their shops any day of the week. So why bother going to a gun show and paying admission and parking to buy items at no savings?

    So, I found I was attending gun shows for the thrill of picking my way through crowds which included many lacking in basic hygiene to catch glimpses of items I really had no interest in.

    I mentioned parking because to the best of my knowledge, gun shows are the only events at Pima Co Fairgrounds where the attendees have to pay parking. Parking has been free at every other event I’ve attended there. I wonder why?

    But basically I stopped attending shows due to lack of interest. After leaving dozens of shows empty handed, I realized I was unlikely to find anything interesting at any future shows unless something changes.
    Meanwhile, I’m finding what I need online.
     
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  10. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, gun shows are an endangered species.
     
  11. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    Times and people change. Today the average shooter appears to be more interested in magazine capacity than quality, history or collectibility.
     
  12. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    I used to attend as many gun shows as I could, along with Guitar shows. One thing I found was that a large part of the highly coveted or sought after pieces were traded and bartered off before the doors even open to the public.
    Most recent shows are full of junk and media driven fads.
    Gun auctions (live) can have better choices, but now most are also available for online bidders who almost always win over live bidders in attendance.

    bloo
     
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  13. sws1213

    sws1213 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if any of you guys have been to the Tulsa show since the Pandemic started? I attended the one in November 2019, and was impressed by the volume of everything firearms related. I intended to get a table at the last one, but backed out at the last minute when my buddy got Covid.
    The next one is coming up in a couple of months. Anyone planning on going??
     
  14. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    10 to 15 years ago the internet became my go to place to purchase the inexpensive gun parts, stocks, scopes, hunting books, gun catalogs, screws, fishing stuff, tools and all kinds of other stuff. Now I very seldom buy anything on the net because it's either not available or it's priced in the stratosphere.
     
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  15. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    It's still a good show, but it's slowing going south. Of the November show vs the April show, it seems to me, the best is April. November is hunting season, and it seems a lot of dealers and attendees don't attend. However, both shows are crowded. I'll be there April.
     
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  16. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I've always felt there was a drop in quality -- at least the type I'm interested in -- when a show occurs in hunting season. Most people who are hunters have better things to do with their weekends when hunting season rolls around than shop for drum magazines, belly guns, ninja chopsticks, dehydrated food, and the latest in conspiracy theory literature.
     
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  17. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I love the ninja chopsticks, but you missed my favorite, the Kabar Tactical Spork. Just the thing for the well-equipped mercenary wannabe.
    Kabar Tactical Spork.jpg

    And the ugliest, silliest .22 rifle in captivity, the Mossberg tactical lever action. I love .22 rifles, but this one is not on my shopping list.
    Mossberg Tactical Lever 22.jpg

    One thing that was MIA at the latest show was the AR-15 in pink urban camo. Apparently women didn't go for that one. There were, however, plenty of cheap .380 automatics in rainbow colors. Any time I want to get a reaction from my girlfriend, a retired detective, all I have to do is e-mail her a picture of a pink pistol.
     
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  18. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    One of the strangest things I ever saw at a gun show was at the Richmond, Virginia collectors' show. At every show there was a huge, multi-table display of what was claimed to be Hermann Goering's banquet china, for sale at incredible prices. I don't know if they ever actually sold any. This was a high-quality show where you could buy a safari rifle, an antique flintlock, or most anything else you wanted. I got my L469 Mannlicher carbine at that show, among many other goodies.
     
  19. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Many years ago the gun show held in connection with the Sweetwater (Texas) Rattlesnake Roundup was actually a pretty good show. Back then lots of exhibitors weren't selling anything; they were actually exhibiting their collections for the benefit of the public and the chance to earn a Blue Ribbon. Of course, the exhibitors hoped to run across a new acquisition or trade with other exhibitors to enhance their collections, but simply selling for a profit wasn't their primary goal.

    It was at this gun show that I found my L461 .222 Mag Deluxe, and a couple of years later a Bofors .222 standard already equipped with factory rings and sold with about six boxes of ammunition. The one or two Sakos you might find at a show these days will look like they've been drug through a cactus patch, then a swamp, by a runaway mule and will be marked with a price similar to the MSRP of a new Sako 85.
     
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  20. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    Way cool! With the picatinny rail on the forearm, the spork can be mounted for quick acquisition! Fascinating!
    Pink pistols, blue tooth scopes, blaze orange bathroom tissue…but still we have no solar powered flashlights!
    If I had a time machine, I’d set it back to the early 70’s ..and pull off the knobs.

    edit: hahaha! A .22 lr with a muzzle break!!! Hee!

    Bloo
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021

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