Gun Show tips for a noobie

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thecoloredsky
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Gun Show tips for a noobie

I have a month to save a few extra bucks for the local gun show (Aug 6th and 7th). The website says it costs $8 entry fee for adults. I own an old .22 from very early 1900's, but other than that I don't have a firearm. Here's my chance to get a nice rifle or two. I need some tips since I have never been to a gun show. A few guys from work might go with me, and they are noobs too (as you can tell, I've sparked a few thoughts in preparedness in a few people).

With that said, I don't want to get ripped off. I have a few things I've learned to prepare for but also I need expert advice from you guys.

1) I heard the local paper might have a coupon for discounted entry fee. I will be checking this out every weekend.

2) I know that I need to pay in cash, that is ok. But would booths accept silver instead? Should I even bother with bringing some? What cash denominations should I carry?

3) Since I'm going, potentially, with a couple friends... could we better a strike a deal with a single retailer if we buy all our guns from them? Three guns for a discount is what I am thinking.

4) We don't have conceal carry licenses, so we will be focusing on rifles or shotguns since the law doesn't require special credentials.

5) One of my friends is thinking of an AK47. Are there certain firearms to stay away from at gun shows? Should we expect that firearms are used?

6) How much can dealers haggle and what is considered inappropriate to counter bid?

Any other info is much appreciated! Thanks.

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:06
tread_w_care
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Direct answers inline in

Direct answers inline in italics.  General guidance will follow.

thecoloredsky wrote:

1) I heard the local paper might have a coupon for discounted entry fee. I will be checking this out every weekend.

It's worth the entry fee just for entertainment/people watching/camaraderie alone, but yeah if you can go cheaper why spend the extra cash.

2) I know that I need to pay in cash, that is ok. But would booths accept silver instead? Should I even bother with bringing some? What cash denominations should I carry?

I've bought stuff at shows w/ credit cards no problem.  The dealers prefer cash as they are generally small and have to pay the merchant fees.  Silver?  I bet they would, so, worth a shot, but take cash too.

3) Since I'm going, potentially, with a couple friends... could we better a strike a deal with a single retailer if we buy all our guns from them? Three guns for a discount is what I am thinking.

Absolutely try to make a deal.  Just be respectful and polite, and remember this isn't a Middle Eastern Bazaar, so, the 'first offer is an insult' may not apply.  I recommend you walk the entire show once over, make mental notes of who has what, then go back and see what you can negotiate.

4) We don't have conceal carry licenses, so we will be focusing on rifles or shotguns since the law doesn't require special credentials.

If they're following the law (in most states) you'll have to provide personal info for a Federal background check to purchase long guns.  Be honest.  I think in some instances you can refuse to put down your social security #, if you're concerned don't put it down and see if they ask.  Name, address, phone number type stuff is usually what they need.

5) One of my friends is thinking of an AK47. Are there certain firearms to stay away from at gun shows? Should we expect that firearms are used?'

Great choice, the Kalashnikov; Well, since you are new to guns (welcome to the club!) I'd say stay away from the unfamiliar, see my general comments below; some will be used, sure, and used guns in good condition are great, just like used cars.

6) How much can dealers haggle and what is considered inappropriate to counter bid?

See above, just be respectful and polite, this is one of the last bastions of near-free enterprise I guess, so go for it!

Any other info is much appreciated! Thanks.

So, you wanna buy some guns, huh?  Gun shows are a great place to do that.  A real American tradition.  Fun, exciting, cool stuff to see, all kinds of guns, knives, military surplus, books, gear, hunting stuff, ammo, you name it they got it.

You say you are a n00b, so, my advice to you is decide why you want a gun real soon.  For what purpose?  Self defense?  Home security?  Hunting?  General purpose (all of the above)?  You need to do some homework, a LOT of homework, before you go to the gun show hell bent on buying.

Since you mentioned long guns, if home defense is your priority, think about a tactical style shotgun, 12 guage, 7-8 round capacity in either pump or semi-auto.  Do some internet searching.  Check out gunbroker.com to get a feel for the priceranges/markets.  Great examples would be a Remington 700 or a hot new Mossberg 930 SPX.

Rifle?  Can't go wrong with a civilian variant of great military choices, an M1A (M14), or AR-15 (M-16) style.  Great thread here on the AR-15 with some comments on the also excellent choice AK-47.  Gross generalization of that debate lands us at AK-47 is simple, crude, and works like a champ.  AR-15 can be a bit more temperamental, tending towards slightly less reliable than an AK-47 if both are used and abused (not cleaned).  That topic has entire message boards devoted to it.  If it's hunting small game, say when food gets tight and the rabbits and squirrels are eating your precious garden, 22 long rifle is perfect.  Check out a Ruger 10/22.  Big game?  Try a .308 Winchester bolt action or semi-automatic rifle.  Oh, and, the .308 is also a standard military cartridge in ample supply (the M1A shoots it too).

Tons of info out there on this, do your homework, go to some local gun shops, ask questions, window shop, find some buddies who shoot, try stuff, settle on the 'why' and then make some decisions, BEFORE you go to a gun show loaded with cash.

FINALLY, please PLEASE PLEASE lookup local NRA classes in your area and take Basic Pistol, Rifle, or Shotgun (better yet, take em all) to get familiar with guns.  Guns are serious business, require major responsibility of you, and, duh, are frikkin' deadly.  You owe it to yourself, your family, and the rest of us out here to get properly trained on how to use them.  Please.  Really.  This might also help with the 'buddies who shoot' part.  Then, PRACTICE.  A lot. 

P.s. get a permit to purchase a handgun.  As an aside, I highly recommend this book:

http://amzn.com/9870563457

He gets to the heart of why you want/need a handgun and why crap like Sniper Rifles are simply impractical in a typical SHTF scenario. 

HTH,

tread

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SilverFocker
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Gun Shows not for newbies

IMO, gun shows are not for those looking for their first gun. You need to go to look , learn and ask questions, not to buy..............Ihave gun shows all around me 365.........Gun shows are for those looking for a certain item or trading, but these are people already well versed. If you are there to buy, these guys will see the newbie sign on your forehead, and you will get hooked.

You want a gun, do your homework first, know what you want and how much you are willing to spend, then go to a local gun shop, get the best price...........then find some pawn shops and go from there.............you buy from a gun show, the item is yours, any problems become yours as these people are from all over the country selling, but you will get to learn much for 8 bucks.

BTW...........SAVE your silver, pay in fiat we are not that far down the road yet.

pourty
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Take an experienced friend, if you have one...

A couple of sage words of advice:

Gun shows bring out the strangest folks you'll ever meet.  Please don't paint all gun owners with that impression.  Most of us are normal.  It's kind of like going to an anti-war protest in a big liberal city, except they like guns a lot.  I don't really like gun shows for this very reason.  Whacko comes to mind.  At least, that's been my experience.

Take a friend with you who knows guns and is very knowledgeable.  Get an idea of what you want before you go there.  Price it out as new online a few places, and then you can haggle down from there.  As another poster said, be respectful and polite.  If they don't like your offer and you don't want to budge, just move on.  It can be very difficult to tell the condition of a used gun unless you have a gunsmith with you.  If you buy used, expect you may need to get it checked out by a gunsmith before you go shoot it, and price that into the equation.  Personally, for a first gun, I'd buy new. (That said, my first pistol was a used Glock, and I've never had a single problem with it that I didn't cause... ;-)

Above all, make sure you know the rules of handling firearms.  People like me get a bit freaked out when you sweep them with a pistol or rifle, even when you "know" it's unloaded.  Google the internet for stories of guns going off at gun shows and you'll understand why I'm a bit on the wary side.

Lastly, have fun.  Gun shows are great, you get to see a lot of guns in one place, and if you're into people-watching, it's the place to be!  All that, and you can sometimes find some very good deals!  Just make sure you know enough to spot a good or bad deal when you see it.  Do your homework before you go.

thecoloredsky
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great info!

Great info! We've been researching a bunch of guns and price points so we have a good idea of costs. Hell, if I'm not sure I could always get my phone and Google it while at the show.

I'm also thinking that I might run into some local gun shop booths. Good way to get to know them at one place.

Oh and what about sales tax? I'm assuming yes on that? Or it it built into the agreed upon price?

Dyna mo hum
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Training

By all means get all the training you can afford. Proper training for safety and accuracy  will be invaluable.

tread_w_care
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thecoloredsky wrote:Great

thecoloredsky wrote:
Great info! We've been researching a bunch of guns and price points so we have a good idea of costs. Hell, if I'm not sure I could always get my phone and Google it while at the show. I'm also thinking that I might run into some local gun shop booths. Good way to get to know them at one place. Oh and what about sales tax? I'm assuming yes on that? Or it it built into the agreed upon price?

yes on sales tax, here in NC at least.  Good point about Sales Tax, depending on your state, you can sometimes catch a tax-free weekend.  In NC/SC those tax holidays don't usually apply to gun sales, but the gun shops do it anyway as a way to drum up business.  Good savings on a $1000 firearm. 

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coloredskySeems that you

coloredsky

Seems that you must be near either Raleigh or Fayetteville.  You have been given some excellent advice.  Hopefully you will take someone with you that is experienced.  If not, consider using the time for information gathering.  Learn before buying in order to make an intelligent choice.  What you will find at the gun show is lots of vendors selling lots of stuff.  Some will be local (NC based) others will be from out of state.  If you are looking for a handgun you will be able to look and touch and compare prices and features.  That's good.  Most likely, the NRA will have some representation there as well.  If you are not a member, you should really consider joining.  There are many benefits like training and lobbying to protect your right to own a firearm.  Sometimes, they will even pay your admission to the show if you join up or renew your membership right there.  Typically a representative will have a table setup outside the exhibition hall look for it before you pay for admission.  If they are there, be sure to ask about training, you just might get some good leads, ask about a place to shoot while you're there.  Aside from looking at all of the goodies, you might find a table with someone pimping training programs.  It might be beneficial to see what they offer.

If you can only afford oone gun, make sure you know what all the options are and why you are buying IT instead of something else...

You do not need the coupon from the newspaper,  get it from the web.

for Raleigh 

http://www.dixiegunandknifeshow.com/pages/Raleigh-Show.html

for Fayetteville

http://www.gunshows-usa.com/north_carolina_gun_shows.htm

Finally, Another good organization, The NC Rifle & Pistol Association.

North Carolina laws that will affect you in your quest.  Be smart, know the rules,

http://www.ncrpa.org/ncgunfaq.htm

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