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Gun shows

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Kpcasey
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Gun shows

#1 Post by Kpcasey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:54 pm

I'm headed to a gun show tomorrow. I have never been to one. Anyone have advice for a first timer ? Are there any deals on milsurp items ? Or is it usually a hit or miss type thing? Thanks everyone.


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ffuries
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Re: Gun shows

#2 Post by ffuries » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:37 pm

I guess it really depends on where you are located. I have several shows within an hour or two from me, plus a local one. Sometimes there are lots of Milsurps other times the pickings are slim. More often than not the pickings have been slim the last six months around here.
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Re: Gun shows

#3 Post by dynachrome » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:56 pm

Hit or miss on deals. Usually not any at the big shows, like the Tanner one. I usually find better deals on the consignment rack at the LGS, though I have to drop by fairly often.
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Re: Gun shows

#4 Post by ffuries » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:30 pm

Oh and ask before you touch or pickup anything!
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Re: Gun shows

#5 Post by Rapidrob » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:12 pm

NO PHOTO'S! Good way to get thrown out of the show.
REMEMBER where you see something you may want to come back for. Use land marks or ceiling vents,signs etc.
Make offers. Don't insult but don't pay jacked-up prices either.
Most sellers will have bags/boxes if you do buy something. Many will hold them on the side as you walk around the show freeing up your hands.
Few take checks. Plastic yes.Most shows have ATM's for a small fee.
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Re: Gun shows

#6 Post by PennsylvaniaRifleman » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:15 am

Be prepared for it to be louder and more crowded than you might expect. Especially if you're accompanied by someone who's not a "gun person," a crowded and hectic show can cause "burnout." Be well fed and hydrated before you go in.

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Re: Gun shows

#7 Post by Kpcasey » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:47 pm

Thanks guys, had a good time picked up a bayonet for my m1 carbine , some mags and a Styer m95 ImageImage


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Re: Gun shows

#8 Post by ffuries » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:14 pm

Glad to hear you had fun, good looking Styer by the way.
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Re: Gun shows

#9 Post by Rapidrob » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:21 pm

Good for you! They can be habit forming.
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Re: Gun shows

#10 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:50 am

Think of it as a specialty yard sale. Everything from trash to treasure.
Depending on size i usually do a fairly fast first walk through noting in writing items or tables for further detailed consideration. Then I walk back checking them out in detail. Why? because even within a show prices & qualities differ drastically & it lets me remove the outliers from consideration.
Depending on the show I may or may not eat there. That also varied from show to show for both price & quality.

Oh & Cash IS king.
Go, have a blast keep an open mind.

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Re: Gun shows

#11 Post by bakka9 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:45 pm

Lately if I go to a gun show around here it's to listen to some of the ridiculous sales tactics to justify their overly optimistic prices. I once had a seller tell me that "we blew up the ammo factory in Serbia so his box of PRVI 6.5 x 55mm was actually worth three dollars more" than elsewhere. Or that the chopped Swedish m/96 was actually an alpine ski battalion rifle; very, very rare.

I do find the occasional good deal, but I think if I added up all of the entrance fees I've paid over the years I could probably have spent full price on every gun I've gotten a good deal on and still be money ahead.

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Re: Gun shows

#12 Post by Hammy » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:58 pm

There are only a couple of gun shows that are close to me, and usually it's like WalMart, the aisles are so crowded that you can't get thru. I don't mind, but when you hear some of the conversations, you wonder why are those folks even there? Congrats to the OP for the Steyr, good looking piece.
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Re: Gun shows

#13 Post by ffuries » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:08 pm

Hammy wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:58 pm
There are only a couple of gun shows that are close to me, and usually it's like WalMart, the aisles are so crowded that you can't get thru. I don't mind, but when you hear some of the conversations, you wonder why are those folks even there? Congrats to the OP for the Steyr, good looking piece.
Reason why I am standing in line for the doors to open. CINC Household and I make a quick pass, I look on one side of the aisle and her the other side. Then we go back to the good stuff and check it out good. Buy something and out the door before the crowds show up.
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Re: Gun shows

#14 Post by shoggoth80 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:39 pm

That IS a cool M95. Good grab. I've seen very little of them lately.
Like the other guys, I've gotten better finds at my local stores, but it takes checking in frequently, or maybe dropping your name/number with some general items of interest. Only actual show I went to, I walked out with a bunch of brass. There were nice items, but my funds were low. This was already several years ago now. Been meaning to hit a couple again. Went to a Rendezvous the other weekend, and saw some very nice front stuffers.
No loss if you look at it as a leisure excursion.

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Re: Gun shows

#15 Post by 72 usmc » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Kpcasey ???? I do not see the S or H stamp so that my be an original 8x50R chambering not a 8x56R. 8x50R is make your own ammo. Hard to come by. 8x56R is easy to buy.

my list from the old forum on things to look at with surplus rifles:
What you will pay a gunsmith is twice the cost of a field gauge and muzzle gauge. As you gain more experience you will be your own gunsmith. Things to look for when buying or after you purchased a surplus rifle. My 2 cents worth of info.
Most gunsmiths have a dislike for old surplus junk--lots of attitude. A few of the old school are true artists and craftsmen that love antique firearms. You really need to know your smith. Another source : Find an old fart at your range shooting military rifles and they got the knowledge and gauges and be more than happy to help. Most will talk your ears off.

1 Check for matching numbers-is the bolt matching to the receiver. This is the best bet for a rifle that is going to headspace. A matching bolt may make it more shootable and all numbers matching more collectible, but still does not guarantee head spacing is correct. I invest in a field gauge (Midway and Brownells carry them). IF THE BOLT DOES NOT MATCH, then pay special attention to its movement in the rifle, and headspace just to be sure because you just never know if its out of spec.

2 Have a field gauge for every firearm you collect or plan to buy. Especially, if they are in the $500-1500 ball park. This is mainly for the old bolt actions. Always ask to inspect a rifle or pick it up. Tell the seller you are serious, but need to look it over. Check the head space. If he say no, leave it on the table. With a military rifle it is best to use the military gauge not a SAAMI gauge. A rifle can fail on a SAAMI gauge and still headspace on a military gauge. Remember you really only need a field gauge so you do not buy a useless dog. You just do not want a bolt action that fails the field reject gauge.
At a gun show I check old military rifles with the coin gauge unless it is a non rimmed cartridge and use the field reject. If it's bad, it stays on the table. If it passes I take my treasure home and clean it the check it with a No Go and Field reject. I have both gauges for all the old junk military stuff I mess with. Many a time I saved myself from a good screwing from a dealer by checking the rifle before buying. Especially M1 carbines, US Enfields 1917, British Enfields, Arisakas and Turk, 98/22, GEW 98s and vz24 Mausers. But RC K98 Mausers, the new Yugo rebuild mausers, K31s, Berthiers, the French Mas, and Mosins always seem to headspace.

3 Check to see if all the serial numbers match on the firearm. Also if import marks are present or not--- a big price difference! Check the size and placement of the import mark. Big import marks are nasty, this seems to be the new trend.

4 Check the bore for strong rifling, make sure it is clean or the seller may be trying to hide something, are there dirt, pits, rust, dark metal, muzzel damage, counter bores, does the rifling apear strong up to the muzzle or is it worn away. Is the barrel plugged??
Check the chamber for burs or dings. The chamber should be mirror bright, smooth, and no uneven pits or scratches. Be sure the barrel is clean, if not, it's a crap shoot as to what you will get condition wise and the seller is hiding something. A clean good bore will always get top buck. If dirty, assume it's junk or poor condition. At a honest pawn shop they generally let you run a patch down the bore just too get a sale. Bring a small cleaning rod, bore light and magnifier glass. I dislike counter bores-avoid them. LOOK for matching parts, make sure the barrel is correct for the make and year.

Always check the bore for pits, cracks, and muzzle wear. Pull the bolt and look down the barrel, then use a bore light and see what you are dealing with condition wise. If you have a way to check for throat erosion and muzzle erosion, check that with your gauges. Be sure to gauge the amount OF MUZZLE WEAR. Check the crown for nicks or erosion of the rifling at the end of the bore. If you are serious about the firearm and the seller will not let you give it a good look-over ( they will not allow dissasembly) leave it sit on the table. Be sure he knows you want the firearm, they do not like the cheepos or non serious people to handle or damage an expensive weapon.

5 Check the bolt.
Look for hairline cracks on the bolt, extractor, or inside chamber. Look the bolt head over with care for cracks. GO ORIGINAL. Avoid rechambered sporters or gun smith conversions. Look at the bolt face for an erosion ring and be sure the firing pin hole is still round. Check the action movement, it should be smooth, not tight when the bolt is locked. If miss matched does the bolt close down with ease? Movement smooth- back & forth? Check the follower spring. Does it seem OK and return to the top. On some rifles the bolt is designed to catch on the end of the follower to let you know in the heat of battle you are empty. Look at the bolt lugs for wear and is it even or really badly worn? Make sure the firing pin is present and not cut. Ask if you can dry fire the weapon to get the feel for a crisp striker spring. BE SURE TO ASK. THIS IS A NO NO TO MOST untill you buy it.

6 GO ORIGINAL. No refinished stock, reblue, or parts gun. Look for cracks in the stock. Try to get a stock that has cartouches correct for the rifle. Look at the cleaning rod and sling to be sure it is correct. Look at the tang area at the rear top of the stock or at the wrist for the first sign of cracks. Look for rust pits at the wood line.

7 Look at the finish on the parts, the markings, wear patterns, and color tones. Wear patterns and color tone should match or its a mix master. See if the screws are buggered up or intact. Are the screws new replacements? Rust should be uniform not just on a few screws, but all.

8 Do not be in a hurry to buy, many different rifles will be at large shows. BUT, if you see or find a BRING BACK . Sell the kids or dog. Buy it. All matching military rifles are rare birds. They may have the sling, bayonet and paperwork.

9 On expensive firearms, watch out for put together matching firearms with different wear patterns and color tones to their parts. Some people try to pass off all correct part rifles as original bring backs. In reality they are mix masters that have been reassembled with correct parts or reproduction parts. Remember wear patterns & finish. Get the feel for correct parts vs reproduction parts.

10 Watch out for FAKE reproduction parts on firearms at gun shows. Watch out for reproduction bayonets and cleaning rods.

11 After you buy it detail strip the rifle in order to look for dangerous situations such as A demilled rifle with a hole in the barrel under the wood. A hair line crack in the bore or bluge in the barrel under the wood. Strip down and Clean the bolt and be sure it is complete. Make sure there are no rewelds or miss matched barrels. Any structural weakness in the stock not observed, cracks? filler? Reassemble the rifle grease & oil. No oil in the chamber or barrel.

12 Be sure you know the correct caliber and have the correct ammunition. Use a dummy round ( not a live round) and see how it chambers and extracts. See the fit and if the follower spring is good and the bolt is picking up the cartridge and feeding it into the chamber. A rifle can work ok without a round , but place a dummy in and then some minor problem may show up in its smooth operation. The use of the dummy round will allow you to work tha action at home prior to the range visit. You DO NOT WANT A LIVE ROUND accidently firing in the house. Watch out for unmarked rechambered rifles- that round you think may be incorrect due to a rechamber. A dummy will alow you to see if its a correct cartridge. Take the rifle out to the range and fire one round from the hip to see if it fires. Or if one is really uncertain, then fire it in a set of tires with a string and see if it blows. Check the fired cartridge. Read the cartridge for cracks, bluges, soot blackened brass, backed out or flattened primers , or deep extractor jaw marks at the base. Did a fired cartridge extract smoothly, any gas blow back? Is the bolt hard to open on a fired cartridge?

13 Watch out for drill rifles or school cadet rifles, most should not be fired.

14 Buy a copy of Collecting Classic Bolt Action Military Rifles by Paul S Scarlata and read the introduction twice: "Caveat Emptor Let the buyer beware".
Buy a copy of Bolt Action Military Rifles of the World by Stuart Mowbray and Joe Puleo Read it as if a bible. You just did more than a gunsmith will do.

15 It is always wise to error on the side of caution, ( you will have to tell the smith what you want done,ie clean, total take down, headspace, gauge throat and muzzle, replace springs??? and the cost goes up ,up, and away ) I headspace because I still value what eyesight and hearing I have left. You will enjoy shooting that rifle.
With gun shows have cash, small bills, it is had to talk a guy down when he sees 10 !$100 bills

Always ask to see, inspect, pick up a rifle. Bolt should be tied down, only ask to work the bolt if serious. Do not dry fire, do not insert a dummy cartridge.

Always ask to headspace with a FIELD gauge, this is after a price is agreed upon and its sold if the rifle passes a FIELD gauge test.

At the beginning of a show, first hour, most sellers will not go down. If you see a jewel, buy it or it will be gone in an hour or two. Snooze and you lose
.
Do your research prior to the show so you know a price deal or rare version when it appears. If it's a run of the mill mutt, it can wait for day 2 or 3 then you have some room to deal.

Do not point out bad attributes unless you really are serious about buying, such as the price may be too high for a refinished stock of worn bore.

OUT of HEADSPACE ON A FIELD gauge --- forget it, lots of rifles out there that do pass.

Have a light, magnifier, headspace gauge, and bore gauge to inspect a big buck rifle.

Dirty bore is a warning-- if its a great bore it will be clean so seller gets top buck.

Matching bolt is BEST.

Never point the rifle at people in the show.

Do not dress up like a big shot lawyer or the prices will be sky high for a high roller. Do not dress like a gang member.

Have your DL ready to show for private sales. If a C&R seller he needs your info for his book.

Never buy from a private party that does not provide his/her info if you ask.

It is best to exchange information on a private sale. Some will ask you to sign a statement that you are not a felon or have a domestic dispute charge. If you are young they may ask for proof of age, 21 on a pistol in WI.

Carry a empty pistol or gun case to put your new purchase in. You can buy cases at the show. This stops about a hundred people asking what you got for sale. If a rifle is out of a case it is most likely a walk-in for sale, generally these have a different color strap on the inspected firearm than one found on the show tables.

Early bird gets the worm off the tables. Wait around for walk ins and you never know what shows up on any day or time of day.

Generally no buys in the parking lot or lobby of the show. Do your deal inside. Police watch for shady deals out of trunks to out of state people.

Always consider any gun at the show or table possibly loaded. Most have straps that keep the bolt open. Always check to be sure it is unloaded.

I am an old fart and find current prices sky high nuts, it takes the fun out of collecting and keeps new collector away. Know the average value of the gun you want to buy. If you are lucky, you find an old guy that has gotten some warning signs that the end is near and they are selling off a rifle or two at cost just to thin the herd due to poor health. At a certain age, you got no cash, high medicine costs and what is your wife going to do with all those cheep surplus rifles. Most sell to collectors, most try to get what they paid, and maybe their entry price to the show or the table price out of a sale. I generally avoid dealers due to there low ball offers unless the got some VHS tapes or books on guns I may want in trade; if I get what I paid for the gun + some extras-- that is fine. I try to find a novice collector that is excited about the gun, so he or she gets a deal and I have the satisfaction I passed on the goodies to collectors that will treasure them as well as I did, not the dealers. I had to put names on some of my better jewels so my wife knows who gets what for the people that really wanted specific examples. Just not ready to let go of them, yet. Next stroke may take me out :snooty:

The best deals are when we are dead and a friend or wife has a one time "I am dumping the old guys junk" sale at smaller shows. They get a table maybe for 2 shows till the stuff is gone. That is how I got my best stuff over the last 45 years. Ammo & guns :doh: :shhh:
Think small bowling alley shows, or gun club shows & legion hall shows. IT is a hit or miss thing, but be there at the right time and the goodies from the last 50 years come out of the woodwork. Sometimes the price is what the dead guy paid years ago. :shifty:

Use Peterson standard Guide to military firearms for general to buy price ;
see https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/standa ... 1114185356
also at Amazon with my review of the new edition 8th; a nice price guide to have. If you get something at 50% of the book value you are doing good :dance:
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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