As I was browsing the web earlier to put together my ammo update, I came across a page showing current gun shows. And as it turned out there was one this weekend just 40 minutes from my house. I had to go.
When I got there, the parking lot was packed. People were parking everywhere and finding a spot took me a while. I ended up parking about a football field’s length away from the building. But the real surprise was when I started walking toward the door.
A line had formed in front of the door and it kept growing. The show had been open for over 2 hours when I got there but the line was still about 50 yards long. Everyone seemed surprised but nobody complained. It took me 20 minutes to reach the doors. It was very easy to see why the line had formed once we got inside. They were limiting how many people could go in at once because the place was completely packed. Walking between the tables was a nightmare. It was worse than being at a large sporting event.
I already knew going in that I wouldn’t be able to afford anything there, but I still wanted to see what was there. And I figured if I found some good deals I could scarf some things up and offer them on here. But unfortunately I didn’t find anything.
Prices were outrageous. AR15’s were going for well over $1,000. A Del-Ton Sport rifle, just like the one Ryan bought for $700 just a few months ago, had a price tag of $1,399.99. That’s a 100% markup and people seemed pretty interested in it. But that’s nothing. An AAC AR15 upper was being offered at over $1,600. Just the upper! Other outrageous markups include Ruger Mini-14’s that ranged from $1,500 to $2,300 to Chinese SKS rifles for over $600 with mis-matched serial numbers. There was also an M1 Carbine that was being sold for $899 in pretty rough shape.
There were also a lot of accessories for sale. From carry bags to tactical gear and everything in between. Magazines for AR15’s were selling for twice what they used to sell for. PMag 30 round mags were selling for $50 and used metal magazines were selling for between $50 and $60. And they were disappearing as fast as the dealers could put them out!
Ammo was also plentiful. It would appear that the reason for the current shortage seen in my ammo updates is because people are buying in excess so that they can sell for a fortune at shows like this. Russian .223 ammo was being sold for about $1 a round, even in bulk. Russian 7.62×39 ammo was cheaper but not by much. Most of that was selling for between $0.50 and $0.75 a round in bulk (500+ rounds) and about $1 a round in regular 20 round boxes. Unfortunately, I’m spoiled with a good memory. I used to buy russian .233 and 7.62×39 for $0.25 a round in regular boxes and $0.20 in bulk, and since I still have plenty of both, I didn’t purchase anything. Even the 22lr ammo was overpriced.
The only thing I was really interested in was a “Norinco RPK AK47” that was being sold for $1,500 with 700 rounds of ammo and 8 30 round magazines. I did some quick math in my head with current ammo prices and assumed prices for the magazines and it brought the price of the gun itself down to about $900 or so. Not outrageous for something on my wish list that looked so good but I just couldn’t drop $1,500 like that. I’ll probably never get a chance to check the AK47 off my list with the way things are going now.
When I left the show, I had learned several things:
1) Older people are more drawn to traditional firearms with wood on them; younger people are more interested in tactical weapons with polymer stocks. This divide might cause problems soon. Older shooters outnumber young ones pretty significantly right now, and its the “evil black rifles” that are trying to be banned, not the traditional wooden hunting rifles. I just hope this divide in the gun world doesn’t lead to older gun owners not caring when the kids’ “plastic guns” gets banned. That would be bad for everyone.
2) Women are not afraid to get in on the action at gun shows. Well over a third of the people at the show were women. Most were looking at the tables with handguns and concealable weapons, but that’s cool with me. I’m glad to see everyone getting involved. It shows that it’s not only men who want to keep their rights but women too.
3) People will pay for guns and ammo regardless of how high the prices go. And this scares me. The gun industry is heading to a future where even if our rights are safe, prices will be way higher than they should be. When people buy out everything available, even at extremely high prices, manufacturers have no need to lower prices. We could see a future where a gun that used to cost $300 new would easily sell for $600. It’s simple supply and demand but it’s disturbing for someone like me who is looking to get a house and start a life with my fiance. I just wont have that kind of money to drop on a gun.
I know this was a long post but I had a lot I wanted to say. If you read everything, thank you for your dedication. I tried to include as much info as I could so that people could compare prices in my market with what they’re seeing in their area. If I helped, great. If not, that’s fine too. At least I put it out there. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what prices are like at gun shows near you.