...at least in my opinion, was the one held in Hauppauge, NY today. Last night, when I went to bed, I figured on waking up early and going fishing. It had been a toss up of going to a gun show or going fishing but the reviews I read about the show on Saturday were pretty poor so I was pretty set on doing some fishing. Come this morning, I woke up late, too late to catch the boat, and then decided to go to the gun show instead of fishing. Now, I wish I had gone fishing because I wound up going to the next to worst gun show I have ever attended.
The gun sow (was that a pun or a misspelling) cost me a $10 admission fee. I guess that is not bad nowadays for a decent show but this money was wasted as far as I am concerned. Once inside, I walked around it, one time, in less than 15 minutes. I was pretty disgusted by what I saw. Not that easily daunted though, I walked around again, and again and again - each time slower than the time before - while paying better attention to the knives, war memorabilia, hot sauce, toys, comic books and other stuff that was on sale. Did I forget to mention guns? I paid attention to them too but the truth is that overall, those other items, when combined in number, certainly beat out how many guns were for sale by far. Oh yeah, they were selling ammo too. Well, I did not see anyone actually sell or buy any ammunition and am guessing that was because it seemed to me that most of what was offered could have been had for less in local stores or on the Internet, even with shipping costs added to the online prices.
Speaking of high prices there were: Bricks of Winchester T22 .22LR target ammo, in the old white boxes for this particular type of ammo) going for $70 each, Mosin Nagant M91/30 rifles (shown as M91/38 carbines but mislabeled as far as I could tell), with asking prices of $250 (all gun prices rounded to nearest $5), absolutely crappy rusty bucket type 50 caliber ammo cans selling for $15 apiece, decent but used ammo cans going for $20 apiece (local stores have them brand new for as low as $18 apiece), Polish M1969 Trainers for $190, .308 steel cased ammo for $20 per box of 20 rounds, 7.62x39mm ammunition offered for sale at $15 per box of 20, a 1K case of Lake City 5.56x45mm, 62 grain M855 ammo with a price tag of $549.99 and a sign saying WOW on it. Wow indeed, that stuff is going for about $438.99 shipped (to my location) from a reputable online dealer; see this add which was current as I typed this post.
There were also some really nice used guns. Did I mention, the great majority of guns offered for sale there were used. Of the nicer ones, there was a truly beautiful Remington bolt action rifle, in .22LR, for $400 that probably was worth close to that if not every penny of it. I'll be damned if I can recall the model number right now. I was debating selling the High Standard M101 Duramatic that I had along with me, just for the purpose of getting money to buy it, but I did not know enough about the Remington to make an offer. (I had forgotten to bring along my gun pricing book.) There was also one of my dream guns, a Remington Model 8 in .35 Remington. It was engraved and very nice and desirable but had a truly prohibitive asking price of $3,600. Yes, I said it was nice but it was not that nice. There were also a few Saiga rifles in 762x39 which I think were somewhat expensive at about $400 but that probably was not a bad NY price. They were among the apparent few new guns offered for sale.
There was also a relatively small amount of pistols on sale. I spotted what looked to be a really nice Colt Cobra, 1st issue, with an unbelievable asking price of only $400. It really looked to be in excellent condition. I did not bother to check it out though because I did not have the necessary paperwork, with me, to buy it. I probably should have given that a closer look and maybe even bought it and arranged the paperwork after the sale but I was and remain uncertain as to if my county allows a buyer to obtain the required purchase document after the sale and then pick up the weapon from the dealer after getting the paperwork.
Probably the best deal that I saw all day, was a Savage rifle, in .22LR, that a show attendee was lugging around with him, a for sale sign on it. I asked him about it and he gave me the run down and said it was in pristine shape (and so it looked to be). He was asking $165 and tried to hurry me into a deal saying he was leaving in a minute. I do not like to be hurried and held off but now am thinking that I was a fool for not offering him at leas $100 or $125. Add to that another $25 for the NICS check, that should cost all of $5 to $10 at most, and at the lower offer I probably would have had a great deal or even a good one had I made the higher offer. My bet is he would have taken it. I looked for the guy about 5 or 10 minutes later but he was nowhere to be seems. Sometimes he who hesitates is smart but at other times he truly is lost and today I think I lost out on that deal.
All in all, I was unimpressed, in a positive manner, with this show. Yes, it was a gun show and in that alone it was a good thing. The thing was though that the dealers there, seemed for the most part to be selling crap, and to be of the rather greedy type, which I suppose is par for the course in as gun unfriendly a state, and as expensive a state to live in, as is NY. Of course, gun prices might have been lower, and quality higher, had there been more guns for sale in place of the hot sauce, comic books, toys, knives and other assorted crap like Nazi war memorabilia (that has no place at a respectable gun show). The lack of that junk, with more guns in place of those things, would have made for a much better show, offered more competition and probably would have forced lower prices too.
As it turned out I made two purchases other than the cost of admission. I bought a raffle ticket for a shotgun - one of only 100 tickets. I did not win. I also bought a pair of rubber grips for my Ruger MKII pistol. They apparently were a deal at only $5.00. Other than that, I kept my money in my pocket and held onto my High Standard M101 Duramatic. The HS will likely be sold on another day, at another gun show, when I find something I cannot resist, for which I need money.
Funny thing about all that I just said, I would probably go to another show in the same venue again if one comes up soon. Not that I thought there was anything great there but I would be sure to bring along my most recent Standard Catalog of Firearms to price that Remington 22 rifle if still available, or to price that Savage 22 if the private seller showed up with it again. It may have been the next to worst gun show I have ever attended but it beat the worst one by far. For now though, I am looking forward to the next show up in Middletown, NY or the big one, in the spring, up in Syracuse, NY. With 1,000 tables, the Syracuse gun show is the best by far that is held within NY State.
All the best,