Why I still go to gun shows

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Thales of Miletus, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Thales of Miletus

    Thales of Miletus

    Nov 20, 2013
    When I walk around gun shows crowded with people and over-priced goods I often start to ask myself why I even both coming. Today I had a nice little reminder of why I go. I found this discontinued Kershaw Mini Mojito 1800 way at the back of a knife vendors booth. The guy had no clue what it was, as he had only taken it in trade the week earlier. I gave him the model name and manufacture history. I told him what I had seen similar ones go for on the internet and we came to a mutually beneficial agreement. Its not in the greatest shape, but I think I can clean it up nicely, and it restored a little good will between me and gun shows.

  2. Hairlesstwinkie


    Feb 4, 2013
    Great find! I'm rarely so fortunately at gun shows. I would always stumble on to some guy trying way too hard to sell me bunch of crap knives for stupid high prices or people who do have nice stuff, but charge even higher.
  3. DougB2


    Jun 6, 2009
    I found this guy, a Becker DivTul, at a gun show several years ago. The micarta scales are my addition since the original scales seem to have shrunk.
  4. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    I found a good condition Ontario SP16, and more or less unused Ames brand E-tool complete with carrier.
  5. addylo


    Oct 28, 2009
    My grandmother was an antique dealer for years and taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to negotiating... "If they don't know, don't educate them."
  6. Thales of Miletus

    Thales of Miletus

    Nov 20, 2013
    Funny related note from the same show: I asked a vendor how much he wanted for a couple of different Kershaw Blurs and he gives me the price and starts talking about how one has a stainless steel blade and one is surgical steel. I was curious why he would even make such an outrageous statement and so I pick up the two knifes in question: one was s30v and the other regular 14C28N.
  7. Thales of Miletus

    Thales of Miletus

    Nov 20, 2013
    I realize this is the way to get a good deal, and its not my obligation to educate the seller, but its just the way I tend to operate. I still got a good deal, and he learned something. Maybe he and I will do business again in the future and he'll remember.
  8. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    Classic common sense. :thumbup:
  9. Smokinape


    Jan 21, 2011
    Going to one tomorrow... Hopefully I can get a good deal on some steel...
  10. link2derek


    Oct 8, 2010
    I still go also (going tomorrow in fact) - and I do score on occasion. But the price of parking/snacks/admission makes me wonder why sometimes too. Oh well, chalk it up to the price of "entertainment" -- after all, it is cheaper than dinner and a movie!
  11. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    Gun shows like flea markets have plenty of junk and sometimes treasure. I worked the circuit for a while selling knives and got to know a lot of other dealers. That served me well as not only were most nice enough to extend me the courtesy of dealer prices on things I wanted to buy but also would order, swap, dig out from boxes at home and just plain find knives I was looking for but having a difficult time actually sealing the deal on.

    The Gerber Sportsman 2 "V" steel in Vascowear was just such a knife. I first laid eyes on one back when they were being made sometime between 81 and maybe 86? I could never get one of my own for literally decades. This was before E bay and Blade forums and when I began even before the internet existed.

    To make a long story short another dealer I knew who continued on with the family business after her husband passed away actually took my order home and found the knife put away in her husbands collection and remembered to bring it to me 4 months later next time I saw her. Even though I was not selling knives any more I was still sold this difficult to find knife for essentially what her husband had bought it for.

    This was about 2007-8 so it was 20 years later that I actually got the knife I had set out to get 20 years before. I had a couple Vascowear fixed blade customs by then and was familiar with the steel from a user perspective more than just the impression I had from using a friends knife 20 years before. That old Gerber was like NIB , and provided me with a real knife in hand to compare with my memories. I was surprised to find that it was over 50 degrees inclusive, yet polished to a mirror and would shave hairs easily.

    Anyway, Gun shows have their pros and cons. I could come up with stories like that about Guns, ammo, etc. too ( I started collecting ammo when I was about 8 when I used to go to gun shows ). Types of ammunition I had tried to find for over 30 years would just show up one day and the dealer would have a good story about a trade he just made. I had a dealer come up with some early Spyderco Workers from the 80's that showed up in the 2010 - 11 time frame from some warehouse somewhere.

    I went over 30 years without missing a gun show. I stopped when things began getting crazy and there was a waiting line to get in. That time frame happened to coincide with some particularly broke years. Still, over the years I had some interesting times. I recall buying Silver eagles for $4-5 ( when silver was under $4 an oz.), and gold was under $400, then a year later over $30

    200 round packs of .308 for $25, mags for $3 to $6 each, etc, etc.

    The only way to see the years new knife releases were dealers at gun shows. No local dealers could compare due to overhead. Gun show dealers were the Knifecenter and Knife works of the day before the internet changed things. Now internet dealers even with their problems have an advantage ( the ones with actual store fronts anyways) and are doing to knife dealers at the gun shows what they did to Gun stores with knife sections. :)

    Such is life.
  12. Presumed_Lost


    Oct 27, 2003
    Bad time to bring it up, I was at one yesterday- complete waste of time. I think they vary a lot geographically, like you hear of great finds in pawn shops in other areas, but I've never found anything but way-overpriced junk around here.

    Half of the stuff on the tables I wouldn't own at any price. Of the stuff I found interesting, at least 80% of it was priced at least 20% over what it brought on-line. I think a lot of what remains of gun shows around here cater to folks who never buy anything on-line and don't know.

    They also seem a lot more cliquey and unfriendly than I remember from, say, the '80s. Vendors are curt and sometimes rude, more than once I was trying to ask a question and the dealer just turned away and started talking to someone else.

    I found a guy who had magazines for a sort-of unusual bolt-action at $35 each. That came to $105 for three. I offered him $100 cash and he blew me off. Fine.
  13. addylo


    Oct 28, 2009
    Haggling at gun shows is an official sport here in Texas.
  14. Presumed_Lost


    Oct 27, 2003
    There are more and more dealers here that refuse. Their right, of course, as it is mine to walk away. The guy was taking plastic- the CC fees pretty much made up the $5 difference. All in all, I'd rather pay more to buy from someone at least pleasant to deal with.
  15. wolf-man-12


    Dec 24, 2007
    Last Gun & Knife Show I went to was in Knoxville and I did very good for a change.!** I picked up at one table a NIB
    Spyderco Kris & 2 Spyderco Older Persian NIB Knives & 2 Gayle Bradley NIB Knives plus a Model 60 SS S&W NIB ~~
    all for 5 == $100 bills.! The man & his wife said they were leaving as he only had one other sale and they were tired of
    just sitting and watching people just walk on by (if only they knew what the prices were they would have been very
    happy customers.**) Said the items were there Sons and that he was killed in an Boating fire 4 months before.* Kinda
    made me feel bad after they told me that and I had already bought from them and they were boxing things up and wanting
    to get gone. Oh well.**
  16. Janfrederik


    Oct 31, 2013
    I found a Burgundy ZDP Caly Jr. at a gun show here in Texas for 70 bucks.
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I have been avoiding gunshows because I really enjoy impulse buying. I seldom leave a gunshow without a newly acquired firearm. I have purchased knives at shows too, but lack knowledge on many of the modern knives in terms of desireability.

    I agree with the statement that if a dealer does not know, I will not educate them unless it is for something I have little interest in.
  18. I've found great deals, sold and traded, overbought, gotten screwed and made good returns. Most of the dealers at local shows know me and know I want to trade first but will work with me.

    The last show I went to was a small one but it's been good in the past. No dice this time. Horrible selection, horrible prices, slow floor and dealers were pissed. Didn't get the fond memories of visits from the past.
  19. link2derek


    Oct 8, 2010
    I did finally make it to the local Gun Show today -- picked up these two Muelas (not cheap, but I almost never see them, so I grabbed 'em):


    There were lots of blades there worth owning (more than usual, but most were WAY over-priced!) - these two were fairly priced. All-in-all, a good trip.
  20. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    That's pretty much what I was going to respond with. I'd have been like "Eh, that old thing? I'll give you fifteen bucks for it."

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