Home Forums Hunting Firearms the gunshows of yesteryear…

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  • AvatarJPenny
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    Post count: 198

    Recently, I read a post about the fairground gunshows and one lady remarked she had been going for 10 years and another guy remarked he had been going for longer than that. These posts brought back memories of gun shows of the past which I thought were much better than the shows of today. Does anyone else remember the gunshows at the Red Horse Armory? Not THAT was a gunshow! The deals back then were so much better than you ever see today. And the art of negotiation was always present. It didn’t matter if a gun was used or new, you could always expect a dealer to negotiate to get a better deal. We bought several new S&W’s there over the years and always got 35% to 40% off, and once 50% off the MSRP. Those were the days for gunshows….

    Avatardeaddogwalkin
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    I remember going to the gun shows in Fremont Nebraska. There was some good deals to be had on shotguns and rifles. They were usually priced well to start with and then you could usually get them down even more. Bought an nice ruger #1 in 25-06 with a redfield 3-12 scope on it with brass and dies for $350.00. Shot great. The following show we picked up from the same dealer a #1 in 22-250 for $375.00. Both were heavy barrels. Sure wish I still had them. Those days it was small hole in the wall dealers that only went to one or two shows a year and they wanted to sell. This day and age the dealers that are at the shows run the circuit every month and they have a lot of expenses with travel and motels that they don’t have that many deals. Don’t get me wrong there are a deals to be found but nothing like the late 70’s and early 80’s. Plus there were that many swordsman and craft people there.

    Avatarorngruffee
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    Hey,I used to go to the shows at Christensen field in Fremont with my FIL.I can remember him buying a few nice pieces there.Those were the days.

    AvatarViking_hunter
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    I agree Dog!
    I lived in Fremont for 7 years during the late 80’s and early 90’s and one of the highlights of the year, was the Gun show out at Christensen Field.
    You are right, there were all sorts of small “Mom and Pop” gun dealers there then. It was a big show too. I haven’t been there in years, so I don’t know what it’s like now. Back then, there would be a few custom knife makers as well. I knew most of those guys and they would give me tips on knife making since I was just getting started. Deals were there to be had. I think a lesson to be learned from that, is if you can find a deal, get it. You won’t lose money on it. I have several regrets on guns that I let slip through my fingers as well. Some I owned and some I passed on. One I passed on, was a Browning BSS 20 gauge. It was used, in like new condition. I could have picked it up for $650. Another was a pristine 12 gauge Super Posed that I could have gotten for $575. Then there’s that Colt Python that I “thought about” too long and somebody else got it for $450.

    The Dakota gun show in Sioux Falls, S.D. is a really big gun show. It’s been about ten years since I have been there. It’s cool to walk around and look at all the guns, especially the older, historic guns like the Sharps and Winchester and Browning lever action guns from the late 1800’s. I think most of those guys just bring their guns to “show” them off, not necessarily to sell them. You had better either be independently wealthy or have just won the lottery if you expect to buy any of them though.
    I also remember when you could go to a gun show and buy a brick (500) rounds of .22 ammo for under $10.
    You can figure on paying $50 now, if you can find it.
    Sad part is, that just 3 years ago, you could still get a brick for @$20.

    Avatarkenhump
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    I have to laugh. One of my favorite shows was held at the high school in Bellveiue Neb.
    Why the very thought of it. 😆 😆

    AvatarJPenny
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    There’s a place in NE Missouri named Rutledge and they have their “Hillbilly Gun & Dog Sale” one weekend a month, from spring until fall. The place is incredible. There are acres of booths set up with almost everything under the sun. Lots of outdoor clothing, dogs, guns, fishing stuff and about anything you can think of. Once when my daughter was about 12, we took her to Rutledge and spent the day there. Way down in the holler, there is a section for exotic species. Lots of weird animals for sale. At one booth there were 2 cages off to the side. One had a tom turkey and the other one had a tom and a pygmy goat. It was in the spring so I thought why not and made some hen clucks. The single tom sprang up and started strutting. The other tom puffed out and started strutting around that goat and actually tried to mount it. The goat immediately laid down and that darn turkey started kicking the goat (while still puffed up) trying to get it to stand back up. The goat just laid there and looked like he had been through this before. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks. That was the most entertaining gun show I ever attended!

    Avatarkenhump
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    AvatarShooter.250
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    I too remember the days you could make or find good deals with the guys in the 4H building at the state fair grounds

    AvatarMikey_cf
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    Still go to the gun show every year at Christensen Field, they always have one around the Nebraska rifle deer season. I think that was probably the first gun show I ever went to with my Dad when I was just a little guy. Still a great show with lots of tables.

    CCACCA
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    Post count: 2054

    Quote by: JPenny

    There’s a place in NE Missouri named Rutledge and they have their “Hillbilly Gun & Dog Sale” one weekend a month, from spring until fall. The place is incredible. There are acres of booths set up with almost everything under the sun. Lots of outdoor clothing, dogs, guns, fishing stuff and about anything you can think of. Once when my daughter was about 12, we took her to Rutledge and spent the day there. Way down in the holler, there is a section for exotic species. Lots of weird animals for sale. At one booth there were 2 cages off to the side. One had a tom turkey and the other one had a tom and a pygmy goat. It was in the spring so I thought why not and made some hen clucks. The single tom sprang up and started strutting. The other tom puffed out and started strutting around that goat and actually tried to mount it. The goat immediately laid down and that darn turkey started kicking the goat (while still puffed up) trying to get it to stand back up. The goat just laid there and looked like he had been through this before. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks. That was the most entertaining gun show I ever attended!

    we zip down there just to check things out every few years. it’s like the wild west in some regards.

    they were clamped down on years ago for auctioning dogs. now you bid on the collar and get the dog for free. ha!

    "I thought I trusted the rope until it mattered to me whether it would bear me. Now it matters, and I find I didn't..." - C.S. "Jack" Lewis - A Grief Observed

    Avatarbigdaddyt
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    Post count: 27

    We went to the River City Rifle and Pistol Club’s 2015 gun show at the North Iowa fair ground in Mason City this weekend. Very disappointing. I had an agenda, looking forward to finding my next over/under, and picking up a few collectables but not the case. One hall with several tables, no surprise but the quality and quantity was absent from the tables. The crowd was good size, there were a lot of people talking in the aisles and I hope others had better luck finding that one of a kind treasure or next firearm. Looking forward to the Wells Gun Traders Show in Wells, MN next week. More in tune with the older style multi-rooms on multiple floors shows with a good variety of new and old, guns, knives, ammo, collectables, military, parts, and more.

    Avatarwalleyewacker
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    Post count: 19

    I went to the Iowa state fair grounds show yesterday and not all the tables were filled 🙁 and too many with flea market crap. This is sad as the old day shows are gone.

    AvatarHideHunter
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    Post count: 763

    Used to be 3-4 of us “kids” load up and go to a show in Joy, IL.. Probably had $60 among us and a half-dozen guns to trade. We’d come home with the trunk of a 1965 Mustang stuffed full. 😀

    Avatarkenhump
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    Post count: 12769

    My take. Big shows are getting expensive for the little guys. The little collector that just wants to trade a few guns can’t justify motels, meals, tables and associated costs to travel very far. I try to hit the smaller venues. If you are into black, hit the big shows. I will stick to the local/small town shows. And ya, I get tired of looking at china made pocket knives and crappy bulk holsters.

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