Wooooow. Y’all need to go to a gun show sometime. It’s quite the experience and if you love people, trust me, you’re going to LOVE this. I’d say that a good 90% of the general populace, at least in the Bill Goodman gun show in Nashville, is male. Still, there were more women there than I expected and it was really fascinating to observe all the different kinds of people milling about. We were there for about 4 hours, which is a lot, but the time flies by fast, so you don’t notice really.
So I did wind up wearing my business pants, red sweater and brown flats. I think that was definitely not the best idea, so I’ll write a post soon about dressing for gun events! Live and learn.
Apparently my little brother is suffering from the effects of too much caffeine and also over excitement……
The day totally started off the right way with dad, my little bro and myself going to Cracker Barrel for an amazing breakfast. Then we got on the road again finally got to the show around 10:00am. We got our tickets and headed to the door to get our hands stamped and the guy there was real flirtatious which irked me. But it’s something you just have to get used to in the gun world. It just gets worse the deeper you venture.
So at first, walking into a gun show is like sensory overload. It takes about 15-20 min to get your bearings (during which time my dad was dragging us along like a kid in a candy shop.) I stopped and talked to a lady selling massive paper targets with her husband. They were very interesting and they inspired me to do a review on targets soon. We meandered around and looked at stuff. There was SO much there. Guns! Knives! Cheap Chinese crap!
Literally though, every genre of weapon and weapon accessories. There is something for everybody. Be you gun addict, gangster, cowboy, hippie, biker dude/chick, hunter, collector, competition shooter, or into self-defense, you’ll find your flavor in amongst the multitude of tables and booths.
So there are 4 basic types of people at a gun show: The professional arms dealers, the ‘Walkers’, the sellers of cheap merchandise, and the regulars/buyers.
The Professionals: These are the people that own actual brick and mortar gun shops, have FFLs and do thorough background checks. They generally sell new or slightly used guns and their setup is always professional and expensive looking. They also usually have business cards, matching t-shirts and know their stuff. If you are looking to buy new, and want some professional help, these are the people to talk to. Just be careful, they might try to sell you something over priced if they think they can pull it off. Know basically what you’re looking for and how much you’re wanting to spend before going to them.
I didn’t get a picture of the really professional, nice booths, but this is a smaller operation, but same basic point.
‘Walkers’: These are people that walk around with guns on their shoulders or they may have a table because they brought more than they can carry. The guns are going to almost certainly be used but there is a good chance of getting a good deal. Also, the owner is the one selling the gun *cue the handy hint* since no man really wants to sell a gun, it’s likely that he’s needing the money and you can probably talk him down a little on the price. They might not know a ton about guns in general, but chances are, they know their gun, so they can tell you some handy hints about it. Just exercise caution, I mean, they are trying to sell a gun, so there is a chance they’ll make things up. Bring someone along who knows their stuff and can tell if they’re lying or not.
The sellers of cheap merchandise: Okay so watch out for these people! They generally have flashy stuff that looks oh-so-cool and really bad to the bone. Some of the better junk even mimics the real deal, but it’s junk. How to tell? The brand, and the price. They generally aren’t selling guns. Instead they tend to capitalize on accessories and knives. Basically, just steer clear of the flashy stuff unless you’re looking for something in particular or are shopping for Christmas presents for some young male relations. Lol
The Regular/Buyer: These are the people that travel around to gun shows, the regulars (the old men that come to talk and catch up and poke around in the dusty piles for spare parts), and the people like you and me who are coming to check stuff out and are looking to buy (i.e. have money to spend).
So all these people mill around for hours, bumping into each other, saying hi and hi again, and it’s really wonderful. I got to meet some cool ladies and learned a lot from them on various topics. I’ll be doing some really awesome info posts soon with that info.
Oh! And sometimes gun shows have knife sharpening which is very convenient, so you may want to bring your dull knife (knives) along.
In case you’re wondering, gun shows are really very safe because no loaded guns are allowed and everyone there is pretty sharp on keeping the ammo separate from the mags and guns because no one is into getting hurt. DO NOT BRING A LOADED GUN INTO THE SHOW. They will check everything at the counter when you come in, anyways, but seriously, there are dire consequences if you get caught with a loaded gun. The laws in different states are all different, so I’d get familiar with your state’s laws or go with someone who goes to shows frequently and knows the groove…so to speak.
Literally folks, if this post is incoherent it’s because I’m dead tired and I ache all over and I want to sleeeeeeep. So FYI I’ll probably wind up editing this a bunch later on.
My scribbled notes from the ride home.
It was over all, an amazing day and I can’t wait to write more about it soon!