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Guns for sale at shows?
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December 5, 2022 - 9:24 pm
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Hello all, having never been to a “show”, and hoping to remedy that next summer in Cody, I’m wondering what I can expect to find in terms of rifles for sale. Of course I’ll be attending for all the displays, events, the museum etc., but I’d also be inclined to be shopping if I found something I was looking for. I guess I’m just curious if there are minimal sales, or are quite a few rifles and such available. I apologize if this is something I should already know : )

 

Thanks, Matt

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December 5, 2022 - 9:38 pm
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Matt,

At least 90% of the firearms at the Cody show are for sale if you are inclined to purchase one of them.

Bert

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December 5, 2022 - 9:40 pm
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Thanks Bert, that’s good and interesting to hear. Looking forward to making the trip this year!

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December 5, 2022 - 11:34 pm
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Matt,

For someone not familiar with gun shows, the price tags on guns is just a starting point. They mark up everything because every buyer wants to cut a deal.

Bob

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December 5, 2022 - 11:35 pm
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For anyone who’s attended the Cody show as a buyer, is it known for good deals?  I guess it all comes down to the sellers but I ask in general, are prices reasonable. The last few shows in my area after two years of no shows, prices have not been reasonable and many guns ridiculously overpriced. 

 RickC 

   

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December 6, 2022 - 12:46 am
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1873man said They mark up everything because every buyer wants to cut a deal.

Most extreme at the “prestige” shows, that is, the ones which attract the most fat-cats.  I only went to the Baltimore show once, as the guest of a friend, but it was amusing to see some of the same guns I’d previously seen at the Albany show (pretty good 30 yrs ago) marked up by about a quarter in expectation of hooking a live one.  Ditto for Vegas & probably others I’m unfamiliar with.

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December 6, 2022 - 2:12 am
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  A deal at a gun show can be final with no recourse. You make your own terms. After the price is set then comes type of payment and guarantee before the money is counted. Items to discuss may include a guarantee to letter, feed and fire, originality, ect. The big question, is the seller is honest?

 I have seen buyers go back to the seller the same day and get the, “a deal is a deal, we shook”. At a gun show the deal is what you make it, but then it depends on the honesty of the seller! There is no negative feed back or 3 day inspection. I have seen walk-ins sell a gun and walk straight to the door.

 Most table holders will let you take it to someone for a opinion, get help if you don’t know. T/R

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December 6, 2022 - 2:59 am
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TR said
 Most table holders will let you take it to someone for a opinion, get help if you don’t know. T/R

  

Some may, but most, I doubt (unless you’ve bought previously from that seller).   I wouldn’t even ask for the privilege, because why can’t the “someone” motivate himself over to the seller’s table to look for himself?  While the gun is off the seller’s table, a buyer might come along who’d take the gun without asking for special favors.  Even if that privilege is granted, then you’re under obligation to the seller, & I wouldn’t want to be in the position of saying “thanks, but no thanks.”  I’m talking about transactions between strangers, not someone you’ve known for yrs, as I used to know many of the dealers in my area.

Of course “a deal is a deal”!  It would take the discovery of some outrageous premeditated fraud before I’d even think of complaining about a purchase I’d made freely with open eyes & ample time for inspection.

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December 6, 2022 - 4:01 am
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I buy and sell a little at the Cody and other collector shows but that’s not why I’m there. I drive all those miles to listen to some of the best minds in the business and see some of the most interesting guns I can hope to see. The displays are a bit overwhelming; so much to read, see and absorb and quite often an expert on hand to answer questions. If I was there to buy or sell I’d generally go home disappointed but I always leave excited about next year’s show. But yes, there are some very good guns that can be purchased at very reasonable prices.

 

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December 6, 2022 - 4:25 am
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clarence said

TR said

 Most table holders will let you take it to someone for a opinion, get help if you don’t know. T/R

  

Some may, but most, I doubt (unless you’ve bought previously from that seller).   I wouldn’t even ask for the privilege, because why can’t the “someone” motivate himself over to the seller’s table to look for himself?  While the gun is off the seller’s table, a buyer might come along who’d take the gun without asking for special favors.  Even if that privilege is granted, then you’re under obligation to the seller, & I wouldn’t want to be in the position of saying “thanks, but no thanks.”  I’m talking about transactions between strangers, not someone you’ve known for yrs, as I used to know many of the  It’s wdealers in my area.

Of course “a deal is a deal”!  It would take the discovery of some outrageous premeditated fraud before I’d even think of complaining about a purchase I’d made freely with open eyes & ample time for inspection.

  

 It’s works for me, maybe I look like a serious buyer. I take pictures and send them to someone for an opinion. Call Cody and see if it letters. I check assembly numbers or ask for a guarantee that they match. If the seller says no, I have to wonder if he’s hiding something, it affects the price I’m willing to pay. It’s my money why not take the risk out of the purchase. The price of these guns doesn’t allow for mistakes.

 Going to a gun show and buying a gun doesn’t have to be a high risk purchase. If I’m polite and serious about the purchase the seller usually will work with me. T/R

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December 6, 2022 - 4:55 am
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TR said

It’s works for me, maybe I look like a serious buyer. I take pictures and send them to someone for an opinion. Call Cody and see if it letters. I check assembly numbers or ask for a guarantee that they match. If the seller says no, I have to wonder if he’s hiding something, it affects the price I’m willing to pay. It’s my money why not take the risk out of the purchase. The price of these guns doesn’t allow for mistakes.

 Going to a gun show and buying a gun doesn’t have to be a high risk purchase. If I’m polite and serious about the purchase the seller usually will work with me. T/R

  

If merely “taking pictures” is what you meant, no one could object to that, but that’s a far cry from taking it off the dealer’s table to show to someone elsewhere in the bldg., which is what I thought you meant.  It’s something I have done a few times, but only when the dealers were people I’d known for yrs.  If dealers now allow gun show patrons to disassemble their guns to check for assembly nos., the world has changed even more than I thought it had. 

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December 6, 2022 - 6:05 am
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Thanks to all for the great replies, advice, and mindset concerning looking at a rifle to purchase at a show. Make no mistake, I am planning to attend the Cody show first and foremost to browse, drool, and learn as much as I can. I know a lot of this is old hat for most of you, but I look forward to walking the aisles, browsing the tables, and getting an education. Finding a rifle to buy is only icing on the cake if it happens.

I have been a Winchester lever action fan since I was a young boy, and only now as I approach 50 years old do I have the time and means to pursue an actual “collection.”  I kick myself for starting this late, (the same goes for old Ford highboys)….wish I woulda clued in a long time ago. Nevertheless, I find myself where I am, eager to attend next years Cody show, see the museums, meet some like minded folks, and maybe walk out of there with a piece of history. I think that as I age I’ve become very nostalgic and yearn for times gone by, not really in favor of where the world seems headed. I hope that’s not too deep for the forum, but old lever guns make me feel a connection to those better days. Kinda like wood stoves and chopping firewood.

Have a good night all : )

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December 6, 2022 - 6:12 am
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  If dealers now allow gun show patrons to disassemble their guns to check for assembly nos., the world has changed even more than I thought it had. 

  

  A Deluxe gun with assembly numbers that doesn’t match is a composite gun, upgraded. If it’s a Colt SAA with swapped parts it isn’t worth much. I carry the tools and do it in front of the seller after the deal is made but before the money is counted. I take pictures and make notes so I won’t have to do it when I sell. The only exception is a gun with unturned screws and sealed wood. I don’t want to be the first to disturb a sealed gun.

 If I buy a house I get a prepurchase inspection. If I buy a used car I get a mechanic to look it over or a guarantee. When I buy an expensive gun I inspect it any way I can before I buy. I guess you could say the world has changed or maybe the price of making a mistake is just to high. T/R    

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December 7, 2022 - 5:57 pm
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Matt, do your homework before you go to gun shows.  Carry a notebook if you have to that has examples to show what all the parts and markings should look like.  At Cody you should be able to find someone that could help you.  Ask one of the Members to look at the gun for you.  When I first started I would pick a certain model to look for and concentrate on.  All my homework was done.  My first serious hunt was at Vegas.  I was looking for an antique 1892 in 44 WCF full octagon full mag with rifle butt.  Before I found one I ran across a really nice 1897 and bought it for $350.  Later in the show I was able to buy an 1892 for $2,250 and still have it to this day.

If you have done your home work you will know what to look out for and you already know what a fair market price is.  Buy the best you can afford.  Later you can trade up.  Don’t buy a gun that has problems.  You will never be able to get your money back.  I don’t worry about sights because you can usually find the right ones. I have bought a few guns with minor problems that I knew could easily be fixed.  Jessi will be there and she can run the numbers for you to see if the gun is as manufactured.  Of course you need to be a Member of the Museum for her to do this. 

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December 7, 2022 - 9:09 pm
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thanks chuck, appreciate the advice and I will heed to it : )

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December 12, 2022 - 11:03 pm
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Fellas, how much would a previously installed set of military sling swivels, now long gone but the holes of course remain, devalue a rifle?

And on that note, what are some things that you may see that immediately would be a “ no go” for you in terms of whether or not you’d purchase a rifle? For example, if the stocks were refinished I would have little to no interest in that particular rifle. Or say if there were initials in a rifle stock with no significance I’d walk away from that one as well. What other things immediately send you packing?

 

Thanks

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December 12, 2022 - 11:47 pm
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Matt H. said
Fellas, how much would a previously installed set of military sling swivels, now long gone but the holes of course remain, devalue a rifle?

And on that note, what are some things that you may see that immediately would be a “ no go” for you in terms of whether or not you’d purchase a rifle? For example, if the stocks were refinished I would have little to no interest in that particular rifle. Or say if there were initials in a rifle stock with no significance I’d walk away from that one as well. What other things immediately send you packing?

 

Thanks

  

Matt I can tell you from a collectors perspective, non factory holes drilled in the metal are the kiss of death. Holes drilled in the wood from swivels definitely devalues the gun. I personally do not purchase either. I look for honest wear and 70-75% condition is my minimum. 
I always ask the seller: Any repairs? I want him to give me an answer or at least hear how he answers which might be a red flag. A cut barrel, added dovetail slot or non factory holes drilled in the upper tang…total deal breakers for me as well. 

RickC

 RickC 

   

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December 13, 2022 - 2:28 am
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Matt H. said
Fellas, how much would a previously installed set of military sling swivels, now long gone but the holes of course remain, devalue a rifle? 

Depends on rifle.  But how would you know, from the holes alone, what kind of swivels were previously installed?

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December 13, 2022 - 3:30 pm
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clarence said

Matt H. said

Fellas, how much would a previously installed set of military sling swivels, now long gone but the holes of course remain, devalue a rifle? 

Depends on rifle.  But how would you know, from the holes alone, what kind of swivels were previously installed?

  

Fair answer Clarence. Might have been robbed for resale also. Wouldn’t be the first I know of or heard about. You have to wonder sometimes how many of these standard order guns have different wood. Most of these guns we now collect were for hunting or security and just a tool. Swivel studs and slings were very common. Hoofing it through the pucker brush or walking any distance, who wouldn’t prefer a sling ie; military rifles.  However it depends on what you’re collecting when it comes to non factory additions. If it’s shooter you might not care about holes in the wood. Not for me but hey if it’s a rare gun, I might have to consider it! 

RickC

 RickC 

   

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December 13, 2022 - 4:08 pm
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Thanks for the replies! 

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