Acolyte,you have no idea what you might be missing by not going to gun shows.I have made MANY good friends at guns hows and seen many interesting things that I might have otherwise not seen.
My FFL buddy at SCGUNCO reported that sales were dismal at the show in Columbia.I guess it is a combination of both the economy and the heat.It was a buyers show.
Sales at Simpsonville Gun and Pawn are going great as our 10% off all handguns sale continues.Rifle sales are picking up due to people thinking about deer season upcoming.
The whole thing with rifles is that they are a more or less seasonal thing while handguns are popular all year long.
I look at the gun show more as a community event rather than strictly for acquisition.
There always seems to be a book, tool, equipment, gear or weapon that I haven't seen before, or at least haven't seen in person. If it's slow the vendors are often very willing to chat (and even if it's not slow lol) and often times talking to them about something they have has them digging through their stuff to show you something they didn't have on display that you just may have been looking for, or didn't know you needed.
I've found new to me local shops through gun shows, been able to support other shops that are just a bit too far away for me to frequent and picked up tips, heard about events and news that otherwise may have escaped my radar too.
Yeah, I've run into a few people that I'd prefer weren't exercising their 2nd amendment rights, but for the most part I've met very nice people whose opinions and experience I have a lot of respect for. And I really like the GA Arms and Ammo people. They gave me some .30 carbine rounds that someone bought and then didn't want and dumped on them.
I go to most of the shows and generally bring home goodies.
They are a great place to find used holsters, misc springs and things.
Some of the dealers should have asshole tattooed on their forehead but most are pretty nice and willing to deal.
My Grand Daddy told me "never pay asking price".