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Saturday I left the house at 3 am and drove to the OGCA meeting near Dayton, arriving at the 8 am opening. I left at 11am having purchased a $10 holster and two books. I got the impression from the price tags, that Ohio dollars are two to three times US dollars. This is the third show that I have bought books and little else.

I am a life member since the mid 70's and have only missed five shows due to weather or travelling for work. Gone are the good old days when the guest line to get into the OGCA show in Columbus ran several blocks long. Tables numbers were consistently over 2000. Membership applications were from all over the world and most states. Today's OGCA membership applications are 85% Ohio residents. I see the same items every show with no inventory turnover. It is like going to a museum. Sadly I have consistently done better at smaller local shows. Management seems non responsive to adverse criticism. They are happy to be the "Timonium of the Midwest." My impression of Timonium is that its an exclusive "good old boys" club with high prices.
 

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This is the death of all the Large Collector shows . The people running them have run them into the ground with greed. I have given my membership up for all the large shows waste of time. I also enjoy the smaller shows much better find much more even get to buy off others walking items through the show. Yes with the greed and the lack of new members these will be like the Dinosaur.
 

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It seems these days when gun collector clubs get big they also get one way and not for the members but for the officers benefits. I gave up going there about 10 years ago and quit the club. I went back about 2 years ago and quickly remembered why I no longer went to their shows. The one show they have with all the displays is really something to see but all the rest of the shows are not what they once were I am afraid. I too stick to local, closer, and smaller shows these days as it costs much less to buy something and I find more. Bill
 

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Greed typically kills it & eventually self implodes

Organizers see that people will pay more per table so hey let's make more money

BUT sellers raise prices as table prices rise and sell LESS

Over time it self impodes with little to no sales so sellers & buyers finally say the hell with it

By then organizers make bank and start in another Town

SMALL shows and gatherings is all I go to
Best deals if buying & if selling the fee for table or space is little so can sell at reasonable cost and sell a fair amount & be happy
 

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Going to the OGCA for me has always been a welcomed challenge. Yes there can be those who price things high, for instance the 1936 Tula SCW for over a $1000, but there are still many great deals and I enjoy the group. The last show my dad picked up a 91/59 for just $250, a swede Mauser for a even trade and a Australian bayo for the lithgow. I picked a lower reciever for $50 to do a son/father AR build, and several parts for mosin projects for $25. Last year I was at table helping sell stuff for the Log Cabin, which had the best prices in the whole house, but some people just want to get stuff for steal, which I can't blame theme
 

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The world's largest gun show is on-line. I believe that that has caused the ruination of brick-and-mortar gun shows. Nearlly all of the sellers at shows also watch and sell on Gunbroker or similar sites. It is the new world we live in; you may as well get used to it.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Saturday I left the house at 3 am and drove to the OGCA meeting near Dayton, arriving at the 8 am opening. I left at 11am having purchased a $10 holster and two books. I got the impression from the price tags, that Ohio dollars are two to three times US dollars. This is the third show that I have bought books and little else.

I am a life member since the mid 70's and have only missed five shows due to weather or travelling for work. Gone are the good old days when the guest line to get into the OGCA show in Columbus ran several blocks long. Tables numbers were consistently over 2000. Membership applications were from all over the world and most states. Today's OGCA membership applications are 85% Ohio residents. I see the same items every show with no inventory turnover. It is like going to a museum. Sadly I have consistently done better at smaller local shows. Management seems non responsive to adverse criticism. They are happy to be the "Timonium of the Midwest." My impression of Timonium is that its an exclusive "good old boys" club with high prices.

I started their shows in the mid 60s. Once they left Columbus, the OGCA has been on a downhill progression.

The current location has only one hotel which is always filled uo. Now if you want to drive 10-20 miles, other hotels are available. Yet in the current location, the officers and directors have rooms on the 5th floor of the hotel - which can be described as the penthouse. Mere mortals are not welcome. All of which is paid for by the OGCA. It is nice to have perks, but really - at what point does the benefits stop.

The good stuff used to go to OGCA. Not any more though, but in many respects this can be said of other gun shows. High prices, well that can be said of many other shows also.

Then you have the admittance requirements. Members only and limited number of guests. Other shows, like Tulsa, NGD, SOS, etc allow the public as well as members.

Some things with the OGCA are present with other shows. Times change. Now there are auction houses and the various other internet gun sites. If one has a rare piece, do you take it to the OGCA or any other small show where the buyers are limited or do you send it to an auction hose where the audience covers 50 states?
 

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The OGCA is a benefit and here's how: it is 18,000 members strong and packs a political clout here in Ohio. Yes, some vendors have stiffly overpriced items, but not all. And some vendors are not at all knowledegable about what they sell, while others are genuine experts and they bend over backwards to help out a collector with a project. It's a mixed bag as is everything. Smaller shows are no different. The last one that my son went to (Berea, Ohio) we saw some pretty neat things, some affordable things and a lot of overpriced items and a small side-show-circus that looked everybit a flea market as one could imagine. I got a delicious cherry struddle for a couple of bucks!

Days of cheap rifles are long gone, (except if you can do a deal with somebody) and the problem with the auction sites where unkowns haggle like mad hatters over stuff without the benefit of of speaking with the owner, or examining what they are buying or looking at may be a factor for this. Yes, there are bargains via the internet, but the OGCA does a lot for pro-gun and collector enthusiast's......ask some of those souls trapped in New York if they would like to have an organization with the fortitude and streangth like the OGCA.

The OP could, at anytime, not pay their dues to be a member and not join up again. Or, he could run for office of the OGCA, become a director, an officer of the organization and use his influence to better the organization. Complaning here does nothing, just stirs up trouble....write a letter or make a phone call to the office in Sagamore Hills.
 

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I went Sunday to see the displays and make the usual run-through. My rule is that if the item is unpriced, I can't afford it and usually won't ask for a price unless I need it bad. Guns are priced like used cars to set a starting point for negotiations.
 

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I agree, once the OCGA shows moved from Columbus the shows went downhill. Now that i'm living in AZ I saw the Phoenix SAR show go the same way about 6 years ago.
 

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I started their shows in the mid 60s. Once they left Columbus, the OGCA has been on a downhill progression.

The current location has only one hotel which is always filled uo. Now if you want to drive 10-20 miles, other hotels are available. Yet in the current location, the officers and directors have rooms on the 5th floor of the hotel - which can be described as the penthouse. Mere mortals are not welcome. All of which is paid for by the OGCA. It is nice to have perks, but really - at what point does the benefits stop.

The good stuff used to go to OGCA. Not any more though, but in many respects this can be said of other gun shows. High prices, well that can be said of many other shows also.

Then you have the admittance requirements. Members only and limited number of guests. Other shows, like Tulsa, NGD, SOS, etc allow the public as well as members.

Some things with the OGCA are present with other shows. Times change. Now there are auction houses and the various other internet gun sites. If one has a rare piece, do you take it to the OGCA or any other small show where the buyers are limited or do you send it to an auction hose where the audience covers 50 states?

Charlie likely knows much more about the show than I do. I went as a guest several times in the 1990s, started to join, but the drive was very difficult. I had plenty of sponsors but there were lots of other options nearby of about the same quality, like SOS as Charlie mentions.

It was funny in a way. First show I went to as a guest, I had saved about $5k, a lot in about 1990. Within 5 isles I had bought 2 M1911s. I get to a Transition model, needed one, pretty nice. The guy would not sale it to me, C&R and all. Rule against sale to guest. The other guys must not have cared much. He took one of the guns I had just bought and some cash, then shipped it to me a week plus later. UPS left it on my doorstep in clear view of the road, signature required. These were about $5k then.

Charlie, I will email(posted it on Jan's) some pictures of a High Power that I would love to have your opinion on value and correctness. Look forward to seeing you at NGD.
 

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Nothing can beat the Dallas Gun Collector shows about going down hill.That used to be a great place & club but I have big disappointments with it.
Two many dealers have front row tables to the main door.
 

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I have been doing OGCA shows since the 70s, and used to have a fine time, both in Columbus and Cleveland. Lots of good collector weapons and knowledgeable people. Had a large 1911/1911A1 collection, virtually all purchased at the OGCA, as well as other US military arms. The Wilmington location seems to draw fewer collectors and more hunters and shooters. I had four interesting REM 91s on my table, and nobody even picked one up. Wasn't there are song, "....times, they are achangin'?" And they are. This will most likely be my last year for the OGCA. Admittedly I am getting older, but the shows are getting more boring for my tastes (which are military rifles and pistols through WWII).

southridge
 

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The world's largest gun show is on-line. I believe that that has caused the ruination of brick-and-mortar gun shows.
I drove to Ocala a few weeks ago to a gunshow...

Paid my $6 to get in and found plenty of tables of jewelry, coins, paperback novels, pocket knives, dolls (yes, a table selling "Barbies") and other assorted flea market junk, but few tables of guns...

Renting tables to "flea market" sellers is what is killing off the "gunshows"...
 

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I am sec. of the Smoky Mtn.Gun Collectors Assn. an i am proud to be able to say our club puts on two shows a year and sell out of tables each
year.We are strick about what is allowed.No beany babies, fanticsy knives,clothes,ect.We will soon have to go up on our table prices due to cost
of puting on a show and we give profits to charties.We welcome people with a like interest .
 

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I quit collecting because of the "good old boys" phenomena you mention. It permeates the gun hobby now: collecting is for the beautiful people, not "the little people."

One has to look no further than this bulletin board to see the evidence of it in action, it's just as plain as day.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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The OGCA is a benefit and here's how: it is 18,000 members strong and packs a political clout here in Ohio. Yes, some vendors have stiffly overpriced items, but not all. And some vendors are not at all knowledegable about what they sell, while others are genuine experts and they bend over backwards to help out a collector with a project. It's a mixed bag as is everything. Smaller shows are no different. The last one that my son went to (Berea, Ohio) we saw some pretty neat things, some affordable things and a lot of overpriced items and a small side-show-circus that looked everybit a flea market as one could imagine. I got a delicious cherry struddle for a couple of bucks!

Days of cheap rifles are long gone, (except if you can do a deal with somebody) and the problem with the auction sites where unkowns haggle like mad hatters over stuff without the benefit of of speaking with the owner, or examining what they are buying or looking at may be a factor for this. Yes, there are bargains via the internet, but the OGCA does a lot for pro-gun and collector enthusiast's......ask some of those souls trapped in New York if they would like to have an organization with the fortitude and streangth like the OGCA.

The OP could, at anytime, not pay their dues to be a member and not join up again. Or, he could run for office of the OGCA, become a director, an officer of the organization and use his influence to better the organization. Complaning here does nothing, just stirs up trouble....write a letter or make a phone call to the office in Sagamore Hills.

The first few times, I went to OGCA, I could get in by showing my NRA membership card. Then I joined and became a life member. My badge is Gold.

It may be a force in Ohio, but a fair portion of it's members are not from Ohio. Actually back in the Columbus days the number of non-Ohio members were a lot larger. So the political force of the OGCA in Ohio is not a concern to many.

As to the OP running for office, you should note that he is from Michigan and I am sure that you are also aware that if you are not a resident of Ohio, you cannot hold office in the OGCA. So that suggestion could never be fulfilled.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Charlie likely knows much more about the show than I do. I went as a guest several times in the 1990s, started to join, but the drive was very difficult. I had plenty of sponsors but there were lots of other options nearby of about the same quality, like SOS as Charlie mentions.

It was funny in a way. First show I went to as a guest, I had saved about $5k, a lot in about 1990. Within 5 isles I had bought 2 M1911s. I get to a Transition model, needed one, pretty nice. The guy would not sale it to me, C&R and all. Rule against sale to guest. The other guys must not have cared much. He took one of the guns I had just bought and some cash, then shipped it to me a week plus later. UPS left it on my doorstep in clear view of the road, signature required. These were about $5k then.

Charlie, I will email(posted it on Jan's) some pictures of a High Power that I would love to have your opinion on value and correctness. Look forward to seeing you at NGD.
I stopped posting on Jan's site a couple of years ago as I was tired of people who did not know what they were talking about.

I will be at NGD and will see you there.
 

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All gun shows are in a downward spiral, I have been attending shows since the 70's, worked in the gun trade and been a table holder at both general and collector shows. Things change, enjoy shows while we still have them. More and more general shows struggle to fill tables an make the show appear big (wide aisles and empty tables do not make a good impression). Collector shows try to keep the flea market stuff out but still have trouble filling tables. Many people have found it more profitable to sell on the internet so why bother with the time and money to set up at a show. Some do, sell a thing or two and hope to buy items coming in but I see less interesting stuff showing up and so often the first thing I hear is "I seen it on the 'net for $$$$$", often a totally ridiculous price for the condition of the one they have. Things are just not what they were 20 or even 10 years ago and sadly that seems to be the nature of the world.

I had my one little table at OGCA this weekend, not a huge crowd but a decent one. sold a few items, bought very little. Saw some very nice guns, enjoyed the displays, met and talked with friends. It may not be what it once was but it is still far bigger and better than the general gun shows in this area. Best small Ohio show I've found is the Tri-State show in Lima (one of the few that always seems to have a good turnout), if I want a big show I have to go to Indiana for the 1500.
 

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I lost my membership to the OGCA on renewal when they moved to the location in williamston. I sent in a renewal for 3 years and they sent it back saying that because I'd lapsed that I had to come to the show to re apply in person even though I'd been a member for 25 years. I said I could provide both sponsor signatures and send in the app and that was a no go. In person only. So I guess a 700 mile round trip is in order to hand an envelope in sometime.
 
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