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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"...
Agreed. I drive to that show as well.. Dismal and disappointing..
 

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It is my understanding that the Ocala gunshow offers the best Jerky of any show bar none.

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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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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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.
The difference is that back when there were not that many gun shows. This was true as to all big shows. Now, it seems like every town has a show or two.

Also, OGCA at one time, was more liberal in letting people in - for example I initially was allowed in by showing my NRA membership card. Now it is guests only (within their form limits) and after 2 or three times as a guest, one is not allowed back in unless they join as a member. My kids live out of town so when Gretchen comes 1200 miles to visit we could go to the show. After two or three times she has to join as a member as she would not be allowed in. Why join when you are not a collector (please note she was Airborne, was in EOD for 4 years so she had handled more effective weapons that what are seen at the OGCA shows). Same fo Charlene - she was Airborne and flew the Apache for 10 years and used it (along with friends) to go deer hunting - not much left of the deer though. Both of them have better and bigger shows closer to them.

As to displays, I usually set one up. Not so this year as the friend who had hotel reservations at the adjacent hotel no longer comes. Thus I have no place to crash for the night as that hotel has no vacant rooms. Why should I pay big bucks for a hotel 10-20 miles away or drive 75 miles each way twice a day, and then on Sunday be stuck with a lousily parking spot when I am trying to load my display in to the mini van. So I did not bother setting a display up.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Most shows have not only ceased to be of interest to me as they have become what the name implies, a gun SHOW. As in you can only SHOW a gun but but not buy or sell milsurps anymore without substantial additional time, costs and lifetime + liability of gov't intrusion. As many states march toward banning private transfers of any "firearm" it flat kills on site sales and scares walk-in sellers right out the door. In another thread the woes and liability of even traveling thru police states like MASS and CA, et al, further impacts shows (and i think its intentional). Some of the comments on that "moving" thread were downright frightening. I may add that the rumor of electronic license plate mapping of show attendees seems more plausible.
OGCA does not allow the general public to walk in so the possibility of finding a gem from a walk-in at an OGCA show is non-existant.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Agreed. I drive to that show as well.. Dismal and disappointing..
I have been told that the Lakeland show is a good one. Too far for me though.
 

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I have been told that the Lakeland show is a good one. Too far for me though.
I've been to lakeland, orland, a few in crystal river, inverness, deland, eustis, a couple in gainesville, newberry, sanford, st augustine, bunnell, bushnell.. just about anything in florida I will hit. Or would hit when the finances were better.
 

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It is my understanding that the Ocala gunshow offers the best Jerky of any show bar none.
That one or deland... if you are a jerky eater. In deland, you enter, and to the right of the door is a table of jerky larger than any gun sales table.

I've noticed the last few shows I attended, guns were about 20% of the sales, ammo and relaoding supplies about 20-30%, non military knives and other bladed weapons being about 20%, 10-20 % militaria including military bayos, etc., and 10-20% jewlery, purses and tshirts and 10-20% junk.


Pretty bad when 70+% of the stuff for sale at a gun show is not a gun....
 

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OGCA does not allow the general public to walk in so the possibility of finding a gem from a walk-in at an OGCA show is non-existant.

Hmm... members only shows? Sounds more like an exhibition event... Not for me.

Need to get new blood in there to get new stuff. Last years worth of shows I've been to, 80% of the sellers have 80-100% of the same stuff they keep lugging in and out!
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
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.
Vic you found out the club does not need you. The reason you have to be present to do anything with membership is due to the antics of Doug Durer. In the old days at Columbus, members were only allowed two tables. Doug always had four. On questioning he always said he shared with his partner who was sleeping in the van. After a number of years, someone looking in the van and found a cat sleeping on the seat. A check of the records showed that the extra tables were in the name of Harry Katz! I miss Doug he was a rare gentleman.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Vic you found out the club does not need you. The reason you have to be present to do anything with membership is due to the antics of Doug Durer. In the old days at Columbus, members were only allowed two tables. Doug always had four. On questioning he always said he shared with his partner who was sleeping in the van. After a number of years, someone looking in the van and found a cat sleeping on the seat. A check of the records showed that the extra tables were in the name of Charlie Katz! I miss Doug he was a rare gentleman.
Somehow I would think that Vic is a little better known that a cat. Plus, he does not look like one.

Some of their rules are honored in the breaking of them. No toys are allowed, but the lady who was a director a few years back (at wilmington) had a table full of toys.

They have a rule - absolutely No Loaded Firearms permitted in the hall - No Exceptions Whatsoever. Again at Wilmington a few years back, (my friend's table was near the door), a candidate for governor came in with his 2 bodyguards - shoulder holsters very visible. Saw him come in the outer door, walk into the hall, talked to a few OGCA officials and then stated with the table holders shaking hands. I could see the holsters and pistols from 3 tables away. Yet the big OGCA officials did not saw a word to them.
 

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I've been told I'm mousey looking Charlie.
Yeah I get yeah. I joined in 1989 and was a bit disappointed after doing displays and having tables for years that I had to jump back through the hoops to re up. I'll do it but maybe not until they come back up to a show in Cleveland.
 

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I know a gentleman from OGCA Robert Wos I sold a fine piece to several years ago and met up with him again last year here at the Dallas Gun Collectors/NRA show.
I think he had something to do with the last location of the Ohio shows, he said that he was retiring to Sarasota, FL.
I told him my wifes cousin lived there & she loves it. He said what's her name like he did not believe me.
Oh Well. I said she is a widow & travels the World on the cruise ships with her 90 year old mother in law.
Her husband was a well known MD Gasttroenerology specialist on the lecture tours for years.
He was walking the show with me & we run upon the Winchester 73 display.
I said one of my dads cousin did the trick shooting for the movie starring James Stewart when the movie was made. His name was Herbert (Herb) Parsons.
He smiled at & left me admiring the Winchester. He reminded me to tell Vic that he still has the 1973 dated Model 39.
 

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I have been told that the Lakeland show is a good one. Too far for me though.
Best show in The Sunshine State. As to the numerous gripes about the current state of gunshows just remember , the only thing worse than a bad gunshow is no gunshow at all.
 

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Well, the President of the Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Assn is also the person who runs the Pittsburgh Gun Buybacks.
The President also sells used gun parts. (Strange coincidence eh?)
The President also gets his table placed right at the front door where he gets easy pickin's of the guns coming in the door.

Good Old Boys club doesn't even begin to describe it.

Be lucky that all you have is overpriced stuff, ours is flatout corrupt.
 

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The owners of the most expensive gun store in downtown Dallas has the end-cap tables at the main entrance at Market Hall.( Jackson & Sons) His friends has the end caps on ether side of him. The rest of the club members are very front fighting over the rest of the walk-ins. So if you are not an old member you are a nusance.
 

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Sir, you are absolutely correct. That is why that show is but a shadow of its former self. The same dealers, with the same overpriced wares, for decades. Not worth the time, money or aggravation to attend. It is a shame what has happened to that show. Do you remember the good old days at the Greengate Mall? My father and I used to regularly come out of there with half a dozen or more nice milsurps. ALWAYS found some good stuff in those days. I am so tired of high admission fees, crowded parking, and tables full of non-gun or non-military JUNK.


Well, the President of the Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Assn is also the person who runs the Pittsburgh Gun Buybacks.
The President also sells used gun parts. (Strange coincidence eh?)
The President also gets his table placed right at the front door where he gets easy pickin's of the guns coming in the door.

Good Old Boys club doesn't even begin to describe it.

Be lucky that all you have is overpriced stuff, ours is flatout corrupt.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Sir, you are absolutely correct. That is why that show is but a shadow of its former self. The same dealers, with the same overpriced wares, for decades. Not worth the time, money or aggravation to attend. It is a shame what has happened to that show. Do you remember the good old days at the Greengate Mall? My father and I used to regularly come out of there with half a dozen or more nice milsurps. ALWAYS found some good stuff in those days. I am so tired of high admission fees, crowded parking, and tables full of non-gun or non-military JUNK.

I have been to the Greengate Mall shows as I belong to the Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Assn (my daughter and family lives in New Stanton). I don't make it to every show only one or two every year.

Have they found a new location for the show yet?
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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The President also gets his table placed right at the front door where he gets easy pickin's of the guns coming in the door.
I have heard a few complaints about that.
 

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Well, the President of the Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Assn is also the person who runs the Pittsburgh Gun Buybacks.
The President also sells used gun parts. (Strange coincidence eh?)
The President also gets his table placed right at the front door where he gets easy pickin's of the guns coming in the door.
As a general rule, the folks that "run" for president/chairman/executive officer of a club/organization/home owners association, etc., do so because they have a personal agenda to fulfill, not because they want to improve the club.
 

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I have to agree, gun shows have become ever so boring. There was a time when the wife and I used to make all the shows here in the AZ tri-state area, no more though. The sellers have come to believe their own hype and driven prices through the roof.

The Wife for sometime had been collecting Bersa model-85 (hi cap .380) and Model-23 (10 rd .22 rf) all steel pistols, but now she will not even look at them.
 
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