Thoughts And Observations From My Local Gun Show

In a few days I will be heading out to the 2013 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) held in Las Vegas, but today I thought it would be interesting to stop by a local gun show where the buying public traffic was rather brisk and certainly actively engaged to purchase.   I was in Rochester, Minnesota attending the Minnesota Weapon Collectors Association‘s first gun show of the year.


Most of the day it was elbow to elbow with gun show attendees at this event.

I should note that I have been attending this gun show for over 35 years.   I don’t make it every year, but I do try to make it most years as it is one of the bigger gun shows in southern Minnesota.   Today, the crowd I witnessed was hands down the busiest I have ever seen.   It appears with details on possible new gun control measures being disclosed as early as next Tuesday, many folks were not about to delay making their purchases much longer.

There was certainly much talk among the show attendees of what firearms restrictions might be in the near future.   Even though it was a rather solemn mood among those in attendance, I also witnessed a deeper resolve among nearly everyone that is starting to reach the boiling point.   Indeed, I did hear one dealer admit to a customer that we are inching closer to a point where gun owners may need to take it beyond just standing up and being heard.

Prices for high capacity magazines were quite reminiscent of what they were back during Federal Assault Weapons Ban, a law which sunset back in September 2004.   Magazines holding more than ten rounds that could have been purchased a few months ago for $20–$30 were now being offered for sale more in the $60–$75+ range.   I even seen one dealer peddling very well used 30rd AR-15 magazines for $50, although other dealers had them for sale in the $30–$35 range.


The public seemed to be in a buying mood despite the fact prices appear to be on the rise.

I guess the upshot what I took away from this show is there are no bargains to be had any longer.   Oh, sure, there may be bargains by today’s standards, but today’s standards are much different than they’ve been for many years.   It appears we are entering a new period in gun sales with a market that is highly volatile depending on what legislation may be pending or what rumor seems to be gaining traction.

One thing I did notice which I thought was sort of odd was the lack of Glocks.   Admittedly, I am not savvy when it comes to all facets of gun sales, but peering around the masses of people I sensed that Glocks of all models seemed to be more scarce than I would have expected.   Again, this may have just been an anomaly and may not be the actual case.


Some of the busiest dealers were those folks who cater to gun magazine sales. This show vendor had hundreds of mags like this for nearly any kind of gun.

I did hear several dealers discuss how certain ammunition is nearly impossible to get these days.   In fact, I preface this with a RUMOR ALERT, but one dealer in describing what his factory rep told him was that 5.56mm bulk ammo orders are so backed up that delivery wouldn’t be until 2015.   Yup, 2015!   Again, this comment was hearsay, but it exemplifies the sort of buzz that folks were hearing at the show.

In closing, I guess the one thing that surprised me was that there still are AR-15’s to be purchased.   I’ve heard some dealers say they just don’t have any as their inventory has been wiped out last month.   I suppose in some cases those modern sporting rifles were commanding a good price—probably nearly twice what they once were, but they are still available even at public shows like this one.

So, have you been to any gun shows lately?   What is the mood of your favorite gun dealer?   No doubt about it…we are living during interesting times that promise to only get more interesting in the days and weeks to come.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.