Big E Gun Show - June 4 & 5, 2005

Len-2A Training

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Feb 26, 2005
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Anyone else planning on attending the June 4 & 5, 2005 Gun Show at the Big E?

This is their Militaria Gun & Knife Show, 600 tables, Eastern States Expo "Young" Building, 1305 Memorial Ave, W. Springfield. [I-91 North to Exit 3, Take Rte. 5N to 147] Sat 9-5, Sun 9-3

There are usually some interesting military exhibits by the National Guard (but they won't let you buy the mortars or SAWs [wink] ).

My Wife and I are planning on heading out there on Saturday. Hoping that we can meet the Wildweasels. Anyone else going? Can we plan a meet up? [Warning, I really like to walk the whole show, which takes me numerous hours . . . I know a lot of dealers and kibbutz with them. Perhaps a mid-day meet up and then head out to dinner? Someone mentioned a decent seafood place just up the street.]
Adam, sounds like a LOT of driving for you!

This is one of the better Big E shows, especially if you like the "old iron". Usually some good exhibits of Mausers from WWI & WWII, German weapons, etc.

One pointer on Sundays:

Some dealers bag it after Saturday, unless they have a great sales day. Others start packing up and leaving by 1PM, in spite of the 3PM closing of the show. If Saturday is slow, many dealers also pack up sometime after 3PM, so the problem exists on either day. [I also see this at trade shows everywhere.]

I plan on going, it's only about 20 minutes from my home. Not sure when though, the wife comes back from a trip that day and I have to pick her up at the airport. I'll make tenative plans but they may be pre-empted by She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Well it is right after payday, and depending on how the arm feels we may go.
(having surgury on the left shoulder that thursday!) But the Boy could use some gear.
LenS at the least I can give you directions to the house or we can meet up for dinner.
Wildweasel I am sure that you will be needing some physical therapy. Lifting some guns would be great. Plus a little get-well present from your self will cheer ya up.
Good luck WW. I may head down as well. If anything just to get out a bit. Let em know what the plan is and I'll try like heck to get their early this time!
Any plans for meeting yet? I hope to be there first thing Saturday morning since I have to meet SWMBO at Bradley Airport by 12:30pm.

BTW, I am wondering what is going on with this gun show. In the past there have always been $1 coupons good towards the admission fee in the local paper. SGN has also had them. But for the last few shows there have been fewer and fewer. For this show I have seen none at all. Now, it's "only" $1 against a $13 admission ($5 parking and $8 admission ticket) but every little bit helps.

Anyone else notice this?

I almost finished a long reply and then somehow hit a button and it was permanently gone. Got to rebuild my primary computer so this attempt will be much shorter:

- Bottom line is GREED!

- Show dealer told me that Carole gets hundreds of FREE parking passes to give to dealers, but that she allegedly sells them instead to the dealers!

- Security as promised at Rockingham (for vendors goods after hours) was non-existent, as anyone in the upstairs clubhouse could walk down the escalators, steal some items and head back up the escalator. They had 1 on-duty cop, but it is a large floor area with multiple ways of access. One vendor complained (he sells Coronado concealment clothing plus Mitch Rosen, Wild Bill and other expensive leather products) to Carole, was promised some changes that never happened and thus refuses to do any of her shows. Our loss!

- I bought some goods at very good discount from Bob "Lippy" Lippman (an ARFCOM EE supporter/dealer) at Springfield a year or so ago. Some months ago I called or Emailed him to ask if he'd be back at Springfield. Bob started a ranting litany about the promoter (Carole) and refuses to be in any more of her shows too.

For me the cost is now $20 for the two of us and parking, not to mention the cost of a ~220 mile RT. Not something I'm going to do very often! Most times I don't buy much more than $30-40 worth of items at a gun show, I hardly look at guns (except for curiosity on an odd gun), mostly for accessories (where S/H can kill us for that one item or two/vendor).

Sorry to hear all of that. But it doesn't surprise me much. Sometimes our ownpeople can be our worst enemies.

220 miles is an awfully long way for a gunshow. It's about the same if I want to go to Four Seasons so I can feel your pain.
I made the trip.

Very disapointing. They should have pormoted it as a "WW2 junk you just dont want stinking up your house" rather than a Gun show.
There was ONE dealer selling sigs, a hald dozen selling Glocks and AR's, and stuff.

I got a new Surefire, 2 books. And Had I not been really desperate for cleaning supplies, I would have flipped on the guy selling cleaning stuff at the front-left corner. What a USDA Grade-A A-Hole....
I went to Big E Today

I've been to gunshows all over the country..including many in texas and I've got to say I was blown away (figuritavely speaking) by the sheer size of the show. I wasn't expecting it.

I would say there was about everyting you would want there, BUT the prices were quite high, at least for the things I was looking for.

I was also a little taken aback by all the Nazi memorablia for sale and the people walking around in SS uniforms as though it were some kind of reenactment. It was just a little strange.

I don't mean to sound like a wuss, but even my fourteen year old son commented on the "strange" people there. Am I being too sensitive?
Probably so. I'm not sure it does too much for the image of honest, sane shooters to be associated with that nonsense. It's no wonder we have so much trouble trying to convince people we're not dangerous. Maybe they should have their own "Nazi Fans shows."

Anyway, that's a debate for someone smarter than I.

Had an interesting incident take place on the Turnpike on the way to Springfield. We got passed by about twenty "Massacusetts Hells Angels" going about 90 and weaving in and out of traffic.

Within five minutes MA mounties were zooming by and pulled the whole bunch over. I estimate there were at least 7 or 8 units on both sides of 90

Given the HA's history (which isn't good) it seems to me if they are going to advertise their colors on the highway like that, they ought to at least try to obey the traffic laws.

I'll bet every cell phone on the Pike was calling this in. Frankly, it was a little disconceting and I've dealt with the morons before. Lived ten years in Texas and NEVER saw a congregation asking for trouble like those bozos.

Morons from outer space.
I was also a little taken aback by all the Nazi memorablia for sale and the people walking around in SS uniforms as though it were some kind of reenactment. It was just a little strange.

I did not make it today for personal reasons and now I am wondering if I want to try tomorrow or not. Based on comments Len made previously it sounds like the promoter is trying to kill this show. That would be a shame since I have managed to find some nice buys over the years.
Don't make a decision based on what I say

If you can ignore than stuff then that's fine. It was my 14 year old's first gun show and I think he thought it was a freak show..when you see people dressed up like alfred jodl walking around proudly, it kind of makes you wonder what kind of club you belong to..not my cup of tea
Of course, for all we know the nazis were really a bunch from the Brady Campaign trying to generate some bad PR for gun shows.</conspiracy theory> (Probably not, since anybody with that sort of mind would have managed to generate at least one ND in the show.)

Last time I was there,I saw families walking around in civil war era uniforms.Didn't see any Stormtroopers walking around though.

I find it hard to believe you have been to gun shows all over the US and are surprised by all the freaks,I thought it was the norm for shows nowadays.

I was gonna go,but then I figured out the cost:

1) Gas from Worcester $12.00
2) Admission and parking $13.00
3) Coffee for the long boring ride $4.00
4) Beef jerkey $6.00

So far that's $35.00,and I haven't even bought anything.The prices there are rediculous on firearms and accs,so I would prob end up buying maybe 2 30 rd mags,if they were Labelle's and $20.00 or under.Even finding those mags at that price is a crapshoot nowadays.

So then I figured maybe I can get a good deal on ammo.What's the best deal I can get ? Maybe $90.00 for 500 rounds of XM193.I firgured I'm not really saving any money on anything by going out there.I can get XM193 from 4 seasons for $105.00 (tax included) Plus I don't have to look at all the freaks :)

So I just went to the range instead :)
Where to begin???

We just got back from the gun show, a side trip to the Sony store in the Wrentham Outlet and dinner at a local restaurant.

To put it bluntly, if you live >15 minutes away from the Big E, save your time and money and do NOT WASTE YOUR TIME GOING!

There were ~300 tables there (advertised 600) and yes, I did a rough count by counting them on two rows and counting the rows!

Many "regulars" (dealers) weren't there. One dealer that I know casually (the jerky guy) mentioned that the radio in Springfield area was announcing that this was high school graduation weekend for damn near all high schools in the state. Thus, the parents and grandparents weren't at the show (dealers or attendees).

Damages for this show:
- $5 parking, $14 for two to attend (we had two cards for $1 discount each). = $19 in the door.
- Don't know what my Wife paid for the coffee there. :D
- Bought a holster for my Surefire E2d Defender for $11
- Bought 8 of the ammo can locks for $38 OTD from Amherst Drop Zone (the guy someone mentioned about the cleaning supplies).
- $4.20 on Mass Turnpike tolls.
- $13.00 for gas (~230 miles RT)
- Beef jerky for $1.

Now for some comments:

- This was advertised as a Militaria Show, thus the "period" gear, uniforms, items. Yes, this includes a few of the dealers in Nazi paraphernalia who dress the part and occasionally some will dress in Colonial garb as well. I can honestly say that I have not seen any of the folks dressed in Nazi uniforms doing anything freakish. Being Jewish (and having lost most of my Parents Families in the Holocaust), I have never seen any behavior by these folks that I would consider unsettling. If someone is offended by this, I suggest that they skip the May/June gun show as it is always advertised as the Militaria show.

- There wasn't much of great interest there today. Most guns were tremendously overpriced. I saw some "banned in MA" mags (some marked LE/Mil only) . . . BUYER BEWARE (possession is a felony and you lose your gun rights forever under both Fed and MA Laws!).

- Ammo: Obnoxious Steve from NY was there. The XM193PD that he had was FALSELY ADVERTISED (intentionally, I'm sure) as the same stuff our troops are using in Iraq!! WRONG!!!! The "PD" variant is widely reported to be "SUB-STANDARD" and seriously problematic. I don't recall where I've seen the documentation, but it is definitely out there and I might be able to reference it later if someone needs convincing. XM193 (WITHOUT the "PD" suffix) is the good stuff, but I'm told that the troops have been NOT using this for years, instead they reportedly use M855. Since I have an inherent distaste for dishonest businessmen, I avoided the temptation to pick up 1K of Fiocchi .45 230gr RN for $179 from Steve (he now takes charge cards, so you don't have to listen to him rant if you were to ask if you could pay by check any more). I'll ask Carl at Four Seasons if he can come close to that price if I feel the need to get it.

- No other ammo dealers and the guy from Candia ME who sells mostly bullets was absent.
You do know that if you just go to the Amherst Drop Zone,or even AAA guns in Springfield their prices are much lower? Glenn and I have been amazed at the markup these guys do for the shows. Amherst Drop Zone is right on Rt.9,but with road work a pain to get to. What you saw sounds about right,now if you really want a freak show,drive through downtown Northampton,never ceases to amaze me. :D
Well, I went and ended up having a mildly positive experience.

To start off it was the smallest gun show I have seen there in maybe 10 years. If this trend continues I predict no more shows after 2006. Hopefully I am wrong in this. The crowd on this Sunday morning was pretty light but people were still coming in at 12:30pm when I left.

Saw no Nazi re-enactors but did see one French poilu. At least I assume that he was French. A few nice guns here and there but like many others have pointed out, there were few, if any bargains. The only thing that seriously tempted me was a roughly 1949-50 S&W K-22 Target Masterpiece. In fairly good shape with a box (the original I think) but it was just a few bucks short of $500.

But I did meet Jon "The Glock Doc" and that helped make things better. Got 2 G21 13-round mags for $25 each which was a bit of a bargain. Also picked up a cleaning mat and a cleaning kit. Although he was lightly grousing that he had brought a bunch of unmarked hi-cap G21 mags and no one seemed to want them. I should have bought more.

Also got a copy of Charles Clawson's Collector's Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols which is supposed to be out of print. At a pretty good price.

A couple of guys from Ken's Citgo Service (?) were there with Surefire flashlights and EOTech Holographic sights (I think that's the correct name). They were pretty good guys to talk to but again I did not have the money to buy this sight. Maybe next time. The holographic sight seems really nice.

The biggest saving grace was that my eight-year old son and I had some good father-son time. We'll go again in October, hopefully with more money. We need to try to save this show.
Sue, no I had no idea that his prices are jacked up for the show. I only hit the show and then head back East, so I've never been to their shop.

They were asking $7.99/ammo can lock or 4 for $20. I ended up negotiating 8 for $38 with no sales tax. Not sure that the sales tax exemption for gun locks and gun safes would or would not apply here (probably a gray area), thus I requested an "out the door" price for the 8 units.
Len, the dealers that we know from the area that are there jack the prices conciderably. We found it kind of amusing since like I said we go into AAA guns which is right by the big E,and know his store prices,then when we go to the gun shows and see what they are asking we just shake our heads. Same with the Drop Zone. Sometime I could always go by the drop zone and see what store prices are for you in the future.
Thanks for the reviews everyone. I don't feel so bad that I missed it. Our oldest daughter graduated HS yesterday and I over indulged (my wife thinks I did, I don't think I did [twisted] ) in the Capt Morgans. Sounds like I did better nursing the hang over at home rather than on the pike!
What's coming up next?
JonJ said:
Thanks for the reviews everyone. I don't feel so bad that I missed it. Our oldest daughter graduated HS yesterday and I over indulged (my wife thinks I did, I don't think I did [twisted] ) in the Capt Morgans. Sounds like I did better nursing the hang over at home rather than on the pike!
What's coming up next?

Ahh, the Capt., mix a little of that splendid nectar with some Moxie on ice and it's a taste from heaven. I too feel no regrets for missing this show. I hate to say it but the NH shows get pricey when they get closer to that MA boarder. I can only inagine the outrageous prices at shows in the Commonwealth. No thanx!
Also, any dealer that raises thier prices so much for a show isn't an etical dealer iMHO. That guy just got put in my "never do business with" file.
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