Rip Hyphen Off

So Combat Controller and I went to the Fort Worth Gun Show over the weekend, and ugh.

I was looking for the stolen replacement Boomershoot rifle, and he was looking to sell a couple guns — more on that in another post.

I also needed a little ammo because that story to come later.

Ammo at gun shows has become the world’s largest ripoff.  What’s happening — and I had this confirmed by a secondary source later — is that ordinary guys are snapping up all the cheaper ammo from retail outlets like Academy, then turning it around, marking it up to nosebleed levels, and getting a table at a gun show to sell it at retail-plusplusplus prices to people who don’t buy their ammo online or who don’t know the difference.  (25 cents per round for CCI Blazer .22 LR, and don’t even ask about hunting- or self-defense ammo:  okay, the cheapest .308 Win I saw was running at $1.75 per round.)

All this in addition to the Biden/Harris-Panic gun- and ammo buying that’s going on anyway.  I estimated, by the way, that if you had the money, you could probably have put together from parts about a thousand AR-15s from what was on sale at this one show.  (And you’d need a PILE of money:  Palmetto State AR-15 lowers which cost $59 a while back were being sold for $379 by the asshole ripoff artists merchants.)  One guy boasted to CC that he’d made $40,000 in cash sales before lunch — and by the way, I saw a WHOLE bunch of “Cash Only” signs, at almost every other table.   Even if you want to sell a gun, the merchants will try to lowball you, then mark it up at least 50% and put it right back on their table.  There are no bargains to be found at gun shows anymore;  you may as well buy retail from your local Merchant Of Death.

Bottom line:  Stay away from gun shows.


  1. Sadly its been that way at our local ELGS for some time now >10yrs.

    It’s why I quit going. Paying an entrance fee to get raped bothered me when I get raped by the .gov without one.

  2. Last gun show I went to was in Waxahachie in late 2019. Could see the writing of the wall then, although I did get a decent price for the scope I sold.

  3. The only reason I go to gun shows is to look for magazines and oddball ammo. I got about 600 rounds of 7.5×54 for about $0.70 a round last month, which is a good deal.

  4. Welcome to the free market economy. Prices tend to go up like that to what the market will accept.
    Wouldn’t want government price controls now, would you?

  5. Look at it this way.. people who really NEED ammunition (think self defense emergency) are able to buy it (funds permitting). Those of us who routinely buy and shoot large quantities (but don’t really need it) are more apt to temper our purchases and stockpiling thus making it available for others.

    Dr. Walter E. Williams once described “price gouging” like this. Say there’s an emergency (hurricane; bad weather; pipes freeze and put people out of their home…whatever). If a night in a hotel is $99 a father might rent a room for him and his wife, and rent a separate room for his two kids. But if that hotel has raised prices to $299 due to a sudden increase in demand, that same father might be inclined to share a room with the kiddies and thus leave a room available to someone else who really needs it.

    1. I’ve seen that Dr. Williams explanation before. It’s nice, it’s logical, and it makes a certain kind of sense. And yet it doesn’t fully apply to this situation.

      Instead of the father renting or not renting an extra hotel room for his family, imagine some asshat renting every room in the hotel at the $99 per room price, with no plans to actually stay in any of the rooms. Then he re-rents those units to people in need at $599 per room. That’s price gouging and completely invalidates Dr. Williams explanation.

      And that’s the situation with people buying every box of ammo on the shelf, helping to perpetuate the artificial scarcity, and then trying to re-sell at gun shows.

  6. Last time I went to a gun show an asshole customer sweeped me with a table pistol. fuk em, I left instantly. Prices were on the moon and selection was dismal. Haven’t went back.

  7. I gave up on gun shows back in the BC (before Covid) era. I wasn’t interested in paying $10 to look at $2.00 Chinese knives made from old beer cans, MREs that were 20 years out of date (I already have plenty thanks), and rusty old single shot .22s that were priced higher than a new good quality .308.

    The “cash only” thing is to dodge the IRS and give the buyers the feeling that since there aren’t any credit card records the UN blue helmets – or whoever – won’t know who to round up. We’ve all left enough of a paper trail over the years to put us on a bunch of lists. CHL, veteran status, hunting licenses, C&R license, shooting range membership, and oh yeah this guy bought a box of .22 with his Visa card at the “Wefleecem” gun show last week. I’ve done some private sales and trades over the years and given and accepted gifts and I even own some very old guns which don’t have serial numbers but I understand that its just about impossible to live totally off the grid. I’m certainly not going to pay an outrageous cash price for anything just to maintain the fantasy that I’m not leaving any records behind. Besides “they” have surveillance set up at the entrances of all the gun shows and know who you are before you even get your hand stamped for admission.

  8. I miss the gun shows in Las Vegas before I moved to Ill-annoy. And I miss the Lake and Kane County gun shows from the ’90s which, while always more expensive than shows elsewhere were full of things worth looking at; wish I’d had more money back then.

    Illannoy just kept making it harder and harder for shows; the last couple I went to in 2018 were mostly fluff and retail-priced; many of the old regular vendors with tables full of old guns, reloading equipment and supplies, and masses of parts, just stopped coming. Maybe they’re really gone; some of them were pretty senior.

    I doubt I’ll waste my time on any illannoy shows before we sluice the corruption off our shoes as we depart to a better place in retirement.

  9. Gun shows haven’t been the place to find ‘bargains’ for a long time.
    Last one I attended had a $20 cover charge – $10 for parking and $10 at the door – good grief !
    Decided that would be the last one. There other, better and cheaper ways.

  10. I said to one guy: “Let me know when .22 plinking ammo gets below 10c, and we can do business. Until then, forget about it.”

  11. Thanks to Biden* and the Inflation he loves so much, these might soon be the good old days.

    * And remember, emphasis is on the second syllable and the “N” is silent.

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