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4/18/2021 9:59:29 PM
Posted: 10/18/2020 3:23:51 PM EDT
I had been to one Big Top Promotions show before at the Thurston County Fairgrounds.  It was tiny and populated 80+% by dealers.  It was such a waste of time and money that I requested a partial refund when leaving.  Not only was I denied, but the manager asked me for my name in a threatening way like he was planning to do something with that info.  I swore off his shows right then.

Now several years later and in the middle of a "gun show dry spell", I saw signs for their show in Tacoma this weekend.  I was already in the area and thought maybe with the lack of other local shows (WAC and Wes Knodel won't hold theirs), I thought maybe they would have more/better vendors.

The show was at the old LeMay collection "event center" in Parkland and admission was $10.  In the entry hall where admission is paid, there was only 1 vendor at the back with about 8 tables made into a square.  I asked the ticket cashier if this was where the gun show was and he said yes, it is in the other room.  Then said something like, "Would I lie to you?"  I though to myself, "Maybe, but why would you say that?"  That first vendor is one I recognized form other shows.

Entering the other room, it was small (half the size or less of the hall used by Wes Knodel in Centralia) and very spread out into a maze of tables to walk you through.  The VAST majority of the space was one dealer called LC Sports or something like that.  Mostly new guns with some used.  Probably 1/3  with knives and crappy swords, many tables covered with gun cleaning mats.  

I spoke with one guy working the knife tables and he confirmed that other than them, there were only 4 or 5 other vendors, including a massage person and a large display of purses (presumably gun carry ones).  I said to him that the show seemed like a scam due to the lack of vendors.  $10 to visit one dealer plus a couple other sellers.  He said the $10 admission is for the venue.  So basically you PAY to visit this one dealer's travelling shop.

I spent a TOTAL of about 5 minutes inside the "show".  

BUYER BEWARE.  I won't call this a "scam" because as far as I know, no one lied about it.  But they did NOT advertise the size, number of tables or count of vendors.  But they DID seem to purposely hide the show in another room from the admission door and cashier.


Link Posted: 10/18/2020 6:16:51 PM EDT
I've been to one of these shows maybe a year or two ago and it was the exact same thing. Not worth the time and certainly not worth the admission. I haven't bothered to go to one since.
Link Posted: 10/18/2020 8:23:39 PM EDT
They got me one time years ago in Vancouver. It was the worst show I have ever attended still to this day. Sounds like things haven't changed.
Link Posted: 10/18/2020 8:58:08 PM EDT
Gun show at the car museum in Spanaway coming up, I won't be in attendance.  A lot of stuff I have no interest in, better finds at the surplus stores around base.
Link Posted: 10/18/2020 10:46:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/18/2020 11:04:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2020 11:21:10 PM EDT by carboss]
I literally came to the hometown forum to complain about big tops Tacoma "show" and saw this post first thing. The "show" consisted of one big retailer charging at least 50% markup on most pistols. Heritage rough Rider single action 22lr $350, need I say more? What a disgrace!

Go to their Google page and leave a review here one of the ways we can fight back.
Link Posted: 10/19/2020 1:03:44 PM EDT
Well LC Sports owns Big Top Promotions. The lady with the Concealed carry purses is his wife.

He is not very good about allowing competitors to have tables.

Been to a couple,dont like them.

Link Posted: 10/29/2020 8:49:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/29/2020 8:54:29 PM EDT by Teddydog]
Bump for the weekend.


If it saves just one $10 bill, this post will have been worth it.  Just say "No" to Big Top.

Link Posted: 10/30/2020 1:50:12 AM EDT
They used to have a variety of dealers coming in.  I don't know if they got bought out or what, but the first one I went to was pretty good.
Link Posted: 11/16/2020 1:50:45 PM EDT
A few months back there was the same rip-off in Everett.  I was pissed after doing a five minute, if that, walk-through.  There wasn't a lot except one dealer had about a 100 handguns spread out over several tables.  They had cases of 9mm ammo at $2 a round!  I was in the market for a lot of things just not a handgun or expensive ammo so I got no joy.  I had a grand burning a hole in my pocket and my wife was in a good mood so it's easy to understand how frustrating that was. They were doing background checks on site but I didn't spend enough time there to see if anyone walked out with a purchased gun.  I've sworn off going through Washington's process ever again.  Had a dealer shown up with parts for builders he would have cleaned up.
Link Posted: 11/16/2020 9:13:48 PM EDT
Yeah.  That's the thing.  I think that the promoter doesn't really want competition for his other business and a few "friends" that set up at the shows.

Link Posted: 11/17/2020 3:40:11 PM EDT
I did buy one gun at a big top event. The event is pretty crappy over all but there was a dealer there I recognized from WAC shows and he had a SW 1006 that I paid 600 out the door for. Went to another one after that and then swore them off. Never again.
Link Posted: 11/17/2020 4:17:45 PM EDT
Last gunshow I went to was 2008 maybe? No deals, everything was overpriced.

Before that I went to one in 2003/4. Wasn't wowed then either. Online sales have killed gun shows IMHO.

Link Posted: 11/17/2020 11:53:21 PM EDT
Right beforei met my now wife, wav went through all it's internal political turmoil after the Clint/Marty bs.

I was done with wac, that killed shows for me
Link Posted: 11/19/2020 11:55:46 AM EDT
Ever since FTF purchased got killed, WAC shows became “Parts and Ammo Shows” for me.
Link Posted: 11/20/2020 12:43:21 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PACorps:
Ever since FTF purchased got killed, WAC shows became “Parts and Ammo Shows” for me.
View Quote

I think I've been to two wac shows since then, and the last one has been years ago. Lol
Link Posted: 11/20/2020 5:18:19 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PACorps:
Ever since FTF purchased got killed, WAC shows became “Parts and Ammo Shows” for me.
View Quote

Even then there wern't a lot of private sellers. And when there were it was overpriced! (Cuz no paperwork bruh)
Link Posted: 11/20/2020 2:45:20 PM EDT
The last gun show I attended was in CA back in the mid 80s, before they went full retard on guns.  

No shortage of guns, ammo, and deals on both.  We bitched about the people selling dolls and candy...
Link Posted: 11/20/2020 2:56:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2021 10:23:52 PM EDT by BGENE]
Link Posted: 11/21/2020 2:04:03 PM EDT
I got tired of gun shows when the admission and parking fees hit around $20.  Once inside, there were plenty of Beany Babies, jerky (the meat) sellers, used VHS porno tapes, cheap jewelry, flea market items, and aisles so narrow that a fat man with his cart who stopped to visit with his buddy across the table jammed up any movement in either direction.   I figured I could think of plenty of other better ways to spend my time.
Link Posted: 1/28/2021 5:02:04 PM EDT
Just a reminder to everyone that Big Top Promotion gun shows still suck.

Link Posted: 1/28/2021 8:34:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2021 12:28:27 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Teddydog:
Just a reminder to everyone that Big Top Promotion gun shows still suck.

View Quote
i see they are this weekend in everett.  I'll be skipping them,  Might wait for the other guys to grab a table and flip some 40 ammo

Link Posted: 1/29/2021 9:12:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2021 9:14:07 AM EDT by Boom_Stick]
One of the guys at work told me about the everett thing this weekend.

I remember a time being excited about gunshows and driving and hour, or sometimes even 2 down to the portland show.

Now? Im not so sure I even give a fuck. I kinda want to go just to see stuff, but I know all of it will be retail or higher. No deals. Can just as easily order online or HU the LGS.
Link Posted: 2/9/2021 9:48:48 PM EDT
I miss the big WAC shows in Puyallup.  Those were always a good event.  I enjoyed going with my old man and shooting the shit with all the old timers.  Good deals could be had.
Link Posted: 3/3/2021 10:37:21 PM EDT
Alet!  Alet!  Big Top Promotions shows still suck!

There IS a Falcon show in Centralia this weekend.  I've heard they can be decent.  Any feedback about their show at Yardbirds Mall?

Link Posted: 3/5/2021 11:27:08 AM EDT
I saw that. A friend, who, at 69 years old, just got his first gun, is bugging me to go to his first gun show. I don't expect to enjoy paying $10 and driving for 2 1/2 hours to wear a fing mask all day, looking at swords and fishing lures...
Link Posted: 3/5/2021 12:03:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2021 12:04:11 PM EDT by sixgunsblazing]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bobbitybobbity:
I saw that. A friend, who, at 69 years old, just got his first gun, is bugging me to go to his first gun show. I don't expect to enjoy paying $10 and driving for 2 1/2 hours to wear a fing mask all day, looking at swords and fishing lures...
View Quote

Falcon just did a couple of shows up here on the North end and one table guy I was chatting up said the Chehalis show was a pretty decent affair.  Not really approaching peak WAC shows, but far better than Big Top.  Also, no mask requirement, I saw a handful of people wearing masks, on their own

Link Posted: 3/7/2021 1:40:21 AM EDT
Today's Falcon show in Centralia was a nice show.  Some some familiar faces and vendors and many new ones.

As expected, ammo and primer prices were crazy.  I didn't look at any modern guns.  Lots of old guns and some very fair prices (lever actions, old shotguns, old pistols).

I found brass for 32-20, some 25-20 ammo, some .327 Federal brass and the big ticket...a great price on an old Colt Lightning rifle in 32-20.

Link Posted: 3/7/2021 10:47:29 PM EDT
I went to the Falcon show in Centralia at the Yard Birds venue on Sat.  The closest approximation to the show is that it was like going to a WAC Puyallup show set up in the Pavilions part of the fairground.  

I saw some decent deals and a good selection on milsurp rifles.  Ammo pricing was all over the place but some of what I saw was 20rds of .223 for $15-20/box, 50rds of 9mm for $35-50/box, Aguila minishells 20rds/$14.  I know that
you could have bought ammo cheaper than advertised as I saw $ changing hands after much haggling.  Saw lots of WAC vendors set up at this one.

I think the Wes Knodel shows at the Centralia fairgrounds surpasses this Falcon show, but who knows how longer that event will go on with Wes dealing with terminal illness.

I came home with a Hitler Youth Nazi dagger on Sat. at a really decent price.  My 1st!  lol....
Link Posted: 3/26/2021 4:08:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2021 2:16:26 PM EDT
I'm looking forward to the next one (Falcon) and the Wes' April show at the fairgrounds.

Link Posted: 3/30/2021 1:16:11 PM EDT
I am middle aged and don't remember when gun shows were cool in Western Washington.
I know what they should be like, but have never experienced it.  :-(
Link Posted: 3/30/2021 8:12:20 PM EDT
I got here shortly before y2k and I remember some great shows. Impromptu here or there.

And a many a great haul out of shows.

And some good meals in good company as well.
Link Posted: 3/30/2021 9:08:50 PM EDT
I remember some decent gun shows at Monroe, Puyallup and the Everett ARNG armory back in the 1990s. Got some good deals out of the Little Nickel and Shotgun News,too.

Once the internet really took off in the later 1990s-early 2000s, though, gun shows and printed classifieds just seemed to go into a steady decline.
Link Posted: 4/1/2021 1:22:34 PM EDT
Every year I hear the same disappointment from different people..

I'm surprise that they are not out of business yet.
I really wish these gun shows were as good as they were 30 years ago. Use to find really cool surplus stuff for a good price. Now everything is crap and overpriced.
Link Posted: 4/7/2021 9:29:42 PM EDT
This weekend I plan to continue NOT ATTENDING Big Top random temporary gun shops.  Instead I WILL be going to the Centralia Wes Knodel gun show!  Yay!

Link Posted: 4/10/2021 8:24:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2021 8:26:26 PM EDT by M-203]
This is a Wes Knodel Centralia gun show after action report.  Well, I got there at around 11:30 am and the place was busy but not elbow-to-elbow crowded.  The story of this show is the crazy ammo prices.  It is worse than the Falcon Centralia show I attended last month.  In the past at WAC and Centralia, ammo vendors would try to undercut each other to see who could give the lowest prices.  Here, everyone is trying to out do each other to become the most expensive ammo merchant.  

Here is a sampling of the prices

9mm/50rds   ($50-55)  
Case of 9mm 500 rds ($350)
.223/20 rds  ($29-35)

Reloading supplies were not much better.  They were asking retail prices for bullets.  Powder was 1lb/ ~$40.  Even used dies were priced nearly as new.  Primers were anywhere from $150-250/thousand.  Saw one guy sell 100 SRP/SPP at $22/each.

Gun sales were pretty steady.  Saw a lot of people filling out 4473's.

Looked at milsurps and nothing caught my eye within my price range.  Jap 99's $200-400, Garands $950+, Enfields ~$700, and 1903's at around $925.

Pros:  Good selection of ammo if you want to pay, didn't see many jerky/lube-hand lotion/toy vendors
Cons:  Ammo prices are absurd.  In light of the high ammo prices, I saw very little move at these levels.

Compared to previous Wes Knodel shows at this venue, I thought this was a disappointment.  Came home with 2 used die sets at fair/slightly above avg. price and a free partial can of pistol powder that someone forgot to take with them.  Seller gave it to me.  lol.
Link Posted: 4/10/2021 8:40:28 PM EDT
I agree with the above.  Good attendance.  Well stocked tables.  Fairly high prices generally.  I brought a friend, so maybe didn't spend quite as much time as usual peering at the little stuff on everyone's table, looking for the hidden gem or diamond in the rough.

I came away with a box each of factory 25-20 and 32-20 ammo, both bought for fair prices, I think, since both are low-volume calibers.

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