Posted: 8/16/2004 1:52:29 PM EDT
Hey guys, I've been done with an NG deployment for a couple of months now and am wanting to get back into doing gun shows again (I worked them for years around the northwest up until late '02).
The shows have changed alot since I did 'em last (Same high-priced dealers but a MUCH more knowledgeable customer base) and I was trying to think of something I could sell or offer that would at least pay the expense of being there and "Maybe" allow me to make a little $$$ at the same time. I'm one of those guys that would probably go to a 4 table gun-show if it was local lol.
I was talking to one of the dealers (An AR' vendor) from this site that I've done alot of business with the last few years and mentioned to him that I was looking for parts to "Evil-Out" some post' AK's with my own shop set-up and he asked if I'd do HIS for him and an idea came to me.
Basically, I'm thinkin' of haulin' my press and drill-press and some other assorted tools into shows and doing "Front-end" jobs for folks who either don't have the equipment or inclination to do it themselves.
Stuff like gas-blocks and front sights (So you can attached those "Evil" Bayo's) and thread adaptors and slant brakes (AND US FCP's if the gun isn't already so equiped). I figure just about anyone can deal with the stocks themselves but do you think there'd be a market for such a service after the AWB goes away?
Thanks for any input and, BTW, I'm talkin' about doing this for $20 or less (You bring me your parts to add).
I think it's a great idea. Buy a BIG banner at the gunshow, and advertise wherever the gunshow itself is advertized (trust me, it will be worth it).
Also would help if you partner with a parts dealer who can supply GB's, FSB's, etc.. Why just AKs? I'm sure tons of people would gladly get FSB and threading jobs done on their AR's, even better for you if you can sell them to them (but not require them to buy from you!).
You can also charge more (I'm thinking $25 for things pressed off and on, and get a barrel threading kit and charge $20 for a threading job)..
All work done on-the-spot, of course.
eta: but do it at the largest area gunshow... I wouldn't bother with a small 100-table local one.
Dude, if you were in my area, I would lick your boots if you put the evul babeh stabben bayo lug on my rifle.
...And you do threaded barrels? OMFG! Please come to Myrtle Beach!
Check out Brownells.com, by the way.
Invest in a very complete barrel threading set, one that can also do ARs. Threaded FSB's are also nice (but I'm sure won't be nearly as popular as slant brakes on AKM's and Birdcages on AR's).
Edit to add:
Here's what you should be on the lookout for:
Now just to find some place online which sells same for AR's and AK's...
I stopped going to the gun shows because of the high priced admission, parking, and sleezeball dealers. I would start going again if there was a fresh breath of dealers/ entrepreneurs. I would be the first in line! Please keep us posted.
Ober', those are all good points.
I should say though that as far as I'm concerned this is really just a "Hobby" for me and I'd more-or-less just like to "Justify" my hanging out at shows all week-end as opposed to trying to sustain myself with it (I have a great week day job).
As far as your questions go?
#1, Well, when I was working for one of the larger dealers here in the North-West I must've sold a couple of hundred Romanians,SLR's,MAK's and Maddi's to the guys around here and we were just a tiny percentage of the total. Also, one thing I'd do to increase interest among my potential customers would be to have examples of the more popular post-ban guns displayed in their full "Glory" lol
#2, time-per-rifle will vary of course but from past BBL assemblies and front-ends (On postban guns that I perm' attached slant brakes on and "Filled" the BL 'till later) I've done I'd say an hour each if I go slow and do a good job (This would just be for the front-end).
#3, I have an avdantage going in to this in that I have a good relationship with most of the guys on my old show circuit and THEY would do alot of the selling for me. Parts guys would use me as a reason for THEIR customers to buy and dealers would do the same to potential buyers of now "Naked" (Un-adulterated post-bans) guns they'll take in trade or still have in inventory. I'd also post shows I'd be at 2 or 3 weeks in advance on the various boards I belong to so that folks would have the time to order their parts if they wanted to.
#4, The last line from #3 would take care of some of that and local (At the show) dealers would help some more but I'd probably keep several sets with me for those times when the other two options weren't available. More stuff for certain types than others of course.
#5, Pretty much I'd probably limit myself to 4 types. SAR's, MAK's, SLR's and Maadi's.
Anyway, like I said, it's just an idea to maybe cover the costs of being at the shows while I wait for the "Killer" (lol) deals to walk through
Hey CAMPY', long-time no see man
The deal about the press at the show was one of the first things I thought about. I told my brother I could just see launching someone's FSB three rows over and bonking some old gal in the head with it as she followed her husband around!
While I don't normally have a problem with that happening (Having parts come off at high-speed with unpredictable flight paths) the fix is a pretty easy one. The guy I was working for back when I joined "'.net" (Back before the flame wars of '01-'02) is still doing a 4 state circuit and still uses his "Cube" van. I can set-up inside that if need be.
It means walking out to the vendor parking lot but I don't "Think" too many guys would have a problem with that (?)
You're right about what seems to pass for vendors these days too unfortunately. I went up to a Puyallup show this week-end to see what was up (I've been to 1 show in the last couple of years) and saw alot of what you're talking about. I don't think alot of the table holders have quite grasped the idea that the kids they're trying to sell to have computers at home and have a pretty good idea what they're ( The vendors) getting their stuff for. It's a free market but, when I see 8 guys trying to sell used AR' mag's for "Only" $19.95ea or MAK's for $600 it makes me wonder why they even waste their time renting tables ?
Campy you forgot about the Fat A$$ Beef Jerky dealer, and the wear it twice shirt dealer.
Campy is right. Without at least a type 02 (gunsmith activities) FFL, the person would physically have to stay with the gun. Eventhough he would probably just be "cruising" the show while you are doing the work the ATF might see it as a "transfer" albeit a temporary one.
besides having to have an ffl.
All you need is for some dumbass to show up with an ak with no us parts (like a mak90) and you install a bayonet lug or threaded barrel only to find out that you just manufactured and 'assault weapon prohibited from importation' (94 ban)......and then you find that your 'customer' is ATF.
Unless you want to start counting US parts (some of which are not always marked) or decide to work on 'unassembled' barreled receivers only AND get the ffl. I would not go for it.
Guys, I appreciate all your advice, thankyou but, I'm gonna go ahead and do this.
I've been thinking about it for a few days now and I'm more convinced than ever that it's a good idea.
Again, this ISN'T something I've been considering as a business venture (I REALLY have a terrific day job) but rather, something that would be fun for me to do and maybe save some guys a few bucks who don't want to invest in the equipment or go through the "middleman" of shipping and a possible FFL.
If Campy is right and the guy needs to stand there while I do the work then that'll be part of the "Cost" to him. As far as knowing that the parts are US and that I'm not violating the 10 part rule? Well, maybe I'll just pull his PG off and let HIM put it back on but, given that the gunshows I used to work were LOUSY with 922r violations and the ATF boys and girls were everywhere (They got "Made" pretty quick here in the northwest), I'm not all that worried about it.
One new idea I had about this was to deliver! lol If someone is in the I-5 corridor between Portland and Eugene I could just load my set-up on my truck and head for their location or invite them (At shows) to coordinate a visit to my place in the evening when we're both off work.
Anyway, thanks again for some great input fella's This SOB (The AWB) endin' is something I doubt I'll ever see again and I wanna have as much fun as I can with it
Edit: I'll also have a supply of compliance parts with me for those guys that have "NO IDEA" what's in their gun.
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