The Antis would have you believe that Gun Shows are places that allow deranged lunatics and criminals to walk in off the street and prepare for their next massacre. The more jaded gunnies seem to rattle on about the ratio of jerky and cheap knives to guns, ammo, and accessories. I have to admit that even I, a true Elmer, never understood the allure of them when there were so many good shops in the area.
This all changed after I bought my first SKS. I came to love the everyman appeal of old Commie guns like the SKS and the Mosin. I was taken with the idea of owning a $100 gun that would outlast me. When the time came to add an M44 to my safe, I figured I would try the gun show since I was having a hard time trusting someone in a warehouse to pick out the best one for me. I'm picky about my ugly old guns.
To finance my first Gun Show, I sold one of my .22 handguns to a new shooter so that he could practice with it and use it to introduce his wife to shooting. He decided to meet me at the site and pay me there (after fondling the newer and shinier version of all the guns I let him shoot during our first few visits to the range, no doubt). I told him to keep an eye out for a Mosin-Nagant M44 and any non-express Remington 870. The Remington was destined to be the platform for my first dedicated HD scattergun and the Mosin was destined to be the platform from which I would unleash the two-foot muzzle flash of the über-manly 7.62x54r.
Much to my surprise, my new shooter had located 4 or 5 of each before I had even entered the building. After finding the best from each lot and legally purchasing them sans paperwork, I discovered the true beauty of the event. It wasn't the ability to locate everything on my wishlist (if I recall, I was also looking for original GI grips for my 1911, a muzzle brake for my AR, and some cheap x39 and x54r) and it certainly wasn't the cheerful disposition of the exhibitors. It was the realization that I was in a building surrounded by people that were a lot like me: free, proud gunnies. That day, I vowed to attend a Gun Show at every possible juncture.