Tips to Have the Best Experience at a Gun Show

If you’re nervous about attending Pennsylvania’s Largest Gun Show for the first time, keeping a few gun show tips in mind will help ensure it’s an enjoyable, stress-free experience. You don’t have to worry if you’re not planning on buying a gun at a gun show. An Eagle Shows gun show is unlike any other retail environment, packed with local, regional, and national vendors that are there because they have a passion for the Second Amendment, customers who come from miles around to shop for a little bit of everything, and people who just want to come and enjoy the community that engenders itself when like-minded patriots come together to spend an afternoon talking, gawking, and shopping. Part retail experience and part community event, there’s a reason so many calendars have their local gun show dates circled and reminders turned on.

Bringing Freedom To Your Neighborhood

gun show attendees browsing tables

Our local shows are designed to make sure everyone in the surrounding area has a chance to experience a quality event in a safe, relaxed atmosphere. Held in community centers, exhibition halls, and conference rooms throughout Pennsylvania, Eagle shows are well lit, secure, and professionally organized. Far from their portrayal in media, the modern gun show is more akin to a trade show than a dimly lit black market warehouse where arms deals occur. 

We’re proud to give attendees a legal venue to buy, sell, and trade firearms with other law-abiding citizens, and our gun show tips will help you make the most of the experience. Whether you’re set on buying a gun at a gun show for hunting, want to add the next piece to your established firearms collection, or just want to support your local community, you’ll find just what you’re looking for.

Before The Show

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional impulse buy, but your local gun show is there for the weekend, making a plan a good idea to have. For many of the guests who walk through our doors, they’ve been looking forward to a gun show visit since their last gun show visit, researching things they saw last time, making a shopping list to stock up on items they need, and saving up to make sure they could make a weekend of it. Here are a few gun show tips to consider before you go.

  • If you know there’s something you’re looking for, do your research. – This is a big one. Be as specific or as general as you need to if you’re in the market for particular items. As an example, if you’re planning to buy a gun at a gun show, you might research what gun is best for concealed carry, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the handgun model you want, or the benefits of a handgun versus a shotgun for home defense. As with any major purchase, putting in your research beforehand can pay off when it’s time to buy.
  • Determine your budget. – It’s best to know your personal spending limit and the conditions you may consider stepping outside it for. It’s not uncommon to find something that either saves you money in the long run with a bulk purchase or to find something that you desperately wanted and didn’t expect to find. By building flexibility into your budget, it’s easier to stick to. 
  • Carry cash. – While cash may be an inconvenience in modern society, you’ll find that it can speed things up at a gun show. Many of our vendors are small, local businesses or private sellers who may not be set up for charge cards. We’ve got security covered, and the gun show crowd is filled with people who believe in your right to freedom from fear. 
  • Verify showtimes and preorder your tickets. – Make sure you know the dates of your local gun show and the times. One of the most important gun show tips we can offer is to get your tickets early. Pre-ordered tickets come with benefits you can’t enjoy if your purchase them same-day at the front entrance.
  • Make your travel, food, and lodging plans. – While your local gun show is easily close enough to day-trip to, many customers make a weekend out of it, enjoying local accommodations at hotels and sampling the food in the towns we visit. If you’re traveling, whether it’s a town over or across the state, consider turning your gun show visit into a weekend getaway. One of the gun show tips that saves frequent visitors money is asking hotels if they have an Eagle Shows rate.

During The Gun Show

When the day of the show arrives, get ready for an adventure. It may be your first show, but even if it’s your thousandth, you are almost guaranteed to see something new, exciting, or interesting. If you’re buying a first gun at a gun show, it can be doubly exciting as you join the community of Americans who are exercising their rights to keep and bear arms.

  • Dress comfortably. – We’re not a formal affair. Wear clothes you’ll be comfortable in and shoes you can walk around in all day. You won’t want to leave. T-shirts, jeans, and polos are all fairly common, but you’ll see patrons from every walk of life. As long as you’re covered and comfortable, we’re glad to have you with us.
  • Get there early. – The early bird gets the worm and the best price on quality firearms. Remember earlier in our gun show tips when we said to pre-order your tickets? Pre-orders get early VIP access, along with military veterans, law enforcement personnel, and mobility impaired persons. This gives you a chance to find a better deal earlier and avoid some of the crowds that tend to grow as the afternoon grows late.
  • Browse before you buy. – If you’re buying a one-of-a-kind gun at a gun show, you buy it when you find it. If you’re there for anything else, you browse first, because there is a variety of products, prices, and vendors ready to make you a deal. Doing a full circuit for the show, taking a few notes on location and pricing, then moving in on the best one is a great gun show tip to save you money.
  • Talk to people. – Vendors, community organizers, and plain, ol’ friendly Pennsylvanians will be out in droves for your local gun show. Take the opportunity to meet new friends, catch up with old ones, and find organizations in the community that support your interests. Eagle shows are a great way to expand your horizons and your social network.
  • Charge your phone. – In fact, bring an extra battery with you, if you can. Your phone is a great way to do research on items you find to make sure the gun you’re looking at fits your needs. It’s also the perfect way to take notes and store phone numbers for people you want to get to know, organizations you want to join, and businesses you want to buy from again. Finally, we’re not saying you have to ask for permission from a spouse when buying that second new gun at a gun show, we’re just saying it might be a good idea for some of you. They might want to come get one too.

After The Show

Once the show is done, you’ve made it home, and you start to unpack, there are still a few gun show tips to consider. While Eagle Shows has packed up and moved on until next time, you can still make the experience you had even better.

  • Follow up on your new contacts. – Whether you’ve found a gun club you want to join, ran into an old friend, or need to go pick up some ammunition, strengthen those connections while the thoughts are fresh and the numbers are un-lost. 
  • Explore your purchases. – Whether you bought a new gun, some local-made snacks, or crafts from one of the many artisans who use our show to sell their wares, enjoy your purchase responsibly. For firearms, this means educating yourself about safe use and finding a place to shoot, getting some training, or researching pistol license requirements.
  • Plan your next trip. – You had fun, and it’s natural to look forward to your next local gun show. It’s why so many people are repeat visitors to an Eagle Show. If you saw something that caught your eye, start doing your research for next time now. You have plenty of time to form an educated opinion for the next show. Finally, just like with our gun show tips from before the show, pre-order your tickets and scout out your next weekend vacation spot. Now you’ve seen how important it is to get there early, and it’s one less thing to worry about when planning your weekend with us.
Eagle Shows gun show attendees

We’re Looking Forward To Seeing You

Whether you’re browsing, trading, selling, or buying a gun at our gun show, we’re happy you’re joining us. Come be part of a Pennsylvania tradition. Pre-order your Eagle Shows gun show tickets today.

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