Ft. Worth Dec. 22 2012

Posted: December 24, 2012 in Show Reviews
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This is the first in a multi-part review of the Ft. Worth Gun Show at the Will Rogers Center on December 22.  This is not the ‘original Ft. Worth Gun show’ that many are familiar with, sponsored by Premier Gun Shows.  This particular show’s sponsor is Lone Star Gun Shows, although both promoters hold shows at the same facility.

I was curious if the ultra-high traffic situation I experienced the prior week in Mesquite would hold up for a show not sponsored by Premier, so I decided to arrive around noon, just like the Mesquite show.

I knew I was in trouble right after I took the Montgomery exit off of I-30 and saw the line.  It didn’t help that one lane of Montgomery was shut down for construction, but there was still an incredible line of cars headed for the show.  After about ten minutes of movement at the proverbial snail’s pace, I decided to bail out and help one of the entrepreneurs using their business parking area as an impromptu show lot.  It turned out to be five bucks well spent as I estimated it would have taken at least 30-40 minutes longer just to make it to the show lot that is now charging eight dollars.  Prior Ft. Worth shows charged $5 for parking.

Welcome to the new world order.

Here’s a shot of the venue I took after walking a block.

ftworth

Ha ha – try to pick out Will Rogers in the background 🙂  Remember this photo and the line of vehicles if you plan on attending the Premier Gun Show next week.

Well, at least the weather was good and I enjoyed the exercise.  When I finally made it to the entry, I noticed that LaRouche PAC had a bit exhibit outside.  Never seen them before, but they appeared to have over a dozen people hovering around, some listening to the pitch and others (like me) taking photos of the greatest firearm salesman in history.  Yeah, here he is.

obama

Speaking of sales, I saw lots of people walking back to their cars on my trek to the show.  Many were carrying newly purchased firearms and most of the boxes were of the long variety if that tells you anything.

I really wanted to get inside and see if there was a line.  Did I really have to wonder?  Of course there was a line at nearly 12:30 in the afternoon.  What could I have possibly been thinking?  The good news is that they separated people checking firearms (three nice offers on duty) and the remainder were further divided into two lines for processing payment.  My carry was locked in the car safe, so I lined up for payment.

I asked the lady who took my money if they were validating parking.  She just looked at her cash box and nodded her head in the negative.  I think she was trying to use Jedi mind tricks to get me to ‘move along.’  So, let me figure this out.  I have to pay a jacked up parking fee to get into a show to pay jacked up prices and you’re not even going to cut me some slack on the parking?  I think I just got jacked up!

I hope Premier isn’t going to pull the same move next week.

Two concession stands were open (although I ate before entering).  Restrooms at Will Rodgers are adequate and are located on the same side of the exhibit hall as concessions.

I took a few seconds to look over the vendor layout and relatively speaking, this show was just as packed as Mesquite the week before.  The really big difference from prior Ft. Worth (Premier) shows is the number of families in attendance.  I saw more women and children present than any show I attended earlier this year.

Following is a summary of my trip around the floor to give you an idea of the spectrum of vendors in attendance.  Although Lone Star and Premier sponsor shows as the same location and attract many of the same vendors, there are differences and I noticed within ten minutes that a lot of vendors I frequent regularly were not in attendance.

I could not stop at every vendor even if I had infinite time to attend the show simply due to the overwhelming traffic.  My first stop was at Kenzie’s Optics to check out the night vision gear.  From there, I wandered up and down the aisles and the remainder of my vendor reports are pretty much in random order.  The Team Glock table had a nice layout of Glock-related goodies.  I also picked up a business card for Joe Kelley, a relatively new Glock armorer at the shows.  Shortly after, I had a nice conversation with Jeff Demosthenes at My Safe Gun Training.  They offer classes from NRA-certified instructors.

BladeRunner had an interesting collection of knives, lights, lasers, more lights, accessories, and then some more lights.

Did I mention this show was really packed?  Moving up and down the aisles was not easy, but I eventually walked past Big State Distributors and got my first taste of the real new world order.  Don’t ask me about mag prices.  You don’t want to know the answer.  I tried to look at the firearms on display by The Gun Zone, but it was too packed to get close enough for anything other than a quick glance or two.  Speaking of packed, Republic Arsenal had three buyers in line with a small group of guns on the floor waiting for the 4473’s to be approved.  Oscar said he had a 45-minute backlog in the approvals process.

In addition to the huge crowd, I also noticed the large number of people on cell phones reporting stocks and prices of various items to others outside the show, almost as if they were purchasing for more than one person (or business).  So, the attendance level seemed to understate the true buying interest.  I can only imagine the nightmare if everyone interesting in purchasing something was actually in attendance themselves.

The first ammo vendor I came across was nearly sold out, not even halfway through the first day of the show.

Although I expected prices on almost everything to be raised into the stratosphere, there were bargains to be found.  There were some very nice leather concealment vests marked from $75 down to $35.  They were cowboy style and I prefer hiking or photograper-type vests.  Too bad.  I hate to pass up a good deal on a very high-quality vest.

I walked by a vendor selling the ever-popular Thrive food products right next to one of the guys selling copper coins. I still don’t get those.

Cal-Tex Gun Barn had lots of Crickets on display and they seemed to be very popular with kids.

Once again, lots of women and kids were in attendance and the vendors seemed to reflect this anticipation.  Sofia’s Tees had a great display of cammo tees and other clothing for women.  If you can’t make it to a gun show, they are also at the Canton Trade Days.

Blades and Stuff was back again.

S.W.A.T was almost sold out when I first walked by.  I stayed at the show for nearly three hours and checked them out again just before I left.  They looked to be packing up for the day because they were surrounded by nothing but empty tables.

I’m not sure that many people have access to outdoor shooting facilities where they can bring their own targets, but there must be a market for these ‘jumping’ targets because I see more and more of them at every show.

Did I mention that practically every firearms vendor was packed?  Yes, I think I did.  Same goes for when I walked by C&S Firearms.  I could not even get a good view of what they had on display.

One of the survival-related vendors (I’ll get to the full list later in the reviews) had the Condor Machete on display and I had a nice discussion with the owner about both that particular item and his business.  He also had some cool-looking Zombie blades (yes, with the neon green handles).

Pop’s Shop was back again selling mostly optics.

I mentioned lots of women and kids, and lots of complete families in attendance.  I can’t remember if this is typical of the Lone Star show in Ft. Worth as I only attended one earlier in the year.  The vendors seemed prepared, though.  Lots of jewelry vendors.  Concealment purses, particular ‘cowgirl’ style, were popular all across the exhibit hall.  A couple had one table displaying the Diva Sleeve, a pink-and-black concealment sleeve for women.  They also had a variety of concealment bags on display as well as bullet jewelry.

Every now and then, I had to shake my head to convince myself I was not at the State Fair.  The blowdart vendor is at most every show, but I never actually see anyone buying one when I walk by.  Well, just wait a weapons ban or two and we’ll all be carrying crossbows and blowdarts.  The criminals will still have guns, though 😦

Or, we can stock up on the less-than-lethal gear offered by many vendors including Smoke And Fire Defense, who had a multi-table layout of stun guns, sprays, knives, batons, and even surveillance equipment.

One of the vendors was selling Voodoo Ergo and similar packs for $35 to $55.  I might have bought one, but I’m pretty well stocked up on bags and carrying cases.

Okay, now I’m certain this is the State Fair, and not a gun show.  Even the Bionic Band vendors were out in force and it seems to be the same display I saw at the fair.  Their gun show schtick is that the band helps manage recoil.  Personally, I think weight, lower bore axis, perhaps a grip sleeve, and good technique will serve you better.

Well, that’s it for part one.  It will take two, or perhaps three long posts to complete the full review of this show.  Just remember that this show was packed and it’s not even the ‘big one’ in Ft. Worth.  So, if you plan on attending next week’s show, plan to arrive early and pay more for parking.  And more for mags too 🙂

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  1. […] part of my review of the Ft. Worth Gun show on Dec. 22 2012, sponsored by Lone Star Gun Shows.  In part I, I reviewed the location, parking, overwhelming traffic, and began the summary of my three-hour […]

  2. […] final part in a three-part review of the Lone Star Gun Show in Ft. Worth, TX on Dec. 22, 2012.  In part I and part II, I reviewed the location, parking, traffic to the show and the majority of my stops […]