Ft. Worth Dec 30 2012, Part I

Posted: January 2, 2013 in Show Reviews
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This is the first segment in a three-part review of the Premiere Ft. Worth Gun show on Dec. 30, 2012 at Will Rogers.  I reviewed the Lone Star gun show at the same location the prior week.

Part I of review

Part II  of review

Part III  of review

Many vendors participate in both shows, so I’m only going to report on either new vendors, notable price points from well-known vendors, or new things that caught my eye.

This was the expanded Ft. Worth show, with two exhibit halls open (1500+ tables), and it seemed like a great way to end the year.  In case you are new to the Ft. Worth gun show, it normally takes place in a single exhibit hall.

I noticed that the show times were changed on the web site from 10AM to 4PM to the Saturday hours of 9AM to 5PM.  I did not receive an email from Premier, so it was not clear if this was a mistake or a schedule change resulting from unusually high traffic on Saturday.

It was a mistake.  I parked right out in front at 8:10 AM and traffic was extremely light.  Parking fee was $8.  Here is a picture of the venue at 8:20 AM.

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People started filtering in closer to 9AM, so I got in line at about 8:45.  Several people in front of me complained about the show time posted on the web site.  Some time later, one of them loaded the site on his phone and noticed the schedule changed back to the original 10-4.  Someone needs to talk to the webmaster.

Here is the line at 9:15 AM.

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Notice that we’re all standing outside.  Outside.  In the cold.  That’s a pretty cold-blooded move by the promoter.  I noticed Premiere setting up gun-check tables on both sides of the entry, right at the doors.  This is different from the typical setup inside the hallway, just outside the entrance, which facilitates letting people stand in line inside.  I suspect the new setup was due to both exhibit halls being open, so the promoter did not want people in the entry line clashing with people moving in between halls.  Okay, that’s fine, but how about getting the show times right on your web site and for all the money you make off this show, splurge for a couple heaters for the paying customers standing outside?  Or sell coffee for really cheap?  I think I have a new business idea.

At least they opened a few minutes early and started processing people through.  I checked my Glock 31 and the officer was polite, but firm.  He made a strong inquiry regarding ammo (see my comment from the Houston show the day before).  I suspect everyone is treading on eggshells, expecting some fruit loop to carry ammo into a show and do something stupid.  Unfortunately, we live in a world with a lot of stupid and evil people and the rest of us pay the price.

The line wrapped around to the corner of the building by opening time.

Premiere reimbursed $5 of the parking fee (one of the few shows that does so).  It was nice to see a near-empty exhibit hall after my experiences of the past few weeks, so I headed over to T.R. Graham’s table for the first order of business.  I had my front sight switched out (I’m experimenting with a red Hi-Viz sight to get better contrast with the green TFOs in the rear).  Mr. Graham make quick work of the job and so far, I’m really liking the combination.

I observed that traffic was pretty light for this show (relative to prior weeks).  Several vendors reported that Saturday was extremely heavy.  While the Lone Star show seemed to be very family oriented, this one was more reminiscent of Ft. Worth gun show audiences of the past.

After a cup of $2 coffee that was worth no more than a buck, I warmed up enough to start working my way through the main hall.  Like the Houston show, I’ll break this review up into categories.  Since I’ve reviewed Ft. Worth before, I’m not going to comment on a vendor unless they appeared to be new or had something particularly comment-worthy on display.

The first comment is in the disturbing category.  There was an early announcement that someone stole a S&W 629 .44 magnum from one of the tables.

Speaking of Things That Go Boom

SpreadFire Arms had an all-black AK-47 (I really liked the appearance) for $1499, one of those evil Bushmasters for $1999, and a Rock River Arms entry tactical for $1999.

I walked by Republic Arsenal and talked with Oscar.  Slim pickings at RA these days.  Oscar indicated that normally, his display is three-deep with extra inventory under the tables.  Only two-deep at this show, and mostly Sigs.

Big State Distributors had lots of mags in stock.  I settled for a second speeloader for my own S&W Performance Center 629 (that I bought legally).

Ridge Line Guns had a Ruger LCR in 38 special on sale for $399 and a Smith NightGuard .44 mag for $849.  Colt M4’s were on sale for $2899.

Bad Ass Shotguns was back with some pretty bad-ass shotguns.  One of their Remington 870 models had a muzzle break similar to one I’ve seen on a Barrett .50 BMG.  It could be taken home for $599.  Lots of tricked-out Mossberg 930’s in the $600 to $800 range.

I love walking by Bachman Wholesale.  If only I could win the lottery.  My S&W PC 629 is holding at $899 – glad I purchased when I did – and if you need more BOOM than a .44 mag, then an 8 5/8 inch-barrel S&W 500 should do the trick.  $1029 gets you the gun, which works great as a club if you can’t deal with the recoil.  Lots of Glocks for sale, a sample of which included a Gen-3 G36 for $619, a Gen-4 G31 for $549, and a Gen-3 G17 for $449.  Pretty reasonable for the supposed gun-show gouging the media is foaming at the mouth over.  AR’s are still high, but there is a difference between supply-demand pressure and gouging. However, when was the last time you heard anything reasonable from the media?  Speaking of reasonable, all the Sig prices I checked out at Bachman looked good.

A2J2 had MetroArms 1911’s on display in the $550 to $650 range and some EAA Witness models in the low $500’s.

CYA sold Magpul 30-round 5-packs for $279.

C&S Firearms had several Glocks on sale.  A Gen-3 G22 was priced at $525.  Does seem a hair steep for a gen-3.

Clifford Hopkins Sales had a huge collection of bolt-action hunting rifles laid out over multiple tables.

Love’s Guns had a baby Eagle on sale for $478.  Nice pistol.  An FNS-40 was priced at $580 and they had a large assortment of Gen-3 and Gen-4 Glocks, but I didn’t see anything over $580.

Rock River Arms had their usual display as well as some very cool T-shirts.  Tables did not seem quite as empty as prior shows.

Gun Toyz sold GII P-mags for $49.99 and the Roni pistol-to-carbine conversion kit for $399.

S.A.W. had a very large collection of Glocks with night sights already installed.  Most of the ones I saw were gen-3 models, all of which seemed pretty reasonably priced.  A P938 Extreme was on sale for $686.

Blackland Outdoor Sports had a Bushmaster Patrolman displayed for $1869.

This is probably a good stopping point for part I.  In the second part of this review, I’ll finish my commentary on the firearm vendors, then move onto ammo and other vendor categories.

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  1. […] second installment in a three-part review of the Premier Ft. Worth Gun show on Dec. 30, 2012.  In part I, I reviewed the location, show opening, and made it through some of the firearm vendor […]