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Have you ever been to a gun show? It’s something else. I can tell you about it from my experience, having been to about 20 gun shows in six states over the past year.

Most gun shows focus on guns and ammo. The guns run the gamut; some are brand new with all the latest bells and whistles while others are vintage rifles and pistols. Many people are selling guns, and not just at the various booths — sometimes individuals walk around with a rifle on their shoulder, with a sign on it advertising the price. The ammo can be either brand new or remanufactured. In fact, usually there is a booth or two offering to buy old brass from attendees, or to use old brass in exchange for some of the cost of your new purchase. Also, there are companies selling cases for your guns — holsters, rifle cases, etc.

There are also other types of weaponry at a gun show. There are knives (of all types – Swiss army knives, pocket knives, switchblades, etc.), bows and arrows, crossbows, stun guns, tasers, batons, pepper spray, and any other weapon you could want.

But it isn’t just weapons and ammo at a gun show. Often there are self-reliance products. These include things like heirloom seeds so you can grow your own food and soil amendments to add to your soil so that the plants are healthier and produce more fruits and vegetables, as well as germinate more quickly. There are usually paper targets for practice shooting, ammo cans, flares, safety lights in various colors, defense alarms, and other safety devices. There are often booths that have first aid supplies, as well as MREs and freeze-dried foods. There are always booths selling duffle bags and backpacks, which are terrific for bug-out bags, and they are usually at great prices. At a recent show I picked up an East-West black duffle bag (30” x 14” x 14”) for $18.00. It was labeled by the company as $37.99.

Then there are the less-related items available at a gun show — items that make me wonder how they got a table or booth in the first place, but interesting items nonetheless. These include booths for bamboo pillows, kitchen knives, and, at a recent show, I even saw a booth devoted to selling hundreds of Beanie Babies. If you go to that gun show and buy yourself some weaponry, you can get a present for the kids while you’re there!

Don’t worry if you’re at the gun show longer than you expected. There are always some booths with food. You can usually get jerky (of all kinds, including beef, elk, turkey, deer, etc.) at a booth. You might want to get some for your next hunting trip or to add to your prepper supplies, especially for a snack in your bug-out bag. Sometimes there are booths that sell specialized coffees, and they’ll give you a sample cup. The venue itself usually has a concession stand, and some of them have really decent prices and good food. (Not all of them do, but if you go to the expo center I was at last weekend, you too could try the delicious BBQ beef sandwich for $8.00.) They also usually have many types of drinks like sodas, beers, coffee, etc. One morning, I even got hot chocolate at an expo center, which improved my whole day.

Many gun shows offer classes in what the laws are for weaponry, and some have concealed-carry classes. Most gun shows are a two-day event, and when you pay for the first day, you can return the second day for free. (You might as well go both days to take advantage of all the show has to offer!) Usually, children are free, and there are many children there with their parents. All in all, a few hours at a gun show can be a great experience and may even help you get things you need to be more prepared for TEOTWAWKI. Enjoy the show!

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