I have bought many guns over the years from the large vendors at gun show.
I don't buy used, and I don't usually deal with the small guys. So, I don't haggle, as the larger vendors don't haggle at all.
Their prices of the small guys are generally too high, and they won't even negotiate down to the price of the big guys - like Schramm, Bachman Gun and Pawn, etc. And, I'm not into old stuff and antique items.
I can usually save $50-$75 on a handgun compared to locally. Sometimes even more.
Granted, I am driving from College Station and paying to enter and park. But, it gives me some entertainment value for a couple hours at the show. Plus, the cost of going doesn't come out of the $$$ I have to buy the gun - my wife doesn't make me pay that out of my gun money. I can't
go to her and say - hey, instead of going to the show, can I take $50 out of the checkbook and not drive to Houston and buy the gun here in town.
So, I go. But, heck... I bought a few Beretta 92FS handguns this year WITH factory night sights installed for $599. A new 92FS with NO night sights costs more than that here. And, it's almost $200 now to send off a slide to Tooltech to have them drill the front sight and install them. And, at the last Brown show, the same vendor had a new 92FS WITH night sights down to $565! That is a DEAL!
Plus, I haven't seen a Beretta 92 WITH factory night sights on the shelves locally since the late 1990s. The gun show is the only way to get one here, unless you find an online vendor.
My Walther P99 I got last Sat was listed at $535. In general, the AR's are $100 or more less than the local price as well. I came close to buying a Daniel Defense AR this year. $1135-$1150 at the shows from big vendors. $100 or more local.
Now, magazines, I don't always buy at the shows. Just depends. Most of the time I can get them online cheaper. And, in the past 1.5 years, ammo prices have been ridiculous at the shows. Won't buy ammo there.
But for new, current made guns of any type, it's usually cheaper to buy at the show than at a gun store. And, it's a 90+ minute drive for me. I leave about 2 hours early, and am waiting in line for when they open at 9am. I like to have first crack at stuff, and items get all scratched up by the end of the day after a couple thousand people paw the item.