This is a review of the Dan’s Five Star Gun Show, held at Texas Motor Speedway, on Saturday Dec. 13, 2014. TMS represents the first gun show for a new promoter in the north Texas area, so I decided to make the long drive instead of hang out at Lewisville. This leads to the immediate and obvious question as to why one would drive to the Ft. Worth area when there are back-to-back (established) gun shows at Will Rogers in the coming two weeks?
The venue is an obvious answer, but if you want to make a long drive just to see Texas Motor Speedway, then for the cost of an average gun show, you may purchase a track tour. On that note, it would have been very cool to offer some sort of combo. ticket where you could attend the gun show and get a tour of TMS after you finished.
The gun show market in the metroplex is already over-saturated and no matter when the TMS show is scheduled, there will be a Ft. Worth gun show either a few weeks before or a few weeks after. So, once again, I’m forced to ask the question, why would I attend a small show in the Ft. Worth area, especially if it is a significant drive. On a personal basis, I suppose good answers fall in the following categories.
1 – Tight integration and experience with the venue, which is unique in the gun show industry
2 – Exposure to vendors and products of interest that are unavailable at other gun shows
3 – Exposure to new vendors in the west metroplex area that are unable to get tables at a Ft. Worth show
Once you get over seeing TMS for the first time, the show ultimately survives on its character and uniqueness. I don’t expect the show character to be established in a single show, but you have to start somewhere. So, I was very interested in vendor attendance and the overall vibe of the first show.
I got caught up in traffic, so I arrived just after 9AM. I was not able to observe the opening line, but judging from the cars in the lot, it was a pretty decent opening for a new show. From what I understand, the event was pretty well advertised in the weeks leading up to the show and that advertising seemed to pay dividends from early attendance.
The event was well-organized. TMS is an easy drive and signage was adequate for a person unfamiliar with the venue to make it to the show, which was held in the garage area. Parking was well-managed and the entrance was clearly divided into check and no-check lines.
Food trucks were positioned outside along with a single table for seating. Those were your primary choices for food and drink during the show, which makes the overall show experience more dependent on weather. Fortunately, Saturday weather was superb and I did not mind sitting outdoors for a brief snack.
Upon entry into the show, i was given a small, foam handgun case, which was a very nice touch by the promoter. These were given to the first 100 people who attended.
On the subject of attendance, morning traffic was brisk. From a vendor’s standpoint, it was just right – a steady trickle of people every few minutes, but not so overwhelming that it was impossible to deal with everyone. The traffic level was very good for the size of the venue and held up for the three hours I attended on Saturday. Initial vendor reaction seemed quite positive.
I left right at noon and people were still tricking into the show. I passed about half a dozen vehicles on their way into the show during my drive out of TMS. So, I’d give the opening day high marks for attendance.
I made one quick sweep around the floor just to get an idea of the vendor mix. TMS is a relatively small show, so I think the vendor mix matters more overall than larger shows. For example, if every single table was covered with firearms, all you would have is a dramatically reduced selection of what is available at the Ft. Worth gun show, except it was held at Texas Motor Speedway. That puts us right back at the integration with the venue, which was minimal at this first show.
My personal, and this impression was reinforced by other attendees, was that the show had just a bit too much of a flea market vibe. I noticed knives everywhere and not the high-end tactical variety; just plain, cheap knives that we see at every gun show, except that at many other gun shows, there are thousands of firearms and accessories to compensate. And, I knew I was really in for something different when there were vendors selling pain-relief creams on the floor.
Even so, there was a strong interest in the show and I noticed many 4473’s being filled out as I made pass after pass by the tables. Some vendors reported brisk opening sales and others reported lots of people passing by multiple times, hoping to be given a deal beyond belief. I saw a couple long-gun boxes being carted around by buyers and I thought one of them was a SCAR. So, at least a few people walked into the show with some serious coinage.
And, the traffic kept pouring in. I talked with a couple dozen attendees and the majority expressed a bit of disappointment that there were not more firearms-related vendors. The remainder, particularly those with families in attendance, indicated it was ‘about right.’ Vendors universally seemed to like the venue and the opening traffic.
If you attended the show, please express your views in the comments section. If you were not there, here is the list of named vendors. On a side note, I talked to a couple dozen vendors well before the show and interest in attending was split about 50/50. With the current saturation in the market, a lot of vendors that might have otherwise attended are likely to sit on the sidelines for a while until show show proves itself. So, I suspect the vendor mix at subsequent shows to be different.
Quick Draw Shirts
Terri’s Personalized Rings
Advanced Gunworks Premier Shooting Club
Air Feet Insoles
Aatro’s Essential Seeds
D/FW Adventure Park
Shirley’s of Texas Beef Jerky
Red River Damascus
Model 1 Sales
Effective Product Marketing
Ne’ Qwa Art
A1 Custom Tac
Hassle Free CHL
Survival Gear Plus
Black Gun Tactical Supply
Texas Law Shield
The Optics Place
Don Mills, Attorney
Wise Lite Arms
Custom Ear Plugs
Counter Terrorism Training School
Danna Dickinson Jewelry
A&C Gun Safes
My Pain Lube
Toronjo & Prosser Law
Hasty Gun Shop
Timothy’s Gourmet House, LLC
Of course, a few things caught my eye. The star of the show was the Wildey Magnum. It was awesome just to hold a ‘Charles Bronson gun’ and you could have taken it home (with a bag of ammo) for $2500.
Other firearms I noticed included (NIB models, cash discount pricing).
CX4 Storm – .40 – $799
Delta Elite 10mm – $1029
FS Nine OD/G – $319
SCAR 16S – $2319
SCAR 17S – $2599
G36 – $419
G41 – $609
G42 – $475
G21 w/threaded bbl. – $529
Tavor – $1699
P226 Combat – $1150
P320 9mm – $559
P320C 9mm – $559
P227 – $579
516 Patrol – $1359
RM 400 – $899
Smith and Wesson
M&P 40C Carbon Fiber – $499
XD Mod 2 9mm – $479, $499, bi-tone $509
UTS-15 Camo – $1275
PPQ M2 – $539
Marine Defender – $429
So, was the show a winner or a bust? Personally, I think it was in between. It was good to see the strong traffic on Saturday. The promoter probably has something on their hands, but the open question is how to keep the excitement going after the first-time TMS novelty fades.
If you came to the show with the expectation that a lot of firearms vendors would be competing to sell you the same model Glock, Sprinfield, S&W, or whatever, you were probably a bit disappointed. If you attended to sell or trade, then it was probably not the best choice of shows. If you came just to see something completely new, then you got what you expected. I saw a few new vendors, including the Counter Terrorism Training School from Vegas. I purchased a new knife from Ravencrest Tactical, but there were far too many low-end knives on display for my personal taste. If I want to see state fair vendors, then I’ll gladly attend the state fair.
The promoter did a good job of setting up a venue that is very vendor-friendly and they delivered a solid attendance level. The challenge for this show is to establish that unique character and vendor mix that will keep people coming back long after the TMS novelty wears off.
Thanks very much for choosing to spend a small part of your day at Texas Gun Show Review.
- Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas