My job here at Baker Airguns has afforded me the opportunity to work/attend quite a few airgun shows over the past year. Before I started working here, though I was already an avid airgunner, I had never been to an airgun show. I had heard of them, but never had the opportunity to get to one. Nor did I really have much desire to visit one. That’s because I was completely unaware of how awesome airgun shows really are. I now know better, and hope to persuade you to at least check one out.
There really isn’t much difference between a gun show and an airgun show. The basic idea is that a bunch of airgun nuts get together with a bunch of airguns to buy/sell/trade and have fun with each other. There are also usually industry representatives who are displaying and demonstrating the latest, greatest products they have to offer. This gives airgunners the opportunity to see and handle products that they would normally only see online. This is quite a big deal to many airgunners, and rightly so. Seeing an airgun in person, picking it up and shouldering it, looking down the sights….these things will tell you far more about whether or not you want to buy that airgun than any review or recommendation.
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Baker Airguns is one of the few airgun retailers today with an actual retail store where customers can come in and gain firsthand experience with an airgun they may want to purchase. Not all retailers have an open showroom like we do, but they still commonly attend airgun shows. Even the big guys. In this way, you might think of an airgun show as your opportunity to see their “showroom”, whereas you simply cannot otherwise. It’s also a great place to become exposed to smaller and lesser known (sometimes extraordinarily awesome) companies, makers, and the like.
Another incredible aspect of airgun shows is the prizes! As someone who is (somewhat) involved in running and preparing for airgun shows (Baker Airguns is the main sponsor for both the Midwest Airgun Show and the Kalamazoo Airgun show…which is this weekend!), I can tell you that the generosity of the airgun industry is second to none. The donations made by the leaders in the airgun industry for raffle/door prizes are just astounding. Take a look at the Kalamazoo Airgun Show Website and just look at the list of donated prizes. It’s like an airgunners Christmas Wishlist. I’m not saying you should go to an airgun show just because you can win free stuff, but there’s a VERY good chance of walking out with something awesome that was absolutely free.
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If I still haven’t convinced you that airguns shows are awesome and you should check one out…I have one more point to make. In my opinion, the absolute best part of any airgun show is the camaraderie. People from all over the place come to airgun shows. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met in real life at an airgun show whom I had previously only known online. Sure, online friends can be cool and all, but there’s something about meeting someone in person. I’ve turned online friends into real friends at airgun shows. That’s just awesome! People travel from all corners of the USA and beyond to attend airgun shows. I’ve met airgunners from other countries at airgun shows! That’s just awesome! So in a nutshell, airgun shows are just awesome and I would highly recommend that you see for yourself.
Like I said earlier, the Kalamazoo Airgun Show is this weekend Sunday August 18, 2019 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center 2900 Lake St. Kalamazoo, MI 49048. Admission will cost you a whole $3, and the doors open at 9am. If you have the opportunity, you should do yourself a favor and check it out. I doubt you will be sorry you did.
Donnie Reed is our Sales Manager and general airgun guru here at Baker Airguns. He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, and qualified as both a Rifle Expert and Pistol Expert. Donnie is now a competitive airgun shooter, focusing primarily on field target and benchrest competitions. He has won both PCP and piston class field target matches, as well as local benchrest competitions. Donnie also runs the Youtube channel and Facebook group ALL THINGS AIRGUN. His first college degree is in Mathematics and Sciences, but he is still pursuing another in Physics and Astronomy.