Haddoncoach

Great American Outdoor Show - Harrisburg

39 posts in this topic

My buddies and I have been talking about going out to Harrisburg for the Great American Outdoor Show in February.  

Does anyone have any experience with this show?  Worth the trip from S. Jersey?  Go on weekday vs weekend?  What to see? Buying?

In addition I’d like to thank everyone especially the moderators on the forum - I’ve learned a lot and continue to enjoy the people I’ve met ... (Lou!)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year or whatever you choose to celebrate as your Holiday.

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If you never have been there, it's worth the trip.  I still go most years just to see what's new.  Best to avoid either weekend as it is very busy.  Tuesday to Thursday is best but still a good crowd if the weather is good.  You have to go early, parking is complicated and limited near the venue.   Park at the Harrisburg Mall free and jump on the free bus, or at the Elmerton lot and pay $10 to park per car and take bus down the hill (fastest way).  The lot at the hall is packed even before the venue opens best to avoid it.

Buy your tix ahead on-line.  Fastest way in.  Make a list of what you want to see and do that first.  Can you see it all in a day? Depends on how much and how long you take in each hall.  I go only for the day, it's 2 hrs each way so it's a long day, aftdr about 8 hours I've had enough and head out.  You can spend two days there if you have a lot to cover.

PP, I'll miss you then, heading to FL this year so I  only have the first three days to attend, if at all.

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I've been but not every year.  I go without a plan and just wander around. I can see all I want to see in one day but it takes all day.

Don't even try the weekend.  Pick the coldest, rainiest, snowiest, worst weekday when nobody else wants to drive or leave the house.  Get there before they open for the day.  By noon, you can be fighting crowds.

I'll be taking a day off of work to go.

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Port Clinton Hotel up RT 61 from Cabelas for a great meal.  Nothing to look at, but food is great. Been there for over 100 years. Popular stop for AT through hikers.
This the place with the cheesesteaks?

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4 minutes ago, samtechlan said:

Can you buy firearms or ammo at the show?  If so how do prices compare to, say, the Oaks gun show?

NO! No gun sales or ammo sales.  You can buy some accessories. So far I am thinking I may change whether I go.  Exhibitor list shows no Remington, Walther, Benelli, Beretta. Ruger never goes.  I got this feeling the big gun dogs are dropping out!  Price? Length?

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I'll be there.   3 things to ponder
1.  Camo will be abound
2.  Prepare for sweaty, stinky people
3.  Parking sucks
Yes if you are not wearing 5:11 pants, RealTree/MossyOak hoody and a pack with molle straps you are doing the show wrong. :)

I've found parking is ok if you arrive before 10am. I've had no problems parking in 2014 and 16.

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There is also lunch at cracker barrel and a stop at cabelas. Didnt go last year but the last time i went there was a room with most of the gun manufacturers with all of their products on display that was really cool.  If you are looking to book a hunt somewhere you should def go to this show They have 2 rooms of just outfitters including all the guys you see on tv . I booked my bear hunt and my whitetail hunt at this show. 

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Kept my 11 year old son home from school and took him to the show yesterday.  I was suprised how big the crowds were in the afternoon on a work day.

Good show, same stuff I saw 2 years ago so it wasn't as exciting as I had hoped.  Crowds in the afternoon kept us from getting a good view of some tables.  If you're shopping for anything gun or hunting related, you'll find it here. 

We left the show mid afternoon and had an early dinner at the Shady Maple.

 

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I've known a few old guys that have gone the past years and they've said the gun sections have drastically decreased. A lot more fishing and hunting stuff than guns and that's held me back from going as I don't have much interest in the others.

A friend just went yesterday and I told him that it wasn't what it used to be. Like me, he's big into guns but not much else that's there. He thought he'd make the trip anyway and he texted me mid afternoon and said it wasn't worth it at all. Got to see some cool things walking around but not worth the 5hr round trip to walk around. I called him after work and he said over 50% of vendors were guides, he was shocked to see so many. You could buy a permit to shoot an elephant, mountain lion, anteater, probably mice too. Apparently gun vendors were minimal as was their gun inventory with some large gun companies just having an empty tent (?) but Mossberg had the best set up in his opinion. At the same time, it was Wednesday so maybe the weekend days will have more gun vendors?

I dont want to rain on everyone's parade but wanted to share that since it sounds like some ppl are on the fence. Not saying my buddy shares everyone's opinion but it sounded pretty lame. It's just not worth it for me. I'd rather save the 5hr drive, gas for my truck and stupid shit I'll buy out there and put it towards...say...my Shockwave!

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19 hours ago, Purple Patrick said:

So who is coming to say hi to me?

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I’ll be there Friday morning....will look you up.

I have a Henry Big Boy Steel 38/357, maybe you can show me something I don’t know about it!

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