Sunday, November 07, 2004

A trip to the gun show

Yesterday was devoted to one of my favorite forms of entertainment--a trip to a gun show with one of my buddies. Heck, we not only went to the show, but also checked out a gun store that neither of us had ever visited, plus we took time for a most excellent lunch. Life is good.

As the first show I've attended since the thrice-damned AWB was consigned to the ashheap of failed social experiments, I wasn't sure what to expect.

First, a lot of guys were in the woods--deer season has just started. Since the economy has started improving, I also didn't see a bunch of guys who were having to sell their guns to feed their family. I take this as a Very Good Thing, in more ways than one.

I did, however, see one Serious Loon--the kind the media just loves to paint as the only kind of person who goes to gun shows. This is literally the first in several years that I've spotted, and I was gratified to see that the off-duty LEOs who traditionally provide security for these events also noted the SL's presence.

There were a lot of very neat toys. I'm lusting after a classic side-by-side double barrel shotgun, and there were scads to see. I just wish I could afford one...

Our favorite custom leathersmith was present, and kindly provided me with a nice shoulder rig for the latest acquisition. He didn't have a regular rig for range carry, but he promised to make up some and have them at the next event.

Of course, there were the new post-post-ban Evil Black Rifles in plenty. I even saw an actual AR-10, which is something of a rare bird around here. I want one, but not in the configuration they had. Will someone please explain to me the fascination is the sliding buttstocks on ARs?

Interesting thing on the post-post-bans were the prices--they are about the same as the post-ban guns we were putting up with. A lot of folks expected to see them come down, but I was on the side of the other group--why should they come down? They manufacturers already know we'll pay that much for them in the crippled configuration.

Also saw more than a few dealers who were trying to get their money back out of pre-ban guns. Anyone up for some $2200 HKs? $1400 AKs? $1600 ARs? I don't know whether to feel sorry for these guys or not.

Ammo, at least in my calibers, was not a plentiful as I had hoped. There was some Lake City 72 in 30-06 for a decent price, but until I have an M1 I don't really need too much of that. Very little in 7.62 (.308 Winchester), except the Portuguese stuff. Not a bad price, but with the Berdan primers they used, you can't reload the brass. Not a bit of Lake City 7.62 to be found. Sti-rike! Swing and a miss!

.45 ACP wasn't in short supply, unless you wanted a brand name you knew. The bud bought 500 rounds of "PMP" brand, which looked OK, but I can buy the Winchester white box for the same price at Wall-to-Wall-Mart. I was low on funds by then, so I passed. I'll wait on his report on the ammo.

And where the dickens has all the .22 LR disappeared to? You'd think that they stopped making the stuff. Luckily, I know where I can still get the CCI for a penny each in quantity. Time to stock up, I guess.

Reloading components were also in short supply--only one vendor. But that one was one of my favorites. They're local folks (actually live very near me) and their prices are as good or better than anywhere else--and I don't have to pay any hazmat shipping fees.

And if they don't have it, the new place we checked out caters to reloaders. Oh Happy Day, I don't have to drive an hour and a half to go to a decent gun store any more! I just wish the guy kept something approaching normal hours--closing at 2 on Saturday? Please!

We had a great day. Now I need to go make some use of my new goodies. Say bang, anyone?

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