Monday, October 20, 2008

So, a guy walks into a gun show

Yesterday afternoon was spent working a table for my gun club at a local gun show. As usual, I got to talk to a number of really nice folks, and as usual, I got to walk the show for free. Sort of.

For the first time, Son was with me to help out at the table. We all hoped that this would help show interested folks that we are a family-oriented group (which we are). A lot of gun clubs are a bit, well, unwelcoming to women and children. Foolish and unfortunate, but true.

At any rate, after an hour or so The Insatiable Teenage Eating Machine kicked in, and we had to go find it food. Luckily, this show always has some good food (outside of beef jerky). After eating, we walked a couple of isles, and in doing so, I spied one of these:

That is an Ithaca 900 in 20 gauge. I bought it for Son, who, as noted earlier, is really starting to get into this "clay thing". As best we can tell without a range trip, it seems to be a good fit for him. The gun I bought is not as pristine as the example pictured--it's walked a lot of fields in it's day. The metal is very good, the wood has some dings and the finish is showing it's age. Of course, if any of that starts to be an issue, we can address that as a father and son project.

Walking along further, I saw a Henry .22 pump action on another dealer's rack. I checked the price and raised my eyebrows, since it seemed kind of high. I mentioned it to someone, and they said that they thought that was a pretty good price.

Later on, we took another little walk, and saw some Taurus .22 pumps. Checking the price, my eyebrows went up again--because they were only $30 less than the first dealer was asking for the Henry. I found another dealer with a Taurus, and his price was in line with this guy. O-o-o-k....

Knowing that the Henry is a considerably more expensive piece than the Taurus, I headed back to the first dealer's table. The gun is still there, and he has another that has never been out of the box. So I started out the traditional negotiation on price. He asked me to wait a second, and pulled out some paperwork from the wholesaler and handed it to me. His asking price was $27 over what he paid for it, if you accepted the paperwork as genuine--and it appeared to be.

A 4473 and some cash later, it's under my arm. A bit impulsive, sure, but I had a hunch the guy was on the up-and-up.

Doing some checking later, I find out I paid about 25% less than current retail for the Henry. I'm good with that. It may not be the greatest deal in the history of firearms, but for a new gun from a dealer, it's good enough.

Now for a few observations.

Attendance was off rather heavily--it was way too easy to get around and see things. I talked to the promoter (I know the guy) and he told me that attendance was off over 20% on both days.

Ammo prices are down on some calibers. .223 was down about $35/500 from what I last paid for it (Wolf Military Classic).

There were far fewer people selling their guns than I expected. I had actually expected to see a flood of them, given the economy. There was a story about one guy on Saturday, who had came in to sell every gun he owned. The story was that he was self-employed, and hadn't paid himself in 3 months.

Finally, there is much concern about the future for gunnies if Obama wins the election. A lot of the conversations started off with "Well, McCain isn't who I'd have like to see running, BUT...".

All in all, a very enjoyable and interesting day.

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