Saturday, February 19, 2011

As SciFiJim notes...

I owe you guys a report on my trip to the Wilkesboro, NC gun show. Apologies for not doing it sooner, but my week went into the crapper on Tuesday and I'm just now crawling over the rim. :-)

I have to tell you, this was an atypical show. Held in a former glove factory, parking was at a premium. The organizer, C&E Gun Shows, was running shuttle buses to a nearby location to provide enough parking. Since we went later on in the afternoon, we were able to park relatively nearby in the parking lot of a small church. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, as the song lyrics say.

On arrival, we were beset (in a very nice way) by some young boys raising money for a trip to Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. They were very cool about it, only asking for a dollar. I didn't have any at the moment, but Mountain Man jumped in with a couple. (I was able to toss in a couple on the way out.) I've seen folks raising money for various veterans organizations at gun show, but never a trip to Cooperstown. Bonus points to the kids for thinking outside the box.

Inside, the show was semi-divided into two parts, because the building was semi-divided into two parts. Since time was short, we started working our way through, noting items that might be of interest later. Even for mid-afternoon, there was a good crowd, but not so many people that it was impossible to move past the tables. The buildings were uncomfortably warm inside, as in strip down to your t-shirt warm. There was a lot of complaining about that.

The Wikesboro Police Department and the Wilkes County Sheriffs Office were extraordinarily well represented. The police presence was heavier than any I've ever seen at a gun show. No discernible reason why. It's not like they were bothering anyone, but they were everywhere.

Prices at the tables were typical gun show--some vendors were obviously quite proud of their merchandise, others were there to sell guns. I had done my research on the various items I'm currently interested in, so I had a fair idea of what "good" prices should be. For the items I was able to locate, I was able to find sellers with prices that almost met the best I could find on the Intertubz. This show was something of a "treat" for me, being that I was going to spend a bit of my inheritance from my Dad "foolishly", but I wasn't about to be foolish and overpay for anything.

The first purchases were from N82 Tactical. The Nates are local fellows, and I'd seen their stuff at several shows in the last couple of years. I'm not a fan if IWB holsters, but neither is Michael Bane, and he's been bragging on his for a year now. Given the reasonable price and the fact that spring and summer are coming up, I decided to take a chance on one. I haven't worn it yet, but I can tell you that they are exceedingly well crafted, and if there is an IWB I can stand this may well be it.

I also bought something else from them, the Magna-Arm. Maybe it's the gadget geek in me coming out, but this strikes me as the solution to my long-term issue of how to carry a pistol in my car (when I don't want it physically on me). The magnet is quite strong, rubber coated to protect your gun's finish, and is mounted with two screws. A gun held by one isn't going to go flying about the cabin in the event of an accident.

I can also happily report that the Great Ammunition Shortage appears to be over. Prices have receded some, but folks, I don't think we're ever going to see cheap ammo again. Given that:
  • the price of metals is up and staying that way
  • our dollars are inflating away their worth (so it takes more of them to buy anything)
  • the manufacturers know we'll pay these prices
ammo is simply going to be more expensive going forward, perhaps permanently. However, it was definitely plentiful at this show, and I bought a 1000 round case of PMC brass .223 just to prove it. Luckily, Son was along to play the part of pack mule.

Speaking of more expensive ammo, one of the items I was looking for was a Smith and Wesson M&P15-22. You gain a lot from practice, practice, practice, and I think it is perfectly possible to have effective practice with a .22, especially one that has the same ergonomics of its larger cousin, the AR-15.

So yeah, one of those jumped up in my arms, snuggled in, and begged to go home with us. What could I do? Range report as soon as I can make time to go. Maybe a couple of weeks. *sigh*

Also noted were a largish number of guys selling guns. However, it didn't have the air of desperation I've seen at other shows, where it seemed they were being sold to raise money to live on. I think this was just the normal "I want a new gun so I have to sell this old gun" sort of thing. Even though I don't believe "Happy Days Are Here Again" economically, I was pleased not see that sort of thing going on.

One seller had very good prices on junk silver; selling Peace silver dollars for $25 each, just a slight premium above spot from the previous day. I should have bought some (Mountain Man bought a couple for Mrs. Man), but I figured I'd done enough for one day, so I passed. After what silver did this week, I can say that was a dumb move.

There were also reasonable prices on knives from Gerber, Cold Steel, Case, Buck and other major manufacturers at a number of tables. Unfortunately, despite my prodding, Son couldn't find anything he wanted. He even passed on a Buck Folding Hunter. Where did I fail?

Following the show, we all had a good meal at a fine Mexican restaurant, and, with bellies and trunk full, made our way back home.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Told ya so

As I predicted, the House has approved an extension of the "Patriot" Act.

This is my shocked face.

Supid anti-gun idea #4,895,432

A Connecticut lawmaker wants to create the country's first state registry for people convicted of gun crimes, a proposal he says will help police track and deter repeat offenders. Opponents worry it'll be a costly, unnecessary and excessive step.

State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney got the idea from several cities, including New York and Baltimore, which already have instituted gun-offender registries.

The guy's name is "Looney"? I take that as proof that not only does God have a sense of humor, but that he's on our side as well.

This is one of the ideas pushed by the alleged "Mayors Against Illegal Guns". (No linky for you.) Despite Looney's protestations that "...early evidence suggests the established programs are having a "deterrent" effect," I can't find any sign of actual research to point to that--and you know that if they had any, they'd be trumpeting it all over their captive media. No, this is another version of "everyone knows" and "common sense gun control".

And as we gunnies all know, the first is a lie and the second isn't true.

Connecticut gunnies, I hope you can beat this bad idea back into the hole it crawled out of. Good luck.

In which AC Snow is delivered his comeuppence

(Via Say Uncle)

An NC Bun Blog takes on the Noise and Disturber's AC Snow, who has once again decided that something about guns is very b-a-a-a-d.

From the Email List that must Remain Nameless

Customs and Border Protection officers clear 80 percent of all cargo before it enters the United States. Congress has mandated that they clear 100 percent of cargo imports by 2012. In San Diego, every cargo container is driven through a radiation detector before leaving San Diego's seaport.

"So, specifically, you're looking for the dirty bomb? You're looking for the nuclear device?" asked Blacher.

"Correct. Weapons of mass effect," Hallor said.

"You ever found one?" asked Blacher.

"Not at this location," Hallor said.

"But they have found them?" asked Blacher.

"Yes," said Hallor.

URK?? Did he just say what I think he said?

Customs and Border Patrol deny this in a later statement, but the paranoid conspiracy theorist in me has to wonder....