This time, the festivities were in Greensboro, NC at the Greensboro Gun and Knife Show, and again it was an interesting experience. Guns shows have changed a lot in the last month, and at this point I'm going just to see what's going on.
Gun prices have not abated. $1400 AKs, $600 SKSes and $2000 ARs are still the order of the day. If anything, the increase had extended into things other than evil black rifles and semi-automatic handguns. I noticed a small but definite increase in the price of .22s (which I assume folks are buying in an attempt to beat high ammo prices), in defensive shotguns and in bolt action rifles in the more popular calibers such as .308 and 30-06. Revolvers also seem to have moved up just a bit.
Ammo prices are also up. 9mm and .45 ACP ball ammo that I paid $170/500 for less than a month ago is now $225-$250. Self-defense ammo is up $2-$5/box. .22 is rising; a 550 count box of Federal was $50. 5.56 was still averaging $1/round and was almost unavailable. 7.62x51 was spottily available at about the same price, while 7.62x39 was fairly widely available at $250/500. .50 BMG was $5.50/round. *gulp*
The only Pmags I saw were $40/each, and that was a guy with a backpack of them. I saw HK-91 mags at $60/each. M1A mags were $70. I wish I had bought more M1A magazines when I found them for $20 that time....
I decided to see if I could part company with one of my safe queens, a Springfield SAR-8 (an HK-91 clone). Despite the Intertubz wailing about it, it has always been a good performer for me. However, after getting an M1A, it has been relegated to the back of the safe--I just like the M1A better. So I stuck a sign what I thought was a stupid high price on it, packed up the 15 mags I own and gave it a shot. No luck, although there was some interest. I may lower the price and try again, or I may keep it. Not sure just yet. I'm almost afraid to sell anything, even things I no longer want.
I also got to talk to a friend who owns a shop. Not only did he tell me that my "stupid high price" wasn't, he was able to give me some "inside baseball" information on the goings on in the industry. According to him, manufacturers and distributors are holding guns back; he believes they're waiting for a ban and much higher prices. Ammo distributors are allocating ammo, but it is available. Due to the situation, he is also limiting sales to 4 boxes per customer (or 2 bricks of .22 LR). No one is selling cases, because they just can't get enough of it to sell like that. He also said that people are now stocking up on hunting calibers, such as 30-30 and .270, and that reloading components were just about gone. I asked him to call me when he got any in; he told me to get on his Facebook page--he posts availability of ammo and popular firearms at his shop daily.
Knife vendors were doing a good business, but not for collector knives. What was selling were the sorts of knives you expect to use, along with multi-tools.
The food storage vendor (there was only one) was also getting a lot of interest. I've been looking to add more to the long-term stuff, and sampled some of his wares. Not bad. It's an expensive way to store food, but with a 20-year shelf life, I think it has a place in the scheme of things. I'm likely going to place an order in a day or two.
I was able to pick up 200 rounds of .38 Special at $19/50. That may have been the big score of the show. I got the last 4 boxes the guy had.
The people at the show continue to surprise me. Even more women, more kids and more minorities than last time. Lots of very obvious first time buyers, many of them older folks.
The air of the thing was again very purposeful. People are buying with a reason and a plan for the most part. Some of the attendees, like me, were there just to keep an eye on things, so to speak. A couple of guys who were behind me for a while were commenting on how insane the prices were. I debated telling them that if you didn't have your guns yet, then no price you could pay would likely be too high, but I decided to let it pass. They were young; they'll figure it out eventually.
So there you have it. Not sure the next one I'm going to try, but you'll get a report when I do.