Make it easy on yourself and go to a gun show. :-)
It's busy at The Bitty University of Bumpkinville. The Special Snowflakes have returned from their Christmas break and classes start tomorrow, I think. The IT staff that I oversee has been busting its collective rump trying to get everything ready, or as ready as we can given personnel and budget cutbacks. Time for anything but work has been short.
That, plus the lack of fun and unjoy before Christmas means I haven't had much time to myself. However, I did work in a trip to the Winston Salem Gun Show this weekend. After President Weepy's performance earlier in the week, I really wanted to take the temperature of the crowd. The show was crowded, but not in the way we would normally expect,with long lines to get in. It was just this steady surge of people, a constant 3-5 minute line to get a ticket and enter. But in the small venue of the Lawrence Joel Coliseum, when that goes on for 3-4 hours, it gets amazing packed with humanity.
There were a couple of vendors who were apparently there on a mission to move handguns, and move them they did. I would estimate they sold 25-33% of their stock by 1 PM on Saturday, and at excellent prices. The new Ruger American pistol was easily available and at what seemed to be a reasonable price for a newly introduced gun. The least expensive I saw was tagged at $429, which seems to be a good deal given the $579 MSRP. I also watched them sell totally out of Sig P320s at prices in the high $400s--low $500s.
Ammo was readily available, even in .22 LR. Except for .22 LR, the prices were pretty reasonable. .223 brass cased PMC was around $330 per/1000, as an example. 115 gr. 9mm was $225/1000 if my memory serves. .22 LR was all over, depending on brand. CCI Stingers were $16/100. I did not buy any, since I'm still good on .22 and holding out for better prices.
Oddly enough ARs were, to my mind, rather high. I have not priced any lately, but to me any given level of quality seemed to be about $150-$200 higher than it was at the last show I attended. I am not accustomed to $850 Bushmasters. However, I will stipulate I have not paid close attention to AR prices in some time, so perhaps these prices were not out of line.
As per the new normal, Gun Culture 2.0 was very well represented. Women and minorities were well represented, as were the very young in their strollers. For someone my age it is odd and incredibly hopeful to see gun shows go from the only place on earth where you could find more overweight white guys than a ham fest to a place where women, kids and minorities are being welcomed not only with open arms but with open hearts and open minds. I make it a point to watch the interplay and they are being treated just as well (or poorly, depending on the dealer) as everyone else. In the crowd, the moms with babies are treated with due deference, as they should be. Everyone else is treated like everyone else--also like they should be. If Martin Luther King was alive and wanted to see people being judged by the content of their character, he could do worse than go to a gun show.
As far as the mood of the crowd, well, as usual, no Obama fans showed up. Odd how that works. But there were a lot of people with a lot of apparently disposable income who were disposing of it in a hurry. I have rarely seen guns sold in the kind of volume that I saw Saturday. It was pretty spectacular. If the progressive turd burglars think they can disarm America, I'm here to tell them they don't have a clue what level of difficulty of that task. I will tell them "Good luck--let me know how it works out for you. If you're still around at the end of the process, that is."
The big Greensboro Gun and Knife Show is January 30-31, and I am going to be there unless something truly horrible happens. All of the shows are getting a bit on the pricey side, and I've cut back on how many I go to, especially since I am out of the firearms acquisition mode for now. When I want accessories such as holsters, lasers and so on, I can quite frankly do better on the Intertubz. But I make it a habit to hit at least two of the Greensboro shows each year, just because they are big and I usually find something that I wouldn't have thought of buying but suddenly just can't live without. If someone should want to meet up, leave me a comment and we'll work it out.
So there you have it, another "What I Saw at the Gun Show" report. I hope you had a good weekend, and I'll try not to be a stranger on my own blog.