Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day at the Gun Show

This weekend's North Texas Gun Show was the Big Town Gun Show in Mesquite. I arrived fairly early, and there was already a nice crowd. The hall was filled wall to wall with vendors, maybe a few too many. I understand that the promoters of our gun shows are out to make some money, and selling table space is money in their pockets. A few non-firearm related tables at a gun show is one thing, but I think the Big Town promoters are getting close to overdoing it, especially when you have guys like the one selling the trick poker cards acting like he was working the State Fair.

Don't get me wrong. Big Town is a very good show with a large variety of firearm and firearm related vendors, there just seems to be more and more superfluous stuff working it's way onto the hall floor.

One reason I go to so many gun shows is that I get the opportunity to see firearms that just are not carried in the local gun stores. This morning was no exception. One of the vendors had a M1941 Johnson out on his table.

M1941 Johnson

The image is not the actual rifle at this show, but it is the best I could find. Note the stripper clip guide on the side of the rotary magazine. This rifle can be loaded with the bolt open or closed, with stripper clips or loose ammo. It has a 10 round rotary magazine and feels good in my hands. The one available at the show is in excellent condition and has the price tag to match, $5000. For the right person, that might be a good deal.

What were not a good deal at this show were the Ruger LCP's. I was half way expecting to come home with an LCP in my pocket. The MSRP on this little pistol is $330. The local Academy Sports and Outdoors has them for $299, as does Cabela's. Imagine my sticker shock when I saw the first LCP at the show listed for $390, yep, $90 more than Academy. The second was a little better, $370. Guys, I know there is a demand for these little pistols, but I did see several people cringe when they saw the price tags.

Another firearm that I found interesting was a Vector PTR .308 pistol. That's right, a .308 calibre pistol.

Vector PTR off of GunsAmerica

At North of $2000, this was another over priced firearm. The above image is from a GunsAmerica sale that is a bit more reasonable.

There were some good deals at this show, I just didn't think to write any of them down. As the morning went on, the chairs were filling with folks filling out their paperwork. People were spending, and making, money. I picked up a sling stud for my AR so I can attach the Ching Sling to it, and a few cleaning supplies.

Now for my mini rant:

Bringing your kids to a gun show is an excellent idea. My girls can tell you a story or two about going to gun shows when they were kids. The kids can learn about the many different types of firearms that are available, they can see the large variety of folks who share an interest in guns, and this is an excellent time to reinforce safe gun handling practices.

If you are the guy who let his boys walk down the isle picking up handguns and pull the trigger on each one they picked up, who allowed them to point a revolver at me and pull the trigger, you deserve to be beat severely about the head and shoulders with whatever I happen to have at hand.

If you let your kids get away with chit like that at a gun show, what the heck are they going to do when they go over to a friends house and their friend shows them Daddy's hand gun? If you let them get away with behavior like this at a gun show, what do you think they are doing with your guns when you are not home? By not correcting this conduct at a gun show, you are teaching them that it is okay to just pick up any firearm that they happen to see and play with it like a toy. You are not fulfilling your responsibility as a gun owning parent and you are not raising up your children to understand the importance of safe gun handling.

I take my 8 year old grandson to the occasional gun show, I even allow him to handle firearms he finds interesting. If he wants to touch a firearm, he knows he has to do two things. First he has to ask my permission, then he has to ask the person working the table's permission. When he picks it up I am right there with him, making sure of his trigger finger and helping him keep from sweeping anyone with the barrel. What I do is nothing out of the ordinary, it is what is required of a responsible adult who takes a child to a gun show. If you can't do the same, it would be best if you just left your kids home.

For more on kids and firearm safety, go here.


Fits said...

I wouldn't mind learning how to shoot a .308 handgun but the price is a little steep. And all of the gunshops around here are price gouging the LCP's...some asking $400 with a take it or leave it attitude and many people ARE taking. I'd like one from a local dealer but won't tolerate being insulted.

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

i love the gun show
we have one here in ga every weekend

GunGeek said...

My son loves to go to the gun shows with me. He knows that no matter what else, he's walking out with at least one new coin from one of the vendors selling them. At no cost to himself, of course.

There is some good to having non-gun vendors there.

John R said...

I agree that there is nothing wrong with having non-gun vendors at the gun show, it is the increasing quantity of these vendors that I was commenting about.

Ride Fast said...

I'm surprised a vendor would stand still for kids behaving that way. I know I wouldn't.

When my son was still small and cute, vendors would invariably give him stuff at pretty much every gun show we went to. Usually just jerky or promo stuff but it was a great way to make a kid want to come back.

catfish said...

Hell, it ain't just the kids flagging you with the muzzle. I have had guns pointed at me by plenty of "mature", "I've been around guns my whole life" adults at every gun show I go to.

The other JR and I ducked several such incidents throughout the last Market Hall gunshow on nearly every row.

No one has any f'ing muzzle or finger discipline and many of the dealers are the worst offenders....

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about getting a booth and selling at a gun show, and will have AR's and some mil surplus stuff. I too am appalled at the rudeness of some of the vendors at gun shows! I am a 53 year old veteran and don't understand some of the want to be tuff guy snobs who supposed to be wanting to sell their wares at the show. In fact I have nearly quit going to shows because of the jerkish attitude that these dummies display. I want to have a good time and buy a new gun or goodies at these shows, not be insulted and ignored or snapped at when asking questions etc. Anyway If you see a big dumb bald guy selling ARs stuff with a goofey smile on his face it will be me! Later brothers... ; }>