Sunday, April 4, 2010

Went to the gun show today

This weekend we had the first decent gun show in a few months. I can usually tell whether the gun show is worth going to by how many days are scheduled. If the show is only Saturday and Sunday, it is a smaller event with fewer tables. This weekend was a three-day event combined with a swap meet. Altogether four buildings at the fairgrounds.

I usually go on Saturday as it is the first free day that I have. This Saturday I was busy getting an Easter basket together for my daughter and she was out roller skating with her mom. Because my daughter gets upset if I go to the gun show without her, I put it off until Sunday. Glad I did, as a couple of friends with tables at the show said that Saturday was a madhouse.

I can tell that gun shows are becoming more political. The last gun show I went to a few months ago had a militia organization attending. This gun show had a Constitution Party politician, a Tea Party organization, a local patriots organization, and a couple of other individual rights-type organizations in attendance. While I'm not looking for politics at a gun show, it was good to see some grass-roots organizations showing their faces. I honestly would not know that most of them existed if I had not seen them at the show.

Although I keep reading that firearms sales are holding steady and have personally witnesse the higher prices and shortages of ammunition, I did not see as many military style semi-automatic rifles and accessories as I had seen a year earlier. Actually, probably only a few dozen black rifles, AK clones, and SKS's altogether. I wonder if the demand for these has tapered off a bit. The majority firearms on the tables was hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

Ammunition was not as plentiful as a couple of years ago, but there was plenty. There was also a fair amount of reloading components and gun accessories.

Probably a fourth of all the table space was taken up by non-firearm vendors selling knives, coins, books, and collectibles. I am not including the swap meet tables which were in only one of the four buildings for the event.

One trend has continued from prior years: Prices in general were higher than in local gun shops and from online sources. For example, used firearms were generally selling at higher prices than new firearms. A number of private parties had asking prices for used firearms that were higher than the new firearm price at other vendors in the same gun show. Ammunition prices were generally as high or higher than available at local gun shops or online. Even reloaded ammo of questionable quality (I consider all reloaded ammo in white boxes at gun shows to be of questionable quality)was priced as high as some commercial new production.

The bargain-hunting wasn't good, but I did pick up a few accessories that I would be hard-pressed to find in local stores and my daughter found a few things she wanted at one of the coin dealers and one of the jewelry/trinket dealers. I saw a couple of friends I had not seen in a while and met a few new people. All in all, a fun four hours for less than the cost of going to the movies.

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