Gun Show Report

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by icebear, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Went to a gun show in Tucson today. Mask requirements and capacity limits are off, and only a few people were wearing masks. I was worried about lines waiting to get in - last month's show, the first since last fall, had hundreds waiting to get in. I had beaten that by buying an advance VIP ticket, but there were no advance tickets this time. I got there around 8:30 for a 9:00 opening. There were about 50-60 people ahead of me, and by 9:00 there were well over 100 more behind me.


    There were absolutely no Sako or Tikka rifles on display (unless maybe there was a T3 somewhere among the new guns, which I ignored). An there was very little in the way of interesting or collectible sporting rifles. Or, for that matter, collectible military rifles. A forlorn Garand or Springfield could be seen occasionally, floating in a sea of AR-15's. I did see one rather nice Martini .22LR target rifle, but it was kind of pricey and I passed. A Swiss 1889 Schmidt-Rubin beckoned, but I already have a G96/11, a K11, and two K31's, so I passed on that too. It was attractively priced at $500 and was gone a couple of hours later. The last thing that attracted me was an Interarms Mark X Mannlicher-style carbine in 7x57. I thought it was a Sako when I first spotted it, but no such luck. It was in great shape, but with plain, light-colored wood and a junk Tasco scope, I thought it was overpriced at $900, so I put it back on the table.

    Much of the real estate at the show was occupied by large dealers with expansive displays of lookalike modern 9mm and .380 handguns and various "tacticool" long guns. Defensive semiauto shotguns seem to be a growing thing, especially AR-platform types. And there were entirely too many vendors selling non-gun-related junk. Hopefully as the gun business recovers, more vendors will show up selling guns and squeeze out the flea market hawkers.

    Ammo was, of course, the big thing for a lot of sellers and buyers. .223/5.56 ammo is coming down; prices were around 70-80 cents around, down from over a dollar a month or two ago. Still expensive. Pistol ammo was also still high, but more available than it has been. Primers were outrageous - vendors were asking $25 for a pack of 100. Despite the general pressure on ammo prices, I was able to pick up some good deals on older ammo in odd calibers. The find of the day was four boxes of Remington .222 Magnum 55-grain soft points for $20 a box. Also got decent deals on a box of Winchester .38-55 and some Chilean military 7x57 for my Chilean military Mauser.

    There's another show later this month, at a different venue with a different promoter. Maybe that one will have some guns worth buying.
     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Great find on the .222 Magnum rounds! Otherwise, the show sounds like it was a big heap of Rambo trash appealing to street gangs similar edge-of-society marginals. But thanks for the report.
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I wouldn't go that far. AR-15's and lookalike modern handguns aren't my thing, but they are what's popular with (legitimate) younger shooters and new gun owners. They are the future of the shooting sports and some of them will undoubtedly develop more sophisticated taste and technical knowledge, becoming our successors. And, their growing numbers, especially all the urban dwellers who bought semiauto pistols in response to the pandemic, add to the defense of the Second Amendment. And as a bonus, the modular construction of the AR platform encourages owners to customize their weapons, learning something about guns in the process.

    I've seen some pretty scruffy people at gun shows, but seldom do I see anybody that looks like a gangbanger. And I've been to a lot more gun shows than most people, because I used to be in the business with a dealer who worked every show within 200 miles. The only place I remember seeing bangers was in Richmond, Virginia. We used to work a regular show there that the venue was near a sketchy neighborhood. The bangers would come in and fondle the AK's, but they never bought anything but knives and knickknacks, presumably because they knew they couldn't pass a background check. One time one of these characters picked up a WWII-era Mosin-Nagant, looked it over carefully with an increasingly quizzical expression on his face, and asked me, "Where you put the banana clip?" I carefully explained that it was an old gun, you had to work the bolt every time you fired it, and it held five rounds internally. I was truly proud of my self-restraint in not falling on the floor laughing.
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    There are plenty of sellers at gun shows who are not dealers and don't require background checks.

    I've been amazed at the prices people were asking -- and apparently getting -- for handguns and "black guns" on local advertising sites like Texas Gun Trader (TGT). The prices are well above the retail price you can buy a brand new one of the same model for in any sporting goods store. Then it clicked with me: These above-retail sales are mainly to people who either can't pass a background check or who, for whatever reason, don't want such sale recorded in a dealer's records. That's why 90% of the firearms listed on TGT are black guns and handguns and seeing a Sako or even a Remington sporting rifle or shotgun on such sites is uncommon.

    Every firearm is designed for a primary purpose (although the designs sometimes overlap in uses*). There are three, and only three, uses for firearms: Shooting targets, shooting animals, or shooting people.** It is a sad commentary that the vast majority of firearms displayed and sold at gun shows these days are now of the third category.

    *I own an AR clone and have killed a deer and a hog with it. It's design is specific to shooting people (just ask Mr. Stoner), but sometimes a deer or a hog gets in its way instead. I also own an AK variant which has seen the demise of a skunk and a buzzard -- not at all what Sgt. Kalashnikov envisioned. I bought both of these guns many years ago out of curiosity and never shoot them these days since I have guns much better suited to deer, hogs, and even skunks. Thus, the AR and AK are just taking up space in my safe. I would sell them since I could get three to four times what I paid for them, but I strongly suspect that something other than a hog or a skunk might find itself in their line of fire if placed in the hands of many of the people who might buy them from me.

    **I have used a 12 gauge shotgun to "prune" broken tree limbs too high to reach otherwise from the live oaks in my yard after an ice storm, but I don't know of anyone going to a gun show to buy a gun for this specific purpose. Also, I think that many years ago Winchester made an 8 gauge shotgun and special shells which was designed for cleaning stubborn residue from cement kilns -- and I doubt any animals, targets, or people ever having been shot with such a gun. Concussion concrete nailers which use a .22 blank for power don't count. So, gun designs do boil down to just the shooting of targets, animals, or people.
     
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