Looking For Deals And Want To Help a Good Cause?

Admit it, we all look for good deals on ammo and other gun stuff. You’ve probably shopped at places like When The Balloon Goes Up and Lucky Gunner, because they are great sources.

Add to that the backlog of Second Amendment law cases that the Second Amendment Foundation is supporting, and you get a Perfect Intersection.

For Stuff That Works

 

 

Packing for the Lucky Gunner Blogger Shoot

 

Gearhog

 

DealSergeant

 

 

If you look on the right side of this blog you will see links to those sites, and if you click through and buy something, yes, this blog gets a cut of the action. But here’s the neat part.

I’m not on this blog to make money, so 100% of the proceeds from click-throughs to those sites gets donated to the Second Amendment Foundation.

So if you’re looking for a deal, and want to help win court victories ensuring the Second Amendment stays strong, shop here.

Why Gun Shows Don’t Allow Loaded Guns

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More than once have I read, from non shooters and anti-gunners, derision at the fact that gun shows are sticklers about not allowing loaded guns. They see that as obvious proof that gun owners are all negligent morons who cannot be trusted with their own safety, much less the safety of others.

Then comes a story like the one from last weekend, where a vendor at a gun show in Orangeville, Pennsylvania, accidentally shot a woman while demonstrating a concealed carry wallet holster.

In the same weekend, another person was killed at a gun show in Texas.

It’s obvious things are out of hand.

Fortunately, no. Here is the truth:

Probably no one is safer with loaded guns that the folks who attend gun shows, be they vendors, salespeople, or shoppers. Most have spent their lives around guns, and will go the rest of their lives with no incident.

But, the key to gun safety is awareness.

Pay attention.

Every gun show I have been to has had police at the door, reminding us to unload our guns before entering. So, it stands to reason (and a casual reading of the news reports confirms) that it is when you combine a lot of vendors, each excited to show their products, with a lot of excited shoppers, and the aisles are full and bustling, that the awareness shifts. Vendors, anxious to demonstrate the latest, overlook Rule 1. They are paying attention, just not to gun safety.

And accidents happen. And will happen.

So, once and for all, the reason we don’t allow loaded guns at gun shows isn’t because guns can’t be trusted, or gun owners can’t be trusted, it’s because, in all the excitement, awareness and attention get sidetracked.

Are accidents at gun shows a real epidemic in America? I think not.

A Google search will show that there aren’t a lot of accidents reported. One study even concludes that guns shows present no significant danger, either in accidents at the shows, or from the guns sold there.

On the other hand, there were 120 deaths among fast food workers in America in 2012.

Now, I know that comparing the two isn’t valid, and it’s probably something we would yell at the anti-gun crowd for. But my point is this – if we have that many deaths, and many more injuries, in a workplace where everyone should be paying attention to safety, don’t become inflamed when an isolated accident happens in a venue where people sometimes slip up and pay attention to other things.

So, the next time you’re at a gun show (especially if you are a vendor), pay attention to the Rules of Gun Safety. Always.

Welcome To The South

I wanted to relate something that happened at the gun show last weekend. Sorry I didn’t included it in the earlier post but I was reminded of it this morning.

This will be a shock to Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer, but it’s a familiar sight at a gun show – someone has purchased a gun, and they are standing there while the dealer waits on the phone to get the results of the background check. In Georgia, if you have a Georgia Weapons License this doesn’t last too long, because the GBI can check your GWL record quickly, bypassing the NICS.

But if not, you wait for the NICS check.

I was walking in an aisle at the gun show, and a fellow was waiting for the dealer who was on the phone, holding a clipboard with a form 4473 on it. On the table between them was a pistol case with a bill of sale on it. As I got closer, he asked the dealer “Oh, does this  take care of registration, too?”

The dealer didn’t understand him, partially because it was fairly loud in the Cobb County Civic Center, and partially because the question didn’t make sense.

As I moved past, he asked it again, and the dealer just looked at him sideways. And it dawned on me what he was saying.

“Do you mean registering the gun?” I asked him. He said yes.

It was then I noticed, he was fairly well built, with a military haircut. And his accent was . . . well . . . not from around here. Yankee-ish. I guessed he had just moved here either with the Air Force or Army.

“Oh, there’s no gun registration in Georgia,” I told him. He seemed taken aback. I repeated it.

“Oh. Really?”

“Really. Georgia doesn’t care how many guns you have. Welcome to the South.”

“Thank you, sir!”

Welcome, indeed.

Gun Show Report – Fear and Famine

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This past Saturday I decided to brave it and attend a gun show at the Cobb County Civic Center. I wrote about a gun show at the Civic Center some time back, and reviewing that post today, I see how much this one was different, in a post Sandy Hook world.

There seemed to be two recurring themes at most of the tables: Fear and Famine.

Fear led to price gouging. Even guns that had no chance of being banned were $100 more than I had seen them before, including $350 Mossberg 500 shotguns and $339 Ruger 10/22s. Gen4 Glock 17s were for sale at more than one table for $699, that I saw at my local gun store for $559.

There were quite a few individuals walking around with AR’s shouldered, with flags and signs advertising them for sale. The cheapest one I saw was $1500. A lot of people were asking about them, but no one was buying them, from what I could tell. (I could be wrong, they could have easily been completing their business out of my sight.)

Magazines were a joke. MAGPUL 30 round AR magazines which sold for $15 last fall were $49 at the show, when you could find them. (File that under Famine, too, I guess.) Korean made Glock magazines, normally 2 for $30, were $29 each.  Glock factory mags were $39. Beat up GI mags for ARs were $20, which would have been $8 a year ago.

Admission has gone up from $8 in 2011 to $10. My first gun show cost me $4 to get in. Yes, it was Union dollars.

Famine meant there were a lot fewer of some items. There were some AR-15’s for sale, but the cheapest one I saw was a DPMS for $1259. Most were $1800 or higher. There were no dedicated AR-15 tables, as there were at the last show. This meant it was a good thing I had ordered the bolt carrier and bolt for my AR-15, rather than wait to buy it at the show as I had first thought. But the tables with all the small parts were not there.

Don’t even ask about ammo. I didn’t find any .22LR  beyond the odd single box of match ammo for $1 a round. Even the reloaders like Georgia Arms were selling ammo for 50% more than I paid just last fall. It sure looks like the day of Blazer 9mm for $8 a box is long gone. 9mm is more like $20 a box now.

I used to see crates of Mosin Nagants and tables of SKSs, but there were none but singles of either. Granted, the SKSs were good samples, matching number Yugos or Norincos.

Some other things I noticed, though, that gave me hope:

  • There were tables of MAGPUL furniture and accessories, at about the same prices as my local gun store.
  • There were a lot of dedicated .22LR ARs selling for $350 to $450. Too bad there was no .22LR ammo for sale.
  • Despite the high prices, there were sales going on. I saw a lot of people filling out paperwork while I walked the aisles, and I passed a lot of people coming out with gases as I went in. They acted like they were happy about it, which is why I figured they weren’t leaving with guns they had brought for sale.
  • As always, there were tables of neat accessories, which is what I came for. I ended up buying a couple of mounts for optics, a sling for my AR, and a new holster. (Look for a review soon.)
  • Knives. Wow, it seemed like there were double the number of knife tables there. Maybe I just noticed them more, but that was my impression.
  • The NRA and GeorgiaCarry.org tables were very busy, signing up new members. Good to see.

In all, I guess it was as good a gun show as we could expect in today’s climate. There were no mile-long lines at least. I didn’t find the AR parts I wanted but I didn’t come away empty handed either.

One last observation: Sellers, few things dissuade me from commerce with you than not posting prices on your merchandise. Yes, I know you are negotiable. But let me know whether you are worth starting the conversation.

See you at the next one!

The Great American Gun Show

One of the singularly American experiences is the Gun Show. This past Sunday I attended the RK Gun Shows show at the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, Georgia.

There were easily a couple of hundred vendors at the show, which made it among the largest I’ve attended at the Cobb Civic Center. This is a relatively small venue, so the shows there will nevre reach the size they would at the Farmer’s Market, or the South Atlanta Expo Center. But, this show limits vendors to guns and gun related stuff, and that makes a difference. The show was well attended, too, with the aisles full of shoppers, as well as people filling out for 4473’s for purchases.

Gun shows run the gamut. There are shows that almost exclusively guns and gun related vendors, like BDU’s and survival guides. Then there are shows that allow just about anyone in, including jewelry and all the “As Seen On TV” stuff. This show was more toward the first end, and I enjoyed it. Yes, there were Airsoft guns and a lot of imported pocket knives, and there was at least one vendor selling all non-lethal personal protection wares, like pepper spray and tasers.

I usually don’t think much about what I’m seeing at guns shows. I’ve been going so long that I can easily size up a vendor, and decide to move on or to stay and look. But today I made it a point to try to classify the vendors. Here’s what I saw.

At one end is the Collector. He has a wide variety of older weapons, usually handguns, and they are not in the best shape. They are all displayed behind a glass case. He also has several boxes of older ammo to match. The prices on these guns are rather high. Knowing nothing about the antique firearm market, I don’t know if they’re priced right or not. I look, but I never ask about them. Move along.

Next is the Serious Collector. I used to work with such an individual. He collected high end over and under shotguns. $10,000 shotguns. It was what he knew, and it was what he dealt in. And he moved a lot of them, maybe a dozen in a week. He had them displayed on very nice racks on his table. You could ask to hold one, and he had no problem with it, even though he knew from my Glock hat that I had no intention of spending $10,000 on a shotgun. (I liked to go see this man the Monday after a show, because he would frequently take other guns in on trade, and he would let me shoot them, before he traded them away again, for another $10,000 shotgun.)

There is the Hobbyist Collector. His table is full of an interesting variety of guns, from old police .38’s to 1911’s, to Winchesters to SKS’s. There are no Japanese Nambu’s or Spencer carbines. He sells what he collects, and he collects what he shoots. He has a booth at the show so he can mix with the other dealers, and get a great deal on his next gun.

There is the Small Gun Shop. He has a store, and he brings a few popular guns to the show. He also installs sights and does gunsmithing, because that’s how he got into the gun selling business. I used to know a fellow like this, and I worked a few gun shows with him. I bought a .22 Buck Mark from him once, and it was one of the best experiences I ever had. The gun worked flawlessly, and it shot exactly where the sights pointed. Sadly, I had to sell it, and now that my fortunes have turned, I’ve replaced the Buck Mark, but this one just doesn’t shoot like that first one.

There is the AR shop. They carry everything from stripped lowers to fully assembled guns, with parts from every make you can think of. They also sell a range of assembled uppers, from 10 inch carbines to full stainless target barrels. And they carry slings, and sights, and stocks.

There is the Large Gun Shop. One is a guns store, and one is a pawn shop. This store has 6 tables spanning 2 aisles. They have 2 or 3 of every model Glock and Smith and Springfield, and they have HK’s and Rugers and just about every gun you’ve ever heard of. And they have a section of small .380’s and .25’s from companies you’ve never heard of. Their prices are good, and in fact, they’re better at the show than they will be on Monday back at the store. And they are selling a lot of guns.

There’s the holster table, with a row of blue guns, and a rack full of leather. Some of them sell brand names, the ones you see in the magazines. Others sell brands you’ve never heard of. Those are very good holsters, though – I know, because I own some of each, and the no names hold up just as well as the brand names.

Then there are the ammo vendors, and these run the spectrum, too. On one end are the companies that load there own, and sell by the 50 round plastic pouch, or the 1,000 round ammo can. If you look, you can find any kind of ammo you want, from light weight FMJ to full power +P hollow points. I’ve shot this kind of ammo, and it wasn’t bad.

There are the ammo vendors that sell name brand ammo by the box or by the case. Their prices are not bad, and they have plenty of it.

Then you run into the ammo vendor who has the same ammo, and $3 a box more than anyone else. But, in wonderful Capitalist style, he’s not selling. I’m not sure he knows it though, because he’s not reducing his price.

There are the ammo vendors that sell odd boxes of strange ammo. East bloc surplus 7.62x54R hunting ammo. Stuff in boxes that look like they’ve been in the warehouse where they took the Ark at the end of Raiders. And, in between, are boxes of Blazer aluminum cased .38 special, for twice the price of the table two aisles over. I guess they figure if you finally find that one box of .45-120 Govt, you’ll pay what they want for the other.

There are the tables full of Chinese optics and Weaver rails and vertical foregrips. The optics are cheap, $50 for a reflex scope that runs $400 with a name brand on it. One day I’ll buy one and see if it holds up. I know the $8 foregrips do just fine.

There are the tables of bumper stickers and Army survival manuals and amateur James Bond stuff, all with the proper disclaimers.

And then there are the tee shirts. They used to all be about “Peace Through Victory.” Today, they’re all about zombies. Zombie Disposal Squad, Zombie Response Team. Signs showing “This Way to the Zombie Shelter.”

There are the knife tables, with no name imported folders, Bowie knives, scimitars, and Claymores. There are the tables with sharpening stones and crossed ceramic sticks. Which do work, by the way.

There are the Gun Rights tables. GeorgiaCarry is here, and the NRA. At some shows, the BATFE has a table, reminding you not to lie for the other guy. They aren’t here today. I guess they have a thing against hypocrisy.

And there are the Jackpot tables, the ones who sell 1911 parts and cleaning swabs and dental tools, and magazines and springs and followers. And ruck sacks and canteens. And rifle barrels. Heavy target barrels for Ruger 10/22’s. At prices that are lower than catalogs or the interwebz. And don’t charge sales tax. Bingo.

So, today, I looked, and I talked to people, and I shopped. And I bought a 10/22 barrel, and some single point slings, that will work just fine on my SKS and my 10/22 and my son’s Airsofts.

It was a good show.