A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Day at the Gun Show

I arrived at the convention center early this morning, prior to the doors opening. Usually, there are several people loitering outside waiting on the ticket booth to open. Usually, they have guns to sell. Often deals are made before the show even opens. That was not the case today. I was one of two people waiting for the doors to open, and neither of us had guns to sell. When the doors finally were opened, I paid my five bucks and walked inside.

I have my route pretty much laid out based on past experience. I pass by Larry and Hutch's tables on the way to check out Cowboy Bob's wares. Larry and Hutch usually have some used guns, but old Bob has the good stuff in back. Bob knows it too. As I passed Larry's table, I made note of a used Kimber with a plum slide. $700. Hmmmmm, interesting, I bet it's a Series One, I thought as I passed by.

I arrived at Cowboy Bob's table to find his usual eclectic assortment of used arms. This morning he had a variety of Safari Arms 1911s, with baroque protrusions sticking out of the front straps and trigger guards. Cowboy Bob also had a Model 48 .22 magnum K-22 Masterpiece. Then I saw it. Laying atop a blue S&W box was a K-22 Combat Masterpiece. This was the revolver that was later to become the Model 18. Bob's example was a four screw gun with a triggershoe and Tyler T. It came with a Model 18 box that was serialed to another gun, a holster, and two speedloaders. Unfortunately, Bob had the entire package priced at $575, and the revolver had to much surface wear to call it mint. Ray Charles might have called it excellent. I looked it over, and placed it back on the table. I started to offer Bob $450 for just the gun, but this early in the show, I knew he would take his chances. I moved on.

At one of the long gun tables, I spotted an absolutely amazing gun. It was a Winchester Model 12 circa 1962 that was still NIB, right down to the corrugated cardboard dividers, and the original hang tag that read $130. The 2006 price for this fine shotgun was $1995. That was pretty cool.

Like a sailor gauging the economy by the price of a beer, I gauge a gunshow by the price of a Colt NRM 1911. Hutch had a selection of Colt 1911s Commanders, Defenders and Government Models. A new blue Government Model NRM gun was tagged at $689. Hutch had Springfield GI45s in various sizes tagged between $450 and $470. On other tables I found a nickel Model 15 with Stile grips for $350, and a nickel Model 19-5 for $450. I guess I did OK on the nickel Model 19-4 I bought recently. A Colt Agent was on display by one dealer, priced at $250. There were several Model 10s, overpriced for this area between $275 and $400. I found only one Military and Police revolver, a five inch post war "S" serialed gun priced at $400. I purchased the same gun on my Pawn Shop Circuit for $89. Next, I saw a Kimber Eclipse Custom II in 10mm, used, for $850. Then it dawned on me......I wondered if that Series 1 Kimber was a Clackamas gun. I went back to find it. It was gone. There were many Series II Kimbers at this show, new, in the $700 range, but the Series 1 pistol sold first.

I continued to mill around, looking for the walker carrying an old Smith. Frequently the real deals come not from dealers, but from people arriving at the show hoping to sell a gun. These sellers are easy to spot, but you have to watch the crowd, not the tables. Unfortunately, the more I watched the crowds, the more I saw fingers all over triggers every time a gun was picked up. Next, I saw a nimrod pick up a rebarreled revolver race gun, and hold it by both the grip and the barrel, like a rifle, to look through it's scope. The dealer just rolled his eyes. Finally, my beeper went off. Damn! Time to go to work.......



Blogger Chris said...

I can't help but to cringe each time I see the word "clip" used in place of "magazine"...

2:45 PM  
Blogger TxGoodie said...

It makes me sad to read of your adventures. My late husband loved going to the gun shows and he'd work the room just the way you described. He loved military weapons, especially his Remington 1911A, "George". Me 'n George were manufactured the same year! He'd read the Shotgun News cover to cover and friends would come over to have him break down their guns or to pick his brain about dozens of other matters. He could spot a bargain a mile away...the joy was in the horse trading and he said that a good trade was one that both sides felt they'd gotten a little something over on the other. His friends called him "Big John"....he'd of liked you too.

10:06 AM  

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