Saturday, November 26, 2022

Saturday: To The Gun Show

Went to the Novi Gun & Knife Show with couple friends today.

Got there at about 10 am and the  place was rather humming:


So we wandered around the aisles.

Interestingly, quite a few aisles had quite an odor of instant NICS denial. 

I suspect quite a few marijuana users were about to run headlong into Form 4473 Question 21.e. 

They were about to find out that while it may be legal to use marijuana in Michigan, the Feds still do not allow you to purchase firearms if you're a marijuana user, and given the way the smell permeated entire areas of the show, and oft appeared like a halo around some folks, there were quite a few heavy users there.

Overall, the show was rather entertaining in terms of walking around and getting to look at things.  It was even more entertaining to see what dealers were charging for things. 

SKSs were in the $900+ range, Mosin Nagants in the $550-800 range, there was a Turkish Mauser at $600 that looked like Johnny Turk hadn't cleaned it since Gallipoli. Even the more modern stuff was priced above retail:  Tavors at over 2K; Century Arms AP-5s at $2,500; and Ruger LC Carbines for $1100 (You can buy these at Cabelas, or online all day at $799 and even paying your LGS the $20 for the transfer you're still way ahead over the show price. Ammo and magazines were similarly priced at or even above the top of the market.

In short, the prices at my friendly LGS were much better than those at the Gun Show where deals were supposed to abound. No bargains were to be found after wandering the aisles looking for them.

I did, however, almost buy this to deal with the Driveway of Doom this winter:

The purchase was, however, not approved by she-who-must-be-obeyed when it comes to considerations of snow clearance while not scaring the neighbors, so it is on hold for now pending further negotiation.

So, overall, it was more of a looking expedition, fun people-watching and listening, especially to dealers tell stories about firearms that were rather entertaining and often flat-out wrong.  

For example, contrary to the dealer talking to an interested show attendant, India did not convert 2A1 Ishapore Enfield rifles into 7.62 Jungle Carbines and then use them as such making it a "rare historic rifle for $1,500". 

What instead you have there sir is a Navy Arms/Gibbs rifle conversion that was done after they purchased the full-sized rifle as surplus from India, cut it down and cleaned it up, and it was never used by the Indian military as a jungle carbine.  It was a nice-looking rifle for all that, but caveat emptor indeed.

So yep, a fun time walking around and worth the $10 price of admission, even if I didn't find anything worth buying that I couldn't find retailing anywhere else for much less.

Then my friends and I went out for Korean food for lunch, and one friend who was stationed in Korea some years ago stated it was indeed most authentic and really good - and indeed it was really good. 

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.


pigpen51 said...

I haven't been to a gun show in a very long time. But as a ham radio operator for 50 years now, I have been to a few of them in the past couple of years. I discovered the same thing with ham radios and gear that has happened with gun prices.
I am not sure, but I think that some of the people selling ham gear think that the stuff they own must have come from the collection of Samuel Morse himself.
Something that was at most 300 bucks brand new, is now supposed to be worth close to a grand, and that after 35 years of use by unknown numbers of operators, and abuse thereof.
I remember building a Heathkit receiver that I paid 80$ for at the age of 20, so it was sometime around 1980. The same rig, already built, was at the last show, priced at 250$. For 350$, you can get a very good quality receiver brand new, with all of the modern technology built in and including a warranty.
If I would have kept the Heathkit unbuilt, and in it's original packaging, I could have gotten over 500-700$ for it. For some reason those old kits are like a savings account.
I also had a Heathkit transceiver that was Morse Code only, using 3 watts of power, that I made contacts with up and down the corridor from Michigan to Canada and all the way down to Lima, Peru. For it's time, it was a decent low power rig. But they were mostly contacts made late at night, due to band conditions.

Unknown said...

I remember when you could get a mosin for 50-75 bucks, sold out of a barrel.

Aaron said...

pigpen51: As you say, it seems to be a very similar situation for ham gear shows and gun shows both. Amazingly it is not only private sellers but professional dealers up-marking their wares above typical retail prices at this show.

Unknown: Yep, they used to go for that, now they're much higher indeed.

Old NFO said...

Hell, I'm old enough that I remember SKSs for $50-60 out of a fiber barrel... Mosins were even less.