Buoyed financially by a number of Internet friends, my roommate and I were able to attend opening day of the big Crossroads of the West Gun Show, yesterday!
The show opened yesterday @ 1100, and went until 1700. Today it goes 0900-1700, Sunday 0900-1600 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Parking is $7.00; admission $16.00 per person.
As previously recounted in these pages, I missed attending the past few years due to health issues. We did try last year, but these health issues got the better of both of us, and we only saw about 10% of the show. I’d not been in the three years previous.
This year we saw over 50% of the show!! (Progress, not perfection. Sigh.)
Part of the problem is it’s all walking and standing. My roommate also has health issues which limit her participation in such things. But she’s a crack shot with her Nighthawk, so I don’t complain! 😛 And we took many breaks to sit and re-hydrate, and get off our feet.
For those familiar with the venue, we had to park North of the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, then walk South to the exhibit buildings, along the South and West borders of the fairgrounds. (several hundred yards?) I think it totaled seven fair exhibit buildings, plus the asphalt between them with four (not the traditional two) tarpaulined venues with even more tables!
While it’s known as the ‘big’ gun show of the year, it didn’t seem quite as populated as some of the big shows in the past. Still crowded though – I suspect today and tomorrow will mimic sardine cans. There seemed to be more military customers about, and while the number of women increases every show, there were perhaps fewer yesterday than I remember seeing in the past. Fewer rotund gentlemen in overalls, though! (Not me, I wasn’t wearing overalls!) But quite a few men with long established beards – ZZ TOP clones abounded.
It’s been said of art, I don’t know it, but I know what I like. Not having an interest in Japanese militaria (for example), Arisaka rifles don’t interest me. Samurai swords do, so they get more of my attention than the Arisakas. A table with all manner of WWII items might draw my interest – but I shun tables displaying just Third Reich crap. Doing my part in the free market to not support such folk.
If you like combat Tupperware, this is your show. All manner of polymer-framed pistols and stocked rifles, and all their accessories could be had! Many plastic AR-15 magazines, even though the Marines just announced they were no longer approving anything but metallic magazines for their rifles. Perhaps that’s why they were for sale?
And every time I passed the ammo case displays, there were long lines, and persons with dollies and hand trucks. I hope this portends just being prudential? In this vein, very little out-and-out anti-administration stuff. Some bumper stickers, a poster, a few t-shirts. Nothing advocating anything but free speech that I noticed. I guess if you want hate speech (whatever THAT is) go to an SEIU event!
There seemed to be more Mare’s Leg carbines for sale than I’ve seen in previous shows. Both the cheap foreign knock-offs and quality American-made brass receiver/octagonal barrel types! Perhaps it’s the Firefly meme – or this guy:
And, as a pleasant surprise, for some inexplicable reason, a plethora of Baby Brownings! Some new-in-box (with requisite prices), some with factory engraving (below) and Browning (TM) gun rugs, and one seriously under priced ($175!!). It appeared to be a private sale with the port side blemished from years of sitting in someone’s nightstand or sock drawer!
Of course, while I had funds for parking, admission and food, I had none to spare for acquisition of any firearms. This was simply nose-up-against-the-glass window shopping for us!
And while we couldn’t see everything, we did enjoy ourselves thoroughly!
Hey, there’s always next year?
(We did miss seeing Mark Bell, though, as we did last year… :-( )Attn FTC – look elsewhere. I paid for my own admission and parking (and that of my roommate, who drove – thank you!) via the kindness of friends, and received nothing gratis @ the gun show. No samurai swords, no plastic guns, no mare’s legs, no baby Brownings – dammit!