The local gun show was this last weekend. We have one about every other month here. The next one will be in August.
Gun shows are a curious thing nowadays. They have changed quite a bit. They used to be more of a swap meet kind of thing where folks just traded. Now, it is vendors that make their living going from show to show. Those selling the guns, for the most part, are licensed dealers who have pretty good selections.
The prices seem to be coming back down to normal. The last couple of years has seen a panic on gun buying. It has definitely been a seller’s market. People don’t know what the future holds in regards to what guns are going to be banned or whatnot. That got people wanting to buy more guns.
Then you had a rollover effect from that in regards to people who would not have normally bought guns starting to buy them. My dad will tell you that he bought a gun or two just for the simple fact is that it looked like they may not be able to be purchased in the future.
Just like anything else, there is a trickle effect. More people buying guns equals more people buying ammunition for said guns. The ammunition manufacturers are putting out more ammunition than ever before. There are tons of conspiracy theories out there about how our government is buying up the ammo so we can’t buy as much. That doesn’t wash. Though the bulk ammunition purchases by federal agencies is something that needs to be questioned, they can’t buy enough to seriously effect the commercial availability. Speer can fill the federal orders by themselves in a couple of months worth of production probably.
The ammunition manufacturers themselves aren’t going to put government contracts ahead of commercial production either. Their profit margin is greater in the commercial market and they are in business to make money. The only benefit the government contracts have to the manufacturers is the fact that our government pays for the stuff before the manufacturer even starts making it. Even though you might say it is a ‘guaranteed’ sale of one billion rounds of 9mm, they have the same confidence that it can be sold to retailers and at a higher profit margin.
Gun shows support small business and the mom and pop operations nicely. These folks aren’t making money hand over fist but they are making a little money dealing in something they enjoy. Alot of them are in their retirement and enjoying it. The licensed dealers make enough money to make it worth their while to bring their inventory out for the weekend.
I like them even when I don’t buy at the gun show. The selection available at a gun show beats any gun shop or store out there. Most gun shops don’t diversify a whole lot. If you like a certain type of firearm, you generally frequent the local gun shop that carries that kind of stuff. Locally, I know that, if I am looking for a quality revolver, I go to one gun shop. But if I want a Tavor, I go to a different shop. You see it all at the gun show and can put your hands on a wide variety of firearms. Then, you go to the house and do your homework before going to make an educated purchase.
Which leads me to a final point. You don’t find as many ‘good deals’ at the gun shows like you used to. But if you know what you want and what you can expect to pay, you can make some good deals. Like any purchase you make anywhere, if you got a bad deal, you really only have yourself to blame. Nobody puts a gun to your head, so to speak, and makes you buy anything. For the most part, vendors at the guns shows are good people and most are willing to answer all your questions and help you out. But remember, it’s not their responsibility to make sure you make good decisions.
If you are not a gun enthusiast, but are curious, find that ‘gun guy’ you know and talk to him. If you want to get into quilting, you ask the lady that makes the quilts. And just like her, when you ask, she will start talking about quilting and how enjoyable it is. Gun enthusiasts are the same way. They are no more dangerous or crazy than the quilters…though quilters CAN scare ya sometimes.