Saturday, February 19, 2011

Middletown Gun Show Report

After driving the 90 miles or so today, to get to the Middletown gun show, I can say almost without a doubt, I will not be going there again in the near future. This gun show was a flop and a big disappointment. I feel fairly safe saying that the show, 2 weeks ago at White Plains, NY , had more guns offered for sale by a fairly good margin. Besides that, the Middletown show was mobbed, and it was very difficult to walk around and see what was for sale. I had thought the White Plains show was crowded but it was nowhere nearly as bad as was the one in Middletown today. When you figure that White Plains is about a 90 mile round trip for us and Middletown is about a 180 mile round trip, you see that we will be saving a pretty penny on gas (and on tolls) by cutting out future trips to Middletown. I normally don't mind driving a good ways for a gun show, I have driven to Valley Forge, PA and up to West Springfield, Massachusetts but I do mind driving all that way and winding up at a show that was a flop. As I already pointed out, such was, in my opinion, the Middletown show today.

As you may be aware, I was looking for either a Remington 700 VTR and if I could not find one then a nice AK47. There were a total of about 6 AK-47s on display in the whole show. One dealer who usually has a good selection of them did not. That was one of the five dealers who's owner was arrested a couple of days ago in XXXXXXX County. The guy at their table (I was surprised they had a table) told me that the police had seized all of their AK-47s; another guy at the same table said not all were seized and they had some in the store. That was not helping me at the show and I am none too sure I would have bought a gun from them while they are under investigation. It is not that I am pre-judging them but with my job, I do not need a conflict of interest that such a purchase might cause. They saved me the trouble of having to make up my mind because they did not have any for sale.

As far as guns went, I would also have settled for a nice Remington Model 8 in .35 Remington but I did not see any at the show in any caliber.

The only things I purchased were 2 ammo cans for $15 the pair. The guy who usually has them at $6 or $7 each was nowhere to be seen. These are in very good condition with some nicks or small scrapes to the paint but no visible rust or dents.

Brendan picked up some pre-ban hi-cap mags for his AR and also picked up a case of Prvi Partizan 5.65x45 ammo for his AR. This was the stuff I kicked myself for not getting him two weeks ago at the White Plains show, from the same dealer that had been at that show. Luck was with us, they charged $4 less than they asked for at the other show. Not a big savings but certainly a savings. The price out the door was $350. It is 5.56x45 62 gr. FMJ M885 with the green penetrator tip. It's brass cased, boxer primed, non-corrosive and the brass is reloadable. Country of origin is Serbia. Year of production 2008. I'll have to check the base to see if it is NATO spec.

Now you may know of a better on-line price but I have not been able to find a better deal on-line or in person. That is because when I see it at a less expensive price on-line there is a nasty phrase next to it saying: 'sold out' or 'not available' and I have not seen it in person at a cheaper price at all. Then there is the thing about on-line purchases and shipping expenses, usually around $20 to $25. I did see it at one site for $299.99 with free shipping but of course it was sold out. On-line ammo retailers, who did have it in stock, had quite a higher price that what Brendan paid today. Midway has a case for: $527.99 plus $21.87 shipping and Sportsmansguide has it for: $455.97 for the club members price, regular is $479.97, plus $19.49 shipping for either. So, I think Brendan got a good deal. Of course, all that gas money and the tolls, well they add to it, but they come with a day out anyway and I paid the tolls (the eZ-pass is in my name) and I gave him a twenty for gas. Come to think of it, I paid his admission fee too ($9 with the $1 off coupon). So, the ammo itself was such a deal but then so too was the rest of his day - he also got a nice lunch at Texas Roadhouse out of me and I gave him one of the ammo cans! Oh well, I had a good time and he sure is worth it.

As I said though, I am none too sure a future trip to Middletown will be worth it with the greater expense just to see less guns, more crowds, and more scenery on the drive than it takes to go to White Plains. That could mean that next time if and when we do decide on a trip further away than White Plains, it probably will be to PA or MA for a show.

All the best,
Glenn B

MilitaryShooters.com (update 2)

I have got to say that the folks at MilitaryShooters.com, particularly Fred which was the person with whom I dealt, handled the messed up ammo order very well. He promptly offered for me to return it for an exchange of similar but FMJ round nose instead of the FMJ Truncated Cone ammo that I received in error or to make a full refund of the purchase and shipping price to me. You cannot ask for more than that in customer service. To tell the truth though, I decided to keep the ammo after all. I checked on some forums about it, and it gets rave reviews as being as good or better than regular round nose FMJ - so 'll give it a try. That way I save both Fred at Military Shooters and myself the hassle of a return/exchange. One other reason I decided to keep this ammo instead of make an exchange is because they apparently don't have it in FMJ round nose and offered something foreign in lieu of that. I buy foreign ammo but when I bought this particular case of ammo, I specifically bought it because it was made in the USA. It would be a shame to return a USA made product for a foreign one. So, I'll make do with it.

As for my over all impression of MilitaryShooters.com - despite the order mix-up, I would say everything else went great and rate them very excellent in all other regards.

All the best,
Glenn

What Would You Think If 45% Of Gun Shops Owners In Your Area Were Arrested

To tell you the truth, I don't know what to think either but that is what has happened in NY. It appears that the owners of 5 of 11 guns shops in certain county have been arrested, I think the article said for essentially selling assault rifles. NY State still has assault weapons and hi-cap magazine bans. Read about it here:


http://www.liherald.com/stories/Five-charged-with-selling-assault-weapons,30880?page=1&content_source=


There is no love lost between myself and the owner and employees of one of these gun shops. I think they are scum but that is for personal reasons related to their selling practices and my opinion that they lack ethics. Hmm, maybe that could explain how they got themselves into this pickle, then again, I am a true believer that everyone should get their day in court and that they are innocent until proven guilty and that goes way beyond my personal feelings toward someone. Just because I don't like someone does not make them guilty in my eyes.

As for one of the other shop owners, heck I jut bought a rifle from them 2 weeks ago at the White Plains gun show. Now that rifle may actually well have been used in military assaults and quite possibly could be properly termed as an assault rifle due to its history. It is one of the dreaded Mosin Nagant 91/30 assault rifles. Said shop owner and a couple to a few of his employees were arrested in this operation. That is too bad because they seemed like nice, polite, knowledgeable folks when it came to selling firearms. Their shop had a reputation for iffy sales based on legal issues however, as I understand it, they are new to the shop having taken it over recently. I hope they were not targeted based on someone elses reputation. You can see, in the article where it says:

"Rice showed a video of one instance in which an undercover policeman filmed a conversation with Tretola, inside of one of his stores, where he demonstrated to the officer how to remove the temporary pin from the fixed stock of the gun, making it collapsible –– and illegal."



Mr. Tretola is the gun shop owner of the gun shop about which I was just writing. Well, if he actually removed that pin or even if he actually demonstrated how to do it to make the weapon illegal, then maybe he is guilty. Of course, it is always good to know all the information. Here is a bit more on that:

"“What this means is you take that pin out, I’m telling you you’re in trouble with this gun,” Tretola told the officer."

Does that change things at all or does it confirm criminal intent? District Attorney Kathleen Rice thinks there is absolutely no question that this statement confirms Mr. Tretola's criminal intent as can be seen in this statement:

"There's no question that Mr. Tretola knew what he was doing,” said Rice. “He knew exactly what the state of the law is here in New York state, and was selling weapons and giving people the information they needed to violate the law."

I suppose that seeing only one side or one explanation for a statement is her prerogative as a prosecutor. Being that I am open to see all possibilities due in some large part to the investigative nature of my psyche, I do see another possibility. Just again read the statement that Mr. Tretola is alleged to have made. Could that be seen as a warning to someone not to take out the pin so as not to violate the law? I think it could be that but then again I do not have all the facts so I cannot judge on the mere bit of evidence that is available to me. Of course, a lot depends on the use of the word "temporary" in her statement. If the pin was temporary then shame on Mr. Tretola; if however it was affixed permanently but still could be removed with some deal of work, then maybe there was no violation and he was just giving a warning. All the relative facts are needed to make judgement. As I said, they will have their day(s) in court and if guilty should pay but if not guilty should be set free. The law is the law and if it stinks then we need to change it not violate it in most instances unless it is tyrannical and making people suffer, then maybe we can and should violate it as did the Founding Fathers of our nation.

As for me, I am soon off to the gun show in Middletown, NY. I imagine it will be a few tables less than usual because I think at least one of the gun stores involved in the arrests was supposed to have had tables there. Oh well, there will be others. Too bad about all this, too bad about NYS still having what I believe to be such an unconstitutional law on the books, to bad if someone broke that law or would be willing to do so, too bad that many in government seemingly do not understand why the 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution. It is there so we never forget that We the People can arm ourselves against tyranny and to insure that the government never forgets it either. This would lead one to believe that the Founding Fathers saw absolutely nothing wrong with assault weapons because, at least in some instances, they saw absolutely nothing wrong with assaulting government. There is, or should be, no doubt they wanted We the People to be well prepared, by being well armed, should it ever again come to a time such as: "When in the Course of human events...".


All the best,
Glenn B
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