Sunday, April 17, 2011

Last Minute BAG Day Purchase

I just added one more thing to the list of BAG Day purchases. It is not a another gun but a sealed tin of 440 rounds of 7.62x54R 147 grain Russian ammo. I ordered it from Military Shooters with whom I have good dealings before. They had the best price I could find with shipping added on. Too bad I did not think to buy a tin up at Syracuse yesterday, probably would have been less expensive, then again, maybe not.

All the best,
Glenn B

Syracuse Gun Show Report & Our 'Buy A Gun Day' Purchases - the classical style report

My son and I attended the gun show in Syracuse, NY yesterday. Allow me to start off by saying it was great. I did not even realize it while at the show, my son pointed it out to me later, there were no tables selling beef jerky (at least none we saw). There was a lady at one table selling lousy jewelry and the regular collection of t-shirt sellers, book sellers, knife sellers, and military memorabilia sellers but the great majority of the 1,000 tables seemed dedicated to firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories like parts and holsters and mags, targets and oher firearms related doo-dads of one sort or another. This was about the best gun show I have attended since going to a big show, I think 1,500 tables, out in Arizona and I could buy guns at this one so it was the best.

The variety of guns was great, there were a good assortment of [I]black[/I] rifles, AKs, bolt action hunting riflre, target rifles, semi-autos for all shooting applications, black powder antiques, new black powder firearms, old classic firearms, newly manufactured firearms. Lots of rifles, lots of shotguns lots of pistols. The prices ranged from way too high to truly excellent deals, For example, I saw run of the mill Russian Mosin Nagant 91/30s going for $135.00 and another dealer had the same rifles going for $89.00 (remember no shipping like with an order from an online dealer so this was a great price).

My son and I had a few different things on our shopping lists. He was looking for a Stag Arms AR, a shotgun and whatever else caught his eye. I was hankering for a Remington Model 8 in .35 Remington, a Remington 700 VTR in .308, an AK-47 and whatever else caught my eye and was within reason price wise.

Somewhere, about an hour and a half into the show, I saw my son at a table looking at Ars. He called me over and I could see he was hooked. He told me he was eying two different Stag Arms AR-15s. They were either Model 1 or 2, the ones he was eying were the non-piston version since he already has one of them. He was debating between one listed at $975 or so with few if any add-ons and another with added on quad fore rail, pistol fore-grip, red dot sight and some other things for $1250. He took the one with the add-ons for $1,200. As the dealer was casing it all up, Brendan asked me if I had seen anything good and I said not yet. Whereas he had been round the whole show already, I had progressed only about 3 aisles with many more before me. I was taking my time looking. He asked “what are you looking for” and I mentioned the Rem. Model at which the dealer perked up and said “I have one on the opposite of y display”. I took a look but it was chambered for 32 Remington. I decided to wait to see if ammo dealers had any 32 Remington and found out it is basically a defunct cartridge, so I am quite happy I waited. Excellent Model, original finish probably over 95 percent, excellent wood, all parts attached decent price too but not for me without ready ammo availability.

Back to the search for a model 8 in 35 Rem or one of the other rifles I wanted. Later on, when I was in the next to last row of tables in the big room, I again met Brendan and asked him if he had been in the back room of the show. He said yeah but that there was nothing worth it back there. I took a look anyway. At the last table I visited back there, there was a Romanian WASR AK-47 going for $450. I went to look for Brendan and brought him back to check it out for me. He already has a Bulgarian AK and knows more about them than me. He took it down, part way, checked it out, and said it looked like a good deal. I haggled a little, and got another $25 off the price. With tax it was $459 out the door. It came with 2 pre-ban 30 round mags. (NY still has a ban on hi-cap mags.) Not a bad deal considering that at this show it was the lowest priced WASR. Others were going from $470.00 up to $509.00. Now $459 (out the door) is not as good as online prices but a typical online price is $410, plus shipping of about $25, plus FFL fee of $25 up my way, and guess what, that $459 equals the price I would have paid online at a place like
Classic Arms, for a NY legal AK, and I did not have to wait for the gun. The gas money we spent and the admission fee to the show of only $6.00 each (that is a great gun show admission price, I paid at least $9.00 in AZ for the big show out there) and what I spent on food was a weekend trip expense that I chalk up to family fun and do not include in the price of the gun because I would have spent it anyway even if I had not bought a rifle. So it was a good deal for NY anyway. As for the other guns I was looking for, I only saw one Remington 700 VTR but it was in the wrong caliber and I did not see another Rem. Model 8 (the search continues and I hope I find one as nice as the one I saw at this show).

By the way, when I went to look for Brendan, to help me look over the AK, I found him carrying yet another gun. He bought a Mossberg pump gun with pistol grip. I don’t know where he expects to shoot it as almost every range up here will not allow them, but there may be one range where he can try it out. He plans to get a regular stock for it sooner of later and I advised him to do so because as I see it, a shotgun with only a pistol grip at the butt end is just about useless unless you are shooting zombies in the movies or in very close quarters in a self defense situation and even then I prefer the shoulder stock to that pistol grip. He also had two bags of accessories and had purchased snap on covers for the quad rail on his new AR.

It was about 1215 when I had finished up with my AK purchase. The only other things we got after that were two mortar cans that Brendan wanted at $20.00 apiece. He was antsy and we certainly could not carry much more and we got to talking about leaving. We had gotten to the show at about 9, give or take a few minutes, and probably got inside by somewhere between 9:15 and 9:30, after standing on a long line in the damp and chilled air. There were hundreds of people on line ahead of us and hundreds more behind us and the place had a steady flow of folks coming and going in the time we were there. There were 2 lines and luckily we got dropped off, by the parking lot tram, on the shorter line. While waiting on line, I saw two other guys I know from Long Island. I saw them a few times inside. They had each picked up one gun apiece before Brendan and I took off and I am sure they will have bought more before leaving; they were staying for day 2 today. As for us, Brendan was antsy, and wanted to take off at 1230. I reminded him that we would not be welcome at home too early since my wife was going to be having some of the girls over for a wine party. Yet, I was sort of ready to go but only because my memory is not as good as it once was. I did not remember to go back to at least a couple of tables to buy raffle tickets, one from Friends of the NRA and another from a gun club that was giving away a rifle a day for the month of May. At $25 a ticket that was a good raffle on which to take a chance but I forgot to get back to it. I also was going to pick up a Marline Papoose, being sold as new, wood stock, blued steel, for $150. I forgot that too. In addition I wanted to pick up some zombie targets, a case for my AK, and some other stuff. I also wanted to go back and look at a like new but used Browning BLR Model 81 in .308. It was pretty but I thought the price was high at $625.00 (no optics and missing the screws that fill the scope rail mounting holes, otherwise except for a tiny scratch at the muzzle end of the barrel it looked perfect). I confirmed that when I saw another, in a different caliber, at about $550 in as good a condition. Well, I forgot about that too. Shame on me but being older than half a century and having a muddled middle aged memory and having trudged around through that show with all those other gun nuts and having a son who was eager to go and who kept telling me so was a combination that led to our premature departure.

Yes, we left right at 1230. Luckily there were trams to take us back to the car which was a ways off in the compound. We loaded up our newly acquired gear into the car and headed out. On the way home we made 3 stops, one a McDonald's (lousy but acceptable food and it was fast), one for gas, and one at Gander Mountain in Middletown, NY so I could buy night crawlers and trout worms for my fish, turtle, tortoises, salamanders and newts. We got home right after my wife’s party started and I was relegated to the basement where I happily accepted my banishment.

All in all, we had a great trip. Good company, fun time, great purchases, fulfilling my self imposed obligation to buy a gun for BAG day (which technically is tomorrow but the BAG day thing usually runs at least a few days either side of tax day). Don’t know about BAG day - go here:
Remember, BAG Day is usually April 15th the traditional tax day but this year tax day is tomorrow, April18th, so you still have time to Buy A Gun and send the government a message while stimulating the U.S. economy!
All the best,
Glenn B