Nope, it surely was not just another gun show. Well, maybe the gun show at the Westchester Convention Center, today, was just another show for most folks but not for everyone - not for me. I really had a lot of fun there today, got there just before 9 when they opened the show to the public and left only about an hour before it would close for the evening at 5. Heck, it was only a 350 table show but I am guessing I made the rounds of those tables at least 8-10 times each and saw new things, I had missed earlier, almost every time around. Besides that I met my friends Charlie K and his brother-in-law Rob and their friend Dennis at the show and we had a good time jaw-boning about this or that and looking at guns and other gun stuff. Before I met up with them, I went round the tables 2 or 3 times, then I took about an hour break and went for lunch at a diner across the street. Well, actually, it was my breakfast. Then it was back to the show, and I was soon met by them. Sadly, someone else who was supposed to go was unable to get up and get going this morning since he only came home at about 0415 in the AM and was zonked when it was time to hit the road. Ah - youth. He made out okay because of the show though, as will be seen.
I was specifically looking for a Remington 700 VTR in .308 today. I had the cash at the ready but sadly, I did not find one. I saw one in .22-.250 but that is a far cry from .308 and definitely not what I had wanted so I let it pass. It was going for $664, which seemed to be a decent price. I looked at plenty of other guns, a Marlin 57M Levermatic really caught my eye. They only were asking $165 for it, that is a pretty good price for one in excellent condition and this one seemed to be excellent. I passed on it for the moment wanting to see more at the show before making a decision about it. You know what happened - he who hesitates is lost. When I looked again - it was gone. I also took a good long look at some Mosin Nagant 91/30 hex receiver rifles manufactured at the Tula arsenal. I figured i might be interested if nothing fancier caught my eye. I went back to get one of those and all 3 that had been on the rack were gone. At only $110 each, I suppose it was no wonder that they went pretty quickly. There were still some 91/30s with round receivers from the Izhevsk arsenal. I scanned them quickly, immediately saw one looked better than the others, picked it up for a closer look, saw it was made in 1939, saw that it looked to be in excellent condition (probably an arsenal refinish) and then saw that the serial number began with the letters "BB".
I asked to the dealer to remove the nylon tie and take out the bolt so I could take a look down the barrel. He obliged, I looked and immediately said "I'll take it". I mean, how could I resist not only a Mosin Nagant in that nice a shape, for only a hundred bucks plus tax, but one that also began its serial number with my son's first and last initials. I filled out the paperwork, the dealer completed the NICS check, and I handed over $108 (in exact change) and then walked away with another Mosin Nagant (we now have 3 of them or is it 4). I am going to check with the ATF to make sure I can legally gift this to my son as that is what I want to do if legal. I am almost 100% certain I can do that. If not, well then he can shoot it whenever he wants to shoot it. If he can have it as a gift, he will be very pleased indeed, if not then he still gets to shoot it. I showed it to him once got home and he had one of those big smiles on his face that used to be called a Kodak Moment. By the way, that Nagant was a big hit while I was still at the show; I had 4 different people stop me to ask about it and all wanted to buy it from me.
I also bought some ammo for the Nagant, just a box of 20 rounds because we have a bunch of it at home already. I bought this stuff just to try another brand. Other than those things, that was it for guns and ammo. I did get a few other things though: 2 Tee-shirts with Elmer J. Fudd wearing a helmet and flak jacket, holding one men looking black rifle and has a caption saying "Be vewwy, vewwy quiet quiet... I'm hunting tewowists!" (One can only hope he will be as succesful as he was in , 'Doc What's Opera'.) I got one for me and one for the son. I also got a 2 pack of exploding targets, 8 targets in each, and a bore light. I wound up spending about $192 at the show itself including the cost of all the gear above, admission and a couple of sodas. Add to that about $14 for lunch, $10 worth of gas and $9.50 for tolls and the grand total for the day was about $226. A lot less was spent than I had expected.
I had thought it was going to be a much more expensive day since I had my heart set on the Remington 700 VTR which would have set me back about another $725 to $810. If I had gotten that, I probably would have bought at least 500 rounds of .308 ammo, figure another $300. I was also thinking about getting my son a case of 5.56 ammo for his AR. One of the dealers had Prvi Partizan 62 grain FMJ for $351 tax included. I was tempted but first I figure we ought to make sure the AR likes the 62 grain stuff better than the 55 grain stuff he has been shooting out of it. We have a few brands of heavier than 55 grains to test fire to find out, so I just let that ammo purchase wait. Anyway, another show is coming up in a couple or few weeks and we can get it there or order it online. I had also been keeping my eyes open for a Remington Model 8 in .35 Remington but no luck. I would have really spent all I had with me had I seen both a nice one of those and the Remington VTR. As it is, a trip to the bank to redeposit some cash is in order for Monday; that way I will not spend it all before the next gun show and thus I'll have plenty of cash on hand for that one.
Even though I did not find the rifles I was hoping to find, I did come up with a gem of a Nagant, had fun with my buddies and wound up putting a smile on my son's face when I got home with the rifle. All in all, it was a great day for me.
All the best,