Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gun Show Report - Middletown, NY

My buddy Pete A. picked me up at around 9 or 9:30 this morning and we headed up to the Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, NY for the gun show up that way today. When we got there I could not believe the line was from the hall entrance out to the fairgrounds' main entrance, probably over 150 yards long. So much for not going early as I usually do so as to avoid the line, to get to see good deals first, and so on. Next time, I head up that way early.

Luckily for us, while we were waiting on the line, someone came by and said that if you get to the front of the line and do not already have a ticket, they make you buy the ticket and return to the end of the line. Never heard of anything like that before, heck I always get there early. So, we went up front and got out tickets but before doing so made sure the guys on the line just behind us would allow us back in the same place relative to them. The line moved pretty quickly, I figure we had a ten minute wait at most. Inside, it was pretty crowded but not packed. They were only allowing folks in once others had left. Several people walked out and then the guy at the doors said, something to the effect, 'okay, another 6 can go in'. It was a good thing because the last time I was there you could barely walk down the aisles once it got crowded. Today they kept it fairly comfortable even though somewhat crowded, as it was not like being in a Japanese subway car at rush hour in Tokyo - the last time I was there, it was pretty much just that.

We walked around and before we got through the first or second row, I spied my buddies Charlie K and his brother-in-law Rob. Then their friend Dennis also came into sight. Next thing knew, Charley came around to greet us and we had a nice chat. Pete, Charlie and I used to work together. Then Pete and I continued on when Charlie went off to reunite with Rob and Dennis. We went down each row, looking at guns or this or that (and as usual I think there was a bit too much this or that but there seemed more guns overall that we had seen at the White Plains gun show recently). Sadly for me, those guns did not include a Remington Model 8 although I did see one gent carrying around a Model 81 in .35 Remington. It was not in all that great a shape, which could be seen at first glance, so I did not bother to even inquire about it. I just kept looking for the elusive Model 8 in .35 Remington or even the one in .30 Remington that I had seen at White Plains but I did not see the dealer who had that at WP at the show today.

I looked at several other guns, with an earnest eye toward buying but alas there were none that pleased me enough to pay the inflated prices being asked for them. There were Yugoslavian SKS rifles for $400 and they were in none to great a shape. I can find them
offered online at Classic Firearms in excellent condition for $299.99, and even with shipping they would be about $70 less than the $400 they wanted at the show. Remember that the $400 does not include the sales tax they would charge at the show. I also saw a Mosin Nagant 91/30 I was thinking of buying but it was $159.00. You can also buy these for a lot less from an online dealer and with shipping would still pay less than at the show and I can have them shipped directly to me, with no need to pay an FFL transfer fee, because I hold a C&R FFL (same goes for the SKS rifles). I looked at a bunch of .22 rifles also, all in .22LR. It really made me think, maybe, just maybe, I should have passed up the Buck knife I bought at Dick's Sporting Goods yesterday with a gift card I had gotten from my son and I should have used that card and another he and my wife gave me toward a .22 rifle. oh well, the gift card I still have is worth a hundred bucks and it may yet go toward a rifle.

Note that the big can has two smaller
.50 caliber cans in it, one sitting atop
the other. The 3rd .50 cal. can is on
 the floor. That third can almost fit in
the big can too, narrow end down, but
there was just not quite enough room.
I did find some nice, pretty clean, .50 caliber ammo cans at 2 for $20 and got two of them and also got a much larger, probably foreign military, ammo can from the same dealer for $12 instead of the marked $15. That can easily held the two smaller .50 caliber ammo cans and while it is just shy of being able to hold a third, it could easily have fit one or two .30 caliber cans in there with the two .50 caliber cans. Later on I found another dealer with .50 caliber ammo cans at only $8.00 apiece and I got one of those too. He only had one in really nice condition, otherwise I would have taken one or two more of them. They come in handy not only for ammo but for gun cleaning supplies, gun parts, tools and whatever.

The only other things I picked up were some long, wooden stick, cotton swabs for gun cleaning, a small examination mirror on a telescoping handle, a magnet also on a telescoping handle (both great for when you drop something like a gun screw and it bounces behind a piece of furniture or the furnace) and a box of 10 count Cyalume 8 hour chemical lights (great to have in the house, in the car or to take on a hike for emergency illumination).

Pete did not buy any guns, he was not looking for any. He did buy the examination mirror I bought and another without a telescoping handle and maybe one or two other things I cannot remember right now. After the show we stopped at gander Mountain in Middletown. I picked up some night crawlers and trout worms for my turtle and two Redfoot Tortoises and got another portable, battery operated, aerator to add to my collection (my others are probably close to their lives' ends). Other than that we just looked around the store a bit. I was disappointed to see they rearranged their firearms displays, not placing the handgun counter up as a barrier between customers and the long guns. used to be you could walk right over to the long guns and examine whatever you wanted to look at. No more. I guess the corporate lawyers figured it was not a good idea to allow folks access to the rifles and shotguns like that even though each was secured by a cable to the display and each had a trigger lock. My guess is that some arsehat of a customer, who was unsafe with the firearms, ruined it for the rest of us but that is just my guess.

After that it was off toward home with a quick stop at a Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a donut (I had a crumb cake muffin). Then it was on the road and homeward bound. All in all we had a swell day, got to spend some nice time together and met up with some other friends at the show. Not a bad day at all, not by a long shot!

All the best,
Glenn B

Not Passing (Up) The Buck...

...the Buck knife that is, especially since I have had two gift cards for Dick's Sporting Goods in my wallet for what seems like forever now. (Now for that last sentence being yesterday as now today, I only have one of them remaining). For my birthday, several months ago, my son and wife gave me a $100 gift card for Dick's SG. Then for Christmas, my son gave me another one for $50. Between my birthday and just a couple of weeks ago, I really did not feel all that much up to going to Dick's to do any shopping. I tried once, in that time frame, maybe a month and a half ago but did not really feel up to shopping once I got there. So I left, back then, empty handed.

Yesterday, I went there after getting a few other things done. I went to the bank to have an amendment to my pistol license application notarized. Then I went to the police department to drop off that amended paperwork. Then I went to a doctor's office to drop off some other paperwork. After that, I was still feeling spunky enough to do something else, so I figured why not go to Dicks and spend those gift cards that were still burning a hole in my wallet. When I got there, I noticed they had done a rearrangement of much of the store and had moved many departments around including the shoe department and the hunting and firearms departments that I wanted to visit. no big deal,. just through me off for a second or two. I looked through the hunting department, then looked for 2 3/4" shotgun slugs (none there at all except for Sabot Slugs), then looked at some rifles and almost asked to see one or two of the rifles in .22LR. I figured an inexpensive toy rifle might be just the ticket to cheer me up and to take to the range with myself and Brendan, Then I thought, heck I am going to a gun show tomorrow (meaning today) so why bother with guns now. Now that I have been to the gun show, I wonder why I did not buy a .22 at Dick's yesterday when I was there but the gun show is another story. As it turned out, I turned away from the guns and too a gander at the knives. I recently lost a Buck bantam, maybe it is out in my back yard and hopefully I will find it before it sticks someone (yes it is a folder but is probably open) like me. So, as it was, I needed a new folder as I really do not like the Gerber I have been carrying in place of the Buck bantam. The Gerber I have is not terrible but I do not like partially serrated blades and it has one. I got the knife from work years ago, and free is free, so I really cannot complain. I carry it when I need it as when I lose a knife I prefer more.

I looked at this knife and that in the counter, under and behind glass. None of those caught my eye. Then I looked at knives on the shelves sealed in plastic packs and one of them did catch my eye. It was a Buck Boone and Crockett Club Collector's Series 110 Folding Hunter. Basically what that translates to is that it is the old time classic Buck lock back folder with wood handle, brass bolsters, brass and nickel pins, with about a 3 3/4" steel blade that is (laser?) etched with a Boone and Crockett Logo.

It is quite the bit bigger than either the Buck Bantam that I lost or the Gerber gator that I used as a temporary replacement. One other thing about the new Buck knife is that it was made in the USA. The Buck bantam I lost was not so patriotic but I must admit my Gerber Gator was also made right here in the US of A. I was pretty surprised to see the Buck 110 Hunter was made here. I note, that on the packaging it showed a small American flag and said: "KNIFE MADE IN USA".

I am guessing though that the packaging, and the nifty metal collectors box, which was included with it, were not made here; that probably also goes for the belt sheath that came with it. A close examination, in a moment I just paused from typing, revealed a tag on the back of the sheath that had this on it: Buck 110-BK. A closer exam revealed a stealthily concealed second tag, sewn on so as to be completely covered by the tag I just mentioned. That concealed tag had this on it: SHEATH MADE IN CHINA". Was the brass at Buck to cowardly to let this be seen up front since the knife that went into the sheath was made here? I have to wonder. Regardless of whatever reason, they can come up with, for having that tag sewn on under and completely concealed by the other, I find that despicable and cowardly. If you are going to have your products made foreign, then at least show it up front. My guess, that the tin collector's box, blazoned with the Boone and Crockett Club logo and with a picture of and a quote by Theodore Roosevelt (founder of the Boone And Crockett Club), was also made in China, was upheld as right on the money when I found a small sticker on the back of the box indicating just that. Oh well, at least the knife was made here, one out of three is not the best but not the worst either and the knife comes with a lifetime warranty.

As for the knife, it may be part of a collector's series, I think third in issue but I am not going to keep it in the package as a collectible. As you can see it is already out of the package. I will be carrying it in my pocket and using it as a day to day tool as needed. If it had been labeled 1 of 1,000 or something like that, I may have considered buying it as a collectible. As it is though, all the collector's stuff seems to me to just basically be a marketing ploy. I paid $40 for it, not because it was marked " but because I liked it and because it was made here. Now maybe $40 was too much but it seemed a decent price, then again maybe the regular Buck model 110 Hunter is less expensive than that but that's okay by me. After all, I did get the tin box into which I can throw ammo for which I no longer have any additional empty tin boxes. What ammo? You know - the ammo you pull out of your pockets after a day at the range or a day afield hunting for which you already tossed the cardboard ammo box. I have a couple of full tins already and a full cardboard 9mm case box too. So this other tin will come in handy and will look good sitting on a piece of furniture in the man cave.

The best thing about the knife, out of everything, is that it was in essence a gift from my son. I showed it to him a little while ago and he liked it. Someday, if I do not lose it first, it will be his.

All the best,
Glenn B