The Return of Gun Shows (Paskahatun Paluu)

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by icebear, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Gun shows are back in Arizona. There were a couple up in the Phoenix area last month, but this past weekend (11/21-22) was the first in southern Arizona since everything was cancelled by the Coronavirus. The show was sponsored by Arizona Gun Radio (yes, that's a real outfit - ya gotta love Arizona). Masks were required, aisles were wide, and tables were spaced farther apart than normal. There were fewer vendors than usual, but there were some new ones.

    I went on Sunday morning, figuring (correctly) that it would be the least crowded time. Several vendors I talked with said that Saturday had been fairly busy, but not super crowded, and they had done OK. Ammo was big - especially .223, 7.62x39, 9mm and .380, and common hunting calibers such as .30-06. I bought quite a bit of ammo, because some of the odd calibers I shoot were available at good prices, despite the run on more popular calibers. I picked up Chilean 7mm and Argentine 7.65mm military ammo (European made), as well as some Norma in 7.65 Argentine and 7.62x54R Russian. Even scored a box of old Finnish-made 7.62x54R soft points, made in Finland for Interarms on VPT military cases, for ten bucks. Got a mixed bag of 7.63 Mauser ammo for my Broomhandle, but most of it turned out to be hot-loaded Czech ammo made for the CZ-52 chambered in 7.62 Tokarev. I should have been tipped off by the fact that the stripper clips held 8 rounds rather than 10, but I didn't catch it until I got home and started checking out the headstamps. No big problem, I have a buddy in Mesa who has a Czech pistol in that caliber, so he'll be getting some ammo for Hanukah.

    There were exactly zero Sako or Tikka rifles, nor really much at all in the way of better-quality sporting rifles. In fact, there were a lot of tables loaded with non-gun items, cheap scopes, etc. There were some AR/AK specialists, but fewer than usual. Lots of handmade knives; there seem to be a lot of knife makers around here. I saw a few interesting Smith & Wesson handguns, but at prices suggesting that the sellers preferred to keep them. There were a smattering of 60's custom guns, notable for their radical stock styling, and some pricey antiques (Nice Marlin .22 lever gun for $1600). Then, as I was passing the last corner of the last table on my way toward the exit, I spotted a Walther PP Sport with a price tag that wasn't in outer space as they usually are. Proof date of 1969, condition immaculate. After a brief negotiation, I handed over $675 cash and took it home. The PP Sport is a .22 target version of the PP. In the European tradition of making target pistols out of pocket pistols, it has a 6" barrel, target grips and sights, a spur hammer, and an improved trigger pull. Beretta has made many similar guns, as have various French and Italian makers. The seller showed me a knurled barrel nut covering threads at the muzzle, telling me that it was for a muzzle brake or suppressor. It may be that there's a muzzle brake for the gun, but as I was amused to discover when I took it apart for cleaning, the real purpose of the muzzle nut is to remove the front sight to get the slide off. It turned out to be as clean inside as outside, with a 4-pound SA trigger pull. DA pull was outside the range of my gauge, but it felt better than most Walthers I've shot.

    Here's a quick and dirty photo of the PP Sport. I'm looking forward to shooting it; should be a lot of fun. I'll be on the lookout for a spare mag for it, but I suspect that the mags with the special bottom to blend into the oversize grip are made of Unobtanium.


    There's another show next weekend at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Might go; haven't decided yet. The Covid statistics are not encouraging, but the show yesterday didn't really seem much riskier than a trip to the supermarket so I might do the Sunday morning thing again. If I see any Sakos there, I'll post. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    PP Sport 1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
    deergoose and ricksengines like this.

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    You have more courage than I do!! I miss going to the shows, but a 46% positivity rate & hospitals transferring patients because they are full where I live gives me pause. That PP is a sweet find!!
     
  3. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    It seems that every gun show report (even those before covid) indicate that there are fewer vendors with actual guns for sale or lookie lookie and many more selling non gun related junk. For my money I would like to see promoters establish a watermark for guns at the shows. 75% guns should be the norm instead of the flip side. Maybe I'm just getting old but I'm tempted to ask for a refund if the show is full of junk and very little in the way of firearms. Ammo excluded of course.

    rick
     
  4. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Some time back, previous to the virus situation, I have left gun shows without paying entrance fees when they started to be more like flea-markets than gun shows. Of course I did leave an unkind message for the show organizer to express my opinion. Frankly, I believe they should be paying me to be able to sell me something! Have not been to any gun shows since the virus started and will stay bunker-ed in until the virus is under control, which does not appear to be any time soon. It seems that the only countries that are able to control the virus spread are those willing to lock down with travel limitations. My advice is to stay to safe by avoiding all unnecessary travel and possible exposure. Sakojim.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Rick
    Actually, this show wasn't one of those. Most of the non-gun tables were selling something gun-related - scopes, cheap gun cases, military-style carrying gear, knives, etc. There were a couple with Indian jewelry, etc. but not many. And even among the unrelated ones were some that I was glad to see, like the stand selling handmade fudge. I often pick up some fudge to share with my girlfriend.

    I've been to the kind of shows you're talking about, mostly back East. My all-time favorite off-the-wall vendor was one who had a giant cluster of tables at the Richmond, VA show every year selling what purported to be Goering's personal china and tableware. That was a hoot, and that was an excellent show even with a few ringers. The other one we had to put up with was the beef jerky guy. He was a wiry old character who looked like a derelict who had just gotten out of the drunk tank. He would constantly bawl his unmusical jingle, "Beef jerky, beef jerky, try the hot, try the mild..." He was one of the few people I've ever met with a singing voice worse than mine. If you were a vendor, you did NOT want to get stuck with the table next to him!
     
  6. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I remember in the 90's going down to a gun show in Puyallup, just south of Seattle, Washington. In one aisle there was a table displaying the rifles of a prestigious custom rifle builder from Spokane. Directly across the aisle from him was a venison jerky guy, giving out free samples, so the aisle floor was littered with bits of meat. And right next to the jerky guy was a fellow selling nothing but used hunting boots...lots of them. The smell from the jerky combined with the odor of old leather boots was really something. I felt sorry for the custom rifle builder. That said, I have never been to a gun show that I didn't like.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020

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