By David Casaceli
With the great scare of 2013 and the resulting hoarding by gun owners and preppers of all stripes, that great American tradition — the gun show — has become a bit of a bore. The expo centers and halls that were once the place to find anything you could dream of, from a carry handle for a Pancor Jackhammer to any cartridge ever loaded, are now packed with sweaty, shuffling zombie hunters fighting over the latest fake Leupolds and ACOGs the Chinese are cranking out. And there’s nary a box of primers in sight. And if there were, they’d fetch a buck per cap. The gentlemen on the other side of those tables used to teach me a thing or two . . .
These days, though, I get the feeling I’m doing all the teaching. But that’s okay, the 19-year-old who learned how to shoot on his Xbox already knows everything…except what a primer is, what caliper bullets that .30-06 takes, if the 30 stands for 30 round clips, and how to mount that AGOG (“do I need a quad rail?”). When about the best things you’ll find at the local show is a cup of plastic nacho cheese or some Scentsy candles, what’s a gun guy to do?
I for one have found the swap meet is very much alive and well right here on the the interwebs, deep within the bowels of the forums that feed 2A animals like me. Places like ARFCOM, Sniper’s Hide 24hourcampfire among others. Of course, you’re going to need to establish yourself as a non-IGOTD. But once you do, almost anything can be found on the black market of the forums. If you talk the talk and know a buffer retainer hole from a takedown pin hole, you’ll find the prices are still pretty good. And if you bring something to trade, you’ll be even more handsomely rewarded for what you seek; as long as it isn’t a date. Unless you’re of the female variety, in which case you’ll have plenty of opportunities.
From primers to scary black guns, .50’s to brass, the supply never dries up if you find a trusting circle. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be at the gun show any more. It seems that all the build-a-bracelet and ‘your name on a piece of rice’ stands are here to stay. On the plus side, the new gun show is open 24/7 and you can visit it from wherever you are, if you just know where to look to stay ahead of the game. But be advised: People of the Gun can be wary of newbies, and this seller reserves the right to refuse sale to anyone.