Great Falls gun show

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

A buddy and I went to the Great Falls gun show yesterday. Saw a few nice things but nothing I couldn’t really live without. I did find a fella who had an ARMS G3 claw mount for $125. I offered him $100 but he was adamant. He lives here in town so I’ll have him come by the shop with it, try it on my PTR, and if it fits and theres no problems Ill go ahead and pay him for it.

I did see something drool-worthy, though, at the show. A gen-u-ine Belgian FN-made FAL, imported by Steyr. It was in wonderful condition…practically new. The punchline? $2500. Im not sure its worth that but Im pretty sure it is worth $2000-2250. Honestly, you can buy a DSA for less money and probably get a gun of equal quality but that “FN Herstal” stamp on the side of the receiver sure would be something to brag about and instill confidence. Yes, I push the PTR/HK platform but that’s mostly because of price/value (or, if you prefer, resource-to-preparedness ratio)…if FAL mags were $1 each and accessories were cheap, cheap, cheap I’d be all over the FAL. It’s a great gun and I’d put it up there as the number one .308 semi-auto rifle.

No Uzis, although there was one Vector clone for $900. Meh. If Im gonna fork out the greenbacks its gonna be for the genuine article. No HK94/SP89s to be found either, although there was a guy selling MP5 magazines….it would be grossly expensive but a pseudo-MP5-PDW on an SBR HK94 or SP89 would be pretty cool. Of course, once all the work is done I would probably have been able to afford three Uzis with what I would spend on putting the one gun together.

Although Johnny Trochmann wasn’t at the show, his tables of various conspiracy-theory newsletters and survival gear was. Every once in a while he comes across some interesting stuff. Nothing exciting this trip, but you never know with that guy. He’s always interesting to talk to even if you sometimes have to keep from rolling your eyes when the conversation takes a turn into black-helicopter country.

Magazines were abundant. Magpul P-Mags were $15, contract AR mags were $10-15, Glock mags were $20 and whats kind of weird is that with the ridiculously low prices of HK91 mags these days I saw virtually none at the show. AK mags were a little thin as well, although AK drums seemed to be pretty common.

I did see an IOR M2 4x scope with CQB reticle. I already have one with the Dragunov style reticle. Excellent scope but the guy who had it on the table musta been smoking crack if he thought someone was going to pay him $575 it. Last one I got was, I think, less than half that, used. I still like those IOR optics, by the way.

Ammo, primers and powders were available although the prices are still nuts. The mood seemed to be people moving away from panic-buying and stockpiling out of fear of administrative dictates and more towards panic-buying and stockpiling out of fear of impending socio-economic collapse. So, really, the story is the same its just that the names have been changed.

AR-pattern rifles were aplenty. Cheap Century AKs were present in quantity as well. Saw no HKlones, one FAL clone, and a few M1As..other than that, not a lot of .308 semiautos in attendance.

Of course I also ran into some of the usual faces at the show and its always nice to say hello to these folks. Unfortunately, many of them are up in years and it seems like every other year one of them heads off to that big shooting range in the sky. It’s too bad, because they all have fascinating stories about guns and shooting to tell. Theres a fella I see at every show who used to be on the Border Patrol with Bill Jordan and he has all sorts of great stories to tell about ‘way back when’ when the BP guys had a pistol, a blet slide of ammo, a pair of handcuffs and not much else. No radio, no ATV, no GPS…just two guys roaming the desert on horseback or in some surplus Jeep  out on their own with no back up.

I think this may have been the first gun show I have been to in a few years where I spent absolutely no money. Not that there weren’t things I wanted, its just that Im getting more and more fussy about how I spend my limited resources.