Kalispell gun show

The Kalispell gun show I went to yesterday was an utter waste of time and gasoline. If there were more than fifty tables, I’d be surprised. Gun shows in this state just are not what they used to be. I think part of the problem is that there are so many more of them than there used to be that it has watered down the quality of them.

To try and get something out of the trip, I swung through various gun and pawn shops on my way back. Did stop in at a little pawn shop in Kalispell that, while unremarkable, had a really nice guy behind the counter who was quite pleasant to talk to about guns. He had a Mini-14 with the old-style factory folding stock up on the shelf. That was tempting. Also had the first used KelTec RFB i’ve ever seen. And, sitting on the counter, was a ‘misc box’ full of assorted magazines. Hmmm.

Wound up finding five factory Ruger mags for the P95s. Ten bucks each, offered him eight, he said “Nah, make it seven.” So I got five mags for thirty five bucks. A mix of regular capacity and ten rounders. Coincidentally, I picked up a dozen used mags off GunBroker last week so unless some sort of insane deal comes down the pike, I’m pretty much done buying Ruger 9mm mags.

After leaving Kalispell, I stopped in Ronan at a gun shop where I’ve know the guy behind the counter for twenty years. They deal in mostly new guns, but he had a pair of Winchester Model 100’s in .308 to show me. Kinda cute, but not my thing. I did get to handle Rugers new .44 Special GP100 and the new 8-shot .357 on the Redhawk frame. That .357 would be a stunning beast if they’d drop a 5″ or 6″ barrel on it instead of that snubby barrel.

So the trip wasn’t a total waste since I got some mags out of it, but I think I’m definitely going to rethink these gun shows that require traveling quite some distance to attend. For example, I’d like to go to the Billings gun show but for a five hour drive each way there had better be an abundance of tables and opportunity.

But..extra mags, so, yay.

13 thoughts on “Kalispell gun show

  1. Are you caching/ strategically locating this stuff or just filling up the safe? No need to answer, it’s rhetorical.

    Filling up the safe has benefits. It would let you have redundancy in case of future losses/ damaged guns. In some scenarios that would be handy. Also arming capable but unprepared friends would be good.

    Still I find myself putting more emphasis into caching than just stacking the safe. The reason is personally for better or worse if I need more than x guns I’m hosed anyway. More guns in the safe won’t help me win a fight. Having redundancy if my home and safe are compromised seems to make more sense than another gun in the safe at home.

  2. I work several of the gun shows locally in Montana and I have also noticed that there are less offerings. But I think that is do to less attendance and less people spending at the shows.

    People either:
    1. Don’t really need anything; having bought up a lot over the last 8 years.
    2. Don’t have any money left in their budgets because of past spending.
    3. Don’t feel the urgency.

    I can understand 1 & 2. I’m sort of there myself. However, if you are not “stocked-up” (like with your mags), they are in denial (my opinion). The current “season” is a chance to take inventory, reassess, and restock.

    Part of the problem is some of the dealers too. I’ve heard them say “It’s $400 at Wal-Mart” and put a price from #395 to 500 on it. The deals are just no being offered to the customers. I’d rather make $50 ten times than $100 twice.

  3. 5 hours from Missoula to Billings. People don’t realize how big Montana is, especially with an 80 mph limit on most of the interstates. And that is only about half the state. I do the drive from N. Wyoming to N. Idaho and back every year or so. It’s a bear!

    • Europeans are always staggered when they come here to visit and realize you can drive eight hours and still be in the same state….over there, you can drive eight hours and pass through half a dozen countries.

      • “The difference between America and England is that Americans think 100 years is a long time, while the English think 100 miles is a long way.” –Earle Hitchner (no I have no idea as well and Google did not help).

  4. I live in the Kalispell area and didn’t know there was a gun show until Friday the 6th when I saw a banner by the road. You missed the last one which was several times larger. There are 2 promoters that do shows and you hit the “bad” one. The large(r) shows are put on by “Northwest Montana Arms Collectors Association”. I know the pawn shop that you mentioned and I don’t dive in there a lot due to the vibe I get from the guys, but I have got a few decent deals out of there. I’m guessing i’m a smidge younger than you and I missed out on the “good ol’ deals at the gun show” era.

  5. Look at it this way, as bad as they get it could be worst you could be back in Brooklyn. I would imagine their gun show are a “bit” boring.

  6. Just got home from my 3rd trip to Knob Creek for the Machinegun Shoot. As I had expected, the only thing commanding a ridiculous price tag were the various bump-fire stocks. $400+ for the stocks and $1000+ for various “kitchen table” M4geries with the stocks already installed. It’s beyond me why people buy junk like this, but hey…whatever floats the boat. Everything else, prices seemed “normal”. Deals to be had, if you looked close enough. And as usual, the overpriced dealers who may catch a rube every now and then, but never seem to capture the serious buyers, which is why they go home with most of their stock. The night shoot on Saturday was a blast (literally) as always. I would definitely love to know how many rounds are expended on these weekends. Hundreds of thousands are a given, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s in the millions. If you’ve never been, put it on your bucket list. They hold it twice a year in April and October.

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