Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

First time at a gun show!

Posted by Lissa on September 30, 2009

Eager to cement my status as a non-bahstid, I trucked over to Marlboro last weekend to visit Doubletrouble and his booth at the Best Western Gun/Knife Show.

Holy cow, there were a lot of people there!  Took me forever to find parking.  Shockingly (snort) there were a gazillion pickup trucks, often festooned with bumper stickers such as “GUN CONTROL MEANS USING BOTH HANDS” and “BORDER CONTROL NOT GUN CONTROL.”  I paid my nine dollars (yay coupon!) and examined the prominent signs by the front door.  Nope, I didn’t have a gun to surrender . . . nope, no live ammo . . . awwwwww, no cameras?!?  Dammit!!

I wasn’t terribly surprised that the demographics skewed HEAVILY in favor of the Y chromosome.  I’m talking at least 90%.  I did see the occasional female or young child, but I’m not sure I met another woman wandering around by herself.

(Ladies, did you know that if you go to a gun show by yourself you get hit on a LOT?  Of course, you get hit on in a VERY respectful and chivalrous manner.  After all, a woman at the gun show is probably not there to look at the plastic WWII figurines.)

Every gun was “secured”, i.e. it had a plastic doohickey locked through the chamber or trigger guard.  Pistols were also either under netting or glass, or secured to the table with elastic-thingies.

Ammo shortage?  What ammo shortage?  9 mm ammo went for $14.75 for a box of 50; hollowpoints went for $30.  They also had Federal law enforcement ammo available, which is apparently a “bounded bullet” that will stay intact.  The gentleman explaining that to me chatted me up for a little while; apparently his mother a) is 72, b) is my height, c) can put 15 shots into the center of a target in three seconds, and d) is meaner than a three-eyed rattlesnake.  I think that’s a lady I’d like to meet!

On to the guns!  In no particular order, I saw:

– a new Smith & Wesson M&P in 9 mm for $585, in .40 for $540, and used 9 mm for $410

– SigSauer 239 in .40 for $675, standard night sights (that thing must kick like a mule)

– SigSauer Mosquito .22 for $369

– SigSauer 229 in .357 for $785 (They wouldn’t let me hold this one without a permit.  Seriously.  The best she could do was hold it up at eye level for me.)

– a Glock 19 9 mm for $599; since it was available in MA, that means used and pre-ban**

– a massive gun safe for $950 picked up, $1150 ground delivered; a smaller one went for $799.  Wonder if it’d do double-duty as a fireproof box for important documents?  (I broached that idea to Mike, who pointed out that if the ammo DID go off the documents would be super-ultra-mega destroyed.  Hmmm.)

– FINALLY! a Sig 239 in 9 mm for $709 (and also a 226 in 9 mm for $639)

As a souvenir of the show, I’d bought a $10 SigSauer holster from Doubletrouble.  I pulled it out and thought it fit the 239, but it didn’t quite; the latch on the side wasn’t clicking.  Doubletrouble very kindly dug through his box of holsters and picked me out a Blackhawk holster to try.  I scurried back to the Sig 239 table and — yup!  It’s a match 🙂  Sweet!  (I think I’m the only person I know who bought the holster before the gun.  Like, weeks before.)

Yeah, I thought about buying a T shirt instead of a holster, but what fun would that be?  Although I was amused by the shirts; they included such slogans as “This State Allows Concealed Carry; Think Before You Act” and “Smith & Wesson: ‘The Ultimate in Feminine Protection’ “.  (That latter one was on a baby-pink shirt with the writing in sparkly silver.  Naturally.)

I was way happy to run into Borepatch and #2 son.  Like me, Borepatch wasn’t shopping for guns, but he’d grabbed some targets and a set of ear protection. This made me laugh like a loon, because I’d talked to Mike earlier — who had his own gun show in North Carolina — and guess what Mike bought?  Targets and a set of ear protection.  🙂

To sum up — a lot of nice people and a lot of nice guns.  Thanks for inviting me, Doubletrouble!

**That’s gotta be one of the stupider regulations, when you think about it.  So the gun is legal, but a gun EXACTLY LIKE IT manufactured six months later is illegal.  Oy!


12 Responses to “First time at a gun show!”

  1. Nice!

    First, the Federal ammo is “bonded”, not “bounded”.

    Twoish, if a safe is fire rated, it is unlikely that ammo would go off, unless it’s a complete burndown, then-?

    Thirdishly, I’m not surprised you got “hit on” a bit; you were dressed, um…well…kinda hawtly for a gun show. And you know how us knuckledraggers are…

    Fourst, thanks for visitin’!

    • Mike said

      Yes, I later amended my safe thing because of what it would take to burn the place down. A more practical problem with co-locating records and firearms is that paper records tie up space that could be used to store more ammo!

      • Heh. Very true.

        An aside: I know a guy who keeps his important papers in his refrigerator.
        Sounds kooky, but think about picture of what’s left after a complete burndown house fire- uhuh- the fridge.

  2. Jay G. said

    Darn, darn, darn.

    Three of my favoritest people in one place, and I couldn’t make it…



  3. Jeff said

    “- a Glock 19 9 mm for $599; since it was available in MA, that means used and pre-ban**”

    There’s a slight terminology distinction here. It’s almost like they purposely write the laws to be as confusing as possible.
    Pre-Ban generally refers to items manufactured before the 9/13/94 enactment of the Federal Assault Weapons ban. This applies to guns with certain ‘evil features’ and magazines that hold more than ten rounds.

    “Massachusetts compliant” handguns are a separate issue. All of the MA compliance stuff applies only to what a licensed dealer can sell/transfer. There are two conditions for new guns to meet. They have to be on the “Approved Firearms Roster” for one. The second one is the Attorney General’s handgun product safety regulations. Any gun documented as legally owned in MA prior to 10/21/98 is exempt from both. Any gun *manufactured* before 10/21/98 is exempt from the AG regs only.

    Most Glock models are on the list (LEOs are exempt from the AG regs by default, but from the AFR only if the guns are purchased by the department). Therefore, you can buy any pre-98 Glock from anywhere and have a dealer transfer it in for you.

    All of the compliance stuff applies to dealers only. You can own whatever you want if you buy it in a private sale or from a flexible and/or confused dealer.

    • Mike said

      Your claim about the regs applying to dealers only is nice, but since private sales are only legal for residents of the same state, it’s not that helpful. Post-1998 Glocks can’t be had in MA.

      The only way that’d work is if someone owned one legally in another state and then moved to MA. Otherwise, it’d have to go through a dealer somewhere in the chain and dealers have to comply with the rules. Involving unscrupulous dealers probably amounts to felony conspiracy (do you really think an MA prosecutor would let that slide?), so I’ll pass.

  4. secretlivesofscientists said

    Now all you need is a “Got Sig?” t-shirt, and, oh yeah, a sig 🙂

  5. Damn I should have went! I bought a few boxes of that Bonded .45 ACP 230 Gr +P and my 1911s eat it like CANDY and its a REALLY great defensive round. Sadly not all places can get it anymore, so next time I see some I’m snapping up a BUNCH!

    BTW Ammo in a gun SAFE is a No-No! they’re buttoned up TIGHT to protect your goods from theft and heat. But if they get warm enugh for the ammo to “cook off” (go off from spontaneous combustion) what you COULD have is a MASSIVE BOMB in your basement.

    If you’re going to lock up the ammo use something that is not air tight, like a tool chest, locking file cabinet, gun LOCKER, anything that will have air spaces that will allow pressure to escape in the event of a cook-off.

    • Weer’d-
      Fire safes aren’t “air tight”. If they were, a dehumidifier of the Goldenrod type wouldn’t work.
      What they have is a sealant material that expands in the presence of heat (a lot of it)to keep flame from igniting the interior. That material is not pressure proof, & would blow out if there was an extreme interior pressure spike.

      And BTW, check out any military type ammo can- yep, airtight…

  6. Borepatch said

    Doubletrouble and Mike beat me to it: the question is not whether the safe will make your documents indestructable. The question is just what sort of fire would it take to destroy them? I’m guessing “really hot”.

    Sure was fun. There’s another one in Fitchburg around Halloween, and IIRC Doubletrouble said maybe they’d be there. Lissa, Weer’d, Jay – want to make a road trip? A bit of a hike, but would sure be fun.

    • Mike said

      I will actually be home that weekend and there exists the chance that our licensing will be done by then. We have an appointment with the Lissaville PD licensing folks next week, so it all depends on how much they want to slow-walk it.

    • Ayuh.
      We’ll be there. The Manchester (NH) show is the 17th, & the F’burg show is the 31st.

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