Guns, Guns, Guns

Well, the NRA convention was in Houston this past weekend. I didn’t have enough money for Buy a Gun Day because I’m paying contractors. So I did the next best thing. I went and looked at them all, and I do mean all. The big difference between the NRA convention exhibit hall and the gun shows I’m used to attending is the exhibitor list. Instead of the local gun dealers, it was the big names in gun manufacture. You got to see a much more complete assortment of merchandise from each manufacturer than you usually do. Let’s face it, no dealer carries the complete line from any manufacturer. However, when it’s the manufacturer’s booth at the NRA convention? They bring out at least one of every model they make available for civilian sale.

So I got to see lots of neat toys I can’t buy until we sell YPS Manor. Whee! Highlights for me included the Springfield Armory booth. I long for one of their M1 rifles and a mil-spec 1911A1. I also enjoyed the Barret booth, in part because they put up big signs saying “Screw California”. Well, the signs actually were a bit wordier, but that was the gist. They also had one of these bad boys there. I want one. I have absolutely no practical use for one, but I want one. Para Ordnance also had some nice pistols, but I'm going to have to wait for one of those.

Other cool stuff was a late 1800s Gatling gun in 45-70 Government that was still in working condition, no less. The guy attending it was having much fun discussing the firing of such a beast with the attendees. They are apparently quite accurate out to several hundred yards.

They also had a big Beretta booth, which I ignored completely. I got to explain to J why I am never buying anything made by that particular company. I was in the Army when the M9s were first issued. I was also around when they came through and “fixed” all the M9 pistols. They had to be fixed because after a firing a certain number of rounds, the gun breaks. Upon firing the next round, the slide comes back off the gun and hits you in the face. Any company that ships a gun so fundamentally flawed is not a company I’m supporting.

They also had a variety of spotting scopes around from various manufacturers. The primary use for those on Saturday was finding out just how poorly the George R. Brown convention staff dusts the higher corners. There was things growing up in some of the corners that have obviously been there for a looong time.

I also got some guns after the show by the simple expedient of showing up at my mother-in-law's house. She has been keeping a bunch of guns garnered from various and sundry deceased relatives. She offered them up, and J and I said “Sure!” So we now have two .22 pistols, a .38 Special revolver, and a 20 gauge shotgun. I'll have to do some work to clean them up. I will take them to a gunsmith and get them checked out to make sure they're safe to fire. All in all, a fun firearms weekend.


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