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I skipped the first two hours of work to attend the Washington Arms Collectors gun show in Puyallup, WA this morning. Usually I end up going there on a Sunday, but I was beginning to suspect that all the good stuff was being bought up on the first day, which might be why each Sunday show I've been to lately was a joke. I also wanted to see the difference in overall prices between the two days. And last but not least I wanted to show a fellow collector (who had a table) my wares.

Well, first off I couldn't believe how many folks show up even at 9am! There was a decent selection of guns, but no military 1911s that I saw outside a Colt/US&S mis-match and a few tired WW1 1911s. Interestingly, the mismatch was being touted as a complete US&S. When I looked I noticed the Colt frame was in the US&S overlap serial # range, so the guy might have honestly thought he had a complete US&S! There were also two nice pre-Enhanced blued Series 80s and a LW Commander in .30 Luger too, but I wasn't too interested in those.

For the prices, I had suspected they actually went up on the second day but apparently not. Just simply the smart ones come on Saturday to buy the stuff that is a good deal or reasonably so, then the Sunday suckers get to pick over the garbage later. Whoops. Maybe I need to call in "late" on Saturday more often.


And of course the vultures were still there. I was thinking of selling a WW2 Colt of mine, but when I showed it at one table the vendor scoffed that it was refinished, and that it was worth only about $400 bucks! Yup, you can even show them a nice piece and they'll still think your gun is garbage but if they're selling it then it's gold.

Last I finally played show n' tell with John Holbrook, who has a very nice collection of GI .45s of his own. One visitor went bug-eyed at all the GI .45s being flashed back and forth (no Virginia, Cap'n Crunch did NOT get 'em all). I wanted one there that John acquired last month, but he had changed his mind about selling it. Since I changed my mind about selling the one I had too I couldn't blame him. Nice .45s are too hard to find to just offload them, unless you need to!

All in all, it restored my faith in the local gun show. The trick is to get there early and find the good stuff, rather than showing up on the second day and submitting to the used car salesmen or letting the vultures work you over.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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I find gun shows to be a great place to buy doodads (e.g., primers, gun cases, cheap factory ammo, cleaning supplies) but an awful place to find deals on neat guns. The Internet (e.g., Auction Arms, GunsAmerica) beats them hands down IMO.
 

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Dana,
I was there at about 9:30 and couldnt believe the amount of people! I've followe yourposts and noticed you are a local. Funny that at one of the tables there was "rem rand" for $500 and I found myself wish I had someone with your expertise to help identify wether or not it was orig or a parts gun. I have the feeling most of these guys arent on the up and up
 

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DSK - read your post with envy. I was a WAC member for a few years, so I know the show and fair grounds well! Haven't been down for a show for a few years either, but am getting the itch again.

We had our local 2 day annual show this past weekend in Victoria. Nothing compared to WAC but not too bad for Canada. Although, not one USGI or Colt Govt to be had. (Saw only 1 .45, a Para Ord - blah!) I ended up acquiring a Springfield Armoury M1 Garand in excellent condition for $400 Cdn (that's about what $260 US?) so I am happy for now.

You're right - no matter what or where the show is - you have to get there early to get the deals!

Regards, NAA.

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Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!
 
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