My elder brother, Rich, and me took it upon ourselves to start out the new year right by attending a gun show last Saturday. The one held from time to time at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea.
For folk inclined to savor the aroma of gun oil, military surplus canvas and blued steel, gun shows are the perfect elixir.
The show - produced by Dick Walters who does a host of these events annually - was crammed not only with vendors but with attendees who were doing their best to avoid yard work or else attend the Home & Garden Show with their wives.
On view were a host of new and used firearms of all kinds, from military jobs to the latest products from American firearms makers.
A number of noteworthy elements (for Rich and me, anyway) began with the general lack of several firearms for sale that previously were well represented. Only a few 03-A3 Springfields and Enfields were visable as were a smaller than usual number of Garands and almost no M1 carbines.
We also missed seeing any number of other military rifles and pistols. Such things happen a lot in the gun show trade depending upon how large the flow of surplus firearms enter the market.
And we were stunned to see that the SKS semi-autos were fetching prices two and three times what they went for only a few years ago when these former-Soviet block military rifles first appeared in the U.S. of A.
I was surprised most of all by the huge quantity and variety of .380 Colt semi-autos, especially those designed for concealed carry use. My goodness they were just about all there, from the all-steel Bersa to the high-tech Ruger and Sig-Suar.
Of course the problem is still a lack of ammunition for the .380. But that is a problem caused by the military having first dibs. The reasoning goes that the 9mm and .380 ammo run on the same production line but with the heavy demand by the U.S. government for war orders of 9mm ammunition the supply of .380 ammunition continues to be very, very tight.
In any event, I saw a couple of firearms I'd like to buy with my Christmas money which is starting to burn a hole in my wallet. Maybe I'll make up my mind this week and find what I'm looking for at the Akron-area gun show this Saturday.
While I may have all of the firearms I need I don't have all of the firearms I want.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn