The 2010 Roanoke Airgun Expo – Day one

by B.B. Pelletier

Well, we all wondered a month ago whether the Roanoke show would run this year after the passing of the organizer, Fred Liady, but it did run exactly as planned. Fred’s widow, Dee, made sure that the show went off exactly as Fred would have wanted it, which was her memorial to his memory.

All of the attendees had Fred foremost in their minds as they set up in preparation for the doors to open. Dennis Quackenbush conducted a short but heartfelt ceremony a few minutes before the doors opened on Friday for all of the attendees to remember not only Fred but other noted airgunners who left the building this year. There weren’t many dry eyes in the crowd when Dennis finished his short eulogy in front of the Fred Liady memorial table at the front of the show hall. Then, everyone filed past Dee and told her how much they missed her husband. I was surprised she had the strength to stand there and greet over 100 people who’d known Fred for so many years. At the end of the ceremony, the mood in the room was one of quiet remembrance that lasted until the doors finally closed the next day.


The show was dedicated to the memory of organizer Fred Liady. Attendees were invited to sign his memorial document, and there were numerous people who signed in from the internet.

Roanoke was different this year
Besides the somberness under which everything operated, this was a very different show. It was quieter, slower and more reflective of the current economic times. By that remark, I mean to imply that the prices on airguns were lower than I’ve seen them for many years! That’ll come out in this report, but I’m going to take a different perspective, because to me, this show also happened very differently.

Instead of me flitting from table to table and deal to deal, the show literally came to me. Most of the deals I made were thrust upon me rather than me having to seek them out. Allow me to explain.

Marv Freund, a good Maryland friend for many years, told me he had a strange airgun at his table that he thought I’d be interested in. He wasn’t certain of the name, but by the time we walked over to his table I’d pinned it down to Falke, a German maker of classic springers. And of the many models that Falke (falcon in English) made, the model 90 underlever was the top…and Marv had a Falke 90 to show me! They don’t get much harder to find than that. This was the first Falke 90 I have ever seen at any airgun show, and I’ve been attending shows since 1993!

The wood stock has been worked over by a budding folk artist. When I finally show it to you, you’ll see that the stock has definitely been folked-over, but the metal seems to be in good shape and it’s all there. Marv named a price that would have been good for 1980, and I acquired my first airgun of this show.

Back at my table, I was marveling at my good fortune when several blog readers walked up and introduced themselves. Most of those I met have not yet commented on the blog. I encouraged them to do so, but it was just nice to meet them and put faces on more readers. Then, Fred from the People’s Republic of New Jersey (FredPRoNJ) arrived. I’ve met him before and he’s kept in touch this year following my hospital stay. With him was his friend, Tom, the former Navy SEAL, who I suspect is starting to warm up to airguns from constant exposure through Fred.


Reader Fred, from the People’s Republic of New Jersey, was the first to spot my table.

He handed me the logbook for his new Benjamin Marauder that showed the work he’d done to get the valve as stable and conservative as possible. The data I saw were quite impressive, and I know that when he finishes his experiment we’ll all be treated to an excellent guest blog. But Fred had some guns he wanted to buy and one RWS 350 he wanted to trade or sell, so I bid him well as he wandered off in search of his dreams.

Then strange deal No. 2 happened. Richard Schmidt, a dealer from New York, came by my table and we chatted about airguns in general. Back at my first airgun show in 1993, I bought a Hy-Score model 807 (Diana 27) from him at the Winston-Salem airgun show, which was the forerunner of the Roanoke show. I still have that 27, and you can read about it here. Anyway, Richard knows I have a weakness for 27s, so he offered me a nice one he’d brought. When he showed it to me, I was very pleased at the overall condition. He named a price that was mid-1990s, and I reached for my wallet. But Mac broke open the barrel and pointed out that the breech had some bad damage that was not repairable. Richard was as surprised as I was, and he took the gun back for a barrel replacement after the show.

A couple of hours later, I was relating this story to Mac and to blog reader Lloyd. As I was lamenting the loss of a good model 27 a man walked up and said, “You want a Diana model 27? Here’s one for you! I’m sorry that this one says Winchester 427 instead of Diana 27, but you know they’re the same guns.”


Mac on the left and reader Lloyd were ready for a great show.

Well, a Winchester 427 is the top of the Diana 27 hierarchy. It’s like saying you’re sorry that this is a Rolls-Royce instead of a Bentley! I told him I would like to pay the price I had negotiated with Richard Schmidt and he agreed. After a quick once-over, I couldn’t get the money out fast enough — and my second purchase was history.

Elsewhere in the show there were deals spilling off dealer tables — literally, in one case, when a gun rack dropped all of its vintage guns into the aisle. Not once, but twice! If you wanted a Feinwerkbau 124, the show was loaded with them. Prices started at $170 for a standard model in good shape and never got up to $400. If the same guns had been advertised on the Yellow Forum classified ads, they’d have sold in a day.


That FWB 124 in the center is a deluxe model going for only $285!

But is wasn’t just 124s that were hot. I saw hundreds of vintage guns at prices that reminded me of 20 years ago. How about a Diana model 66 target rifle for $350! Or a new-in-the-box HW 55! I didn’t catch the price of that one, but it was NIB, so who really cares!


How about a Diana model 5 pistol from RWS for just $75? It was like new.

Then there were the REALLY old airguns. Cased air canes and dart guns from the 1700s. A cased butt-flask rifle with all the tools. Yes, they weren’t cheap because they never are, but they were there — and in profusion. A serious collector could not have discounted this show. But something was different.


This cased air cane with the pump and all the tools was made by Reilly of London. One of many fine antique airguns at this show.


A dart gun from the late 1700s was one of a pair. The set trigger could be fired by blowing on it.

In years past, I’ve witnessed deals involving huge sums of cash at this show. But I didn’t see any of that this year. And, when people talked about it, they all seemed to say they had money to spend but were less willing to spend it than in years past.

Some were frustrated by not finding exactly what they came for. The R7 was high on many lists this year, but there seemed to be a shortage of them at this show. However, Fred from the PRoNJ did connect with a Beeman model HW 50S that satisfied him quite well. I expect him to let us know how this rifle meets his needs.

He got it in a super deal from Pyramyd Air, which had four tables of guns, pellets and accessories and was always busy. Mac bought a Daisy model 25, one of the new ones I’d just finished testing, for a super deal! And, he bought as many pellets as he could carry in a super dented-tin sale they had. Pyramyd Air Tech Manager Gene Salvino was doing anything and everything to sell guns and equipment to anyone who dropped by their tables. Blog reader Lloyd bought a great AirForce scope from them to use on a Benjamin Discovery he also picked up.


Gene Salvino (right) the Pyramyd Air tech manager, shows a rack of precharged rifles to interested buyers.

I returned half a truckload of test guns to Pyramyd Air at the start of the show. Some of these went back as far as three years.

I was back at my table when a tall gentleman stopped by to say hello. When I heard him say he was our very own reader Kevin, I came out from around the table and hugged him, which I’m sure embarrassed him to no end. Months ago, when I was flat on my back, Kevin and several other blog contributors, including Lloyd and Fred, virtually took over the duties of answering the questions that came in. This blog would not have functioned as well as it did without their help, and Edith and I will never forget what a wonderful thing they did for us all.


Reader Kevin arrived on day one and toured the show floor.

Toward the end of the first day, Paul, another contributor and guest blogger, stopped by the table to say hi and we talked for a bit. He’s got another guest blog coming together, but it may be a while, as building a new house is on the front burner in his life right now. However, Paul’s still an airgunner, and he revealed that he’d seen a gun he thought would be perfect for his needs. But the outcome of that story will have to wait my report about day two.


Reader Paul holds a BAM B40 at my table. He stayed for both days and found a couple of nice airguns.

76 thoughts on “The 2010 Roanoke Airgun Expo – Day one


    • derrick,
      I should be home next week. I think I have your email address but I lost some a while back fooling around with some disk cleaner utilities.
      -CJr


  1. Well, all I can say is that that close up picture of me is very fitting since halloween is only a few days away. Sure scared me.

    I was amazed at the number of readers that showed up at your table who have never posted. Sure wish those folks would share some of their airgun knowledge with us. Please!

    I greatly appreciate the recognition from B.B. for the silly and wayward contributions I made in his hour of need but what he humbly fails to admit to is the huge contribution that he and Mrs. Gaylord have made in my life and my families life. I will never be able to repay their kindness.

    It was great to meet Fred. He tolerated my chat while he obviously was anxious to continue on his mission to trade that fine 350. Saw him a short time later with a terrific R9 in the ideal .20 caliber. What a find!

    The walnut stocked HW55 that was new in the box, with the box, hang tags, sight inserts, etc. belonged to Bob in WV and was sitting on the table in front of Joe Erler. Price: hang tag $700.00 but he would take $650.00.

    Prices were unreal. Take a typical yellow classified price where an airgun sells in less than 30 minutes and discount it by 20%-30% in many cases not just a few.

    kevin


    • Agreed, we all owe Tom and Edith a huge thanks for all their contributions and help. I don’t know how to express my thanks to them, because few have helped myself (and thus my family) and/or our airgun community so much. All the knowledge, help, tips is greatly appreciated. Suffice it to say, THANKS!


    • Hmmm…I’m reminded of a younger, healthier, better looking Ron White – one of the Blue Collar guys. All he needs is a glass of Scotch in his hand and a microphone. “They call me Tater…”.
      -CJr


    • Kevin and BB,

      my order of .20 cal pellets arrived today and before my wife could put dinner on the table, I “strolled” down to my range in the basement and fired 10 pellets with that R9 Combo Goldfinger. I know BB and Mac laughed when I told them the fellow that sold it to me told me it had only been fired “twice”. He was right. The rifle was dieseling! God, I love the smell of burning gun oil – anytime! Rifle is a sweetheart, of course!

      Great to see BB again and meet Kevin and Mac. I hope to finish up with accuracy and testing of the Marauder to see if the pellets are spiraling or not, in the next two weeks and then put the blog together. I’m sure it will inspire those that don’t yet own a chonograph to go out and buy one.

      Oh, and please get it right – it’s the People’s Republik of NJ – with the K in honor of the rather draconian firearm laws I deal with.

      Fred PRoNJ


  2. Darn, I wish I hadn’t been on the other side of the Atlantic, six time zones away. But I scored a nifty piece over there that arrived today. A custom made Rink grip for the LP-10. Had fitted to my hand, and so well done that when I raise my arms the sights are perfectly aligned w/o my even having to think about it. And I learned just how far from normal my paw is. The grip is very odd looking, but fills all the holes and grips the fingers just right.

    I’ll put it in my blog on the LP-10.

    No bargain; Thomas Rink doesn’t discount his work for bloggers. But he did just deliver a custom grip to the reigning Olympic champion.


    • Pete Z,glad to hear you got those grips made.Your shooting is so impressive to someone like me.You deserve the best,and now you have them.Does he make a mold? Or just use measurements?


      • He takes an old Walther AP, goes through his standard grip sizes to find one that is close, but small. Then he mixes up some of the same goop a dentist uses to take a tooth casting, and then very carefully builds it up until the grip feels right to both of us, and until when you raise the gun to shooting height, the sights automatically line up and point at the sub-six point on the target (unless you want to aim somewhere else, of course). Then he takes the grip with putty off the gun and scans it, presumably with a 3-d laser scanner. That then gets encoded for a CNC machine, and the grip is carved automatically, bored out properly, and the various ins and outs cut to match the factory grip. All that happens after you pay him your money and say good-bye. Takes about 10 days until he can ship, so much backlog there is. He has two assistants, but apparently finishes the grip himself.

        Thomas also invented and patented a 3-screw palm shelf adjustment. You loosen a set screw, then turn two screws to drive the shelf up and down to suit, and then clamp it with the set screw (all hex-head). No more of this juggling and having the shelf slip as with a standard grip, no matter who made it including the big players like Morini.

        It is wonderful. I’m still (obviously) learning it, and had a couple of real fliers yesterday, but settled into the hold, got a few tens and a lot of 9s + assorted 7s and 8s. Not bad for a first try, if you disregard the first four shots which were embarrassing.

        http://www.formgriffe.de for anybody who’s interested.

        -p


  3. This being my first airgun show, I have nothing to compare it to. I had a table next to Pyramyd Air, and lots of folks stopped by to introduce themselves and talk airguns. I spent so much time talking both days, that I failed to take a single picture. I didn’t even get a picture of my own table.

    But aside from the all the beautiful guns, were the many personalities that I’ve either read about, or communicated with over the last few years. And getting to meet those personalities is what made the show for me. So many like-minded individuals in the same room made it easy to feel “in place”. My observation of all of this was that the people that I thought would be snobs, were the most eager to talk with you, while those that I thought would be the most approachable, were the most stand-offish. Go figure.

    I came home with three new guns, a Beeman P3, a Webley Alecto, and a NIB Crosman Skanaker. I’ll be back next year.

    Kind regards,
    Michael


  4. B.B., the highlight of the show was finally getting to meet you and Mac. Friends like Mac are hard to find. You are a gentleman and patiently listened to my ramblings. You also somehow managed to take a picture that makes me look ten pounds lighter than I am.

    I have to second your comment about the quality of the air guns that were present. One fellow had two or three pairs of Crosman 150 and 157 pistols in their original boxes that were literally like new – they had not been used for many years and were flawless, almost too good to shoot. Another surprise was two of the old wire stock Daisy BB guns on one table. The prices were very reasonable and if someone went away empty handed they were just too picky.

    I cannot compare the show to past years but it still took me several hours just to go around to all of the tables. Getting to handle some of the airguns at the Pyramyd Air table will probably cause another purchase in the near future. There were many guns I wanted to take home but my money is not endless. See you there next year!

    Paul in Liberty County


    • Paul,

      I’ll have more about you in tomorrow’s report. That Walther rifle you found, for instance.

      Thanks for looking me up at the show, because I really enjoy meeting everyone who participates in this blog.

      Mac started home a few hours ago. The time he was here made up for a lot of the down time I had earlier this year.

      This show ran kind of like I felt. It was slow, but it kept right on going. I got more tired at the end of the day than I would have suspected, but my bed was only a short distance away, so it was tolerable. And I came away with information for another year’s worth of blogs, articles and other stuff.

      B.B.


  5. Hi BB,
    Our friend Jim in PHG bought a Walther LGR that needed resealed for $75. Can you believe that? He says it will only cost $40 to get it resealed. He will have a great match gun for $115 total investment. He also bought a Diana 66 at a nice price. A deal like that will pay for the trip.

    I cringed when I read about a gun rack falling over twice. I have a Sportsman’s Guide 24 gun revolving rack with a two piece upright. I was turning the rack and the two piece upright started unscrewing itself. I had one gun drop to the floor while the rest caught on each other, the walls, and I was supporting the whole wad of guns. A yell brought my wife who helped me untangle the guns. I fixed the rack so it will not unscrew again. I can’t imagine all those guns hitting a concrete floor like they did at the show.

    I look forward to reading about the Falke. To bad you had to take in another dreaded 427s. I know, someone had to do it.

    I enjoyed the blog,

    David Enoch


    • David,

      An LGHR for $115 is a dream come true. But Jim is the sort of guy for whom it ought to happen.

      Did he come to Roanoke? If so, I guess I missed meeting him. Or my short-term memory is screwed up.

      B.B.


      • Hi Tom!
        Yes, I was there. In fact, I traded you the Sterling for the B40. Brian G. and I shared a table that was right by the front door; green covering and several Relums on it. One of them actually sold! The Supertornado that I loaned you and you blogged about.


        • Jim,

          So that was you! I wish I had known! I want to meet and talk with you next year.

          And thanks for the Sterling.

          B.B.


          • Yup, I thought you knew who I was, but it was late in the day on Saturday, and you were looking a little tired. Understandable with what you’ve been through recently. Hell, I was tired too. That show can be draining. LOVE the B40! Is it bone-stock, or has someone breathed on it? Either way, it’s a hell of a gun! I look forward to seeing a blog on the Sterling. Email me if you want details on the gun. Nice seeing you, and I promise, next year we’ll talk proper. Have you ever given any thought to going to Findlay in the spring?
            Kind Regards,
            Jim Grossman


            • Jim,

              Yes, that B40 is bone-stock.

              I will email you about the details on the Sterling, as I want to tell the whole story. I have some interesting information about the end of the model here in the U.S. that I can put with it, so the series should be good.

              B.B.


  6. At the show, Tom/BB made me promise that I would start posting every now & then instead of just reading his blog every day, so here goes….

    I was at the show on Friday, and it was fantastic! I also brought along my father, who has an interest in airguns but had never been to a show before. (This was my second, but the first that I felt like I actually knew what I was looking at.)

    Some highlights:

    - I arrived just before noon on Friday with a mission: To find and buy the HW50s that B.B. had used for his blog a couple of months ago! I already owned an un-scoped HW30s (which is ideal for quiet shooting in my suburban backyard, and for teaching my two boys), but I had decided a few months back that I wanted to buy an HW50s and put a scope on it for longer-range shooting. As soon as the doors opened, I hustled to the PA table in the back and breathlessly asked Gene if he had the gun. It took several minutes of searching–it was truly the last box he came to–but he found the gun, and I got my wish! A better-than-new (because it’s fully tested and documented) HW50s for far less than the new cost. Mission accomplished!

    - I stopped to look briefly at a beautiful tuned R7 that I did not need, but was too nice to ignore. As I did so, the guy at the table spoke to me, and the voice seemed really familiar. I looked at his name tag and realized it was Steven Joseph, a great guy that I had recently dealt with through the Yellow Classifieds. It was great to put a face with the name and spend a few minutes talking to him. (BTW…That purchase through the classifieds–a Crosman Mark 1–was all BB’s “fault.” When I read his blog of the Mark 1 I just HAD to have one. After resealing and restoring it myself, it is an *amazing* pistol.)

    - My dad was amazed at the selection and quality of the antique guns there. He collects some of the older Daisy guns (among others), and commented on the way to Roanoke that although he could not afford one, he’d love to at least see one of the old Daisy wire-frames sometime. He was shocked to find at least a half dozen at the show! He was also impressed with an old Markham Chicago and would have bought it if it had been in better shape. In the end, he took home two air pistols and three toy guns, but his favorite purchase was a sweet-shooting little Benjamin front-pump pistol (107) to go with the front-pump rifle he already owns.

    In total, we spent 3+ hours browsing the incredible variety of old and new air guns, and wishing we had the money to take all of of them home. We both greatly enjoyed talking to all the dealers and hobbyists who share our enthusiasm. In addition to the guns we bought, both of us went home with various books, magazines, and a whole bunch of pellets. I can’t wait to do it all again next year :-)

    Neil in VA


    • Neil,

      So good to hear from you. It’s your impressions of the show that others value the most, because you are seeing it with fresh eyes.

      And I’m so glad you got that HW 50S.

      Don’t be a stranger now.

      B.B.


    • Neil,
      I understand your angst at the show. My first show was the last Phoenix NRA Convention a couple years ago. I was lucky with the timing. I’m from Illinois but I was there visiting my brother. I lurked on this blog for a few months but I finally got to meet BB at the show. I had to track him down because he was all over the place. Everybody knew who he was so it wasn’t difficult to trace his steps, it’s just that it took a lot of steps to finally catch up with him. You can’t help but instantly like the guy. He’s definitely a people person.

      While there, I was able to shoot the then new Marauder and the then newer, new Edge and the s410 carbine amongst others. I was so new to airgunning then I barely knew which end of a pellet went in first. BB would ask me what I thought of this trigger or that trigger or how quiet was that gun and I didn’t have a clue because I didn’t have enough experience to compare stuff to. Now, because of him (and PA) and his recommendations that influenced my purchases, I feel I’m ready for another show. I still won’t know squat but I won’t be intimidated anymore.

      So, when and where is the next big “Roanoke” type show where a lot of people are selling guns?

      -CJr


  7. B.B.-

    What a great post! Your pics and descriptions take a little of the sting out of the fact that I wasn’t able to be at the show myself. It sounds kind of like you were hosting a family reunion of sorts at your table. Some day, I hope to meet you myself. You make a pretty good case for the point that one of the best things about the airgunning hobby is airgunners.

    I look forward to your next post, about more of the great deals and rare airguns that I missed. Although the present state of my personal economy prevents me from acting on dreams of adding to my airgun collection, it helps to live vicariously through someone who can. By the way, a couple of years ago I passed on a deal at a Wichita gun show for a Diana model 6 air pistol that looked exactly like the one you have identified as a model 5. Isn’t the model 6 the one with the Giss anti-recoil system?

    Again, thanks for the report on the show.

    Regards,
    Jim in KS


    • Jim,

      Yes, the model 6 looks like the model 5 except for two round bumps that cover the anchor points of the Giss system. I hope you can get to a show someday, because I can only tell a tiny fraction of all that happened there.

      More tomorrow.

      B.B.


  8. BB,

    Do you think this show will run again next year?

    Also are there any good air gun shows near St. Louis, Mo?

    I would like to save up some money and attend a good air gun show just to see what it is like.


    • pcp4me,

      Dee Liady’s brother and some other people want to run the show again next year. I sure hope it happens. If I have learned anything from my adventures this year it is to live life while I can, because you never know what the future holds. And that would include going to airgun shows.

      B.B.


  9. BB, Paul, Neil, David, Michael,

    I loved reading of all your experiences at the show. I truly regret not being able to go. I can remember what must have been 4 or 5 years ago I was planning to go to one on the eastern end of the country just to see who this BB guy is. I had a shirt made that has printed on the back “Who the hell is B.B. Pelletier?”. As it turned out, my work schedule then wouldn’t allow it. Ironically it’s my lack of work schedule that is holding me back now! Possibly next year. I’ll have to integrate the show with a visit to my son and grand-kids in Fayetteville, NC.

    Until then… keep sharing, it’s great.

    ka



      • BB,

        Yeah, I still laugh at that shirt idea I had. I was thinking that if I walked around a show that maybe one or two folks could point you out! I had no idea then that there would probably only one or two at the show that didn’t know you. Your pictures and article on the show is fantastic, thanks. Some day we will meet, then I will only have the Pope on my ‘to meet’ list!

        ka


  10. Hi B.B.,
    It was great seeing you again this year and I have to say you were looking trim and healthy. And thanks very much for introducing me to so many of the other readers and folks who stopped by.

    For those of you who have never met B.B., it’s a real treat to watch him in action. He can really work the crowd, knows everybody, and is a walking encyclopedia of airgun knowledge. While some of the dealers are content to sit behind their displays and read a book, B.B. is always engaged in conversation, or making or facilitating a deal, or offering “buying” advice, or just having an obviously good ol’ time. Me?, I’d be the one sitting there reading a book, so B.B., thanks for introducing me to so many wonderful airgun folks.

    Although I missed Dennis Quackenbush’s eulogy for Fred Liady, later on that day when he was at your table and he said something that really made me stop and think. You were thanking him for the emotional speech he had given from his heart that morning. Part of his response to you, and to everyone, I think, was that it was all about, “the airgun community.” Wow, I thought, how true. With all the internet blogs and forums and online ordering, it’s very easy to stay home and have fun and let the “community” take care of itself. But something like this show, or a match, or just getting together with an airgun friend adds a whole new dimension and vitality to this passion, elevating it from a hobby to a “community.” I just loaned out my “loaner airgun ” to a guy at work whose Boy Scout son was getting frustrated because his BB gun wouldn’t make a nice group. I think my “loaner” will make the little guy happy. That’s the fourth time I’ve loaned out that gun, and half of those folks have since bought their own airguns. I bet most of your readers have done their own part for the “community”, too.

    I have to tell one at your expense, B.B., but I really got a kick out of watching you count your wad of cash , agonizing over whether or not to go after that “special gun” that was a couple of tables away. You were muttering to yourself and shaking your head in the midst of major angst. Quite a sight, but I’ll let you tell the story!

    More to tell, but for now, I had a wonderful time!

    Best regards,
    Lloyd


    • Lloyd,

      Really a pleasure to meet you. Great time.

      About 2 years ago I loaned an R7 to a friend for a pest problem. I know he shoots it regularly but not at pests (that’s ok with me!). I’m becoming convinced that I can visit that gun but it will never come home.

      You need to let me in your technique for getting your loaners back LOL!

      kevin


  11. BB,

    Another suggestion for a blog. “Impulse buys I am glad I made” or “Impulse buys I wish I hadn’t”.

    Just did one yesterday and don’t know how it will turn out as I put the gun in lay away. Did not have enough cash to buy it.

    Walked into a gun store which also has a good selection of air gun stuff looking for some heavy pellets for my new Sumatra 2500 carbine.

    Spotted an SKS that appeared to be in almost mint condition AND it had a B Square scope mount already on the gun. He wanted $230, would only go to $220 and I bought it and put it in lay away. After the purchase found out it comes with the bayonet also and a sling. Bore is excellent, bluing is 95%+ and stock is obviously refinished and looks brand new. Hope this is one of them “Glad I did it” deals.

    Since I have reloading dies for it and some cases and stuff from a previous sks made sense to me.

    The Sumatra is also a recent acquisition and I am liking it more and more. Especially since I got those heavier (10.5 gr crosman boxed) pellets. Traded it for my prized R9 and do not in the least regret that. While the R9 was a really great gun, the 2500 carbine has it beat in all aspects except trigger pull and I feel I got way the better of that one since it was an even trade. The sumatra is lighter, adjustable power, prettier, more powerful and just as accurate if not more so.

    So maybe some time in the future you could do a blog on impulse buys you loved/hated?


    • pcp4me,

      I am going to predict that this will be one of those impulse buys that you’re glad to have made. A good SKS is a treasure.

      Take some time now to study the gun before you pick it up. Learn how to avoid the slam-fire problem that some of them have.

      I love my SKS and would not like to part with it.

      As for your idea on impulse buys, I’ll give it some thought. In fact, I am about to trade two $2,500 cats for a $5,000 dog, if you understand that saying. Maybe I will work that into the story.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        Thanks for the heads up on the slam fires. I was not even aware of the possibility. Seems the cure is a new stainless firing pin and spring from Murry guns? Or is it enough just to keep the gun clean?

        I had an sks at one time many years ago. It was a real cheapo and not even worth the $59 I paid for it. I sold it for $99 so I did not get burned on it at least. This was way back before the ban when they were being imported like crazy and could be had for cheap. That gun never slam fired and the subsequent owner said it never did either.

        Interestingly enough I talked to it’s new owner a day or two ago and asked about it. He said he sold it because it was “terribly inaccurate”. I asked him what he meant by that. He said he was used to printing 3 shot “groups” at 100 yards the size of a quarter and this gun would not even put them on a paper plate at that range.

        I told him you can’t reasonably expect a SKS to print a quarter at 100 yards and in fact it is good if they can hold 4″ – 6″ groups at 100 yards. But I don’t remember it not being able to print on a paper plate at 100 yards though I did sell it because I too thought it was inaccurate.

        Will the AR/M15 guns they make now group moa or any where close now? I used to have a Universal M1 carbine that would print 3″ 5 shot groups at 100 yards and thought that was good. Owned several other military semi-autos over the years and none would do better than that carbine.


        • pcp4me,

          Have I got a deal for you! There is a new barrel straightening and damping technology called the StraightJacket. I’m talking to them right now about doing my 30-30 so I can get sub-inch groups at 100 yards with it.

          Here is the link:

          http://www.teludynetech.com/

          Your AR-15 can shoot groups under a half-inch with this technology!

          B.B.


          • BB,

            Dang! Is that for real? And will it work on any rifle? Can it make my 6″ 100 yd grouper into a sub moa rifle without any other modifications?

            And will it make my .5 moa heavy barrel target rifle into a .05 moa rifle? Man I have always wanted to shoot 100 yard 10 shot groups just barely larger than the diameter of the rifle bullet!!!

            Will this work on my air rifles?

            And will it improve my off hand groups commensurately?

            Wow! I am excited. This could be a life changer!!! (Pinches self) Tell me this is the break through I have waited my entire life for!!!


  12. Morning B.B.,

    It’s nice to at least see pictures of some of the guys and now being able to put them with names!

    Wish I could have been there this year, but Darling Daughter and Dad had a college tour schedualed on that Saturday.

    Paul from the Peoples Republic of NJ can relate to that. By the way Paul, where did your daughter end up? I am anxiously awaiting your blog on your Maraurder.

    Bruce




        • Mr. B.

          my daughter, who I haven’t yet succeeded in getting to pick up an air rifle and shoot with me, is a sophomore at U of MD. Currently, she’s way too busy to talk to me but we do text. Only us grey heads still talk.

          Fred PRoNJ


          • Fred PRoNJ,

            A small world–my daughter is a senior in high school who is working part time at the U of MD in their cafeteria. Yes the kids don’t seem to talk to anyone. It seems to all be texting.

            Bruce

            PS spell checker doesn’t like the word texting


  13. BB,
    It was great seeing you again this year and I have to say you were looking trim and healthy. And thanks very much for introducing me to so many of the other readers and folks who stopped by.

    For those of you who have never met B.B., it’s a real treat to watch him in action. He can really work the crowd, knows everybody, and is a walking encyclopedia of airgun knowledge. While some of the dealers are content to sit behind their displays and read a book, B.B. is always engaged in conversation, or making or facilitating a deal, or offering “buying” advice, or just having an obviously good ol’ time. Me?, I’d be the one sitting there reading a book, so B.B., thanks for introducing me to so many wonderful airgun folks.

    Although I missed Dennis Quackenbush’s eulogy for Fred Liady, later on that day when he was at your table, he said something that really made me stop and think. You were thanking him for the emotional speech he had given from his heart that morning. Part of his response to you, and to everyone, I think, was that it was all about, “the airgun community.” Wow, I thought, how true. With all the internet blogs and forums and online ordering, it’s very easy to stay home and have fun and let the “community” take care of itself. But something like this show, or a match, or just getting together with an airgun friend adds a whole new dimension and vitality to this passion, elevating it from a hobby to a “community.” I just loaned out my “loaner airgun ” to a guy at work whose Boy Scout son was getting frustrated because his BB gun wouldn’t make a nice group. I think my “loaner” will make the little guy happy. That’s the fourth time I’ve loaned out that gun, and half of those folks have since bought their own airguns. I bet most of your readers have done their own part for the “community”, too.

    I have to tell one at your expense, B.B., but I really got a kick out of watching you count your wad of cash , agonizing over whether or not to go after that “special gun” that was a couple of tables away. You were muttering to yourself and shaking your head in the midst of major angst. Quite a sight, but I’ll let you tell the story!

    I had a wonderful time!
    Lloyd


    • Lloyd,

      I understand being shy, but in a couple months you are going to assume rock-star status in the airgun world. When that happens, I will be glad if you still talk to me.

      And, yes, I will tell the story of the big one I let slip away. I will be sure to let everyone know just what went through my mind as I sat there vacillating.

      B.B.



  14. BB thanks for bringing back the photos and narrative of the Gun Show. Your comments really bring the show alive for us that were not able to attend.


  15. B.B., nice to see everyone. Sounds like when you were at your lowest a few months ago, the right deal might have restored you right away. What’s with the BAM B40 at your table? Were you selling? Was this the one that outshot your TX200?

    Matt61


  16. B.B.

    Sorry for a long abscence, too much troubles in real world :)

    It’s great that you have such shows in US (among many other great things). I always dreamed of “touching the history”, especially in this way. I don’t know why, but I’m fascinated with all those technical things from 30′s-50′s :) They seem kind of “right” to me, I like their aesthetics and appearance. I restored a MAN 1932 air rifle – thick octagonal flipping barrel with brass liner, “winchester”-like cocking lever, very short stroke, leather seal and twin steel tape spring. Despite it was weak, it was remarcably accurate and the feeling… well you must know it – you touch it and you feel – that’s a real deal!

    Eeer… I made even stranger things in my love towards that era :)
    Once I paid to work as a fireman on a steam engine, so I was heaving coal into full 6 hours, but man, that was something! A machine of steel and rivets, with wheels larger than me, puffing steam and screaming to make earth shake. Unfortunately we have only 4 of them in Moscow still working – but they work! as a tourist’s attraction of course, and sometimes as shunting locomotives, all others, despite they’re ok, are in steam engine museum and only enjoy a short run once a year.

    Were there any really interesting handmades or rare experimental models on that show?
    I ask because right now I’m reading some info on “MTs” (TsKIB, ЦКИБ, Tula arms factory and labs, a birthplace of many WAY exotic arms) airguns. Seems that if they had an opportunity to bring their ideas on world airgun market, they could establish themselves on par with FWB or Weihrauch. Well, they weren’t allowed. They were only able to make a small number of each model for Soviet Olympic teams and some experimental stuff. Alas…
    I’ve recently put my hands of 562, so I think I can write a sort of report on it in comments.

    duskwight


    • Duskwight,

      Good to finally hear from you. I can imagine how it must feel to hold and shoot that MAN air rifle. Who cares about the power? The history is so rich!

      Yes, there were some odd homebuilts. I’ll show one tomorrow.

      Your job as a fireman on that steam engine sounds great, except for the hard physical labor. But I suppose that gets you tough enough to do it for a full shift.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        Well, that was just that 6 hours and I cannot say I’m a physically underdeveloped person. I did’n feel my arms the next day, however I felt my back WAY clear :) That’s the way it always happens – one’s got to pay for the excitement. Or just get the payment for his pain.
        When I remember unloading railway cars in my university years – you know, “easy” money for a nighttime job – it makes me sick how stupid I was those days :)
        I got a good money in one night’s work, but man, first time I nearly died. Second was the worst as I knew what to expect and I got it full spoon. However after fifth time it was same hard but bearable, I just dropped into.
        Funny thing, we were paid by weight, and we were unloading sugar. It sucks water from the air, so you carry c. 60kgs, but got payment for 50 nominal kilos, stamped on the bag.
        I guess if it happened to me to become a fireman, I would have got used to it, and I would have developed arms of the same size as legs, and a head as big as a fist… oh, I mean fists as big as a head.

        Back to airguns – recently I’m having my CFX tuned for a light piston and rod-first gas spring. I guess it’ll bring some interesting results with light pellets, when the rifle is de-powered to 16J. I expect an increase in accuracy, due to a shorter working cycle. Well, holes in paper will prove it or prove otherwise.

        duskwight


        • Duskwight,

          Your CF-X with the backward gas spring sounds interesting. I think detuning is always good with a gas spring.

          Let us know how this turns out for you.

          Concerning the college job, when I was in college I worked at a can-making plant. Most of the jobs were hard work, but the hardest was working on the line that made one-gallon paint cans. I had to reach into a metal shearing machine to grab a one-inch thick stack of steel can bodies and lift the stack up to head level to slide down into a gravity-feed body loader. That stack weighed about 40 pounds, and by the end of summer I had developed such strong shoulder muscles that I broke a glass door in one of the college buildings when I opened it too hard!

          B.B.


  17. BB,can you put a name to anyone who had a cased air cane for sale??? I know it’s asking alot! Kevin urged me to come…..and I should have,but for physical limitations and lack of a semi truck to haul some trade fodder.It would have been so worth the pain to meet everyone.With those prices and my impulse control issues……I would still be there trying to rent a second truck! I’m still waiting for the brown truck to deliver my HW 55T today.


    • Frank,

      If you will contact me I will put you in touch with the owner. The cane is for sale and it was certainly the finest cased cane at this show.

      If you don’t have my email address just write to blogger@pyramydair.com and I will get back to you.

      B.B.


  18. BB and everyone,

    one last comment. Several days ago, I related how the coffee guy at the train station had an air pistol that was his fathers and was thinking of selling it. He identified it, with the aid of my Blue Book, as the Diana 5V and has said we’ll get together one weekend and work out a deal! I better talk to my daughter about getting a scholarship!

    Fred PRoNJ




    • Chuck,

      Kevin gave you the answer. He is right on the money, in my opinion. That 75 is gorgeous. As long as it hasn’t been refinished, that combo is worth every bit of $1,200-1,500, in my eyes.

      B.B.


      • BB,
        Thanks! I made a big mistake letting my brother in on these comments and now I can’t pry the thing out of his hands. BTW the gun has not been refinished and I’ll make sure my brother knows that is should not.


        • Chuck,

          You have a fine collectible rifle. Try to preserve the finish as much as you can. Small marks and dings can subtract hundreds of dollars when a gun is in this range.

          B.B.



    • CJr,

      Glad I stopped back here. I know a little about Winchester 75′s.

      There were many variations/options offered when these were new. Most had to do with sights. The two major variations were the Standard, often called the sporter (which you have, or hopefully will have) and the target version. The target version was heavier, fewer were made and surprisingly nowadays command a lesser price than the Standard version. You have the more desirable version.

      Based on your pictures it’s tough to be exact on value. Is that a patina I see in the blueing on one of your closeups? What condition would you rate the blueing? Was it reblued. The stock looks original but do you know if it’s been refinished? Looks pristine. What year was yours manufactured? Do you still have the original sights? Were the original sights the peep option? How many magazines do you have? Do you have a box or paperwork? Do you have the case? Without answers to these questions you’re probably in the range of $450-$1,100. Could be more depending on what additional accessories you have and their condition. This gun does have a strong collector following IF you have the accessories.

      Your scope is very desirable and may be worth as much as the gun with the mounts included. What power is the spot-shot? Do you have the original wooden box it came in? How clear is it? Condition of this scope is as important as the condition of your gun since this is also a very collectible scope. Collectors of scopes are even pickier about condition and accessories than gun collectors. If your Litschert is a 12X it’s worth a minimum of $500.00 based on what I see in your photo’s.

      I know you never imagine this selling to anyone outside of your family but the gun and scope combination will never fetch as much as the gun and scope being sold separately. Your gun and scope are an extreme example of this typical rule.

      If the gun isn’t refinished in any way, it’s one of the best I’ve seen in awhile. The scope is to die for.

      kevin


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