by Tom Gaylord
Exclusively for PyramydAir.com. Copyright ©2009. All Rights Reserved.
Little Rock is one of the oldest airgun shows in the country. It attracts some very advanced collectors as well as all the big-bore enthusiasts, so there's a double attraction for most airgunners. If you're looking for rare vintage guns, only Roanoke offers more. If you want big bores, this is the best show around.
I've been coming to Little Rock since it started back in the mid-1990s, and I've seen some tremendous guns and buys in that time. But every year has its fill of astounding stuff.
This year, an early Beeman R7 without a safety was sold, along with a like-new BSF S55. Both are vintage spring guns for those who want to relive the 1970s. There were also two FWB 124s, including one with a fine Tyrolean stock. That gun isn't going to be available much longer before the price starts ratcheting upward.
It rained hard on Saturday, so the locals didn't walk in as anticipated. Usually, we see some great bluebird walk-ins, but this year was quieter that normal in that department.
There was another airgun show in Pennsylvania on the same day as Little Rock. It was that promoter's first show, and he didn't check his dates against this show. Although we lost a couple dealers, things were still very active. Next year, there will be better coordination, and dealers won't have to choose between shows.
Little Rock was held on the heels of the huge Tulsa gun show, and a Sheridan Supergrade was found and brought to this show. It wasn't for sale, but trades were welcomed. That often happens with the more desirable guns.
The only new gun dealer was Dave Franz, of D&B Sales out of Kansas. He brought a line of AirForce and Benjamin Discovery rifles. People come to these shows expecting to see dealers. When there's only one, he's kept busy!
Many people expected to see Mac-1, who used to come to this show. They brought lists of Crosman parts and were disappointed to learn that he wasn't there.
Daisy was the only manufacturer at the show. Joe Murfin sold father-son BB gun sets and other Daisy memorabilia, plus he informed me that the First Models were ready to be sold. Letters are going out to the Friends of the Daisy Museum to request their orders. If any are left after the Friends' orders are filled, Daisy will open sales to the public.
Besides the show, there's the camaraderie that takes place after hours. Most of the attendees stay at the same motel, and trading takes place in the rooms, as well as at the show. And the evenings are filled with dinners and socializing. The show is like the tip of the iceberg.
All too soon, the end arrives and we pack for home. But promises are made to see each other at Roanoke in late October. Who knows what other treasures people will find between now and then?
Watch the video for a guided tour of the show's high points.