Saturday, October 13, 2007


Bill Goodman's gun show stopped in Cincinnati this weekend. It's been a few months since the last one, and I'd marked the date on the calendar. I'm not in the market for anything in particular, but I've been looking forward to the show hoping that something interesting would catch my eye.

To summarize the show today:

If you're looking for a Mosin M44, Walther P22, any handgun made by Taurus, an AR15, or some cheap bejeweled pocket knife: the doors open again tomorrow at 9am, but don't worry about being the first in the line. They have so many to choose from that there's no chance you'll miss out on buying one.

Unfortunately, I'm not interested in any of those weapons.

To be fair, there were many new guns for sale from the companies you'd expect: Glocks, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, and the aforementioned Taurus... but I can easily find those in the gun shop, for nearly the same price. It's the used guns that attract me to the show, but sadly the selection wasn't too diverse. S&W revolvers were scarce, as were ones from Ruger. Hardly any 1911s, and guns made by Jennings/Lorcin/Highpoint easily outnumbered the Walthers 10-1.

A couple of things did catch my attention, though.

I passed a table and noticed an HK VP70, priced at $365 - quite a deal; nearly half the price of ones I've seen on Gunbroker. I took a close look at it, and the inner excitement turned to depression. The edges on the slide were worn far beyond what counts for holster wear, and even without a borelight I could see the rifling was in fairly poor condition. The magazine showed similar signs of neglect, with splotches of rust competing with the steel for dominance. I briefly considered purchasing it and having the slide refinished, but the condition of the bore and magazine killed the deal for me.

An hour later, I came upon a Walther P5 selling for around $650. I wasn't prepared to spend that much today, but thought it was worth a look. The finish wasn't bad, but did show some moderate use - this was definitely not a "lived in a police officer's holster" specimen. I pulled the slide back to check the chamber, and was horrified to notice that the feed ramp had been polished. No, "polished" is the wrong word... "butchered with a grinding wheel" would be more accurate. After noticing that, the rest of the gun's condition was of little interest to me.

Finally, I came upon a display containing three Nagant M1895 pistols made in 1944-45. At least one had the original holster, complete with cleaning rod. Though I didn't ask to examine one, all appeared to be in very good condition and had a fair price of $109. They were interesting, but would be little more that a conversational piece for me. I debated it a bit, and eventually decided I'd just leave the $100 in my pocket.

After about 2 hours of walking the aisles, I purchased a box of 9mm +P hollow points and drove home for lunch a bit depressed. Tomorrow I'll be hitting the range for some good practice. I'm sure after a couple hundred rounds I'll mostly forget that there was nothing to buy, and be happy with the gun I'm shooting.


Anonymous said...

Hey Torn - Zoro here from SBN. Thanks for this great article. I feel like I was there! Well done.

Anonymous said...

I have a P5C(compact). Built like a swiss watch and 98% condition. Just a great gun. Sorry someone beat the hell out of the one you saw at the show.