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Scenes from a Philippine Gun Show :)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by horge, Jul 8, 2004.

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  1. horge

    horge Member

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    I thought it would be nice to share what a Philippine gunshow is like,
    with the other folks on THR.


    First day of the Gun Show at the Mega Mall (MegaTrade Hall) in Metro Manila.
    As expected, the place was fairly crowded--even by Philippine standards, though the air was nice, fresh and cool. I and my wife got there just after it opened, and well, here are the few pics I could snap that weren't completely obscured by the milling throng.

    [​IMG]
    P50.00 entrance ticket for adults. That's about 90 cents US.

    [​IMG]
    The Armscor booth was a little better laid out than last year, spreading the autoloaders over a longer stretch to prevent overcrowding. Their Tanfoglio showcase generated moderate interest. The rest was still too crowded to get a good pic, so I shot their large display area from the shotguns side. Customer service was excellent this year, despite the inquiry overload. The Armscor GI's were massively-improved over last year's. The park was so much better, and the rattle was almost all gone. The barrels are still this funky chrome-finish, and the triggerguard isn't as rounded as it should be, but I nearly bought one on the spot. Maybe Monday, when the crowds are thinner/saner.

    [​IMG]
    Across and further down the aisle, the large SAM booth wasn't quite set up yet, but there was a lot of interest in their SAM pistols and their spare, forged slides, and questions as to whether those would drop-in fit an Armscor frame. Nice selection of imports (BUL, Para, etc.) though their Jennings and Lorcins were as always, good for many yuks.

    [​IMG]
    The Twin Pines booth was less centrally-located than last year's. Their home-brand Rock Island Armory (RIA) 1911's and their imported S&W's (with some very nice Ruger 44's ---did I really see those .480's?) commanded a lot of attention, but the people manning the long counter seemed a little drained (within the first couple of hours of the GunShow?? Setup must have been a nightmare.)

    [​IMG]
    Magnificent World got a quieter, central-aisle booth location this time, and reaped the dividends with female consumers. Their display counters were a little too low, though... Nice friendly staff, compensting for the sour air in the PPSA (Philippine Practical Shooting) booth nearby. Good selection of Israeli firearms (IMI, Jericho).

    [​IMG]
    I think this was the Trust Trade (or was it True Weight?) booth. I was probably suffering from sensory overload at this point :)
    Glock, Beretta, Colt, Taurus, and pretty much everything else.

    I liked the Weapons Systems Corp booth, nice pistol selection,

    Advanced Weapons Systems was badly mobbed because of their various Bushmaster M4's and their mainstay, folding-stock MP-5's. Too crowded for photos. Hahn had a very nice display of Colt's NRM's, Norinco's, though (like Armscor) they needed to spread the pistols out to prevent crowding.

    P.B.Dionisio showed off its broad selection of scatterguns, rifles, and a few SMG's. It was unfortunately right next to AWS's M4a1-nutty crowd. Too hectic to get a pic: I was getting jostled left and right. But if you like shotties and rifles... wooohaaaa!

    There were more outlets carrying Bersa and Llama pistols than last year --they must be selling well enough. There were fewer outlets offering GI Norincos, though the two-toned versions (NP27) were fairly well-represented. I didn't see the much-maligned Art Lantin's this year --maybe I just missed it. I was hoping CLIP Merchandising would offer a bigger gunshow discount on its magazines, but...

    The tiny Secure Arms booth featured a .380 autopistol bonanza:
    Browning BDA's, Sig P232's, Bersa Thunder 380's, Llama Micromax 380's
    and an interesting Daewoo 380, along with the usual .45's and wondr9's.

    I was missing the Walthers, HS2000's, CZ Skorpions, Steyr's, NAA's and Kahr's of last year --maybe I missed them in the controlled confusion.

    Normally I wait til the last day of the show --les crowded, with generally better-educated (firearms-wise) shoppers. First couple of days there are always one or two clowns pointing deliberately at you and pulling triggers. I don't care if the display models are empty --I can be a good Christian about it, but I don't like it, and make it known. If anyone had pointed at my wife, they would have gotten more than an earful.

    Loads of LEO's in attendance, more than happy to relate that their service nines had largely been replaced or seconded with 1911's, funded at the station level.

    Notable standouts I ran into?
    The Armscor GI (5", park) is selling for only P10,800 ($192), w/ 2 mags
    There was a Colt Pony selling for P40,000 ($716)!!! Eeek.
    Norinco NP-27 Special Two Tone Compact P22,000 ($392)
    As always, the full auto CZ-75 was nice.
    Ditto the many small (and i mean SMALL) SMG's
    The Armcor AK-22 was interestingly light for its size.

    There was some interesting Buffalo prefragged JHP that might be worth looking into (P150.00 up per round --nearly $2.70!!-- depending on caliber). Never heard of that brand before.

    The GunShow runs til Monday, and is usually held twice a year.



    FWIW,
    :)


    horge
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2004
  2. dadman

    dadman Member

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    Is this a manufactuer/trade show, or a show where one can buy assorted firearms and goodies?
    At this show do they sell beef and buffalo jerky, American Indian 'Art', and Beanie Babies?
    Looks like a great show.
     
  3. horge

    horge Member

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    Hi Dad,

    No mere trade show --this is a fire sale.
    I mean... a firearms sale :D
    A very large quantity of guns, ammo and acessories are sold at these gunshows



    No, no beef jerky or beanie babies. :)
    Lots of shooting-related clothing apparel (cargo pants, vests)
    Firearms literature, Home security devices.
    There's always a BB shooting gallery on-site. Bullseye earns you a raffle ticket, with airguns as prizes. I got my freak .177 bullseye at 20 meters/yards last year, and didn't win the raffle but got a neutered .45 ACP cartridge keychain as a consolation prize. :(

    Daily, there are several free seminars on responsible firearms ownership, SD tactics, including using firearms in combo with traditional martial arts (aikido, eskrima, etc). etcetera There's sometimes one anti-gun speaker invited to hold his own seminar, and it's all good natured, respectful debate then.

    The food concessions at one end are a delight.
    This is in one of th largest airconsitioned malls in East Asia.
    Most of the families either went in together, or the mom went shopping and the kids went off to catch Spiderman 2 two floors below while daddy drooled over the hardware.

    :D


    horge
     
  4. boofus

    boofus Guest

    Wow, you can buy MP5s and full auto CZ75s there? Maybe I should start thinking about moving. :p
     
  5. yesterdaysyouth

    yesterdaysyouth Member

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    but where's da' switch??

    :D
     
  6. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Wow, your shows are much more asthetically pleasing than ours! It's well lit, there are big colorful banners, clean and tasteful displays, the people in the booths there look like they wear matching company oriented shirts and even look friendly.

    The shows here are usually held in a dark, dirty, musty basement of a convention hall. They lay everything out on cheap fold-up tables and most of the vendors are kinda grouchy.
     
  7. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

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    What are gun laws in the Philippines like? Was there a lot of change between Marcos/martial law and now?
     
  8. dadman

    dadman Member

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    horge,
    What are the laws over there concerning firearms ownership and ammunition storage for citizens?

    Pitiful that we don't have shows like that in the USofA
    :banghead:
     
  9. horge

    horge Member

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    Hi.
    Thanks for the compliments :)

    Firearms laws in the Philippines?

    No civilian restriction vs. full auto.
    No civilian restriction on magazine capacity.
    No limit to number of firearms.
    Home storage of 300-500 rounds per gun,

    though the FED/Police don't really care about the home-ammo quantity,
    I guess if you need ammo for practice, you can buy it at the range

    ...unlike the Marcos (may he rot in hell) years, which limited us to one handgun (up to .38 Spl only) and one single rifle (.22LR only), and 50 rounds per firearm ---for your lifetime.

    At the ASW booth mentioned above, (Bushmaster and H&K MP5 ground zero) one of the attractions was the FN Minimi (M249 SAW). At least one of those was sold that day, IIRC.

    Gun club membership is de facto required, though the law doesn't really say so. This is particularly true for high powered rifles. Anyway, who doesn't want gun club membership? There are five indoor ranges within ten-fifteen minutes' ride/drive from my residence alone. Those are ranges in the heart of the capital's downtown. Lots more in the sticks :)


    The downsides to firearms ownership in this country are
    -massive taxes on imported guns
    -ridiculous ammo prices
    -a gun-purchase waiting period of 14 to 45 days.


    In some unfortunate cases, people have waited nearly a year(!!!) to get their guns --but this is because they bought sight unseen: a few unscrupulous retailers will claim they have an item in stock, take your money, and only THEN order it from overseas. Experienced gun buyers avoid these places and advise newbs whenever they can.

    We don't have a 2nd Amendment: Firearms ownership is a privilege and not a right.
    I think it has worked out fine for us, because quite a few of us don't view firearms ownership as a 'right' or even a personal 'privilege', but as a social, moral and familial duty to be well-prepared.

    One other possible difference with the US: the secondhand guns market is pretty low-key--that's what's missing at our gunshows, and I'm frankly glad for it.

    I've never been to a US gunshow.
    If any of you have pics, even old ones --I'd sure be interested :)



    horge
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2004
  10. BowStreetRunner

    BowStreetRunner Member

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    definitely different looking than our avg. gunshow
    BSR
     
  11. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you!

    Why thank you for your report of a gun show from the Phillippines! It's wonderful to see what happens in far away foreign lands.
     
  12. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, the best way I can express it is that I assumed that was a large trade show. That's what the displays looked like to me. Gun shows here in Illinois are usually in nice buildings, but most people are using glorified card tables with a few small cases on them. It never looked shabby to me before now. . . . .
     
  13. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

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    Oh, if only more Americans felt this way.
     
  14. JimJD

    JimJD Member

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    I'm confused.
    The R.I.A.'s are made by Twin Pines, or are they made by Armscorp?
    Or are they made by another company entirely?

    Those are some interesting pics Horge.
    Looks like a fun show to go to! :D
     
  15. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Horge - many thx for an interesting glimpse into gun shows elsewhere ..... seems more like an ''Exhibition'' .... the way stands are set up. Way smarter than our grubby ol' ''tables''!!:p

    Great to see another side of it all. :)
     
  16. horge

    horge Member

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    Hi JimJD :)

    Twin Pines Inc. owns the Rock Island Armory (RIA) brandname.
    They however contract the manufacture and fitting out to Armscor.
    (Twin Pines used to go with Industria Material Bellico do Brasil, but were unhappy and switched to Armscor
    --not really IMBEL's fault) Early RIA's were thus kinda spotty before they went with Armscor. It was a miscomm of spec and contract language, and not IMBEL's lack of ability at fault, but people were burned and pride was hurt. To further muddle the Twin Pines-Armscor confusion --Twin Pines last year awarded he US marketing contract to Armscor (after getting snowed by Sarco) --so now Armscor makes 'em here and assembles/markets the pistols over there, via API in Pahrump NV.

    Other gun 'manufacturers' out there also subcontract whole pistols:

    Springfield goes to HS Produkt D.O.O. ( formerly IM Metal) of Croatia for its XD series of autopistols, although HS Produkt continues to sell the original HS2000.

    Charles Daly, like Twin Pines, subcontracts to Armscor for 1911-style pstols, although Armscor sells the same things under the original Armscor brand. However, because Twin Pines/RIA is fairly new, all their products are recently made, better-quality output from Armscor. There is an unfortunate quantity of old-stock, lower quality material out there bearing the CD and Armscor brand, staining the brand reputations. This old stock is frantically being pulled out, but the 2nd hand market is what it is.

    SGS Importers Interntional owns the Firestorm brand, but imports what are whole pistols from both Bersa SA and Fabrinor Arma y Corta Microfusion, of Argentina and Spain respectively.

    NAA partially subcontracts its Guardians out to Kahr and Taurus...



    It gets even stranger in the world of ammunition, lemme tell ya :D

    :)

    ----------

    Hi Chris! :)
     
  17. JimJD

    JimJD Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the info. :D

    I'm currently looking at another Handgun purchase, and among the models, I am looking at a R.I.A. M1911 (standard G.I. type).
    Probably going to go to a local range this weekend to rent one and see how I like it.
     
  18. proletariat

    proletariat Member

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    Horge,
    Hey thanks for the shots of the PI gun show. I was there last year on a surf trip in Ilocos-sur and I didn't even know they had gun show's in the PI. I saw one range the whole time I was there and that was off the marcos highway somewhere near or on the way to baguio. I didn't stop by to see it though just drove on by.
     
  19. horge

    horge Member

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    Thanks for all the kind comments :)


    Gunshow Exotica:

    Here's a photo taken today by a fellow pistolero (goes by the handle 'paltic' over at GlockTalk) from the gunshow. It caught my attention too, but when I was there, it was just too crowded to take a pic:




    Ever feel the need to 'Glock out' your AR? :D
    Leave it to the Israelis (TDI) to make something for ya:

    [​IMG]
    The way the girl is holding it partly obscures the black, curving pistol mount.
    It anchors onto the pistol grip's heel, just avoiding the extra extra hi-cap mag. Heee hee.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2004
  20. dadman

    dadman Member

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    No pictures of local gunshows. Cameras and media not allowed inside.
    Haven't been to a Jerky Show for awhile anyways.
     
  21. horge

    horge Member

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    P.B. Dionisio showcased its CZ 75 Select, Full auto:
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Member

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    Horge, it looks to me like the vendors at your gunshows are setting up in a much more elaborate fashion than the ones I'm used to seeing here in Texas. Do the shows only run for a weekend, like here, or longer (or shorter)?

    I wonder if your vendors have a greater financial gain (proportionately speaking) than a Texas vendor? As a comparitive figure, admission to the gun show I usually go to is (I think) 5 or 6 bucks, and renting a table (8 foot) 60.00.

    http://www.classicshows.com/bigtown.htm

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. horge

    horge Member

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    Thanks so much for those photos!

    Woohoo, guys in cowboy hats!
    I spent a week in Houston two years ago and didn't see a single one :(

    The price of floor space is pretty stiff here, considering this is a massively popular mall. This I think weeds out the small fry. There is no 2nd-hand firearms market to speak of, and so what's left are the big-fish sellers who then go all-out for the customer's hard-earned peso.

    Our laws also make it very hard to get what you call an FFL. So again, the sellers at our gun shows tend to be established vendors, often with at least one real brick-and-mortar store in the country. The gun show is good for sales, and especially good for advertising.

    If I had to guess, the smallest stall here costs about the price of a Bersa Thunder 380 for two days' rent... maybe. Gun shows run three to five days (the one I showcased runs 5). The sales generated at a show seem to be enough to offset the investment, and really, it's just as crucial to build contacts and consumer trust, so they seek you out even after the show.

    Not even a third of the gun stores I know of in Manila get to appear at these gun shows --I hear competition for floor space can be fierce.
    VLP Firearms, owned/operated by Vicky Linatoc Pena,
    They have a large store in Quezon City, and this small booth is all they could manage.
    [​IMG]
    HOWEVER... in the five minutes it took waiting to take this shot, this stall entertained maybe twelve customers, maybe five of whom were seriously considering the wares. When I revisited the stall before leaving the show, one Llama Max and one Norinco were no longer in that display case, so maybe sales are healthy enough.

    Because gun shows are held somewhat infrequently --there are at best maybe three such every year, even in the biggest metropolis of my country, firearms enthusiasts do come from far and wide to check it out, armed with credit cards or cash.

    We even get fly-ins from other Asian countries. Foreigners can't buy/own guns here, but some of those tourists'll actually ask a friendly Filipino to buy a gun for them (ostensibly registered in the Filipino's name) and babysit it, and then they'll fly in every few months or so to shoot the heck out of the piece at some of the local ranges. Japanese, Taiwanese, Malaysians, etc.... they all come from countries with laws that are unbelievably hostile to fireams ownership. IIRC, a Malaysian 12-year old kid was once executed for mere possession of three .22LR cartridges. This was several years ago, so I may have the details off.

    So...
    It's tricky comparing our gun shows to yours, in terms of context.
    The vendors may be different in nature, because our laws and mindset are different.
    The consumers may be different in mindset as well.
    The stakes might be higher for vendors in our shows, so the vendors get all the lead out...
    for the honor of assisting consumers in getting their lead out.



    :)
    horge
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2004
  24. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Member

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    That's very interesting about your getting gunny tourism from Japan etc. Do you think that had anything at all to do with your firearm restrictions easing, or was that all Marcos?

    Is defending your home with a firearm a practicality in the Phillippines or do they have severe gun storage laws?
     
  25. horge

    horge Member

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    Hi Stand_Watie:)

    1. Yes, gun-tourism is very real, though not as big as might be imagined.
    However, at a semi-open range I enjoy (P.B. Dionisio), some days can be tough, when two busloads of tourists come in, loaded to the gills with newly-bought gear they can't ever bring home, and an understandable newbish-cluelessness about firearms handling. It's tough on the RO's, because even with perfect English comprehension (as written), thick accents get in the way of proper instruction. IIRC, this 'gun-tourism' really took off after Marcos was out and gun restrictions were eased a little.

    2. Armed home-invasions do happen here, and it's tricky balancing
    - a Christian willingness to surrender to God's will
    - the fate-determination of arming one's self

    It is a very, very private decision to make. I've had my share of encounters.
    One of them is actually in the S&T forum here.

    But, forgive my incomprehension :)
    I'm not sure I understand the part about gun-storage laws.
    I'll hehe, try to wing an answer anyway:
    Armed home-defense (home storage?) is not too-severely hindered by our laws.
    It is, rather, public carry that is subject to tight control.



    horge
     
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