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What the hitchhikers guide has to say on gunshows.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by R.W.Dale, Nov 22, 2005.

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  1. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Northwest Arkansas
    I saw this posted on gunboards and thought you guys would get a kick out of it as well.

    The following terms apply to items offered for sale:

    MINT CONDITION: In original condition as manufactured, unfired, and preferably in the original box with all manufacturer's tags, labels, and paperwork.

    NEAR-MINT CONDITION: Has had no more than 5,000 rounds fired through it and it still retains at least 60% of the original finish. Surface pitting is no more than 1/8" deep, and both grip panels are in place. If it is a .22, some of the rifling is still visible.

    VERY GOOD: Non-functional when you buy it, but you can probably get it to work if you replace 100% of the parts.

    FAIR: Rusted into a solid mass with a shape vaguely reminscent of a firearm.

    TIGHT: In revolvers, the cylinder swings out, but you need two hands to close it again. For autoloaders, you must bang the front of the slide on a table to push it back.

    REALLY TIGHT: In revolvers you cannot open the cylinder without a lever. Once it's open the extractor rod gets stuck halfway through its travel. On autoloaders, you need a hammer to close the slide.

    A LITTLE LOOSE: In revolvers, the cylinder falls out and the chambers are 1/4" out of line when locked up. There is no more than 1/2" of end play. For autoloaders, the barrel falls out when the slide is retracted. If the barrel stays in place, the slide falls off.

    GOOD BORE: You can tell it was once rifled and even approximately how many grooves there were.

    FAIR BORE: Probably would be similar to GOOD BORE, if you could see through it.

    NEEDS A LITTLE WORK: May function sometimes if you have a gunsmith replace minor parts, such as the bolt, cylinder, or barrel.

    ARSENAL RECONDITIONED: I cleaned it up with a wire wheel and some stuff I bought at K-Mart.

    ANTIQUE: I found it in a barn, and I think it dates from before 1960. Note that ANTIQUE guns are usually found in FAIR condition.

    RARE VARIANT: No more than 500,000 of this model were ever made, not counting the ones produced before serial numbers were required. Invariably, RARE VARIANTS command a premium price of 150% of BOOK VALUE.

    BOOK VALUE: An ill-defined number that dealers consider insultingly low and buyers ridiculously high. Since no one pays any attention to it, it doesn't matter who is right.

    IT BELONGED TO MY GRANDFATHER: I bought it at a flea market or yard sale two weeks ago.

    CIVIL WAR RELIC: The vendor's great-grandfather knew a man whose friend once said he had been in the Civil War.

    SHOOTS REAL GOOD: For rifles, this means at 100 yards it will put every shot into a 14" circle if there isn't any wind and you're using a machine rest. For handguns, three out of six rounds will impact a silhouette target at seven yards. In shotguns, it means that the full choke tube throws 60% patterns with holes no larger than 8" in them.

    ON CONSIGNMENT: The vendor at the show does not own the gun. It belongs to a friend, customer, or business associate, and he has been instructed to sell it, for which he will be paid a commission. He has no authority to discuss price. The price marked is 50% above BOOK VALUE. All used guns offered for sale at gun shows, without exception, are ON CONSIGNMENT, and the dealer is required by his Code of Ethics to tell you this as soon as you ask the price. (A BATF study has proven that since 1934 there has never been a single authenticated case of a used gun being offered for sale at a gun show that was actually owned by the dealer showing it.)

    I'LL LET IT GO FOR WHAT I HAVE IN IT: I'll settle for what I paid for it plus a 250% profit.

    MAKE ME AN OFFER: How dumb are you?

    TELL ME HOW MUCH IT'S WORTH TO YOU: I'll bet you're even dumber than you look.



    RAMBO: He's looking for an Ingram MAC-10, and wants to have it custom chambered in .44 Magnum as a back-up gun. For primary carry he wants a Desert Eagle, provided he can get it custom chambered in .50 BMG. He derides the .50 Action Express as a wimp round designed for ladies' pocket pistols. He has already bought three years' worth of freeze-dried MRE's from MARK, as well as seven knives. He is dressed in camoflage BDU's and a black T-shirt with the 101st AirBorne Division insignia, though he has never been in the Army. He works as a bag boy at Kroger's.

    BUBBA: He needs some money, and has reluctantly decided to sell his Daddy's .30-30, a Marlin 336 made in 1961. He indignantly refuses all cash offers below his asking price of $475. Unable to sell it, eventually he trades it plus another $175 for a new-in-box H&R Topper in .219 Zipper. He feels pretty good about the deal.

    GORDON: He is walking the aisles with a Remington Model 700 ADL in .30-06 on his shoulder. He's put an Uncle Mike's cordura sling and a Tasco 3x9 variable scope on it. A small stick protrudes from the barrel, bearing the words, "LIKE NEW ONLY THREE BOXES SHELLS FIRED $800." This is his third trip to a show with this particular rifle, which he has never actually used, since he lives in a shotgun-only area for deer.

    DAWN: She is here with her boyfriend, DARRYL. At the last show, DARRYL bought her a Taurus Model 66 in .357 Magnum. She fired it twice and is afraid of it, but at DARRYL'S insistence she keeps it in a box on the top shelf of her clothes closet in case someone breaks in. She is dressed in a pair of blue jeans that came out of a spray can, a "Soldier of Fortune" T-shirt two sizes too small, and 4" high heels. DARRYL is ignoring her, but nobody else is.

    DARRYL: He has been engaged to DAWN for three years. He likes shotguns for defense, and he's frustrated that he can't get a Street Sweeper anymore. So he's bought a Mossberg 500 with the 18-1/2" barrel, a perforated handguard, and a pistol grip. He plans to use it for squirrel hunting when he isn't sleeping with it. He plans to marry DAWN as soon as he gets a job which pays him enough to take over the payments on her mobile home. His parole officer has no idea where he is at the moment.

    ARNOLD: He is a car salesman in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has a passion for Civil War guns, especially cap-and-ball revolvers. He has a reproduction Remington 1858, and is looking for a real one he can afford. He owns two other guns: a S&W Model 60 and a Sauer & Sohn drilling with Luftwaffe markings that his grandfather brought home in 1945. He has no idea what caliber the rifle barrel on his drilling is, and he last fired the Model 60 five years ago.

    DICK: He is a gun dealer who makes his overhead selling Jennings J-25's, Lorcin .380's, and H&R top-break revolvers. He buys the J-25's in lots of 1000 direct from the factory at $28.75 each, and sells them for $68.00 to gun show customers. He buys the H&R's for $10 at estate auctions and asks $85 for them, letting you talk him down to $78 when he is feeling generous. His records are meticulously kept: he insists on proper ID and a signature on the 4473, but he doesn't mind if the ID and the signature aren't yours. Other than his stock, he owns no guns and he has no interest in them.

    ARLENE: She is DICK's wife. She hates guns and gun shows more than anything in the world. Her husband insists that she accompany him to keep an eye on the table when he's dickering or has to go to the men's room. She refuses to come unless she can bring her SONY portable TV, even though she gets lousy reception in the Civic Center and there isn't any cable. When DICK is away from the table, she has no authority to negotiate, and demands full asking price for everything. She doesn't know the difference between a rifle and a shotgun, and what's more, she doesn't care.

    MARK: He doesn't have an FFL. He buys a table at the show to sell nylon holsters, magazines, T-shirts, bumber stickers, fake Nazi regalia, surplus web gear, MRE's and accessories. He makes more money than anyone else in the hall.

    ALAN: He's not a dealer, but he had a bunch of odds and ends to dispose of, so he bought a table. On it he displays used loading dies in 7.65 Belgian and .25-20, both in boxes from the original Herter's company. He also has a half-box of .38-55 cartridges, a Western-style gun belt he hasn't been able to wear since 1978, a used cleaning kit, and a nickel-plated Iver Johnson Premier revolver in .32 S&W. He's asking $125 for the gun and $40 for each of the die sets. He paid $35 for the table and figures he needs to get at least that much to cover his expenses and the value of his time.

    GERALD: He's a physician specializing in diseases of the rich. He collects Brownings, and specializes in High-Power pistols, Superposed shotguns, and Model 1900's. He has 98% of the known variations of each of these, and now plans to branch out into the 1906 and 1910 pocket pistols. He owns no handguns made after the Germans left Liege in 1944. He regards Japanese-made "Brownings" as a personal insult and is a little contempuous of Inglis-made High-Powers. He does not hunt or shoot. He buys all his gun accessories from Orvis and Dunn's.

    KEVIN: He is 13, and this is his first gun show. His eyes are bugged out with amazement, and he wonders what his J.C. Higgins single-shot 20-gauge is worth. His father gives him an advance on his allowance so he can buy a used Remington Nylon 66. He's hooked for life and will end up on the NRA's Board of Directors.

    Oh yes.....then there is...

    TED: He's somewhere between 35 and 60, and this is his 4,867th gun show. His eyes have that bugged out with CRT radiation gloss from sitting up all night updating the "Variations of Mosin-Nagant Cosmoline" section of his website. He owns 464 rifles, 147 handguns and 100K rounds of ammo, but has never actually fired a gun...ever. He can walk down each row and determine with one glance year, condition, value, number of rounds shot, and 4 previous owners of each Mosin-Nagant there. He buys every Mosin-Nagant he sees even if he already has one because: 1. He has too much money. 2. There's that cosmoline thing......
  2. 00-Guy

    00-Guy Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    People's Republic of MD
    You forgot FRED: Mark's brother. He sells the beef jerky. Has a branch table specializing in Beanie Babies.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Lubbock, TX
    Then there's JANICE, FRED'S wife. She has the table across from FRED. She sells yogurt raisins and all-organic trail mix to the Beany Baby traders who can't stand the thought of the dried, spiced mammal flesh being peddled across the aisle.
  4. Texfire

    Texfire Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Tom Lehrer never gets old. :)
  5. MillCreek

    MillCreek Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Snohomish County, Washington USA
    I think I ran into DARRYL'S parole officer once. He was showing around a picture of a guy with a mullet....
  6. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Guide to buying guns from gunshows and from C&R dealers


    Mint Condition:
    You are not allowed to open the wax paper and remove the cosmoline before you buy so take our word for it.

    Minty Condition: We were able to cover the wear with cold blue and find a box for it.

    Very good: Found at the bottom of a river, put on a wire wheel then spray painted black.

    Little Rough: Was once a firearm we think...

    Good For It's Age: Turd with a stock.

    Very Old: Found in the bilge of a Liberian freighter

    Much Original Finish: Under the grips

    Some Original Finish: Under the rear sight

    Shows Honest Wear: Used as a gardening tool by someone.

    Very Good Bore: Oops! someone walked off with our bore light.

    Good Bore: Pits form a spiral.

    Fair Bore:You can see light through it.

    Poor Bore:You can see light through the bore walls

    Needs A Little TLC: There was once a gun that took the same space as this object.

    Tight: Bondo, Elmers and locktite are awesome!

    Small Crack: Refers to the gun dealers drug habit.

    Small Chip Out Of Stock: Small chip of stock left.

    Youth stock: We had to cut off the part that was engraved with the evidence number.

    Nice Patina: Rusty!

    Some Wood Repair: We called Orkin to exterminate the termites and wood worms.

    Good Shooter: If tied to a tree with a long lanyard around the trigger.

    Naval Variation:Came from a Pensacola pawnshop

    Finish Worn: Serial number ground off before the mob hit.

    Needs Tightening: All screws obliterated by some 8 year old with a phillips.

    Some Parts Replaced: By a blacksmith in Rwanda

    Arsenal Refinished: With a black magic marker and a can of bedliner spray

    All Numbers Match: They didn't, but they do now. (thank you electropencil)

    Reasonable Offers Considered: I'd love to dump this piece of scrap on some nitwit.
  7. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    this has gone around a few times here and at TFL... pretty sure we all added humorous bits to it
  8. DarthBubba

    DarthBubba Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Drippin Sprgs. Tejas
    You guys owe me a new keyboard for the afternoon coffee spit take I just did.:D
    I really love the glossaries and the profiles of the people you meet seems to be pretty much spot on. I really hate going to gun shows because it all looks to be all of the same stuff in an ever-shrinking number of firearms dealers and an ever increasing number of C**P tool tables (Most made in China), Beanie Babies, and at least in Austin an ever increasing number of junk optics dealers (BSA and the like).
    There Seems to be a shrinking number of quality firearms and dealers at the shows and that is really a shame since I am now looking to get a SOCOM II, and now have to do the foot work to find one at the best price in the surrounding six counties.

    Keep the funnies coming,
  9. SMLE

    SMLE Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Albuquerque New Mexico
    I once was "KEVIN"

    Both of my parents encouraged a healthy interest in guns and shooting. We need all the Kevins we can find.
  10. bogie

    bogie Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    The crap optics dealers (especially the one that sets up on Tent Row at Knob Creek...) get really, really pissed after they tell you that their scope is better than a Leupold, so you whip a Leupold out of your backpack and commence to look through both of 'em...
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