Went to the gun show with a friend, and took my son along with me.
He got a bit fussy about halfway through- until one of the vendors was nice enough to give him a little three-blade (drop point, file, scissors) cheapie Swiss Army knife.
You'd have thought it was the keys to a Lamborghini. He wouldn't stop thanking the guy, and gave me no more trouble.
Lesson learned: you want a quiet kid, bribe 'em.
Found a smokin' deal on powder, and put in an order for the next gun show to be delivered there (2 months hence). Also found a new bite valve for one of my hydropacks- the Camelback affair with the on/off lever. My valve on my most-used pack wore out to the point it leaked water all over the carpet at work a few weeks ago, so I've been riding without water. Couple hanks of paracord at 1/2 the going rate, made a lanyard for my son's new knife as we had lunch, and fondled some new hardware. Since I had the kid with me, I had him try a couple ARs with collapsible stocks to see if he could get a proper cheek weld. He could, so it looks like I'm finally off the fence with regards swapping out the fixed stock on my M4-gery. Sportsman's Guide has a set- collapsible stock and carbine forestock- for $39. Considering they were asking $50 and up for the collapsible stock alone at this gun show and everywhere else on the web, that's a deal.
Found a good deal on triox bars as well, so I grabbed 4 boxes for $2. Hell of a firestarter, that.
Found some tumbler media in the proper fine-ground walnut, so I grabbed it as well. Won't have to go picking that crap out of my brass now. Opted to skip the brass polish they sell- I use NuFinish car wax and it works great, and the brass will not tarnish after.
Had a bit of indecision when approaching the gate of the show. SC requires no CCW in sporting events and "public gatherings". I am not 100% on the definition of that, and since this show always takes place in what might be considered a sporting event area (well, there IS a rodeo on the adjacent grounds every year), I wasn't sure how the law looked at it. Decided since folks walk about freely with rifles and such out of cases, I would be fine if I cleared the weapon, put the mag in my vest, and carried the weapon with the slide locked back. Went through the regstration area where you pay your fee- they have an officer there to make sure all weapons are clear, with a HUGE jar of rounds taken out of "empty" weapons. I asked him how this should be handled and he said it would have been fine to just keep it concealed as I normally do, declare it when I came up to him, and clear it there. Good to know for future reference. He takes your weapon, puts a tiewrap through or around the action in such a way as to hinder it's employment, and hands it back to you.
Oh sure, every redneck there has a knife that'll cut a tiewrap, and some of us more than the one. But the point is, to make the weapon obviously clear, and to make another step that has to be done to bring the weapon into action. "Keep the honest man honest". OK, I'm fine with that. Especially looking at some of the "Thugs 4 Life" sorts that were there. One of whom even asked me if I'd buy him a weapon so he wouldn't have to clear the mandatory Federal background check...
the answer? A look that said: "Not only no, but hell fucking NO, have you lost your fucking mind? Have you really smoked yourself that retarded????" I wanted so bad to be a Federal officer at that time, just to look at his face as I showed him my badge and got him off the street. However, not my job, so of course I didn't, and I certainly didn't give any sort of indication that I was. Some folks just look at me and think "Cop". Why, I have NO idea. I'm short, fat, and unimposing. :shrug: I suppose this may have occurred to him, as he quickly vacated the area.
When leaving, I came back and he cut the tie wrap and watched as I locked and loaded the weapon in front of him, safed and reholstered.
VERY STRANGE FEELING, having a law enforcement official watch me lock and load and then stash away a weapon!! I quite honestly expected someone to shout "GUN!". Uh, yeah. LOTS of em, sparky...
I need to blog about how I've come to the decision to take on the responsibility of carrying arms in the civilian world at some point. What a long strange trip it's been.