Tam's Shootin' Buddy showed up Saturday at 0750 on the dot. We were out the door shortly after 0800 and among the first few hundred arrivals at the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show. Yes, that's what I said: early as we arrived, we parked the width of the lot in front of the East Pavilion away, in a spot near the edge of the crowd.
We had a good day; no really great finds (I passed up a Star "Firestar" in .40 S&W that would complete my set of these heavy, dependable little compacts, made in 9mm, .40 and .45. Nice little guns, terribly underated, did I mention the weight? Ow) but some good solid stuff -- magazines and ammunition and new belts (Amish leather, it said on the sign. If true, they have unusually thick hides) and EBR (AR-15) bits. Oh -- and books, the latest installment of the Most Dangerous Men collection of thumbnail biographies for me and a definitive treatment of John Moses Browning's .38 automatics for Tam.
The first hint of "interesting times" showed up in Shootin' Buddy's quest for AR-15 mags. One dealer told of showing up with a pallet-load of one of the better sorts...and selling them all by the end of the day Friday! Decent AR-15 mags weren't unfindable, but they were selling very well and prices were a bit up. Expect more and more of this.
Some of the better-known names in AR-15 parts kits were there -- Model "1" Distributors, among others -- and doing a land-office business. They'd brought plenty, fear not, o gentle reader.
By the time we'd worked our way from one end to the middle of the hall, crowds were pretty thick. We made a cargo run out to our vehicle (and smoke break for some members of the party) and noticed a very long line for tickets. Started back through the hall from the middle, became mired in traffic, backed out and started over from the far end, and still didn't manage to see everything. Crowds got so thick, it was impossible to look at much. Along the way, we met up with some old friends -- Farmer Frank and the redoubtable Sheriff Ken Campbell among others -- and just missed Caleb.
When we left about 1:00 p.m., the crowd was packed almost solid and yet the line to get in stretched halfway down one side of the hall and all along another -- and gunnies were still arriving!
It's a good gun show. There's plenty to see and to buy. But my advice is either show up early tomorrow, or be ready to make a long day of it.
And be like the kewl kids: if you haven't already, buy or build your "evil black rifle" now.
Update: I failed to mention that we adjourned to Broad Ripple Brew Pub for a bit of a snack after the event -- I can now recommend their delicious chili -- and afterward, dropped by Rene's bakery. One of the physically-smallest jewels in Broad Ripple's crown (I've always been reminded of the galley of a submarine, as he's got an entire bakery in the space of a garden shed, everything happening right behind the counter for customors to watch), it is also one of the most sparkling. How good is Rene's? I purchased a couple of sugar cookies for Shootin' Buddy and he rang up Roseholme about a half-hour after departure, still on the road, to annouce he had devoured one, hidden the other from himself to save for later, and wanted more as soon as possible.
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