Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gun Show Report

Better late than never, right?

Tam and I went to the Indy 1500 Friday and again with Shootin' Buddy on Saturday.

The first thing that really caught my eye was a big ol' British revolver, a bit worn, not a lot of finish left, tucked in the far corner of a display case. I knew what it was and pointed it out to Tam. No price tag on it.

About then, the guy running that table came over to us and I expressed admiration for his Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver. It turns out that simply recognizing the gun was enough to actually hold it; and that's no little reward, considering the asking price was $5500. I learned something that no amount of reading or even seeing video had made clear: the reciprocating portion has a very short stroke, not much more than 1/2". It had the nice, solid feel of most Webley revolvers. Far outside my budget but quite a thing to touch!

I found a couple of other Webleys, one a very nicely reblued .38 S&W; about all the history had been polished off but that just makes it shootier, right? Passed it up at $350, for reasons we'll get to. The other one was a .455 in decent shape, or rather, it had been a .455: the chamber face had been been machined to accommodate .45 ACP in moon clips. Way cool, since .45 is easier to come by, right? Yeah, except Tam pointed out .455 was loaded to much lower pressures, shoving a heavy slug along at a leisurely pace and nice hot .45s in an old .455 revolver is a recipe for an eventual bad day. That was about it for me and gun-shopping; saw a Savage pistol in .32 and a Star PD (.45) that tempted me, but I've already got one of each. Drooled on a few Hi-Powers, too: my ex had a nice one (a Capitan) and I still miss it.

What I did find was ammunition! The drought might not be over but I think it is ending. A few $50 boxes of .380 went without takers, the smaller reloaders having started to turn it out at half the price. More common calibers were in good supply and prices have, at least, stabilized. I bought a case (!) each of 9mm and .45 ACP, plus some cheap steel ammo boxes (Tam and Shootin' Buddy have converted me to the "big green range can" school of thought). That did it for my gun show budget, except for some grip screw bushings for my 1911. I still need proper slotted grip screws. (I think more shooting and less gun-accumulation is the way to go, though I'm still going to be looking at non-S&W revolvers every show we go to).

Crowds were heavy on Friday and more so by noon Saturday. It reaches a point where it stops being fun and unless you're doing very focused shopping, there's not much point hanging around. (Also, my bad knee was most unhappy).

There's a steak joint not too far from the Fairgrounds, which is where our Gun Show Weekend ended up. Ahhh!


D.W. Drang said...

But a Webley-Fisbury Automatic is so Steampunk!

Turk Turon said...

It IS Steampunk!

I envy you, Roberta. The NRA Museum has three of 'em but they're under glass. You actually held it in your hand!

Assrot said...

Yeah, I love them old Webleys myself. I have two of them in .38-200 that are all original. I also have an Enfield in the same caliber.

I've been trying to get my hands on a Webley .455 in original condition. They are hard to come by and either expensive or junk or both.

I see the .455s that have been rearsenaled to .45ACP quite often. I'm with Tam on those. I don't think they are worth the money and I don't wan't to get a shrapnel sandwich at the range one day.


Joseph said...

I have one of the Webley .38-200 as well...the cylinder is a bit loose, but everything on it is otherwise in good condition. I gave up the idea of aquiring a .455 a long time ago...hard to find and expensive when you do. Now a Webley-Fisbury...really neat, but even harder to find and more expensive when you do.