Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

Yesterday was interesting even if it wasn't a big money day. The boss man does say that we are ahead of average for this time of year. The interesting parts?

Well, right off a fellow comes in with a Winchester 250 lever action rifle. One doesn't see these often but they don't get much money around here either. Not quite sure why he wanted to sell but he bought some ammo rather than take the boss man's offer. We are seeing quite a few guns come in the door but many leave as they are often times junk and/or the owners think they are worth more and want retail rather than wholesale prices.

We thought that was pretty good, but next up, while the boss was out, was a couple with a couple of nice Winchesters in gun socks.

First one out of the sock was a Winchester 92 saddle-ring carbine with special order button magazine with a serial that goes to 1926 (and yes, we're aware of the new data on the polishing room records). A beautiful gun but... yes a "but"... it had been reblued. Apparently the couple's son had made his dad a "present" of the refinish job. That it was an above average job with very little over-buffing and and even blue, it was still disappointing. Next out was...

... a Winchester Model 94 carbine in .30 WCF made in 1953. It was a bit rough around the upper side of the magazine tube with a bit of worn bluing and there was a crack in the short wood forearm. Nice gun though. The boss man bought both.

One of the Diamond Back Arms .380s came back in the door. I didn't have a chance to see what the deal was but the gun wouldn't "fire" and it couldn't be dry-fired so that it could be taken down. The sear wouldn't engage? Not sure. Don't know if it was repaired or returned to the maker but I always recommend that the maker make it right.

Much of our work was doing the transfers of the guns won in raffles or auctions at the Friends of the NRA dinner this past Saturday. If you'll allow me to digress for a moment I would say that it was a great dinner in that Nana had a good time and is looking forward to next year. That's how I define success. I understand that this is the largest Friends of NRA dinner in Virginia and that it does a good job raising money. I don't know all the members but I do know Jon Ritenour, Ralph Xander, Ernie Nuckols, and Twyla Austin who have been working at this since it started 20 years ago (I went to the first dinner) and have persevered despite some personal struggles. However, there are many other volunteers as well and all should be commended as this was a very well run fund-raiser.

For me, however, the highlight of the day really had nothing to do with firearms but with one of those people who drop in regularly just to check out what's new and perhaps to exercise their jaws a bit. Today's treasure was a Mr. Lockridge of about 80+ years age. We talked local history and genealogy for about 2 hours without interruption. I hope my memory is as good as this fellow when I'm that age. Unfortunately I think he already has me beat. He is the expert on Lockridge genealogy on the east coast. A lot of that knowledge is in his head as well as on the 15,000 pages of written data he has in his home.

From Highland County, he was telling me a good story that also illustrates changes in our society. It seems that about 40-50 years ago (this is my memory failing, not his) a former owner of the gun store with a friend hitchhiked from Monterey to Staunton where they each bought a shotgun. They then hitchhiked back. That's about 42 miles. Can you imagine two young fellas carrying shotguns with their thumbs out on a primary road today? How long would it be before they were reported by a passing motorist or approached by some law enforcement agency?

For those who are following the background check situation here in Virginia, we only did 7 yesterday. 3 were delayed, 1 was a green-card holder (resident alien) and all of those were approved within 2 hours. I think that is an improvement.

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