Abnormal Gun Buying

posted on April 19, 2011
ii2015_fs.jpg

Normal is a setting on a clothes drier. The Insider has never been accused of being “normal” and I hope you haven’t either. How boring. How bland.

Not that there is anything wrong with this portrayal, but I would expect that the average gun owner hasa Glock 9 mm, a Ruger10-22, a Mossberg pump and an old Remington BDL in .30-’06 Sprg. Or so I would suppose, but since I don’t know anyone remotely approaching normal, I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that my coterie of contacts in the industry and, an even more dubious crowd, my friends, buy decidedly un-normal guns. It might be instructive to see what these characters have recently bought and how those purchases affect the firearms industry.

Keith is giddy about his latest acquisition, a 1903 Mannlicher-Schoenauer in 6.5x54 mm with a tang safety, a claw mount and a peculiar adjustable cheek piece.

Brad latched onto a LaRue .308 semi-auto, an upsized AR that he calls “Fat Boy.” He topped it with a Nightforce precision optic that cost nearly as much as the rifle. Nice rig.

Darrell picked up an HK heel-release P7 that had come back as a German police trade-in. His was one of only about 300 “police marked” P7s that were imported last year, all of which were nabbed by HK aficionados in a matter of days.

Jason acquired a Barrett .50 caliber semi-auto with a 20-inch barrel. I shot the 27-pound monster in an indoor range. The muzzle blast sent a concussion wave into my skull anda surge of range air into my nostrils. You know when you’ve shot a 20-inch Barrett.

Mark, who owns a gunshop, took a pristine Browning Hi-Power on trade and squirreled it away for himself.

Donna is concerned about personal security so she bought a Taurus .38 Spl. Value-priced defensive handguns remain strong sellers.

Ken spied a mint Smith & Wesson “Registered Magnum” at a gun show and made it his after counting out a sizable stack of Benjamins.

Me? I bought a Cogswell & Harrison double rifle, an underlever hammer gun in .450-400 (3 ¼ inch) made in 1912. I found it at an auction for a steal—exposed hammer double rifles remain a bargain these days. The refinished gun came with a copy of "Elephant Hunting In Portuguese East Africa" by Jose Pardal who hunted in what became Mozambique during the “golden years.” The old Coggy is shown in several photos in Pardal’s book and he describes how he had the gun restored with an “unusual” beavertail fore-end.

So what’s my point?Serious gun folks don’t stop buying, even in this recession.

Second, the more serious you are, the more you tend toward classics. The guy who buys a 1903 Mannlicher-Shoenauer or my exposed hammer double rifle is not exactly amainstream firearm user.

So what role do guys who buy Barretts and Belgian Brownings play in the gun business? They fuel a highly active, yet unquantifiable, used gun market. The Internet hasspuredonline gun shows, and brick-and-mortar gun shops now regularly sell on sites such as Guns International and Gun Broker. Even Davidson’s, a leading wholesaler, has a gun-selling site called Gallery Of Guns.

My buddies contribute to a vital underpinning of the gun business—the buying and selling of classic, if odd, guns. Money changes hands and stays in the gun business. We may not be normal, but we help.

Latest

Henry Veterans
Henry Veterans

Henry Donates More Than $300K To Veterans Organizations

Henry Repeating Arms continues to contribute cash donations to veterans organizations, with more than $325,000 in donations this year alone.

The Rifleman Report: ​Industry Advancements

Whether in guns themselves or the cartridges they chamber or in optics or other firearm accessories, mechanical and material science innovations are key.

New For 2022: Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 Competitor

Smith & Wesson has unveiled a new addition to its metal-framed lineup of M&P9 M2.0 pistols with the Competitor, a competition-ready option from Smith & Wesson's Performance Center. 

The Armed Citizen® Nov. 28, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

True Velocity: Re-Defining The ‘Metallic’ Cartridge

In developing its state-of-the-art centerfire rifle cases, True Velocity Ammunition has moved away from metal and placed polymer center stage. The result is a new self-contained cartridge that is lighter in weight, remarkably consistent from round to round and admirably accurate.

Preview: Federal Ammunition 100th Anniversary Book

As a tribute to the company’s first century in business, Federal Ammunition has released a special, limited-edition book that breaks down its history, decade by decade, across 244 pages.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.