Saturday was raw, cold and mixed frozen precipitation. That didn’t matter, as the lines to get into the Metrolina Expo Center were long, approximately a three hour wait. I saw cars from at least North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas and New Jersey. I’ve been to this gun show for years and I’ve never seen it this crowded.
Feeling were rather raw along with the weather, and there were many angry comments in line about the administration and their enablers in the Congress and Senate.
By the time we all got inside (they were letting people go in at the same rate people were coming out), we all made a bee-line for the bathroom (coffee + three hours). As a note to planners, it might pay to put a Porta-jon or two near the line. It would make for less irate patrons.
Inside there were plenty of ARs for sale, other semi-automatics, plenty of pistols, revolvers, and shotguns (and one very nice Springfield Armory M1A Super Match for $2700). Tactical shotguns were in shorter supply than anything else. I did notice that there is a plethora of new tactical flashlights, seemingly good ones, with high lumen output. It’s nice to see competition, and flashlights seem to be the area that has sustained the most competition. It might be some time before all of those brands have been stress tested and compared against one another.
ARs were selling for 1.5 – 2 times what I paid. PMAGs (which I bought) were plentiful even though there is a long waiting list when ordering directly over the web. Unfortunately, they were going for twice what I paid several years ago. I went primarily for the ammunition though, and this is where it gets sad.
5.56 mm cartridges are going for $1 per round. You just cannot find it for less, at least not right now. I fear that the days of $.50 per round are gone forever. M1 Carbine ammunition is very scarce, although I did find some. .45, .40, .38 and all of the standard caliber handgun ammunition seemed plentiful enough to meet the demand, at least early in the show, both in target (FMJ and MC) and personal defense rounds. Within hours supplies were noticeably diminished.
The one standout was 9 mm. What was once the most ubiquitous round in America cannot be found. There were a few boxes of personal defense rounds, but no target rounds. There were stories from the dealers about selling 9 mm handguns to customers back at their stores and then getting complaints that the customers bought guns for which there was no ammunition.
The best deal at the show was the going price for XDm .40. My own opinion, being both an XDm owner and S&W M&P owner, is that the XDm is a tighter, more well balanced weapon. It’s all a matter of personal opinion, but when they’re selling XDms for $530, there is no debate.
The most common opinion at the gun show? To a man and woman, everyone blames the administration and its enablers for this high-gun-price and ammunition shortage situation. Like most other crises on the planet, this one is entirely man-made. The self-proclaimed ruling class should take note. The peasants are angry. Really angry. At all of you. And they don’t consider themselves peasants. They would use the term sovereign citizens.