This weekend, as usual, I'll be going to the Wanenmacher's Tulsa Arms Show at the QuikTrip Center (formerly the Expo Square building, formerly the International Petroleum Exposition Building) at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. Even given the hours the show will be open, it normally takes almost two full days to really see everything. I'm going to check with my next-door-neighbor the police officer to see if he wants to go, but his weird hours may prevent it. I took Andrew to his first gun show* a month or two ago, and he was like a kid in a candy store. He might go completely nuts if I can get him to the Wanenmacher Show.
Several years ago, I rented a table at the show to liquidate a large amount of reloading supplies that my wife's late cousin left to his sister. After paying rent for the table, I was able to give his sister more than $1,000.00 in cash. I'm still looking to liquidate a bunch of rough stock blanks for the do-it-yourselfers out there.
1. Look at the tables for "Do Not Handle Without Permission" signs before you go fingerprinting somebody's stuff. Even if you don't see a sign, it's good manners to ask before picking up the "BelchFire .78 Magnum" that you've never seen before.
2. Take some cash with you because a lot of the people with tables don't take plastic or checks.
3. Wear walking shoes or hiking boots. Eleven and a half acres of concrete are hard on the dogs. Sneakers don't provide enough support, and you'll be worn out before you get half-way done if you wear cowboy boots.
4. Take something to drink with you unless you like paying $16.00 a gallon for pop at the concession stands.
5. As a corollary to 4., take a break and go out for lunch. There are a number of fast food places nearby from McDonald's and Burger Street to McAllister's Deli. There is an all-you-can-eat Mexican restaurant named Casa Bonita which has a big rep. The best place to eat for gun-show-goers, in my opinion is Jim's Coney Island just north of 21st Street on the east side of Harvard. Coneys, yeros, baclava. It's all there; it's all good.
6. If you see something that you just have to have that might be somewhat rare, like a modified choke 28 inch vent rib barrel for a Browning Sweet Sixteen, get it. You can either carry it or take it out to the car, but if you don't buy it, it won't be there when you get back. (This is something that my brother learned the hard way.)
7. If you are buying ammunition in bulk, either take it to the car/truck right then, or ask the guy if you can leave it for later pick-up.
8. If you take guns to trade/sell/have appraised or just want to be seen hauling around a really cool gun, please watch where and how you handle them/turn with them or show them to someone else. Some of us don't want to get brained by the barrel or stock of your rifle/shotgun or have it pointed at us. We may react...badly or rudely.
9. If you hear someone behind a commercial dealer's table telling someone that "Taurus," for example, makes all the "Smith & Wesson" revolvers, don't be afraid to ask the moron what S&W builds in that nice factory in Massachusetts.
I'll see you there.