by Dan Shea
Christmas is coming as I write this. We have just finished the Small Arms Review 2003 show in Phoenix, our fourth and most successful show to date. With the move to the new, large building, we consolidated all of the Class 3 dealers into one place. The aisles were wide, giving an illusion at times that we weren’t totally full- and we weren’t- it was a huge building. However, all of the people who came into our building were there for the Class 3 items. This was a true gun show, filled to the brim with interesting items.
Normally at a gun show, I take one walk through and see the various parts, pieces, guns, etc that interest me, and mentally mark the location in the show. Then, when someone asks me “Have you seen any S&W 76 parts here”, I can say either “No”, or “Yes, two aisles over at such-and-such table”. I was totally bewildered at the SAR 2003 show, because there was just so much good stuff there that I could barely remember what I had seen. That is a good sign for any show.
Our part of the December Phoenix show is about the same size as Knob Creek’s table section, but Knob Creek is a Machine Gun Show and Shoot, it is a different kind of event. We had requests to pipe in the noise of machine gun fire and explosives, because people could actually hear each other talking and found the missing cacophony disconcerting. A lot of people requested that we put on a shoot concurrent with our show, but that is not feasible, and it is not what we are doing. The only other major machine gunner’s event around is the Dry Creek Machine Gun shoot in Flagstaff, which has the largest firing line and longest range, as well as very interesting reactive and arial targets. So, that is also a different kind of thing from the SAR show. If you add in the 1200-1300 other tables at the rest of the December Phoenix Crossroads of the West Gun Show, we are now the largest gun show west of the Great Plains.
We have plans next year to take this up a few notches. There will be more national advertising. There are plans for bands, re-enactor’s encampments, and a much larger military vehicle display group. Our dealer’s have almost filled the area we had this year, and we believe that we will fill the entire building. The lane to our building will be opened by another twenty-five feet, and there will be outdoor vendors along that lane. Between Crossroads of the West Gun Shows and the SAR 2004 show, we hope to go after the title of the “Largest True Gun Show in the US”. Perhaps the legend of the Great Western will pass its crown to SAR.
I would like to thank all involved in preparing and running this show, and everyone who came. You made this happen, and we are proud to be part of the group.
Onward- The National Rifle Association will be sending out the ballots for members of the board. I wanted to pass on the names of those who we know to be Class 3 friendly. It is important for us as a community to ensure that our voices are heard. Please pass the word on this. The C3 supportive people who I know of on this ballot are:
Michael A. Lee- Denmark, Maine
Ted Nugent - Jackson, Michigan
Sandra S. Froman - Tucson, Arizona
James W. Porter II - Birmingham, Alabama
If you are a Life Member or have been an annual member for at least 5 consecutive years, you have voting rights and will automatically receive a ballot in your American Hunter or American Rifleman magazine in January or February.
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