By Dan Shea
Mid-February- Abu Dhabi, UAE- It’s been a heck of a year for those of us in the small arms community: a real roller coaster ride. Prices fluctuating as the economy force some to reevaluate their collections and what they can cull out to raise some cash, others who get a bit more flush buying those up and price supporting with only minimal drops from 2009 prices. As I write this, M16 prices have recovered, HKs are stable, MACs, etc. seem low, and WWII Thompsons are up, while Colt Thompsons are down a bit. I have noticed that many high end Colt’s are not reaching the market, their owners not having much pressure. Quoting one Texas dealer, “Hell, Dan (pronounced Day-unh) I own ‘em and I lahk ‘em a lot, and I got plenty of money, so why should I sell these? Cain’t git no more very easy, so I’ll just keep ‘em now. Ah maht never sell ‘em anyway, they’re so purty.” Hard to argue with Texas logic, so I don’t anticipate seeing cherry Colt ‘21s dropping too much from an excess hitting the market. That said, there are certainly bargains to be had. Don’t be shy if you have extra cash and see something you want, make offers, you never know. I’ve noted a lot of friends saying they’ve moved back into collecting the firearms themselves, not just accessories. I recently picked up a 1907-T St. Etienne as I had the Omnibus tripod sitting around needing a gun anyway… now the accessory hunt starts…. As well as whatever Holy Grail is sitting in the background, like a 1915 Bergmann, 1915 Villar Perosa, 1913 Parabellum…. Who knows? That’s the great thing about collecting and “The Hunt.”
In the military world, the new offerings are staggering and you have to keep your eyes open every day to see where the technology is moving to. It seems to be accelerated by the Internet discussions, which may speed up the designers and their ideas. I see that as healthy, if we just had better laws, say being pre-1986, then maybe more innovators would be working on new designs. The world market is driving a lot of new designs from all over, and SAR is trying to cover this for you.
It’s also refreshing to see how many Americans that are out here that have been at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot; young veterans, old shooters, designers, etc., many of whom grew up reading SAR. Well over 120,000 copies of SAR were handed out to the U.S. troops in the field in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other hotspots, let alone the hundreds of thousands of copies distributed at military trade shows from Germany to Brazil to Malaysia. These magazines are all little soldiers out there working to keep the small arms community and its enthusiasts in contact and communicating. We keep getting new perspectives, new articles, and that makes us all stronger. Sitting here in Abu Dhabi, at the IDEX trade show, it’s amazing how many of our readers are walking the show, and as mentioned, it’s also amazing to me how many of the Internationals and ex-pats have not only heard of the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, but have actually been there. If you’re reading this at KCR, give a little thought to that. It’s not just the regional people and it’s not just national. KCR and Shepherdsville, KY are on the international map as a gathering point for the small arms enthusiasts.
Kent (Lomont) and I used to have a running joke in the ‘80s and ‘90s where he’d always bellow out, “Dude! How long can we keep doing this?” and my response has always been, “Dude! These ARE the good old days.” Even though we never answered the real questions behind this, it’s been a long strange trip and having been at every ‘Creek since 1983, it comes up every time I go. In these days of Obama, Pelosi, and well organized anti-firearms zealots getting more stealthily organized, if we don’t stand together, those joking around comments could well be prophetic. Let’s pass this freedom and heritage on to our grand-children, let alone our children.
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