A comment to yesterday’s teaser about my trip to San Antonio, I got this:

That wasn’t the purpose of the trip, but on the way down, I saw signs for not one but TWO gun shows — one in Waco, the other further south in Temple — and I didn’t go to either.

The reason is quite simple, and it has nothing to do with time — I always allow plenty of it for my road trips, just so I can stop to smell the roses, so to speak, along the way.

I’ve talked before about my disillusionment with gun shows, and to a large extent this is why I didn’t turn off the beaten path to either the Waco or Temple shows.  I was in no mood to be pissed off by only seeing a surfeit of overpriced guns I wouldn’t accept as a gift (e.g. AR-15, Glock), and I had no pressing need for still-overpriced ammo either.

Besides, I know what I’m getting for Christmas, and it’s a doozy.  More on that, later.


  1. As multiple people mentioned last go-around, with changes to FFL regulations and BATFE-LMNOP changes going back to the late 80’s early 90’s, gun shows changed from small time traders and personal collectors to pretty much all business displays. I remember gun shows in the 80’s and 90’s where you’d see all sorts of good old stuff and a lot of junk with the occasional diamond in the rough find. Talking to people and discussing different guns, etc. Trading guns was also a big deal, I remember taking guns in and walking out with different guns on many trips. Toward the end of the 90’s the writing was on the wall and all that was gone. Last trip or two was just as you described, all modern, all business, no deals.

    There is a gun store on hwy 59 (now called I-69 for some stupid commie reason) just south of Wharton, Tx. If you ever go that way, stop by Carroll’s Gun Shop (across the street from Jr’s Smokehouse). They have some antiques, some military surplus, a variety of cowboy guns (both old and reproductions), and a few other interesting trinkets. I came damn close to buying 1914 Enfield last trip down. I pass that store 5 or 6 times a year, try to stop at least once. Not the biggest showroom but still a nice stop if you have time.

  2. Quit on gun shows over 20 years ago. For all the reasons above. Over priced, uninspired, blah, AND it cost me $$ to get in to look at the blah. The last one I went to was because the late Bob Munden was performing, watching him in person was shocking.

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