Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rip Off Your Sleeves! It's Time For The Gun Show!

It's that time of the year again.  Two months after hunting season, and right when everyone is receiving their tax refunds.  So rip off your sleeves, the gun show is in town. 

I had a few things I wanted to do while I was there.  That's right, I'm a big believer of having a plan.  First up, I wanted to sell an old SKS that was collecting dust.  I not only had that, but had an extra stock and extra parts for it.  Compared to the dealers I was asking a very fair price for it.

It turned out my price was so fair I didn't even make it inside before someone asked about it.  He kind of wandered off.  I had made it about 10 yards inside when he found me again, and asked if he could see it.  I opened the original box it came in, and showed him everything.  He asked how flexible I was on the price.  I told him, "not very."  He didn't even offer a price to me, so I figured he was on the fence about it.

So I start down the first row when another guy asks about it.  This meant I had been inside about eight minutes and had been asked about the gun three times.  I'll say right now, this new guy, he was a pushy asshole.  I keep my salesman cool, but he was a big guy who was used to throwing his weight around.  I just kept my cool and let him talk.  He offered a bit less than I was asking for, but not a bad offer.  I talked it over with Dad, and he said to go ahead with it. 

Frankly, I was already tired of hauling the box with the gun and all the parts around by that point.  So, I agreed to it.  He actually bought it quickly.  I was aiming to take my time showing him everything.  He looked it over, and saw there were no marks on it.  He asked if it had ever been shot.  I told him maybe twenty times.  So, he went on his way, and now I had money for my next project.

That project was to buy a true hunting rifle.  I had my heart set on the Ruger American Rifle in a .308. 

Frankly, I needed a no frills hunting rifle in a .308.  I needed something that I could bang up while in the woods.  The Ruger RAR filled all those needs.  After reading the reviews I found it was one of the best bolt action rifles regardless of price.  It just got the job done.  So, I was on the look out for one now.

Dad and I wandered around quite a bit.  This gun show was different than the last one I attended years ago.  This one was mostly tactical rifles and hand guns.  There were very few shotguns, and a below average amount of hunting rifles.  A lot of tables had nothing I was looking for, so I was able to walk through the isles pretty quickly.  Well, I can't say too quickly.  There were a lot of people there, so we were all trying not to run into each other as we walked down the isles.

As we were walking Dad happened to spot a Ruger RAR in a .308 before I did.  I looked it over and noticed a few marks on it.  I asked the salesman if it was a new or used gun.  He did confirm it was a used gun.  Then it seemed that every thirty seconds a different salesman was playing used car salesman with me.  It was a playbook straight from the worst of used car salesman. 

Not once did they ever ask if I had any questions about the gun.  It was strictly, "Wanna take that home?"  The one guy just straight up handed me the buyer's form.  The manager broke out the calculator and said he could do $365 plus tax plus another fee.  It would have put the gun at around $400.  Notice that he didn't actually give me a final price despite having a calculator. 

Here's the problem.  Any day of the week I can buy that gun online for $429 new.  Some places I can find it for $419 new.  A few places around here have their "Ruger Days" sale where the price dips even further than that.  I can buy it online at many places and have it shipped to a store near me.  Cabelas is a good example of that. 

This particular version of the Ruger had the steel colored barrel and not the black.  Like the Ruger in at the top of the picture.

So I was on the fence about it.  I really wanted one in black.  (Like the one on the bottom.)  Then the salesman came with the hard sell.  One of them said, "I've had about three guys walk away from guns today.  When they came back the gun they were interested in had been sold."  In other words, they were pressuring me to buy now.  I was busy looking up info on the Ruger on my phone.  They kept interrupting me with the hard sell. 

I just had a bad feeling about it.  I believe it was the manager who came up to me with the calculator, and was telling me how good a price it was.  I told him it was a used gun, and that wasn't a used price.  He wanted to argue with me about it.  So I walked away.  At that point I didn't care if it was the only Ruger in the place, I wouldn't buy from them. 

So I kept walking around the show.  I was looking at Shoot Straight's huge row of tables when I found their Ruger section.  They happened to have exactly what I wanted.  The black barreled Ruger RAR in a .308, and it was new in the box.  After talking to the salesman we agreed to a price of $430 out the door.  That included tax and the background check fee. 

I had to wait a while for my paperwork.  A lot of people were buying from Shoot Straight so there was an hour's wait time.  While I was waiting Dad got to talking to a salesman about scopes.  Once I walked over to his booth I could see why Dad was excited.  I looked through the scope, and I had never seen a scope like it.  It was amazingly clear, and even had laser lighted crosshairs.  Not only that, the crosshairs could change color from red to green to blue.  Or you could use no color if you wanted.  Also, you could change the intensity of the colors. 

So, two scopes were purchased.  One for each of our guns.  We'll end up selling the old scopes, and recoup some of the money spent on the new scopes.  The purchased scopes were from a company called Osprey Global.  If you ever see one, look through one.  It will really surprise you.  Again, I've never seen a scope that clear before.

I pretty much had what I needed, but I did find something that interested me.  You see, I carry a backpack out hunting.  It has emergency supplies, my knife, extra ammunition, and a few other things in it.  However, the backpack I use is the one I had in high school.  Yes, it's that old.  It's also coming apart.  So I really needed a new one.  I saw a backpack from a company called Rothco.  I loved it.  The only problem was that it was much more backpack than I needed.  It was also $42. 

I decided to pass on it.  It turns out that $42 is the going rate for that kind of backpack.  So once I got home I decided to see if Rothco produced a simpler type of backpack.  It turns out they do, and it's only $19.99 with free shipping.  So I ordered the one in olive green. 

So I have to say we made out pretty well this trip.  I now have a new gun to miss hogs with this upcoming hunting season.  I also have a new scope for it.  I bought the new orange vest last week.  I have a new backpack coming in a week.  So I feel that I've finally updated my equipment.  Actually, I've needed to update it for the last few years.  So I feel I'm in a very good place with my hunting equipment.

Now I just need to get to the range.  Actually, even before that, we might have to go on a search to see how many .308 bullets we have.  I'm not really sure.  But after that, it will be tough to wait until hunting season.  Maybe at the next gun show in two months I could pick up a muzzleloader.  Then I could attend the early muzzleloading season.  It's something to think about. 

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