Gun Trader and Classic Gun Shows
The Golden age of the American gun trader. It would also be the golden age of the classic firearms(IMHO). Rifles of the 1950s and 60s would be considered some of the finest commercially made firearms ever produced.
I would travel to many gun shows with my brother-in-law in the 1970s and 80s. We would travel all over Pennsylvania and New York to attend various gun shows. We would do many of the smaller shows in those days especially in northern and central Pennsylvania. The elite gun trader was a big part of the American gun scene.
The northern and central part of Pennsylvania were very much considered big Remington firearms country. People liked Remington firearms in Pennsylvania. I can still remember going to shows like Coudersport, Allentown, and Carlisle in Pennsylvania in the1970s.The Remington deer rifles were king.
There would be hundreds of Remington firearms at those gun shows. You would see many Remington’s in the model 14 and 141’s. The Remington 760 was very popular in Pennsylvania. We did not see many Remington 740 or 742’s in Pennsylvania because you could not use a semi auto high powered deer rifle for big game hunting. So the 760 Remington was king in Pennsylvania. And the Pennsylvania gun trader was also king.
My brother-in-law ( Mike Jones of White Mills and Honesdale PA) would buy and sell Remington firearms at those gun shows to bring back to our shop in northeast Pennsylvania. Many of our shop customers were Remington firearms enthusiasts.
I still remember many of those men and remember seeing them in the gun shop looking over our selection of firearms that we had brought back from the gun shows in the 1970s and 80s. They were all looking to add to their own gun collections.
It was a gun trader heaven in those days.
I was doing a lot of gun shows and can now really appreciate what those shows really meant to me. I now can appreciate all the different styles and models that were there. I remember some of those older gentleman, who were the gun dealers. I probably remember the gun dealers more than I do the guns at those gun shows.
Many of those men would bring their wives and others their children as well. Some of the women would become gun enthusiasts themselves and would be fine gun dealers themselves. I would have to say that those older gentleman really enjoyed what they were doing.
I can still remember walking around those gun shows, and as I went from table to table you would see a very diverse assortment of firearms at the shows back then. There were primarily firearms displayed on the majority of the tables back then. The majority of the tables today have accessories or other things on them.
I remember those shows and can still remember the tables that may have had 8 or 10 Savage 99’s and 15 Remington bolt action rifles. Maybe another dozen Remington pump rifles. This would not include the handguns on the table. You would see classic Smith & Wesson firearms, Colt firearms and High Standard pistols and any combination of hunting rifles for sale. The variety was just fabulous. Those days will obviously never be again and that is too bad.
The Browning firearms that were on display at that time were also a great sight. Browning rifles like safari, medallion, and Olympian. Their great O/U shotguns like the superposed models. Many Winchesters firearms and Savage firearms in the model 99. I really miss those 1970’s gun shows and the old gun dealer who spent his weekends doing what he loved to do.
I would still advise the shooters and hunters of today to consider visiting a good gun show once or twice a year. You can still see a good variety of firearms and accessories at those shows that you would not be able to see anywhere else.
And you will have the experience of meeting some quality gun traders. Getting to know them can make it much easier when you are looking for certain firearms to add to your collection. If they pick up a good firearm you could be one of the first to get an opportunity to acquire it.
And remember that the gun trader has a lot of expense’s and has to make a prophet. Great firearms will be expensive and require some effort to find. But it will be worth it in the long run.