Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gun Show Report: And the band plays on . . .

Yes, I was at the Alabama Gun Collectors Association show in Birmingham yesterday, and no, I wasn't hiding.

I didn't have the "Sipsey Street" sign up because I inadvertently left the pole for it at home. I was working a friend's tables (display and sales) at the big Iraqi battlefield trophy flag in the back. Unexpectedly we were not on the far back row this time, so I also didn't have any electrical power to run the Waco DVD player. My fault. Will be there again today.

Purchases, not so much -- on account of lack of what I was looking for (reloading supplies) and otherwise slender resources for items not critical. Did pick up the following Field and Technical Manuals (9 for ten bucks):

FM 23-41 Submachineguns, Caliber .45, M3 and M3A1 June 1974

TM 9-1005-206-14 & P Operator's, Organizational, Direct Support and General Support Maintenance Manual for Revolver, Caliber .38 special, Smith & Wesson, Military and Police, M10 & Revolver, Caliber .38 Special, Ruger Service Six, 4 inch barrel, M108 August 1985

TM 9-1005-208-12 & P Operator's and Organizational Maintenance Manual for Rifle, Caliber .30, Automatic, Browning, M1918A2 August 1969

TM 1005-224-24 Organizational, Direct Support and General Support Maintenance Manual for Machine Guns, 7.62mm,M60, M60D and M122 July 1987

TM 9-1005-226-14 Operation and Unit Maintenance Caliber .22 High Standard Automatic Pistol; Caliber .22 Ruger Mark I Automatic Pistol; Caliber .38 Special Smith & Wesson Revolver (Masterpiece); Caliber .30-06 Winchester Rifle Model 70; Caliber .22 Winchester Rifle Model 52; Caliber .22 Remington Rifle Model 40 SX-S1 (Natunal match); and front and rear sights. July 1959

TM 9-1005-229-12 Organizational Maintenance Manual, Submachineguns, Caliber .45, M3 and M3A1 October 1969

TM 9-1005-229-35 DS, GS & Depot Maintenance Manual, Submachineguns, Caliber .45, M3 and M3A1 October 1969

TM 1005-233-24 Organizational, Direct Support and General Support Maintenance Manual for Machine Guns, 7.62mm, M73, M73A1 & M219 February 1972

TM 9-1005-237-23 & P Organizational and Direct Support Maintenance Manual for Bayonet Knives, M6 and M7 November 1986

Not bad for $1.12 each.

Also bought, on impulse, from an itinerant trader working the aisles, the South Vietnamese battle fatigues of ARVN Ranger advisor CAPT, later MAJ, Kenneth Ingram, complete with B-D-Q flashes, patches, etc. Research last night on the 'Net reveals that MAJ Ingram was at the battle of An Loc during the Easter Offensive in 1972. It was widely recognized after the battle that the American advisors made the difference between success and failure at An Loc. The NVA offensive was broken at An Loc. Cost of shirt and pants, $25.00. Am trying to find MAJ Ingram (or his family) now to get the whole story.

Wounded American advisors on medevac chopper, Easter Offensive, 1972.

A lot of ammo went out yesterday. Reloading components at a premium or non-existent (large and small rifle primers). What was there as far as primers was being rationed to two boxes per customer.

Good news on political front (reversal of ammo crushing, DoD investigating deployment in Samson, Alabama, and 45 Dems telling "hell-no" on AWB2 to Holder) was overshadowed by the Bernanke decision to print 1.2T more and the rampant inflation it heralds. Societal breakdown now seems to be the greatest fear. And the band plays on . . .


Anonymous said...

Despite the good news that we have on the current political front, yesterday I noticed that a federal judge has just froze the bill that allowed citizens to CCW in national parks. I am not sure how this is going to resolve but I hope this won't lead to some BS bill calling for ban on lead bullets for "environmental reasons"

It seems right now the gun banners are trying to flood this ship through every possible crevice. We manage to find one big crack in the hull, and patch it up and keep the water from coming in, but they will seep in through another crack in the hull that we might not be aware of.

Brock Townsend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dakota said...

Gun shows in Dakota territory pretty ho hum nothing I want there, what I want they don't have or I can't afford. reloading components are getting seriously short to non existent. Primers are impossible and everything else sketchy at best.

The "B"ATF has been showing up at the gun shows with a booth and several agents answering questions and taking measurements for coffins of hapless citizens who resist next gun roundup

And the band plays on.......

ParaPacem said...

Sorry I missed you - only spent a couple of hours, mostly looking at ammo to fit the poor man's budget.
I DID see some breathtaking beauties of the cold steel kind, including a few nifty fifties, but the good stuff is mostly just for my 'whenI hit the lottery' fantasies. Would have probably enjoyed more without the pressing time constraints but still a pleasant outing. Congrats on the uniform purchase - living history!

Brock Townsend said...

(Deleted and re-posted to correct bad link. BT)
"Am trying to find MAJ Ingram (or his family"

That's absolutely wonderful, Sir, and I commend you. I'll post this information to see if I can find them also. I left Vietnam in '71 and didn't return until '73, so was not there at the time, but well do I remember following the action, and being very worried, but then came April 30, '75, about the saddest of my life. More information on the battle below.

The Battle Of An Loc

Anonymous said...

Robert A Heinlein's thoughts
circa 1938 (in an hitherto
unpublished and otherwise
unrewarding novel:

The context: one Cathcart is bringing Nelson, who mysteriously has been tranported more than a hundred years into the future, up to date on U.S. history from 1939 to 2086 in RAH's alternate timeline; a short lived dictatorship by one Malone is one episode

Nelson: You see I was in the service myself and I don't believe the armed forces were fascist minded

Cathcart: I'm glad you brought up that point, Perry. At least he anticipated having to use the military against the people. His plan was simple and almost foolproof. His information service inquired into the political sympathies and economic status of every officer in the fleet and in the army. [and one assumes, the Marines] Whenever an officer was determined to be liberal [in the old sense of "liberal"] and democratic [sic] he was not removed or framed in a court martial. Malone was subtle. Each such officer was transferred as soon as located to a non-combatant assignment: recruiting officer,, ROTC instructor, inspector of supplies, War College, Naval and Military Academies and so forth. Whenever an officer was determined to be definitely to be militaristic, jingoistic, a potential sadist he was placed in a key position actually ready to exert armed force. To a lesser extent the enlisted men were weeded out. When he was ready to strike he had behind him a military machine he could bend to his purpose.

N: But what about the National Guard?

C: Oh that was more difficult at first glance. [this was written in 1939] But the federal government owned and controlled the arms used by the Guard. Under the guise of replacement practically all the ammunition in the hands of the Guards was called in the week before his coup. Of course, had it been realized that all the ammunition in all the Guards was being called in at once, it would have caused trouble, but control of the nation's communications plus the fact that each separate order was classified as a confidential military order allowed him to get away with it.

from Robert A Heinlein, For We The Living New York (2004) page 67 of the Pocket Books paperback.

Robert A. Heinlein, when he wrote this (about a year before his first story publication) was a retired (for medical reasons) Naval Officer. This paragraph stood out the rest is a lame
rehearsal for his later and lesser
books. I'd advise reading the later anthology Expanded Universe instead, for his later reflections on the State of the Union.

IOW, retreats are useful but
don't assume the other side has
given up.