By Jeff W. Zimba
The show we had December 8-9, 2001 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix was one of the most exciting experiences I have been through in the Class 3 world. As I write this article I have been back in the office from the show for less than 24 hours and the “high” of such a successful event has still yet to wear off.
I should start by saying how much fun it was to meet so many of the readers this year. There were subscribers, contributors and advertisers in attendance from all corners of the country, indeed from all over the world. The crowd was huge, the displays and the inventories were bursting at the seams, and the only thing that was in short supply was spare time to see everything.
This year’s total gun show was in excess of 1600 tables and there were over 250 tables and booths dedicated solely to Class III firearms and related items. If I had a dollar for every time I heard “I have never been to a show with so many guns like this before”, I could probably add that nice Model 96 Expeditionary Rifle that has been calling my name to the old gun collection with no money of my own. As a matter of fact, there were so many dealers this year that Small Arms Review had to add an extra building to the show that had never been open before! The attendance at the show was reputed to be the largest at any in the Southwest in many years- preliminary numbers were around 15,000 attendees- but we don’t have the final count yet. The most popular questions asked were if we would be back next year to do it again, and would it be possible to do two shows instead of only one there each year. As of this writing we are already in the preliminary planning stages of SAR Show 2002 in Phoenix on December 6-8, but have no intentions of making it a bi-annual event at this time. It is our feeling that we need to keep the December SAR show in Phoenix as an extraordinarily special event that people really look forward to all year. The promoter, Crossroads of the West Gunshows, is considering making their April show in Phoenix into a Cowboy Action and Old West show, but they have not committed at press time. We will be sure to show up for that if they do- there is a large crossover from Class 3 to Cowboy Action- just ask “Poison Pete”. We are considering doing an East Coast show in the Spring or early Summer if we find a show promoter who wants to tie our show to his in a Class 3 friendly state, and we can keep it from conflicting with the other Class 3 shows. We like to be supportive of other shows.
The list of tables and booths at the show looked more like a Who’s Who of the Firearms Industry than the floor-plan of a trade show. Those in attendance included Kent & Kathy Lomont, Ohio Ordnance, Gemtech, Dillon Precision, Gun Parts Corporation, DS Arms, Armalite, Buffer Technology, J&T Distributing, Sherluk, StG Supply, Long Mountain Outfitters, Great Lakes Arsenal, Glock Tactical Stocks, Arms & Ordnance, Fifty Caliber Shooters Association, Surplus International LLC and several others. Outside the Small Arms Review buildings there were military vehicles of all types on display. They were brought by members of the Arizona Military Vehicle Collectors Club, who spent the weekend fielding questions from curious spectators and generally having a good time.
There was a dedicated booth beside the Small Arms Review display set up as an area for The Usual Suspects to gather and it was packed with people all weekend. Several of our regular contributors were in attendance to sign books and articles and just chat with our readers and each other. Some of those spending time at the booth were Frank Iannamico and Robert Segel.
The SAR-BQ was even bigger and better than last year. This year we had over 150 in attendance for a huge spread of ribs and boneless chicken breasts with lots of fixin’s and side dishes. The smell of BBQ started wafting through the show buildings about 90 minutes before the feed started so attendees were well aware that 5:00 was getting closer.
As we did last year, the show hosted a display contest for those in attendance to vote on. The display contest gives individuals a chance to display their collection and educate some attendees at the same time. Winners of the display contest were: 1st Place – Jeff Miller of JDM, 2nd Place – Idan Greenberg, and 3rd Place – Captain Jack McCarl. 1st Place received a check for $200 and a nice plaque, 2nd Place received $100 and a plaque and 3rd Place received $50.00 and a plaque. Congratulations guys!
Participants and visitors at SAR Show 2001 had the opportunity to see a few new products being introduced on the market. I’ll give you an overview of some of the great stuff I had the chance to handle while there.
One of the neatest products I had the opportunity to check out was a new magazine loader introduced by Arms & Ordnance Research, Inc. This particular model was for the Ruger® MKII Pistol magazine and it operates nothing short of amazing. The device holds up to 50 rounds of .22lr and loads the magazine far faster than I have ever emptied one. To use it you simply dump the ammo in the reservoir, close the cover and shake the device side to side to correctly align the ammo into the feed chute. Once the ammo is aligned in the chute simply insert the magazine into the loader he same way you would insert it into the pistol, and it is loaded before you have time to see what is going on. This is one impressive magazine loader and I have been informed that some other popular magazine models are “in the works”. Keep your eyes here for an update as they become available. Retail pricing for the MKII Loader is $39.95 plus shipping. Arms & Research, Inc. P.O. Box 441, Warrendale, PA 15086 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denny Foutch was there with Glock Tactical Stock, LLC displaying his new carbine kit for Glock pistols. There was a steady flow of people in front of his display handling this new kit. It consists of a tactical shoulder stock which holds two spare magazines, and an Impulse 16.25” barrel. There are no tools required to install this kit and no modifications to the gun. There is also no BATF paperwork required to purchase and install the kit as it meets all length requirements. It is available for the Glock 17 in 9mm and .357 SIG but he is working on other models and calibers as you read this. This carbine kit is extremely comfortable to shoulder and seemed very well balanced. I did not get the opportunity to fire one as there were no range facilities available but I did my fair share of “fondling” and I think it is a real winner. The stock can also be installed with a standard length barrel as long as the pistol is registered as a Short Barreled Rifle first. The stock will also enhance the Glock 18 machine pistol. Pricing for the carbine kit is $399.95 delivered. Glock Tactical Stocks, c/o Denny’s Guns, 2001 Clay Street, North Kansas City, MO 64116. (816)221-9117 ext. 11 E-mail: email@example.com
C.J. Weapons Accessories had a few new products that could be of benefit to the AR-15/M-16 owner, and judging by the crowd I think they were in the right place. The first is called the Bore Stay™ and it is a bore guide for cleaning your rifle. It locks into the chamber using the locking lugs that lock the bolt during firing. It will not pull out when you are changing the tip or the brush unless you turn it to unlock it from the lugs. It has a solvent hole at the top for you to add solvent without having to remove the rod and has an O-ring to prevent solvent from leaking into the receiver. Retail pricing for the Bore Stay™ is $24.95. C.J. Weapons other new product is called the Chamber Maid™ and is a flexible rod kit for cleaning the firearms chamber. The kit I tested is also for the AR-15/M-16 however it is being manufactured for several other rifles and shotguns. It consists of a flexible cleaning rod, which is a very heavy-duty coated cable, a rugged T-handle and a bore brush. This kit makes bore cleaning easy and allows you to get to those important locking lugs to keep them clean with ease. The Chamber Maid™ retails for $13.25. C.J. Weapons Accessories, 23196 Lena St., Moreno Vally, CA 92553. (909)653-3098.
Lauer Custom Weaponry had a nice booth introducing their line of firearm finishes and it was their Camo-Coat™ finish that immediately caught my attention. They had several firearms on display sporting this finish in several colors and styles. This finish and patterning is as nice as any I have ever handled and incorporates an amazing durability. While they have eleven standard camo finishes it was brought to my attention that they also do custom camo finishes and even showed me some examples of their custom work. In one particular example a customer sent them a sampling of the local foliage he wanted to blend with and they duplicated the colors, shading and patterning to an amazing accuracy. It is no joke when I say that the customer should never set his gun down in the field and take his eyes off it for fear of losing it. Lauer offers a wide variety of finishing as well as gunsmithing services and I would encourage you to call them for additional product information as well as pricing. Lauer Custom Weaponry, 3601 129th Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729. (800)830-6677. Website: www.lauerweaponry.com.
David Fisher of Fisher Enterprises, a local Title II Manufacturer based in Tempe was there displaying a few of his new integral M-16 suppressor designs. He had examples in both .223 and 9mm. He was preparing to test for sound reduction in the coming weeks and we will make sure to get a little more in-depth with his newest designs at a later date. Workmanship seemed very nice and the aesthetics were great. Fisher Enterprises, P.O. Box 7486, Tempe AZ 85281-7486. (602)615-7777
Theresa at J&T Distributing introduced me to the newest addition in their line of AR-15/M-16 upper receivers. They are so new, that they have not even been named yet. They are ultra lightweight with fluted barrels and are manufactured to both pre-ban and post-ban specifications. They are 11.2oz lighter than the standard heavy barreled uppers. J&T Distributing, Box 430, Winchester, KY 40391. (859)-745-1757. Website: www.jtdistributing.com.
Scott at Buffer Technologies had a new soft-side ammo pouch being custom manufactured for him by Eagle. They are currently manufacturing it for the military but have never made them for the civilian market. The pouch is well padded and has a hard insert with a divider made to hold two 100 round belts of 7.62×51 NATO ammunition. They appear to have the ability to attach to web gear and allow the operator to feed the belts directly to the gun. At press time Scott was not sure of the retail price. Buffer Technologies, P.O. Box 104903, Jefferson City, MO 65110. (573)634-8529. Website: www.buffertech.com
If you were not at the show this year, I am sorry you missed it. We will let everyone know as soon as we solidify the dates for next year so you won’t have to miss it again. There is nothing like good company, great guns and some hot BBQ to help you prepare for the holidays and have fresh in your mind as you prepare to ring in the new year. Do yourself a favor and make plans to attend SAR Show 2002. I am looking foreword to seeing you there! We will be running another story on our show later this year, covering some of the more amazing machine guns that were displayed there.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V5N6 (March 2002)|