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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Colorado Gun Collectors 48th Annual Gun Show

When stepping into the Colorado Gun Collectors 48th Annual Gun Show, one could tell it was very different than the NRA Annual Meeting that I had attended a few weeks earlier.  Of course, I had been told numerous times just how different it would be, but specifics were far and few between.  I guess they wanted me to find out for myself.

This wasn't the "CES" or "Comic-Con" of guns and hunting, a certain aim of the recent NRA Meeting.  This was a gun show through and through, but of a caliber I had yet to experience.  The quality of guns at this show was astounding.  Table after table were full of beautiful collector grade guns.  Sure there were some antiques that showed their age, but for the most part those that were in excellent condition far surpassed those that were presented based solely on their age.  This is a gun show put on by volunteers belonging to the Colorado Gun Collectors Club and they clearly put in a lot of hard work for a show this impressive.  There were also tables of tack, polearms, Native American artifacts, firearms curios, everything related to the Western-era, gun parts, and items from nearly every military engagement in which the U.S. has participated.

A rack displaying some beautiful Henry rifles.
This doesn't even begin to describe some of the competitive display booths!  Just when you thought you had seen some extravagant guns for sale at any number of exhibitor tables, the perimeter of the event was lined with booths that were all competing for twenty cash awards totaling over $10,000!  It goes without saying that this brought out some beautiful, comprehensive, historic, and educational displays.  These gentlemen are building their displays by themselves.  They construct them, prepare their educational materials, decide the layout, arrange any lighting or signage, and display them simply to show their love of history, firearms, and that particular genre.  Of course, taking home a coveted trophy or cash prize and securing one's bragging rights is a nice motivation as well.

Display of Burnside breech-loader carbines.

Thorough collection of South American military rifles.
A gorgeous display of Winchester Schuetzen Target Rifles.
A lifetime's worth of collecting in the making.  Amazing!
 A display of Savage lever action rifles from 1895-2003 (Models 1885,1899, & 99). It was one of the largest displays at the show and very comprehensive.
Whether an attendee was a dealer, collector, buyer, seller, or simply came to gaze at guns, Rock Island Auction Company was definitely amongst kindred spirits.  We got to talk guns, answer questions, ask questions, swap stories, and show off with people whose interest in firearms is on par with our own!  There would be few better places to display our consignors' guns.  This is absolutely the crowd that needs to see them and, if they haven't already, discover the quality of items that RIAC carries each and every auction.  One can't come to a show like this with just any old gun; these people know quality, history, and they certainly know their firearms.  Let's just say our selections passed the test.  We had plenty of people gawking, inspecting, admiring, and asking about our seven tables of guns and when our next auction would be.  It was quite encouraging to see this much interest generated by people so knowledgeable and passionate.  This is exactly our type of people and it was a pleasure to rub elbows and talk guns with them all weekend long.

Our busy booth displaying items to appear in our September 13th, 14th, & 15th Premiere Auction
Jessica has fun with a consignor while other customers survey our firearms.

Rick inspecting one of the MANY firearms people brought to us throughout the show.

A couple takes in our World War II longarms.
All the hype and warm feelings surrounding this show were perfectly fitting.  This wasn't a gun show.  It was a reunion.  People come to this show year after year after year!  The promise of quality likely drew them in, but the camaraderie, shared respect, and mutual interest keep them coming back for more.  This show holds a place in many people's hearts and it's easy to see why.  It is good to see RIAC involved in these events.  Every day I heard numerous positive comments and compliments about RIAC from established and experienced collectors.  People in the firearms collecting community trust us and that's something to be very proud of.

Note:  There's not room in this blog to put in ALL the photos we took, so make sure to check them all out in our online photo album. You won't believe some of the guns and non-gun items that were there!  Click here to view this event's photo album on our Facebook page.  YOU DO NOT NEED A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT TO VIEW OUR PICTURES!

They also had shirts like this for sale, which we agree with 100%.