Archive for February 4, 2013

This is a review of the Texarkana gun show at the Texarkana Convention Center on Feb. 2, 2013.

I was passing through town on business, so I decided to drop in on the show, which was my first mistake.  This is a pretty small show and despite the fact that it takes place at a ‘convention center,’ don’t be misled into thinking it’s easy to find.  The process is a bit more than just looking for the convention center from the freeway or wait until you see a Cowhorn Creek Road exit.  Take my advice and get thorough driving directions before you leave 🙂

Instead of arriving around 8:20 AM as planned, I entered the parking lot at 8:40.  Here is a photo of the facility,


and although the lot was filling with cars, this is the smallest line I’ve seen at a gun show at 8:40 AM in the last several months.


The really good news is that they began processing people into the show shortly after 8:45 AM.  The promoter had three people taking payment and one security officer securing firearms.  Since my carry remained locked in the car safe, I was inside in no time at all.

The convention center is small and there are no concessions.  Restrooms are outside, but trust me – you won’t be there long enough to worry about using them.

As always, I report only on vendors with signs or business cards.  No private sales or ‘unnamed’ vendors at tables (unless I see something strange or very interesting).  If someone gives me the ‘we only sell at gun shows’ nonsense, I don’t bother reporting them to you.  If someone can’t at least take the time and effort to look like a business, why do you want to waste money with them?

There very few apparent businesses selling firearms.  The Vietnam Vets of America were auctioning off a Benelli Supernova.  I purchased a ticket just to help them out (like I ever really ever win any of these things).  For stuff you can purchase, I liked the classic revolvers displayed by A&A Arms, all in the $240 to $400 range.

Graves Guns sold Glock (17, 19, 21, 22) mags for $69.99, a Mossberg 715T for $499, and I saw a DPMS .223 (two models) on sale for $1099 and $1299.  People were really pressing hard together by the time I made it to these tables, so it was hard to get my hands on the guns.  I also saw a Smith Bodyguard semi-auto in .380 for $429, a black Taurus Judge for $419, and a gen-4 Glock 22 for $579.  They had a gen-3 G17 on the table for $539.

I first saw Open All Season at the Tyler show and they were back with a pretty nice display.  The Escort pump-action 12 ga, bi-tone model was on the table for $418.  I saw a Mossberg 500 ZMB for $424 and another 500 with a water transfer paint job, pistol grip, adjustable stock, and shell carrier for $529.  A Sig P220 was priced at $896 and an M&P 22 cost $410.

One unnamed vendor had table after table of mags on display.  But with no name or business identity, why would I buy one?  Are they factory, refurbs, LE trade-ins?  Personally, I’d rather pay a little bit more and get my equipment from a reputable source.  I’ve experienced problems with mags from cheap sources in the past.  Never again.

Most of the other tables had long guns of various models and there were quite a few knife vendors at the show, although no one seemed to want to put their name on a table, so I just passed right by.

No real named ammo companies.  I spotted some Aguila 9mm 115gr from a no-name for $35 a box along with .223 reloads at $1000 per 1000.  Mr. C’s Reloading Supply seemed to tag-team with another vendor and they offered .223 B-Tip in bags of 40 for $45.

There were some familiar vendors from North Texas shows, including several of interest to preppers – MatchCo was demonstrating their cool firestarting system.  Jerry Kennedy sold Berkey water filters.  Sherry and Bill Fagin sold Scentsy products (I saw several women walking around the floor with Scentsy bags).  There were a couple jewelry vendors and Wenzel Lone Star Meat Co. was a new vendor for me. H2 Targets sold tannerite in ranges from $5 for a half-pound bag to $45 for ten pounds.

ProServ was a familiar vendor from the North Texas shows.  They had a nice layout of Tac-Force knives and NcStar Scopes ($300 for two, out-the-door).  Big State Distributors rounded out the familiar faces with 20 rnd AR Magpul pmags for $39.95.  30 rnd w/window were on sale for $59.95.  Glock mags were priced from $29.95 go $59.95.

Smoke and Fire Defense ran a show special on the Guard Dog and Diablo Police model flashlight/stun gun combos.  They look pretty cool and I enjoyed the demo.  $49 got you a Guard Dog and the Diablo ran for $59.  One strong got you out the door with both.  Pretty nice deal.  Also in the nonlethal category was a new vendor for me, Best Line Defense.  They seemed to specialize in products and SD awareness for women.  The back side of their card has crime prevention tips and they have the full set of sprays (Fox pepper spray was a big item), stun guns (the Blast Knuckles were my favorite), batons, and other equipment to get you geared up for very up-close and personal CQB.

One of our infamous unnamed vendors had some pistol crossbows on display for $80 and some very nice rifle-length models sold for $130.  I guess those were the assault crossbows 🙂

Bionic Band was there, but no one behind the table when I walked by.

Probably the coolest vendor in the traditional ‘miscellaneous’ category was Airbrush Texas.  They sold cleaning supplies and tools (I purchased two brushes) and they had the most interesting hand-painted feathers on display.  Absolutely coolest item in the show.  I wish promoters allowed pictures at shows, although the next time I see something that cool, I’m passing along a photo for sure.

In all, it was an interesting 45 minutes, but not a block of time I would ever repeat again even if I was just looking for a stop on a business trip.  If you are in the area and don’t mind doing business largely with people that have no sign, no business card, or any sense of identity other than they might be at a gun show here and there, then this one is for you.