Monday, March 13, 2006

Valley Forge Gun Show Report 3/12/06

Along with a friend I went to the Valley Forge gun show yesterday. Some observations:

  1. 7.62x39MM ammo supply was almost nonexistent. One vendor had some Hungarian MFS 7.62x39, and another had some tracers, but other than that, there was none to be found.
  2. The 5.56x45MM NATO ammo situation was similar. I saw several vendors with SAAMI-spec .223 but little 5.56MM NATO. One guy had a good supply of LC XM-193 while another vendor had some Guatemalan 5.56 surplus. I saw two sellers with the new Wolf Gold 5.56MM M-193. This is made in Serbia by Prvi Partisan, has brass cases, and is non-corrosive. I shot a lot of PP .303 British and 6.5 Swede when it was imported by Hansen in the 1980s and it was very nice ammo.
  3. There was plenty of 8x57MM Mauser and 7.62x54R surplus.
  4. There were plenty of surplus Mosin-Nagants of the M1891/30, M1938, and M1944 varieties. There were also a large number of No.4 Lee-Enfields, a few Turkish Mausers, many Yugo SKSes, and some Yugo Mausers.
  5. My friend was on the lookout for a Makarov but we saw only two: a Bulgarian for which the seller was asking $220 firm, and an East German priced at over $300. He’ll shop around more. Maks aren’t as common as a few years ago but he should be able to find one for under $200 with some shopping around.
  6. AR-15/M-16 magazines are plentiful and cheap. New USGI 30 rounders go for about $10, don’t spend any more on one. Unless you live in a state with its own assault weapons ban (e.g., NY) there’s no settle for used pre-bans selling for the price of a new magazine.
  7. Plenty of 30 round AK mags for $15 - $20 each. Very few 20 rounders. One vendor had Romanian 75 round drums.

I bought no guns but did pick up a few items, i.e., parts to convert my Springfield M1911 from a full length guide rod to GI-type recoil spring guide; a couple Viet Nam-vintage Simmonds 20 round magazines for my AR-15; a .50 caliber ammo can, and 200 rounds of the aforementioned Wolf M-193.

My friend did buy a new toy: a hex receiver M91/30 Mosin-Nagant rifle with a 1929 dated Tula barrel and laminated stock. The vast majority of 91/30s have round receivers, so this is probably an earlier gun. It was arsenal refurbished after The War and then placed into storage until surplused, so it’s in very nice shape. We ran a few patches through the bore after getting it back home. The bore looks nice with minimal wear to the rifling, although there’s some metal fouling. We left it soaking in Ballistol and my friend will do a thorough cleaning job later.

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