This past weekend saw the Anchorage Boat Show and the Mat Valley Sportsmen’s gun show. The former was in Anchorage and the latter was at Raven Hall on the state fairgrounds. Ordinarily, I would have liked to attend both, but I had already committed to help the blackpowder guys with their tables at the gun show.
The theme for the blackpowder club’s presentation was items used by the frontiersmen in up-close personal defense. Here’s a scenario: you’re by yourself and six bad guys decide they want your stuff or maybe even your scalp. You fire your rifle and then your pistol and take two of them out. Both your firearms are now empty and there are still four bad guys even more set on doing you harm. What do you do now?
Most of these frontiersmen carried at least one rifle and pistol. Many of them carried a second or even a third pistol because each gun only fired one shot before it needed to be reloaded. Continuing with the above scenario, both firearms are now empty and four bad guys are still coming for you. You can use the rifle as a club at the risk of breaking the stock. Or you can flip the pistol over and grab it by the barrel. You now have a short club which is less likely to break if you struck someone with it.
If you lost control of the “club,” your next alternative would be using either the tomahawk you carry on your belt and/or a knife also available in its scabbard on your belt. Back in those days, most frontiersmen carried a large “fighting knife” patterned after the famous “Bowie” style. If you knew how to fight with a knife, those large blades could be devastating. The chances of surviving a concerted attack by six determined assailants on one person are not good, but you do what you can with what you have.
The blackpowder club’s display tables had a broad assortment of this cutlery along with a smaller display of single-shot pistols which could have been used for personal self-defense. Folks seemed to enjoy looking and handling the distinctive styles of knives and tomahawks and asked about their history and use. We should have labeled the tables as “display only” because many folks asked about the price to purchase a particular knife, only to be told they were not for sale.
The club also usually has one table set aside for club members to display personal items they have for sale. As it turned out at this show, other than the throwing tomahawks the club always has available, I was the only one with personal sale items. I had been looking through my stuff and found a bunch of AR-15 magazines I had bought around twenty years ago which I would not be using. I also found a smaller bunch of 1911 magazines I had purchased around the same time as the rifle magazines. Everything was still in its original factory wrapping.
I also brought in an over/under shotgun I hadn’t used in probably twenty years and a modern single-shot handgun I also hadn’t fired since I harvested a moose with it two decades ago. I priced both items and the magazines to allow some “dickering” room on both sides and waited to see what happened.
One gentleman looked at the AR magazines and asked how many I had for sale. I told him and his next question was whether I had all the magazines at the show. I no sooner said “yes” when he said he would buy them all. Not much dickering here on price. The next day, I had a similar situation with the 1911 magazines. A little more dickering on price here, but the guy bought everything I had. This was looking like one of my better gun show for items I sold.
Several folks looked at the handgun because the model is not commonly seen, even at gun shows, and the gun is no longer in production. Only a handful of folks looked at the shotgun, which is about what I expected. Shotguns in Alaska don’t seem to attract the same attention as rifles or “big bore” handguns.
One gentleman asked to look at the shotgun and I told him about the gun. He was looking for a duck hunting shotgun and this firearm filled his requirements. We settled on an agreeable price, and he bought the shotgun.
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.