Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chilliwack Gun, Knives, Militaria and Antique Show

The 6th Annual Chilliwack Gun, Knives, Militaria and Antique Show at the Heritage Centre was a blast.  I heard about it when I phoned Victor to tell him I was buying  the Yamaha Kodiac 450 ATV from Daytona Motorsports in Surrey
Victor, a great hunter, and long time quad and motorcycle rider,  has been one of my ‘consultants’ on which ATV to buy. Some women  like to discuss men but guys are much more likely to almost form ad hoc community committees when it comes to buying a new vehicle.  Everyone has had good advice but the Yamaha Kodiac ATV won the day.
’Did you know the Chilliwack Gun Show is on this weekend?” Victor asked
“No. I’ve wanted to go but I just spent all my money on a new ATV."
“I’m going this afternoon.” Victor said.
I then phoned Tom to see if he was back from Toronto visiting his Dad.  He had my controller cable for my winch which I need, (because I’m getting old and fearful) to assist getting my Honda motorcycle I’d traded in on the ATV,  on the back of my F350 truck. He was in, and he had my winch controller.
“I’m going to the Chilliwack Gun show. Why don’t you come?"
“Now there’s a plan."
So I bought the Yamaha Kodiac 450 ATV at Daytona Motorsports in Surrey.  I’ll pick it up later when the accessories are all mounted. Gilbert and I were driving in the Mazda Miata. It was pissing rain.  An hour and a half to get to Chillicach. The Heritage Centre is just on the west end of Chilliwack.
At first I left Gilbert in the car. Only $5 entrance fee.  Two huge rooms of really good stuff in the Heritage centre.  I began to look about. .
Whenever I said to some guy with a table full of guns and knives, “I have enough guns and knives”, he’d answer,  “Why do you think my wife sent me here."
Tom found me and when we saw another little dog on a leash we both figured Gilbert should be with us. He went hysterical seeing his friend Tom.
Back in the gun show we were most impressed with the incredible shot guns from Europe, England and Scotland. They were being sold for $5 to $15000.  I got my first shot gun for $300 and my last one was still only $800. So there’s quite a range in guns. The workmanship is the thing.  There were $100 guns and $30,000 dollar guns. They even had  50 caliber sniper rifles.  All manner of Civil War rifles with bayonets and black powder creations as well.
I talked with a whole group of incredibly knowledgeable gun enthusiasts discussing my much loved Ruger 30:06 rifle and how I might consider having a back up rifle or alternative which shot further. I’ve shot moose with my 30:06 at 400 yards using a 180 grain bullet but the guys with the 300 win magnum rifles said the 300 win mag would punch a heavy hit at 600 to 800 yeads.  I’m hearing a lot of food things about 300 mags. The 338 would even hit something at 1000 yards.  Not many of the big game hunters were recommending the Lapua but they said it was a whole lot of fun for them to target practice hitting targets a thousand yards away.
Most of the equipment was used but in great shape.  I loved seeing enfield 303’s given their WWI history and the Canadian Ross Rifle.  There was a lot of history there from various wars Canada or America had been ing  Lots of military and civilian folk browsing everything including memorabilia, mukluks, jewelry, and all manner of swords and knives.
Tom and I had another really good chat about the newer better made ammo, especially Hornaby’s super loads, which were almost as good as the hand loads.  A lot of hand loaders and hand loading equipment was there. I haven’t done that in 25 years and don’t want to get back into it any time soon but I liked hearing all the news about new ammo.
The trouble everyone was having was getting stock in the states because apparently Obama’s government is buying up huge supplies of ammo and outfitting all the government folk in addition to police.  Sounded fairly ominous but that’s the nature of rumours. There were definitely some survivalists there. Tom and I were both eying the boxes of rations that were good for 10 years at $10 a meal and came with their only little heating pad.
I was more interested in the survival break down 22’s and break down single shot shot guns which all sold out.  These were very popular when I worked up north and every bush pilot had one.  I had a Marlin 22 breakdown rifle but the clip jammed and after I got the ruger 22  with it’s amazing semi auto clip I’ve never used any other 22 rifle. I just wish Ruger would make a back pack model.
We had a great chat with the RCMP folk there to assist with transport and transfer. I’d wanted to know more about the new laws for pistols and transport to gun clubs. It used to be 20 years ago when I had a pistol license that you had to get permission every trip to the range but now it’s not so onerous as long as you belong to a hand gun range.
As Canadians we’re really fortunate today to have the most reasonable and strictest gun licensing. I still don’t think our judges are on the same page when they don’t get tough with people having illegal guns.  At the same time the judges in Alberta were on the right page when the police had a fascist moment and used a flood situation to enter peoples homes and search and impound their guns.  I like to think our RCMP wouldn’t go off the reserve like that. I really would like the judges to come down really hard on anyone with illegal guns given the hassle all us law abiding citizens have been put through.
Certainly the RCMP people we talked to today were great. A young woman RCMP was most helpful with information. We discussed the need for more gun ranges where people could store their hand guns like I saw in the states.
None of this really  affects me unless they allowed me one day to carry a hand gun in the woods when I’m hunting for game.  I could see the benefit of having a pistol when I’m bow hunting bear.  My love of guns though is the same as my love of fishing rods.  It’s a product of my taste buds and stomach.  Definitely an extension of my love for wild food.
That said Gilbert and I both really enjoyed MacDonalds burgers we had on the way to the show. As usual he almost climbed out my window through the drive through window to help the staff prepare his patty just the way he likes it. His little tail wags fiercely when he sees the golden arches.
I  got into a discussion about marinades with another fellow who had been raised on ‘wild meat’ as I had.  I sure am enjoying the wonderful gift of venison I got this year.  I talked with another older fellow selling rifles and we both bemoaned being skunked these last 2 years.  Neither of us had had the time to be out hunting more than a week or so.  I waxed poetic salivating about the elk I’d shot the year before and he was just as excited when he told me how good a mule deer he’d shot tasted the year before that.
I liked all the women there.  No high heels or party dresses but it was pretty obvious that the girls out there today would clean up real nice. They were a whole lot more than ‘ornamental’.  Lots of country folk but many like me had come out from Vancouver.
I was real happy, since I’d spent all my money on the ATV, that I got out of there not buying a rifle.  We never did find Victor.  This might have been good because with Tom and Victor’s assistance I might well have been convinced to get one of those beautiful 300 win magnums with high powered scopes that were selling for half the list price at least.  .
I didn’t get out quite unscathed, though.  I bought a fabulous little knife from Mike n Sons Custom Knives, (Mike Pisio) Kamloopsmikesknives@hotmail.  He makes them himself out of high grade 440 steeland even as I stood there his elk horn handled big one and the rosewood handled big knife were bought up.  I’d been eyeing both covetously but had resisted.    I asked him what the swamp kauri ‘wood’ was, he had labels beside the handles of each knife on his table.
“it’s millions of year old swamp wood they’ve been digging up in New Zealand.”
That’s how I spent a $125 on a knife I didn’t need but will thoroughly cherish knowing the wood is that old.  Another hunting knife I have and love has a handle made from ancient fossil.  I also once had a knife made from asteroid but gifted that to my spacey nephew. It was  just too lovely to actually use hunting or fishing. My knives are tools. The ‘art’ and ‘craftsmanship’ in the knives and rifles speaks to the centuries of competence and tool bearing that brought us to this cell phone computer age.  I really respected all the history present in this show.
I’m just thankful Victor told me and Tom was able to join me.  Gilbert and I had a really great time.
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