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I have been puttin' this off for a month.
My local dealer has been winding down the tradin' post over the last 5 or 6 weeks.
The place was popular, busy and did well enough to keep the lights on and keep a couple knowledgeable guys occupied in a field they loved and were good at. There were changes in personnel, but all good guys, all retired, and all either veterans or ret. LE, or both. The place ran quite nicely for 15 years. Saturdays were like going to an old time gun show.
And they never tried to make bank on the next customer; they always had better than reasonable prices, and would haggle a little to keep everyone happy & interested. It had all the homey charm and comfort that an old general store might have: cozy wood stove, places to sit, tons of firearms related material in bookshelves, all manner of gun culture in sufficient quantity to make people come in regularly. Coffee, donuts, food, good company and a sense of fraternity that you can only get with good guys who respect one another.
It acted as a restorative among like-minded folks in a world where some things don't make a helluva lot of sense.
I got some of the very best deals anyone could ever ask for there. They are the guys who would take a trade and put it in a drawer because they knew you (I) would be in there in a day or 2 and that you (I) would be hot for that particular item. They did it for all the regular customers. They knew who would be interested in what, and made every effort to put the hardware and the customer together.
The place was an oasis.
The yard sale wagon was like a gold mine for scroungers such as myself. I once found a little brass machine part that I recognized, and spent the rest of the afternoon picking through boxes upon boxes of bits & pieces until I found all the parts to an entire Lyman #55 powder measure. He sold it to me for $15. It was that kind of place.
Gunsmithing, repair, maintenance, building and assembling, was happening every day.
Nobody was safe or off limits, and everybody got their chops busted.
As with any association, we lost a few along the way. Gone but not forgotten.
It was real men doing real men stuff, and I will miss 'em.
The owner assembled a list of regular participants so folks will be able to stay in contact.
We will all make other arrangements with other dealers, and we will stay the course.
It will be an adjustment.
I will miss it.
It is the end of an era.

This thing is the last little oddball I got out of that place:



It is a Harrington & Richardson .32 rimfire. $15, OTD
 

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“It acted as a restorative among like-minded folks in a world where some things don't make a helluva lot of sense.”

No doubt in my mind this post, the events that inspired it, and this particular quote will strike a nerve with many of us here. Seems the train of progress is roaring forward faster than ever these days and leaving behind the things we cherish the most. As a relatively “young” guy here on the forum at the ripe ol’ age of 30, a small business owner myself, and the son of an FFL that was force to close the doors on the brick and mortar in 2017, I genuinely fear that our best years as a nation may be fading into the history books and there’s too few folks in my generation committed to keeping the flame burning. Every closure of yet another local gun shop/outfitter echos like the ominous beat of a drum reminding us that time, is indeed, marching on. I wish you, and all those involved in the ownership and operation of your beautifully depicted “tradin’ post” all the best, and pray that new doors will open where old ones have closed.
 

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Here is a similar little 22RF seven-shooter. The topstrap is marked “Young America” and “Double Action”. A very thin-walled cylinder. This little revolver was produced from 1898 to 1904 and was intended for black powder.
 

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“It acted as a restorative among like-minded folks in a world where some things don't make a helluva lot of sense.”

No doubt in my mind this post, the events that inspired it, and this particular quote will strike a nerve with many of us here. Seems the train of progress is roaring forward faster than ever these days and leaving behind the things we cherish the most. As a relatively “young” guy here on the forum at the ripe ol’ age of 30, a small business owner myself, and the son of an FFL that was force to close the doors on the brick and mortar in 2017, I genuinely fear that our best years as a nation may be fading into the history books and there’s too few folks in my generation committed to keeping the flame burning. Every closure of yet another local gun shop/outfitter echos like the ominous beat of a drum reminding us that time, is indeed, marching on. I wish you, and all those involved in the ownership and operation of your beautifully depicted “tradin’ post” all the best, and pray that new doors will open where old ones have closed.
+1
 

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Nostalgia weighs heavily at such times. Yet, and yet, you would have no sense of loss were it not for those years of gain; the friendships, the camaraderie, the exchange of knowledge, the treasure hunts, the....

Imagine how poorer you would be if none of that had occurred.
 

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There was a store similar to that here. It just felt comfortable going in there. Finally arthritis and big box stores took their toll and they shut it all down a couple of years ago.
Still haven't found another even close to being as comfortable.
 

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Sounds like a wonderful place. I know if it was near me, I'd have been one of the regulars. There's only one old shop nearby that is anything similar, and it tries...but lacks in some areas. Thanks for posting and sharing of your place.
 

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Yes those days are going fast. I've been in the gun business for 44years and it's changed a lot and more coming. The internet is killing the LGS at a rapid rate. The brick& morter are losing to insurance, credit card rates and wages for good help. I see so many times people brag on the cheap price,yet complain of crappy customer service?
I see a big generation change as well, the new boys and girls don't care about relationships,just bill my card and let's go old timer.I don't know how many times I have to explain 1911's or HiPowers. I'm closer to the end than I am at the beginning,but I still learn something new about people everyday...
 

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It was real men doing real men stuff, and I will miss 'em.
When I was a kid it was the hardware store, with a gun department stuck away and only manned if you needed to look at something. Mostly we bought fence supplies, feed or something for a on going building project. Not a place for too much idle chatter but good enough for the local gossip to get passed on or a friendly how de do.

As a adult I remember the place fondly, remembering the excitement I felt just being in that store as a kid, but not a lot in common with the place you describe other than the quote.

I read some where earlier today that the "good old days" never existed for long and are quickly gone if they did exist or may be never existed at all other than in our minds.

Point to that was to savor what we have now...here...or in you local store or range and the friends and family that are around to share our lives with, good or bad.

This forum has taken the place of the local store for me and I enjoy it immensely. Sadly it won't last for ever either.

So this is the one I brought in today for a virtual look see and atta boy :) Thanks for the poignant reminder of what we do have for a community.

 

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When I was a kid it was the hardware store, with a gun department stuck away and only manned if you needed to look at something. Mostly we bought fence supplies, feed or something for a on going building project. Not a place for too much idle chatter but good enough for the local gossip to get passed on or a friendly how de do.
I have bought a few guns, long and short, from different Ace Hardware stores around the state. Also probably their weight in 22LR ammo. The one in Van Horn even had a couple of the Ad Topperwein rifle shooting "drawings" framed behind the counter.
 

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So this is the one I brought in today for a virtual look see and atta boy :) Thanks for the poignant reminder of what we do have for a community.
Beautiful! Those pearls look about the same condition and age as the panels on my Japanese 1903. I'd be tempted to put on something plain to shoot it with! Looks like a fun shooting gun.
 

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I too have fond memories of the local hardware store with it's gun counter. I saw my first bull barreled Ruger .22 auto pistol, and an exotic, to me at least, .220 Swift, while leaning on the gun case. Military 1911A1's, P.38's, and more than a couple Nazi Hi-Powers were tucked away on the shelves. It seems there was always something interesting to fondle. Times change, the farm land I used to work is now covered with houses. My favorite plinking spot has become a parking lot. I suppose I'm not the only one who has a difficult time with this. But we have our memories and they contribute to who we are. I reckon I need to head over to the local saddle shop and hang out at the gun counter for a while when they open on Tuesday. Perhaps we could solve a few of the world's problems.
 

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My son bought an IWI Jericho (CZ75 variant) a couple of years back. The shop struck me as both new and old. New in that it was a bunch of hipsters who were big on ARs, rail-mounted everything, guns that l had enough sharp edges to use as a saw, but had no .357 ammo. Old in that you could have any color gun you wanted as long as it was black. The 4473 forms were the closest thing to wood in the place.

Sigh.
 

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"It acted as a restorative among like-minded folks in a world where *some things don't make a helluva lot of sense.”"

* Most things! I know I live in la la land out here behind the tofu curtain and its wacky but danged if I don't see or hear something near every day that makes me wonder if I have not been transported into a never ending episode of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits"

I'm just hoping that some areas of the country are still more like Mayberry RFD, and less like "Night Gallery."

Old time LGS's are things of beauty, comrade-ship, black coffee, instruction, sympathy and friendship.

Yep, like Pike Bishop said "Those days are fading fast."

Damn sad.
 
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