Guns through the years; history on display at Colorado Gun Collectors show
DENVER — From the early settlers, to the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Old West, up through two World Wars, the firearm has played a major role in the development and protection of the United States.
This history can be seen, and touched, at the Colorado Gun Collectors 47th Annual Gun Show.
“You can come and see our nation’s history, and it’s not behind glass.” says the president of the Colorado Gun Collectors Association, John Kelley.
This year’s show is the largest ever, with over 1400 tables and displays. The show, one of the biggest in the nation, attracts collectors from around the country.
“There are as many different types of gun collectors as there are people,” says Kelley.
One such collector, Larry Wales of Mackinaw, Michigan, has been collecting lever-action Winchester rifles since the 1980′s.
Wales has been interested in the rifle since he was a kid watching western movies. His collection of 20 rifles is very rare. His oldest rifle dates back to 1892. The value of the collection is, “very high”, according to Wales.
It’s not just firearms you’ll see at the weekend show, but sportsman’s history, too.
Bill Rigsbee, who lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota, collects and sells antique ammo, fishing gear, and wooden decoy ducks. One of his prized possessions is a decoy made in the 1940′s, by the Tru-Dux company. It’s collectable value? $8,000. No quack.
What you won’t see at the show is modern firearms. No Glocks, no AR-15′s, and no “Black Ops” gear. This show is truly for those interested in history, us history, and the role of firearms in our nations development.
A lot of the firearms and other collectables are offered for sale, so it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared and bring your checkbook, just in case.
John Kelley says the show is a must for collectors, but wants to inspire new collectors, too. After all, Kelley says, we are just temporary caretakers of these silent witnesses to history.
The show is Saturday and Sunday only at the Denver Merchandise Mart.