In 1988 when I first started collecting there was a high quality collector’s show here in Santa Clara, Calif.. My wife and I decided that we would attend and get an idea of what collecting entailed. It was amazing, Henry rifles, 1873’s, 1886’s, 1892’s, black powder rifles and pistols, gambling memorabilia, Indian artifacts, etc.. While trying not to miss anything, a display of Winchesters caught my eye and we stopped to look and chat with the gentleman at the table. He had a New England accent and was very helpful answering my inquiries.
Two of his Model 1892 carbines caught my attention. Both had ramp front sights and the series 22 rear sights. I remembered seeing that type of carbine pictured in the “Madis Book” I had recently purchased and scoured. He said that the 44 W.C.F. carbine was sold and awaiting pick up. The 25-20 was still available though. After some discussion and pleading, my wife agreed to let me get the carbine. We left a deposit with the seller and headed out to the bank to get the balance due.
I returned to the show and quickly made my way back to the table “Where Condition Is Everything” and completed my transaction with David Bichrest. And so my collecting addiction had begun. To my surprise when I got home, I discovered the 1892 saddle ring carbine I had purchased was the same carbine pictured in the Madis book. However, the last digit of the serial number was missing. I was able to get that cleared up when I met Mr. Madis at the Reno W.A.C.A. show in Nov. 1998. He examined the gun, said he remembered taking the picture of the gun and wrote a note in my copy of his “Winchester Book”.
I am sure we all have special moments and this was my first, but not my last. Thanks to all of you fellow addicts. RDB
November 19, 2006
February 19, 2013
December 31, 2012
Speaking of Calif. gun shows, in Pomona, was the biggest and best gun show ever. You could find any gun type ever made at that show. Then, the Board of Supervisors stepped in and shut it down. Merchants of death they called it. Then, as time went by, Calif. laws got more restrictive and many great gun shows were shut down. I moved to Utah. A gun friendly state, but no gun shows to compare with the old Great Western in Pomona. Big Larry
Thank you Big Larry. I am in full agreement with you about the fabulous Pomona Show. Our tables were in the Main Building. If you entered through the Main Entrance turned right at the first isle, we were the first collectible guns. Right across from the Security Office. Got to meet Tom Selleck and Johnathan Winters there. Of course Burt was in the building too! “The Good Old Days”! RDB
Roger, no story with this one but I do have a wonderful 73 that once belonged to David. You were in building #4 at Pomona. There were 6 to 8 buildings and in the summer outside around all of the buildings.
I live very close to the LA County Fairgrounds. The Great Western Gun Show was the biggest in the Country. 1 LA County Supervisor got the show shut down. Zev Yaroslovsky. No gun shows on LA property. We still have some gun shows but none are for collectors.
We had a club show in Santa Barbara. Johnathan Winters was always there. He loved to tell jokes to the crowd.
I’ve been to Tulsa and it is huge. Its hard to compare. One building to at least 6. I wish I had an old add for Pomona. Summer shows had thousands of tables with the winter ones less but still in the thousands.
September 20, 2022