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Old March 11, 2014, 07:09 AM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Flea market in Webster, FL

Every Monday morning, there is a huge flea market in Webster, FL.

Webster is off of 301 (to the east) and right about even with the Brooksville exit from 75. I think that is about fifty miles north of Tampa.

It starts at about 8:00 am every Monday and generally is all finished up by about 2:00 pm. You can park pretty close for three bucks.

Vendors come from long distances.

There are probly a dozen vendors there who sell firearms either exclusively or at least substantially.

I saw a very good condition Pietta 1860 for 120.00. There were many revolvers which were either original or very good fakes.

Most of the firearms being sold were recent cartridge weapons. Prices marked were not great but everyone seemed to be will to negotiate.

Most of the vendors are more careful than is required by BATFE policy regarding sales through C&R. I can't blame them because I was told by a couple of the vendors about an undercover purchase which resulted in confiscation of a vendor's entire stock because of a faulty transaction. (Don't know if it is true....These things are easy to talk about and difficult to verify.)

I picked up a Belgian made Frontier Army in what is purported to be .44-40. I am skeptical of this revolvers because I have another (an 1877 Colt clone) which is very similar in character. In that clone the chambers are nowhere near what the manufacturer said was the caliber. The barrel of that revolver is engraved with ".38 S&W Special and .38 LC Cartridges". Today, those two cartridges are different enough that IMO, they should not be fired in the same revolver. And neither of those present day bullets work in this 77 clone. Cases expand way too much.

I gave eighty dollars for the revolver I bought yesterday and I think that is about all it is worth. But still I am glad to have it.

My point is, that this flea market is worth a trip to Webster to check it out.
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Old March 12, 2014, 02:35 AM   #2
swathdiver
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That's 2 1/2 hours away for me. Do they always have cap and ball revolvers for sale or just some sometimes?
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Old March 12, 2014, 06:42 AM   #3
Doc Hoy
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SD

I have been there only one time. There was not a great selection of REPLICA cap and ball. Might have been a total of a half dozen in the entire market.

Many of what appeared to me to be originals. One guy had about a dozen SAAs from turn of the last century. Also had a Walker in relatively good shape for 11,000.00. best offer.

Asking prices were in my opinion too high, but everyone I spoke to quickly said, make an offer.

Only one of them would sell to my C&R. The vast majority wanted a FL driver's license.
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Old March 12, 2014, 07:29 AM   #4
4V50 Gary
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A Walker at $11,000? If I had a real Walker I wanted to sell, I'd take it to an auction house like Butterfield.
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Old March 12, 2014, 08:08 AM   #5
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Sounds like a good way to spend a Monday Doc, even if prices were high.

That sounds a little like our Croy Creek traders fair, every other Sunday from April-November. I just wish it were possible to pick up cap& ball or cartridge pistols out there. As the elderly woman at the gate says every time " 3 dollars fer parking, No selling ner Trade'n of them A-Salt guns ner pistols..."

Guy reportedly got kicked out last year and banned from setting up this year, because he had a replica of a 58 Remington for sale on his table....kicked him out even after he explained they aren't even classified as firearms.... Guy with the table full of SKSs next to him didn't even get a look. You can buy any manor of long guns and ammunition all day long without question....and I have picked up some nice ones there for next to nothing.
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Old March 12, 2014, 08:47 AM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Good post, Berdan

The rules (IMO) fall into two categories:

1. What is statutorily legal

2. What is perceived as doable by the vendor.

At the flea market they rarely matched.

As regards the price of the Walker, I don't know enough about their value to know if the price was right or not.

But I do agree that a flea market is not the best place to put an 11,000.00 price tag on much of anything.
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Old March 12, 2014, 10:29 AM   #7
LeadZinger
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Agree with 4V50Gary...

...that finding an original Walker at a flea market should raise huge red flags. The remaining Walkers have been pretty much located and accounted for by the serious collectors and major auction houses of military arms. Should by chance one be newly discovered it would be snapped up before the owner could take a breath. If my memory is working today I recall that there are at least two primo fakes out there that began life as Italian reproductions, and where examined by "professionals" on a couple of TV shows.

Doc - you keep giving away all my secret places for vintage firearms here in Florida. Webster can be amazing at times. Before the economy collapse it was not unusal to find thousands of people there on a Monday, with vendors from all over the Southeast. Firearms are sometimes plentiful, sometimes not, but if you see one or two on a table it is best practice to ask "what else do you have". It is amazing what some vendors have stashed away. I've bougth maybe half a dozen guns, rifles and revolvers, over the years.
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Old March 12, 2014, 03:59 PM   #8
swathdiver
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Recently a real Walker sold for near half a million dollars at the James D. Julia auction. That fellas is probably a forgery.

http://jamesdjulia.com/222_shs/
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Old March 12, 2014, 04:09 PM   #9
Doc Hoy
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LZ and SD

To LZ,

Another well kept secret is Bruce Dow's Arms Room on 301 about five miles north of Dade City. It is a local gun shop operated by a seasoned gentleman who knows his stuff.

Smith on the premises, plenty of black powder, fair selection of smokeless. Excellent selection of some hard to find dies. He has a bunch of old presses and powder measures. New and used handguns. Very nice assortment of battle rifles. Excellent knowledge of cartridges. Just nice experience. He has a "specials" table from which he sells used stuff at excellent prices.

To SD,

This one was very convincing but as I said I am no expert at detecting fakes or identifying the real thing.
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