‘I used to also shoot competitively, but it's been a while'
VALLEY - With all the hustle and bustle, it was a gun lover's delight this past weekend at the 51st annual Maritimes Arms Collectors Association's Antique Arms Fair and Sportmen's Show and Sale.
"I enjoy looking at firearms and used a lot of firearms in my military career," said Barry Maddin, who attended the event for the first time with his wife, Jane.
The Salmon River couple wasn't sure what to expect at the sale.
"I was thinking it would be more antiques," said Jane. "But I would say it's exactly what he was expecting."
For 37 years, Barry was with the Canadian military, having moved to stations in Ottawa and Summerside, as well as spending 10 years in Germany.
"I used to also shoot competitively, but it's been a while. I'm here just looking in general, not for anything specific."
With rain coming down on both Saturday and Sunday, organizers said that may have been a factor in their favour.
"I would say our attendance is even a little better this year," said Stu MacKenzie, secretary /treasurer of the association.
"Those that came (Saturday) were lucky to get a parking spot. We had between 800 and 900 people here Saturday."
MacKenzie said with 47 vendors or displays, those attending the show and sale were looking for a variety of things.
"A lot are looking for hunting rifles, supplies and sporting good supplies," he said. "We've got a lot of different people here (from previous years), but a lot are the same people."
While Jon Fraser wasn't looking for anything in particular, he thought the event might be a good opportunity to check things out.
"I picked up a .22 caliber rifle and because it's in such rough shape, I bought a stock cleaning kit to go with it," said the Halifax man that was there with his father, George, and brother, Matthew.
But it wasn't all about purchasing supplies or equipment for those in attendance.
Dartmouth's Bruce Ellis was tucked in a back corner with a marksman display.
"It's primarily marksman and sniper rifles from World War I up until the Vietnam era, with World War II in the middle," said Ellis, who has been with the association for the past 30 years.
"I had a different display last year and it was so much fun for me to put on and to help educate people, so I wanted something newer and fresher to bring."
The display Ellis featured was in dedication to the Canadian and American military personnel who have served, or are currently serving, in Afghanistan.