Monday, August 27, 2012

Swapping Guns With Social Media

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

About a year ago I joined two Facebook groups that were formed for the purpose of buying, selling and trading sporting goods locally. One group focuses on a closer geographic area to me while the other has a wider geographic reach.

At first the pages mainly listed guns then gradually as more people joined the groups I started seeing other items like tree stands, boats, ATVs, trucks, golf clubs and even dogs.

I have purchased two guns from individuals listing on these sites and both times were a lot of fun. I was a little hesitant at first about buying a gun from a complete stranger, but you can tell a lot about a person when you are haggling with them.

Here is a sample of one of the posts:

I have made several observations about the sites that I want to share with you.

First, these swapping pages on Facebook are a great way to bring sportsmen together. The only other time you might get even part of this group together is at a gun show.

Second, listing on these pages is more advantageous than classifies ads due to the ability to post multiple pictures which allows potential buyers to get a good look at the seller's items.

Third, these pages are a seller's market. Items are usually listed at or above fair market value. Based on what I see, the majority of the people selling don’t come off their posted prices, but there is a lot of haggling via personal messages between buyers and sellers that you can’t see so there is no way to tell how much people are negotiating or coming down off listed prices.

Note: trolls that are abrasive or verbally abusive are usually quickly blocked by the page admins so members don't have to deal with them. Here is the definition of an internet troll according to UrbanDictionary if you don't know what a troll is.

Fourth, these sites provide a free service by allowing their members to list items to sell or trade. At no cost, it is also cheaper than exhibiting or attending a gun show.

Last, since these pages have started I have noticed a sharp decline in gun related classified ads. I think we will see a complete migration away from classified ads on guns in the future and any other items listed in classifieds as soon as someone creates the page for it. I can even see the potential of how pages like these could replace local gun shows if done correctly.

Facebook gun trading pages are a great way for folks to buy, sell and trade guns, bows, knives and other sporting goods and will probably continues to grow as a medium for sportsmen and gun enthusiast to connect... long as "they" will allow the sites to operate.

What do you think about this sudden growth of these pages?

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You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Monday, August 20, 2012

10 Gun Wish List

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

10 guns I can’t afford....

…right now…

….but wish I had.

In no particular order:

I generally prefer short barreled pistols, but this one is the exception. I have always liked the look and feel of long slide 1911 pistols. I tried to buy or trade one away from a good friend of mine, but he never would let go of it. As long slides go the Nighthawk is the coolest one I have see so far. It comes in 10mm so the only thing that would make it better is if it was in .45 ACP. (Picture courtesy of

In a world where tactical semi-auto pistols reign supreme, I like the direction Smith & Wesson went with this pistol. Given the choice between Smith & Wesson Model 325 Thunder Ranch and a tactical semi-auto, I would have a hard time deciding on which to get. (Picture courtesy of

This is one awesome rifle. I would prefer an original 1895 Winchester in .405 but would not complain if it was in .30-06 or 7.62x54R. I love old, large caliber, lever action rifles like the .405, but it would be really cool to have one that shoots .30-60 like my deer rifle. Who wouldn’t want to own a piece of history like a Model 1895 Winchester(Picture courtesy of

I am a big fan of .45-70’s and of carbines. The 1873 Trapdoor Springfield is the original .45-70. The Springfield Trapdoor Carbine is the Alpha Prime Numero Uno of .45-70 carbines and I want one. (Picture courtesy of

Every hunter alive wants a double rifle, but few can afford them. Once again, the USSG Double Rifle comes in .45-70, but I didn’t know this one was available until I started this post. As double rifles go, this one is almost affordable. The next step up costs 5 times as much. I might be able to afford this one if I liquidate some inventory and clean the kitchen every night for the next 8 years and vacuum for the next 12 years and.... (Picture courtesy of

A take down, lever action .45-70. What more could I ask for? (Picture courtesy of

Small, stainless and .45 ACP, this Kimber would probably be my first choice for a conceal carry pistol. Sorry Beretta. (Picture courtesy of

I grew up watching Steve McQueen bring in the bad guys with this gun on Wanted Dead or Alive. Ever since then, I have wanted a Mare’s Leg. There are several out there now to choose from, but I like Henry's brass receiver and octagon barrel. (Picture courtesy of

If I were to take up Cowboy Action Shooting full time, this pistol would be my first choice. I prefer short barreled revolvers especially when it comes to single action pistols and the ease of loading and unloading a top break pistol is obvious. (Picture courtesy of

Like I have said, I like light, short barreled guns. I also prefer semi-automatic shotguns over pump or double-barreled shotguns. I didn’t add this one to kowtow to Beretta. I have a semi-auto shotgun that I am very happy with. It is not a Beretta, and it is not a 12 gauge. But if I needed a new shotgun, the Beretta A400 Xplot Light KO would be at the top of my wish list. (Picture courtesy of


I might be able to afford this pistol if I could ever find one. If you are not familiar with this revolver, it is a .38 caliber pistol that has the capability to shoot 25 different types of ammunition including .357 Magnum, 9mm, all types of .38’s and 7.62x25. This is one of those if I could only own one gun types of pistols. In a survival situation, this pistol is the one to have. (Picture courtesy of

So what guns are on your wish list?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks

Monday, August 13, 2012

Conservation, It's Our Duty

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Coastal Conservation Association, and many other conservation groups across North America are some of the greatest organizations to be a part of for hunters.  They fight not only for the rights of the wildlife that we love to hunt, but the also fight for the hunters' rights as well as our rights as gun owners.  We'll talk about some of the things these organizations do after the break.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My First AR Build

by Keith Hollar – Guest Contributor

Yes, I know Beretta doesn’t make one, but this was something that I thought might interest a lot of readers.  Recently a local shop posted on CalGuns that they would be offering a class on how to build an AR and you get to take home the rifle you built.  The price was very reasonable so I headed up to Global Arms in Glendale to fill out the registration on the receiver so my 10 days would be up and I would be able to take it home on the day of the build.  I have done some minor gunsmithing in the past and I’ve been looking at getting an AR for a while so I thought this would be a great way to be introduced to the rifle.

When I got there the day of the class my parts were in two boxes along with the tools I would need all laid out ready for me to go.

We got started with Dirk, the head gunsmith and instructor, giving us all a short history of the rifle.  We then got down to building the upper first.  We were shown the correct way to install each of the surprisingly few parts to the upper.  While we were all trying to get the parts to fit correctly the owner, Harry, was walking around giving us help as well.  Once we got the upper finished we logically moved on to the lower.  This was a little more difficult for me as there were some small parts and those darned roll pins to get in.  However after some patience and a little application of force I got it put together correctly.  Here is the finished product:

My rifle differed a bit from their standard kit because I wanted the Magpul furniture so I upgraded to that.  At the time of this writing I have unfortunately not been able to shoot it but will soon.

I was very happy with the class because it was very informative and Dirk didn’t mind answering our questions or going over something again when we didn’t get it the first time.  I also feel pretty confident that if something goes wrong with the rifle or I want to upgrade it I will be able to fix or replace the part.  I do hope that I get to do something like this again either here or at another shop.

So have any of you done or wanted to do a build like this before?  Any thoughts or questions?

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