By Ted Shorack
While some gun shows can include vendors selling a wide range of sporting goods, the Central Oregon Gun and Custom Knife Show keeps things simple.
The show was held Saturday and Sunday at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond. Although shooting targets and concealed-carry handbags could be purchased, most of the show revolved around two items.
“We wanted to do one that was a little bit different with just guns and knives,” said Sue Bridwell, who organizes the event.
Bridwell said people came from Burns, Klamath Falls, Medford and the Willamette Valley area to attend the show. Many vendors are collectors and custom knife builders with unique pieces.
“For Bend-area enthusiasts, it’s really great because you can find parts, accessories or ammunition,” said Bridwell. “There’s a wide variety of items that you can choose from.”
The event was first held in October. Bridwell plans to have the show at the expo center every spring and fall.
Her husband, Terry Bridwell, was one of the vendors this weekend and runs a gunsmithing company called Specialty Coatings & Gunworks.
At his table, Bridwell had several bolt-action Springfield rifles used during World Wars I and II.
“It’s been truly a lifetime passion,” he said about his interest in firearms.
Bridwell said there are always new faces at the shows and he enjoys meeting people who come along and ask questions.
“There are always people interested in the historic aspect,” said Bridwell.
Jay Green, who owns Blue Sky Firearms in Bend, had an authentic Uzi submachine gun for sale at the show. He said, as vendor, he hasn’t missed a gun show at the expo center in the past 12 years.
“I’ve never done any advertising, and I have people there every day,” Green said about his shop. “It’s all about customer service.”
Richard Mishler, a vendor from Willamina, was proud of a M1911 Kimber .45 caliber pistol made in Clackamas. The company no longer makes firearms in Oregon and their original products are now hard to come by.
“I haven’t seen one of these in a long time,” said Mishler, who has held onto the pistol for about seven years.
He also had a Colt “Peacekeeper” .357 revolver with special components that he was eager to describe and talk about with potential buyers.
The show ended at 3 p.m. Sunday. Many vendors said that business was good during the two-day event.
— Reporter: 541-617-7820, email@example.com