Now, I am a self-confessed gun guy as well as a firearms instructor, and I'm always looking for cool stuff. My wife knows my code word. If we are going to a gun show, it is referred to as "in search of needful things." So off we go and I will admit, I cannot recall a time that I did not get something or other. I can't help it.
There are many young officers that did not have the hunting, shooting, military background that I did. My father taught me to shoot as a young lad and the rest just fell into place. To me he was the premier shotgunner. So I am used to firearms of most all types. Still, I attend gun shows to educate myself on new models, configurations, and modifications. Now, for the young recruit who is not firearms savvy, just browsing up and down the aisles can be an education in itself.
Many dealers will explain their firearms and any variations. I would certainly want you to observe these items in friendly environments rather than in the street. In case you have to make a weapon safe you might now have an understanding of the nomenclature. Also, there are a variety of other items there for you to gander. Holsters, knives, and other needful items for the police officer are available. Most tactical operators enjoy the visit as well for military surplus deals.
A Different Kind of Shopping
One thing about a show, you will more than likely be able to peruse a larger selection of several items, say a holster. If you have seen it in a catalog and, like me, want to see, touch, and try it on, this show can offer you comparison shopping.
Not all of us have large cop shops or full-service gun shops nearby. If you do, they still may not have the full selection or police tactical models. Maybe they carry hunting, sport shooting, or cowboy action shooting lines. At a show you can drool over a veritable buffet of holsters.
Unfortunately, some gun shows carry other items that can be worrisome. These include hidden and concealed weapons, weird weapons, and just plain idiotic stuff that I may never understand. But these dealers are catering to their customers and there is a consumer niche there. Here again, some of these items offer a young officer a virtual education in items that you could encounter on the street. Learn by observing; it could save your butt sometime.
Ranges and shooting clubs also may be there seeking new memberships. Let's face it, you may want to improve your marksmanship and the police range might not always be open or convenient. Learning to shoot competitively or even sporting clays can be a great hobby. You can network here to find some more places to shoot as well.
So, if you are in a gun show near me, take a look around. The guy who is looking for another .45 ACP might just be me.