When I lived in Virginia, outside of D.C., working for the NRA, the long, cold winter months were designated for weekend gun shows—you could buy all sorts of stuff even if it was too frigid to shoot for many months to come.
My friends and I had a circuit of four shows that rotated through those iced-over months, one in Leesburg, another at the old roller skating rink in Warrenton, a couple others I can’t remember where, and sometimes the occasional longer drive to the show down in Richmond.
No matter which one, there was something I always noticed that many shoppers and booth keepers alike kept close at hand—the Gun Digest Standard Catalog of Firearms. With this tome, arguments were started and settled, prices set and haggled over, bluing and rust and rifling conditions discussed ad nauseum, and deal after deal after deal made. Indeed, Standard Catalog of Firearms held near-Bible status.
That’s still true today, which is why we put out a new volume every year. The 2013 Edition has been thoroughly and expertly upgraded by Editor Jerry Lee, with hundreds of prices adjusted, dozens of new photos added, and an excellent photo spread by one of my friends at the NRA, museum curator Phil Schreier, highlighting some of the National Firearms Museum’s prize possessions.
If you haven’t seen a copy of Standard Catalog in a while, if you’re an avid collector, gun and story swapper, and a weekend gun show devotee like I used to be, then it’s well worth having this volume on hand before you go about cutting your next big firearm investment.