SLICS question

I’ve not yet been to a SLICS show, but I plan to attend this year. My question is about the Thurs, Fri, Sat schedule and how each day is typically attended. I was wondering if there are fewer people on Thursday since it is a weekday, or if there are more because it is the first day, and first chance to get at all the exhibitors and tables? Or do not all of the table-holders even show up on Thursday? I ask because my least expensive option it seems is to take a Greyhound bus from Bangor, Maine, and it will take one day to get there. I figured on traveling all day Thursday to get there Thursday night, then do the show all day Friday, and then go home Sat afternoon. But if the first day of Thursday is very well worth while, and very well attended, maybe I’ll travel Wednesday, but that means 3 nights stay in the hotel. I’m trying and hoping to figure out the variables and if the travel and hotel stay is totally feasible being that my main interest is AP pistol caliber cartridges, or if it would be somewhat of a bust in that regard to go all the way from Maine? I assume and hope it is worth it, and I looked forward to seeing everything this year since I hope to actually do a table next year. Anybody know a cheap way to travel from this far out? Puddle-jumper prop jets? Dirigibles? I’ll take anything.


DK, Thursday will be the best attended day, and a few people will leave Friday afternoon and Sat by noontime will be pretty quite.

See you there.


Arrive no later than Wed @ noon (Tuesday would be better, and Monday is the best). There are a lot of “choice goodies” available by in-room trading before the show (those trading have their room numbers posted in the lobby).

On Thursday the choices are better, on Saturday the prices are better (IE make me an offer, so I don’t have to take it home again).

Take a teflon chin cup with you, this will help prevent rug burns when you walk into the show for the first time (ya, your jaw will drop that far). Keep a reserve of cash, for food/gas on the way home (trust me on this one).

Iluminated magnafing glass, notes on which cartridges your seeking the most (it’s easy to get distracted by all the other “never heard of that one” cartridges you’ll see for sale), and what ever little items you think might be handy. Oh ya, bring more cash…

To repeat, bring as much cash as you can, you won’t regret it.

But just as important, bring some items to trade! Everyone has something that someone else needs. If you haven’t seen lots of them around, your dupes might be scarce. Many first-time attendees make that mistake. BRING STUFF!

Thanks for all the advice. Luckily the things I am into are not too terribly rare or hard to find (relatively speaking). Anything will be an improvement over my internet-based collecting over the past several years. I have noticed some of the other niches such as large bore military cannon stuff, and very old military cartridges, and experimentals are very broad in depth of variety and scarcity. My sphere of interest is basically all not more than 40 years old, and was mostly all sold to the general public at some point in time. The completely unknown experimentals of which there are only 3-in-the-whole-world sort of thing, don’t interest me since they usually have no provenance to speak of. I’m also not a stickler for getting perfect mint condition. I will bring dupes of all sort, specialties, and oddball color-tips for chance encounters with those color-tip weirdos (ah-hem). I was able to score a lifetime collection of gadget rds recently, a few of which may come in handy in this regard. I am already excited to find a “SIB”, an “ALIA”, and a .45ACP Cyclone!

The in-room trading before the show ,is the most funny experience there is.
You can not believe that all that much cartridges are in that hotel…
and nice people crawling on the floor… ha ha!!

Thanks Gyrojet. Needless to say, it sounds like the week leading up to the SLICS show would be a bad time for a fire to break-out in that particular hotel! So those trading have their room numbers posted in the lobby, and do they briefly list their area of interest, or what exactly they have in these notices? And also, is staying at the renaissance hotel worth doing with the SLICS / IAA discount which can be had if mentioned when making reservations? Does the place fill up quickly and should reservations be made way ahead of time? Like now even?

The room trading is great, and I have been impressed that the hotel has never objected to doors being open up and down the hall with each filled with ammo as pictured. As far as I know, nobody (read other guests) has complained. That is a compliment to Mel Carpenter in his organization of the show and Vic Engles who now runs the show.

Have to tell a story. Some years ago, we were in the hotel (on a Wednesday I think) and that afternoon the President was due to land in St Louis. The back of the hotel overlooks the airport runway, seperated only by a road. Of course, the Secret Service went through the hotel with a fine tooth comb. What was the first thing they saw? Room after room filled with ammo like the one in the photo above. Much to their credit, they didn’t go high order on the spot. Instead they asked the hotel managment who all these guys with ammo were and the hotel told them about the show and the IAA and that was the end of it, or almost. The Secret Service did check all the rooms, walking in and out again, but when they were leaving, one of our members did stop one of the agents and ask to see the ammo in his H&K!

I’m not sure the last story is true, I got it second hand. When I walked into the hotel, just as the Secret Service was finishing up, there was a lot of concern by some members, but it was a non-event.

Always excitment at SLICS, normally by some collector who has just found that special cartridge that he has been seeking for many years. That happened to me a couple of years ago. A guy in Europe had listed a headstamp in a letter that sounded impossible. When I asked him to confirm it he couldn’t find it in his collection. I suspected it was a mistake, but kept it on my wantlist for 20 years asking for confirmation of it’s existance and never got a confirmation so I took it off the list. At SLICS another IAA member handed me a bag of 9mmPs to go through and I almost fell out of my chair when there in my hand was this headstamp!!! I suspect every SLICS regular can tell you a similar story.

Bring your dupes. It will help your pocket book and will give others a chance to find things too so everybody comes out ahead. I’m always a lot more interested in trading than selling.

I’ll look around for some 9mmPs in my dupes that may interest you.

Look forward to seeing you next April with your bag of 9mmPs that I’ve probably never seen.


OK, Lew…so what was the 20 year round??

Gyrojet is just getting revenge for my comments about those Dutch inerted rounds being “silly.” By the way Gyrojet, you guys bringing any new boxes next year? I doubled my French collection this year - how about bringing a carton full of Sri Lankan 9mm boxes next year?

Lew your story about asking what ammo he was using is true, I was there & I asked him.

Looks like I’ll be doing Greyhound bus from Bangor, Maine to St Louis. Their round-trip price was half of the airline price being $334 at the moment, and the cheapest airfare being around $650. The flights were all around 5 hrs, and the Greyhound trip will be 1 day, 14 hrs! Haha! If I leave Monday morning at 6:00am I’ll arrive at the hotel around 8:00 or 9:00pm Tuesday night to get ready for Wednesday room trading. Leaving on Friday night I’ll get back here at around 10:00am Sunday. One benefit is that there’s no hassle over ammunition in luggage, or anything in luggage for that matter. Should be a memorable experience. At the very least I will test a new level of patience from my wife and from my coaching co-workers.

DK; What the other guys said is true, especially about bringing lots of trading stock and lots of money.

I was running the show when the great Secret Service caper went down. What most people do not know is that there were several very serious conversations with me and the Secret Service. Pepper Burruss walking through the hotel lobby with a display rocket launcher or some such thing didn’t help. Once they were convinced that we were not terrorists or, worse, Democrats, they eased up and all was well. In the preparation for the President’s visit, the hotel did list our event as a cartridge show, but didn’t explain that it was cartridge, as in “ammunition,” not cartridge as in printer supplies. And, as I recall hearing, the agent did in fact show a round of his ammunition, but I wasn’t there.

But please reconsider leaving Friday. The annual SLICS banquet is Friday night, as is the traditional live auction. This year’s auction is being done by the IAA, and it already has about 180 lots of fantastic stuff.

Mel - I know, I really want to be there from beginning to end, but I sort of had to prioritize for financial reasons. I’m already out on a bit of a possible limb hoping that the show has some of what I’m looking for (I hope it has allot of what I’m looking for), but I’m 29 with a new home and family, so I’m picking my battles so to speak (playing the world’s smallest violin here, I know). Maybe I will stay, I hope I can, I’ll just have to transfer more funds from the “general fund” into my slush / black-ops / cartridge-buying fund some how. Not allot of trade-stock in my possession yet from my 3 years of collecting, but I’ll have a few handfuls. The show floor & banquet in particular would be nice to put names to faces. I need to shake hands and thank at least a dozen IAA people who I only know electronically from the past year.

Or split the difference, and drive. About 25 hours of driving each way and less than $360 in round trip fuel cost (assuming your car get’s 30 MPG highway and gas at $4/gal)

You might contact a few Maine / New England collectors and see if they would be interested in sharing the driving / fuel costs

That’s a good point T.G. Now that the price of gas has come down so much recently I can recalculate the cost of driving possibly. Now if the price will just hold steady or drop some more…

Good suggestion. DK, if you’re an IAA member (which I hope you are) just check the new member roster for any New Englanders. There are a few up there who might want to travel all or part way with you.

St. Louis is a great show. We have a (Hotel) roof over our heads.

In Europe some people are banned to trade outside. -:)

Looks like with the way gas prices are going I’ll just drive myself to SLICS. Even though I’m far away in Maine, it will be a whole lot cheaper to drive at what will probably (hopefully) be $1.50 per gallon or less, than what I thought it would be back when this thread started ($3.50 a gallon). So driving is now the cheapest way. When do people usually get their reservations at the hotel? Does everyone have them already? Am I too late, or are there always rooms generally?

You should be o.k. on your reservations. I would make them soon though. Be sure to tell them it is for the cartridge show so that you get the show rate for the room. I think the normal rate is about double!