Can anyone describe SLICS from a personal point of view? How big, how crowded, what is allowed besides cartridges (one sees jewelry at gun shows), what is ratio of ammo to books (i.e. does one see a table with 100 rounds and 1 book, or reverse?). Does one see medals, uniforms, guns, knives, fishing rods? I’ve never been there.
Vlad–Big, Crowded, Fantastic!!! Collecter Cartridges Only and books on Cartridges. NO guns, jewerly, or anything else not related to cartridge collecting. No shooting stocks like at a gun show. Mostly singles or an occasional box if it is a collectable item. Most dealers have 100’s of different cartridges in little bins. All calibers and types, including inert artillary are available. If you can’t find what you want at SLICS it probabily is not for sale anyplace. Everything from 25 cent to $2500 (or more) cartridges are available. IT IS MECCA OR HEAVEN ON EARTH FOR CARTRIDGE COLLECTING. Warning: When you go, takes as many wheel-barrows of money as you can. It will never be enough. How don’t know how many tables, but there are probably at least 100+. The best part of the show,in my opinion is the Friday evening Auction. It usually starts about 7:00 PM and often goes to Midnight or later.This is where you get the REALLY good stuff.
People seem to go there for several days, if not entire week. How do you go to a 100 table show for a week? I go to 1000 table gun shows and spend 4-5 hours there, not on my own volition, I wish I could stay the whole day. I realize that I skim through the tables and miss something in the process, but I hurry because I have visions of my wife loading a 10 gauge shotgun. Is not one week too much for 100 tables? Do you guys hang out together?
Not speaking for SLICS (other cartridge shows) but usually you meet friends there you have not seen for a year or even longer. Communication and friendship amongst the serious collectors is as important as looking at tables full of ammo.
100 tables (some several meters long) really take time to be checked when you look for head stamps and small differences.
Once you get there you will see.
The social aspect is a huge component. I spent a good 30 minutes with Otto, even more time with Teak. Going to a cartridge show is very different than a gun show. I think most of us come here to learn as we do to wheel and deal. Sure you can learn something at a gun show, but it’s just a different vibe. People here will help you… in general I always feel like I am getting scammed at gun shows. Ok, I am starting to ramble. I will post pics from the show later tonight.
I think there are closer to 175 tables this year. I WISH I COULD COUNT THEM IN PERSON!
At gunshows I stroll and glance, only stopping at a few tables. At cartridge shows I stop and poke around at every table, digging at most. I usually hit each at least 2 or 3 times.
Vlad–At cartridge shows you have to remember that each table might 100 or more different cartridges to look at, some dealers have over 1000. Not like a gun show at all. You can’t just stroll and glance. You have to stop and chat and dig and look. Plus, you go back to most tables over and over as you compare prices. Or you buy a particular round at one table that catchs you fancy, so now you want to add other headstamps to go along with the new case type you just got. So, it’s back to half a dozen other tables again. And then there is always the last day bargins. There is that $20.00 cartridge you have been haggling over for 2 days that the last day you can buy it for $7.50 because the guy rather sell it for less on the last day than take it home.
A week for 175 tables seems like a lot, but it has been my experience that I could have spent 2 weeks and still not seen everything. Unless you are a very specialized collecter or are ONLY looking for certain items, you will spend hours just looking to see what you can find. It is not like a gun show where 90% of the stuff is of no interest. Believe me when I say that your first SLICS show will be an experience you will not forget.
My first day of my first Chicagoland show, I almost collapsed about 4pm 'cuz I wouldn’t stop to rest, eat, or drink. It can be a real test of drive and endurance. Well-worth the effort…for St. Louis or ANY cartridge show.
This was my second year, and I was sharing a room with a gentleman that was making his first trip to cartridge mecca, so perhaps some of my observations will be of benefit to you.
Firearms, maybe a dozen of these. ALL were part of ammo displays, to show the firearms the ammo was used in (IE: teat fire revolvers)
I don’t recall any jewelry, but perhaps someone had a couple of lapel pins.
No medals, uniforms, or fishing gear. I did spot maybe 6 knives.
Cartridge/book ratio I’d say runs about 500/1, but the books are of the type that are of interest to collectors (no survival or cook books)
Now, on one table you might find cartridges ranging from the 2.7Colrobi to the 50BMG with another 500 different cartridges in between them. And that is just one table!!! Want a 60 Jengal or a 120mm APFSDS dummy? Yep, those were for sale there also.
Than their are the “jumble” bins, where anything you dig out of the box/tub is a set price (ranging from 20/$1 to $20ea). I located a 22 Maynard while digging in a 25cent bin, so you can spend some serious time right there.
Yes, good show. The show is not really open for a week! It is only open and really active for two days. By Saturday Morning, everyone is leaving and it is pretty dead. Now, why do a lot of guys (and gals) get their earlier in the week? Easy! To get the first chance to look at things. Many, many of the best items change hands in the rooms before the show even opens. Usually by the time the hall opens, I have spent most of my money, and my energy for looking at cartridges! That’s not to say it isn’t worth staying for the show. It MOST CERTAINLY IS. I found a nice item on Saturday, and had to give it to a friend to send to me, as I had already packet my ammo and sent it on. I don’t take ammo on the plane to ease the hassle, and also becuase I always have more that 5 kilos.
By the way, kudos to the chap(s) that said the social aspects of the shows are as important (OR MORE) than the cartridges. You get to meet people you may have corresponded with for years, and never met. To visit with everyone that you see at the show that you know or will meet, but at their homes, would cost you $100,000 in airline tickets! Great People. Just because I was happy, I paid for the drink of a guy behind me in line at the bar at the banquet. Later, we saw each other in the elevator and found out we both use this forum and had had PMs with each other as well - Heavyiron!
What a nice chap! Made me double happy I bought him a drink.
SLICS is an important show and as long as you can keep your enthusiasm for the hobby, one should try to attend it at least once in awhile. The camaraderie and the new people you will meet is more valuable than any cartridge that exists. It is expensive to go to for those that don’t live in the area, but it is worth it!
By the way, I seem to recall that there are something like 205 tables, and the show is usually a sell-out.
Ditto to everything said so far.
It was my first SLICS and by God it will not be my last! I have never encountered a more pleasant, friendly, and trusting group of individuals in my entire life. Besides the cartridges, I just had a wonderful time socializing with people that were there and discussing cartridges and cartridge related things.
I made a new friend (I hope I didn’t scare him), Tailgunner, who offered to split a room at the hotel with me and who spent his time to teach me how the show works. I never met him in person prior to the show, by the way. There were also seven other guys that met Teak (who I had never met in person either) for dinner who were very friendly and made me realize, I don’t know much about cartridges and I need to learn much more.
Enter the educational session. If you don’t know everything about cartridges then the educational session was also very enlightening for the educated as well as the uneducated (like me).
If you get tired of looking at the mountains of cartridges, the silent auctions required intensity and time to research prior to bidding. I wish there had been more of the silent auctions - a morning auction and an evening auction.
When was the last time that you went to a gun or sporting show, bought an item, and paid for it by placing your money in a jar on the table??? I don’t know where else in the country an honor system is used to pay for collectible items, but it was at SLICS. Very refreshing and reassuring during these uncertain and dangerous times.
I also met a nice gentleman at the bar during the banquet and live auction who purchased a drink for me. I was so startled at his random act of kindness and generosity that I didn’t thank him properly. The next day I met him in the elevator and at the hotel desk and we exchanged names - John Moss! I recognized his name instantly because we had exchanged PMs when he helped me identify some some Kurz ammo and 43 Mauser ammo. Super guy and I hope we can talk in person next year at SLICS if not sooner.
Last but not least - I managed to obtain a 3mm Kolibri (thats another story) and a 13mm Gyrojet which I had been searching for for some time. Where else would you be able to find those items?
I was very impressed with the IAA and the SLICS. My enthusiasm for cartridge collecting has been rekindled and what a great group of people.
P.S. If you are using this forum and/or collecting cartridges and are not a member of the IAA - you should join!!!
Can’t beat that for an IAA Membership advertisement!
sks - it’s a long story which I will not repeat here for several reasons, but for a personal reason, the first 25 +/- years I was a member of the Association, I attended [u]NO[/u] cartridge shows and skipped the big Chicago (now St. Louis) show even longer. Fortunately, I “met” some long time members on line at other sites and was convinced I should attend the St. Louis show. I cannot recover those lost years, but would in in NY nanosecond if I could.
For decades, I read material by gentlemen (and I do not use the term lightly) such as Mr. Moss in the Association’s publication. Their kindness and generosity in person is orders of magnitude greater than in print or electronic media . . . amazing fonts of knowledge and just super people. It’s not just the knowledge, but the comaraderie (sp), good times, etc.
Knowledge? Man, there are museum grade displays, history lessons of amazing detail . . . . These alone are worth the cost of my drive (1500 miles each way). The research committee arranges for typically four presentations on Thursday night. No matter what one’s particular interest, it is amazing what one can learn. Really, truly, interesting stuff.
Specimens? What do you want? One might not be able to acquire a 9mm German rocket cartridge there, but one could see some this year! Not to mention material from the 1700s to 2007 in every niche of the field. Acquisitions are limited more by budget than availability.
And people! In the few years I’ve been attending the St. Louis show, I’ve met and become friends with people across the US and the world.
The show is officially open Thursday 0800 to Saturday 1400, but from Monday evening to Thursday morning, something is happening.
Can’t begin to say enough about this. Comparing SLICS to a gun show, even Tulsa or Baltimore, is like comparing the classic beauty of Sophia Loren in her prime to the harpy junior “senator” from NY: not even in the same galaxy.
I am back home,from the St-Louis show and it was a great week,I find a 10 kg of new cartridges and had no problems at the airport to take the cartridge’s back home.
It is always nice to met new people and old friend’s
This was my 4 time at the SLICS and next jear I will be back.
regards from the Netherlands
It seems it was great event! Hope once time in future I’ll be able visit SLICS (not so easy to reach it from Russia).