With so many replicas in circulation of basically every piece of military memorabilia imaginable, collectors of such items have become a self-regulating entity.
Vendors and collectors at the Hastings Military Gun Show Saturday and Sunday at the Adams County Fairgrounds bought, sold and traded everything from uniforms to patches to books — and, of course, guns — from every war from the U.S. Civil War to present day. With so much merchandise, there is a lot of opportunity to market forgeries as the real thing.
"I can tell you if someone comes in and they're not dealing with you as a straight shooter and don't tell you 'this is a reproduction' and try to sell it as being authentic, I guarantee that person isn't going to last very long because the word is going to get around and no one is going to trust him," vendor Gary Hall said.
This was the first Hastings Military Gun Show for Hall, who lives about three hours southeast of Hastings in Morganville, Kan.