The Big Pre-u.p.s. Company

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Frank Sanoica, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Supreme Member

    Feb 21, 2016
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    Anyone remember Railway Express Agency? They had their own railroad baggage cars, most freight moved by rail, then truck to final destination. Later, they became "REA". They hauled anything and everything. At about 11 or 12, a friend pointed me toward a supplier of fireworks, I sent away for their catalog, I believe they were in Ohio, and ordered a nice display set, reasonably priced, cannot remember exactly how, but I think I bought a Money Order at the new-fangled "Currency Exchange" (remember those?) that opened close to our house. Mailed it to them. No "ID", no proof of age requirement. I waited eagerly, and then one day arriving home from school, the REA delivery had been dropped between our front door and it's storm door! I had the "shootingest" 4th. ever.

    The last thing REA brought to our house was this:


    I ordered the "Spitfire Carbine" directly from the manufacturer, in Phoenix, Arizona, for $92. It was a very inexpensively-built look-alike of the Thompson submachinegun, but was useable semi-automatic only, firing .45 ACP ammunition. REA again left their package between the front doors, believe it or not. I think the year was 1967, certainly before "GCA 1968", Gun Control Act of 1968.

    The Spitfire was fun to shoot. Unfortunately, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ruled it a "machinegun" years later, thereby making possession a most serious crime. Big deal, I thought.

    When I moved to Phoenix area in 1979, walking about the unfamiliar area of downtown, I entered a pawnshop, and lo and behold, there high up on the wall, hung a Spitfire! Asked the guy about it. "Illegal, not for sale". (So, why did he have it?).

    It followed me around the country via various moves for years, and I finally gave it to my nephew, who has since given it to his son, Marine Corps. serviceman who has seen one stint in Iraq, and two in Afghanistan.

    So, illegal or not, you think the Spitfire would have become valueless? Last "going price" I saw was in the THOUSANDS of dollars! Spitfire Company was forced out of business by BATF, and today, the limited number of such guns they built are enormously valuable, legal or not. So, WTH value do laws have, pretty much?
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016

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