By: Enid Burns

York, Pennsylvania is known today as the White Rose City – a reference to the symbol of the English House of York that fans of Shakespeare and English history may know. For antique firearms enthusiasts, the York Expo Center is now the home of the annual Military Antiques eXtranvaganza (MAX) Show and the York Antique Arms Show. This year’s partnering of shows brought in militaria dealers, firearms experts, and gun collectors from across the country.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the shows were unable to see dealers and collectors from Europe or Asia, yet both shows went on and certainly seemed to highlight that the market remains strong for military relics and antique firearms.

Combined, there were more than 1,000 tables devoted to five centuries of military and firearms history. In addition, the York Expo Center also hosted the annual York Antique Show, one of the premier destinations for glassware, fine china, and furniture that didn’t come from Ikea!

“We were very pleased to collaborate with the Ohio Valley Military Society (promoters of the MAX Show), which allowed us to offer two shows for collectors,” said Steve Sylvia, promoter of the York Antique Arms Show. “While it presented a small conundrum for a few dealers who wanted to do both shows, it really provided a lot for attendees to see. Between the two shows there was everything from Jamestown the Afghan War. We’re already looking forward to next year.”

Here is a photo recap of this year’s MAX and York Antique Arms Shows:

Finding a nice Luger pistol at a large gun show isn’t really that difficult – but a Lugar .45 Pattern 1907 is something few will ever see. Yet one was at the MAX Show, and for just under $5,000 could have been yours to take home!

There weren’t a lot of modern “black guns” to be found at the recent shows in York, but there were plenty of 19th century firearms. The Colt Peacemaker may get the credit, but these were the guns that tamed the west – even if they were to be found in Eastern PA.

Either this dealer got tired of waiting for lunch or Halloween came a bit early at the MAX Show. The skeleton is actually decked out in a fairly accurate reproduction of the uniform worn by the infamous “Desert Fox,” Field Marshal Irwin Rommel. Of course, the real Rommel wouldn’t have had a Pepsi.

The York Antique Arms Show had offerings rarely seen in some museums – such as the Civil War era shell jacket or rifled cannon. Clearly this show called out the big guns.

Among the standout and unique pieces at the York Antique Arms Show was this pair of dueling blunderbuss pistols. We’d hate to be on the wrong side of these.

German wheel lock muskets as well as Dutch and Spanish flintlocks were offered for sale at the York Antique Arms Show. Now that’s firearms history.