A few years ago I was on a surplus hunt with a friend. We heard of a scrap yard in St. Louis, MO. Off we went. When we got there, we found a large scrap yard with multiple buildings, none of them in too good of condition. The yard was mostly industrial surplus. They didn’t have a lot of GI or military, but they did have some. Years back they had cleaned out a warehouse and a Boeing plant that was retooling.
So we showed up and started looking. The first thing we spotted was an experimental 25mm Bushmaster turret. Not really a hard spot. The turret was about 7 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter and painted navy gray. We managed to find a bunch of aircraft weapons mounts, 1000 Lb bombs, some tank parts and a few new condition periscopes for M113’s . All and all not a bad hunt.
We thought we were all finished up when the owner of the yard came over and told us about the other site they had. Would we like to have a look? Of course we would, that’s what we’re here for, we said. He called over one of his men, a 6’5” 300 Lb. guy named Treetop. Treetop told us he would take us over to the other building. He asked if we have any guns with us. We told him sure, we don’t leave home without them. Very good, Treetop responded, but if we needed more he could loan us some. We started wondering what we were getting ourselves into. The owner came back and told us about his father getting in to a gun fight last month (oh boy). Treetop instructed us to follow him to the building. We passed the fourth crack house on the left then turned at the burned-out car. When we got there, he got out and opened the gate. We drove in. He closed and locked the gate. And left. He had no interest in sticking around. Treetop’s last advice to us was, make sure they see you pulling out your guns before you go in (oh boy once more).
This “building” was the worst of all. It was an old abandoned school house. It was 3 stories high, not much of a roof, no electricity. The no electricity part was good, considering all the water pouring in from the non-existing roof.
Hunting around we found a bunch of SS hardware and aircraft lights and more. This was all in the basement and it would have been better if most of it had not been underwater. The top floors had mounds of uniforms made in to beds from homeless people. Not much stuff to show for the effort and adrenaline.
We called Treetop. He came back and let us out. We headed back to the main base.
We were checking out with the owner when one of the other workers came over and asked if we saw their nuke. What? Sure, we have a Nuclear Warhead in an old crate out back, he said. Now, I don’t mean to brag, but we’re very good at spotting treasures in piles of scrap. But we never even saw a hint of a Nuclear Warhead. Sure enough, he took us out back and in an old wood crate was a 100% mint condition see-through Nuclear Warhead. It turned out to be a display model used by a salesman and came out of the Boeing warehouse.
The moral of this story is: You never know what you’ll find and you never know where you’ll find it. Always put a tactical light on your 18 inch barreled, pistol- gripped Winchester 1300 Defender because you may not have electricity.
P.S. We sold the turret and the warhead but I still have my handy Winchester.