Wally Beinfeld (l), owner and promoter of the Las Vegas Antique Arms and International Sporting Arms and Knife show, and Author/Publisher S.P. Fjestad.
Wallace Beinfeld, well-known show promoter who put on the Antique Arms Show in Las Vegas, passed away in Palm Springs on May 10, 2013, at the age of 84.
Wally was instrumental in raising the quality of gun shows for the collector fraternity, and his shows in Las Vegas attracted celebrities such as Buddy Hackett, Mel Tormé, Tom Selleck, Kirk Douglas, John Milius, and others. The Las Vegas winter Antique Arms Show set the high water mark for quality firearms and weapons on display, and prices ranged anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars. This past January, the show celebrated its 51st continuous year, and the show attendance set a new record.
Wally was also a successful book publisher for many years, and many good firearms reference books were published under his supervision. He also developed a computer software program that dealers used for inventory control back in the early 1990s.
He is survived by his three children, Donna, Rhonda, and Scott.
Wally Beinfeld (l), and long-time close friend John Bianchi at the 2013 Antique Arms Show at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.
"In the 38 years that Wally and I have been close friends I have always admired Wally for his unique of sense of humor, his loyalty to his friends and his incredible optimism in life, despite often overwhelming odds. Wally remained cheerful, upbeat and energetic during the best and the worst of times. We have shared many enjoyable experiences during these long years. Wally’s passing leaves a void in the industry that will not soon be filled."
"I first met Wally about 50 years ago, when I was not yet old enough to drive a car. Some of the things I remember about Wally is that he always found some common ground with a new acquaintance. For me it was shooting. At the awkward age of 13, shooting was something I excelled at. Wally had done his share as well. So, whenever we got together, he would always ask how my shooting was going. He always found a way to open the door of conversation.
Wally always seemed to remember a face, and a name. So many of the successful people these days remember only the names and faces that they deem important. Not Wally, he remembered all the names. My Vice President Gurney Brown was someone Wally always remembered and always called him by name. A trait that is a bit rare these days.
I came to know Wally through my father, Robert. My dad met Wally in the very early 60's at the Las Vegas Show when it was run by Harry Mann. They became fast friends and did so many deals together and hunted together often. They were almost like brothers. Funny, two very different backgrounds yet they were fast friends until my father died in 1997.
Wally was one of the most energizing personalities that I have ever known. Yet, he always took time for his friends. After my father died, every time we talked, the first thing he asked was, "How is your mother"?
He has always been, and always shall be, my friend. Via con dios amigo, we will see you on the other side."
Kevin Cherry - owner, Cherry's Fine Guns, and past president of the Colt Collectors Association