Back when I first got the gunnie jones to go beyond one big revolver and a Garand and figured I'd start adding to the battery, I had thoughts of getting perfectly serviceable older items I could get cheap at the consignment counter I figured it would be easy to get good guns 70+ years old at a good price. I figured it'd be easy to pickup a .22 revolver at way less than $200.
This was not to be. First off it ain't easy to buy a handgun in Maryland with the 7 day wait. And there isn't a friendly gun show in this state, really.
Plus good used pistols aren't as common as I'd hoped. And my dreams at my desired price points were more fantasy.
I'm sure these good sub $200 revolvers are out there, they just aren't jumping out at me. The few .22s I did see were of questionable quality. No name German knock off from the 1950s mostly. You loaded from a swinging gate or cylinder swung out on what seemed like a rickety thin yoke that didn't inspire me with confidence.
Another model I wanted was something like a small .38 special in the same price range. I'd even be happy with a top break. Something like this may have been near perfect.
But it wasn't to be. Note, that isn't a .38 special shown at the Arms Room. Tam has a few top break jobs on that site. I don't think ANY of them are .38 special. .38 S&W yes. .32s maybe. And this is Tam we are talking about. She lives in gun friendly prefectures as a habit, and she KNOWS gun sellers and FFL personally and at the time she worked the counters of same. She got first dibs on guns that came in and knew their worth. She haunts gun shows in a way I never could. She pays closer attention of gun ephemera than I have. SHE could get that nigh ideal top break gun at the price I was thinking, but I certainly could not without a lot more luck. And she'd be able to tell a lot better than I if it was even a serviceable blaster. I was wet behind the ears and couldn't judge if there were 100 rounds left in some artifact or 2000, then. I can't tell much better now.
So besides not being able to find the pistol I learned quickly that getting the ammo to feed it isn't that simple either. At the time of my starting I couldn't even order ammo in a catalog to be delivered in my county, legally. So the simple and cheap solution was becoming less doable the more I learned.
Probably for the best. Buy a near new model and pay the premium is my lot and life. And I don't begrudge it, really. I like my more modern 640 and 617 and am happy with it. Happier that I would be with a vintage lemon squeezer.
Oh, I paid for that. Quite a bit more than $200. I found the cheapest REAL guns I could buy and not regret were around $500. Add $200 to that for a revolver that I'd have a good chance of not needing to get it serviced in the first year. I learned quickly enough that I may get lucky with a Charter Arms .22, but that's not the way to bet. And I'd not have a Hi-Point pistol for free from what I noticed in fit and feel trying other peoples and from the reputation I gathered from 2nd hand sources. You can get those for under $500, yes, but I didn't want to risk the hassle.
Such is life. I pay a bit more so as to have less chance of being inconvenienced on many things, not just guns..
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