by B.B. Pelletier
On Friday, we received the following comment from Turtle:
“and… if you ever come across a low series # talon in your personal collection for sale…please by all means contact me. Had one w/ serial no below A00000050 I let go. And I kick my own butt several times a day about it.
Turtle got rid of an accurate rifle to take advantage of an upgrade. If you’ve been a shooter for many years, I bet you’ve done the same thing. I know I have.
It started with firearms
When I was young and dumb, I chanced to own a baby Bernardelli .25 automatic that was splendidly accurate. It was nothing more than luck that my particular gun would group five shots in an inch at 10 yards when others like it grouped five to ten times larger at the same range. The gun shot to the point of aim, which is remarkable when you consider the horrible fixed sights it had! I never should have sold that gun, but I figured I could always buy another if I wanted to.
Folks, there AREN’T ANY .25 automatics that shoot like that! Or, if there are, their owners are not as dumb as I was. They’ll hold on to their guns!
An elephant rifle is a tack-driver, too!
The other gun I never should have sold was a .458 Winchester Magnum built on a 1903 Springfield action. I bought it at a gun show with the reloading dies and the bullet mold for a 550-grain lead bullet. The seller told me the gun was unbelievably accurate at 100 yards with a low-powered load, and I fell for it.
When I tried it exactly as the seller had indicated, son-of-a-gun if 10 lead bullets didn’t go through the same small hole at 100 yards! The rifle really was accurate. A few years later, I convinced myself once more that I didn’t need this fine shooter, so I let it go.
My early mistakes trained me for airguns
Although I’ve been shooting airguns for many decades, the experiences with these two firearms (and a few others I won’t bore you with) taught me to not get rid of good shooters. As a result, I clung to my tuned TX 200 until my newer TX 200 Mark III proved just as accurate and had a better trigger. I did, however, surrender an accurate Hakim rifle, believing they were all that good, only to discover that perhaps that isn’t true.
Not worth a lot, but I’ll never sell this Crosman Mark I.
Beeman sold a lot of FWB 124s. This one is mine.
My “never sell” airguns
I own many airguns, and among them are a few that will never be sold. My Crosman Mark I is one of the finest air pistols I have ever shot. It is deadly accurate, and, though I know that all Mark Is are supposed to be just as good, I’ll hang onto this one. I have a Beeman P1 pistol that I feel the same way about. I can shoot better with this pistol, than with some target .22 rimfires at 50 feet. I have a Beeman FWB 124 rifle with an early San Anselmo address (Beeman was working out of his house at the time) that will stay with me. I got rid of the first 124 I bought, and I won’t repeat the mistake.
This old Webley Senior is a comfortable airgun
Finally, I have an old pre-war Webley Senior pistol that I will never part with. It isn’t worth that much, and it’s not even that accurate, but it’s one of the smoothest airguns I own and I’ll keep it just for that reason.
My saddest sales
Years ago I was forced to part with a Whiscombe JW 75 rifle that had all four barrels. I know who owns it but he won’t sell it. I also had to sell an early Sheridan Supergrade in very good condition. Both these guns were very prized but a brief economic setback required their sale. Thank God I had them to sell!
The moral of this story: when you find a good-shooting gun – be it a firearm or an airgun, hang on to it! No two guns are the same, despite being made one right after the other. If the gun is accurate or if you love it for any reason, that’s cause enough to hold onto it!