Guns I should not have sold

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Blog reader Fred put me up to this report. When he suggested it, I knew I wanted to do it because there have been several guns, both firearms and airguns, that I shouldn’t have sold over the years. And I bet some of them will surprise you. Since this is Friday, this should start a good weekend’s worth of discussion and lamenting for all of us.

I did a report like this a couple years ago. It was titled, I wish I hadn’t …. I purposely did not read that one again until almost finished with today’s report — just to see how many things made it onto both lists.

Firearms

Ruger Blackhawk
Let me begin with the gun that I always remember first — a Ruger Blackhawk in .44 Magnum. Ruger stopped making Blackhawks for many years, but they recently reintroduced it. Mine was a very early gun, and it had one special thing: The barrel was 10 inches long!

Ruger today makes a Super Blackhawk with a 10.5-inch barrel, but the gun I’m referring to was balanced better and felt good. It was accurate and recoiled very little for a .44 Magnum. When I got rid of it, I told myself that I could always get another one, but that would cost over $2,500 today. The truth is that I can’t really get another one, and I’ve tried several times to get something similar to take its place. But, no joy. I shouldn’t have gotten rid of that one.

Custom .22-250
I had a .22-250 bolt-action rifle that was built on a Springfield action. It had a Douglas bull barrel; and before I got the AR, it was the most accurate rifle I’d ever owned. One time when I was shooting at 100 yards, I hit a hovering bumblebee that was just in front of the target. I don’t remember why I got rid of that one, but I probably wanted something else and needed the money to get it.

This was one of the first rifle cartridges that I reloaded, and I remember being concerned about the cost of bullets. Since I couldn’t make them by casting, I must have freaked out at the cost, or the potential cost, of something that was beyond my control.

VB Bernadelli .25 auto
This little pistol is one of the ones I don’t expect many people would imagine was ever a favorite. But this one was because it was so incredibly accurate. I could put 3 shots through the bottom of a Coke can at 10 yards — offhand! But what made me sell it was the tiny cartridge was too darned hard to reload. That and I had to buy the bullets again. However, I think about it a lot, so a couple weeks ago I bought another one off Gun Broker. The price was right and the gun works fine; but at 45 feet, it puts 5 shots into 6 inches — not what I remember. This new one will go away, and I’ll always remember that super-accurate .25 autoloader I once had!

Sako Vixen 461 Mannlicher rifle
It was my hunting rifle in Germany. I killed more roe deer with it than with any other rifle I had, and one of them was a one-shot kill at 225 yards. It was also an uncommon Sako because it had a 24-inch barrel, while most Sako Mannlichers had 20-inch barrels. But it was worth a lot of money; so when I returned from Germany and wasn’t going to hunt roe deer anymore, I sold it. Got a pretty penny but couldn’t buy one like it for 3 times as much today.

Airguns

Okay, enough firearms. What about airguns I regret selling? What about airguns I regretted selling so much that I bought them back? That’s a twist you don’t read about much these days.

JW 75 and Beeman R1
I sold my Whiscombe JW 75 because we needed the money and a lot of nice things went away at the same time. But the Whiscombe was special, and I knew it even then. Fortunately for me, something happened that almost never happens in real life. A couple years later the guy I sold it to honored my right of first refusal to buy it back. I had an M1 Carbine that he wanted back, so we worked out a cash and trade deal that left both of us satisfied.

He only charged me a little more than it had cost him and the market was already starting to rise on Whiscombes. I had also sold him my Beeman R1 — the one I wrote the book about — I had to sell that one, as well. So I bought them both back; and, unless things change in a bad way, I won’t sell either one of them again.

Sharp Ace
The Sharp Ace is a multi-pump pneumatic that was originally made in Japan. It was made to the same level of quality as a Benjamin Marauder and was considered quite the airgun to own. I actually had two Aces — and one was restricted to 12 foot-pounds for the UK. It had a blowoff valve that would open suddenly as you were pumping it. The pump lever would suddenly crash down against the gun as the excess air was exhausted.

Although the Ace was a simple rifle by modern PCP standards, the woodwork was impeccable and the object of admiration. The bluing was only fair — not smooth but very matte. The fit of the parts was quite good. Construction was more like that of a PCP than that of a Benjamin 392.

The full-power Ace I had was good for up to 25 foot-pounds, although that was just a trick and not very practical. At about 20 foot-pounds, the rifle was very calm and accurate. The valve in this rifle was/is one of those that can be pumped an indefinite number of times. The trigger could always open the valve, no matter how much pressure was in the reservoir, but the trigger was a sore point. It became heavier as the reservoir pressure increased and there was nothing that could be done to fix it. As the resistance in the reservoir went up, so did the trigger-pull because it had to force the valve seat open against that pressure. And that’s what made me decide to get rid of the gun.

I can tolerate a lot, but a 10-pound trigger isn’t something I like very much. So, the Ace went away. The UK-spec Ace never got to high enough pressure that it mattered, but it was just under 12 foot-pounds; and in a multi-pump, that’s too much work (the pumping) for too little performance. Selling it was a no-brainer for me.

Last one
This one is another firearm, and also a bitter life lesson. The first thing you need to know about me is that I don’t like silver guns. I dislike nickelplated arms, and stainless steel leaves me cold.

But my shooting buddy, Otho, traded me a Smith & Wesson model 25 in .45 Colt caliber that was both stainless and also very accurate. The trigger was superb, and the recoil with stiff loads was quite low. In all, there was nothing to complain about.

But I got greedy when I saw someone was offering a Remington Beals revolver for trade, so I offered up this revolver. After all, it isn’t every day that you can get a $1,500 antique for a $750 gun that can still be purchased new.

Short story is that I made the trade and the revolver I got was a counterfeit, made from a 1960s-era Italian import. Back then, the Italians didn’t mark their guns well, and the fakers found it easy to age them and apply false stampings. And it goes without saying that the guy who traded it to me went missing.

I felt (still feel) like a fool for losing a fine shooting firearm for something a guy cooked up in his garage, just to con an unsuspecting fool like me. I was so embarrassed that I knew I could never tell anyone except for my wife, Edith. But several months ago I told Otho, and he, in turn, told me of an equally embarrassing deal he’d made. He said he’d never told another person about it because he felt so bad. Well, I write about guns and sometimes give advice…how bad is that?

I always said to myself that I would tell you guys about this incident, and today it just popped out. I guess it was time.

How about that? This blog is so much fun to write, but it’s also my therapy.

Okay — take it away!

148 thoughts on “Guns I should not have sold

  1. Well, once again B.B. is trying to save us money.

    This article underscores a big difference today between airguns and firearms.

    The counterfeits in airguns are miniscule or non existent vs. many vintage firearms that have more fakes than real models. I’ll write it again for emphasis. With many vintage firearms (the smaller the manufacturing numbers the more incentive to produce forgeries) the time and incentive to create a forgery is great and in many instances there are more forgeries in circulation that actual models.

    You either must become an expert in a model (and pay the price for making mistakes) or find someone that is an expert in a model (that has paid the price for making mistakes) before consummating an acquisition or trade.

    Please note I typed MODEL not manufacturer.


  2. I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk with 7-1/2″ barrel, a Blackhawk in .45 Long Colt with 5-1/2″, and a Redhawk .44 Mag with 5-1/2″. The SBH was the most accurate. Shooters of IHMSA used to like the 10-1/2″ SBH. I got rid of the Redhawk rather quickly, as it just wasn’t accurate at all. I sold the others later after lots of shooting. My nephew had a Redhawk in .357 Magnum, which was somewhat rare. They were all very stout guns. Gun store folks used to talk about how many guys would buy a .44 Magnum handgun to have “the most powerful handgun in the world”, and a box of shells. Many of those came back after firing ONE round of the factory ammo. They, I think, had a major flinching problem ever after. I took another route. I bought my first .44 Magnum, and fired all handloads starting with lighter .44 Special powered loads, till I worked up to the harder shooting stuff. I think that’s the way. I still have my Charter Arms Bulldog Pug snubby in .44 Special. I’m also a fan of the fine .45 ACP, and kept my Colt 1911A. I like big heavy bullets at moderate speeds. I also have an (unfired) Uberti Remington Rolling Block in 45-70. How would one like to be hit with a 500 grain slug? Man, one of those would hurt you if someone just threw it at you.


    • jon,

      I have a Pedersoli rolling block in .45-70 and it’s a hoot to shoot. I load the 405-grain lead bullet which was standard for the trapdoor carbine. It recoils less and since I never shoot beyond 200 yards, it’s plenty accurate. It also saves lead, too, though that’s not a problem.

      The best load thus far has been a light load of H4198. I am trying SR5744 on Mike Venturino’s recommendation, but it will have a long way to go to beat 4198.

      I have an 8X Unertl scope in externally adjustable mounts on this rifle. Though this is anacronistic to the rifle, it looks right and it saves me the expense of getting a Malcomb scope that is period.

      B.B.


      • Tom, mine actually has a Williams rear sight (not the peep model though). They are a heavy rifle too aren’t they? Ruger used to make their less expensive single shot in 45-70. And then there is the fine Marlin lever action. I have kept my Marlin Model 1895 in .357 Magnum, as I have lots of bullets and brass in that caliber. I was going to use that gun in some cowboy silhouette matches but never did.


        • jon,

          The Marlin lever action .357 is nice, but the one Rossi makes is a real gamble. Mac has one that had to be heavily gunsmithed just to work. I like the concept, but not the execution.

          But like I said, the Marlin seems to work fine. Can you cycle .38 Specials through it?

          B.B.



          • I got the Rossi/Braziltech 92 a few months ago despite the reputedly spotty QC. The mechanicals were a bit rough at first, but it didn’t take more than a few dozen rounds to start smoothing out. So far I only have .38′s through it, and it’ s a real pussy cat with those rounds. Price was decent at around $440.


            • Vince,

              Glad to hear it. I think I would also shoot a lot more .38 Special than .357 mag in one if I had one.

              B.B.


        • The pistol-chambered short throw lever actions appeal to me a lot — could be surprisingly verstatile and useful too depending on your local terrain. One of those Marlins (or maybe an old Winchester) is on my dream list.



            • I forgot the Puma — I know if you approve it, that I would be happy with it! My lost gun story wasn’t mine at all, but one of my younger brothers — a vintage 336 (in .30-30 of course). I thought it was the cat’s meow, but he thought it was old-fashioned and underpowered (just read the hunting mags!), and it got traded away while I was away at school, probably for an “assault rifle” at that time, although I know he favors the 7mm Mag. now. With the trusty .30-06, I have long-range (for here) high power down, so a pistol caliber would make a lot of sense — a .357M lever out to be good for my deer hunting needs here, although Dave makes the .44 sound appealing also.


          • BG,

            I recently bought a Winchester 94ae in .44 mag with a 16″ barrel. Shoots like a dream and I can load it for almost anything up to elk. It can also shoot cheap cast bullets or expensive, specialized, high performance bullets. Pistol cartridges really take on a higher performance when shot out of a longer barrel. Levers are fast, so it would work for home defense too. I think I’ll be keeping this one as the “if I only had 1 gun”.

            /Dave



              • Wasn’t trying to, BB. It just seems that a lot of people overlook lever guns as outdated, inaccurate and useless in today’s world. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know I felt that way for a long time and then “rediscovered” them within the last ten years. One of the really great things about them is that they are viewed more as just a cool, mostly harmless cowboy gun than anything else…

                /Dave


                • You’ve got a point about that. When I called my range/gun shop to get the Rossi M92 in .38/.357, his first reaction was ‘Fat chance. NOTHING is available right now!”. But he checked, and his supplier had them in stock.


                • Thing is, most lever-actions with a tube magazine were limited to rather blunt-nose (shorter range) bullet designs. The longer range pointed bullets could set off a primer on recoil. Some of the newer pointed bullet designs with soft tips do change the conditions…

                  So did the late Sako FinnWolf which had a drop out magazine rather than tube. (As if I need another .308Win/7.62NATO gun, but I’m lusting after my father’s FinnWolf — hope he still has the never-used scope mounts, though his was the rare model with the receiver peep sight, so it’s not that bad)


            • Interesting. The .44 mag. probably makes a better light rifle/carbine load than it does a revolver caliber–at least for me; I long ago gave up my dream of a .44mag Redhawk after trying one, and I was still young and stupid then — now I’m old and stupid! I’m tempted by the .38/.357M for a lever-action also, but you make some good points about the extended range of the .44. Either one can be loaded light with lead bullets for play or stoked up for business.


            • Winchester 94 all the way. I hope it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg which they seem to be charging for now. I have a 1970s model in 30-30 I think when Winchester wasn’t doing well, and I think my Dad got it for about $100, mystery metal and all.

              Matt61


    • 44 mag. are tough on you shooting through a semi auto rifle. I can only imagine how a pistol would act. Have to hold it right or you may be the one needed help.


      • ajvenom,

        A lot depends on the shape of the grip and the weight of the gun. A single action rolls in your hand and a heavy gun like the Desert Eagle absorbs most of the recoil. It really isn’t much worse than a 1911A1 shooting .45 ACP.

        B.B.


      • Some months ago I was at the range with a man who was ex-Romanian military. He shot a friend’s “Raging Bull” in .44 mag with little trouble. He then went tried my Springfield Armory 1911A1 and almost dropped it the first shot! Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but he certainly wasn’t ready for the recoil.

        Obviously the issue wasn’t so much the brute force behind the recoil as it was the sharp jump of the lighter 911 vs. the heavy 8″ barrel revolver.


        • The first time I shoot any pistol or new ammo in a pistol, I use the two hand method and hold on tight. If I feel comfortable, I’ll go one handed or even left handed instead of my normal right.


        • Vince,

          The “secret” of holding the 1911 that I told to Matt 61 is to hook the thumb over the safety when holding the gun. It really helps if the safety has an extended shelf for this. When the gun fires and tries to rise, because the axis of the bore is above the web of the holding hand, the thumb restrains the rise. This turns a 1911 into a soft-recoiling pistol. It is incredible!

          B.B.


        • Now this is interesting. An 8 inch 44 mag recoils less than a 1911? So I wonder how my SW686 in .357 magnum with the 6 inch barrel will compare to my 1911.

          Matt61


          • Matt,

            It will recoil a lot more. The S&W grip will not slip in your hand and the gun will rise up a lot with full loads. Revolvers generally transmit more of the recoil energy, except for single-actions that have the Colt “plow-handle” grip.

            Also, a semi-automatic pistol uses a lot of the energy to operate the mechanism.

            B.B.


          • I think there were a couple of things at play. First, the 1911 is lighter which exacerbates recoil. Second, he asked how it compared in power to the .44, and I told him it was less so he may have been off his guard. And lastly, I think the 1911 recoil is sharper and quicker even if the recoil energy is lighter, which I think caught him off-guard.


  3. BB

    Your link to your last report on this subject was too enticing to pass up, even though I had read it the first time around. It reminded me that you lost a particularly good FWB 124, yet you remained happy over the loss in that it went to your good friend Mac.

    I am praying that Mac will make a complete recovery, just as you did when you finally found the right doctors.

    On that note, I find your final thoughts on your past report of this subject especially poignant:

    “If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s this one truth. You may probably never, again, have the chance to acquire something as nice as what you now have. You should take the time to acknowledge when something is so good that it catches your attention. It probably does that for a good reason, and you should learn to listen to your gut when this happens.

    I know something else, too. I don’t have the time to enjoy all the wonderful things there are. If I take the time to enjoy fewer things more, rather than more things in less time, it turns out well. And that’s my advice for today.”

    This advice applies to way more than airguns, no? Meaningful life lessons are not something one would expect from a simple airgun blog. Thank you Tom for the reminder.


    • Slinging Lead,

      That’s very good advice, sir.I just wish that I hadn’t taken so many years to understand the truth of it.

      B.B.


  4. Good Morning world. B.B. I reckon i would feel the same way about my Air Arms Shamal as you do about your Whiscombe, so you have taught me something already and won’t be letting out of my sight, although you have lamented on this before and i realised then i would be a fool to let that one go.

    Also, recently a good friend gave a load of old airguns for me to keep and fix. One of these was a Sharp Innova, stock was battered, back corner of the plastic breech was chipped off exposing the bolt catch and letting the spring fall out, and she would not hold even one whole pump which would slowly dissipate. Any way it’s now been stripped, cleaned, and seals and buffers replaced, I even moulded the missing part of the breech out of Fimo plastic modeling clay and glued and screwed that on to make it hold the bolt catch. I did not realise just how accurate and easy to pump these Sharps were, five pumps takes her just over 12 ft/lb. The gist of this is i don’t think I’ll be letting this one go either, not that i would get an awful lot for it any way.

    Oh yes, as a side note, One of these rifles was a Norica Quick which i sold to a good friend dirt cheap as he needed a cheap hunting rifle, so i stripped, cleaned, lubed, and put right any little problems such as grinding the ends of the mainspring flat, and sorting out that impossibly stiff trigger. This involved gently rounding off the sharp angled tip of the sear and polishing it up, this reduced the trigger pull to a third of what it was. Anyway. That was put in there just in case any Quick (or Nova) owners might be reading this because trigger aside it’s actually a really good rifle, sorry, waffling on again…..

    TTFN

    Best Wishes, Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe


    • Sir Nigel,

      What a job that was — restoring that old Innova! In the words of the 18th century British seaman — I am impressed!

      I wish you have taken photos as you did that job. I would now be pestering you for a guest blog on it.

      Thanks for sharing,

      B.B.


      • Luckily i did get some pics of it for my Angry Angry Gun Company Blog, but i got to write it up yet and wait for the Wifey to put the pictures on it. As she is on the computer mostly it will be a few weeks before it’s out, mainly because i have a backlog of articles to sort out yet. :)


  5. Although the cost of .22-250 ammo seems a lot when compared to pellets and .22lr ammo, I feel it’s an awesome varmint round and easy on the brass if one were to reload vs other hot small cal. rounds. In center fire rifles, the .22-250, .270 and 30-06 are one I feel it would be nice to own, but I already have so much fun with my .22lr and airguns and the ammo is cheap. Many of my friends reload now, and I’m sure if I did get more into firearms, I will be doing the same. Definitely will have to look into reloading .40 cal. S&W.

    We are we are only allowed to shoot deer with shotgun slugs in our area. I often planned on getting another shotgun, but often my relatives loan me one when we go out. I also love to eat ducks, geese and pheasants. Getting back into bow hunting and perhaps black powder would be fun too.

    I do regret selling my first airgun, a crosman 776, mainly cause it was pretty powerful .177 for the money in it’s day and shot well out of the box. I did get another one and it is performing really good along with my other airguns and .22lr rifles.


    • ajvenom,

      Please don’t go on about the .22-250! I have almost closed that old wound with my hotsie-totsie AR-15 single-shot. I don’t need another caliber to reload. Please! ;)

      B.B.


  6. A Savage/Stevens 20 gauge bolt action, full choke shotgun. Got it from a friend for cheap. Some yo-yo before him had painted the stock black. It had nice, glossy, mineralized walnut underneath. I left the gloss, but never could get it to feed right from the box magazine, so it went back to him. Then I bought it back again and let it go again. I miss the feel of that bolt. A cheap gun but I shouldn’t have let it go.


    • /Dave,

      A repeater that doesn’t feed is like a politician who lies. They are never there when you need them.

      My little 5.7 Johnson Spitfire on an M1 carbine action is the same way. It wants to be a .22 Hornet autoloader, but it misfeeds too much to use.

      B.B.


    • I had trouble redoing an inexpensive Mendoza BB gun stock, so I tried some black truck bed liner and it worked and functioned pretty well. Also, it’s great makes a great rock guard area on the bottom few inches on a car or truck. I painted forks on a mountain bike years ago and it hasn’t scratched it yet.

      I see a red door and I want it painted black
      No colors anymore I want them to turn black
      I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
      I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

      I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black
      With flowers and my love both never to come back
      I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
      Like a new born baby it just happens every day

      I look inside myself and see my heart is black
      I see my red door and must have it painted black
      Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
      It’s not easy facin’ up when your whole world is black

      No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
      I could not foresee this thing happening to you

      If I look hard enough into the settin’ sun
      My love will laugh with me before the mornin’ comes

      I see a red door and I want it painted black
      No colours anymore I want them to turn black
      I see the girls go by dressed in their summer clothes
      I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

      Hmm, hmm, hmm,…

      I wanna see it painted, painted black
      Black as night, black as coal
      I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
      I wanna see it tainted, tainted, tainted, tainted black
      Yeah!

      Hmm, hmm, hmm,…


      • I have nothing against black. I like it. I just don’t like it when it is used to cover nicely colored walnut, and with semi-flat black spray paint.


        • I was just joking around, I’m a big sucker for walnut/walnut finished stocks and blued barrels which is about 80 percent of the airguns and firearms I own. I only did it because the wood on the very inexpensive BB gun didn’t take to the stain as well as I liked. The key word is inexpensive. The story you described just reminded me of my BB gun.


          • AJ,

            I agree that when the wood has no character, cover it with whatever… I was expecting to have to repaint it with something and was astonished to find nice walnut under all that paint. If the black paint wasn’t already flaking off, I would have never known. I think I could have eventually figured out the feed problem and it would have been a nice gun, but I was young and foolish, thinking that I just had to have a 12 gauge pump (which I never did get….).

            /Dave


            • Memories are where it’s really at…..remember shooting a rem (possibly youth model) single shot 20 gauge when I was a kid. Took a lot ducks, geese and squirrels with it. We didn’t have a deep freeze at the time and we ate what we bagged within a short period of time. No fancy gun will ever top the fun we had.


      • ajvenom,

        I read the first line and the music instantly started playing in my head.
        I have older siblings who bought lots of Rolling Stones records in 45 rpm, so I grew up listening to the Stones, among others.

        Victor


        • That’s cool, I just fixed my record player and bought a new receiver. If you keep your records in good shape, they will still sound great. I still love mine.


          • ajvenom,

            I have boxes of vinyl albums and 45′s. I also still have my Dual 606 turntable with Ortofon cartridge, and my Sansui receiver. Of course, my hearing is now so bad that I could never hear the difference between vinyl and CD quality. In fact, I’m completely deaf in one ear, and qualify for a cochlear even with the other. :(

            Victor


            • Sorry to hear that, if you ever plan on passing your music down to family or friends, I hope they will enjoy it as much as you do. Until them, hang on as long as you can.

              Far as I know, Fishers of NY was sold to Emerson Electronic, Missouri and then sold to Sanyo owned by Panasonic in Japan. Avery Fisher stayed on as a consultant for a while. Sears relabeled those sets under the LXI series. I have a 30 year old LXI set, which I just replaced the receiver, because I got tired of fixing the connectors in back.


  7. I had to google the firearms because I had no idea what they were and when I googled the VB Bernadelli .25 auto the funniest thing happened, the first two results were todays blog! What a nice little pistol.

    I don’t have sellers regrets because I haven’t sold much a Crosman 1377, a 760, a Benjamin HB17 and a 397. The only one I miss is the 397 but I didn’t have a firearm permit and the registry was coming and I didn’t want the trouble associated with the permit and registration and I wasn’t shooting it half as much as it deserved so…

    I’m about to sell I few airguns, for the first time in my life I’m going to sell guns I like, hopefully I won’t miss them a few years down the road.

    For those who have sold and regretted selling their guns do you see any points in common between the guns you regret selling?

    J-F


    • J-F,

      Not much of an answer here, but the few I’ve sold and regretted either fit me well and pointed naturally/instinctively, had the “feel” of quality, and were accurate, or were not easily replaceable (as in beautiful wood or rarity).

      On accuracy, some of my keepers aren’t all that accurate. But they are fun shooting plinkers for when I am playing at chance and seeing how often chance will let hit something. Kind of like playing dice or cards…

      /Dave


  8. This is a fun subject.

    I have a few firearms that I wish now that I hadn’t sold:

    First is an exceptionally accurate HK91. Several people shot close to 1″ groups at 100 yards with it with the stock aperture sight. I had another one that was not that accurate.

    I miss my first 45, a 70 series Colt Lightweight Commander. I find the Lightweight Commander to be my favorite model of the Colt designed 45s.

    I miss an old Star PD that I bought after I sold the Lightweight Commander. I love the way the Star PD felt in my hands when it was fired. It may seem crazy, but the hotter the round, the better it felt. I only sold it because I am left handed and could not find a left handed safety for it.

    I wish I had kept a High Standard 10B Shotgun and Flashlight I once had. The guns are rare and the light that mounted to it is super rare. The flashlight was supposedly designed so that the light beam spread at the same rate as the lead shot spread. Being a lefty just did not work with a bull pup shotgun and that’s why I sold it.

    Airguns:

    My first PCP, a Webley Mac 1 Venom Viper. I shot some of my best groups ever with that gun. I sold it because I didn’t like refilling after only 20 shots.

    I sold a HW57 that I would like to have again. I just could not get it to shoot accurately for me. I told that to the buyer but he bought it and it shoots super well for him. I would like the opportunity to try one again and see if I could get it to shoot as well as the one I sold shoots for it’s current owner.

    To be honest, that’s about it. I would like to have a bunch of airguns that I have sold but they were sold to fund other adventures which I also enjoyed. I have held on to most all of the special airguns I have bought. The HK91 funded a lot of other fun guns. I have bought and sold a lot of Colt Government models and Commanders. I only have one left along with a blue printed Colt 22 conversion kit which is super sweet. As much as I love the Colts they were just never as reliable for me as my Glocks are. I took several pistol training classes where some part broke on more that one Colt during the weekend of training. I never saw a Glock let anyone down.

    Have a good weekend everyone,

    David Enoch


  9. We all have made that sale of a gun that most of the time we can’t undo.
    I had a Hammeerli co2 pistol in a fitted case with an eight gram and a
    12 gram adapter,extra grips,sample Hammerli ammo pkg.It was my first
    high end air gun,because the power wasn’t much I sold it, not realizing what I had done
    until it was too late.If Iwere to buy it now The odds are maybe I could find
    the gun but not the fitted case modelI too soold anR1 in .177 because I had one in .22
    my friend won’t sell it and seems to revel and gloat whenever I ask to buy it back.
    I also sold a model Twenty Five S&W 45 acp/auto rim from the seventies in the
    S&W wooden display case,a Belgian High Power,Savage Premier Grade 110 in
    22-50 with a Weatherby custom stock.Well that’s all as I compile my list it makes
    me unhappy for all the others I sold.Good Blog on the subject.


  10. BB, I had a Ruger Blackhawk but in .357. It was a 6 inch is memory serves me right. I bought it from a guy that won it. I paid $100 for it. I finally traded it, coming out very good. I miss it.

    I had a Bernadelli in 22 LR that was unreal. Only the people that saw me shoot it would believe how accurate it was. I regret getting rid of it to this day. Mine was about the size of a PPK.

    I also had a H&K 300 22 mag semi auto rifle. This thing never jammed on it. It was very “pretty”. I regret getting rid of this more than any of the others.

    The airgun I most regret selling was a Daisy 200 semi auto BB pistol. My uncle had given it to my brother & myself when we were wee ones. I had to get two before I finally got one that works (doesn’t leak and I couldn’t find anyone to work on them), with the box. It’s not what I remembered as a kid (I thought they were as powerful as a 22 back then ha ha).


    • Bradley,

      You struck a chord with your .22 Bernadelli. I’ve heard stories about them. There was a tiny one they called a Baby and one that was a little larger.

      But I can relate directly to the Daisy 200. I had one when I was in the Army. And of course it leaked like yours, but what a wonderful gun, to shoot 5 shots so fast! I just threw mine away and even today no one fixes them as far as I know.

      B.B.


  11. BB,
    RE: regretted sold guns, Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Or there is also my favorite misquote of that line fr. Tennyson by Lester “Roadhog” Moran (a character created by the Statler brothers who sort of takes on a life of his own; I bet you would like him): Better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.

    PS. Still praying for Mac and you all!


  12. Ahhh, the guns I’ve given up.
    Many of you will remember my story of when my father decided to give up shooting in the mid 90′s (before I became interested in shooting) he offered me his collection, free.
    All I remember are parts of it.
    A large gun save with things like a couple of 94 Winchesters, Weatherby MkV in .22-250, .270 and 7mm Magnum. A completely restored to original Mauser K98, an Anshutz .22 target rifle and a couple of others.
    A number of shotguns including his pride and joy, a Purdy.
    Two aluminum suitcases of pistols…S&W Model 41, two S&W .357 (different barrel lengths), a ss Ruger 44 Magnum and a few others I’m not sure of.
    Oh…and a 1976 Laguna SS with a 454 overbored to 525 with twin 4bbls, Hallibrand quick change rear end and transmission and twin shocks/springs per wheel.
    Yup…I said no to all of it.
    Never claimed I was all that bright ;-)


    • That must have been a terrible moment when you realized turning all those things down was a mistake.

      It would have been enough to make me permanently depressed.

      Far better for you if you never gained an appreciation for guns and fast cars.

      Les



  13. In spite of a number of guns I should not have sold, but did anyway, there is one that I will never sell: that is my very first firearm… nothing special, just a replica of a Remington New Model Army cap&ball. I still have that gun.

    I also do have my first airgun too, a Gamo .177.

    But nevertheless, sometimes I think of those familiar guns that are no longer in my gun cabinet, and I wonder where they are now.

    And, coincidentally, one of them is also a Ruger .44 Black Hawk…


  14. Boy! I wish I could say that I’ve owned enough guns to speak of those that I’ve sold. I don’t even have a tiny fraction of the experience with guns that most here have. I’m almost a total newbie. :(


    • Victor,

      Don’t fret. We are all sharing our collective regrets at selling things we should have kept. Maybe people who have yet to get some guns will benefit from hearing about these sad stories. At least that is the hope.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        While I haven’t bought a lot of things that I’ve sold and regretted, I have loaned plenty of things that I never got back, and regretted. As they say, you shouldn’t loan anything that you’re not willing to lose.

        Victor


        • Just don’t go loaning any guns! There was a story on one gun forum where a guy said that he went to Afghanistan to serve a tour. When he got back, he found that his pothead friend has broken the lock on his gun case and fired the gun, but what really made him mad was to see that the guy hadn’t bothered to clean the gun and had left it a mess. When confronted the friend responded, “Dude, quit freaking out. Let’s go play some video games.”

          Matt61


          • Matt61,

            Oh, don’t you worry about that. While I’d gladly let a friend shoot any of my guns, I wouldn’t loan one out. Too high risk for everyone involved.

            Victor


  15. I mentioned this one a while back. A Remington 788 that would shoot 1/4 inch 100 yd. groups. I sold it because at the time I had two of them. The second one was traded even up for a new Savage Model 12 Heavy Barrel .223. No. 2 would only shoot 1 inch groups but it was factory stock, like new, no work such as bedding, trigger, etc. I traded the first one cause I though the second was worth more.

    Another was a Pre 64 Winchester Model 70 in .375 H & H. I had a chance to buy it for $600.00 when they were going for $1600. Money was a bit tight so I passed.

    FYI, Remington 788′s have a very weak bolt stop. If you rack it hard over time it will shear off. New ones can be hard to find.

    I still have my .357 Ruger 6 inch three screw Blackhawk. It’s a keeper. It will hit the steel rabbit set at 100 yds. at our club range.

    Mike


    • et tu Brute? 1/4 inch at 100 yards and BB shooting bees…………I guess it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.


    • Mike,

      Oh, please don’t start with guns we should have bought and passed on. I passed on a beautiful Mannlicher 1952 in .30-06 with DST for $125. It was worth twice that at the time (1974) and today would bring several thousand. Of course if history is any teacher I would have sold it off by now.

      B.B.


      • I’ll second that sentiment. One of mine was a Sako that was hanging on the wall at Old West Arms on Colfax, back in the 80′s. I don’t remember the caliber, but the wood was mesmerizing . I can still see it. At $550 then, it was too much for my budget, but you couldn’t even touch something like that today for under $3k….

        /Dave


    • I’ve heard about the 788. The secret was a apparently a very fast lock time. But sometimes it got embarrassing when the budget rifle was equaling or surpassing the Cadillac 700 model.

      Ouch, Winchester 70 in 375 HH magnum is one of my dream guns.

      It seems to be that hitting things at 100 yards with a .357 magnum is a certain standard that I will hope to achieve. One reason I bought this caliber is that seems to be perched right on the border between rifle and pistol performance.

      Matt61


  16. Evening B.B.,

    Your comment,” In the words of the 18th century British seaman — I am impressed!” Got the tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks. Thanks

    My second pistol was a Ruger Blackhawk in .44 magnum purchased new in 1962. Absolutely loved that revolver and still wish I kept it, but it helped pay for the 22-250 I had built on a mauser action and the reloading equipment necessary for what was then a wildcat round. Never shot any bees, but a 12 gauge shotgun shell was never safe at 100 yards.

    Bruce


    • Bruce,

      In 35 years of me saying that, you are the first person to comment on it. It’s probably only for those people who were educated before 1970.

      B.B.


      • A lot od my airguns are from China. So I guess it would be Shanghaied for me.

        Sorry I could rememeber much before 1970 because I keep getting that silly song stuck in my head:

        I’m Henery the Eighth, I am,
        Henery the Eighth I am, I am!
        I got married to the widow next door,
        She’s been married seven times before
        And every one was an Henery
        It wouldn’t be a Willie or a Sam
        I’m her eighth old man I’m Henery
        Henery the Eighth, I am!



        • I love star trek, I grew up watchng the reruns of the original….thanks the internet I go back and still watch them when I can.


  17. Only gun i regret having lost is my Egyptian AK47. But I didn’t lose it in a trade and I didn’t sell it. My wife (now ex-wife) destroyed it because I didn’t clear the purchase with her first. In those days I made all kinds of money and we were not hurting for money. I worked all kinds of overtime and I earned every penny I spent on that gun. But since it wasn’t her idea and I was forbidden by her to have any hobby or fun at all This was an unforgivable sin. So she took a hammer and destroyed the gun in front of me. I’ve been on a gun collecting thing ever since my divorce and have since replaced it with a Romanian AK47 and an AMD65 both custom built with my own hands. I totally forbid everybody to ever touch these two guns.


    • ouch…my wife is understanding…I can buy it….as long as she doesn’t have to hear me talk about it. Generally she’ll listen for the first few minutes then I can see her eyes trailing off.



      • I think my wife works on the guilt theory ;-)
        I remember a few years ago. There was a lens I really wanted (for those that know cameras, a Leica 35mm Summicron)…a $2800 purchase.
        Now I really didn’t ‘need’ it…but I sure wanted it…and the rep (whom I knew well) as going to let me have a demo unit at $2200. She told me sure…go ahead if I really wanted it…we’d manage it.
        Well…she’s always been an artist at heart herself.
        About a week late she said she needed some new pencils (about $50) and asked me if it was okay is she bought them.
        I knew she was kind of yanking my chain…but I still kinda felt like a heel ;-)



        • Only $50? You got off cheap.

          Beware the day she wants a full set of soft (chalk-like, not crayon-like oil) pastels! Since pastels are so easy to overwork, they come in, usually, five “grades” per color (from pure color to almost white). Consider that makers may have something like 70 colors, and five grades for each… And when buying full sets, one may get four or five sticks of each!

          I’ve paid around $20 for sketching sets that just consist of:

          Water soluble pencils HB, 4B, 8B
          Charcoal pencils light, medium, dark
          Solid graphite (no wood) pencil 2B
          Regular pencils HB, 3B
          Pastel pencils (wood tube) in white, brown, black
          “Drawing” pencils sepia, umber
          “Natural” graphite (rectangular) soft, 2 medium, hard
          “Compressed” charcoal soft, medium, hard (not sure which is duplicated — tin is still sealed)
          kneadable eraser (aka putty rubber)
          Sharpener

          You don’t want to see my cabinet of art supplies (in a former life I had 1-3 business trips to the UK a year — and many times I’d end up buying a kit of colored pencils and/or water colors each time; in later years I moved up from the “student” grades to buying individual half-pans of artist grade colors to swap into sets [some colors are basically the same quality between the grades — the synthetic dyes for instance — but some are imitation in student grade or have different compounds to moderate the brightness[)


      • My wife was not understanding at all. When I bought an all original condition 1952 Packard Clipper for $500 that i found in an old barn she totally blew a bolt on me. It was a beautiful old car. Big massive car with beautifil curves and a smooth as silk running flat top straight 8 cylinder engine. Driving that car was like riding on a cloud. When she discovered it in the garage she sold it for $500 and went out and bought $500 in jewelry she said she needed more than I needed a car. The woman was seriously cruel. When I heard she had died a terrible and painful death from cancer after enjoying several years of everything she ever truly dreaded I was the happiest man on earth. I’ve felt extremely free ever since and won’t be making the same mistake twice. No more marriage for me. I even crafted myself a new “Wedding ring” to remind myself never ever to do it again. Every time I get lonely I look at the ring and the scars she left me and I am instantly no longer lonely.


        • I can see why weddings are so high stress–equivalent to divorces–if your spouse can turn out as bad as that. How can you know! Your new wedding ring should warn off any interested people. :-)

          Matt61


          • I call it my divorced ring actually. It’s a reminder to me not to make bad decisions anymore. So far it is working. !0 years single now. Almost as long as I was married.


      • ajvenom,

        For decades, neither my wife or I splurged on anything. Everything went into family. As it grew, we got a bigger house, family transportation, college funds, etc. Both of my kids got full academic scholarships, so we bought both them cars. Never borrowed money, so everything is paid off. But I also worked lots of high pressure jobs and probably spent a good 20+ years working critical jobs that required between 60 and 80 hours a week. I often took jobs that no one else would, and so I also did a lot of traveling. I hate flying now, but we both love road trips. It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that we started to relax and stop and smell the roses. It was nice to know that when I decided to do some splurging, she never batted an eye. If anything, she would say, are you sure that’s enough? Don’t buy anything you might regret. Get what you need (want). I’m not one to carry much, if any, money in my wallet, and I grew up poor so going without never bothers me. But it’s good to be able to have what you want, when you want it. But “want” is something that almost rarely crosses my mind. I can’t imagine my wife saying no, and I appreciate it enough to never abuse it.

        Victor



  18. I rarely sell any of my firearms, but there was a point in my life when I had crashed and destroyed my only form of transportation and needed a new bike to get back and forth to work. So, I sold a pristine unfired 44 Automag. Never got around to shooting it only because at the time I didn’t reload myself and ammo was difficult to find.
    I regret selling my Ruger P90 as well….If I’d only known they weren’t going to make guns out of steel anymore I NEVER would have sold it!


    • You, sir… I’m speechless…

      I’ve manage to go with only one “selling” of a gun… A Browning Challenger II (with the nice high gloss bluing, predating the BuckMark). Sold on commission for my Ruger Mark II Government Competition Target model (yes, that name is convoluted, but if you look at the formal model /number/ that’s what it breaks down as). Reason: the rear sight adjustment of the Browning lacked my needs (I’d actually filed a bit off the front sight and cold-blued it in the attempt to get it “on target” with my eyesight).



      • I have to admit at the time I didn’t think it was any big deal. AMT was an upstart nobody had ever heard of. My father actually won the gun at a shooting competition and handed it down to me. The jetsony look grew on me but I eventually became aware of it’s value so it sat unused in the back of the cabinet.
        In the end it boiled down to selling 3 guns I actually used or 1 I didn’t……seemed pretty obvious back then.


  19. B.B.

    First of all tell Mac I pray for him and wish him health.

    I have never felt that way yet. Every purchase I made had clear distinction – “gun I want to keep” and “investment gun” or “restore and sell with profit gun”. Categories changed once (sell > keep) but no more yet. Maybe that’s because I’m very slow to purchase or sell and have very much time to weigh all pros and cons. And of course my “no more than 5 of each type” and “no more than you can use for a specific work” rule helps to be picky :)

    duskwight


  20. Off-topic.

    I have a frustrating but intriguing problem with one particular air rifle, and I am hoping one or more of you might make sense of it, because I cannot.

    Just after I get the rifle to group (quite well) and the scope finally centered with three or four shots, the next four will be three to four inches apart and all over the target.

    It is a 1970s version of a popular break barrel model by a respected German maker and has a Record trigger (hint). Its breech seal is partially deteriorated, and it diesels slightly. However, it has a clean, shiny, and seemingly good bore, and the crown looks burr-free. It is shooting a bit weak, but it is a low-powered young adult model anyway. It cocks and shoots very smoothly. I have tried five different pellets in it (.177): CPLs, Hobbies, RWS Super Hollowpoints, JSB Exact Diabolos, and JSB Stratons. So, a wadcutter, a hollowpoint, two diabolos, and a pointed head. All weighing between 6.9 and 8.3 grains. I am seating the pellets flush with the breech.

    I scoped it properly with a lightweight 4X Walther scope and have repeatedly made sure the scope mounts, pivot screws, and mounting screws are all tight all of the time. My indoor range (10 meters) is properly lit. I have been trying very hard to make my cheek weld consistent.

    So, what in the heck is going on?

    Michael


    • Michael…

      My instincts tell me that the scope is wasted, but there are other things that I don’t know.

      I don’t know what you mean by “diesels slightly” , how the pellets fit, if you cleaned the barrel, or what a chrono string looks like.

      twotalon


    • Michael..

      Another thing..

      If you have a drooper, then your scope could be adjusted out of range. That can mimic a bad scope.
      Try cranking the scope down a bunch and let it group at the bottom of the target. See what happens.

      twotalon


    • Has the gun ever been apart? If the breech seal is going south, there’s a fair bet the piston seal is far worse. I have a vintage R10 that I bought used about 5 years ago. The gun shot – but if I didn’t have a chrony I wouldn’t have known that it was only shooting with about 1/2 the power it should have. The gun was much better behaved after I redid the innards.

      I’d suggest a teardown and inspection with a probable reseal before going any further.


    • Michael,

      By “mounting screws”, do you mean stock screws (I’m an airgun newbie who knows very little about such things)? Because loose stock screws would be another possibility.

      Try a different scope.

      Victor


    • Michael,

      I will add my guess to the others. I think your scope is adjusted up pretty high — right? If that is the case the scope is wandering around, because there is no tension on the erector tube spring.

      If you have open sights you might try them. The way you describe your rifle, it sounds okay. Maybe a little tired, but it won’t do what you are describing.

      B.B.


      • Thanks for all of the input and excellent questions.

        By mounting screws yes, I mean the stock screw, which is tight, as are the two pivot screws. By dieseling I mean I can smell a bit of burning oil after each shot. Yep, I did clean the barrel, first thing. As we’ve had lousy weather, I have not chronied it, but my guess is that this 1970s HW30 in .177 is shooting in the mid 200s to low 300s, based on its performance (actually lack thereof) on a telephone book compared to my Diana/Winchester 23/423, which is shooting they way it ought, in the low to mid 400s. It cocks at about 17-19 smoooooth pounds, which seems to be as it should, no?

        I gave up with the open sights because with it set at its extreme highest setting, it was shooting well below the paper at 10 meters, even with 6.9 grain lead pellets (RWS Super Hollows).

        The scope is a new old stock Walther, the one that came with the Lever Action rifle. The mounts I’m using are double screw type, all screws are tight, and the mounts are of the very low variety, although they do not have droop compensation. I do not know if I have it set high or low. But I certainly will try to lower it quite a bit to see how the rifle groups when shot quite low of the aim point.

        The volume of each shot is probably about right for an HW30, but I suppose it might actually be detonating sometimes instead of merely dieseling. Perhaps when it detonates, it shoots as “hard” as 300 fps, and the times it merely diesels, it shoots in the 180 – 210 fps range. Even at 10 meters, that variance would show up as vertical inaccuracy, although it wouldn’t explain the horizontal inaccuracy. When it shoots wildly, the shots are all over the target, as far as three inches from each other. When it shoots two or three successive shots accurately, they are within a half inch of each other.

        I’ll try the shooting low and then post again, although I’ll have to increase the size of my backstop somehow and use an old pizza box with a paste target near the top as a the target.

        Obviously, this rifle is sick and needs to be opened up, but I lack the time and expertise, so I might just store it for a few years until I have both the time, mainspring compressor, and knowledge to do that. (Or, if anyone here wants to open her up and do a report on a sick vintage HW30 . . . ;^)

        Michael

        P.S. B.B., Like everyone else here, my thoughts and prayers are with Mac, his family, and his friends. Your being with him for support now speaks volumes about both the character of each of you and the strength of your friendship.


        • Michael…

          Someone more familiar with the old ones may have to help you from here. The present ones should run in the low to mid 600s with 7.3 gr pellets according to my R7s.
          You might have leather seals and a seriously weak spring. Someone may be able to tell you how to make or otherwise obtain parts.

          twotalon


          • I removed the scope, because deep down I think the scope is fine, adjusted the front sight as high as it would go, and shot a pizza box at 5 meters using a camera tripod as a rest.

            Five hobbies (running low on the RWS Super Hollows) made a three quarter inch “group” (remember FIVE meters indoors) six inches below my blue magic markered aim point. (Hey, windage was about right!) The pizza box surface was dented with five perfect little wadcutter circles, but each of the pellets feebly ricocheted to the floor a few feet in front of the box. None made it through the front of the pizza box.

            So, I’m guessing new mainspring, new spring guide(s), new piston seal, and new breech seal. New piston, too, perhaps? There are instructions online showing how to construct a mainspring compressor. All of the parts must be available from Maccari and/or Pyramyd, right? Hmmm. Maybe a vintage HW30 will end up being the airgun I learn how to work on airguns with. Hope I don’t screw it up!

            On the other hand, about how much would parts and labor cost if I sent it to a pro?

            Or I suppose I could just part it out. Barrel, Rekord trigger unit, nice vintage stock, vintage sights . . . .

            Michael



              • B.B.,

                What I also now know for certain is that I could write a guest blog for you someday: “Guns I Should Not Have Bought”!

                I’ve had six Feinwerkbaus, an Anschutz, a Sheridan, a Mendoza (all superb), BSAs, Crosmans, Benjamins, Daisys, Haenels, Dianas, Umarexes, and three Weihrauchs (some superb, some dog doodoo, many in between). And those are just the long guns! It could be a six-parter, LOL. (Actually, maybe not LOL.)

                Michael


            • Michael…

              Someone should be able to get you some parts. A rifle like this needs a rebuild, not a trip to the salvage yard.

              There is a chance that P.A. may be able to fix it up. They may also know of some sources for parts.

              twotalon



                • Michael..
                  I have a couple of those kits that I have not installed yet. But the problem is something else…

                  A rifle that old may not have the same parts as the newer ones. Parts may change dimension or material. Take a look at the breech seal. What is it made of ??

                  twotalon


                  • The breech seal is made of crumbling black stuff. It could be crumbling leather, crumbling rubber, crumbling synthetic rubber, or crumbling roofing tar for all I can tell, LOL.

                    The serial number is 508291, if that gives an indication of the gun’s age. I assumed ’70s because it looks ’70s or maybe ’80s to me, finger grooves, no buttpad, no cheekpieces, lightweight, shiny finish on the stock, real bluing, etc.

                    Michael


                    • Michael…

                      That’s not good.
                      Maybe the best choice is to call Air Venturi for some assistance. They are part of P.A. and also the authorised repair for Beeman/HW branded HW guns. I don’t have the number for Air Venturi handy at the moment, but P.A. can hook you up.
                      There may also be a situation in which this may be a tuned down gun made for another country. Look for any markings that might look cryptic.

                      I think they may also have some piston adapters to change from leather to plastic seals if necessary.
                      I think B.B. did a blog a while back showing how to make a new leather piston seal for an old gun he was working on. Can’t remember which one.

                      twotalon




                • Michael,

                  My suggestion would be to explore all other tuning options for your HW30 before installing a “drop in kit” from vortek.

                  kevin


                  • Kevin,

                    Thanks for the date information.

                    If the Vortek kit would fit diameter-wise, even with a small bit of spring trimming required, why might that not be the best solution?

                    Thanks,

                    Michael


            • If you have some way of measuring the cocking effort that will give an indication as to whether the spring is shot. But I really suspect you need a new synthetic piston seal.



              • Vince,

                (Internet research suggests my HW 30 was made around 1974.)

                I might damage the rifle? Hmmm. Frankly that’s been on my mind quite a bit today, wink.

                Seriously, if the damage would be to the breech and/or piston seal, those are already shot, no? If the damage would be to the spring, well, once it’s open, that’s just another $15, so it should be changed out anyway.

                If I choose to learn how to fix it myself, take it apart to measure the innards for generic replacements, I risk damaging the rifle by my ineptitude. On the other hand, I’ve long wanted to dive into an airgun, get my hands greasy, and learn. If I screw it up, well, it’s not worth much right now anyway, but the lessons I take away . . .

                On the other hand, if I pay $50 round trip sending it to a repairman, pay him $75-$100 for materials and $125-$150 for labor, then I will have spent $470-$520 for a $320 rifle. There is such a thing as throwing good money out after bad.

                Or, if I can sell it as a project/parts gun, maybe I can cut my losses to just $100 or so.

                Or, I could shoot bottle rockets out of it every Independence Day. The velocity would be greater and it would provide me with more enjoyment than it has so far, LOL!

                I do now know what HW stands for: Horrible Waste.

                Michael


              • Vince,

                I might damage the rifle? Hmmm. Frankly that’s been on my mind quite a bit today, wink.

                Seriously, if the damage would be to the breech and/or piston seal, those are already shot, no? If the damage would be to the spring, well, once it’s open, that’s just another $15, so it should be changed out anyway.

                If I choose to learn how to fix it myself and measure the innards for generic replacements or rig up my own, I risk damage to the rifle through my ineptitude. On the other hand, I’ve long wanted to dive into an airgun, get my hands greasy, and learn. If I screw it up, well, it’s not worth much right now anyway, but the lessons I take away . . .

                On the other hand, if I pay $50 round trip sending it to a repairman, pay him $75-$100 for materials and $125-$150 for labor, then I will have spent $470-$520 for a $320 rifle. There is such a thing as throwing good money out after bad.

                Or, if I can sell it as a project/parts gun, maybe I can cut my losses to just $100 or so.

                Or, I could shoot bottle rockets out of it every Independence Day. The velocity would be greater, and it would provide me with far more enjoyment than it has so far, LOL!

                Michael


                • I’m thinking more along the lines of damage to the piston head. With an insufficient air cushion the parts tend to slam home pretty hard.

                  If you’ve always wanted to crack one open, go ahead and give it a shot. If you’re reasonably careful the worst that’ll happen is that you won’t be able get it back together – and even at that it’s still worth something.


                  • Vince,

                    Yeah, the piston is one part not to part with, I suppose.

                    Maccari’s site mentions that if one inquires, he has springs, seals, and such for pre-safety HW30 rifles. I’m going to go that route.

                    The only way this ends up not leaving a bad taste in my mouth is if I buy the parts, open it up, reread all that I’ve been reading about rebuilding old springers, and do it and learn a lot from the experience. Plus, if all goes well, everything will still cost no more than $300, and I might have a sweet shooter when I’m done.

                    You asked about cocking effort. It cocks as hard as my Bronco if I use the Bronco’s muzzle break only for my ring and pinkie fingers and put my middle and index fingers on the breech side of the front sight. (Of course if you lack a Bronco, I guess that’d be about 18-20 pounds of effort for the HW30)

                    Michael


                • Sorry about the semi-double post. I had this weird delay of an hour or so before my first one showed up, so I rewrote it as best as I could remember and tried again.

                  Michael


  21. Another was the Ruger Police Service Six in .357. A special “200th Year of Our Liberty” edition. I picked it up in a little town in southern Utah in ’77 and sold it a couple of years later when I needed money…

    I think I have such a hard time letting go of airguns now because of the firearms that I’ve regretted selling, so I don’t have any airguns that I’ve let go…

    /Dave





    • Kevin,

      I can only say that the officer is a (insert favorite derogatory or demeaning term here)….

      As for the pro gc people in Texas… I guess the odd, wayward penguin finds itself in Hawaii, on occasion.

      /Dave



  22. The grandmaster of my martial arts style said about meditation: “Can you face yourself?” Never more true than when remembering all the ones that got away. Thanks for the object lessons. I’ve screwed up in every imaginable way with my guns, but I don’t ever plan to make the mistake of selling any of them. I’m also feeling better about my purchase of the used SW686. With the climate of things being so uncertain, I didn’t know if I would get another chance to buy the model that I wanted, and I think I was right.

    So, B.B., the 22-250 on a Springfield action was your other most accurate rifle. Those Springfields are something. My other guess would have been your Springfield rebarreled for a .458 Winchester magnum that put 10 shots into a hole at 100 yards! Victor has also verified the accuracy of the Springfield at 600 yards. And I recall that the Marine Corps was thinking of a dedicated sniper rifle in the 1930s and they chose the Springfield 03 over the Winchester 70. It was not only more available but at least as accurate in their view.

    J-F, thanks! I’m a fan of Mikhail Bakhtin, a Russian linguist turned theorist of language and culture, who says: “Nothing is ever completely dead; every meaning will have its homecoming festival.” :-)

    Great news in the battle against elephant poaching. I watched the graduation of a class of rangers who will protect elephants in Kenya. Probably my first choice for the job would still be the Waffen SS who could put their homicidal fanaticism to some productive social use. But these rangers don’t look half bad. They were goose-stepping through their drill! Their arms were swinging horizontal forwards and back and their legs were completely locked. It looked like the British military drill but with a little extra flair. And in the field, they were armed with shiny new AKs–the very best I was glad to see.

    More good news. The most endangered cat in the world, the Amur (Siberian) Leopard is making a big comeback with an increase of 65%–from 35 animals all the way to 50! Trouble is the Amur Tigers, also making a comeback, are starting to prey upon the leopards! Ecology is still a tricky thing. One answer is to trap some of these feral hogs in the U.S. and ship them over to Siberia. They can reproduce over there and then who cares about habitat destruction with all those juicy pigs running around. Then, once we see the results there, we’ll have enough of a basis to import a few Bengal tigers to Texas with radio collars and place them inside the portable fencing with the pig-sized chutes.

    I’m getting newly interested in wild boars. 400 pounds, razor sharp tusks, lightning fast, covered with fur. The word “beast” seems made for them. Does anyone know how fast they can run? It’s over such short distances that it’s hard to measure, but those little legs really churn away. Anyone hunting them with a spear like the medievals did had plenty of guts.

    Matt61

    Matt61


    • Hunt wild boar with a spear? I’m trying to get my mind around hunting them with a single-shot .45-70.

      I’d like to try that, but with something repeatable for a backup.

      Les



    • Michael,

      I’m getting in late on this discussion, but the HW 30 is made in such a straightforward way that I doubt you would hurt it by attempting to repair it. Read that article on making leather piston seals and see what you think.

      B.B.



        • Vince,

          Yes, I think they did. The HW 50s certainly did. But that was way back in the ’60s. How late they switched over I couldn’t say.

          B.B.


      • B.B.,

        I’ve been away from the board for a couple days, but yes, I’ll take it apart and try to do the piston and breech seals myself using your instructions if Maccari does not have a synthetic substitute for the leather. (His site suggests that he does have some synthetic seals to replace leather ones in some pre-safety HW rifles.) The more I look at the breech seal, the more it looks like old, greasy, rotted away leather, not rubber or anything else.

        My worry is that Vince is correct (as he often seems to be!) and by continuing to fire it I might have damaged the piston itself. Obviously if that is deformed, well, I suppose there is no thing as a replacement piston for a 40 year old air rifle,m and either it a parts gun.

        It does have that Rekord and the prettiest grained stock I’ve seen on a youth rifle.

        Thanks Again,

        Michael


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