Pawn Shop Circuit: Two Model 10's from the Past
There has been one recurring question about my circuit, and that is "How do you find a good shop that has decent prices?" For me, the answer is simple. Referring back to my tips post, I prefer the franchise pawn shops. This is because the store manager is more likely to make his bottom line off loans. He also has a district manager breathing down his neck to liquidate stock and turn a little more profit. Inventory doesn't show up on the bottom line. Sales do. The corollary is the franchise store manager has less leeway for negotiation. Frequently he is bound by corporate rules, and cannot negotiate at all until X number of weeks have passed. He does set the prices though, and he usually will pull them straight out of the Blue Book.
By contrast, the Mom & Pop pawnbroker considers his inventory to be part of his business investment, and he is loathe to let it go for less than he believes it is worth.
Here are two Smith & Wesson Model 10's I bought at different times. I have a passion for the old S&W K frames. It seems as though I cannot leave one on the rack after I spot one in a pawnshop. One of my favorites is the S&W Model 10. These revolvers are seldom priced over $200, and almost always great shooters. They are tough as nails, reliable, accurate, and plentiful enough that the prices are still way below their value as a shooter. The lower Model 10-5, which has an estimated date of 1973, cost me $159. The upper Model 10-5 has an estimated manufacture date of 1964. I paid $179 for it. I have a preference for the pinned tapered barrels, but am in the market for a heavy barrel Model 10 at the right price. Model 10's can be found in an array of barrel configurations and lengths. The two and five inch barrel guns usually command about a $25-50 premium. The S&W Model 10 is essentially the evolutionary result of the Model of 1905 with a Model number assigned to it in 1958. Thus the history of the Model 10 can be tracked right back to the first K frame. These revolvers were parkerized and issued as sidearms during WWII, and some were still seeing use when I served in the US Navy in the late 1980's. They have been used by police forces from Peru to Hong Kong. The S&W Model 10 is easily the most ubiquitous revolver, but also the best choice in a defensive handgun for someone who is "not into guns". It can be loaded, put away, and used years later if needed. It is accurate, durable, and it epitomizes the less is more philosophy, something many gunnies call the KISS principle. In a word, the Model 10 is classic. It's an imminently useful classic though. If you see one for under $200 don't pass it up!