Gun Show Dice Roll and Karma
Finally, as he was about to turn away, I asked "What about the one in your pocket?" He then pulled a topbreak S&W revolver from hiding. The grips had been replaced with pearl grips at some point, no medallions, but they were genuine mother of pearl. I asked what he wanted for it, and he replied $225. I opened the cylinder, and found all the numbers to be matching. It was a .38 Double Action 4th Model. I countered $200, and he said $215. I asked if I could dry fire the revolver and he said yes. I dry fired it, and it functioned. I turned it over in my hands, wondering if I really wanted to add another top break revolver to the stable. I was flying by the seat of my pants on this deal. I did not know the market value of this gun without consulting the book. The book was outside in the car. Just as I was about to return it to it's owner, he said $200 would be fine. Because I had offered, I could not withdraw, so I rolled the dice. I took two Franklins out and handed them over to the gent, and thanked him for my new gun. Then I went out to the car to look it up. I had done OK on the deal. Not spectacular, but I did not take a whooping either. I returned to the arena.
I make no bones about being a 1911 fanatic. I keep track of recent price trends, I buy and shoot old man Browning's .45, and I have found contentment doing so. Because of the historical nature of the 1911, one of my Holy Grail guns has long been a M1911. When I came back inside the gun show, I wandered over to one of my favorite dealers, Cowboy Bob. I was too late. Bob was engaged with a gentleman who was selling a M1911A1 for a friend who had been a Major in the US Army. The pistol had been retained by the officer after he left the service, and was in it's original holster. It appeared to be in good shape. I stood by as Cowboy Bob continued to chat with the seller. If he walked away from Bob's offer, I was prepared to quickly counter, although I wasn't certain I had the cash at hand.
Cowboy Bob offered the man a thousand dollars for the pistol and holster. The man wavered, but his wife poked him in the ribs. Then he agreed. I watched Bob pull ten crisp hundred dollar bills from the wad of cash in his pocket, and he took possession of the pistol. After the seller and his wife walked away, I immediately said "OK Bob, how much are you going to sell that pistol to me for?"
"You want to buy it?" Bob acted surprised. He handed me the pistol, and I saw it was a Remington Rand. Earlier this week I had researched the serial number on a Remington Rand for someone and I saw that this gun's serial fell within the same range. I am not an expert on M1911s, but the combination of a one owner gun, carried but seldom used, and matching slide and frame made me confident that the gun was correct. Bob said "Twelve hundred."
"No tax," I countered. Bob agreed, and I broke out my checkbook. Bob thanked me for not turning the deal into an auction, and I thanked him for his work securing the deal. Thus the dice was rolled twice this afternoon, and karma kept me from taking a shellacking. Expect more on these two purchases soon.
Remington Rand Research