A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, August 31, 2007

Pawn Shop Circuit: 1911 Cravings

I got off work early today, and used my spare time to hit a few pawn shops and gun stores. My favorite pawn shops had the usual fare of Ruger double action pistols, Glocks and such, nothing that I was interested in. I resolved to darken the door of a gun store.

At the first gun store, there were a couple of interesting pistols. A Colt New Agent 1911 was in the case. It was Series 90 pistol, with an enhanced lightweight frame and a gutter in the slide instead of sights. It had slim grips, and a tapered slide reminiscent of a Browning Hi-Power. A Real M1911Intriguing to say the least. It was also blued, and priced at $947. It looks like Colt is starting to get on the ball with CCW, but I would have preferred the pistol be hard chromed and priced more attractively.

The proprietor also had a Colt WW1 Reproduction for sale. I asked to see it. As I turned it over in my hands, I noted an off center recoil plug tunnel, and a double struck United States Property rollmark. I was also put off by the tapered leading edges on the slide and the raised margins of the rollmarks. The 1911 reproduction is a pistol I may someday buy. I intend to shoot it if I do though, so a new one would depreciate rapidly. Original M1911s routinely sell for greater amounts, and the chances of finding a correct example in my price range is slim. I looked at the tag. this reproduction was tagged at $1047. I asked if they could work with me on the price. The answer was no.

I remembered why I essentially stopped going into gun stores. I started to drive over to a local gun store that I have not visited in five years. I walked out after the owner's wife was insufferably rude half a decade ago, and vowed to never return. I thought about it today, just to see if there was another Colt WW1 Reproduction in town at a fair price. There was likely one there, but I could not bring myself to offer them any further patronage.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Ethan said...

It took me a while to realize he only had one leg...

10:21 PM  
Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

Xavier, your comments regarding that dealer's M1911 reproduction are well noted. I've been following this pistol over on one of the "1911" forums (you know which one)... and most everyone who has acquired one of these Colts has reported it to be the best made, assembled, fitted and most accurate of any Colt they've ever had (somebody is shooting them!!!). Alas, there have been a couple I've read about like that one you inspected.

What is dumbfounding to me is why the dealer hasn't returned the gun to Colt or his distributor... and why any sensible minded customer would accept that particular M1911 reproduction just to have an example of this type. By all accounts I've read, Colt would take it back and make that pistol "right". I'm suspicious of any dealer who cannot take that initative... and feels smuggly indifferent about passing it on to a paying customer... or else, isn't willing to negotiate on his selling price due to such.

BTW, I read a couple of days ago (same forum) a posting from one of the well informed regulars that Colt is soon going to offer a version of their M1911 reproduction in a high polish blue finish, which differs greatly from the brushed Carbonia blue presently being sold. Colt says it is "period" accurate.

Too, it was reported their production on this pistol is now planned to exceed the original 4,000 limit. Good news for those who have given serious consideration to buying one... and haven't done so yet. Maybe wait for the "high polish blue" version... and yes, by all means, shoot the thing if that's what you want to do. Life's just too short to do otherwise.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

I agree with the assessment of pawns vs gun shops. My friendly neighborhood pawn shop has been much more accomodating than any gun store for miles, even when negotiating prices on relatively new handguns. Gun stores are stingy with their sizeable markups. But it has always puzzled me why I can visit a local gunshow where these same gun store owners have large booths with 100's of thousands of dollars worth of inventory displayed and find their prices and their willingness to negotiate, trade, and even buy much, much more reasonable. Why do you think that is?

I would have to say, though that after the sale service at gun stores is light years beyond anything a pawn shop is willing to do...to include completely replacing a firearm that needs factory work with another from stock while they deal with the manufacturer. No pawn shop would ever do that...at least not around here. Perhaps some may consider that an even trade but I am pretty discerning on which firearms I buy and haven't needed that level of service very often.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

wadi,
Two of my favorite pawn shops offer a 100% money back guarantee for 30 days post purchase. If I don't like the gun, can just get my money back. I haven't done that too often though.......

8:00 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Cliff,
This dumbass dealer actually tried to convince me that the double struck marking made the pistol more valuable, like a double struck coin! Go figure.......I advised him to invest in it himself if that was the case.

I had bought about four or five guns there in the past few years. It seems he didn't remember that I carry cash on these trips. Hell, he didn't even remember my face, and I haven't gotten that much uglier.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous LibertyPlease said...

I've noticed that I am treated rudely in gun shops more often than any other type of store. I'm pretty sure it's not me as I'm a bland middle-aged professional guy, and the rudeness starts before I open my mouth :-). Anyone else have this happen? If so, any explanation?

9:50 PM  
Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

Xavier,

I believe your "dumbass dealer" guy needs glasses... he must have thought he saw the word "Stoopid" inked across your forehead!!!

He certainly needs help remembering who paying customers are. Perhaps he treats everyone with the same indifference?

A double struck rollmark isn't desirable in any firearm... now, one with the wrong rollmark might be an entirely different matter.

There's been some mention of issues with the Colt M1911 reproduction pistol rollmarks on that gun forum... very few, however. A couple complaints were regarding rollmarks pressed in too deeply, leaving a burr of metal at the edge of each character... and IIRC, yes, a double stamp also.

2:33 AM  
Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

Xavier,

I believe your "dumbass dealer" guy needs glasses... he must have thought he saw the word "Stoopid" inked across your forehead!!!

He certainly needs help remembering who paying customers are. Perhaps he treats everyone with the same indifference?

A double struck rollmark isn't desirable in any firearm... now, one with the wrong rollmark might be an entirely different matter.

There's been some mention of issues with the Colt M1911 reproduction pistol rollmarks on that gun forum... very few, however. A couple complaints were regarding rollmarks pressed in too deeply, leaving a burr of metal at the edge of each character... and IIRC, yes, a double stamp also.

2:35 AM  
Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

Liberty,

I've had the same experience... my opinion is this is more often seen in "established" gunstores. These folks act as if they're doing you a favor to allow you into their shop... and of course, it's just the opposite.

2:48 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

My experience has been that clerks in gun stores located in NV and AZ are the most obnoxious, compared to other states I have traveled thru. I was in a store in Las Vegas with a friend and another friend of his. We all had items we were looking for, and my friend finally decided he wanted to see an expensive HK accessory in a display case. We are not young rowdies. I've seen my friend throw down his plastic for about $25K worth of HK stuff in one purchase. This clerk was incredibly rude, and when politely questioned regarding his attitude, he threatened to have us picked up by the coroner for tagging and bagging. We left. I wanted to have a chat with the LVPD and the store owner, but was overruled by the other two.
The abuse in the AZ stores was widespread. I had time to kill, so I hit every store in the Phoenix-Tucson areas. The stores that didn't give me an attitude were a distinct minority. The macho, bad ass, Special Forces wanna-be idiots I found behind the counters were amazing. I was thinking they must have been clones, and the only difference from store to store was how many tatoos were visible, hair color, and whether the vest was leather or denim. Besides being offended by all the posturing, I sometimes had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing in their faces(never a good thing to do to an armed blow hard).

5:15 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

My local gun shop treats me well, is polite, and are a pleasure to business with. I deal with the two managers only. The younger sorts are all jackoffs. The old timers are my friends. Maybe they can educate a couple youngsters to carry on after them if one of them lasts more than six months. Definitely better than a pawn shop. Know me by name and order things for me at a phone call with no prepayment needed.

They aren't all bad.

9:47 PM  

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