On Getting Beaten
At a gun show last year, I was only ten minutes late. I had entered the auditorium on the West side, but one of my good friends entered on the East. When we met in the middle and shook hands, Lester opened his jacket to show me the Smith & Wesson revolver he had just purchased stuck in his belt.
It wasn't a collector's piece by any means. This was no revolver that had been purchased and then stuck on a shelf in the original box having never been fired. It was more interesting than that. This was a Smith & Wesson Model 27-2 with a three and a half inch barrel that had been carried. Whether it started as a blue gun or not was anyone's guess, but now the remnants of it's finish resembled parkerizing. It was honest wear, and a lot of it. The big N frame had spent it's life in someone's holster, not someone's drawer. To me, that was beautiful. To Lester and his daughter, it was beautiful too. He bought it for her, and then she left to go look at jewelry.
I was dumbstruck as I handled the weathered .357 magnum revolver. Here was one of the most desirable Smith & Wesson revolvers today, in a condition that invited carry rather than investment. The revolver locked up like a new Model 27. Then Lester told me the price he paid, and I almost fell over. $265. From a dealer. The dealer had tried to tell Lester it was a Model 28, and then had talked down to Lester when Lester tried to inform him otherwise. Lester's daughter had been the wise one. "Just buy the gun Daddy, I want it," she had said. Over the past year, Lester did do a couple of things to the old revolver. He swapped out the beat up original grips for stag, and he replaced the damaged rear sight blade.
Often times I feel like I have found a mini oasis in the gun