A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, June 08, 2008

On Getting Beaten

I am often asked how I find the deals I do in firearms. I have a simple answer, I show up with cash and I look for them. I look at estate sales, garage sales, gun shows and pawn shops. I put the word out of what I am interested in. Often, putting the word out among women can be more fruitful than putting it out among gun nuts. Sometimes though, I am a day late or a dollar short, just like anyone else.

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. Click to enlargeWhen 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. Click to enlargeThen 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 collecting accumulating world. I enjoy the guns that show time spent in a holster. I enjoy the firearms that have been modified to make them more suitable to the job at hand. This gives me an opening and a chance to find many different firearms that I enjoy. Even so, I occasionally still get beat to the table.

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Blogger Mark said...

3 1/2" model 27 is an unusual beast to be certain. It might not be an investment piece, but were I our friend I'd pay the $30 to get a factory letter from S&W.

9:08 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

I hopefully put my 2-1/2 Pinned and recessed model 19 Combat Magnum on layaway tomorrow..
I loved the feel of that mid size magnum,single action caught me by surprise,and the double felt better then most NEW guns.
it'll be a perfect stable mate to my 6" model 28.
messed up thing...I STARTED on 45 auto's,My first was an old Colt 1911 made in 1918,I got it for a song as a parts gun.
Now?....I'm into revolvers more then anything,and PRE safety lock Smitty's more then anything,I dont LIKE the new ones,and I reeeeally dont like that mongrel they call a "CLASSIC"..with a saftey lock,screw that.
they RUINED a perfectly good idea with political correctness,and I AINT buying.

9:42 PM  
Blogger PresterSean said...

So, what should it have cost?

8:02 AM  
Blogger nature223 said...

a 3 1/2 Model 27??
shoot,at LEAST 450-500...that is a desirable model,I love mine...(although mine is a six inch barreled one)..
P.S. I got that model 19 laid away and also laid away ANOTHER AR-15 lower(anything that has the number is the gun,in my book and this was a lower with parts kit,ASSEMBLED. for only two hundred...sheesh I could'nt let that one go,ergo grip and a nice stock,I'm set

4:22 PM  
Anonymous T.S. Idiot said...

That gun ain't weathered.It's work hardened.

5:36 AM  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Beautiful. Gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. A true MILF -- Mature I'd Love to Fire. (oh, quit yer groanin'. someone had to say it. . .).

11:17 PM  
Blogger midnight rider said...

I've been collecting knives for 25+ years, much longer than guns (so much so that 1/2 the time I still refer to holsters as sheaths and look like a complete knucklehead. sigh). FWIW to me the blueing looks more like the oxidation/blackening that happens to the backspring of a good steel (usually stainless) knife that has ridden in a sweaty front pocket for awhile than it does blueing. A wonderful patina nevertheless. And those are beautiful stag hamdles. Wish I had more knives with scales like that. So many guns, so many knives, so many Zippos, so little time. . .

11:33 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...


5:57 AM  

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