Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

There's no explaining what you can't understand. Yesterday I was treated to a young fella trading in a Colt Combat Elite for a Glock. His rationale was that the Glock was lighter for concealed carry. He's right, but dang, its a Glock...

BUT the first thing that greeted me was the sight of a W. W. Greener F16 12-bore. I'm afraid I don't know enough about these as I don't understand grading system. Prices asked range from $1,500 or so to about $49,000. Aside from rarity and provenance, I'm not quite up to speed as to what is worth what and why. I suppose some more study is in my future. The gun I saw was valued (by whom I don't know) at about $2,500.

I thought that would be the end of the gems, but there was a Winchester 1873 .44 WCF of about 1900 vintage in shootable condition. There were remnants of some old protective varnish on some of the metal, but it was a nice gun.

But that wasn't the end of interesting items available for perusal. Rounding out the interesting items was a Colt Model 1911 serial 195xxx without one lick of original finish but with all roll-marks intact. It had a bit of patina but no rust. It has the smooth, flat main spring housing. The stocks were those ugly 1970 era rough blond wood stocks with Colt medallions. The barrel and magazine were not original. At first glance one might think it was a matte finish stainless or electroless nickel finish. Proofhouse.com indicates that this gun was manufactured in 1917/1918. Was it a "black army" with the finish removed? Brought to the shop on consignment for $500 employees estimated that it was worth no more than $500 as a shooter. One thought it would bring no more than $250-300. It sold that afternoon for $800 to a "knowledgeable" collector. Apparently, this individual has another such gun with Navy markings with the same "finish" (or lack of finish). I wish I'd had my camera with me as my plan to go back today for a photo was foiled by the quick sale.

One other interesting thing happened. Several background checks were delayed. Whereas a year ago most delays would have been for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, these all took about 4-5 hours. We've heard that the state police manning of the section conducting these manual background checks has had a cut in personnel. Add the daily sick call and vacation time as well as catch-up from the weekend and this would explain the extended delays. I would advise Virginians who are habitually delayed to go early to allow extra time for the background check. This is especially problematic for those who live at a distance from the shop at which they make a purchase. Again, plan ahead.

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