by Gene Kelly
Seems like whenever I go places where there are new or different firearms, such as the SHOT Show, visiting manufacturers or doing testing for GunTech, I come away lusting after some new gun or guns!. I mean get real, I don’t think a mule could even begin to carry all the guns I own now, so why on earth do I need another one?!
Well, “need” as I am sure you know isn’t really the issue, but WANT certainly is and I am O.K. with that! Hey I need that beautiful Chiappa color case hardened receiver, single shot, Baby Sharps in .30/30 caliber because, well, it would be cool for, um, hunting deer?
I, like most gun guys, have convinced myself that I needed (read that as really, really wanted) this and many other guns that probably will never get taken into the field more than once or twice. But “Gee Wally!” I STILL really want them. So what do I do? Well, most of the time I restrain myself and the trance I find myself in over a particular gun eventually passes, but of course, not always. Hey, a guy needs to have his toys right?!
Recently I had occasion to go through many of my guns as I moved them into a new safe. This gave me the opportunity to handle some guns I hadn’t looked at or admired for quite some time. Some of those guns have very fond memories attached to them and it gave me joy just to handle them again.
The first that fell to hand was a very old, slightly pitted, S&W Model 10 .38 Special revolver, that was the very first centerfire handgun I ever owned. Bought it used – really, really used! I did a trigger job on it in gunsmithing school and it is still silky smooth and timed up tight. That gun went into the field a lot with me over the college years and beyond. I still enjoy shooting it.
I also looked at my Dad’s old 1894 .30/30 Winchester that I carried on some of my first deer hunts. In the back of the safe was my Colt “Stagecoach” .22 LR semi-auto rifle. It is a 16” carbine with a 13 shot tube magazine, a glossy walnut stock, a saddle ring, and roll engraving on the receiver. That was my first rifle and I saved for it a long time. Over the years it “killed” a lot of cans, and even put a few rabbits in the stew pot. I still really enjoy shooting that lightweight, fast handling, little gun. Another rifle I pulled out was an M1 Garand in .308 that I’ve still never fired. Dang!
All of this got me to thinking. Here I had a group of “friends” that I really enjoyed and yet I was always out looking for another. Maybe I am just a insatiable gatherer/collector but it did give me pause. Because I knew there was still a huge amount of enjoyment available to me with the guns I already owned. So, now I’m making plans to take a number of my “old friends” out on a “Range Date” this year. I might even have to put blinders on so I don’t look too closely at any new guns while I am visiting the shooting range. Well maybe just a peek . . .
So, enjoy the guns you’ve got. Take them out, tune them up, reacquaint yourself with some old friends and have some fun!
Good Shooting, Gene Kelly