Blog,  Ruger

You Can Go Home Again (Part 2)

Have you sold a firearm and almost immediately regretted doing so?  If you read my April 2021 Blog post entitled You Can Go Home Again you know that I have.  If you haven’t read that post, go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

In the summer of 1976, I was 23 years old, recently married, and thought it was time for me to own a handgun.  When I was about 12 years old Dad had taught me firearms safety and how to shoot.  But I didn’t know enough about which handgun to choose.  After conversations with more experienced friends, I decided I wanted a Smith & Wesson revolver in .38 Special with a 4” barrel for use as a home defense and one day carry gun.

I visited a local gun shop and the salesman recommended a new S&W Model 10 with blued finish, a 4” barrel and round butt.  It was a very nice looking revolver with beautiful blued finish and great SA and DA trigger pulls.  I didn’t know that the square butt S&W’s were the most preferred at that point in time, far outnumbering the round butt K-frame medium size revolvers in numbers produced.  In 1977, I obtained my PA concealed carry permit and as that 10-5 round butt was my only centerfire handgun, I carried it a lot.

Back in the 1970-80s, if I wanted to buy a gun I had to sell a gun.  What I didn’t mention in Part 1, is that in the early 1980s I had sold my first handgun purchase, that Smith & Wesson Model 10, to raise the money for purchase of a Smith & Wesson Model 66-2 .357 Magnum with 6” barrel.  Yep, I regretted the sale of the 10-5 immediately, but financially I had no choice.

As the years turned into decades, I owned and shot a lot of rounds through various S&W revolvers.  I came to appreciate the venerable Model 10 and was able to add a vintage Model 10-6 blued, 4” heavy barrel, square but to my collection.  It has a great action and shoots like a dream.  But I still missed that 1976 Model 10-5, 4” thin barrel, round butt.

It seems that once a collector, always a collector.  Apparently I was born with the collector gene.  As a child I collected coins, stamps, rocks, fossils, arrowheads, comic books, baseball and football cards and on and on.  As an adult I focused my collecting on US martial arms.  But as a side collection I have also collected a few 1970-80s vintage S&W revolvers and Colt commercial Government Models.

Lately, I seem to have the S&W vintage revolver bug.  I’ve noticed as I am closing in on age 70 that I have developed an interest in firearms that I had once owned and sold along and with those that I could not afford when I was young.  Yep, you guessed it, a few years ago I decided to begin the hunt for a 1970s vintage Smith & Wesson Model 10-5, blued, 4” thin barrel, round butt revolver preferably with the original box, papers and cleaning tools.  This quest proved more difficult than I had expected.  In three or four years of causally checking local shops and online auctions, I have only encountered three.  The first I found was priced far too high and the second was in well-worn condition.  Then recently on GunBroker I found the exact match to my 1976 Model 10-5.  This one was in made in 1975, was in excellent condition, with box, papers and cleaning kit.  The seller was Kittery Trading Post in Maine and they had a very high Feedback rating.  I was the high bidder at a fair price for buyer and seller.  I received it a few weeks ago and am quite pleased with my purchase.  Now I need to make time to take it to the range.  Yes, I shoot my vintage S&W revolvers a bit.  No safe queens for me.

You can go home again with vintage firearms purchases; it has been great fun.  So much so that I’ve been pondering what the next target to add to the collection may be.  Perhaps a S&W Model 66-2 with 6” barrel as I sold that one too.  Stay tuned …


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