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Originally posted by Johnny 3eagles:
The best surprise for me was obtaining a SIGARMS Mauser M2 in .45acp, triple serial numbers. The majority of the M2s were produced in .40S&W as near as I can tell. Pistol is very accurate and easy to operate with little felt recoil. It took a few rounds to get used to the safety on the rear of the slide.

A few years ago I stopped in my LGS and sitting in the showcase was an M2 Mauser in .45. I never heard of such a gun but since it had "Sig Arms Inc" on the slide, I had to have it. It looks ugly as hell and the grip looks like it would be uncomfortable to hold but, it fit my big hand well. I purchased it, took it home, and shot it. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised by the felt recoil. That rolling block design really makes the gun feel so much different from the typical blow back design. It's a really nice pistol and I love shooting it. So glad I took a chance and purchased it.
Posts: 132 | Registered: August 06, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Slayer of Agapanthus

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CZ 75 SA, my first handgun. Accurate, ergonomic, handsome, great trigger, accurate. Just plain lucky to have bought it. Another lucky purchase, S&W 5906 for $274. As above. I took the 5906 and a friend to the range to teach her to shoot. After the lesson we threw a tree branch crosswise on the berm. Diameter of the branch was about two inches, at most. The distance was about 33 paces. I nailed the branch on the first shot.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot and author, lost on mission, July 1944, Med Theatre.
Posts: 4906 | Location: Central Texas | Registered: September 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
It's all part of
the adventure...
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Last October the Base Exchange was having their “Glocktober” sale. I wasn’t looking for one, but they happened to have a 19X in the case. Just for curiosity, I asked to see it. It felt better than my Gen 4 19, thanks to the 17 frame. I decided to buy it because the price was pretty good and of course, no sales tax. When I took it the range the first time, I was impressed to say the least. The thing is more accurate than I am capable of. It makes me look better than I really probably am. The color sort of put me off at first, but now I really like it. The thing just shoots great. Then in February I bought a CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical to keep my CZ 75 Omega Convertible company. That SP-01 is a shooter, too! Two in a row that I’m delighted with. I’m very fortunate.

On a non-purchase note, my father had given me his Colt Frontier Scout .22LR waaaaay back when I was 21. Dad passed in 2008 and I ended up with most of his other guns (my sister got a couple, too.). Then in 2014 my Father-in-Law passed and I ended up with his Colt Frontier Scout .22 as well. Since then, whenever I open my gun safe (also from my Dad) I see those two Colts and I’m reminded of two of the finest men I’ve ever known.

Regards From Sunny Tucson,

"Faith isn't believing that God can; it's knowing that He will." (From a sign on a church in Nicholasville, Kentucky)
Posts: 790 | Location: Tucson, Arizona | Registered: January 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was at a gun show passing a table and looked down Smith ASP with shoulder holster rig 3 mags 275 bucks , I thought I was seeing things , I knew what it was jumped on it . I see them for 2000 now . Also went to a shop and looked in bottom of case and saw a big Smith grip , Model 27 no dash ,mid 1958 gun large non relieved diamond grips, gold box ,rare 6.5 inch . 600 bucks ex cond .
Posts: 838 | Registered: July 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Last year I bought a Sphinx SDP Compact. I came across a used one at a store and got a good deal on it. I had read a lot of good things about them online, including here on SF. The knocks against them were high price, lack of aftermarket options, and lack of customer support through Kriss.

For what I paid, I was willing to take a chance on it. Just handling it in the store, the Swiss quality was apparent. First mag I ran through it, I shot a tighter and more accurate group than I ever had before. Paradoxically, it has a noticably heavier trigger pull in DA & SA than any of my Sigs or CZs, yet I shot it better right away instead of having a significant adjust period.

I've shot some $1K+ pistols such as 1911s and Legions. IMHO, the Sphinx is at least right up there w/ any of those. I don't understand why some ppl happily pay $1K+ for CZ Custom Shop and Cajunized CZs, yet turn around and criticize the Sphinx for being overpriced. I think even if you paid retail for your Sphinx, you got your money's worth. It's more than competitive w/ any other gun in the $1000-1400 range.
Posts: 1533 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Strambo:
M1 Garand. I'm not really a collector, my firearms are for shooting, mostly self-defense etc. Our unit got a great deal from CMP on our deployment, they set aside a number of service grade M1s, refinished, with new wood and a custom cartouche for our BDE stamped in the stock for $550 ea.

1st time I took it to the range: BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-Ping! Big Grin I was hooked. It both handled and shot way better than I expected. Great rifle, I can see how out-matched the typical Axis soldier would have been with a bolt action anything.

I later got an M1 Carbine gifted to me, similar experience, great guns.

What a great story!! So glad to hear of opportunities like this for our service people. A great way for our service people to have a real piece of the legacy of those who served before them. I love shooting my M1, and although I haven't taken it to the range in a long time there always seemed to be a veteran who wandered over to check it out. Was my pleasure and privilege to let them send a few rounds downrange for old time sakes.

Thank you for your service!
Posts: 2218 | Location: Troy, MI | Registered: October 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A Ruger Security Six when I was 14. I knew nothing of guns, and it was my first purchase. The old clerk sold me a couple of boxes of 38 plinking ammo, and I thought I was an expert my first time out.
Posts: 14640 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To the contributor who posted about the P320c, I concur. Mine was my first polymer/striker pistol and I was really happy with how forgiving it was. Have bought several P320s since.

Back in the day I was heavily into milsurps. Although my first love was US military arms I also loved South American Mausers. I owned a couple of really nice M1908 Brazilian Mausers and still own an exquisite M1895 Chilean that is a tack driver. A 1909 Argentine was at the top of my list while I waited in line outside a gun show years ago when I noticed a guy with an old South American Mauser on his shoulder. Not only was it an Argentine M1909, but it was in great shape, and only $275!! I bought it immediately and carried it throughout the show. Guys were offering my $800 for it! Turns out that it is a parade or honor guard rifle, very finely finished and a beautiful rifle. It still sits in my safe, and always will as long as I am around.
Posts: 2218 | Location: Troy, MI | Registered: October 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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#1. I bought a Remington R1 1911 on sale at a local shop back in 2015. In addition to the sale there was a rebate. It is very well made and finished, has been 100% reliable (use Wilson mags) and very accurate. Has been office desk gun for 3+ years.

#2. Bought a MAB PA15, a French made 9mm from the mid/late 1960s with rotary barrel lockup. A beautifully finished, big and heavy pistol. It is hard to find mags for it though.

#3 Webley MK IV - British revolver in .38/200 (.38 S&W). Just needed to be cleaned up a bit. Probably the most dirty gun I have ever cleaned. Shoots well given its very heavy trigger.


“We have no money to bestow upon a class of people that is not taken from the whole people."
Calvin Coolidge
Posts: 425 | Registered: August 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Walther P4. A guy at work asked me to help him sell it. I hit up all of my gun buddies and no one bit. It is not the most attractive gun on the market.
After a couple of months he texted that he really needed the money and I could have it for $250. That was too good to pass up even with an angry wife looking over my shoulder.
Took it to the range after a good cleaning for a quick test and it is definitely a good shooter. Most magazines yielded a single ragged hole at five yards. I was pleasantly surprised.

Posts: 594 | Location: Auburn, AL | Registered: August 24, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Great Equalizer
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Originally posted by Rightwire:
We had a thread a while ago on your most disappointing firearm purchase. What was your biggest and most pleasant surprise?

Tell us about the one that you bought as a deal or just because and is turned out to be amazingly accurate, way more fun to shoot than you thought, has an amazing story behind it, is way move valuable than originally thought etc....
I actually have two. Both happen to be Smith and Wessons. However I think I will only discuss one here for the moment

That would be this engraved Model 649

An older couple walked into a pawn shop one day. They had a Smith and Wesson Model 649 that was purchased new in 1985. After purchasing their new Model 649, it was loaded and placed in a drawer and never touched since. They are now at an age where they want to sell it since they are going into assisted living.

The pawn shop was working out a deal where everybody would be happy. While this was going on, my pawn shop buddy took some cell phone pictures and sent them to me (the shop is 300+ miles away).

The revolver was engraved when they purchased it and wearing Ivory stocks. They were told it was received that way from the factory.

The revolver only has a carbon ring around one chamber and the couple claims to have never fired it.

The couple did not bring in the box, but they believe they might still have it.

The Shop worked out a great price for me based on the engraving style and quality, after all I was basically purchasing sight unseen.

Needless to say, immediately I became the new owner of the revolver by putting a check in the mail to the Pawn Shop. I had to wait 30 days for a serial number check (FL pawn shop law) and then they shipped it down to South Florida for me.

I ran the serial number by Roy Jinks (Smith and Wesson's Historian) and learned that the revolver left the factory in April of 1985

I placed a Factory Historical Letter Request even though I did not yet have the revolver.

When I received the Factory Historical letter on this revolver. I learned some GREAT information.

The Model 649s began the AFNxxxx serial number series at 0001. This pictured 649 is the 39th one manufactured.

25 of the 43 revolvers between serial numbers AFN0016 and AFN0058 were hand selected for what the letter describes as Class "A+" engraving

The 4 digit "Spec Ord" number indicates a manufacture date of December 6th of 1984. A copy of the original Factory invoice was included with my letter. That Factory invoice showed that this revolver was shipped by itself to Ellet Brothers on April 19th of 1985, just four months after manufacture. The six digit product code is 103750

Even though the box is missing, there is no doubt that the revolver has not been fired since leaving the factory. As a Factory Engraved gun that was created to commemorate the introduction of the brand new Stainless Bodyguard the value of the firearm at an auction site is several thousand dollars more than I paid for it.

Personally I thought it was one great looker and still would have been happy if it turned out to be an aftermarket engraving job

NRA Benefactor . . . Certified Instructor . . . Certified RSO
Posts: 4646 | Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Registered: November 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My P228.

I had been looking for one for two years. I didn’t want to pay a kings ransom for it, but I also wanted one with light use. Every week I would make my rounds to the LGS’s and Cabelas. And I did this weekly for two years, and had found nothing.
One afternoon I get a call from the older gentlemen “Bob” that was always working in Cabelas gun library. He said he has a 228 that I need to see. Just took it in on trade and it’s stashed in the back with my name in it.
I get down there and see the most exquisite 228 I had ever seen. It was in mint condition with barely any holster wear. No smileys on the barrel. It was pretty much unused, and an absolute gem. They wanted $650 for it.
Now I knew that since I had just spent a fair bit of money on a different hobby of mine (cars) that if I dropped $650 on a pistol my wife would have probably divorced me.
“Bob” sees how distraught I am, and knows that I have been searching for this diamond for years. He asks about the 239 that I had bought a few months back. I told him I still have it, but I had sold the threaded barrel, and it’s definitely not worth anything close to $650, as a trade they would probably offer me $200. He requests that I bring it back so he can take a look.
I go home, pick it up and return to Cabelas. He looks it over, Smiles, takes his glasses off and said “it’s a shame I forgot my glasses at home today, but I’m just an old man buying guns. No one gets too upset with me over an occasional mistake. From what I see this gun is 98% or better. We can offer you $625 for your P239 sir.”
Needless to say, we made the deal, I paid $25 and a lot of tax and was the proud owner of a P228.
Coolest guy ever at Cabelas.
It’s still an awesome, accurate, wonderful pistol. I have an RGrizzle War Pig that I carry it in, when it comes out. It’s a little big for me for daily carry though.
It’s one that’ll get buried with me, mostly because of how long and hard I searched for it, and how awesome “Bob” was at making the deal happen.


Imagine if everyone refused to accept mediocrity. Imagine if everyone gave their best, and refused to settle for half assed crap.
Posts: 493 | Location: Verde Valley, Arizona | Registered: November 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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