Bourjaily: The Ones That Got Away

Because my wife compulsively spends all our money on heat, electricity and similar luxuries (Do my kids really need new shoes? Couldn't they just wear my old ones?), my gun fund is perennially tapped out. As a result, cool guns at great prices get away from me all the time. The latest was just last week. My local store took in a nice older 870 trap gun in excellent condition with well-figured wood and cut checkering. They priced it at $350. By the time I got home, figured out what gun I would trade for it and went back, it was gone.

Occasionally I get lucky. For years I was fascinated by the idea of the Browning Double Automatic. I wanted one desperately even though I had never actually seen one. In a stroke of serendipity, the same day I received a modest inheritance check, not one but two Double Autos magically appeared at my local store. I bought one of them, a Twelvette, loved it, shot a bunch of roosters with it, then foolishly sold it. Last year, I turned a windfall into an SKB 100 that I was able to grab before anyone else saw it. At $500, it wouldn't have sat unsold for more than a day or two.

All gun lovers have sob stories about the ones that got away. Share yours. It's good therapy. On the other hand, if you've lucked into bargains on guns you always wanted and would like to tell us about it here, you can do that, too.