One of the great truths about investing in stocks is that you should never get attached to one of them, because the sucker can lose all its value and cost you a bundle. (“Packard? Great car. So they’re in a little trouble. My dad gave me his stock, and I think I’ll hang on.”)

Same with guns. Once in a while you get one that is highly desirable, and you’ve invested a lot in it, financially or emotionally, and the thing just won’t work right. Nine times out of ten no amount of work or alteration will fix it. It’s snakebit. There is only one thing to do: Bail out. Send it on down the road.

About a year ago I sold a gorgeous little 7×57 Mannlicher carbine that would not group much better than 2 inches, and was generally an erratic shooter, given to throwing shots. I shot it and shot it and could not cure it. So for once, I did the smart thing–I sold it. Now, I could have kept it just to admire, or I could have used it as a 100-yard deer rifle, for which it was plenty accurate enough, but I like accurate rifles, and if they ain’t, they go.

And when you sell a flawed rifle, make it plain to the dealer or the friend or whoever is buying it just what is wrong. Because if you don’t tell them, then you really have a problem. Play it straight, or regret it.