Do you collect any particular guns? How about these?

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Photo Courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company.

Believe it or not, I’m not a collector. There are times, however, that I’m sorely tempted!
I know that sounds odd, perhaps even unbelievable, but I don’t collect anything — not in the gun world, not outside the gun world. I’m just not the collecting type, though I’ve certainly been tempted by the acquisition bug now and again.

For instance, I find .25ACP and .32ACP pocket pistols fascinating. There are so many designs from so many manufacturers (many of them long since out of business), and they’re just cute. Were it not for the cost of their ammunition (plus the fact that those tiny cartridges are difficult to handload) and their rising prices, I might have quite a pile of them by now. As it happens I stopped at two, and sold one of those off when it got ridiculously valuable.

The closest I’ve come to a collection involves my love of old .22 bolt action rifles — particularly Mossbergs. I picked up a few of them when they were dirt cheap (it used to be that you could pick them up all day long for less than $100, but not so much any more.) I found myself coveting every model and every variation, and only through sheer willpower (and my infamous parsimony) was I able to hold those desires in check.

Of course you already know my predilection for revolvers.

Imagine, then, what would happen if you combined my interests in revolvers, .22 rifles, and pocket guns and combined them. Why, I’d end up collecting .22 revolvers! That’s what an article in Gun Digest prompted me to do when I recently read it. The nickel-plated Colt open-top revolver is particularly fetching.

I was particularly intrigued when the author stated that they can be had for “$25 to $50”, with pieces like Colts bringing $75 or more” but all less than $200 — a statement that I couldn’t believe. A quick perusal of finished auctions on Gunbroker says that he’s off; that Colt, in rough shape, fetches well over $200 with nice examples easily hitting $450.

As you can imagine, I was ready to send an email to Gun Digest and complain about the inaccuracy of the article when I noticed that it was originally published in 1973! Well, that sheds a whole new light on things; it also shows that prices on these guns haven’t risen nearly as much as their centerfire counterparts have. In fact, if we used a Colt Python between 1973 and now as a pricing benchmark, the little twenty-twos have stayed comparatively flat!

There doesn’t appear to a lot of collecting pressure on the pocketable rimfires, at least not like there is on the centerfires. When you factor in the vast number of not-well-known marques they’re still downright affordable.

Even for a penny-pincher like me!

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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