Thursday, August 7, 2014

Refried Mallard: Guns I Shoulda Bought

My unfortunate Goodwill auction experience mentioned below, dredged up this old snapshot of college-age-working-at-Goodwill-era angst. The memory is still painful...

It was a thing of beauty leaning there in the gun rack among the ass-ugly plastic fantastics and worn-out department-store pumpguns. Two triggers, two barrels, solid rib, with a stock of swirled chocolate.

It was a widower's gun, on consignment for an elderly lady whose husband had had good taste in firearms and a penchant for Brownings. In addition to the super there was a sweet sixteen and two light twelves, all pristine post-war guns.

But I only had eyes for that old 30's-vintage super. I'd come into the gun shop, press my face to the glass of the circle rack and slowly turn the carousel until it was level with my face, then I'd ask to look at it, again. The asshole clerk would sigh, hand me the gun and glower impatiently while I fondled it.

I'd swing the gun on a few imaginary birds, break it open yet again, look down the bores, trace my fingers over that beautifully-figured stock and then reluctantly hand it back to dickface, who would put it on the rack with a smirk and then go back to ignoring me. The hangtag said $600. Hell, they were practically giving it away.

Didn't matter, of course. It may as well have been $60,000. I was a sophomore in college. I was working as a donation clerk at the local Goodwill store. I shared a dumpy one-bedroom apartment with a girlfriend who made even less than I did. I was driving a Schwinn at the time. I could afford Milwaukee's Best. I could afford Hamburger Helper. I couldn't afford a Browning Superposed no matter how much of a screaming deal it was.

And then, of course, one day it was gone from its place in the rack. The eared phallus smiled broadly as he told me that some guy from Tulsa here on business had walked in, just killing some time, picked up the super and bought it on the spot. "Helluva deal on that gun, too bad you couldn't get it."

Yep, too bad...


  1. I had no idea they came with two triggers, as if the solid rib wasn't trick enough.
    Last year I passed on a beat, but highly restorable 20 gauge superposed ( long tang, solid rib and 28" bbls) while cruising through Arms list. The guy was local and really had no clue about the gun he was selling for only $600.00. I am still kicking myself and really can't remember why I even passed in the first place, I must have been in a funk something.

    1. Holy cow, a 28-inch, 20-bore, long-tang, solid rib super? That's like the Holy Grail of Superposed guns. I may be wrong and defer to smarter folks, but I think they just made that config for a few years after the 20-bore super first came out ('58, I think?). Yeah, I'd be kicking myself, too...:)

  2. It's a sad, familiar story, Chad. Years ago, when I couldn't afford to buy a gun I'd actually use, much less spend cash for a gun that I just "wanted"... I drooled over an M1 Carbine, stamped with the Rock-Ola imprint. It was at a gun show and tagged with a $175 price tag. At the time, that pretty much covered my whole take-home pay for a week. Of course, if you could even find a Rock-Ola M1 today, that $175 is about what the interest would be on the credit card purchase.

    I know, it's not a fine shotgun, although I've drooled over my share of sweet side-by-sides over the years too, but it's definitely one of those "kick myself" memories.

    1. I love those M1 carbines, and yeah, they're not a gun I've ever needed, but definitely one I've wanted. I'm still looking for a decent DCM M1, (good luck with that). Of course, don't know what the hell I'll do when I find it. I guess just keep looking at it until someone with money buys it. That's what usually happens.