Sunday, June 15, 2014

Always Have A Good Story Ready...

...because you never know when you may need one and your life may depend on it. The guy in this video could be the best story teller of all time or it could all be the truth. Who knows, certainly not the other guy in the video.

Thanks and a hat tip to Rich M for this one. Great stuff had me laughing my arse off.

All the best,

The Gun Auction

The Hessney Gun Auction that I was at on Saturday, in Geneva, NY, was fairly good but there were only a few great bargains, in my estimation, to be had. I did not get any of those great bargains even though I did have the high bids on a couple of handguns.

Smith & Wesson Model 22A-1, has two mags, new in box.
When I figured it out, I took a hosing on one of them - a Smith & Wesson Model 22A1 and that most definitely because of my own stupidity. I read my own notes wrong and bid too much on it and realized it as soon as I raised my hand that I had read the bid I was willing to offer for the next item on my list. But the bid was in and no one else was bidding higher and there was no retracting it.  Well, I suppose I could have retracted it but sure did not want to be thought of as a total arse-hat by the owner like some folks who had high bids on other guns and then said they had not bid at all on. So, I gritted my teeth and carried on.
With my bid, the 10% auction premium, and with either my expense to either return to Geneva to pick it up or the expense to ship it to a local FFL - I will have wound up spending a bit more than the price at which I could have bought one locally. Can you say brain fart! My local county requires a purchase document from the county be obtained so the transfer can be made and the new gun added to my license. used to be they gave an open purchase document, you went, you bought, you filled out the form and returned to PD with it. Now they only give the form out after you make a handgun purchase so I have to go to my county PD, pick up a couple of purchase documents, fill them out, then get that to the dealer, have the dealer sign off on them, before the gun is actually transferred to me. I will have paid about $25 to $50 more than I should have for a new one in  local gun shop. Oh well, sometimes those brain farts can be expensive. As for the other one, a Taurus Model PT-145 Millennium Pro, with all costs considered as above, I probably got it at about $50-$75 less than I would have had to pay at a local gun store. 
With this PT-145 Millennium Pro, I now
have two pistols in the .45 ACP caliber.
Since I bid on both of these with having fun with them in mind, I am not too worried about paying too much for the one since it was balanced out by the other one. If I was thinking of selling them to support my gun collecting, that would be another story and I would be kicking myself in the butt for losing any chance at making a small profit. Still though, I am  none to happy that I screwed up on the bid on the S&W. I can say, almost without a doubt, that when I go to their future auctions, I probably will no longer be bidding on handguns since it is going to be way to much of an expensive pain in the arse for me to carry out the whole new purchase order process to get them put on my license. Rifles and shotguns are another story and do not require licensing (yet) and thus do not require a purchase document. I guess I will just set my sights on them at the next auction I attend.
The one rifle that was supposed to follow me home but didn't.
I did bid on one rifle for which I had the high bid but alas it did not follow me home. That was a new, in the box, Rock Island Armory (trade name for Armscor in the USA) M20P in .22LR. I realized after winning he bid that it had a 15 round magazine. That is a no-no in NY since the NY unSAFE Act went into effect. I may still get it, that is if I decide to travel back up there to pick up my pistols instead of having them shipped but only if I find out that an Armscor 10 round, 22LR, magazine will fit that rifle and that said mag is the same as the one used for their model 14Y (because I have extras). Of course, only if they still have it but since no other gun auctions are scheduled before I would get back that way, I imagine they will still have it. I bid $130 on it but would offer them $110 or $120 to take it since I cannot take the 15 round mag for it. I have to mention, they took it off the list of items for which I had the high bid and did that without hesitation once I told them it had a 15 round mag (as an FFL they can have it legally but not me as a citizen gun owner).

As for the guns and other items (like ammo) on which I was outbid, let me just say that most of the times I was outbid it was either one of two guys who outbid me. Those guys were racking up the high bids and that means one of two things about either one of them. Either each was a collector or a dealer and both had plenty of bucks or  big credit line. Sure, some other people outbid me on some items, but these two guys (one of them far more than the other) outbid me on most of the items on which I was bidding. Come to think of it there could be a third possible (but improbable) explanation as to what one or the other was, or both of them were, besides dealers or collectors - they could have been shills for the auction house. I am not accusing, not for a moment, I say that only hypothetically as within the realm of possibility. Just for the record, I trust this auction house and I do not believe there was anything shady going on with the bidding a all.

Anyway,  missed out on some really nice firearms and a good deal of ammo. As for the ammo, bricks of 22LR (some very old, some new - it did not matter) were going for bids as high as $120 per 500 rounds of Remington Thunderbolt and as lows as $45 for a box of 525 rounds of bulk packed Federal ammo. That was the least expensive 22 ammo to be had here, $45 for 525 rounds, working out to 8.6 cents per round. I will admit to picking up those two sealed boxes of older Federal bulk pack ammo  at that price. I was bidding $40 not $45 but someone else who bid at the same time as me got in his bid at $40 and mine seen secondly was the $45 bid; bidding was fast and furious especially on 22LR ammo. While it was no great bargain, it was about a little below the low average  price on 22LR ammo lately. I just checked and found out that the lowest price available, on 22LR, as I typed this post was 9 cents per round for 1980s production 22LR ammo loose in an ammo can; that was at J&G. My stuff is from the auction was made in the mid 1990s and is almost 21 years old but has to be in better shape than the stuff at J&G and better than some older stuff I already have in the ammo locker. Since it is copper plated, it will function better than the lead bullets of the older 
ammo I already had in storage. I plan to shoot it up soon, not to save it and if it goes bang, I'll be happy with it even at that price considering the prices nowadays. I already have fresher ammo, purchased within the last year or two that is going the long term storage route. I guess maybe I should sell the even older stuff I have on hand to offset the cost of the ammo I got at the auction. Other ammo on which I bid was just out of this world as to the high bids. Two boxes of Remington Core-lokt .35 Remington went for $30 per box if I remember right. Twenty round boxes of .308 Win. were selling for $30 to $35 per box even though newly manufactured ammo in the same caliber and same general type (soft point) is selling at prices as lows as $20 per box (at least both at Walmart and Gander Mountain in Middletown, NY as of today - Gander tn had 150 grain, SP, Remington Core-Lokt in .308). Maybe the craziest price on ammo, after 22LR, was for .22WMR. Two boxes of older CCI Maxi Mag went for $32.00 per box of 50 rounds! (I can attest with certainty that Walmart (in Middletown, NY) had CCI Maxi Mag today at under $15 per box. I know because I bought four boxes of it.) I may be nuts the way I sometimes bid or buy but praise the gods that I am not that bonkers as to pay $32 per box of 22WMR rounds. The biggest bargain on ammo had to have been a box .38 Special wad-cutters that went for $5.00.

Of course, this was primarily a gun and rod (as in fishing rods, reels and tackle) with the primary focus on guns, so I guess I should zero in on them for a bit. I pre-selected about 60 firearms on which to bid out of the few hundred (282 more or less) that were up for auction and previewed them on Friday night and on Saturday morning before bidding on them commenced. Many of them were brand new, in the box, having come from a gun store that went out of business for whatever reason. Others, that were used, ranged in condition from irreparable parts guns or wall-hangers to almost pristine high end classics. The second gun up was the first on which I was willing to bid. It was a Remington Model 798 in .458 Rem., and was being sold as new. It looked brand new too. I bid up to $450 and stopped there. It sold for $725.

Winchester Model 70 Heavy Varmint, lot 4.

Another that I bid on soon after was a Winchester Model 70 Heavy Varmint, heavy s/s barrel, in .223 caliber. What a nice gun, in almost pristine condition save for one minor mar on the stock's finish that was almost not noticeable. The high bidder's $600 bid outbid me by $150. Now that I am thinking of it, I wish I had been ready to put a bit more into some of the rifles instead of into pistols. What I would have saved without having to pay the transfer fees and shipping for the pistols could have been added to bids on a rifle and maybe could have had me being the high bidder. I regret not having bid higher on this one. A browning BAR MKII Safari, in .270 Win went for way above my measly bid and sold for 1K. A year or two ago, I may have been the high bidder on that one but not this year as I had a lot less cash on had this year compared to the last couple of times at the same auction. (Speaking of which, I will be listing some guns on within the next week, currently have some .223 Rem. ammo for sale there, auction ends tomorrow. I need to pay for my new guns somehow.)

One gun that I had planned to bid on but decided not to after seeing its condition was a Ruger Mini 14 with wood stock and standard sights. Giving it the once over, then a second and third look,  saw that the rifling was pretty much invisible, there was rust where the wood met the metal and where metal met metal, and the rear sight was loose. I guess whoever bid on it either did not notice or didn't care about those failings because it sold for $575.

Weatherby "Orion" model 12 Ga. 3" O/U, 30" vent
ribbed full/modified barrels, in excellent condition.

Another gun on which I bid was a very nice Weatherby Orion 12 gauge O/U shotgun. Once again, I was outbid but this time the bids were a bit closer to one another; my high bid was $575 and the winning bid was $625 (I call it the winning bid but I realize you do not win at an auction, you just bid more than others and then buy at the high bid - I have no illusions about being a prize winner when at an auction.)

Moving on to pistols and revolvers, an extremely nice, as new and in the case, S&W Model 29-2 revolver in .44 magnum went for only $775. I had been thinking of bidding up to about 1K on it but was hesitant because of my cash situation and would have had to put it on plastic. I am debating whether or not I should have bid more than whatever I did bid. It was that nice of a gun and worth every penny of at least 1K. I am sure I could have held onto it for a couple of years and sold it at a nice profit; heck I could have turned around today and sold it at a profit.

Then there was the Walther PPK that was listed as being in stainless steel but I beg to differ. I am almost positive it was chromed making it a bit less valuable. Anyway, I was ready to bid up to $400 on it and it sold for exactly that much. The thing was, the way the bidding worked out, I had the bid of $375, and the next and last person to bid did so at $400. It hit my limit and that was it for me bidding on it. Very nice, new gun. I also bid on a very nice (new) S&W Model 41, a 22LR target pistol. I was thinking of bidding more but only went up to about $650. The high bid was $750 and someone walked away with a truly excellent deal on that one. Another great deal was made by whoever had the high bid on the Precision Small Arms Featherweight (Baby Browning). It was a limited edition, 1 of 250, aluminum alloy frame, stainless slide, in an aluminum case with accessories - a true collectors piece or a really nice vest pocket gun for an uptown pimp or maybe a high end hooker's gun to be held in her garter belt; it was a flashy little thing. It sold for $525 and the going price on them is about $850 to 1K.

All in all there were about 282 guns up for bids. I sat through them all and then through all the ammo and through some of the fishing and miscellaneous items. I was there from about 0800 until about 1530 when it was over and I had paid for my gun and ammo purchases. Sure, I could have bought the same two guns at a local dealer for close to the same I paid for these once all things were considered. I consider my trip expenses as separate because I basically went away for a weekend to have a good time and I did have a good time at the auction. Had I gotten a few rifles and shotguns at prices after which I could have profited it would have been all the better but I am satisfied even though I only bought the two guns this time. The last two times I made out much better and made some cash off of a coupe of my purchases and helped fund my collection.

I have to say that one of the things that makes it a pleasure, (or at least worth it) to drive 6 1/2 hours each way, to pay for a hotel (thank you IHG for points) and food and gas, was the nice group of folks who work for the Hessney Auction Company. If you are looking for an auction house whose employees have excellent business manners and great customer service, the way it should be, you can find it there. Joe Hessney, the owner, is a very personable guy and one heck of an excellent auctioneer to boot. They make being at the auction a nice and memorable day. By the way, if you are interested in classic cars and Coca-Cola memorabilia (like Coke machines), those will be auctioned off this coming weekend. I did not see any of the cars but some of the coke machines and gas station related signs were excellent pieces. A great opportunity for collectors of such. My thanks to Joe and his crew for an enjoyable day.

All the best,