Saturday, August 17, 2019

I Left NY But I Can't Get Away From...

...the Hessney Auction Company firearms auctions. They had  one a week ago today and I bid on several guns. That I bid on several guns online kind of surprised me because I know their online photos are not always that great. So, I take much more of a chance that I'd wind up with a clunker after viewing them online than when I would attend the preview and examine guns in hand before a live, in person, auction. What I have done in the past, when I could not attend in person, was to send them an email and ask about the condition; I trust them implicitly to give me a good condition report. What additionally surprised this time was that I did not do that and then bid merely based on the online photos and on the fact that one was listed "as new, in box". Even more of a surprise was that I had the high bid on three of them.

I was a bit anxious waiting for them to arrive, concerned I might open the box and find something that I would not have bought if there in person. Well, that anxiety ridden wait did not last long, all of exactly one week since I bid on them. I was at a gun show in Conway, AR today  having a decent time trying sell two rifles to replenish funds after some recent firearms purchases (like the ones I made online from the Hessney auction on Saturday) and was having a nice time walking around looking at what was available. There were lots of ARs and such but I mainly was concentrating on guns made of steel and wood, what can I say but the older ones enthrall me. Don't get me wrong I just bought an AR a couple of weeks ago and an AK (made I the US of A) a couple of weeks before that; so, it's not like I only shop for firearms that are edging on becoming antiques - it is just that them better grab my interest being they're old like me. I wasn't only looking, I had two rifles slung on my shoulders that I was selling - a Browning BL-22 Classic and a Remington 141. Around 1105, just over an hour after I got to the show, I got a text from USPS telling me the gun had been delivered. Maybe a half hour later, one of the owners of R&J Pawn & Loan in Benton, AR (the one of the once called fairer sex) called me to let me know my three guns had been delivered. Since they were only going to be open until 2PM and since I had not yet sold either rifle, I told her I'd stop by on Monday.

Not ten minutes had gone by and the BL-22 was gone, sold for a nice chunk of change. Around 1230, after walking around the venue a few times more hoping someone would take a liking to the Rem. 141, I felt an ache in my back and decided to call it quits with the Rem 141 still slung on my shoulder. I headed out to the car one gun down, one to go (maybe tomorrow). On the drive back, I called R&J Pawn and told them I'd be there by 130. Picked up the guns, brought em back to my son's place, put the box in a corner, futzed around for a while with the guns still sitting in the corner. Brendan, who was more eager to see them than me got the box to take a look. He opened the box and pulled out the Mossberg 185 K-A bolt action 20 gauge, took off some of the bubble wrap and more or less gave the opinion of "meh".

All the pics are online auction catalog photos of the actual guns I bought.

Next he pulled out the Third Model Iver Johnson Safety Automatic Hammer in 22 caliber. He was impressed and so was I, it is in excellent condition. Nice revolver but now I have to figure out which size 22 rounds it will accept. It is Iver Johnson's first smokeless powder revolver as far as I am aware so it should at least be okay with 22S if not L or LR.

Next came the big money gun of the three - a Colt Frontier Scout (my favorite of the three) with walnut grips, in as new condition in the original box. Much to my relief and to my satisfaction is that it really is in pretty much as new condition with only a minor ding (no finish loss) in one grip and a tiny amount of finish loss from a scratch probably due to an idiot taking off the cylinder, a screw is also slightly dinged and there is a very slight rub mark on the barrel. It is at least 98-99% condition and my estimate is 99%. I have seen many a brand new gun in a gun store display looking worse than this one due to handling by customers and store clerks.

It came in the original box with what I am guessing is an original yellow(ed) wax paper type wrapping, papers including: the direction sheet pamphlet (manual) and the apparent original sales receipt. The receipt is from Kuharsky Bros. Inc. Custom Rifle Builders of Erie PA and is dated February 22, 1965; its sale price was a whopping $51.98 of which $2.48 was tax. I suppose a trip to the gun store to pick this up was a nice diversion for the buyer on a cold winter's day.

Once of the nicest things is there is no cylinder ring and it appears as if never fired except maybe if they did a factory test sot or three. Sadly the box is not in as good a shape as is the revolver with its corners taped but it is okay and is original. This revolver, according to the Colt Archives was manufactured in 1960. That is would have sat around in a gun shop for five years before being sold baffles me but I guess it is possible. Of course, it could have been a second hand sale but it is in such good condition I am guessing it was the first time sale.

 I am a happy shootist.

After looking them over, we went out to Texas Roadhouse for a steak dinner. That cash from the sale of the Browning was burning a hole in my pocket. The dinner was excellent and big enough to get a to-go box for almost half of it. Once back at his place, I took a good look at the Iver Johnson again, I like it. Then, I took a good look at the Mossberg, pulling al of the bubble wrap off of it. It too was in excellent condition. The metal is excellent with only two small patches of surface rust and the wood has some very small dings and a few scuffs to the finish. I had a bit of concern when I realized someone, probably while viewing it at the auction preview, had put in the magazine backwards. It took some finagling to get it out but out it came and it looked none the worse for having been forced and wedged into the mag well by whichever arsehat did that. 

 The Mossy is a bolt action 20 gauge with a C-Lect choke screwed on over the end of the barrel at the muzzle. About the only thing that may not be right about this shotgun is that the buttplate may be a replacement as it does not seem to fit quite right. No big concern with that, there are originals available now and again if I decide to change it. I got this one for about 44% of the Blue Book value based on my estimate of its condition. I have been thinking of making it a wood refinish project like I did with my Mossberg 395 SA Slugster and my Voere 22 rifle; then again, I may keep it as is.

I made out pretty well on prices. When I add in shipping and FFL fees, it winds up it probably cost me less to bid on them online than it did when I drove the 305 miles (each way) to the live auction, stayed in a motel overnight and then drove back home. Considering I sold the BL-22 today for just over 58% of what these three cost me, my collecting hobby is helping fund itself. When I sell the Remington 141, I'll have a nice sized stash to put toward another couple of auction guns or so I'd like to believe. 

All the best,
Glenn B