Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Latest Boomers

As I indicated yesterday, I haven't had much that I've wanted to blog about lately. COVID-19, the weather, politics, other comings and goings - all blah lately. Now, being cooped up due to a shelter in place order, things are even more boring. What to do to alleviate that, at least for part of the day yesterday, was for me to go to the Hessney online Early Gun & Military Auction. So that's what I did and I wound up killing time on a Saturday afternoon online watching and bidding in the auction for several hours. I also lent a hand toward the eventual decimation of my bank account. What can I say but that I am a gun nut  a firearms fan boy  addicted to buying & owning firearms  a gun auction junky a serious firearms enthusiast (yep, that's the one). So I bid on several and wound up with the high bids on a few and on a coupple of other lots as well.

I limited my bidding to yesterday to only firearms that were eligible to be sent to me directly by virtue of my Curios & Relics Collector's (C&R) federal firearms license (FFL). That was because it saves me money per each gun I purchase online that otherwise would have to go through a dealer, with a dealer's FFL; and they are not cheap - they usually charge around $25.00 or more nearby to where I live. Since I had the high bids on four guns yesterday restricting my bids to C&R guns saved me $100.00. I did have some bids on guns that were not C&R eligible but made those bids early on last week. The bids were on the low side and had I wound up with any of them being the high bids, I would have done alright - despite the $25.00 FFL fee for each that would have been required - by keeping my bids very low on those guns. No luck with that. Anyway, I think I got (or will get once delivered) some pretty nice additions to my collection:

The first one in order of how I bid on them was an Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works Model I.J. Target Sealed 8 Second Model  D.A. Revolver, 8 Shot, in .22 LR, with a 6” Barrel and Walnut Grips. 

It looks to be in VG to EXC condition but, as with all of these, time and an inspection by me will tell. They do not usually give a condition description for any of the items in the auction unless they are listed as "unfired in the box" (meaning new for all practical purposes) or as "as new" (meaning as good s new and usually spot on but sometimes not very accurate) or there is a major flaw like a cracked stock or parts are missing and so on. Even things like cracked stocks sometimes get overlooked. I usually send Joe Hessney, the auctioneer, an inquiry to ask about the guns in which I have an interest and did it this time but for whatever reason did not get a reply (and this is the only time I have not received one although once I missed one he left in a voice mail instead of email). Joe usually gives me a very good description of each one I inquire about but this time I was bidding almost in the blind. I say almost because they do have photographs of each item up for bids but sometimes the pictures leave a lot to be desired. 

The next was a H & R Model “22 Special” .22 LR D.A. Revolver, with a 6” barrel. Other than the serial number, that's all the description that was given so I had to depend on the pictures of it to determine if I'd bid and how high I'd go.
 I liked this one a lot. It does not appear to be in quite as good condition as the Iver Johnson but still at least in VG condition. What I particularly like is that it is a break top revolver. I always wanted a H&R Model 999 and they had one up for bids in this auction, it looked okay and I bid on it but it went for exactly double what I bid on this one. Why they go for so much more than this model is a mystery to me. Another thing I like about this one is that according to the Blue Book of Gun Values, this the second variation that was only manufactured between 1928 and 1930. So it is evidently at least 90 years old this year. There is just something about old guns of bygone eras that makes them appealing to me. Of course, I buy modern firearms too as I'm not an old gun snob, I just like them and like being able to have them shipped to me directly on my C&R.

The next was an Ortgies pistol in 32 ACP manufactued by Deutsche Werke. It is the roughest looking of all four that I had high bids on but still looked to be in decent shape. Anyhow, a little rough here and there is okay, it's going to be a shooter not a collectible.

I've already got one of these so, the plan is maybe to give this to my son. It might wind up being a gift or maybe just a long term loan. The Ortgies is a fairly simple steel firearm except for the grips  and it's loads of fun to shoot. I just wish that 32 ACP was as inexpensive as 9mm.

The last gun in the group is an Iver Johnson Double Action Top Break Revolver .32 Cal., 3” barrel, with nickel finish - as they described it. As far as I can make out, it is a Third Model Iver Johnson Safety Automatic Hammer and my guess is that the caliber is .32 S&W. Again, time and my inspection will tell - I pretty much got it for a song even though my singing voice is always off key.

What concerns me more than anything on this one is that to me, one grip looks to be black and the other possibly brown. That could just be the light but to me the right grip looks brown. If that's the case, the search will be on for a replacement grip. Regardless, it looks to be in VG condition for a nickel plated revolver manufactured from 1909 through 1941.

I also got in what I think was a very good bid on a very nice looking (at least on the one side they pictured) bayonet for my Mauser Chileno Modelo 1895. The rifle came with a bayonet but it was not correct to the rifle and was for a Mauser Argentino. The one from yesterday's auction is the correct one and may be the parade version.

At $62.15 (including bid and buyer's premium) this was a good deal for a bayonet in this good a shape with the correct scabbard and frog (the leather attachment that holds the scabbard). Only a good deal though if the other side looks as good.
Finally, I also had the high bid on what was listed as "5- High capacity SKS magazines". I have never seen SKS magazines that look like these. All the hi-cap mags for SKS rifles that I have seen have a large extension at the front top except for mags used by the Norinco Paratrooper SKS but that rifle uses AK-47 magazines not these. So it's a bit of a mystery as to what they will fit but if they fit and function in my SKS I will be happily amazed. To me though, they look more like AR mags. Not saying that's what they are just that they look more like them.

I gambled that $33.90 for all five would be a good investment. Again, time will tell.
So, I had an good afternoon yesterday as far as I am concerned. I will be even more comfortable saying that if after I receive everything I find them all is as good a condition as I think they appear to be.

All the best,
Glenn B