Bart Skelton relays a sad tale at handgunsmag.com of trading away a rare Winchester 1894 rifle for a nice, but decidedly less valuable, Colt single action revolver. It was a half-octagon, half-round barrel takedown gun with a special order front sight that he’d lovingly restored after rescuing it at an auction. One friend lives by the mantra that you never sell (or trade) a gun. Ever. That’s one way of avoiding seller’s remorse, but most of us have developed a hankering for something shiny that we just have to have, only to repent at leisure. So ‘fess up. What’s the worst gun deal you ever made?

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51 Responses to Question of the Day: What Gun Do You Want Back?

  1. I bought a gun for my gf before she became my ex-gf. Does that count? Because if you’re talking remorse, wow, do I have that covered.

  2. My problem is that I am pretty well known in my local community….people bring me junk guns that they no longer want. Rusted, beat up, or otherwise “non functioning”

    I will fix them up (have bluing tanks and a metal/restoration shop) and the “givers” always seem to want them back….for free. It took me a couple of time to figure out I shouldn’t show them to the original owners again. If time was money it would have been hundreds if not thousands of dollars lost.

    One of them was a year 1 39 Marlin. Couple of old widowmaker shotguns too.

  3. Most of my trades have worked out pretty well but I once traded a S&W 4506 for an Auto Ordinance 1911. I regret that trade and wish I could have my Smith back.

  4. I’ve never sold one. That has, on occasion, postponed the next shiny (or black, scary) thing, but that’s a small price to have no regrets.

    Almost sold an inherited TC Contender back in the day. Glad I didn’t. .45-70 out of a pistol is hilarious.

  5. Back when I was a noob to this whole firearm-ownership thing (and right after I got married so cash was short), I traded a single-six .22/.22mag for a *hangs head in shame* High-Point 9mm.

  6. I don’t own enough firearms to have started selling them off yet, so I’m reading these comments as a cautionary tale.

  7. There was a Ruger Redhawk I traded away in 1990 because it was wildly inaccurate. I now suspect it had a problem with the rear sight, and I *almost* wish I’d kept it…but I’d kept it I would have missed out on the gun I traded it for: a 686 that’s been one of my best guns ever.

    I sometimes miss a .380 Makarov that I no longer had a use for, but I know it went to a good home where it was soon used in a righteous DGU and may have saved an innocent life.

    Other than these two pistols, all the really good guns I’ve ever had are still in my safe.

  8. I was working at a bar and indulging far too much as well as having a constant stream of folks in and out of my place. So I sold a mint, 60’s 4″ Python, a Bren 10 and a Delta Elite figuring I could just replace ’em at a later date. Then Ca. went crazy on me and the price of Pythons went thru the roof. I don’t really care about the Bren and the Delta, but I think about that Python practically every day.

  9. My Ruger Single Six my Dad bought me at age 13. My first and only pistol until many years later when I got back into handguns. Sold it to pay for some frivolus thing in while college

  10. I sold a Colt Combat Elite 1911 for $800. I came out ahead on the deal, I’d traded a P30 for the Combat Elite and gotten the P30 in trade for a Sig P245 that I’d paid $550ish for. I still miss that 1911 though.

  11. No bad trades, but I’ll tell my best trade:

    Step 1: a 50cc Kawasaki with a seized motor for a Ruger Blackhawk which wouldn’t let the cylinder rotate because the firing-pin mechanism needed a couple of taps with a hammer-and-punch. Got that fixed & it worked fine.

    Step 2: Great handgun, but I needed a deer rifle. Traded the Blackhawk for a Winchester 30-30 & a box of shells. Still have the thuddy-thuddy – great for hunting in a forest.

    If I’d had my druthers, I’da had both guns. But I don’t regret the trades.

  12. I sold a FN-FAL in .308 (semi auto only) and a Colt 3rd generation SAA in .45 to raise money for a down payment on a house. I kinda wish I had another way to raise money at the time, as I have not been able to replace either gun with anything similar. I’ve sold a couple of others over a 30 plus year career of collecting that I don’t particularly miss, mostly I keep what I’ve bought.

  13. A Remington 40X target rifle in 22LR, purchased by my father so that I could shoot in some local area competitions. I last shot it for my college ROTC rifle team. It sat around for 35 years finally to be sold along with my parents house. Then few years later I decided to get back into shooting…

  14. Only firearms I miss are the ones I didn’t buy right away and somebody else got ’em. The several I’ve sold were after much thought and I don’t miss a bit.

    • Only firearms I miss are the ones I didn’t buy right away and somebody else got ‘em.

      Oooooo, that made me wince, since I recently whiffed on a 1943 vet-bringback Mauser K98k with all the markings that I consevatively rated at better than 90%. Since it was issued, that rifle has had three owners: the guy who owns it now, the GI who brought it home (and his estate), and the dead German soldier from whom the GI took the carbine.

  15. I used to have a chrome IAI 1911. I bought it cheap off a guy that did a lot of work to it – grips, sights, trigger, hammer, engraving. Why he did all that to an IAI was beyond me, but it was still a damn nice pistol. Ended up having to get rid of it back in 2000 for much the same reason he did – in a pinch and needed some fast cash.

  16. This hurts to even type:
    1) S&W 25-5 (.45 Colt), 4 inch barrel and beautiful bluing, for what I don’t even remember
    2) Belgian Browning A-5, again for what I don’t even remember.
    3) Customized Colt 1911 (stainless). Sold it for not enough.

    I’m not crying, there is something in my eye.

  17. Stainless Colt Commanding Officers model – after I sent it to Wilson’s for a tune-up and some other goodies. I was so young and stupid.

  18. “Question of the Day: What Gun Do You Want Back?”

    Right now, nothing. Pretty much everything I’ve divested myself of over the years I’m well rid of. The Jennings J-22, the CZ-100, the FIE .38 derringer, the Taurus 66 that ate firing pin springs — they’re all someone else’s problem now.

    I contemplate trading off my S&W 19-3 sometimes. I probably would come to regret that.

    • The one gun I want back is a S&W 19 (6″). That was an awesome DA revolver that I let go. I asked the guy recently (a friend) to sell it back, and he turned me down. What a jerk!

  19. I have the best trade of the bunch.

    I was given a stainless 4″ Ruger GP100 by a friend who was leaving the country permanently and bought an unloved Smith and Wesson Sigma for $100.00.

    I traded these for a nice H&K P30.

    I traded the P30 and $50.00 for a Spikes Tactical AR15.

    Total investment $150.00. JOY!

  20. The only ones I want back are the EAA Tactical Witness with extended ported barrel. It was 1 of 200.

    I would also like back my CZ 75 that I sold when I was stupid.

  21. Thankfully no regrets on anything I’ve sold or traded, I never trade or sell anything i think is special.

    The only regrets I have are firearms I’ve missed out on purchasing. The purchase I kick myself about the most is a Ruger Security Six that was in great shape, priced well under what it should have been. I couldn’t afford it because I was out of work at the time.

    • I have one of those regrets. And it is the single largest buying/not buying regret I have in my lifetime including cars, boats, and women. I was in the proccess of purchasing my first handgun, a Ruger Single-Six with both .22 cylinders in 1976, when the sales guy mentions that he has a really good deal on Pederson over and under shotguns by Mossberg. He handed me one, and it was really, really nice, in 12 ga. good wood, nice clean checkering, great wood to metal finish, just felt right in my hands….. but if I bought it, then no Ruger. So being all of 21 years old, I bought the Ruger. I could have bought and sold dozens of identical Rugers over the years with no problem, but I have never seen as nice an over-under any where as close to that affordable since that day (I seem to recall it was $200). Maybe I have “romanced” how good that shotgun was over the past 36 years, I don’t know, but to this day, I kick myself for not buying it. And I have never had any over-under shotguns in my rack, maybe because I am hoping to come across a Pederson some day and set right a wrong decision on my part.

  22. S&W Model 10. I figured it was a dime-a-dozen vanilla revolver with a perfect finish and an amazing trigger. Now everyone wants one. Including me.

  23. 1940 Mauser 98k, laminated stock, original sling. At the time the value wasn’t supposed to be great because the bolt didn’t match. Everything else did though. Traded for an Armi Jager .58 Cal muzzle loader. Been kicking myself for years on that.

  24. I sort of regret the first gun I bought; a Mossberg 500 persuader/cruiser with a pistol grip only (damn TV shows and movies, at least the action was sound). Two years later, it now has a proper stock on it after I had to wait a week to get the proper size stock bolt from Mossberg. So all told, I saved about $50 buying it at a gun show and spent the same getting the stock and stock bolt.

    • I previously posted that I’ve never sold a gun, and that’s true, but I have had occasion to regret a purchase, and JRP’s comment reminded me of that. A Mossberg 500 pistol grip Cruiser is also the first firearm I ever purchased, and I have also subsequently purchased and installed a “real stock.”

  25. Model 42 Winchester .410 to help pay for a grad-class. I threw in a beautiful hard case for the honor of making a horrible deal.

  26. My 1980 Colt Government that I bought new for ~ $200 in 1980. It also had several extra mags, Pachmyr grip and spring housing and a surplus US government, black leather shoulder holster. Needed the money for new golf clubs. Sold it in 1995 for < $600 with the accessories plus a box of ammo.

    One of my few regrets in life. I was such a "PUTZ". My son won't let me forget it either.

    Yes – This confession was a somewhat cathartic for me.

  27. I want the Savage Model 24. Great over under, walking around gun with a rifle caliber on top and a shotgun gauge on the bottom.

  28. Hard call here. Especially given that I’ve owned something like 25 or 30 guns in over life time so far. But if I had to pick I’d say my Desert Eagle Mk VII .41 magnum and maybe my EAA Witness 10mm.

    The nasty thing about the DEagle was that it was pretty much stolen from my by my mother. Basically, she pawned it while I was driving OTR (I’m a trucker) and didn’t tell me until 2 months later. About the time I lost my job. Even worse was I sold my entire collection, including my Witness 10mm (which was the first handgun I bought on my own), at sacrificial prices to get the Eagle out only to have my mother get herself into critical financial trouble again. The kind of trouble that consumed every time of the money I had got back from selling my collection.

  29. I guess I’m “lucky” that most of the guns I want to buy aren’t for sale in California, or by now I’d have sold some of them to finance the debt! On the down side, that leaves me with not nearly enough guns, so I’ve never sold any one of them.

  30. Rifle i most miss is a H&K 91. bought it new in the box with 5 magisines. traded it for aM1A1 also with 5 magisines. The H&K 91 was much more accurate and wound up trading the m1a1 for a Belgin browning A bolt in 7 mm magnum, got my accuracy back also got a sore shoulder from the recoil…lol…

  31. This one is easy. During the 90s I had a Colt M16A1 complete with all transfer history documents. Last I heard it sold for $16,000. It’s worth more now. Wish I’d kept that one. 🙁

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