Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

My first firearm purchase


Recommended Posts

Hello Wire Forum, today I thought i'd make a post sharing about me buying my first firearm with everyone here on the site. For years i’d been considering buying my first firearm but kept putting it off. When I finally decided it was time to commit to owning something, that’s when the pandemic started and due to all of the panic buying and ammo shortage everything I was interested in wasn’t available, and what was available I couldn’t afford. I wanted something for the common man to use, and to me that meant a revolver. Not a military or law enforcement grade weapon, just a basic sidearm that any average Joe could own and operate to defend himself should the need arise.


  I was hoping to find someone’s old safe queen or dad’s service pistol/hunting sidearm from the 70’s or 80’s for a modest price and I wanted my first pistol to be something that would have sentimental value to discourage the temptation to sell it in the future as I didn’t believe i’d feel the same attachment to a polymer sub compact semi-auto like I would an old heavy wheelgun of yesteryear. I mistakenly believed that older revolvers would be more affordable due to their age and condition but it seems like the reverse is true; they go up in value instead of down. I couldn’t even rent one to try because my local ranges were out of stock on everything and almost none of them had revolvers for sale or even ones to rent to try out, those that did had absolutely no ammunition for them anyway.


  I attended my fourth gun show last year after walking away from the previous three empty handed, still not finding anything to my liking after browsing each booth a couple times. The few revolvers that were available were either heavily worn and pitted relics from the 1800's chambered in weird calibers or top-of-the-line modern day things going for well over $2,500. Just before I decided to concede defeat and go home, the last table near the exit had someone selling a shooter grade Colt 3-5-7 for a price that was nearly my exact tax return budget. I had never heard of the model before but knew Colts were good so I decided to take a chance on it and bought it to take home with me as my first official firearm purchase.

 Before there was the Python, there was the Colt model 3-5-7.

unknown.png?width=908&height=511
"In 1953 Colt introduced two new DA revolvers, the premium Model 357 and the "Budget" Trooper. The Model 357 was intended to be Colt's premium holster gun, and the Trooper was to be for sales to police and civilians wanting a similar but cheaper gun. The Model 357 was available with 4" or 6" barrel, blued finish, and choice of Target hammer and grips, or Service hammer and grips. Caliber was 357 Magnum, only.
The
Model 357 had the firing pin mounted in the frame, and was the first Colt made so. The early Model 357 and Trooper had Colt's 1950's finish of a "two-tone" bluing where the sides were polished, but the "edges" of the frame and the flutes in the cylinder were bead blasted to a dull black finish.

 Things got complicated in 1954 when Colt's top West Coast salesman convinced Colt that he could sell a "Super Target" revolver, and the famed Python was introduced. In fact, the Python was simply the
Model 357 only with the famous lugged and vented barrel, a super-polished blue job, and a much more hand tuned action. Problem was, people wanting the best bought the Python, and police and budget minded civilians bought the Trooper. So, in 1961, Colt discontinued the Model 357. What they actually did, was discontinue the .38 Special Trooper with the firing pin mounted on the hammer, lowered the finish of the 357 and started selling it as a Trooper with the firing pin in the frame. After this, the Trooper was available in .38 Special and 357 Magnum."

https://web.archive.org/web/20090213131721/http://coltrevolvers.net/trooper.html

  Born in 1959, mine is the 4" barrel version with a narrow target trigger and narrow service hammer in nickel finish which leads me to believe it was a former LEO's sidearm back in the day. It's still in decent shape for being 63 years old aside from a little finish loss here and there on the barrel and cylinder fluting, and it did not have the original wood grips but the springs are still crisp and the trigger is smooth. I got a tube of Flitz polish and spent an hour meticulously scrubbing every groove and edge inside and out which brought it back to a mirror shine. Afterwards I bought a Versacarry belt, a Desantis Speed Scabbard, two HKS speed loaders, some Steelworx snap caps, a basic $10 Hoppes cleaning kit and the last box of .38 special left in stock at my local Sportsmans. After spending a few weeks watching revolver-specific tutorial videos on Youtube, practicing drills using the snap caps and getting used to wearing it in my holster I decided (or rather my Colt decided) to take us out to the range for it's first official outing.

   I arrived on a cold and bright morning to our bay to shoot with two other early birds like myself. We had three metal targets and a paper one set up and I decided to choose the metal ones first. I stepped up to the firing line, decided that the Isosceles stance felt right to me and held my revolver at low-ready, drew and took my first three shots in single action, hitting all three almost dead center. I finished the remaining three in double, missing once. I wasn't sure exactly how far up to hold the front sight but once I figured it out, things went swimmingly. At the paper target my first group of six were low and left, so I adjusted my fingertip position on the trigger and the next 12 grouped nicely in the center circle.

  Every shot I took from then on hit the target save for one failure to fire which eventually did on the second attempt. I would fire three cylinder cycles for 18 rounds shot then step aside to let the next person have a turn to give myself a moment to refill the speed loaders and take a swig of water. One guy had two 1911s in .45ACP and he practiced quick drawing and an exercise where he would stand with his back to the targets, spin to face them, draw and shoot, alternating between targets as he did. He had a few moments where his gun didn't fire or cycle correctly, including one that he referred to as a three-point jam and showed me how to clear it. I smiled and informed him I had a wheelgun so i'd never encounter that problem myself which garnered a laugh from both.

  After this he pointed at the top of the hill behind our targets and suggested I try hitting a gong placed up high. I took aim, thumbed back the hammer, and after a few seconds to steady myself, fired and hit it both in single and double action, earning me praise. He asked me how often I went out shooting and I admitted that this was my first time. Amused, he offered a slightly-sarcastic challenge to hit the buffalo target at the top of the second hill. Those things are about as wide as a car up close, but this one was so far away it seemed to be the size of a clipped fingernail from where we were standing. With four rounds left in my cylinder I took aim, hitting too low twice but striking the buffalo with the remaining two which mightily impressed the three of us. The 1911 guy threw up his hands admitting defeat and joked that he wants me to be on his team "when the zombie outbreak happens" I nodded and told him i'd be happy to have his six should it ever occur. Afterwards we cleaned up our brass, put the targets away and I drove home ending my first outing with the Colt.

 The day after this range visit I opened up my Hoppes cleaning kit, loaded a tutorial video on Youtube and gave the revolver it's first official cleaning session. I have read that people say the time you spend cleaning your guns is almost therapeutic or like a bonding ritual and I have to agree, I didn't mind the process one bit and I take great pride in keeping the Colt clean and shiny. In all, I had a great time and i'm very happy with how the 3-5-7 performed. Someone asked me if it was going to be my EDC, I wasn't sure at first but now that i've gotten used to the weight on my hip and what kind of recoil to expect, I've decided it will be. Drawing, shooting, holstering, reloading, and thumbing back the hammer is like second nature to me which is strange as i’d never held nor shot it before,  yet it just feels right. (maybe I was an old revolver cop in a previous life, who knows?) I've been to the range a few more times and it's become my constant companion ever since then, it truly is a joy to own and it's become part of my personality.

  Linus has his blanket, and I have my Colt.

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent choice.  
 

Without going into the details of how my wife (who just wants a handgun for her personal defense) came to her choice, she has eventually chosen a revolver from my modest S&W double action collection.  
It is a S&W Model 15-4 “Combat Masterpiece” in 38 Special.  

uBR4Iz.jpg

 

Ezra, I believe you can see the similarity of my wife's revolver and your revolver.

 

 

 

.

Edited by Birdgun Quail, SASS #63663
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first purchase was a Colt Trooper in 1967. Got it at the rod & gun club on post in Germany. $88. 

B1C69922-B91C-4775-8EE2-CB88075CD471.jpeg

C09FBBF4-FF44-495C-99E2-D93B6F1625C5.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a few shotguns and revolvers before I bought my first firearm. The others just sort of came down through the family. 

 

Never actually bought one until I bought an Uberti Bisley in .45 Colt, which in turn brought me to SASS. I guess about 18 years ago.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first handgun was a Ruger Blackhawk in .357, I started cowboy shooting with that gun and then switched to Ubertis then Colts!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not my first firearm but my first purchase was a used Rottweil 650 O/U that was set up for Skeet. Bought it from the Rod and Gun club at NAS Rota Spain while I was stationed there with VQ-2.

 

Still have it. Spend a good chunk of my renlistment bonus on a custom fitted curly maple stock and forearm from E.C. Bishop & Sons in Warsaw Mo.

Edited by Sedalia Dave
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first was a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag. $185. My second was a Ruger SBH 44 mag at around $245. I still have that SBH but FOOLISHLY sold the Marlin years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in a shooting household, never bought anything until Bill Clinton became the World's Best Gun Salesman in 1992.

I stopped by a Longs Drug in Colorado Springs CO and proceeded to the photo bar.
Asked the clerk for a roll of film, a pack of condoms and a 357 magnum.
He asked me, "You gonna shoot or rob anybody with that?"
Me, "Nope."
Before leaving, I added an SP101 in 22LR to the purchase... still have that, also.

These were bought around 20% of what they sell for new today.

The film was shot long ago, the condoms used, and that GP100 is still my favorite DA revolver to this day.
Numerous (Democrat) gun salesmen over the years convinced me I should add significantly to my collection.
Never had the need before that.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 1st was I believe in 1966. The day after my 16th birthday, you had to be 16 to purchase a rifle/shotgun, 18 for a pistol in Calif then. I bought a Ruger 1022, same day out to the desert and shot 4 bricks through it that day. 22 long rifles were 52 cents each, gas was 24.9 a gallon then, good times. Just a guess but over the years  a least 2 hundred thousand give or take thru the rifle. The guys I ran around with then would go out just past Phelan, by El Mirage dry lake you could shoot anything out there then. We found an 400 acre irrigated  aflfa field out there surrounded by desert on three sides. We would blast Jacks all morning not uncommon to get 75 to 100 each by noon. Met the farmer one day he asked us "What the F we were doing? "Just shooting Jacks," we replied "You need any shells?" After that we  would call before we went out and there would a brick or two of 22's on the fence post for us. The Ruger is still working the fine nothing ever broke except the mags.

JW Nish

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of you did much better than my first handgun purchase. Once I turned 21 (legal age in Kommiefornia), I bought a WWII Victory revolver (pre model 10)...in the old 38 S&W (not 38 Special). Has both British and Australian proof marks along with US Property mark, so it was a WWII Lend Lease gun.  I found it in Shotgun News surplus importer ad for $119 and my local FFL charged me $25 to order it. 

 

None of the stores had 38 S&W ammo, but luckily I started reloading a couple years prior to buying it, so I cranked out my own ammo. 

 

32 years later, I still have that old gun even though I haven't shot it in 20 years. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First gun was a Stoeger single 20 ga bought at a flea market when I was 14 and had pig farm $ in my pocket.

First pistol was a new ASM 1860 .44 Rebel in 1986.

Bought, shot and sold a plethora of cowboy guns before I ever heard of SASS, including a bushel of cap&ball revolvers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 1st firearm was a birthday gift from my wife, a Remington 1100 in the late 1970's.  The 1st firearm I purchased was a S&W model 66 with 4" barrel in 1998.  That started my serial firearm acquisitions.  My wife has been satisfied with far fewer firearms acquisitions.  Every firearm I & the wife have acquired we either have today or my daughter has.  She has the 1100, Rossi 38 snubby, Winchester 61 & Savage 99A in 300 Savage.  The Rossi & Winchester were hand me downs from my father in law & the Savage I purchased from my father in law's cousin. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first purchased firearm was a Model 94 Winchester that I ordered while stationed on Diego Garcia. After ordering, it was sent to my home of record.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First gun:  Ithaca M-66 Super Single .410.  Bought by mother for 13th Christmas

First purchase:  Sears Ranger 101.16, 22 Semi Auto (Stevens 87).  Bought from a country store when I was 17.

First handgun:  Couple of cheap 22s that didn't last, first real purchase was a Ruger Blackhawk 45 Colt with 45 ACP cylinder as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.