So off we went to Mustang, OK. When we arrived, I scanned all the shelves in the front of the store for 1912s and found none. My heart sank. I gave them a second go-around. They had to have one. Had to! One of the employees must have seen my concern, because he asked if there was anything he could help me find. I asked if they had any Model 12s. He confirmed and opened the gate that led past the front counter to the back room of the store. *Aw, crap. It’s in the back room.* The back room is where they keep their particularly rare, valuable, or otherwise noteworthy guns. We’d been in that back room, and awed at its contents, although we had never before purchased a gun at this store. There were remarkable side-by-side and over-under long guns. There were Browning Auto-5’s with gorgeous engraving that were breathtaking in their newness. There was a particular Remington M11 that I may have to go back for one day. It had a +3 shot magazine extension and the ribbed barrel was cut nearly flush with it. It was tight and smooth and beautiful. And today, I was looking at 1912s.
They had four. There was a 20-gauge that seemed like a solid gun although it did have a small ding in the mag tube. There were two sixteens, one of which had some heavy custom work done to it. It had an aftermarket vent rib brazed to the barrel with dual beads and a heavy action tuning. And, there was one 12-gauge. The twelve locked up tighter than any 1912 I’ve ever handled before. The bluing was deep, dark, and at least 99%. The barrel had been cut down to twenty-two-inches, but it was done well, with a brass bead expertly planted at the muzzle. The fore felt like it was mounted on ball bearings. Usually I will ask prior to dry-firing, but I couldn’t resist on this one. The trigger is the lightest, crispest trigger I’ve ever felt on a shotgun. It was much more like a rifle trigger, and is actually far better than many of the rifle triggers that I’ve pulled. The price was marked at $365.
I toted the gun to the front of the store and talked to the owner about it. He patiently showed me how to take down the gun, and what to look out for in the process of doing so. He told me the history of the model and that this particular example was made in 1949. He commented that it was a particularly nice example of the model, and I agreed that I had not seen any nicer. I asked if he could do anything on the price. He said that they made it a point to stock very nice guns, and that he felt that the marked price was more than fair for this example. He said that he couldn’t come down much, but he could do $350 if that would help me.
NOTE: He offered me the gun for the same price as the last shop. But, he went about it an a far more personable way. I took the bait. I will gladly spend my money with someone who invests in me. Frankly, I’d rather spend
twice ten times as much with a vendor who cherishes my business and I’m confident will take care of me after the sale rather than one who pretty much greets me with utter contempt. I gladly paid the $350 plus transfer fees and taxes for the gun. Granted it was a little nicer than the last gun, but I basically paid equal price for a comparable product because of the service. There is a lesson there, and I have noted it deeply, if you know what I mean.
One More To Go…