Exclusive: Regrets!

Most gun owners have a story or two of regret, usually the result of ridding themselves of a beloved firearm. Call it “seller’s remorse” or whatever, why anyone would sell a beloved firearm, I don’t know. But I think “beloved” at times gets redefined or at least reprioritized as we go through life. A variety of factors can contribute to this: Sometimes finances get tight and something’s gotta go to help pay a bill. Sometimes we are wooed by other firearms and something’s gotta go to pay for the cost of the new gun. Sometimes it is just sheer foolishness. One of my stories of regret is the day I got rid of my Smith & Wesson K-22 Masterpiece. I’d like to think it was out of necessity but it was probably just foolish.

How I Got It

3 I’ve always enjoyed firearms and shooting but didn’t really get into it until after graduating from college, when, not surprisingly, I could actually afford to purchase firearms and ammunition. I had already inherited from my grandfather a beautiful Remington .308 semi-auto hunting rifle. Unfortunately, I could never get out to hunt to actually use it. And I wanted a handgun. And a friend wanted my Remington. And he was willing to part with his K-22 in order to get it. So, we traded, straight up. He got a fantastic rifle. I got the K-22, in excellent condition, in the original box, with the original manual and owner documents, and even with the original wax wrapping paper. I was thrilled to get the K-22 but someday I’ll write the article about how I wished I had never parted with that Remington rifle.

The K-22 provided years of faithful service, firing .22 bullets down many a range with incredible accuracy. Credit the six-inch barrel, super-smooth trigger action, and easy-to-see iron sights that never needed adjusting. I plinked away in single action, easily hitting empty shotgun shells, one after the other, at over 10 yards. I fired in double action, putting all six rounds into a paper plate at over 30 yards. I cut smiley faces into paper targets, shot through the same quarter-sized hole, round after round, and shattered clay pigeons placed against plywood at the outdoor range. After firing 60 or 70 rounds I would wipe the gun down and do it all again. Afterwards, cleaning the K-22 always resulted in a beautiful, shiny metal handgun with wood target stocks that was perfect in every detail and a true classic.

How I Let it Go

2Soon, I became interested in concealed carry and my home state of Michigan became a “shall issue” state. Even though six rounds of .22 in a full-sized steel revolver with a six-inch barrel is better than nothing for a carry gun, I wasn’t about to carry the K-22. I wanted something smaller with a bit more punch and settled on another classic: A Smith & Wesson 642 — an aluminum-alloy framed .38 Special built on the smallish J-frame. It weighed only 15 ounces, sported a 1.875-inch barrel and carried five rounds of +P. Perfect.

Except I didn’t have the money to purchase it. What I did have was an old 7mm Mauser rifle and the beloved K-22 Masterpiece. I visited my local gun dealer who offered me hardly anything for both of them. Convinced that the S&W 642 would easily win the practicality test, I handed over the Mauser, the K-22, and chipped in some additional cash. The 642 came home with me.

The Aftermath

1Not many range sessions have gone by where I haven’t wanted that K-22. And not just for myself. I’ve had the privilege of introducing several young people to firearms and shooting and every time wished I had the K-22 to start them off. Yes, other firearms can fill that first-gun role, but not as well, especially not for younger shooters who struggle to keep a heavy stainless steel S&W 686 revolver aimed at a target or, unless they’re a bit older and stronger, to rack the slide on a Glock.

The 642 was a nice gun, of course, and fairly accurate for a snubbie. But, being so light in weight, it quickly became tedious to shoot for more than, say, 25 or 30 rounds. Sure would be nice to have that smooth, old six-shooter .22 back… Ironically and regrettably, the 642 is no longer with me, either. I foolishly traded it in for another gun. But that’s another story.

What firearms do you regret letting go?

— Mark Kakkuri

Get more information on Smith & Wesson and other firearms related companies at the GUNS Magazine Product Index.

18 thoughts on “Exclusive: Regrets!

  1. Ernest

    Biggest regret? Ruger KGP-161. Traded on a Savage .223. Don’t have the Savage anymore either. Honestly, wish I’d gone with revolvers than getting into semi-auto pistols, but hindsight’s always 20/20,

  2. Nelson

    I regret selling my Bob Munden Full Race Tuned Colt SAA .Now that Bob has passed on I will never be able to replace it.

  3. frank

    I had a Super Redhawk 10 inch barrel 44 mag sold it for cash , too little cash… booohoooohoooo. still regret to this day and it was 15 years ago . kills me … ever since then Ive had a hard time trading or letting anything go . I was able to replace with a 460 Sw mag after 15 years, but they would have made great buddies together .. boohoo

  4. Jody

    1992; traded a S&W 4″ Model 586 because I was young, stupid, and didn’t know what I had. Tight lockup, perfect rotation, slick pull all the way through, and great target sights. When S&W re-released it last year, it just made me miss that old one even more. What’s worse, the S&W 3906 I picked up in its place gave poor accuracy, was unreliable, and just didn’t balance in the hand worth a hoot. I wound up trading that against a SIG-Sauer P239, which still rides on my hip 22 years later. But with what I lost in trades, I could have just about bought the SIG outright I think, and kept the 586 all along. Man, what a shooter, especially with 158 grain Keith-style “wadcutters.” I really started kicking myself when bowling pin shoots took off.

  5. Frank Shaffer

    Bought a Harpers Ferry complete for $18. and left for a job overseas and sold it back to the seller for $18. Even begged him to take it back.

  6. Grant

    I had inherited my Dad’s firearms after he died. He had 2 nice sporterized Mauser’s (6.X55 Swede, and 7X57mm) all nicely done in full length Manlicker stocks. I hadn’t shot them in many years and wasn’t sure how much I would use them again. I had a co-worker who told me he could take them to his home local gun shop and get some money for them. I didn’t realize he was going to low ball the rifles and sold them for next to nothing. I was pissed and asked to get them back, but the gun shop had already sold them over a day or two.

    I miss the 6.5X55 Swede more than the 7mm, as it had a great maple stock and excellent Williams peep sight. These rifles were in superb shape and to get only about $300.00 for both was an insult. Needless to say, I don’t speak to this co-worker anymore. I would have thought he would have tried harder than that to get good money, but no. Live and learn I guess.

    I am hoping that some day I might see that 6.5X55 Swede on Gunbroker or Guns America. I hope I do.

  7. RichB

    At about 12 years old, my father bought me a Marlin 39a which we used to plink with often and usually with .22 shorts. One fateful morning at 13 I was allowed to kill a skunk that was at the garbage cans, being told that it must be a head shot or the skunk would stink up the area for days. The trusty 39a came thru with its Micro groove rifling and the skunk was dispatched from about 20 yds away. It was my first kill of anything other than ducks which were hunted by shotgun. After getting out of the Navy some year later and moving to an environment where guns were not welcome I sold that 39a along with a favorite shotgun. While the 39a has been replaced with another in the late 80s, the original one is still missed today so many years later. That taught me a valuable lesson though and my gun safe has had a “one way” door for years since. Input Only!!!

  8. Matthew George

    I really regret selling a S&W No dash model 36 made in 1972

    and a Colt official police made in 1957

  9. Macdadi

    A Browning High Power with adjustable sights purchased from Delta Arms in Indianola, Mississippi around 1977; I paid $250 for it and $15 for it to be shipped to my local dealer…

  10. George Knierim

    I traded a Leopold 2×7 scope for a K22, 8 3/8″ barrel in the mid-1970’s. I will never get rid of it. I have regrets over parting with a Kimber .45, a Smith 19, a Kleinguenther K-14 in 7 mag, a Sig Sauer P238 a M1 Carbine, a Weatherby Mk V deluxe in .378, and an American Enfield model 1917 in .30-06.

    Guns I will not part with now are my Garand and a real flintlock Indian trade musket taken from an Indian during a raid in Jack County, Texas.

  11. Jason

    All of them! I regret any gun I owned and had to sell for some reason or another. I would rather sell a kidney but I only have two… I would love to have my Armalite Ar 180 back. It was the sterling, not as collectable as the howa but I only paid $750 for It and don’t think I will find another at that price.

    So back to the Kidney reference. Get two of each incase you get dumb enough to sell one!

  12. DarryH

    I started shooting at age 4, with a Remington 514 single shot .22 rifle. I still have it. At about age 14, a friend let me shoot his .22 rifle which had a magazine, and now I wanted a repeater.
    My Dad bought me one for working hard on the farm. He gave it to me right after our nightly family supper. I was so excited until I opened the box and brought out that new gun. And then I was so disappointed, as it did not have a magazine. I know the disappointment showed in my face, and I could see my Dad also saw it. And then Dad took the rifle and said, this is even better than a magazine, and he showed me it was a tubular magazine, which I had never seen before. I was still stunned, but quickly thanked my dad. Of course, I loved this gun. It read Coast to Coast Hardware Store on the barrel, which I found was actually made by Savage. The gun was insanely accurate, and decimated every pest on the farm, and put a lot of game on the table. After all this use there was little finish left on the metal, and more than half the finish was worn from the wood.
    I took it with me when I left the farm to make my own way in the world. Shortly after I attended my first gun show. I took my gun with me, thinking of trading for something newer. I did trade off my .22, for something long gone and with not near the memories. I would love to have my well worn friend back.
    My Dad is still alive and now 86 years old. Last year I told him the story of the gun he gave me, and I told him I was sorry if I hurt him. He said he did not recall, and just brushed it off with a quick smile. I’d much rather have my Dad than that .22, but I’d really prefer to have both.

  13. HankB

    I received a Colt Diamondback .22 with a 2.5″ barrel as an 8th grade graduation present from my Dad – I shot it a lot, and learned the importance of trigger control and sight alignment with that short barrel. At some point I thought it would be a good idea to trade it towards a .30/06 Model 70. (It really wasn’t such a good idea after all.) That particular revolver was fun to shoot and today is very rarely seen – and when they change hands, the price is enough to raise eyebrows. Oh, well, you live and learn . . . and the fact that I’ve used that M70 to hunt from Minnesota to Africa takes some of the sting out of trading the Colt.

  14. Craig Clyde

    I was young, working in radio in the Northwest. I had managed to buy a prime 1917 Army issue 1911 pistol for $50. It was perfect. It was also my first “large” handgun having started with .22’s on my father’s ranch. I loved that old slab-sided wonder. And got quite good with it. When I got a raise I was suddenly bitten with the “Dirty Harry” bug and traded the pristine .45 away for a nickel-plated Model 29 (also a beautiful pistol) but the .44 magnum was difficult to shoot – and expensive. Many is the day at the range I wished I’d never traded the 1911 away. Today that old warhorse would be worth probably twice what the Model 29 is. I still have the nickeled .44 magnum (original 6 1/2 inch barrel) but I dream of the old Colt. And to this day regret that trade.

  15. James McCubbins

    Fortunately I learned my lesson after the last “sellers remorse” and have all of my beloved S&W guns and my Springfield. But two guns that I sold and now wish I hadn’t, are:
    AMT-Backup in .45 caliber. The thing weighed as much as a cinder block, but would fit into the back pocket of a pair of Levi’s, and at the time, my duty weapon was a S&W 4506, so the ammo was interchangeable.

    JP Sauer (model unkown) .357 Magnum single action. Bought off my platoon sergeant while in the 101st Airborne. First gun I ever bought. Nothing spectacular about it other than it shot great and was my first purchased gun and only single action revolver I’ve ever owned.


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