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Think Tank

Idol Thoughts and Inspirations …
1

Thanks to a slew of books, magazines and other collectibles from his heroes, Tank was able to divine a purpose for buying his “Idol Gun.”

We all have our reasons for buying guns. Sometimes our biggest hurdle is convincing ourselves why we need it. I’ve debated myself so often I consider myself a master at convincing myself to buy a different gun. Most times I don’t even bother debating and just snatch it up.

What happens when we run out of reasons for buying a new gun? At one point in my life, I thought I was there but I’ve since come to my senses. Let me tell you this scary tale of woe.

Lost Purpose?

Over the years, I’ve bought bear guns, antelope rifles, high-velocity varmint guns, along with guns for ghosts, zombies and other ghouls. Lever, pump, bolt, semi-auto, I had those bases covered too along with single-action, double-action, semi-auto and single-shot shooters by the score. I had Guide, Outfitter and Bush Pilot guns for future adventures.

As time passed, my purchases were becoming pretty paltry, almost non-existent. Had I run out of purposes for buying different situational shooters? Eee-gads!
Would I ever buy another gun again? I sure hope so

The factory-fitted “W” mainspring makes this gun even more rare and special. Tank also added some exhibition-grade Herrett Roper stocks to his prize.

A New Kind Of Hunt

Now, instead of hunting for guns, I was hunting for a purpose! One day, it hits me, POW! Right between the eyes! That’s how it usually happens when you least expect it. While innocently (no, really) perusing my local gun shop, I see it! I screw-up by making eye contact — dumb rookie mistake, but it’s too late! It sees me, too!

Mixed in among the used pistols was an S&W 5-screw pre-29 model. It was priced about 1/4 its normal value, raising suspicion and caution. I cooly check with the counter crew and am informed it has a factory letter … with a catch. Apparently, it left the factory as a Pre-25 .45 ACP but it now has a .44 Magnum barrel and cylinder.

It was now time to cogitate for a purpose so I could somehow make this reassembled prodigy of parts mine. This particular 5-screw was manufactured in 1956 with a 6.5" barrel, and left the factory with target stocks, hammer and trigger. It also has the rare factory “W” mainspring for a smoother action. Tickled about the .44 Magnum caliber conversion, I had yet come up with a reason.

Tank’s pre-29 cartridge modified 5-screw sleeps a Milt Sparks AW200 carved shuck, perfect for holding the “Idol” gun and the thoughts, dreams and ideas of Tank’s mentors.

Idol Invention?

Suddenly, a new purpose starts forming. Being a confirmed student of Elmer Keith and having a deep admiration for the writings of Skeeter Skelton, this blued-steel Rembrandt was beginning to fill a niche I had previously neglected … or perhaps invented?

Skeeter wrote of a favored fictional character of mine by the name of Dobe Grant, a hybrid of men Skeet worked with mixed with a bit of himself. A treasured tale involves Skeet and Dobe building some Colt SAA’s with extra parts the old codger had on hand. With my hyper-imaginative mind, I construe this to be a Skeeter/Dobe concocted cannon of sorts.

Add to the fact Elmer helped develop the cartridge and loved the 4" Model 29, well … things were jelling together nicely in my jellified brain. Elmer also loved the convenience of carrying a 4" .44 Magnum for targets of opportunity.

Skeeter enjoyed the ability to easily conceal and carry a 4" shorty. Dobe Grant had no qualms about swapping out parts to make a new caliber gun so why should I? Plus, it would probably be the only time I could actually afford a coveted 5-screw S&W six-gun. I needed that ideal “idol” six-shooter!

Now I have the reasons for purchasing the gun I never knew I needed … I’m sure you’ve been there, a time or two, eh? Obviously, I end up buying the gun.

A Spruce-Up

A gun paying homage to such important men in my life was deserving of some special treatment. I ordered a set of Herrett Roper stocks and a Milt Sparks carved AW200 shuck.

Every time I strap it on I’m reminded of the great men who lived before me as I honor them by wearing such a rig. I discovered the Idol gun 15 years ago and I’m proud to say I’ve figured out several more “purpose” guns since then.

We can all find a purpose if we look hard enough. Hopefully you’ll find your purpose in life and enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine. If you ever need help finding one motivation for buying a gun, drop me a line because I’m sure we can come up with several you never thought about before.

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