Searching for a Purpose

Idol Thoughts and Inspirations
27

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 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 along with single-action, double-action 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, a dumb rookie mistake, but it’s too late. It sees me, too!

Mixed in among the used pistols was a Smith & Wesson 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. Despite being tickled about the .44 Magnum caliber conversion, I had yet come up with the reason I needed.

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, 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 had the reasons for purchasing the gun I never knew I needed. I’m sure you’ve been there, a time or two. Obviously, I ended up buying the gun.

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.

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 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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