One for the Scrapbook

Wheelgun Diaries

They say every gun has a story. A reader submission series from American Handgunner, Wheelgun Diaries seeks to tell some of those stories through the words of revolver owners.

The following stories were shared by email with permission to publish.

One for the Scrapbook

Several years ago, my wife was planning to attend a scrapbooking event in nearby Grapevine, Tex. She had been the year before and voiced several annoyances about the venue. Parking was expensive and they directed her to park far away from the entrance. An opportunity to make her day easier and spend a little time together, I volunteered to drive her there and pick her up for lunch, killing time while she was inside.

After dropping her off, I went to Bass Pro to window shop, as my “gun money” fund at the time was near zero. Later, after we had a picnic lunch at nearby Lake Grapevine and I dropped her off again, I went to a local pawn shop. Going out of sheer boredom, I didn’t expect to find anything of interest, let alone buy anything.

That was until I saw a used .357 Magnum Ruger Security Six. It was in decent shape — the rubber grips were old and hard, and it had been dropped on its adjustable rear sight — and a decent price of $325, plus tax. Interested in the revolver, I mentioned its issues and they made me an offer of $300 out the door. Shortly thereafter, my wife called and asked what I was up to. I told her about the Ruger and she said the magic words — “Just get it.” And I did.

I sourced a pristine set of wood Magna grips, as well as a comfy rubber set off eBay and replaced the rear sight with one from Numrich. It’s a sweet little shooter and has about 85% of the bluing intact. The fact that it cost half of what a similar GP100 would cost is icing on the cake. I would never sell it because it reminds me of that day. It was really good day for both of us.

Donnie L.

Snake Bit

I was a young man in the late 1970s, but I had already married and started a family, so I had limited funds to spend on my gun collection. I was also working and going to college, but I made time to reload and target shoot when I could.

A .45 Colt fan, I had already acquired a Colt Single Action Army and a double-action Colt New Service revolver, both in .45 Colt. I loved the .45 Colt round, but the .357 Magnum was all the rage with my shooting buddies in late 1979, so I just had to have a Colt Python with a 6-inch barrel.

I saved my money for a long time, but the Python was quite expensive at the time — approximately $350 — so I ended up buying a new Colt Trooper MK III, blued, 6-inch, in .357 Magnum, for about $100 dollars less instead, making layaway payments for a few months. Without the ribbed barrel, the Trooper MK III was not quite as aesthetically pleasing as the Python, but it had a beautiful blue finish and was very accurate. After tuning it up with a spring kit, it turned out to be one of my most accurate revolvers.

Old model Colt Python revolver

New model Colt Python revolver

Some years later when the kids were grown and my engineering career was well-established, I bought my 6-inch blued Python — and many other snake guns along the way. The Python is a beautiful gun, but it does not outshoot my Trooper MK III, which I would never sell. Recently I purchased a new 4-inch stainless Python for $1,500 and the fit and finish are very nice, but I have yet to shoot it up against my Trooper MK III, though and I doubt it could best it.

Over my long career of collecting guns, I have many stories of guns that got away, only to find and afford them later. When it comes to the Python, you could say I was snake bit.

Ralph R. Miller

Share Your Wheelgun Diaries

Do you have a wheelgun story to tell? Send us a photo and your story by email and you could see it published online and featured in our regular Wheelgun Wednesday newsletter.

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