To begin with, the title is meant to be a "double take" on a pair of pistols I got at a gun show this past weekend and it's meaning will become obvious in a moment.
My wife and I went to a gun show this weekend and I wound up buying an interesting pair of pistols while there. I was looking at a table of used guns while my wife was buying herself a new CC purse when an older man (70's I'd say, if not older) stopped by and asked if the vender was buying used guns. The dealer said yes and the older man brought out two boxes that had obviously been around for a long time. The dealer looked at the boxes and without opening them said "Sorry, but no thanks".
I looked at the boxes and immediately understood why the dealer reacted the way he did. In the boxes were two, RG14 .22 caliber revolvers. For those that may not know this particular gun, it is possibly the gun that most often comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "Saturday Night Special"! It was also the gun used by John Hinckley to shoot President Reagan, James Brady and several others in 1981. In fact, I don't believe they have even been made since the mid 80's.
The older man stood there for a minute or two and was looking at his watch when I asked - just trying to make a little conversation - how much he wanted for the guns. He said $75 for the pair and asked if I would like to take a look at them. With nothing else to do for a few more minutes, I said sure and he handed me the two boxes. They were the original factory boxes and when I opened them I was surprised to see the guns were wrapped in the original plastic. I took them out and was even more surprised to see they were still covered in the original oil/grease from the factory. I asked him how long he'd had them and if there were any problems. He said his sisters husband had bought them for himself and his wife probably 25-30 years ago as self-defense guns. They had then been put in closets and never been fired. The husband had died a few months earlier and his wife was moving in with relatives and didn't want the guns anymore. I took them out of the boxes, checked them over and was actually surprised at the condition they were still in... like new!
Before we go further, I know these aren't the best of guns by a LONG shot. The trigger pull is terrible - I'd guess 15+ lbs in DA mode and not much better in SA - while the sights are about what you'd see on a 2" 'J' frame which means minimal and in fact they remind me a lot of my wife's .38 LADYSMITH in apperance and size. To load and unload, you remove the cylinder rod, just like on a BP, SA '56 Colt navy, pivot the cylinder out, then use the rod to push out the empty cases. Not exactly high tech even 100 years ago!
Still, they were in new condition, still in the original boxes, had consecutive serial numbers and the man said he'd take $50 for the pair if I had the cash. For $50 I could use them as paperweights or bookends, so I said he had a deal. I got them home, cleaned 'em up, checked them over and fired a dozen rounds through each. SURPRISE, they actually worked and at 15', I was hitting empty cola cans with their sub 2" barrels. The recoil was almost nothing and aside from the HEAVY triggers, they shot well and the actions were smooth.
Now, I have to decide what to do with the guns. I got them on impulse because I felt a bit sorry for the old man at the gun show, but now I have two functioning revolvers on my hands that I really didn't need. They are the perfect size to stick in a pocket or backpack as a "survival" pistol, and I wouldn't need to worry about dings or scratches at the price I paid. If they were a larger caliber, I'd even consider using them as car guns, but a .22 is too small for my liking (my current CG is a 9mm).
Anyway, I know they're at the bottem end of the food chain when it comes to handguns, but surprisingly, aside for their heavy triggers ~ at least an accidental dischage is almost impossible ~ they are decent little revolvers and the price was right! So, on Saturday night, I wound up with not only two classic SNS's, but got a "special" deal in the bargain. I suppose if all else fails, I could turn them into starter guns or shoot blanks in them and use them as training aids... decisions, decisions.