Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Saturday Pawn Shop Adventure

Saturday morning I took a little ride up to Beaumont, to one of the local pawnshops. They had a bunch of rifles, but not so many pistols. A Ruger P94 .40S&W, a couple of Glocks, some old blued Smith & Wesson .38 Specials, and several 1911s -- which was what I was on the lookout for, anyway -- a Para and one of the highly-sought-after Taurus 1911s, and a nickel-plated Remington-Rand from 1943. I'd never seen one of those...all the 1911s I'd seen from that era were either blued or parkerized, but the guy at the counter said something about it going through the custom shop, I think. The Rem-Rand went right about for what I thought it might, though I'd rather have had a blued or parked pistol. One of the guys at the counter said the Taurus had maybe 50 rounds through it...the pistol had a price tag right about what I expected it to be -- a little more than Shooters Supply, but still a pretty good deal if the Taurus is indeed everything everyone says it is.
But I went in there more than anything else to inquire about a Dan Wesson Razorback. I thought for a long time that Dan Wesson was like Kimber in that they sold directly to dealers and that to be a stocking dealer you had to place an order for a certain amount of guns. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that was not the case, that Dan Wesson sold through the distribution network; I had not seen a wide selection of DWs at Davidson's, so I was thinking that maybe they only sold through stocking dealers. As it turned out, though, the fella there at the counter looked up the Razorback and found it through another distributor for just shy of a grand after tax. Which is just about what I was expecting. They used to be cheaper, but apparently Dan Wesson is the dark horse of the 1911 market. I hadn't heard much about them for a while, but I started digging and found out they got a hell of a (good) reputation, especially after CZ bought them out. Everybody I'd talked to was always talking up either Kimber or Springfield; I didn't even know Dan Wesson was in the 1911 business until I found out about the Razorback. The pawnshop guy, who knew his stuff pretty well, it sounded like, was quite vocal with his opinion, too. He said that he wasn't going to pony up $20,000 to be a Kimber stocking dealer, that the Kimbers were overrated and that the Dan Wessons were much better guns. I can't really argue with the "overrated" remark, with the way some people have talked about them, even though my experience with them has been quite good. As I've said before and as I'm sure more than a few people will say as well, there are folks out there who think Kimber is the end-all and be-all of 1911s. He also had an issue with Kimber's methods in that if the gun was bad, you had to send it back to Kimber instead of the distributor. I think what he was saying was that if the distributor sent them a malfunctioning gun, they'd take it back and send the customer another one, and with Kimber being a dealer-direct manufacturer they more or less precluded that option. As for my erroneous thought that Dan Wesson only sold dealer-direct, pawnshop guy basically told me that he was selling Dan Wesson 1911s before Dan Wesson 1911s were cool -- although not in those exact words. If I remember right, he told me he had a Pointman Seven and it was a great gun. Needless to say I was quite thrilled. The next closest Dan Wesson dealer is Carter's Country in Houston, and while I always have fun in Houston and wouldn't have minded going over there, I just preferred to keep my dollars here. Plus, I am not exactly rollin' in 'em. ;-) As of yet I am not sure when, but a Razorback will be mine, oh yes, it will...