Back in the days of my youth, I stockpiled a little money and had heard of treasures unearthed in antique shops, second had stores, and junk shops. (This well before GCA 1968.) So, off I went on several Saturday excursions visiting local establishments of the genre.

I did find two "treasures": a Springfield M1878 trapdoor, .45-70 for $10, which I shortly doubled my money on. But my real prize was a .38 revolver.

This .38 was a real "beauty!" It was a double action, but looked like a Colt Single Action. The frame was of the type used by Remington, with integral gripstraps and separate trigger guard. About the size of the Colt Lightning, the frame had been nickeled; barrel, cylinder, ejector rod housing and trigger guard were blued. Grips were hard rubber, with a rampant colt without the spear, near copy of the Colt's. Five notches were cut in the left grip. On the butt was rollmarked "Belgium" while the top of the barrel read "Cowboy Ranger." Left side of barrel read "Nitro Proofed" and "For Ctg 38 Colt & Smith & Wesson 38 Special." Asking price was $25. I wasn't too selective back then, so the gun went home with me.

It wasn't the highest quality sixgun, but it probably compared favorably with current Italian clones of the Colt. The blamed thing shot, and shot well, using .38 Long Colt cartridges. And it digested .38 Specials, too. While there were no +P in those days, there were .38-44 Specials, which I knew to avoid. (The .38-44 Special is entirely different round than the .38-44 Smith & Wesson. The latter a target round from the 19th Century.)

Well, I soon outgrew this gun, and my Dad took it over for awhile, for a house gun. To my surprise, he bought a box of .38 S&W cartridges, and they fit! (They're not supposed to do that.) After buying a four-barreled .22, Dad gave the gun back to me.

Well, that thing rested away in a drawer, forgotten as I got more sophistiated in my gun knowledge. About ten years ago I came across that gun, and took it to a gun shop to sell. Told them the whole bit about how useless the gun was, to sell it as a wall hanger for $50.

The gun sold the following day.

Bob Wright