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Old August 25, 2018, 09:48 AM   #1
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Dumbest Trades Ever

Because I believed everything I read back then (1970s), I traded a beautiful like-new 16 ga. Wingmaster since 20 ga. was "taking over" making 16s obsolete and ammo hard to find. In about 1990 I traded an original Red Label 20 ga. (again in excellent LN condition) because on my only range session with it, I was embarrassed that I couldn't hit hand-thrown clays. That trade plus $45 was for a S&W Model 63 kit gun. A few years after that I sold the Smith and a Remington .22 Speedmaster for pawn value (before both were considered classics and before the .22 bubble) because I needed some cash. I would dearly love to have any or all of those back now.
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Old August 25, 2018, 10:48 AM   #2
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Other way around

Fortunately I don't have any memories of guns which I would like to have back. However on the other side of the coin are trades where I "won".

A gal friend of mine owned a 1921 production Colt 1903. I had an old Colt Police positive special that had been poorly refinished.

She wanted that old revolver, even up trade for the 03 Colt. I fully disclosed not only the poor refinish, but the fact the old revolver would not hit the broad side of a barn, from inside the barn.

She is still happy with the trade. She brought it back to me once because against my advice had fired some blazer aluminum case in it. I removed the cylinder and drove the Aluminum cases out. I also polished the chambers for her, since she did not listen to my advice about Aluminum cases in old revolver.

And of course I am still happy with the trade That little .32 is a tack driver, the tiny sights do hold it back. I tucked away the original grip panel and put some smooth Rosewood grips on it. Tactical error. My wife fell in love with it.....
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Old August 25, 2018, 11:57 AM   #3
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Not a dumb trade, but...... I traded a Parker-Hale Delux[?], 7mm RM straight across for a Ruger M77 RSI in .308 Win. I was stoked. But, my son was stoked even more and gleefully talked me out of it. I didn't get diddly out of that trade, except to watch my son shoot the Ruger. Don't reckon I'll be getting that one back. He sure likes that gun.
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Old August 25, 2018, 12:03 PM   #4
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Selling the Smith 63 and maybe the Remington 22 so cheaply was probably a mistake. But selling the 16 ga wasn't that bad. And I think you did good dumping the Red Label. Those have proven to be less than desirable.

Those 16 ga 870's were built on 12 ga receivers so there was no real advantage to owning one vs a 12. A 20 does everything a 16 does and 16's are still obsolete and hard to find ammo for. That hasn't changed since the 1970's. I wouldn't lose any sleep over not having either of the shotguns.

The Smith 63 is the only one that I really think was a mistake.

I've been buying/selling/trading guns since the 1970's too. I've owned over 200 guns of various types, but rarely over 15-20 at any single time. There were a handful that I had 2nd thoughts about letting go at one time or another. But now at age 60 looking back there are none that I've let go that I'd really want back.

About the only thing that I'd imagine I'd really have any remorse about would be if I sold something with family history. And I've not done that.
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Old August 25, 2018, 12:07 PM   #5
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I have yet to trade any firearm but have sold some because of churn. My total churn amount is probably a dozen or less and have no regrets. Had one firearm stolen, a Remington 700 BDL 30-06 rifle toward the early 70s. I was in my early teens and was happy to get anything because I couldn't afford to be picky. The 700 would have eventually been churned had it not been stolen. Even at that age I realized this rifle was made for a price point. The stock was walnut and the forend tip and grip cap were black plastic, I believe. The stock checkering was really cheaply done like it was a stamping, no actual cuts and had no depth, shallow. The stock was coated with a finish like a floor finishing product, I forget the name. The 700 was bought from a big box retailer called White Front. Me thinks this 700 may have been made to order specifically for this retailer because I've never seen a 700 BDL made so cheaply.

Then I got hooked/mesmerized by the Sako bolt action rifles. They came in three action lengths, Vixen (short), Forester (medium) and Finnbear (long). The bluing on the deluxe models was in the same class as Colt, IMO. The action has the wobble and feel as any Mauser action, not great. The Lee-Enfeild action is by far a better feeling action IMO.

Update, forgot to mention. Don't let your fellow gunny talk you out of your piece(s) because they are in the position to twist your loose brain. I sold my Remington Nylon 66 22LR rife that way. While I have no desire for a 22LR rifle I still kinda miss that rifle.

Last edited by 745SW; August 25, 2018 at 02:18 PM.
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Old August 25, 2018, 12:41 PM   #6
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I have a 1963 Sako Finnbear in .270 Win. I will never part ways with that one.
Sorry for slight hijack.
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Old August 25, 2018, 01:29 PM   #7
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I once traded a NIB Mossberg 500 for a dollar. The kid needed a shotgun and I had too many.

Also, I traded a circa 1970 Rem 700 30-06 for $125. Made out like a bandit on that one. The rifle would not shoot plus it was one of those that didn't fit because of the crappy stock and it hurt like hell to shoot 5 shots thru it.

Then, I traded $1000 for a Mark V in 460. That was a steal.

I traded a Ruger SBH for a 4" 29 S&W.
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Old August 25, 2018, 02:10 PM   #8
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My neighbor wanted a semi-auto pistol with an external safety. I traded him my nice Hi-Point C9 for his old but nice Taurus Model 84 38 Special revolver. We still don't know which one of us got cheated. I didn't need the Hi-Point as I bought it as my first handgun and I wanted to see if they were as bad as the gun snobs said. It was a good gun and I got the Taurus for the same reason. Both are good guns.
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Old August 25, 2018, 02:46 PM   #9
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The real Trapdoor Carbine featured in my Great BP Cartridge Experiment for a Savage M24 .223 over 20 gauge wasn't my best moment.
Midway shows 28 loads of 16 gauge. 149 for the 20. So that part was right. Kind of suspect the like-new 16 ga. Wingmaster would be worth a big pile of money these days though. People thinking Wingmasters are something special now. They weren't in the 70's.
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Old August 25, 2018, 03:54 PM   #10
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I have traded or sold several guns over the years, and in most cases I don't miss them but there are a few I wish I hadn't.

Like the near mint condition Colt 1903 that was traded for work rebarreling a rifle. I owned it for about 3 weeks, long enough to fall in love with it but not long enough to get out and shoot it. Another customer of mine came in and talked me out of it for $150 (more than I had traded it for). Three years ago, a customer traded me a 1903 for some work I did for him. I needed the money more than the pistol, but I took it for old times' sake.

Like the 1909 Argentine Mauser barreled action I got in payment for a loan I had made. It was in 308, and the previous owner had fired lead bullets through it at jacketed velocities. To say it was leaded up is an understatement. No problem (back in the 1980s), just get some mercury and fill up the barrel and let is sit overnight. It cleaned up fine. Dropped it into a stock I had sitting around. Then my friend's son needed a deer rifle so I gave it to him. He and his dad went hunting that year, his dad died the next spring. It was worth it.

Like the Winchester 42 I got from the daughter of an older gentleman who was rapidly deteriorating mentally. I went shopping for 410 ammo and discovered I could buy several boxes of 12 or 20 gauge for the same price as a box of the little ones. I sold that one, and got a good price, but years later I got a itch for 410s and couldn't scratch it.

Like my 1871 Mauser that I picked up years ago because the owner didn't know what it was. I liked it a lot, shot it some, and ended up selling it to a friend in a bulk deal after I got divorced. For years I reminisced about it and the great times I had loading and shooting the old beast. Earlier this year, I got a screaming deal on a 1871 Mauser rifle just like the old one (Amberg instead of Spandau, but that's no biggie). Now I'm getting ready to relive the past.

So you see, some stories do have happy endings!
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Old August 25, 2018, 06:25 PM   #11
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In about 1990 I traded an original Red Label 20 ga. (again in excellent LN condition) because on my only range session with it, I was embarrassed that I couldn't hit hand-thrown clays.
THAT was a good trade because Ruger Red Labels totally suck.........consider that a good deal.
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Old August 25, 2018, 09:57 PM   #12
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I was on the good end of one a while back. A guy posted a Savage Striker in 308win on Armslist just "testing the waters"! After about a week I offered a couple different trade options and the guy bit on a lnib Taurus 85 I had just recently bought. I paid $240 out the door for the Taurus and he traded straight across!

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Old August 27, 2018, 10:04 AM   #13
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Little trade bait left

Most will likely shake their heads at the motley few firearms I have left after those dumb trades mentioned at the start of this thread, and there is no method to my madness. I'm just a casual shooter and occasional hunter, not a collector and can't afford "safe queens". Didn't even mention the long-gone Remington Special Purpose slug gun and the Colt 3" Cobra in .22LR, neither of which I considered dumb trades. I own guns for the pure joy of shooting them. The (Poly-Choked, of course) H&R Pardner 20 ga., old school Ruger 10-22, Bearcat revolver, and .45 cal. TC Cherokee are all that's needed to scratch my current itch but damn if I don't get a little gun-envy every time I browse the TFL forums.
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Old September 8, 2018, 08:59 PM   #14
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Have I got a candidate! The year is 1954. I am 12 years old and attending summer day camp. Seems incredible today but I was allowed to bring my own .22 rifle to camp on the bus every day. My doting father had previously gifted me a Winchester 62A, the classic shooting gallery pump gun. One day, another camper brought his gun, a Mossberg 151M semi-auto .22. I was awestruck. Compared to my pump gun, this Mannlicher-stocked, semi-auto in my eyes, was an M1 Garand. I had to have one. Naturally, I talked my long-suffering father into trading my Winchester on a Mossberg. Fast forward 64 years. The Mossberg is mint and resides in my safe alongside a Winchester 62A. About 5 years ago, I wandered into my LGS and there on the wall was a mint 62A for $700. The chances of my leaving that store without the Winchester, were somewhere between slim and none. After getting it home, I checked the serial number for date of manufacture. It was the year of my birth.
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Old September 8, 2018, 09:52 PM   #15
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Trading my Century Arms Vz 2008 for money to pay the rent lol. I had just left a bad job and was lucky enough to immediately get one in a new city but used all my savings getting here. Rent came due and the paychecks weren't coming yet so something had to give.

It was the coolest little rifle for $400 with a complete kit and multiple magazines when I bought it. Sold it for $650 and eventually they're going to get to the point that you could buy a CSA for the same price
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Old September 8, 2018, 11:51 PM   #16
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The biggest mistake I have made in my trading career was when I was about
14. I was working as a stock boy at a IGA store. It was Christmas time and the
owner had been given a lot of gift 1/5th whiskey by salesmen. My oldman was a
friend of his. He told me to pick out a bottle and take it home to the OM. I was
going home to lunch with the whiskey when I ran into a delivery man in back of
the store. He had a new Radio he had gotten from a customer as gift. Traded
him for the radio. One of the butchers wanted the radio. He had a Rem 22 single
shot NIB he traded me for the radio. The assistant manager wanted the 22 for
his kid. He said he had a German combo gun in nice shape but it used oddball
ammo. I trade him sight unseen and got the gun after work. It had some minor
problems which gunsmith fixed in no time. Then he wanted the gun. I got about
$600 worth of stuff in 1964 dollars. I was real proud of myself, until I found out
what that gun was worth. It was a four barrel SxS 16g/8mm rimmed & 22. A
gun like that today would be up $5K or more. I've made other mistakes but
that one still haunts me. I still have the S&W K22 I got on that deal.
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