I always wanted to be a handgun hunter, but the only handguns I owned were a .25 ACP that my Uncle brought back from his WWII stint in Germany, and a High Standard .22 revolver that I inherited from my Brother. I finally decided to make that a reality, and saved up enough money to buy a decent pistol. I visited a gun dealer friend of mine, who gave me a great deal on an S&W 6 1/2" Model 29 in 44 Magnum. It was a beautiful piece of the gunmaker's art with deep dark blue and reddish brown grips. I fondled that gun for two weeks waiting to go shooting. Then the movie "Dirty Harry" hit the local theatres. My gun dealer friend called and asked if I had shot it, and would I be interested in selling to which I replied No and No. He asked me to keep it unfired for a bit, and said that he would call me in a few days. It seems the movie's popularity had not only wiped out all existing inventory of blued S&W 6 1/2" Model 29s, but had also severely escalated the price of all other blued 29s. My dealer friend called and said he would double my money on the 29, and also make me a killer deal on an almost new Super Blackhawk 44 Magnum. It was too good to pass up, so feeling like I was selling one of my Children, I exchanged the Smith for the Ruger and the cash. I knew that the 29 market was depleted, but on a whim, I stopped by the area Wal-Mart on the way home, and looked through their pistol selection (Wal-Mart sold pistols then, and so did J.C. Penney). The clerk asked if I was looking for something, and I half heartedly asked if he had any 29s hid out in the back. As a matter of fact I do he replied, but said I do not think you will want it, as he went to retrieve it. He returned with a large blue Smith & Wesson box, and my heart skipped a beat. He pulled out the longest, shiniest pistol I had ever seen, an 8 3/8" Model 29 in bright Nickel. I asked him what was wrong with it. He said nothing, but he kept it in the back because every body wanted to hold it because there were no blued 29s to be had and he could not get his work done. He remarked that they had even marked it down because it was not selling. I had enough left from my previous transaction to cover the price, so I brought it home. Since it was too pretty to hunt with, it became my target gun and the Ruger was my hunting gun. I wore the bluing off that SBH hauling it in my Blazer while waiting for an easy shot. I finally learned that I was never going to be a handgun hunter if I brought my rifle on the hunt. Shortly thereafter I received a certified letter from Smith & Wesson informing me that I was one of the sweepstakes winners of an all expenses paid handgun hunt to be held at the YO Ranch in Texas. Never hunted with a rifle since. So thanks to Dirty Harry, Wal-Mart, Smith & Wesson and the YO Ranch, I became a handgun hunter. Yes, I know it too long, but those of you that know me would expect nothing less.
P.S. I still have the Nickel 29, the Super Blackhawk, the German .25 ACP, and the High Standard.