It's the last week of the year, and the time when folks are traditionally inundated with "Best of..." lists and retrospectives of the previous 12 months. Not wanting to feel left out, I figure I should include some Best Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks compilations. So, for starters I'll offer up my five best catches of '05 in the handgun department:
5. S&W Model 21-4 Thunder Ranch Special:
A fixed-sight, big-bore N-frame M&P with a tapered 4" barrel and round-butt frame: What's not to like? Well, the goofy lock-zit thingie and the gold pimpalicious Thunder Ranch billboard on the sideplate, actually, but even with those flaws, this is a revolver I'd been pining for for years; a no-BS fighting sixgun.
4. 3" S&W Model 657:
Completing my 3" N-frame collection with one of my favorite N-frame calibers. I still haven't decided if I'm going to have it MagNaPorted to match my 3" 629 or not...
3. SIG GSR Nitron:
Some of the early guns were plagued by teething problems, but mine is quite impressive. An all-star list of quality parts assembled into a stone reliable, hella accurate package. Holster availability is still a problem, but Milt Sparks is only about eight weeks out from making me a very happy woman.
2. S&W Model of 1955 Target (aka "Pre-Model 25"):
A 6.5" five-screw target N-frame from 1956. From its precise fit to its lovely bluing, it's an eloquent reminder of why these early postwar S-prefix large frame Smiths command such premium prices on the collector market. They were S&W's flagship offerings, with an extra level of attention lavished on them by the factory, and it shows.
1. S&W Model 53-2:
I had never even seen a 4" .22 Remington Jet revolver before I purchased this one; the few examples I'd seen floating around dealer's tables at gun shows were all 6" or 8 3/8" guns, many of which looked as though they'd been dragged behind a truck, and were priced like imported sin into the bargain. When this 4" smallbore magnum crossed my path I just hadtahadtahadta have it.
Next up: Long guns. Or maybe books. Possibly favorite roads to ride down. Something, anyway...