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GUNS Magazine Digital March 2011 - Page 56
The TwisTs and Turns of gun collecTing. Mike “Duke” venturino Photos: yvonne venturino ack in the april 2005 issue of this magazine, in an article titled A Lifetime Of Guns, I talked about the first 500 guns I have owned, ending with some details of the special present I bought for myself as the 500th one. due to some quirk in my personality, I’m a list maker and back in my teens started keeping track of every firearm I have bought, traded for, or was given to me. That tattered, handjotted sheaf of notebook paper is still with me and the list is still growing. In fact a recent tabulation showed in the six years since the above article was written, I’ve owned exactly another 100 guns. Shortly I will give you some details of the very special one yvonne bought for me that coincidentally ended up being my 600th gun. B First however, it’s interesting to view some tallies of the types of firearms I’ve owned in approximately 50 years. This shows how interests focus, then change. For instance, in those first 500 guns well over 1/3 were single-action revolvers of all types. They ranged from a wide variety of Colt SAAs to original Smith & Wesson Model 3 “Schofields” to Ruger Single Six .22 rimfires. Over half of my first 500 guns were handguns. Those break down to 153 single actions, 84 double actions and 27 autoloading pistols. A mere one was a single-shot pistol. Then in the next 100 guns only 1/3 were handguns. A breakdown of those handguns by type is also revealing. Only five were single-action revolvers, 12 were double-action revolvers and 17 were autoloading pistols. Why the reversal? One reason is that since the turn of the century I’ve been working at assembling a shooting collection of World War II firearms. Therefore, autoloaders like a German Luger, a Japanese Nambu and both Belgian and Canadian P35 Brownings now reside in my gun vault. In the last 100 guns, why did doubleaction revolvers prevail over single actions? Because I decided to gather all Smith & Wesson Model 20-somethings. Those are the large, N-frame revolvers One of Duke’s prouder moments as a BPCR Silhouette competitor was when he was presented with a Shiloh Sharps Model 1874 .45-70 because he finished highest at the 2006 National Championships among those firing Shiloh rifles. numbered Model 20 through Model 29. A few of those revolvers are very rare such as the Model 21 .44 Special of which only 1,200 were made. (That includes those made prior to S&W’s 1957 incorporation of model numbers for all their handguns.) Some of those 10 sixgun models were already on hand such as the pre-Model 29 .44 Magnum I bought in 1968. Others were diligently Duke’s 600th gun happened to be this Japanese made Lewis Machine Gun bought for him by Yvonne. 56 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MARCH 2011