I backed out of a gun deal today. I’m kicking myself for it, but I had to walk away.
Here’s the description of the shotgun, right from the dealer’s site:
J.D. Dougall Punt Gun, 4 Gauge Single Barrel With 41 5/16″ Barrel, 2/3 Round, 1/3 Octagonal, No Metal Finish, Nice Pattern On Barrel, Clean Metal, Good Bore, Backaction Lock, Very Good Pistol Grip Stock, 25 Reloadable Aluminum Casings Included.
It was probably made around 1870 and it looked like it used a variation of Dougall’s Lockfast-patent action. Overall, the gun looked good and original, the price was fair, too: $2500.
So why did I walk away? First email exchange from dealer (Condensed for readability):
ME: Please tell me all you can about this gun – how original, condition of bbls, etc. Does it have any issues? Does the gun appear to be all original? The stock looks modified. Anything else look like it has been changed or altered.
Is the trigger crisp? The hammer tight? Is it a rebounding hammer or a non rebounder? Any pitting in the bores?
DEALER: The gun has no issues. It is good and solid with no breaks or problems. The buttstock is in amazingly good condition as is the metal on the gun. The hammer is not a rebounding hammer. The hammer is tight, the action is crisp. The stock does not look modified to me. It has the original metal butt plate. There is some pitting in the bore but it is generally bright and pretty clean.
ME: Does it look like it ever had a forend on it? Is the bbl stamped “Not For Ball”? Is the bbl marked with a bore size and a muzzle size – like a mark that reads 4B over a 6M?
DEALER: No. It does not have any of these markings.
ME: I’ll take it. I’ll call you tomorrow to take care of the details. Standard, 3-day inspection period with standard refund terms, right?
To be continued…