"Hey Wilson!" came a shout. Someone was trying to get my attention but I couldn't readily see from where. The jolt woke me out of the half trance that was in. I don't even remember what I was thinking about. I was on the bus at work heading back out to the employee parking lot. It was full this morning, full of tired people trying to make their way home after a long workday. The noise from all the milling of people and the diesel engine made locating the source very difficult. I started looking at every face near me to see if I recognized any but wasn't having much luck. A lot of anonymous faces surrounding me. Man I work at a really big place. "Wilson!" it came again. Halfway across the bus, it was my old buddy Mike. Years ago we had worked together in the same area and in down time we would often talk about guns or other interests that we had in common. Over the years we had both transferred to different departments and rarely saw one another any more, except occasionally in the parking lot or on the bus like now. There was about 15 feet and 20 people crowded between us, standing room only. Doesn't make for a very intelligible conversation. He was ahead of me, close to the door. By the motioning of his hands I knew he was saying that he would wait for me on the other side of the security gates.
Once outside we took a few moments to catch up. It had been at least a year or more since we really talked, aside from the occasional "how ya doing" as we passed each other going to or from work. Several things had changed in his life since we last talked, most notably a divorce. The woman once described as "the best decision of my life" now sounded more like satan's considerably more evil kid sister.
Also his gun collecting days were over, maybe because of the divorce or maybe other reasons, I didn't press him on it. His once admirable collection had now dwindled down to a few "keepers".
Now the conversation moves on to a happier topic. "You interested in a 9 Millimeter?" The question couldn't have come at a better time because I have been seriously considering buying another 9mm pistol for a couple of months now. Top of the list being the Beretta 92 series. I've owned a half dozen of the various flavors of 92 over the years and liked them all. Still have a couple of mags for them somewhere too. They're a bit big for a 9mm pistol but they are well made, and should I say it, just cool looking. Glock? Ruger? Sig Sauer? Smith & Wesson? Springfield Armory? All possibilities. Of course if I could figure out something to trade my Dad for that vintage Browning Hi Power he got from me a few years ago, that would be nice too...
"It's a Sig, just want to get back what I've got in it". The plot thickens. "Yeah, I want to buy another forty five but have to sell this one first." Now I am very interested, but cautious. I remember a few years back when he was trying to sell a 10/22 that looked like it had been stored under the porch of his house. "Nice shape, never shot it much." I wonder if he can read my mind? "$450" he quickly adds before I can ask.
We talk some more. Turns out he's not exactly sure what he is selling and Sig Sauer made/makes several different models in 9mm. From the way he describes it I would say either a P226, P228 or P229. All nice choices. As we talk something else comes up. Seems that he has moved. A year ago he crossed over to the other side of the Ohio River. Although it was a very short trip, only a few miles on the map, legally it's a different world altogether. He lives in Indiana and I live in Kentucky. If he still lived in Kentucky I could just look at the gun, and if I liked it, pay him and take it home with me (I love this state!). But now that he has moved across state lines the FEDS are involved. NO GUN SALES WITHOUT PAPERWORK! Your Uncle Sam doesn't like it when that happens! I quickly figure it in my head; an FFL to FFL transfer will set me back another $30-40. But still not too bad for a "nice" Sig 9mm. I at least have to see it.
I agree to take a look at it and a week later I finally do. It's a P228, a "nice" one indeed! Looks to have been shot very little. Mike was the 2nd (or 3rd) owner and he tells me he has only put "three or four hundred" rounds thru her. From the condition I would say maybe double that total from all the gun's previous owners combined. Hardly broke in yet! Now it gets even better. From a paper bag he produces four factory 13 round magazines, two still in the "Made in West Germany" marked wrappers. It's been many years since I've owned a Sig but I still remember that the mags were never cheap!
I pay the man his asking price, nope didn't try to "haggle", cover the costs of the FFL fees on both sides of the river and we're ready to go. He hands it over to his dealer, who sends it on a short trip across the muddy Ohio. Three days later the gun finally arrives at my local dealer and is ready for pick up. Total trip was about 15 miles with an additional cost of $40 (that's about $2.66 a mile according to my pocket calculator). Despite the minor hassle and extra costs involved, getting a lightly used German made Sig Sauer P228 with four factory high capacity magazines for $490 doesn't seem like too bad a deal.
Much more to follow...