Saturday Night Special
I have been interested in guns, particularly handguns, since I was a little kid. Evidently, this became known in my fathers extended family (with 8 bothers and sisters and the families they married into). After an older relative died and a cheap handgun was found in a dresser drawer, it made its way to my father (if there were any more expensive guns found, they were kept or sold; I never saw them). When I was old enough, he gave them to me one or two at a time, with suitable restrictions attached. I was surprised how many of them there were. All in all, I was given approximately 10 to 12 of them during my mid-teenage to mid-20’s years.
The guns were what were called “Saturday Night Specials” in those days. The name was intended to be derogatory and for good reason. They were not made to last and they are not the kind of gun that is eagerly sought out or preserved by collectors. Because of this, they are rarely seen nowadays. My guess is that most of them were probably manufactured between the turn of the last century (1900) through the depression years of the 1930’s, although at least one of them was from the mid-1880’s. I saw similar guns in the reprint of an old Sears catalog from the early part of that era for sale at $1.00 to $2.50 each. I made it a point to try all of them and got a pretty good education on cheap handguns.