This kind of gun control, anyway:
You know, every guy we know got over every woman that left, leaving him; but you sure do hear a lot of regrets about The Gun That Got Away™.
Our The Gun That Got Away™? Well, there were a few of them, before we figured out that guns were something you built or bought and then kept, if for no other reason than to bedevil your heirs and assigns with the disposal thereof.
But naturally, one stands out as a truly boneheaded maneuver.
Back in the earliest 1980s, the AK so commonplace now was a rare exotic, and the only way you could score an SKS was from a Vietnam veteran, or his estate. The only AKs imported to the US, apart from the out-of-the-mainstream Valmets, were a very short run of Egyptian Maadis imported by Steyr as the “Steyr ARM.” It was identical in manufacture to a late Russian AKM, except with the fine finish and metalworking precision which people have come to associate with the Arab Middle East. (In other words, it made something thrown together in Izhevsk on the Monday none of the inspectors showed up after a vodka binge weekend, look like a vintage Holland & Holland). But it was an AK, and you could own it for middle-class money, not for the king’s ransom one of the very few transferables went for.
Originally, Steyr wanted $2,500 for the “ARM,” and they sold very slowly. (One reason: $2,500 in 1980 or 81 is the equivalent in purchasing power of $6,500 to $7,200 today). But by the time we wanted one, Steyr had shipped them out, and we were SOL.
But Paul, a 2nd Ranger Bat vet in 10th Group with us, had one. He had his eye on one of our rifles, so a trade was arranged, and we got the AK.
All it cost us was an M1A1 Carbine.
Later, we sold one of the Valmets during a spasm of unemployment. That was a mistake, too, but nothing was more boneheaded than that M1 for AK swap. Of course, we had no way of knowing the AK floodgates were about to be thrown open. (And we’re not really complaining. We’d like to see increased supply flood out the value of the whole collection).