Do Want

The other day I was browsing through Gander Mountain (because I love paying egregiously inflated prices for guns and ammo) just kind of chilling and perusing their rifle racks, when I saw something that made me almost defenestrate my plan for saving my gun money for the Para LTC in case I love it.  Sitting on the rack at Gander Mountain was nothing other than a Puma rifle in .45 Colt, a Winchester ’92 clone with a 16 inch barrel, saddle ring, and large loop cocking lever.

Oh my goodness.  So pretty.  Do want.  Being the guy that I am, I of course picked it up and shouldered it in the store – that 16 inch barrel snapped the sights right up to my line of sight like it was meant for my shoulder.

Needless to say, that did not make my decision to not purchase the rifle any easier.  Discipline is a good virtue, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any more guns until after Blackwater – just in case I love the Para LTC and decide to buy that.  But if I don’t…helloooo Puma.


  1. Caleb,

    Go right now and buy the damn Puma. That’s a far rarer piece than any current production Para, believe me!

    You’re gonna love the LTC, so just budget into the mid-term. The Puma though? Good luck on finding another, especially in that caliber!

    Oh, btw. My 80 y/o step-mom bought herself one of those in .357 Mag for her 75th birthday. Fits me the way you described it fits you. Helluva shooter, too!

    Buy the damn thing, cause you’ll never stop kicking yourself if you let it get away.

    Sloop New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  2. And I don’t love lever-actions, myself, but it occurs to me that if you can find the Puma in .454 Casull you’d have a more versatile piece. I think the only other significant difference from the one you looked at is the absence of a lever loop on the .454 16″ model.

  3. i’m wishing i could find a modern-production winchester 1895 clone. that design has just always fascinated me.

  4. I’ve got a Gander Mountain within easy reach, and I’ve been thinking about buying a rifle or a shot gun there.

    You say they charge “egregiously inflated prices”. Is this just humorous hyperbole, or should I really strike them off my list? The claim that appeals to me is that their gunsmiths give each used gun a good checkout, so you know you’re getting a good one. This is important to me, because I’m simply not capable of making a good choice on my own. (Other than, perhaps, really obvious stuff.) I note on the CMP’s website that “field” and “rack” grade M1’s are…not pretty. It sounds like they’re perfectly serviceable weapons, just not collectors’ items, but I expect if I saw one in. say, a pawnshop, I’d pass it up.

    So, I guess what I’m asking is, are GM’s gunsmiths worth paying extra for to make up for my own ignorance? I’d be willing to pay a 10% to 15% premium for assurance that my new (used) rifle will shoot better than I can, even if it’s uglier and rattier than I am.

  5. No, Gander is fine – their prices are higher than some of the gun shops out here, but I figure that it’s worth the trade for being relatively confident when you buy a used gun that you’re not getting a lemon.

    Their ammo prices are pretty high though, I will say that. “Egregiously” was mostly humor.

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