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Contemplating Trade Colt Diamondback .22 for J. Blattman Peabody Martini Target Rifle

1379 Views 37 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  desertmoon
A dear friend and co-worker has offered me his Colt Diamondback .22 in exchange for a target .22 rifle I'll show you in a minute.

His pistol has some bluing wear and is unfortunately missing a chunk out of the top of the left side original grip. It's also the less desirable 6" barrel. Timing seems OK and no noticeable end shake. I'm far from a Colt expert but I'm guessing from completed GunBroker sales that with the condition issues it's a $1200-1400 pistol.

Hard to see but besides the muzzle bluing issues there's a small oval strip of bluing missing just to the right of the "K" in Diamondback. Other than that it shows well. 1980 vintage or so.
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My rifle (2nd from the top in the image below) is a late 50's-early 60's J. Blattman Peabody Martini single shot target rifle with a Unertl 1.5" 15X target dot scope.

I bought it from another older friend who won several Colorado state smallbore championships with it. My friend with the Diamondback and I have both shot it and it is giggle accurate and also extremely unusual. I've never seen another outside of the NRA Museum website.

I paid $800 for the rifle and $400 for the scope around 10 years ago. There are no comps to get current value on the rifle but I did see a sale on the same Unertl for $1000 on Gun broker last month.

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Now, spoiler alert. I've already gotten some good input from Flysalot and Dbr65 which has about convinced me not to make this trade but I'll throw it out here for your comments as well. All opinions welcome, it's a weird deal and I won't take offense. 馃

Frank
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Okay, in my highly advancing age, I have developed a different perspective of late on these kinds of things. I have bought just about every firearm I have ever wanted and have the ability now to buy pretty much any other I might want. Case in point: an acquaintance just bought one of those new, Original Mauser 98 Diplomats for $13K (!), and it is a thing to behold...and it has me Jonesing big time. I could buy one outright, probably, but, more likely, I would sell 5 or 6 prime specimens in the herd and be within easy striking distance. Too, my current inventory is pretty fluid, having sold and bought probably 20 guns in the past six months...more sold than bought, and the prospect of fewer but nicer rifles has become pretty appealing.

So, as I mull this Mauser over, instead of which is better, or which will hold its value, or which is worth more to others, or which am I likely to shoot more, my new approach to the decision is, "Which is more likely to stay longer?" Or, "Which has a better chance of still being here when I assume room temperature?" I have found I am a poor predictor of this, however, as I have recently liquidated what I thought were some pretty permanent residents.

For me, anything I have restocked, or rebarreled, or done anything to make mine (or my kids') seem to have the greatest staying power. Many of these were made specifically for my kids or grandkids, so they are permanent, but even those not destined for the Fam, that I have put my mark on, are pretty safe.

One other part of the staying power is the joy I derive from just looking at a rifle hanging on my wall above the TV, brining to mind things that can or will be possible.

I guess I'm rambling, but fewer and better seems to be the theme for me now.
 

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Your scope for the Diamondback might be a more fair trade. I always liked the Colts looks, they did a great job with the blueing but that said the one for trade is a shooter and the visual appeal is gone. The Diamondback was a good shooter but not a great shooter and the double action trigger was never a high point in the reviews.
But if your done with the rifle and really want the pistol its the path of least resistance to your goal.
 

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I love that rifle. To make it more of a slam dunk, I dont care for the colt design (ie lockup). They are well finished, but not for me. The money means nothing when love hate is so strong for the two guns.

And, OMG, you posted on the Colt forum! The Woodsman was a great pistol. You know who designed that? No idea who came up the Colt DA revolver. I got a pretty good idea who it was not.
 

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I did see a sale on the same Unertl for $1000
I dont follow the dollars. The 2" in 20x is more desirable. I think you are probably high. Gun Broker is not necessarily the same world you, me or your friend live in.

The people who do online apraisal run the gammut from hard core sellers to fair to unrealistic buyers or living in the past. It is almost a waste of time to ask.
 

Gaucho de Gatos
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I love that rifle. To make it more of a slam dunk, I dont care for the colt design (ie lockup). They are well finished, but not for me. The money means nothing when love hate is so strong for the two guns.

And, OMG, you posted on the Colt forum! The Woodsman was a great. You know who designed that? No idea who came up the Colt DA revolver. I got a pretty good idea who it was not.
Thanks Fourbore, you're mirroring my thoughts at this point. The reality in my hands just isn't living up to the dream as it played out in my mind.

On your second line yes old J. Moses Browning was a God among men, or at least among gun designers!

The original Colt DA designer was William Mason and in the article linked below there's an interesting comment, "There was a down side to the model 1877; its mechanism was delicate and it was prone to break quite easily."

.

Thanks for your comments all, I'm not doing the trade.

Frank
 

Gaucho de Gatos
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you David. When all my smart friends say, "Don't do that" it behooves me not to do that! 馃

Now I need to let my buddy down gentle. I'm not going to talk about value or condition or belittle his gun. I'm just going to say that I'm afraid I would regret giving up the rifle so I better not to do it.

Frank
 

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Thank you David. When all my smart friends say, "Don't do that" it behooves me not to do that! 馃

Now I need to let my buddy down gentle. I'm not going to talk about value or condition or belittle his gun. I'm just going to say that I'm afraid I would regret giving up the rifle so I better not to do it.

Frank
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is an intuitive decision-making system. Complexed. A simpler way of helping you decide what to do it to flip a coin. Heads I do this and tails I do that. When the coin is spinning in the air you will have a hint of how you want it to land. When it lands, you will have a bit of a feeling if you are happy with it or not. You don't do what the coin said, you do what the coin helped you feel you wanted to do. I believe you are making the correct decision. An an aside, the S&W K-22/Model 17 is a better revolver and half the money.
 

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I think you made an excellent decision. Where are you ever going to find another Peabody Martini .22 rifle?

I have some guns I don't shoot often but will never sell, e.g., my Meacham Low Wall schuetzen in .22 LR. Super accurate, beautiful with the exhibition crotch walnut perch belly stock, it was the first Low Wall he made. I feel the same way about my original Springfield 1922 and a 2nd generation Colt Woodsman Match Target 6". And a few others.

I guess I'm not utilitarian. Guns speak to me.
 

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Looks like you've already reached a conclusion...but if you're in need of more convincing I'll use your own words.
There are no comps to get current value on the rifle
I'm guessing from completed GunBroker sales that with the condition issues it's a $1200-1400 pistol.
He can probably replace his, you can't.
If your friend is the type of friend I try to be for my friends, he'll understand. He may not like it, but he'll get it.
 

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Nah, I agree with the others here I don't think I'd do that trade. But I do have a question about the comment .."less desirable 6" barrel"...??? I don't get that. I, for one, would always rather have a 6" barrel for the added velocity and longer sight radius.

And another comment was made about the quality of the DA ... again I don't get that either ... for me DA in revolvers is for fast shooting defensive guns, not long barreled target .22s. I have a 6" S&W Model-17, .22 and I don't think I've ever fired a single round DA, that's not what I got it for.

But I guess we all shoot different things for different reasons ...no issue ... just curious. But I would keep the rifle.
 

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Astatically the look of the 6-inch Python/Diamondback always seemed about perfect to me. I'm not long waisted enough to sit with a holstered 6-inch revolver and for that reason settled on the four-inch barreled revolvers. The trigger on my Diamondback is nicer than my Python. But the 22 Diamondback has been shot a bunch more to help smooth things out. Keep the rifle.
 

Gaucho de Gatos
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nah, I agree with the others here I don't think I'd do that trade. But I do have a question about the comment .."less desirable 6" barrel"...??? I don't get that. I, for one, would always rather have a 6" barrel for the added velocity and longer sight radius.

And another comment was made about the quality of the DA ... again I don't get that either ... for me DA in revolvers is for fast shooting defensive guns, not long barreled target .22s. I have a 6" S&W Model-17, .22 and I don't think I've ever fired a single round DA, that's not what I got it for.

But I guess we all shoot different things for different reasons ...no issue ... just curious. But I would keep the rifle.
Hi Paul you bring up some good points and let me clarify I love Colt's...well, who am I kidding, I love all guns but there are definitely some ponies in my stable and obviously the Diamondback .22 is a grail gun for me. Just not this one.

As far as 6" versus 4" barrels I too prefer longer barrels but for whatever reason the 4" Diamondbacks command a premium with collectors. So I mentioned it as 1 criteria as I was trying to compare value of the 2 very different firearms.

As to quality there is no doubt that old Colt represents quality. The comment I heard most often from friends in the know on Diamondbacks was "they are somewhat delicate." It's easy to knock timing off and start shaving lead.

Thanks for the comments...and here's what a 6" Diamondback would be a companion to 馃

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