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

1310 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. 🤠

Frank
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· Gaucho de Gatos
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7,398 Posts
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."

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

Frank
 

· Gaucho de Gatos
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7,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you David. When all my smart friends say, "Don't do that" it behooves me not to do that! 🤠

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
 

· Gaucho de Gatos
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7,398 Posts
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 🤠

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· Gaucho de Gatos
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7,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Well that worked out perfect fellas! I handed back the Diamondback to my pal this morning and he was actually relieved. He needs the money!

Don't be surprised to see it pop up on GB before long. He's going to ask $2k and settle for $1500 and I said nothing to dissuade his optimism 🤠

He's a good guy and we've traded a lot over the last 45 years. I traded him a pristine in box SS Ruger Single-six convertible for that S&W 617 in the picture above 10 years or so ago.

I came out ahead on that one but it's gone the other way several times too.

All's swell that ends swell!

Frank
 

· Gaucho de Gatos
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7,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thank you for the welcome Bangbang, I am kind of newish compared to you long timers :banana:

I have no endgame other than loving guns and having more wants than wallet! A fairly common predicament.

I wouldn't ask opinions if I didn't want them, and I also thought some of our members might find it an entertaining thought exercise.

And of course I want a Diamondback and I may yet have one. Just not this one.

Frank
 
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