Monday, February 28, 2005

LA County Gunstores: Wimpey's Pawn, Azusa

I drove out to Azusa the other day to look over the range where I'm taking a class soon (Burro Canyon Shooting Park), and on my up to the site I saw Wimpey's Pawn Shop.

A pawn shop, how interesting--oh, wait, they've got a sign in the window: Guns. screech

Wimpey's is a fairly typical pawn shop, with long counters of the expensive, pricey stuff (watches, rings, cameras, lenses, et cetera) under glass, band instruments on the wall and all the way in the back, guns.

Rifles and shotguns are racked neatly on the wall, handguns are in the display cases. Since I like older guns (new is new, anywhere you go) I zeroed in on the used revolvers. There were two that caught my eye: A Taurus 66 in .357, and a Colt Police Positive in .22.

The Taurus looked well-cared for, but the hammer spring felt really light when I cocked it. Huh.

The Colt was a small-frame (i.e., small grip) revolver with a 6" barrel, and it had not been well-cared for. The muzzle crown was dinged, and the barrel and frame were lightly speckled with rust. The frame screw on the right side was not just buggered, it was dead--half of the head was sheared away, leaving only a miniscule remnant of channel.

The grips seemed to be original (hard rubber?) and the action seemed in good condition (hammer cocked fine in single-action, no cylinder shake, extractor rod moved smoothly).

But for $340, I am not bringing this puppy home.

I'm not, I'm not, I'm not...

The other interesting gun on the back wall was an $80 rifle labeled "New England Westinghouse Company 1915 II". I asked about it, they didn't really know what it was. When I got home, I tried looking it up in my reference books, but no luck.

Googled "Westinghouse rifle" yesterday, found out it's most likely a Model 91 Mosin (7.62 x 54) made 1915-1917 for the Russian government (two contracts were awarded, one to Remington, the other to the above company, which was manufacturing weapons during WWI).

Huh--an American-made Mosin for $80.

Wimpey's Pawn Shop
650 N. Azusa Avenue
Azusa, CA 91702
626 334 9758

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