I would like to share a story that I feel will interest most fellow airgun enthusiasts. I have a passion for airguns. I don’t know why, just that I always have. The disease started at the age of 8 when I received my Daisy Red Rider. Much like the Christmas Story movie I was certain the blued steel beauty could take polar bear if needed. Like most seasoned air gunners today my lust was further promoted by the pages of Robert Beeman’s wonderful catalogs. In one of the early versions the HW 35L was prominently displayed and Mr Beeman’s Oh-So-Seductive text drew me in. I was 16. I worked long and hard at my father’s tire recapping plant, pulling molds and wrapping hot rubber around freshly buffed carcasses. Very difficult, hot work. I loved it though, and at the end of the summer I had made and saved enough to order my dream rifle. My mother sent in the check for the airgun, the Blue Ring scope, professional mounts and a muzzle brake! The customary 6-8 weeks for delivery might as well have been a year as the wait was excruciating. Finally when I had almost given up hope after school one day on the staircase inside the front door laid a big rectangular brown box! Elation is the closest adjective i can think of but it still comes short. I opened up my new prize and inside was the fulfillment of my dreams…my new HW35L. This rifle would become my new best friend plinking rocks, bugs, leaves and the occasional bird in my parents’ large back yard. At the time we lived in the country so taking pigeons and sparrows off of the wires presented no real threat to anyone. We could even dove hunt in our back yard until the city annexed the property, bummer.
I grew up with that rifle hunting rabbits and squirrels. I even popped a coyote with it but it ran off, at that age I still had visions of immense power that the German machine could produce and surely the Beeman folks underestimated the true energy the 35 was producing. I grew older and girls, school, job and other annoyances would take all of my time and attention. I still on occasion would take my baby out of its case, wipe her down and pop off a few pellets down the back yard at an imaginary target or rat. I’d take in the smell of the wafting, burnt compression cylinder oil and be taken back to my younger days in a Walter Mitty like trance. The call for dinner would come and I would be whisked back to reality. That was the state of how it was for many a year my love of airguns never wavered however and I always kept up to date with the next issue of the Beeman brochures and other literature.
Then came the call from my wife upon returning from her work as a teacher. She entered the house to find that we had been broken into and most of my guns and her jewelry had been stolen. My HW35L was gone. The crooks could have taken any other gun and it would have not hurt me as much as the loss of my childhood that was taken that day. That gun was part of the catalyst that drove me into the airgun trade. I was 28 at the the time. Since then I have a new, wonderful wife, wonderful sons and a flourishing airgun business that employs the best men in the industry. Quality human beings that I am honored to work with. My brother as my partner and a man by the name of Greg that has been with me since he was 14 years old. He is now 33. And the best customers and manufactures in the world. I am truly blessed!
Enter November 2014…I am making my daily rounds with the men and as I pass by Kip, one of our spring gun repair tech’s work bench, and I notice a stock that you don’t see very often, a 35L walnut stock. I stopped picked it up and started to tell Kip the story of my beloved gun and how this one brought back some fine memories. I then told Kip that i had put a mark on mine by the trigger guard not on purpose mind you and as I turned the rifle over to show him where well you guessed it. THE SAME MARK was on this stock.
I then explained that mine had an X scribed into the wood under the compression tube. Yep you guessed it again the X was there. I then asked if the gun was scoped and was swiftly shown the famous Blue Ring scope that came on my rifle. Well what to do? This was my baby back in my arms; I almost cried. A call was made to the owner of the gun who had sent it in for rebuilding. I explained how this was once my rifle and how did he come into its possession. He explained that about 25 years ago a man came into his fathers gun store and sold it to him for cheap and he had kept it for himself and enjoyed it very much. I did not blame him and I asked him if I could send him a brand new 35E in its place as the old L model could not have the same sentimental value to him as it did me!! He agreed and the deal was done.
I am once again the proud owner of my childhood sweetheart! It rests safely in my collection next to airguns costing 10 times as much, but worth 10 times less.
Thanks for talking the time to share in my story,
Owner, Airguns of Arizona