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I have long lusted after a Browning takedown .22 semi-auto, preferably a Belgian made version. When I first started frequenting gun shows about 25 years ago they were too expensive for me and now, even though I could afford one I really ought to buy a bigger safe with that kind of money. A local shop has two for sale--one new in the box for $725 and another slightly used for $675. This past Saturday after shooting a reduced-course highpower match I browsed a couple of gunshops before heading home. The first had a Japan (Miroku) made version for $500. Hmm--nice gun--seemed very well made. Maybe the "Belgian" mystique isn't such a big deal. Still, I passed. The second shop is kind of funky--I usually like to take a look because there's always a lot of miscellaneous stuff in boxes and plastic bags to paw over. The guns are mostly all behind the counters and standing upright so that you see their undersides, and even that's difficult in the poor lighting. I asked to see what looked like a .22 auto and the kid held it up and I saw it was a Remington 241 Speedmaster. Not cherry by any measure, but not bad; a few light rust spots that ought to be less noticeable after a careful cleaning and wood that shows a lot of handling but no serious dings. The bore was bright with sharp rifling. An honest American-made gun, all steel and walnut, and the same great Browning design. Well, I'm the new owner, or I guess technically I will be the new owner after the ten day wait and at a cost of half what the Belgian would have been. I'm happy.
 
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