Blannelberry: Top Five Guns I Want But Can’t Afford

Most of us have limits on our discretionary income. We’re not made of money and therefore we have to live on a budget. It sucks a lot of the time. But I like to think that the fruits of my labor, the few possessions I do have, taste a little sweeter because I actually earned them, they weren’t giving out by government or gifted by a wealthy benefactor. Call it middle-class pride.

By the same token, I also like to believe that if I continue to work hard, pay my dues and be the best me that I can be, I’ll one day be able to afford some of the finer things in life. Who knows though, I may be delusional to think upward mobility is possible in today’s volatile global marketplace.

But if I’m not delusional, and I do end up making more than just a livable wage in the future, here are some of the firearms that are high on my wish list:

Cabot 1911



Generally speaking, I’m not a huge 1911 fan. Compared to modern polymer pistols, its design is a bit antiquated for a duty gun or every day carry gun. The 1911 is a big gun with a limited capacity and a reputation for being finicky with certain types of ammo and magazines. Also, carrying in condition one, locked and cocked, can be a bit unnerving for the faint-hearted — not to mention the issue of disengaging the the thumb safety under duress.

Complaints aside, I do want a 1911. Not just any 1911 though, a Cabot 1911.

The product of master craftsmen, engineers and machinists there is nothing quite like a Cabot 1911. It is the best of the best in terms of a precision 1911. To give you an idea, Cabot guarantees that the fit between the frames and slides of their Collector Class pistol is 0.001 inches or less. Talk about tight-fitting tolerances.

A Cabot will set you back a pretty penny. It’s easily north of $5,000 for most of the models I’ve drooled over.  Check out the Cabot website or view the listings on GunsAmerica.

Colt Python

Make sure to read our review of the Python.

Make sure to read our review of the Python.

I love wheel guns. And if there’s one to own, it’s arguably the Colt Python. A production handgun chambered in .357 Magnum, it wasn’t break-the-bank expensive when Colt was manufacturing them in large numbers.

However, since Colt stopped making them in 1999, prices for the iconic revolver have skyrocketed to the point where to get one in “like-new” or “unused” condition you have to be willing to drop at least $2,000.

I’m still holding out hope that Colt will either start making them again or that somehow demand for this snake gun wanes and prices drop. Yes, I know I’m dreaming. But who knows what the future holds? With Colt’s financial troubles, it’s possible that if new leadership were to take over they could reintroduce Python. Again, I’m dreaming but this whole article is basically about wishful thinking. Fingers crossed.

In case your curious, here are some of the Pythons listed on GunsAmerica (there’s a nickel-plated python with a 2.5” barrel for $10,500!!!).

Thompson Submachine Gun

It’d be great to own a piece of history. And that’s what you get with a “Tommy Gun,” a piece of classic Americana — oh yea, that, and a fully automatic firearm!

Yes, let me be clear, I’m not talking about a semi-automatic replica (which you can pick up at a very reasonable price on GunsAmerica) but a real deal “Chicago Typewriter” or “Organ grinder” or “Trench Sweeper” replete with a 100-round drum magazine.

Seriously though, I’d happily jump through all the Class III NFA hoops: the paperwork, the FBI fingerprint cards, the CLEO sign-off, the $200 transfer tax to get the legendary subgun.

Sadly, I don’t have the thousands of dollars to throw down on one.

For a little historical perspective, back in 1921, when the M1921 was first introduced, it sold for $200, about half as much as a Ford automobile which cost around $400.

Barrett .50 Caliber Sniper Rifle


The updated M107A1 is a foreboding enemy in battle. In the hands of a US Military sniper it is the biggest baddest infantry weapon on the battlefield, with effective range out to more than a mile. Read our review.

What the heck would I do with a .50 caliber sniper rifle? I’m not exactly sure. It doesn’t serve any practical purpose that I can think of. It’s not aptly suited for home defense. It’s obviously not a concealed carry gun. It’s a bit impractical for deer hunting.

I guess that makes it, like three-wheeled motorcycles and umbrella hats, a novelty item.

That said, it’s a badass rifle that I’d love to own. Really, what gun-loving, red-blooded American wouldn’t want one of these in their gun safe?

But it wouldn’t be cheap to own. I think the going rate for a .50 caliber round is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3. Yikes! Can you imagine spending an entire day at the range plinking with a Barrett?

As for the rifle itself, I’ve seen the various models listed between $8,000-$12,000. Yup. Out of my price range.

Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo Shotgun

If I’m going to dream I might as well dream big and add a Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo Shotgun to the list, which isn’t so much a shotgun but, as the Italian gun manufacturer says, “the result is much more than a work of art–it is nothing less than a part of gunmaking history.”

This is a gun that’s made for the super wealthy, the 2 percent club. The engraving on the outside of the gun takes “hundreds of hours” by artists who carry on the living tradition of “Dante and Petrarch.” The inside of the gun is fixed and fitted like a luxury custom-made watch. To own one is to own the modern “equivalent of an original big-name Renaissance sculpture.”

It’s super bad, super cool and super expensive.  The MSRP on a Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo is $106,800.

Yeah, in my dreams.

The side-by-side Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo.  I'm not sure this stock photo does it justice.

The side-by-side Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo. I’m not sure this stock photo does it justice.


So that’s my list. It’s a bit incomplete. I could’ve actually done a whole historical twist on this and picked firearms that were both historically significant and also extremely hard to find. But I figured I’d do a mixed bag and include a pistol, a revolver, a shotgun, a machine gun and a rifle.

Now I’ll turn it over to you. What’s on your “Guns I Want But Can’t Afford” list?

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • glenn January 15, 2017, 10:03 pm

    My list is modest – Kimber custom II 1911 .45 acp, S&W model 10 .38 special, Colt SP1 .223 remington..

  • Scott September 11, 2015, 8:34 am

    I have been fortunate to go to some MG shoots and we had a MG-42 a Bren a HK -51 and many other fine belt fed mg,s i will always love the Bren gun and also the Thompson.Shoot straight lads and bless our warriors.

  • JR September 9, 2015, 8:38 pm

    Not to be off subject, but I’m going to be. Why is it that everyone thinks the Colt Python is any better than a S&W Performance Center revolver? I have two S&W Performance Center Model 627’s, 8 round revolvers. One is a 5 inch compensated model and the other a snubby with a 2 and 5/8th inch barrel. They are precision revolvers that are more accurate than I will ever be able to shoot them and the triggers are flawless. The Python was a meticulously made revolver, I don’t doubt that, but now it has entered the area of a “collectors” firearm simply because they are not made anymore. A Python will not put a .357 round down range any faster or more accurate than a good S&W and you can still buy S&W’s.
    If I were to search for a revolver out of my price range it would be the Korth Combat .357 but 4k, used, is more than I am willing to part with.
    And why couldn’t Colt reissue the Python? With today’s CNC machinery they could set up and be in production in little or no time. Personally I don’t think Colt wants to invest in revolvers because the initial investment and set up would put them in a deeper hole than they are all ready in and might take a few years to start seeing a profit as fewer customers, regardless of the make, are buying revolvers.
    Just my 2 cents worth. Korth, yes I would be able to enjoy shooting it as opposed to a collectors item that would see limited use.

  • freakazoid September 9, 2015, 5:10 pm

    Since we are limited to 5…
    Elmer Keiths #5, or really any of his that went up for auction.
    Borchardt C-93
    Bergmann-Bayard, any of them
    A revolver converted to .475 Linebaugh, by Mr. Linebaugh
    475 Wildey Magnum

  • Mick Dodge September 9, 2015, 8:57 am

    Twin 40
    five inch cannon
    eight inch cannon
    sixteen inch cannon
    trident missile

  • Magic Rooster September 8, 2015, 4:14 pm

    1. Just for the hell of it—-any Taurus that works right outa the box.
    2. One night with Hillary……. It is just that I’d love to give her what the dems been giving me for 7 years, with no lubrication .
    3. A freight car of ammo for my AR 10. ( also to use in my M1A)
    4. A truck load of ammo for my AR 9 (also for my Sig 226 and my numbers matching 1938 Luger.
    5. One additional night with Hillary. Just too much pent up anger for only one night.

    • Uboatdoc September 29, 2017, 10:11 am

      I must apologize for demurring and deferring on any agreement/concurrence for any number of nights with Hillary. There are several reasons: 1. I believe I find a rattlesnake as friendlier. 2. I believe I find nearly any woman on the planet that does not have terminal leprosy more attractive. 3. I am convinced that once the constant shrill litany of complaints about losing the election began, I would likely become actually quite sympathetic for Bill. 4. Why would I provide any degree of pleasure, aid, comfort for the enemy.

  • Ever Vigilant September 8, 2015, 2:11 pm

    McMillan Tac 338, McMillan Tac 50-R2, (FN 5.7, Colt 1911 Gov.) Ma Deuce of course….(have em’)

  • Eric September 8, 2015, 12:08 pm

    Off the top of my head… a Sig 210 and a Luger .45. Not necessarily in that order.

  • Paula September 8, 2015, 11:26 am

    # 1 Thompson Sub machine Gun # 2 1917A1 BMG #3 COLT Series 70 .45 # 4 COLT Series 70 Combat Commander .45 # Henry Arms Arms Engraved HENRY 44/40 . I could wish for more but “if wishes were fishes,We’d all live in the sea “

  • Shoobear September 8, 2015, 10:00 am

    As beautiful as they are, Colt Pythons will never be re-created. These were hand tuned, precision instruments. Most of the men trained to build them have either retired or gone to their rewards. It’s simply not an economically feasible project for Colt.

    My current list:
    Wilson Combat CQB
    Remington Custom KS in 7mm-08
    Colt Burgess Rifle
    Purdey 20 bore SxS
    Doug Turnbull model 1886
    Sig SG 550

  • WillB September 8, 2015, 9:49 am

    I had several of the guns on this list once, but got rid of them for 1 simple reason. I see guns as tools to be used for a purpose, and that purpose is not to collect dust. I replaced the purposeless guns with ones I take out and shoot/hunt with, etc. If a gun does not serve the purpose for which it was built, why have it just to polish?

  • Wayne L September 8, 2015, 9:44 am

    H&K P7,.Cabot Jones 1911, Soviet Dragonov Tiger and select-fire Krinkov

  • Allen Alexander September 8, 2015, 8:58 am

    It is a nice wish list and like my Mom always told me, “It doesn’t hurt to want.” The only problem with your list is that you wouldn’t want to lower the resell of the guns by shooting them. It would be like having a really nice car that you never took out of the garage. I own a dozen assorted rifles, shotguns and pistols. I own every gun that I have ever had from my .22 caliber Benjamin air rifle that I got from Santa when I was seven (over fifty years ago), my 1911 Springfield Armory with Crimson Trace Rosewood grips which you may not like, but is a shooter, an over/under 22/410 that is over eighty years old which my dad gifted me when I was eight and considered old enough to go him and my older brothers squirreling on the Trinity River. A Remington 30-06 that has taken numerous bucks from all over Texas, I like guns that can be shot and shot again, I appreciate the beautiful swirls of curly maple, but just like my Chevy truck and my Estwing hammer, guns are tools to be used.

    • john gallus September 29, 2017, 9:35 am

      Still have all the guns from childhood to present.Also still have 2 that were gifted to me, and your right they all have been used. The above list contains beautiful works of art, but why buy if you aren’t going to use them. The enjoyment of something that finely made is to use it. Not thousands of rounds, but enough to genuinely enjoy what you saved up to purchase.

  • Mike Green September 8, 2015, 6:26 am

    Interestingly enough the Thompson still costs about 1/2 of what a ford automobile does . 21, 000 v. 42,000

  • Randy S. September 8, 2015, 12:03 am

    1. Nemo Arms Omen (300 WM AR)

    2. NIB HK P7M8

    3. STG44

    4. Dillon Aero M134

    5. Sebu BFG 50A

    Lots of others but those would be a nice start.

  • nate September 7, 2015, 9:28 pm

    desert tech 375ct w. tangent theta scope
    hk mk23
    1860s henry
    Gen 1 colt
    mini gun

  • Rick September 7, 2015, 2:59 pm

    Hell, I want ammo for the guns I already have more than any uber-rare, uber-expensive gun. Ammo is expensive enough.

  • Evan September 7, 2015, 2:13 pm

    Bren (the British machine gun, not the Czech rifle).
    Anything from Holland & Holland.

    Plus a whole bunch of others.

  • Chief September 7, 2015, 12:10 pm

    Nice list.

  • DarryH September 7, 2015, 11:37 am

    1860 Henry, Spencer, WWI BAR, WWI Maxim, 1919 Browning ……only 5 ??????? Can’t I list 50 ???????
    Must all be original, matching numbers, excellent finish, and fully functioning.
    Now……someone please pass the ammo !!!!!!

  • Dan Fowler September 7, 2015, 10:56 am
  • Josh September 7, 2015, 10:30 am

    (1). M249 saw
    (2). M240 or fn mag
    (3). Custom built .400 cheytac
    (4). Browning m2 .50 bmg
    (5). Mgi hydra with all caliber swap options

  • Donald Worley September 7, 2015, 9:52 am

    My favorite cartridge to take to the range is the .256 Win. Mag. I have two 10 inch barrels for my Contender, one with open sighta and one with a scope. I only shoot at 25 yards and cast my own Lyman 6t5 grain cast bullets with gas checks My loads are all light using W@SF, PB, WAP, and Accurate # 5. My second favorite is .237 TCU in a 12 inch MGM barrel. . .

  • Ken September 7, 2015, 8:29 am

    I like to see what other people love. We are all different and that’s great.
    1. 50 cal. Beretta
    2. 500 smith
    3. Colt snake
    4. M1A
    5. Anything shiny

    • Cary Kieffer September 7, 2015, 10:27 am

      Me too Ken, when you read other people’s loves your list grows. Lol. I got a 500 smith a month or so ago. Put 46 stiff rounds through it and couldn’t close my hand for 2 days. Really flared up the carpeltunnel but def a good time.

      • Joe September 8, 2015, 5:51 am

        It’s funny you should mention that carpal tunnel thing,
        My 629 S&W .44 magnum used to do the same thing to my hand after a box of hand loads when I was in my 40’s.
        Now in my sixties a box of .22 WMR’s out of my Keltec PMR 30 does the same thing…

  • Cary Kieffer September 7, 2015, 7:28 am

    For me it’s the discontinued LAR Grizzly pistol in 44 mag or 50 AE. Also that AR style behemoth in 300 win mag. It’s 1000’s of dollars….

  • Joe September 7, 2015, 3:22 am

    I want whatever five safe princesses some collector with more money than brains will pay the highest dollar amount to purchase them from me so I can buy good practical shooting irons for my safe.
    Colt python indeed LOL LOL LOL

  • Slim September 6, 2015, 3:15 pm

    1. .375 Cheytac m300 Intervention. 2. R.W. Synder custom bat action brux barrel chambered in .375 cheytac. 3. Custom Allen magnum rifle chambered in .338 Allen Magnum. 4. Ruger PRS chambered in 6.5 Creedmor. 5. Fn 5.7 for a pistol.

  • Dennis Van Loo September 5, 2015, 3:48 pm

    Just wondering why you stated you want a 50 caliber Barrett and then showed a picture of a 338 Lapua Magnum Barrett

    • Dave Higginbotham September 5, 2015, 8:32 pm

      Fixed. Sorry–mix up with the image posting. Both images were in same feed, and we took the wrong one.

      • Rick September 7, 2015, 3:02 pm

        I’d prefer the .338 over the .50 any day though.

  • Peter C. September 5, 2015, 11:13 am

    Elmer Keith’s No. 5 Single Action. I should have bid…I didn’t know it was going to go for less than six figures.

  • James M. September 5, 2015, 2:10 am

    My five would be. Tavor tar. Sig tac 2 .338. M1a custom (They way I want it). Colt SAA 1st gen .45 lc Pure Americana. And lastly a Kriss vector gen 2 smg. But if someone had all of these in a safe and offered them to me as a gift, or free ammo for life for the firearms I already own. I would definitely take the free ammo.

  • DRAINO September 4, 2015, 11:32 pm

    Nothing too extravagant:
    1. 1874 Sharps Pedersoli Buffalo rifle in .45-120
    2. Magnum Research BFR in .45-70
    3. Weatherby Mark V .340 Weatherby Mag (scoped of course)
    4. Varmint Extreme Custom Heavy Barrel in .22-250 (scoped of course)
    5. Perazzi MX12 Extra Gold 12 ga.

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