Set me back $148 including tax.
That's only about $20 more than it cost to take my family of four to dinner at Red Lobster later the same night.
It's a Marlin 795. And, yes, it's all black!
This Marlin may not ever become a prized collectible. But with a five year warranty, it should be a dependable shooter for years to come. Big enough for an adult to shoot comfortably, it's also just the right size for young shooters in their tweens or early teens. And it shoots the still cheap and plentiful .22 long rifle rimfire cartridge.
Stores tell me there's plenty of demand for .22s lately. Experienced shooters are using 'em more because ammo prices have gone sky high for larger caliber stuff. And there are indications ammo (at least certain types) will get harder and harder to find this year.
I started looking for a used .22 at pawn shops, but they now want as much for used as new ones are going for.
I've seen new Ruger 10/22s advertised starting at around $200 (and going much higher depending on the options). Problem is, Ruger apparently can't keep up with demand, so it's hard to find 'em in stock at retailers. I've seen used ones, just like the ones advertised for $200 new, priced at $229 at gun stores.
One clerk told me his shop seldom priced a used .22 over a hundred dollars three or four years ago. Now any kind of repeater sells for at least $129. As late as last Christmas, I saw used .22s on the racks of one store priced at $99. Same guns, or ones just like 'em, now carry tags asking $129.
Out at the stores this weekend, what was another big seller? Shotguns. In two trips to a big box sporting goods store, spending about 30 minutes there, I saw four shotguns go out the door. Two of them were obviously intended for home defense, with emphasis on the wife/mom being able to use it. Among the guns chosen were short barrel Remington 870s.
I also saw women who appeared to be shopping alone browsing the ammo section, and picking up a box or two of shotgun shells. Guns are no longer just a guy thing.