A bloke came to my door today with a gun. 'This is for you', he said. 'Oh, blimey!' I said, 'thank you very much indeed!'
The bloke - my upstairs neighbour - has just sold his flat and was having a bit of a clear out. 'It's been sitting in the back of my wardrobe for years and years,' he said, 'I thought you might like it?' I do like it,' I said, 'In fact I'm chuffed to bits!'
I spent a good while thanking him - and vowing to help shift his wardrobe & sofa next week - then threw myself into the Net to research this wonderful gift.
Turns out it's a Mark 4 BSA Super Meteor in .22. It was made - so I soon discovered - in Birmingham between 1974 and '78. New, it put out pellets - possibly quite-tricky-to-find 5.6mm pellets - at about 8ftlb. Cracking the barrel revealed that the breech seal had totally disintegrated so I hot-footed it over to T.W Chambers' site and bought a new one for a modest £3.24.
Then I cleaned out the remains of the old seal, fettled a few marks and scratches off the stock and applied a wee bit of gun oil. The mechanism felt smooth and everything seemed to work just fine (though of course I can't fire it till I get the seal in the post). That done, I just marveled at it.
A new gun. Out of nowhere. Sing Hosanna!