The best way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it, as Oscar Wilde observed. And this has been my motto when it comes to purchasing guns. I see one I like, my id takes over, and, presto, my bank account is empty.

But, I don’t always indulge this urge…and I’ve lived to regret it. Looking back, there are a handful of guns that I am sad to say I let slip away. There was a lovely pre-’64 Model 70 in .300 H&H that I passed on at one point because of the “inflated” prices those Winchester’s command, and I’ve never forgiven myself.

There was also a Smith & Wesson Model 57 in .41 Rem. Magnum that I owned, which I convinced myself to get rid of. My logic was sound. I didn’t shoot it much, favoring instead the .44s in my collection. But logic won’t heal my heart, which still pines for that sweet wheel gun.

Lastly, there was the time when I was teen when I was down at my local gun store—a favorite destination of mine—and got to handle the then-brand-new Freedom Arms Model 83 in .454 Casull. I kept thumbing back the hammer, listening to the perfect series of clicks the action made as the cylinder rotated, wondering how on earth I could come up with the $600 it cost. That was a puzzle I never solved…and good luck finding one for anything approaching that price today.

Which guns have eluded you?