Many of us have a "dirty little secret", a firearm we own and enjoy that seems to violate all the accepted standards of what is a "good" firearm for whatever purpose. We just like the firearm for whatever reason.
In my case, I have a Sterling Stainless 302 .22LR. It is a little vest pocket pistol from an era long gone made by a company long gone. I bought it used in 1985, I think the price was $65. The owner said it didn't work right. I took it home and scrubbed it out, it was filthy. What I found was a pristine pistol that had probably never been cleaned.
The US company that made this pistol failed partly because of a liability suit followed by what seems to be some sabotage by an employee. They made a decent product as far as I can tell from what is now sketchy history.
Today it resides in my collection as my "dirty little secret". I actually carried this pistol a long time ago on occasions when I was unable to hide anything larger. It was 100% reliable at the range with good ammo as long as it was clean, less so with bulk or cheap ammo. I often chuckle when reviewers object to such pistols failing to run through 50, 75, or 100 rounds without cleaning or lubrication. When would such a thing ever happen in real defensive circumstances? When would you ever carry that many loaded magazines? If you have to reload such a pistol under duress you are likely in more trouble than such a pistol could handle anyway. This is for close quarters, literally shooting your assailant in the face or heart. Empty the pistol to stop the threat and get away. In my opinion, when you pull the trigger in such a circumstance you most likely don't stop until it is empty. No "double taps". No tactics beyond empty it and run. Measured and aimed shots? Possible, but difficult, and if you are that far away you should probably be working on departing from the threat and not engaging with this little pistol.
Many question the value of the caliber. Just try a little demonstration. You get a choice, punched in the face or chest, or the .22 emptied in your face or chest. Easy choice.
Today with so many options for more substantial and reliable calibers in small pistols one would not likely consider carrying such a pistol anyway. So it remains in my possession. It went to the range with me the last time I went. I ran a few mags through it, and it made me smile. What else could I ask of it at this point?
So, what is your "dirty little secret"? Maybe you still have it, and maybe you don't, but I feel likely you enjoyed a firearm along your journey that simply does not fit in the current standards of what a "good" firearm might be for whatever purpose. An old bolt rifle? An odd caliber lever gun? An antique? Your grandfather's gun? Why do I feel this way? Because we, people who might stop by here share an experience. It is a common bond. If you don't have such a firearm, it may be one you have now and you have not yet experienced enough in this world to feel what I mean. But someday you may look back and understand that what you held in your hands meant something beyond being a mechanical device. You trusted it. You proposed to defend your life with it. It is a primordial thing. It is your right, your duty, your responsibility...and that mechanical device in your hands helped you uphold those values and responsibilities. In past times it might have been fists, a stick, a club, an ax, or a sword. Enemies vanquished. Food on the table. Security of liberty. Solemn peace. Core and basic to society and the natural balance of the world.
We study so much about specifications. Sometimes it's about a passion. Sometimes it's not about the numbers or even the passion. Sometimes it's simply about just and honest living and being in this world.