So, Dick and I went to the local FFL storefront looking to purchase an H&R .357 single-shot carbine for myself. Unfortunately, it seems that this particular rifle is either more popular than H&R expected or wasn't made in large quantities to begin with as it is backordered (Davidson's). The proprietor was kind enough to print up a list of .357 carbines that were in stock with pricing and quoted me a price of $60 over the list. So, I ended up having him order a Puma .357 carbine with a 16" barrel. It should be in tomorrow.
After all was said and done, I ended up plunking down a little over $500 for the rifle. It was really just a bit more than I was prepared to spend on a rifle that is essentially a fun gun. But I honestly think I'll be happier with this than with the H&R which is the only gun under the price point I was hoping for.
Now my only worry is that I didn't really do any research into the Puma before ordering and I have no idea what kind of issues it might have. Ah, well, impulse buying is my specialty. I should be used to it by now.