I recently found a S&W model 10-5, 4" pencil barrel in .38 Spec. with the perfect, original blue factory box and cleaning tools in a suburban pawn / gunshop for less than $300. I don't think the gun has ever been fired. No blue wear, no wear on any parts (no cylinder "turning ring"!), the case colors on the hammer and trigger are perfect. This gun was made about 1955-1957. I think it sat in a drawer for the last 50 years.
Old guns in new or almost new condition are available at reasonable / good prices if you look. Put it on lay-a-way if money is tight. Gunshops / Pawnshops understand tight money and will generally take a lay-a-way over a lost sale. There are some great old guns out there in popular calibers. The new, modern, slick, cool expensive toy is not required.
Learn the difference between need and want. I'm STILL trying to get that message through to my daughter! I'm still trying to get that message through to me, too!