Old Firearms, Please Read

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by rifleman55, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

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    As a retired Gunsmith and as a person who collects old rifles, I've been seeing a lot of old guns modified or parts ruined because people don't know how to properly restore them, spray the barreled actions with Gun-Kote or similar finishes. Sporterize them, chop of barrels, improperly polish parts and everything else you can think of.

    Please preserve these old firearms, don't modify them or wreck parts.

    There will never be any more of the old rifles made. Only so many were produced, it's up to us to preserve the old guns for future generations.

    Evertime one is modified, it is ruined as a collectable.

    Just my two cents, but if you really love firearms, it's something to think about. I see a lot of history ruined.
    I just bought a rifle online that someone butchered, that's what prompted this post. Please think about it. If you have an old firearm that does not mean much to you, sell it to someone who will love it and take care of it.

    Want to do some modifications, get a newer firearm and go for it.

    Thank You, John K
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Good advice, but let's keep the thoughts to ONE THREAD on the same topic please.

    JD
     

  3. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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    My hat is off to you RIFLEMAN. I myself have collected older guns for years and it motifies me when I see a great classic gun destroyed by a ham handed previous owner destroy a classic. When unimformed owners see a few rubs, scratches and dents, many feel the need to "make it new". This is a shame as these alter the guns service stripes. Everytime someone refinishes a gun they are forever removing its history. I am as proud as a new papa about every scratch, dent and ding my guns have. This means these guns have been there, done that, and got the scars to prove it.
     
  4. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    I have mixed feelings when it comes to sporterized military guns,or other old collectable weapons that are modified.
    On one hand,I've just never cared for the styles of most military rifles with the exception of the 1903A3,M1 Garand,and the M1A.

    If done right,a sporterized rifle can have a new lease on life and serve the owner proudly in whatever form they choose to use the weapon in either shooting targets,hunting,or just as a safe queen.
    Now,when Bubba tries to be the next great beginner gunsmith with a grinder and dremmel tool,then it becomes destroying a piece of history.

    Most of the real collectable firearms are already in the private collections of the people that have more money than sense,and the only time they ever see daylight is when they die,and their collections are auctioned off to other people that have more money than sense.

    Rifleman55,I understand what you are saying,but I do not feel like someone is destroying history by modifying a rifle that was produced in the tens of thousands for the armies of the world to use in wars.
    Unless the gun has a proven history and proof that it had a place in history-Time,Place,Name of the Person that used the weapon,etc.,It's just another gun to me.
     
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Had a guy come into the shop about 6 or so years ago.

    Wanted to take a WWI edition M1911a1, absolutely authentic including the GI Crescent of Shame. A work of historical art that probably had a couple of German bodies attached to it.

    He wanted to cut a dovetail adjustable rear site with night sights in the backend of the slide, dump the spur hammer for a Commander hammer, lose the front site, add a front night sight and change out the trigger for a more "modern version".

    We took the job, after a big discussion, and the guy was adament in the changes even after we offered to buy the pistol (honestly it was a low ball offer and I was out of work at the time so it's not like I could front).

    A crying shame. An absolute crying shame that I am sure had a GI rolling over in his grave to what happened to that trusted sidearm. :eek::(:(

    JD
     
  6. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    JD,Are you trying to make me feel bad?
    Now a M1911a1 is a different story.I would've beat him with a BIG stick for doing that to a weapon like that.
    I was just thinking about all the surplus stuff that's around everywhere.
     
  7. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    When they are stock, or restorable, I agree with you R55. But once they have been sporterized to the point of no return, I love working on them and finishing the sporterizing.

    Good thread to heighten awareness, though.
     
  8. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    I've seen more guns handled like I wouldn't treat a lawnmower, than

    modified.

    Why spend the money on a new gun? You might as well buy a POS

    to begin with...
     
  9. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    It's a chunk of steel wood and sometimes plastic. If you want to cut the barrel to 3" then go for it. I see nothing wrong with doing what you want with YOUR own firearms.

    That is the nice thing about living in the USA we are free to do as we please. There are plenty of 03a3's in museums all over the country and world. We have Garands all over the world still. I don't sell firearms once I buy them so why do you even care?

    The same can be said for modern firearms Don't modify it for some day they will stop making it.

    What ever If someone wants to make a gun useful to them then go for it.
     
  10. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

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    If you look, I am a supporting member.

    Don't want to start a pissing contest, just thought some may see the light and actually care about future generations.
    And who the heck wants to look at an 03 A3 in a museum, I want as perfect of one as possible that I can shoot, pass it down to my son who would never butcher an old rifle, he can give it to his son and on and on. Not a lot of original M1 Garands's left, many put togather from parts, but many original ones are rare.

    Do as you like, some will see what I'm talking about and understand.
    Others will ruin unreplacable history from a time of World Wars we will hopfully never see the like of again, because if we do, it will be far more ugly.

    Anyone who truly loves firearms knows exactly what I'm talking about.

    One example, I have a Mossberg 42M, actually an S42. It was made in 1939. Mossberg did not think that style of stock would be popular. They made exactly 469 of them and sold them through Speigal mail order stores. Some idiot put silver paint on the barrel. I managed to restore it, it's a very rare rifle. As it turned out, the public loved the stock and many more were sold in the next 7 years or so, but even the unmolested one's of those guns are rapidly dissapearing.
    During WWII, all the gun companys made 22 LR trainers to save on 30 cal ammo. Some of those guns sell for up to $4000., but many can be had for $350. on up in very good condition. Not many left in good condition, and fewer all the time due to gun hacks.
    Had I not spotted and saved that gun from 1939, a rare piece of history may have been lost forever, he was getting ready to make it into a ninja rifle, don't ask how, he was a total idiot..
    It may not mean anything to you, but a true gun lover would want a gun, first year, less than 500 made. How many do you think are even left, this is the first I've ever seen. The guy who had it didn't even know he had a rare gun, so at least do research on any old rifle you have, it may be common or it may be rare, in any case, preserve it. If already sporterized, OK, but don't sporterize it yourself.

    My Best, John K
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  11. Jared

    Jared New Member

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    So because you are a supporting member you can tell people what to do with their personal property?

    Get over yourself dude you have no right to try and tell people what to do with guns they own. I do not like purple cars should i start posting on car forums telling people not to paint their cars purple?
     
  12. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    I don't think John is telling people what to do. He is explaining that every original rifle that is sporterized is one less piece of history. I got that he has a love of history, and an appreciation of fine guns. Nothing else.

    As to cars, any classic car collector would have fits if they knew someone was going to chop and lower a mint, original Hemi 'Cuda.
     
  13. Melium

    Melium New Member

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    I completely agree, Rifleman. If I could've gotten the modified Nagant that I now own before the last owner destroyed all historical value it held I would've kept it in pristine condition even though they aren't as old as the ones i'm sure you're talking about they do still hold value. Unfortunately I wasn't able to save this Nagant but I hope to save the next old rifle I come across.
     
  14. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    I had a 30-40 Krag that I put a Fajen custom stock on However I retained the original stock and did not alter the rifle so it could be returned to original at a later date. It was a tack driver deer gun.
     
  15. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    What I've noticed, is that generally when a rifle is "sporterized", it drops in

    value.

    What I can't figure out is why people do this, then want to sell the

    gun, like now it's something special. I could understand if they wanted

    to do that to a gun and keep, and shoot it.

    But it's like "Hey, I just ruined this great 1903, wanna buy it now I'm

    done pissing all over it?"
     
  16. DougB

    DougB New Member

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    The only thing I would even consider "sporterizing" would be myself if possible!

    As for everything else.....my motorcycles, guns and antique tools/furniture, I leave well enough alone. One thing I really enjoy seeing is a classic car or truck that looks exactly like it did rolling off the assembly line. They are a thing of beauty.

    I can't bear the thought of taking a piece of "Americana" and butchering it. For those that do, enjoy it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Why is a sporterized mil surp rifle one less piece of history?

    Is a 03a3 hunting rifle still an 03a3 or did it change to an 08a34? It is still the same basic rifle. The military rebarrles lots of weapons. I know they replaced a few of my barrels because well I ran them like I stole them. So that would RUIN the collector value of the rifle.

    Like I said It is a piece of metal, wood and sometimes plastic.

    A wise man once said.
    "Any man can restore a car. It takes a REAL man to cut one up and make it his own."

    RIP Mr. Boyd Coddington
     
  18. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    No it doesn't....

    My father has a few 03a3 that are worth a lot of money and they will shoot bug holes. He also has a few K98's that are sporterized that will shoot 10 shots inside a dime.
     
  19. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Jared Don't mistake our posts as arguments. We are simply two guys who think differently about the same thing.

    I don't own guns I can't shoot. So having old stuff that you can't shoot or ruin it's value is of no use to me. That will change though as my father has quite a few rifles that are well extraordinary collector items.

    I just feel that old milsurp is not a big deal there were millions of them made. They were tools of war and that is where the sentimentality ends for me.
     
  20. DougB

    DougB New Member

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    The "wise man" and I would most likely disagree. Even I can butcher a car or truck. A true craftsman will research many hours, maybe days or weeks before restoring to precise originality.