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View Poll Results: Would you fire a rare or expensive historical firearm?
No, it would be a safe queen 14 17.50%
Yes, but I would limit myself to a certain amount 40 50.00%
Yes, I would fire it like all of my other firearms 26 32.50%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 3, 2016, 11:49 AM   #26
BoogieMan
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Expensive definitely depends the buyer. Rare is more of a market issue. It also depends on the build of the gun in question. There are some that are more likely to have a failure and harder if not impossible to repair. I wouldnt hesitate to take a new $10k Kriegoff out for some clays. I likely wouldnt shoot a $5k Arrow Cross marked Luger.
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Old August 3, 2016, 12:13 PM   #27
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"...$1800 is not rare and expensive..." Is in my house. snicker.
However, $1800 is not unusually expensive for a firearm these days. M1A Loaded runs more than that. Plain old Standard starts at $1686. BNIB.
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Old August 3, 2016, 12:59 PM   #28
FITASC
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Quote:
Expensive definitely depends the buyer. Rare is more of a market issue. It also depends on the build of the gun in question. There are some that are more likely to have a failure and harder if not impossible to repair. I wouldnt hesitate to take a new $10k Kriegoff out for some clays. I likely wouldnt shoot a $5k Arrow Cross marked Luger.
Exactly, and it doesn't have to be super expensive, if rare, to not want to shoot it.

I shoot with folks who shoot some very expensive shotguns. One gent's K-80 has the Apollo moon landing engraved on it. Cost all in was around $110,000 for that gun, and he shoots the snot out of it every weekend.
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Old August 3, 2016, 01:15 PM   #29
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I have several guns that I don't even think about shooting. My 1916 matching number Broomhandle comes to mind. If something happens to a numbered part, the value plummets severely.

I am not a subscriber to the school of thought that every gun I have needs to be shot.
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Old August 3, 2016, 01:18 PM   #30
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I checked my response based upon personal value to me in the form of provenance and lack of available replacement major components.

I have fired exactly five rounds through the firearm to determined its operational capabilities.

So my criteria is replacement vs. purchase price. So every situation stands on its on.
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Old August 3, 2016, 02:23 PM   #31
spacecoast
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Depends on the situation and the firearm -

A $2500 Luger with several moving, numbered matching parts subject to recoil? Not likely.

A $2500 Colt SAA with few moving parts subject to recoil? No problem.
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Old August 3, 2016, 05:16 PM   #32
Brian Pfleuger
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I personally wouldn't buy a gun that I didn't intend to shoot... unless I intended to sell it so I could buy something I *could* shoot.

I don't collect... anything... for looking at. I don't know why. I just have no interest in looking at things that otherwise have no purpose.

Somehow though, there seems a difference to me between a modern, highly custom $2,000 or $20,000 or $200,000 gun and one that has some sort of "no longer made" rarity that makes it valuable. Most guys buying a $100,000 modern firearm do indeed intend to shoot it and (ask the NFA guys) can shoot through several thousand $$ in ammo in a weekend. By that standard, an $1,800 *anything* isn't expensive. I know guys with cars that cost that much to have the brakes replaced. It doesn't stop them from driving... but it might stop me. It's all relative.
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Old August 3, 2016, 06:52 PM   #33
Jim Watson
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I sold my 19th century guns to collectors, too easy to break $$.
I still have one unusual but not real valuable rifle I only shoot occasionally for fear of breaking something irreplaceable. But I do shoot it.
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Old August 3, 2016, 08:04 PM   #34
Rich_357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_K
I would have some other questions/qualms.

If the gun had never been fired, I probably wouldn't be the first. But most guns of any age have been fired, especially military guns, so yes, baring problems, I would shoot it.
I fall in that camp as well. If it’s no longer available as new, uncommon and unfired, I am not going to be the first to fire it unless I have no other alternative.

If it’s common, shoot the snot out of it. If it has already been fired, go for it but be aware of things that could fail.

The best of both worlds is to buy two, one shooter and one safe queen. I have a few SKS rifles that won't shoot but I have one that I do...it works for me.
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Old August 4, 2016, 04:00 PM   #35
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To clarify from my end, If they are still manufacturing a firearm, then I fire it to no end, because I can simply buy another one and they will make more. I would feel bad if I broke a firing pin on a matching luger though, is my point....

Also, I am both a collector and a shooter. It is an internal struggle. Some of my guns I wont touch without gloves on, and others I will treat it like it owes me money....

In short, it looks like the poll agrees with my initial thoughts which is to shoot it, but limit it to a certain amount.
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Old August 4, 2016, 04:45 PM   #36
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The only gun I would not shoot would be something that parts are hard to come by or a good gunsmith for that model would be difficult to find. An example might be a pristine Colt Lightning.

Other than that, shoot it.
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Old August 4, 2016, 05:09 PM   #37
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I make guns that sell for in the $4500 to $6000 range. Not all of them, but many of them are in that range. I have a tendency to be more friendly to those that are buying my high end work because they are going to USE them!

Gun can be artful, but I am making GUNS, not sculptures and paintings. If the only reason to buy one was the beauty I would not put the time I do into tuning the locks and inletting the barrel perfectly. But I want my guns to shoot accurately and reliably as well as look good.

That is one of the many reasons they take so many hours to make.

My wife has one gun that is "too nice to shoot". It is a C96 Mauser "broomhandle" in such good condition it looks unfired. Now because it is old and rare and in such good shape, no bluing wear at all and no marks on it of any kind, we have decided not to fire it, but it is about 100 years old and totally original. If you can find a gun that is about 100 years old and looks unfired it's probably best to leave it unfired.

So I can see the wisdom in not shooting some guns It is for sale for the same reason. We are shooters, not collectors. So we'll let a dedicated collector have it, and we'll buy other guns that we can shoot.

So my answer is................... "it depends".

But in most cases guns of a value of $2000 and less are OK to shoot as long as they are cared for. I often hunt with rifles I make and some of them are in the $4000 range, but they are GUNS, and that what they are made to do.

I often hear people say a gun it too valuable to fire when they are driving a truck or car that costs $50,000. Shooting my $4000 to $6000 rifles for 15 years will not drop their value at all, if you take good care of them, and in every case I know of so far, guns I made 10-20 years ago are selling for 2X to 3X more than the customers paid for them.

So someone will worry about firing a $5,000 gun but not worry about driving a $50,000 car?
That doesn't make sense to me.

Especially when we all know that a $50,000 car will probably be worth LESS than one of my high end guns in 20 years.
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Old August 5, 2016, 09:10 AM   #38
Don P
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My thought is buy them shoot them. If you can afford the purchase price then you can afford the price to pay someone to make the part that broke when shooting the firearm.
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Old August 6, 2016, 03:02 PM   #39
GarandTd
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I wouldn't want a gun I couldn't fire. I appreciate old guns far more than new or modern ones. Part of the appreciation is in the quality and craftsmanship and the ability of said guns to continue to function almost indefinitely with proper care and maintenance. New and modern guns may do the same, but I'll not be alive long enough to see that.

Also, value is really up to the individual. Several of my rifles are really not that valuable in the current market, or, rare for that matter, but to me are irreplaceable.
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Old August 7, 2016, 02:07 PM   #40
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Some of the ones I shoot are 120+ yrs old. All Webleys! Some are rare, some are expensive and some are both! But I've done tons of research and would never think of firing till I have the proper reload data! And then its not like I'm going to the range and run 500 rounds thru 'em!
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Old August 7, 2016, 02:20 PM   #41
243winxb
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Sell it before making it a useless safe queen.
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Old August 7, 2016, 05:02 PM   #42
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I had a 1903A4 sniper that I rebuilt. it wasn't worth the $5000 that originals sell for, but it was still a $2000 gun. I shot it regularly until I got tired of dumping money into it. ever since then most of my guns have been between $1000 and $1500 with optics and I shoot them a lot too.
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Old August 28, 2016, 03:49 PM   #43
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I have several C&Rs that could be considered rare or expensive and I do shoot them, but within reason. One reason I own them is I enjoy seeing smiles on peoples faces when they get to hold and shoot a piece of history. I have a 1873 Custer era Carbine that does see range time, but only with black powder, reduced loads, my Lend Lease Garand goes to the range every so often, but then I have another Garand to pick up the slack. I have a 1913 NRA Sales M1903 that I have yet to take out, but it will go out sometime, for some reason US bolt action rifles, other than the Krag, really don't excite me.
The only answer that matters is the one you decide on. For myself, the enjoyment of sharing some historic arms and introducing people to shooting is all I need.
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Old August 29, 2016, 03:07 PM   #44
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Mint, unfired, NIB,-No. Moderately used-yes.
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Old August 29, 2016, 08:21 PM   #45
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As many others have said ... It depends.

I bought an all matching, near pristine 1941 byf P.08 about 20 years ago that obviously had not been fired much. Since I already had (still have) a shooter grade P.08 I've been able to resist firing the byf all those years. I haven't had the byf appraised but expect it's worth about $2500, but a broken numbered part would drop the value greatly. Heck, its original "black widow" grips are probably worth $250 but back when I bought it those grips were viewed as a negative by the seller and me. Who knew they would grow popular.

However, now as I get older I do want to run a magazine or two through it. Not often you get to fire a 75 year old but like new pistol. My shooter is a 1913 and we made a big deal of shooting it on its 100th birthday! The 1913 has suffered only one broken part after shooting thousands of rounds since I bought it in 1975. The byf is made of stronger steel so you wouldn't expect a couple magazines to hurt it.
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Old August 30, 2016, 09:47 AM   #46
Don P
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Mint, unfired, NIB,-No. Moderately used-yes.
Mint, unfired, NIB. There is no such thing. Every manufacturer test fires every firearm before it leaves the factory. So mint-never fired-nib does not exist.
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Old August 30, 2016, 11:07 AM   #47
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Mint, unfired, NIB. There is no such thing. Every manufacturer test fires every firearm before it leaves the factory. So mint-never fired-nib does not exist
That's your opinion, but it's a minority opinion. The majority hold that factory test & proof firing are part of the manufacturing process, and are not "counted" when the gun is described, AFTER LEAVING the factory.
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Old August 30, 2016, 12:12 PM   #48
Old Bill Dibble
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Mint, unfired, NIB. There is no such thing. Every manufacturer test fires every firearm before it leaves the factory. So mint-never fired-nib does not exist.
And yet... there is such a thing. A relative of mine has just such a gun. In the 1970s he bought at auction an NIB Winchester Rifle 1873 manufactured in 1873 a very early model, a very low serial number. At the time he paid almost a years wages for the gun. His wife almost left him. He collected all the paperwork up from Winchester and did all the background and province work on it years ago. The guy at Winchester suggested that it may never have been fired.

He has never fired the gun himself, never even handles it without gloves on, on the rare occasions when it does come out of the case. Today the gun is worth approximately 30 times what he paid for it back then. Had he fired it the value would likely be less.

This is not really a gun, it is more a show piece, investment and a piece of frozen history.
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Old August 30, 2016, 02:07 PM   #49
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If it was a gun I thought I might not shoot...I wouldn't buy it!

I appreciate older guns but for NIB and never fired, let someone else buy it for a safe space saver. If I get it, it wont stay unfired until the weekend.
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Old August 30, 2016, 02:35 PM   #50
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As someone who was once a broke and dirt poor college student, I say that $1800 is actually a lot of money for a gun. $1800 anything is expensive. 'Rare' is another issue.

If you have a rare and expensive C&R gun, as long as it's safe, shoot it. These guns can handle it. The exception is if the gun is somehow unfired and it's provable that it's unfired.

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