View Full Version : to shoot or not to shoot

mike in nc
October 8, 2010, 06:30 PM
ok, so I am still very new to this, I have two Pietta revolvers, and really like them both, enjoy firing them. I had pretty much decided that italian reproductions was about all I would be able to afford,,,,,,,,, but the more I look, I see some Colts that are actually not too bad as far as price, and I am not talking about the ones that are $1,000 or in the range.
Anyway, getting to the point of my question, I see these guns and I would like to get one, or more, but most are actually unfired,,,,,,,,,,, there being the problem, I would not want a gun I could not shoot.
So,,,,,,,,,,,,, how do you decide if you are gong to fire a gun, do you fire all you own, or are there certain ones you do not fire, I am curious as to everyones opinions on the matter.

October 8, 2010, 06:33 PM
It'sa tool..... useless if you don't use it. You will never develop any skill in it's use if you don't practice, either.

October 8, 2010, 06:58 PM
Are you a shooter or a collector? If both, then you have to make a conscious decision before you buy each gun -- is it for shooting or for the collection, and then stand by that decision. To make the decision easier, pre-define what you consider to be a collector.

Andy Griffith
October 8, 2010, 07:06 PM
The only one I haven't shot yet (in the blackpowder realm) is a Uberti Patterson.

I just dread taking it down and cleaning it afterward! :mad:

An original Colt 51/60 for $1000 will be fairly ragged out in condition. Likely some work would have to be done to get it shootable- most likely the nipples will have rusted the flash holes completely shut and therefore useless. $1400 to $2K will give you a good condition shooter. A Remington 58 might be a better vintage piece if you just want to shoot it, but I realize it doesn't say "COLT." :)

Doc Hoy
October 8, 2010, 07:38 PM

I have a couple revolvers that I do not shoot which I would not part with.

I have a belgian Centaure which I bought in a group package at a show for essentially 25.00 and then had reconditioned by a professional gunsmith (Thanks Wayne). I don't shoot it because it is too nice. It would not be for sale for twice what it is worth.

I have a Sheriffs model reproduction which chain fired on me and I now am spooked about this pistol. It is not for sale because I am afraid to let it out of my sight. I think the serial number of the pistol is "666" :D

I have a couple signature series Colts which I have not shot yet because, again, they are too nice. One .36 caliber I have shot and I don't like the way it shoots but I love the pistol anyway. I will probably break down and shoot these Colt Colts but even if I don't I would not part with them.

I don't think you have to feel bad about owning pistols that you don't shoot. I think the Remington style revolvers 1858 and 1863, and the open top Colts with the exception of the Patterson have such innate beauty that there are many who buy them not even intending to shoot them. I am convinced this is why brass framed revolvers sell like hotcakes. In this case though they don't fit Jimbob's definition of tools.

I believe that owning a Ruger Old Army that you don't shoot would be wrong, because; a) they shoot so well and b) IMO they are not all that pretty. You just don't buy an ROA to look at. It is Jimbob's tool in the truest sense.

My recommendation is similar to Zippy's. Acquire every pistol you can lay your hands on. And let your decision as to how you use the pistols be you business an no one else's.

October 8, 2010, 08:42 PM
I couldn't stand having one I couldn't shoot. I'd shoot it just to say I did no matter what it was worth or how much shooting it deflated it's value. I'm prolly a crowd of one tho.:D

October 8, 2010, 09:49 PM
Nope, I'm right there with ya Hawg.:)

October 9, 2010, 11:08 AM
I've got some very rare guns I've fired, and I've got several not so rare common modern guns that have never had a round through them... mainly because I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

I've got a Liberator pistol I've even put seven mouse phart rounds through.

October 9, 2010, 06:12 PM
That's a interesting question. If you're in your 20's, I'd expect them to appreciate in value by when you're in your 60's, so keeping them unfired as a hedge against inflation, Obamaism etc, would be a good choice. I, on the other hand, AM, in my 60's and I don't see the point in owning it if I can't shoot it. This includes antiques. I figure that I'm only going to own them till I die, no matter what their $$ value becomes, and so their real value to me is the enjoyment they provide. Kinda like my horses, I enjoy watching them, but I love riding them! I'm not savin' them in pristine condition for my beneficiaries either.

Fingers McGee
October 9, 2010, 10:27 PM
I've got both, C&Bs that I shoot and ones that I don't shoot. The non-shooters are all NIB 2nd Generation Colt BP revolvers that are saved as collectors items. The shooters are 2nd Gens, Ubertis, Piettas, ASMs and Euroarms C&Bs that are used in CAS competition and informal plinking. I'm always on the lookout for additions to the shooter and collector inventories.


October 10, 2010, 06:45 AM
Fingers just out of curiosity what's a second gen NIB 1860 Colt worth? They had one at gun show this weekend for 900. I didn't see box but he said he had it with papers. It sure was purty.

October 10, 2010, 08:07 AM
A NIB 1860 2nd gen books about $650. That's with all the boxes and papers. Shot it one time and it's $450 or less.

Many of the 2nd gens are 30 years old or more, they are showing handling wear even if unfired. They are not "NIB" and can be found for under $500.

October 10, 2010, 09:32 PM
Virtually every gun will get fired eventually, it's just a matter of when. Sometimes the when is decided totally on a whim.
A gun is built to be good for at least a certain number of shots and sometimes less before it will need work.
So the less that a gun is fired now, the more shots that are reserved for its future use.
How far into the future no one really knows.
Some of my guns are fired more for today and others are left unfired more for some undetermined time in the future.
Sometimes if I lose interest in a gun, then I'll sell it and let someone else have the pleasure of owning it and shooting it.
With other guns, I wouldn't dream of letting anyone else shoot it until after I've decided whether I want to or not first.
I recently happened across an unfired CVA Mountain Rifle with a Douglas barrel. The gentleman that bought it had been looking for the right one for years to shoot in the "off the shelf" match at Friendship.
Let me tell you, he's one happy camper right now.
Much happier than I would have ever been if I had shot it.
Same thing with a new unfired .36 TC Seneca that I owned. I kept it for a while until I lost interest in it. Then I sold it to the coach of a girl who is a 4H competitor, because she needed it to shoot in 4H competition.
Not any gun is really ours since no one takes their guns with them to the grave.
We're just renting them all out until we decide how to dispose of them as we see fit.
Some we save pristine and others we don't.
It's all based on emotions and a whim.
Only the current owner decides which gun gets shot and which gun doesn't, and who will be given the next opportunity to shoot it.
There's plenty of used guns and plenty less of the unfired ones.
No one complains when an item is placed in a museum. So if a gun is still in private hands and yet left unfired then that's not any different. It's being saved for posterity. In other words, it's left up to future generations to decide whether to shoot it or not. :)

Fingers McGee
October 10, 2010, 10:59 PM
Fingers just out of curiosity what's a second gen NIB 1860 Colt worth? They had one at gun show this weekend for 900. I didn't see box but he said he had it with papers. It sure was purty.

One that is absolutely NIB, still in original grease & un played with books out at $775 (2009 BB, and 2008 Russel Book). One at 100% without box and papers at $650. $900 is way over priced in this day and age. They've been going for between $450 and $600 on GB lately.

October 11, 2010, 09:59 AM
jbar4Ranch, is that Liberator one of the stamped out pistols they air dropped for the resistance during WWII? Got any pic's?

October 11, 2010, 11:01 AM


mike in nc
October 11, 2010, 07:08 PM
thanks to everyone for all the replys. A lot of thoughtful responses, and some just plain matter of fact ones. A lot of food for thought. I suppose I will just have to weigh the decision with every purchase I make. I imagine I lean more towards being a shooter than a collector. Anyway, thanks again, I enjoyed the replys.

October 11, 2010, 07:20 PM
$900 is way over priced in this day and age.

That's about what I figured.

October 16, 2010, 12:42 PM
It is kind of a conundrum. I seem to find myself looking for good used examples so I don't feel that I've somehow destroyed the collector value of an unfired gun.

Doc Hoy
October 16, 2010, 05:57 PM
I am going to go out on a limb here. The quality of some of the new stuff such as you find at Cabelas, or Bass Proshop is pretty irratic. If you can get hold of a good used pistol that has been smoothed up and lovingly cared for, you may be better off.

This is not to say that new stuff is all junk by any stretch. But all you have to do is read back a few weeks and you will find posts here from buyers who were not happy with their new pistols.

mike in nc
October 16, 2010, 07:54 PM
"I am going to go out on a limb here. The quality of some of the new stuff such as you find at Cabelas, or Bass Proshop is pretty irratic. If you can get hold of a good used pistol that has been smoothed up and lovingly cared for, you may be better off. "

I understand what you are saying, I am wondering though how you know it iwll be smoothed up and taken care of when you purchase a used pistol, and also, I am looking forward to the smoothing up and taking loving care of the pistols I purchase, I think that would be an enjoyable part of the whole experience.

I have pretty much decided that I will most likely only own replicas, but I will enjoy them and love shooting them. I most likely will not end up with a "colt" simply because of the money. If I do, then great, but if I don't, I am not going to let that keep me from enjoying the sport. so, I suppose that I will not have to worry about what to "shoot or not shoot".

Doc Hoy
October 17, 2010, 05:51 AM
It is an excellent point, Mike.

In truth I guess it would be hard to defend buying used over buying new as long as you were buying the same description of pistol. In both cases you have to trust two things.

1) the integrity of the person or organization selling the pistol.
2) the willingness of that group or person to stand behind their description of the item that sold.

It is a good bit different buying sight-unseen from buying direct. But in both cases a healthy skepticism can go a long way to a happy purchase.

October 17, 2010, 06:02 AM
Raise your right hand and repeat after me:

Never, ever, buy a used gun without a complete and thorough hands-on inspection. In the case of a mail order purchase, never buy a new OR used gun without an iron-clad guarantee of a no-questions-asked return for a full refund after a minimum three day inspection period. Never.

Now, having said that, it's highly unlikely that any of the Italian replica percussion revolvers will ever have any serious collector value, so shooting one will not significantly impact the future value. Original manufacturer guns are a different matter.

Uncle Buck
October 17, 2010, 08:57 AM
I only buy them if I want to shoot them. I do have a couple of wall hangers, but they are wall hangers because they are no longer safe to shoot (In my opinion).

As far as collecting for investments, I am not smart enough to see into the future and know what they might be worth. If any of my guns or pistols are every really worth a lot of money, I hope the friends and family members I leave them to find out.

I used to collect coins, pretty to look at, but after awhile they all look alike. I used to collect baseball/football cards, but I lost interest when the babies we call sport heroes started acting like three year old and throwing temper-tantrums. I spent more accumulating the sets than I'll ever get out of them.

With guns, there are so many different types and styles. Although I want an example of everyone of them :cool: I know I am happy with what I have. It has been nine years now since I have begun accumulating (My wife says it is not a collection) stuff for my favorite hobby.

The rifles, shotguns and pistols are more usable to me. I have two I was given that are valued at a little over $1,100.00. They still shoot straight and impress my buddies and I.

What it comes down to, and I think most everyone will agree with me: You gotta follow your heart.

October 17, 2010, 09:19 AM
You gotta follow your heart.

You got that right.