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Old September 24, 2002, 02:48 PM   #11
Johnny Guest
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: North Texas
Posts: 4,124

Another good post, Jim. Glad to see this "arcane" knowledge is spreading widely. I become weary of trying to convince people that great-great-grandaddy's old "twist steel" gun is not safe to fire!

About once a year, someone shows with some old shotgun, inherited or bought too high at an auction, and want to be told how terrifically valuable it is. Naturally, most are next to worthless except as wall hangers. A couple of the proud heirs tell me that they "know better" than to shoot 'em with heavy loads, and so use only light trap loads.

Even the more knowledgeable ones sometimes want me to handload them some black powder shells so they can go shoot the gun. I respond that, (1) I couldn't even if I would, and (2) I wouldn't, even if I could, because I have no way of knowing the condition of the bore(s.)

Most of these people are disappointed, of course. I tell 'em that this is a family treasure, too valuable to shoot, and should be cherished as a relic of a bygone day. (Probably bought from Montgomery-Ward's for $12.50 in 1902.)

I've been accused of underrating a gun so I could buy it cheaper. (I am VERY SELDOM in the market for ANY old shotgun, I promise.) Once - - ONLY once - - I erred and told a guy I wouldn't want his ancestor's gun if it were for sale for twenty dollars. A week later, I hear that I "tried to gyp" him out of the gun by offering that amount. Now I just try to explain the dangers and leave it there.

Even if I had a video bore scope, I couldn't tell if a rough bore interior indicated fatal flaws in the tube. Seems as if I never get to examine the fine old guns which were promptly cleaned and lovingly stored in some estate. I see the ones which set inside the farm house back door, in the moist air, not cleaned since last fired in 1926.

Keep up the good fight, friends!

Amendment II ensures the rest of the Bill of Rights.

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