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Old March 16, 2020, 08:40 PM   #1
Join Date: August 12, 2007
Posts: 23
Old .22's,beaters, worth it?

If you add it all up in Dollars and cents,rebuilding ,restoring,and\or redoing old guns .whatever you want to label it,eg. Making an old gun work and look better is
,more times than not is not worth it- in dollars and cents,unless you pick only high dollar models handed over to you by high dollar people who can't or won't t do the work themselves.Then nobody knows anything about the cheap little single shots that more often than not started many low dollar guys off on life as a gun my Stevens model 120 which was my first rifle and one I still own,I actually own two now,and a whole slew of other low dollar .22's have gone through my hands, and been made better after the years beat them up and they washed up on my shores.Some real jewels have been discovered,like the JC Higgins 29 -34 series which were not actually a cheap .22 -about the same price as a Marlin 39a in 1950 around $50.00 but picking through old .22's in ll gun stores is how I found my first one. But I am still a sucker for the old single shots like Remington 33's etc. Sorry just had to blab about old .22's and thought this would be good to say
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Old March 16, 2020, 11:24 PM   #2
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You are right. You acan take a $100 beater rifle, put hors of work and a couple hundred dollars into it and have a really nice $100 rifle! Been there, done that. Now I rebuild old Winchesters, where I take a $500 rifle and put $500 into it and wind up with a $500 rifle. Much better economics!
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Old March 16, 2020, 11:37 PM   #3
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It's like any other hobby; you do it for the enjoyment, not for the "return on investment." I've spent way more money on customizing various firearms than any of them could actually be sold for. Same thing with customizing my car. Spend the money, enjoy the process of restoring and be proud of the finished product. Knowing that I'll never recoup the money spent still doesn't stop me from pouring dollars into projects guns and cars. The enjoyment is worth the money spent!
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Old March 17, 2020, 03:03 AM   #4
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I enjoy it.
I've mostly been focusing on other things for the last few years, but I do like the odd .22 beater.

My most recent purchase was a Revelation model 'something' semi-auto. I could see that it was assembled incorrectly in the store.
At home, a deep cleaning, some adjustments, and proper assembly made it function correctly. On its first trip out for testing, it failed HARD. ...But it was also only 8 degrees F.
Its second trip out, at about 35 F, was much better. Zero malfunctions, over 200+ rounds, and it shot quite well.
It was also my first case of not having to throw anything at it, except ammunition. Total investment was the cost of the gun.
Unfortunately... Due to another recent purchase that must be offset, it is for sale, already.

I've been on the other side, though. On the more tame side:
I'll leave out specifics, to protect the innocent and ignorant, but one of my favorite rifles is something that would be priced at about $75 (or less!) in a pawn shop. I paid $8 for the rifle. But then had to put about $135 into it, in the form of a bolt, magazines, and miscellaneous parts.
So, I have about $140 into a $75 rifle.

But I don't care. I love it.
Tracking down the puzzle pieces to make it whole again was somewhat enjoyable, too. I'm weird. I like that stuff.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old March 17, 2020, 05:06 AM   #5
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They make great gifts & projects to work on with kids/grand kids/nieces/nephews - or anyone else for that matter.
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Old March 17, 2020, 09:33 AM   #6
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Great projects and gifts,,,

"They make great gifts & projects to work on..."

That's a fact,,,
I've purchased older single-shot 22 rifles for less than a C-note,,,
Clean them up and maybe some cold blue touch-up,,,
Sand and refinish the stock with an oil product.

In most cases I've added an inexpensive ($40-60) scope,,,
Then put it in an inexpensive Plano case with a cleaning kit & rod.

I have used these as college graduation gifts in the past,,,
Young people who I have introduced to shooting loved these gifts.


Never ever give an enemy the advantage of a verbal threat.
Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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Old March 17, 2020, 09:57 AM   #7
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They make great gifts & projects to work on with kids/grand kids/nieces/nephews - or anyone else for that matter.

That was much of the reason for picking up the Revelation.
I was going to have my son help me do a simple restoration on the wood and metal - aside from correcting any issues to make it run correctly - and then surprise him with it as a birthday present.

He had little interest in that rifle, though. He really wants a pump-action, but I haven't had much luck finding a suitable rifle at a price I'm willing to pay.

I do have my beloved Rossi 62SAC in the safe. But I also have two more kids, and all of us like or love that Rossi. I don't think any of us would be happy if I cut the rifle into thirds or fourths...
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old March 17, 2020, 12:22 PM   #8
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Restoring an old 22 is like restoring an old compact car. You get the enjoyment of bringing something back to life but there is no hope of making a profit. You only hope is minimize your loss. The cheapest way to restore either is to buy one after someone else has done or paid for the restoration.
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Old March 17, 2020, 03:09 PM   #9
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I buy old guns mostly because of their history. Not history in terms of wars, times, or any significance to anyone but the former owner. The idea that that old cheap 22, single shot, or bolt shotgun was some kid's first gun many decades ago. Or how many meals did that old pump gun put on some farmer's table.
So as to "restoration", I think that would remove a lot of the well earned character from these guns history. Therefore for me it justfix what broke, replace what's missing, and give them a good, and thorough cleaning.
Cheapshooter's rules of gun ownership #1: NEVER SELL OR TRADE ANYTHING!
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Old March 17, 2020, 03:32 PM   #10
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One of my local gun shops used to have a wood barrel with old, beater rifles in it. Any one for $20. I found a Marlin Model 60 in there that was scratched up and had a tag attached that said Non Functioning. I inspected it and noticed the ammo tube had a dent in it near the receiver. I paid the $20, took a steel rod the size of the ammo tube, and tapped it in with a mallet, pushing out the dent. ten minutes with some brown stain, and I had one perfectly functioning .22 rifle that I still have.
Say when.....
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