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Old March 8, 2018, 02:14 PM   #1
OldMarksman
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A Gun is a Tool, Marian

What Alan Ladd's character Shane said that, he was responding to Jean Arthur's character Marian Starrett, who had said "we'd all be much better off if there wasn't a single gun left in this valley".

Even as a nine year old, I was incensed by her words, and I agreed with Shane's response.

Of course, Shane's gun was a beautiful plated Colt Single Action revolver with ivory grips. At the time, I did not notice the missing front sight.

His words took on a different meaning for me as times changed. At some point, our local police officers no longer carried Colt or Smith and Wesson revolvers. I saw on their belts handguns that were black, light alloy and later polymer, that looked like...tools. Rather like staple guns or glue guns.

The grips are often integral to the frames. One cannot order a set of stag or synthetic grips for today's popular service and defensive pistols, not to mention pearl that might be suitable for the proverbial houses of recreation in New Orleans. Nor can one add some tasteful engraving.

No. The most functional of today's weapons for defensive carry are tools, and to me that's all they well ever be.

I just do not enjoy looking at them. For appearance, I would prefer a blued, plated, or case-hardened steel handgun any day, with some nice grips. Doesn't have to be a revolver. Ever see a Colt Woodsman engraved by the late E. C. Prudhomme?

As things have turned out, what I carry now is a tool, and it looks like a tool.

I did not foresee that quite that way when I heard those words sixty five years ago.

End of rant.
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Old March 8, 2018, 02:54 PM   #2
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A special tool !!

Quote:
No. The most functional of today's weapons for defensive carry are tools, and to me that's all they well ever be.
In conversation, I say that a firearm is as tool made to; Provide and Protect.

Be Safe !!!
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Old March 8, 2018, 08:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahoo View Post
In conversation, I say that a firearm is as tool made to; Provide and Protect.

Be Safe !!!
But there ain't nuthin' wrong with it looking like a beautiful work of art while performing those duties....

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Old March 8, 2018, 08:46 PM   #4
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I have all kinds of tools, I keep all my tools looking as good as possible no matter what job they are for. My handgun is no exception.
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Old March 8, 2018, 08:52 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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I know what you are saying. I love Hi-Powers aesthetically, especially with a deep blue. As a tool though...
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Old March 8, 2018, 08:54 PM   #6
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Icing on the cake !!!

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But there ain't nuthin' wrong with it looking like a beautiful work of art while performing those duties....
Absolutely and there are many that I do consider a works of art, equal to a fine sculptures. Some are masterpieces and if a painting can touch ones heart, many firearms touch mine. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old March 8, 2018, 09:12 PM   #7
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A hammer is a tool That said, there are hammers, and then there are hammers.

{Edit of violation of board policy on posting copyrighted materials}

vs.

{Edit of violation of board policy on posting copyrighted materials}
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Old March 8, 2018, 09:27 PM   #8
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Our Springfield 9mm 1911 loaded target models are tools, albeit well cared for tools. They see more than 30K rounds/year. My only complaint is that stainless steels handguns don't age well appearance-wise through hard use and Kydex holster wear; I'd prefer a different finish, but we have little choice in California. The tools have treated us very, very well.
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Old March 8, 2018, 11:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Our Springfield 9mm 1911 loaded target models are tools, albeit well cared for tools.
Those and other steel 1911 type pistols, full size, Commander size, and Officers, are not only quite attractive to most of us, they can be equipped with nice grips and/or engraved, and they are viable as defensive weapons. The only issue is the single column magazine, which may not be what one desires.

As first line defensive weapons, however, they are really the exception.
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Old March 8, 2018, 11:28 PM   #10
wild cat mccane
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No. In the US, by US law, legally it is a firearm. Since US law is an agreement by society, you are wrong.

Strangely, ever tool has a specific purpose. What is the purpose of a weapon?
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Old March 8, 2018, 11:32 PM   #11
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Uh Oh, I know I'm behind the times. I carried a heavy, all steel, Colt Government with only a 7+1 capacity for several years, when my employer would have allowed me to carry a Glock

ETA, a photo of an "exception".
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Old March 9, 2018, 04:19 AM   #12
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Have you ever used a Snap-On wrench? I wouldn't mind if any of my guns were as nicely finished... Some tools are just beautiful.

Tony
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Old March 9, 2018, 07:44 AM   #13
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I've never cared for the idea that guns are "tools," Shane's claims notwithstanding. A tool:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merriam Webster
Definition of tool
1a : a handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task
b (1) : the cutting or shaping part in a machine or machine tool
(2) : a machine for shaping metal : machine tool

2 a : something (such as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession

a scholar's books are his tools

. . . .
Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dict..._source=jsonld

So, while the phrase "a gun is a tool" is technically correct, a pistol is a "tool" with a very specific purpose. It is a weapon. While it can be used for plinking or target shooting, it's main purpose is to stop threats.

With all of that said, there's no reason a tool can't be beautiful. If you look in my safe, though, you'd swear that my idea of beautiful consists of "Parkerized and well-worn." And you'd be right.
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Old March 9, 2018, 08:01 AM   #14
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You can't buy a custom gun in CA, but i I had a use for a pretty 1911 I'd gladly build one up. Nice to take to a range for showing off and such, but all our range work is practicing for competition. So, we buy what's on the roster and make the changes that improve function, but I completely understand wanting a near work of art; no one ever talked about a Glock in these terms.
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Old March 9, 2018, 08:25 AM   #15
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It's philosophy.

The question isn't if it's a weapon or tool. The question is....What weapon isn't a tool?

It's poetry.

It isn't about form or function. It's about style.

----------------------

Genuine stag or pearl grips adds class. It's something that gets lost in the whole 'tacti-cool' movement in an era of polymer mass production. Taking pride in your individuality gets lost in the herd mentality of current social media.
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Old March 9, 2018, 09:26 AM   #16
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That’s the problem with the Glock 19. It is the essence of function before form. Just blah utilitarianism - cold and unrelenting. It is usually the best practical choice but your mind just resists it because it is so unsexy.
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Old March 9, 2018, 10:32 AM   #17
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That’s the problem with the Glock 19. It is the essence of function before form. Just blah utilitarianism - cold and unrelenting. It is usually the best practical choice but your mind just resists it because it is so unsexy.
That was my point.

Most of todays best-performing service and defensive handguns--Glocks, H&K, Sig, FNH, H&K, S&W, XDM, Ruger--lack the esthetics of some of the classic steel guns of the past.

Not that the Roth-Steyr was all that attractive.
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Old March 9, 2018, 11:17 AM   #18
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The right tool for the right job .....

Quote:
What is the purpose of a weapon?
To provide and protect.

If I have a particular job or function to perform, I need the right tool for that t job. .....
When I teach safe firearm handling, during our Hunter Safety classes, I use a Savage short barrel rifle to demonstrate. In the Navy, we called this a "Training-Aid" .....
Quote:
2 a : something (such as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession a scholar's books are his tools

Be Safe !!!
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Old March 9, 2018, 11:34 AM   #19
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I confess that my budget for firearms has always been limited and collecting has never been a passion. I enjoy shooting and take the right and responsibility to keep and bear arms seriously. With that said, all of my guns are tools and I am far less interested in how sexy or pretty they are than how well they perform.

I understand that aesthetics are important to many, but I will take function over form every time. Yes, I understand that they are not mutually exclusive but a good polymer pistol or black rifle is far more attractive to me than a high-end 1911 or rifle. Polished walnut and deeply blued steel are very nice, but not worth the cost of ownership to me. Of course your milage may vary...
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Old March 9, 2018, 11:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
I understand that aesthetics are important to many, but I will take function over form every time. Yes, I understand that they are not mutually exclusive but a good polymer pistol or black rifle is far more attractive to me than a high-end 1911 or rifle. Polished walnut and deeply blued steel are very nice, but not worth the cost of ownership to me.
I cannot disagree.

The fact is, I have ever spent a nickel on engraving, polishing, plating, or decorative grips.

Today, my carry guns are those that I consider best suited to the task. They are modern, and they do not lend themselves to the addition of fancy grips or finishes.

But if I lived in the 'good old days' (and if concealed carry were lawful), what I would carry would, of course, be different.

And for guns that stayed in the house, if I had the disposable funds, I just might have thought long and hard about making it look nicer.

As a matter of fact, I once had a plain Jane factory Colt SAA .45 with factory plastic grips. The bluing and the casehardening were wonderful.

Can't say that about most modern guns.
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Old March 9, 2018, 12:03 PM   #21
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In my mind, guns are tools, and they can show themselves ,off with intricately crafted artwork also. On the tool side of it, my wife and I make it a point to maintain proficiency. We have the black rifles. We've hydro-dipped black rifles for some special looks. We own revolvers with the late 1800's design, as well as percussion and flintlock. I love the look of lever rifles, custom engravings, steel 1911s, and carved wood stocks that required hundreds of hours of chisels, files, and sanding.

I no longer hunt, and don't compete. I reload, and make it a point to know enough mechanics about the individual weapons to maintain them. We enjoy shooting in the deserts of the Rocky Mtn. area, and it's great to have some variety, including the polymers.
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Old March 9, 2018, 12:58 PM   #22
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Shane's gun was a prop. However, Ladd was well known as a recreational shooter. So were most of the other movie types of the time.
"...It is a weapon..." Weapons are tools. They're one of the tools cops use. Even though most cops see them as just another heavy piece of kit they're required to haul around and rarely if ever actually use. The rest of it is just semantics.
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Old March 9, 2018, 01:34 PM   #23
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Marian was the 'Jane Fonda' of her era.
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Old March 9, 2018, 03:07 PM   #24
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I consider guns tools, but I also consider them much more...

OldMarksman, I see exactly what you're saying and I agree. No way I would carry a blued Colt 1911 for SD or on duty. Why? Not because it is not adequate, but because it has class and character. I carry a CZ P-07. Many others carry Glocks, or some other polymer concoction. I don't carry my soul-less polymer pistol because it is that much more reliable than some other, more classy pistols. I carry it because if I do have to use a weapon in SD, you can bet I won't be seeing that weapon for a very long time. I can replace a G19, or CZ P-07, for $450.00. That blued Hi-Power or Colt 1911? Not so much.

So yeah, I view my carry pistols much more like tools, though I do use them for recreation. Any wood and steel semi or revolver? Not a tool to me. Those are things of beauty.
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Old March 9, 2018, 04:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
...if I do have to use a weapon in SD, you can bet I won't be seeing that weapon for a very long time.
This is the best reason I've seen yet for carrying a polymer. I've never considered that but it makes perfect sense.
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