Shooting a Collector Gun

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Col. F. Bina
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:12 am

Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by Col. F. Bina » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:30 am

I have been reading the posts and sense that there is an underlying sentiment. Should a person shoot a truly collector grade gun. My short answer is: Yes. My long answer is: Maybe - Mabe Not.

I have what I consider 3 collector grade guns. 2 are 100% and one is about 95%. I shoot them all (or will). I am not ever going to part with them, so devaluing them is not really a concern. I understand the thrill of being able to tell someone that a certain gun is "as new - unfired". Consider this: there is alway joy simply in the pride in ownership... I get that. However, to shoot a truly fine gun (which I consider most Rugers to be) doubles the pride in ownership... at least for me.

I have a nightmare from time to time that I died and was standing at the Pearly Gates talking to St. Pete. When I explain to him that I have several guns "as new - unfired", he will bend over in laughter and say, "What? Are you crazy? What were you thinking?" A person has only one time to enjoy all that a gun can provide -- including putting a few rounds downrange.

So, there you have it... my 2 cents worth. I will let my heirs figure out whether or not I was right.

Best Regards, Paul

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Location: Canadice NY

Re: Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by Ruger1nut » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:52 pm

Paul I am right there with you. I shoot them. I just take care of them


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Re: Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by RugerHound » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:18 pm

I have quite a few very rare pieces that are absolutely NIB... Those pieces will remain unhandled and unfired. I've found that even the very scarce guns, I can usually find one that's been fired, so I don't have to worry about devaluing the thing from use. So I keep the 'show quality' guns in their best possible conditions, and still get to enjoy shooting those models that have already been used or blemished in some way.

I certainly understand the WBR mindset of "It's a gun - Shoot it!". But I also realize that as the years go on, there will be fewer and fewer of the 'survivors', and those are to be passed down from collector to collector for future generations to enjoy.

Just my VERY humble opinion of course! :-)
Best regards,

Gunsmoke & Gasoline - 45 years ballin' the jack with Ruger & Harley-Davidson

Col. F. Bina
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:12 am

Re: Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by Col. F. Bina » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:31 pm

Hi Pete,

You are absolutely correct. You make several excellents points. I know that there will many gun guys and gals out there that have some true beauties that will never ever be shot. I truly do get that. Even I may come across one someday that I just can't bring myself to shoot. However, as of now, my DNA begs to head to the range. :D

Oddly enough, I have an 870 Wingmaster won by my father as a door prize in 1964 at a new car showing (when they had such things). It has been shot quite a bit, but still in really good shape. However, I seldom shoot it. Go figure ;) .

Best regards, Paul

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Re: Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by flattop44 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:17 am

I am like Pete, have several that are my shooters but keep the pristine conditions that way if at all possible. But I say to you, Shoot away Paul!!! Heck, if that is what you like just enjoy it....that also just makes the ones that I have that are in unfired condition since leaving the factory go up in value!!! 8-)

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Re: Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by craftsman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:33 am

I don't know whether my ROA's would ever be considered 'Collector' grade as they have been shot from new ('75) up until the present time, regularly and in competition.
As far as I am concerned they were made to be used and should be used.
I mean, would you downgrade one of Bill Hickocks guns because it was 'used'?

Anyway, the stainless finish on the gripframe of 5118 is suffering now and there are one or two spots of 'powder burn', so I think that value is a moot point now.

Shoot 'em and enjoy 'em!!

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Location: Virginia

Re: Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by Tenpoint » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:16 pm

A few years ago i decided to start selling off the safe queens. They had given me much enjoyment over the years and it was time for some other collector to have some fun. I sometimes think about their freshness, even after 50 years, but I don't miss worrying about rust specks and damaged $400 cardboard boxes.

I used the sale proceeds to buy the same guns, only in 80-90% condition, a few good holsters and lots of ammo! I built a dozen target frames from 1" PVC, sized to use those corrugated plastic real estate and political signs that can be had for free at the local landfill. I'm having a ball and have really gained an appreciation for the design changes implemented by Ruger over the years, something that can only be gained by actual shooting. Taking feral hogs with a 45 BH or a Super B is a hoot! The old "shooters" are great for introducing new shooters to the sport (and Ruger); if i have it, they are welcome to shoot it. I no longer worry about normal use wear and tear.

If its not rare, pristine or fragile, get out and shoot it!

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Re: Shooting a Collector Gun

Post by uzd » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:29 pm

[quote="Col. F. Bina"]I have been reading the posts and sense that there is an underlying sentiment. Should a person shoot a truly collector grade gun. My short answer is: Yes. My long answer is: Maybe - Mabe Not.

Some may find this interesting as the decision whether or not to fire a limited edition rifle was made for me by the entity the arm was shipped to....

The Winchester was part of a GM incentive package that included scope and mounts, the receiving ffl dept. store 'gunsmith' took it upon himself to mount and 'zero' the scope. His rebuttal being his actions were part of the award. The job he did mounting the optics was insight enough, he had no buisness even bore sighting the rifle much less enclosing a supposed moa target.

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