What should I do?


September 21, 2008, 12:48 AM
When I was younger my Grandmother told me she had something special for my birthday. I was intrigued when she told me to follow her upstairs. She led me to her bedroom closet and poked around a bit until she found what she was looking for, she emerged from her closet with an M-1 carbine that had belonged to her brother (my Great Uncle). I was very happy to say the least, and immediately set about giving it a thorough cleaning and wiping it down with some oil. I shot a few boxes of shells through it when I first got it, and planned on shooting it regularly until one of my friends fathers told me I shouldn't shoot a gun that was that old and in good condition, it was a collectors piece, and should be treated as such.

Well in a word I felt foolish, like a dumb kid who didn't know any better. So I cleaned her up and in the safe she went. That was over 10 years ago, and I haven't shot it since. Lately I bought my first handgun, and after taking it to the range I brought it home and began the cleaning process. When I went to retrieve my cleaning kit I figured I would pull out the old M1 and give her a good oiling to prevent rust. My wife noticed me and said "how come you never shoot that thing, it just collects dust. You should use it or sell it and get something you CAN use".

Her words struck a nerve with me, what IS the point of owning something that has no real use? I do collect firearms, but they all get use. This one just has some sentimental value (I really liked my great uncle Jack). I don't want to make it worthless, but I know my uncle would disapprove of her being a safe queen. Opinions? Here's a couple of pics...


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September 21, 2008, 12:53 AM
Poor thing looks sad and neglected.

Shoot it!

September 21, 2008, 12:55 AM
If your uncle would disprove of it's safe queen status then shoot away. Your memories of your uncle when you shoot it sound valuable to me.

September 21, 2008, 01:02 AM
I have a WWII and I shoot it . It was made to be shot and used in all conditions . Yes it has some value . let next owner worry about that I replaced the recoil spring thats all in years of shooting. Mine is a 1943 . I also shoot and at times carry my 1941USGI Colt.

September 21, 2008, 01:08 AM
Some horses and dogs have racing in their blood and they are not happy in life unless they are racing. It's the same way with guns.

How would you obtain the most enjoyment from the gun. Shooting it like your great uncle did? Or saving it so somebody else can come along and "buy" that enjoyment from you? I guess you need to ask yourself, how much is the enjoyment that I would get from shooting this rifle worth in money? You won't de-value the rifle much by shooting it. You will de-value it by not taking care of it. But you can shoot it and take care of it at the same time.

September 21, 2008, 01:58 AM
Nothing was said about great uncle shooting the rifle just that he owned it. What you choose to do with it is your decision.

Jorg Nysgerrig
September 21, 2008, 02:01 AM
I think you have to decide. If you want it as a collector's piece, then you should probably leave it alone until you sell it. You won't realize the value as a collector's piece until someone gives you money for it.

If you want to keep it in memory of your uncle, I don't think a few more rounds through it or another ding or two will change that.

September 21, 2008, 02:04 AM
but I know my uncle would disapprove of her being a safe queen.


September 21, 2008, 02:07 AM
That there is a rifle that was born to be shot. It'd be cruel to do otherwise.

Taurus 66
September 21, 2008, 02:21 AM
Of course you're kidding, right??... sentiments aside.

September 21, 2008, 02:33 AM
The way I see it is it's a family heirloom that belonged to a beloved family member. I don't know how you feel about it, but personally I wouldn't sell it (which pretty much makes collector value null-and-void).

Shoot it and enjoy it.

Red Tornado
September 21, 2008, 03:34 AM
Yeah, you're not going to hurt it by shooting it. Seriously.

Guaranteed, if you ever sold this heirloom (don't ever, of course!) the buyer would be buying it to shoot it. He/she would be grateful you took such good care of it, however.

What I'm saying is, "DUDE!!! Get ammo and go shoot your uncle's gun!" Just clean it when you're done and it'll still outlast you and your kids. It's not glass and paper, it's an M1 Carbine.

BTW, friend's fathers don't always know what they're talking about. IMO, every few years you should re-evaluate any 'advice' you've received. As you age and learn, you often bypass those who have decided on their opinions and have stopped thinking and questioning.

September 21, 2008, 08:29 AM
I can't think of a better way for you to reconnect with and honor your Uncle Jack than by taking the M1 out and shooting a few rounds through it. Y'know, you can shoot it without abusing it.


September 21, 2008, 08:48 AM
Take her out to the range and shoot it. Every time you use it you are connecting to the past. You are also creating memories of your own. :cool:

September 21, 2008, 09:01 AM
I agree with SHOOT1SAM. No reason you can't shoot it every now and then. Just take care of it and you'll be able to hand it down to your nephew/child/grandchild.

September 21, 2008, 09:12 AM
its in very good shape & putting a few rounds down range every now & then wouldn't hurt it, as long as its properly cleaned afterwards. whats the maker & does the barrel match? the makers name will be stamped under the rear sight & the barrel will be stamped right behind the rear sight. the rifle still has a few early features on it like the push button safety & it looks like a type one barrel band, but the rear sight looks to be the later stamped version.
now if it was a minty irwin pederson, a line out or a un'quality hardware i would shoot it very sparingly & taunt the gunshow dealers with it for fun

September 21, 2008, 09:14 AM

Most definitely shoot it; that would honor the memory of your great uncle and the heritage of a veteran military weapon.

September 21, 2008, 09:43 AM
I've got a number of "non-shooters", but it's only because of their age (over 100 years), rarity or condition. Your M1 isn't old enough or rare enough to qualify. It's already been fired, so can't qualify as "unfired" so I would have no problems with shooting it. Just treat it with the respect it deserves.

September 21, 2008, 10:37 AM
Your wife is right.
Your great uncle is spinning in his grave every time you pull the trigger and your grandma cringes.

I, being the kind hearted type, will end your travail and gladly take that horrible piece off of your hands. I won't even make you pay me. ;)

September 21, 2008, 10:45 AM
Shoot the hell out of it.

Armed 24/7
September 21, 2008, 10:49 AM
Shoot it! But more importantly, NEVER SELL IT.

September 21, 2008, 10:50 AM
Interesting carbine, notice it doesn't have the bayonet stud and has the early push through safety instead of the latter lever one. Instead of the flip over peep sight, it has the later adjustable back sight. Be interested in knowing who made it, the manufacturers name is under the back sight.

September 21, 2008, 11:02 AM
Hi Andy,

My Dad recently 'retired' an 09 revolver that my great-grandfather brought back from WWI. That handgun was carried by a member of the family in 'two wars, a police action and a conflict.' It was the first 'big bore' handgun I ever fired.

The value of that handgun isn't measured in dollars, but in it's role in the defense of this country and the protection of various members of three generations of my family. An 'antique' is only worth X number of dollars if you plan to sell it. In my eyes if you sell the weapon you sell a part of your own history.

If it were a piece of my history, I would treat it with loving care. Keep the action clean, the parts well oiled, make sure it was properly fed with high guality ammunition and given as much exercise as time permitted. You may decrease the dollar value, but you will bring yourself closer to the Great Uncle that thought enough of the weapon to keep it. It's the respectful thing to do.


September 21, 2008, 11:22 AM
Most definitely shoot it; that would honor the memory of your great uncle and the heritage of a veteran military weapon.

Says it all.

September 21, 2008, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the kind words, all. I think you are all right and I agree with you that letting this nice rifle collect dust is a sin. I hadn't even considered the "price" versus "value" aspect. I would never sell it (I've had some nice offers) because, well, I don't sell guns, period :). So it looks like I'm going to go grab a few boxes of shell and let her eat!:D

By the way, I'm not sure what this gun has gone through, The maker (stamped under the rear sight) is STD CO., at least that's what is says, and the barrel is marked Underwood 1-44 with the flaming bomb. The stock has a seal burned into it that looks like two crossed cannons. here's a pic (kinda crappy)...


September 21, 2008, 01:03 PM
I own a M-1 Carbine that my father brought back from Navy service in the Korean War. It was made in early 1944 so it missed much of WW2 service, and when my father had it, he never used it; atleast I never once remember him shooting it as I was growing up.
I haven't used it myself very much, but it is in good shape mechanically (the stock has a few dings but so what) and shooting it wouldn't bother me at all.
A weak point of the carbine is the extractor. You might be well advised to get an extra one, as well as a bolt disassembly tool. You can take the bolt apart without one but you will need four hands.

Your carbine has been through a minor rebuild at one point; the new type of rear sight has been installed over the old WW2 flip type, but you have the type one barrel band on it.
Most carbines went through some degree of rebuilding or repair/refitting at the end of WW2, or a later date.

Use it in good health and make a family heirloom out of it.;)

September 21, 2008, 01:36 PM
If your grandmother had left you a 65 Barracuda would you drive it or let it sit in your garage rotting?

September 21, 2008, 02:33 PM
I have many old rifles and shotguns. They all get trips to the range. Not on a regular basis but certainly often enough. I'm careful to use ammo that is suitable for them. No magnum or hot loads, shotguns with fixed chokes get lead shot, etc. My 64 year old Garand even gets a dose of CMP Greek ammo once in a while.

All get cleaned carefully and well oiled after a trip. Last patch through the bore is a well oiled patch to coat the inside of the bore. Before I take them to the range they get a dry patch through the bore to make sure the oil is removed to avoid adding more pressure to the barrel.

Guns are built and mean to be shot. Some more than others.

September 21, 2008, 02:37 PM
Wine is to drink, guns are to be shot, cars are to be driven and toys are to be played with. A life philosophy that has taken me far and never done me wrong.

So my take is run some ammo through the ole' girl now and then. Give her a good cleaning and oiling and your Uncle will be smiling.


September 21, 2008, 02:52 PM
I've only read a few of the above posts, but here are my thoughts about this. If you were a collector, yeah you probably would want to put it in the safe and take care of it and never shoot it.

But if i was in your situation, and someone from my family left me an old "collector" gun that had lots of sentimental value, and i knew i would NEVER sell it because it meant so much to me, then the value of it really doesn't matter. I would shoot it and have fun with it. And that does not mean you have to treat it like crap just because you are not "collecting" it. You can still take good care of it, and it will serve you and your children (and maybe their children) well.

September 21, 2008, 03:08 PM
I have guns that belonged to my grandfathers, my father and other beloved, but now gone family members. Everytime I shoot/hunt with one of them it brings a flood of memories and there are times when I can actually feel their help gettin' the sights on target.

shoot the gun bro..........

September 21, 2008, 09:40 PM
Standard Products Co. of Port Clinton, Ohio was one of the ten contractors (or eleven, depending how you count) that made carbines. They only produced about 4%, or 247,100 of the total made. Their serial number range was 1,982,520- 2,352,519. In contrast, Inland produced well over 2.6 million, or 43%.

Standard Products used mostly Underwood barrels, so it's probably original.

That "crossed cannons" cartouche (pronounced "car-TOOSH") is called an Ordinance Wheel. It's good to have. Don't sand it off! There should be a P in the bottom of the pistol grip, showing final proof/acceptance by the gov't.

You can clean/ maintain the stock by rubbing in a little tung oil or boiled linseed oil. Use only a few drops, and rub with your bare hand until your hand gets hot. You shouldn't need to do anything else. Don't strip it, sand it, or refinish it.

Good to hear you're going to shoot it. Your uncle would be glad to know it has a good home. Plus, they're a lot of fun to shoot.

(Source, Complete Guide to the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, by Bruce Canfield)

Aguila Blanca
September 21, 2008, 09:51 PM
I guess I'm in a minority, but I would neither sell it (I hope that goes without saying) or shoot it. Yeah, yeah -- it's a gun, it was made to be shot. And I'm sure it was, when the great uncle was in the service. But if it broke when he was in the service, he could turn it in and it would either be repaired or replaced. It wasn't a collector's item then. Now ... it is.

There are lots of genuine military M1s around, but they aren't all in top shape. Look at the prices the CMP is charging for the few they have for sale -- and those are mostly guns reconstructed out of mixed parts. Plus, they don't have the family connection.

On another forum, awhile back, I saw a letter from the curator of the firearms museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground (which, if anyone doesn't know it, is a U.S. Army installation). He said, in writing, that they are not allowed to fire any weapon in their collection because they never know if the next round will be the one that causes the weapon to break. And if it does break, then the originality and value of the weapon will forever be compromised.

If you want to shoot an M1, buy a mixmaster from the CMP or buy one of the new ones Auto-Ordnance is making. I wouldn't shoot an heirloom.

But ... as has been stated, ultimately it's the owner's choice.

September 21, 2008, 09:55 PM
blaze away.

September 21, 2008, 10:22 PM
I wouldn't buy a firearm for collection purposes only, unless maybe I was stupid wealthy. I would, however, respect the wishes of the one that endowed me with it if they wished me not to fire it.

September 21, 2008, 10:35 PM
The only gun I'd consider not shooting would be a NIB one I got for investment purposes.

And I generally don't do that.

If you don't enjoy it, don't shoot it, etc., why own it?

Heirloom status doesn't seem to really apply here, you're not relating any stories etc to it, it's a tool used by the brother of your grandmother. Don't destroy or trash it, but would she want you to keep something you didn't enjoy or use?

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