Regularly Shooting and Carrying Guns that are not made anymore


June 21, 2010, 11:34 PM
I've had the pleasure of meeting people who regularly carry Colt 1903 .32 ACPs(some have had gunsmiths add a modern edge to them they've told me), Colt and S&W N-Frame 1917s and other .45 ACP and LC revolvers made over a hundred years ago. Some folks carry the Colt .25 ACPs.

I've met folks that love to shoot their Springfield Rifle 1903s and take them hunting. And other instances.

Now I realize one day we will all cease to draw breathe one day so in one hand it's a "enjoy it while you got it" in one hand and in the other "who cares if it breaks one day, everything breaks." But then I'm too wired to keeping things running forever(I still can't part with my 1999 Dodge Durango and likely won't soon [I paid 2 grand for it five years ago, even though it could use a hot wax or a new paint job, it's paid off).

I've just been mulling over getting a 'beater' to carry and shoot the hogs ugly out of. I've got a Ruger SP 101 3" that I put at least 50 rounds of .357 magnum a month through it and carry it regularly along with either my Rossi 462 or Glock 23(each see at least 50 rounds a month as well), but it's still made. I keep eyeing the S&W 28 for HD and the level of shooting would have to be at least 50 rounds of .357 magnum a month to feel comfortable with it. Now the S&W 28 isn't that old but they don't make it anymore as S&W now makes the 627 and 686 as their premiere .357s. And they don't make it revovlers like the 28 anymore as plenty I'm sure will lament.

Now I've stashed a Rom Tokarev in the back of the safe for the one day kids and grandkids while I shoot the hog's ugly out of the other one. I'm thinking that's my only option to reconcile the idea of possibly wearing out an excellent firearm. I can't bring myself to shoot my S&W 15-3 anymore have just greased and packed it in the back of the safe along with a few S&W 19s.

I tell myself I need to go completely 'modern' on all future purchases since I'm never really going to appreciate the safe queens I've got, better to leave them to folks who can enjoy them, but when I think of a GP100 vs. a Model 28, I've handled both and the 28 feels so much better crafted and natural in the hand, and I've only got medium sized hands. I like it's blued unpretentious and purpose built craftsmanship. But one day I'll wear it out and if a gunsmith can save it, it'll have to be with spare parts. I realize that even if I shot the hog's ugly out of it each month, a good gunsmith could keep it in running order along the order of $500 a year or so after a few years of working the gun hard as most folks I've heard from have only a put a few thousand ronuds of .357 magnum through theirs over the decades. I've put my S&W 19 6"(the one I can bring myself to shoot) to task by shooting at least a thousand rounds of .357 magnum out of it and it still functions flawlessly but folks have said the K-frames were never really meant to see a 'lifetime' of use with .357 magnum, but is any gun meant to be?

I'm hoping I'll find a 28 ugly as sin that someone doesn't want more than $250 for it that runs right with a good bore, maybe do a home refinish on it, and run it hard without worrying about damaging the possible collector's value.

Now I'll admit I'd like a Webley .45 ACP(converted if need be) but I could never really make much work of it for concealed carry or home defense, at least I don't think so.

Are there any firearms made well in the past you are still carrying, shooting regularly, or relying on for when something goes bump in the night. Are there classics you want but you know once you have them you won't be able to bring yourself to shoot them.

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Ky Larry
June 21, 2010, 11:41 PM
I shoot everything I have including my 6" blued Python and my Police Positive .38spl made in 1932 and my Ithica Model 37 12ga made in 1940.If I own it, I shoot it. There's no luggage racks on a hurse.

John Wayne
June 21, 2010, 11:53 PM
I wouldn't hesitate to shoot any of the guns you desrcibed. Guns made post-WWII should have no problem being shot regularly...and 50 rounds a month certainly won't wear one out.

If you're worried about beating up your S&W 15, buy a used one from J&G Sales for $219.

No offense, but it doesn't sound like the guns you described are particularly rare (they just aren't made any more) or collectable (since they have been shot) enough to warrant stashing them away in a dark corner. If you were talking about an ancient 16th-century matchlock or a weak design like the Colt Lightning, you might have a different story. But the S&W 28 is built on the same frame now used for .44 Magnum. Also, 50 rounds a month isn't going to wear the "hog's ugly" off of any quality-made firearm. That's only 600 rounds a year--lots of people on these boards shoot that much in one week!

Like the saying goes, "If you can afford enough ammo to shoot it enough to wear it out, you can afford a new one." The gun is the cheap part!

June 22, 2010, 01:43 AM
Well i carry a 1903 32 Colt and have for years.Its slick, sweet and slim.Its me I guess.I think maybe I am a dinosaur, but ask me if I give a rip. I can still shoot that Colt well enough to get a whole gang off my butt if needed.

June 22, 2010, 07:56 AM
My favorite carry gun is a Detective Special. I have several guns that are well over a hundred years old and get used regularly, both hand guns and long guns. I cast bullets, form cases, hand load in order to be able to use some of them. I use all of my guns, I would trade them off if I couldn't use them.

Sav .250
June 22, 2010, 10:04 AM
Now that you asked. Mines an "old' pre-mil, Sav 99. It`s in Sav 300 cal.
It only goes with me (deer hunting) if it`s a nice day. No rain. No snow. No bad weather of any kind. You could call it a ...semi-safe - queen. :)
Everybody has different ideas on what is and what isn`t but as the 99
is not made anymore and the supply and demand will slowly catch up
to existing weapons, one of these days only the "rats" will be available.
So if you have one or more take care of it/them.

It`s been on a lot of hunts and done it`s job well. Sure looks good in the sunshine...........:D

June 22, 2010, 01:39 PM
Are there any firearms made well in the past you are still carrying, shooting regularly, or relying on for when something goes bump in the night. Are there classics you want but you know once you have them you won't be able to bring yourself to shoot them.

I only have 1 gun made in the last 7 years and the majority are at least 20 years old or older, all are still shot.

June 22, 2010, 03:39 PM
I regularly shoot a Colt Government Model made in 1919, a 1917 New Service, 1908 Vest Pocket model made in 1921, 1927 Official Police. Used the 1917 as a belt gun on many a back country trip.

June 22, 2010, 04:35 PM
Until I prove myself otherwise, the excellent performance of my Colt 1903 Hammerless .32, S&W Hand Ejector .45 Colt (converted from .455), and my 1952 Colt Super will continue to be regular CCW and general fun packing guns. This is for when I am NOT at the formal "BBQ" social, which requires a slightly dressier gun, being my 1925 Colt Commercial 1911A1. I see absolutely no reason NOT to use older guns, providing they are in good serviceable condition, and the user in confident and competent with them. Some of my guns have small sights. Big deal. At CCW ranges, they perform the younger guns. At long range, they are just a mite slower, but still shoot comparable groups to the newer guns. Guns can get wortn out, but I do not believe that the steel gets weaker, or the design necessarily got "obsolete" just becasue a new design came along.

June 22, 2010, 05:20 PM
I'm related to a gentleman who carries a little Star D, sometimes a 9mm Firestar. They are great little guns, and I mean LITTLE. I wish someone would copy the all-metal Star D, and his Firestar is one of the most surprisingly accurate pistols I've ever shot. I've read bad things about the steel that the Spanish used in them guns, but his pistols do impress.

June 22, 2010, 09:38 PM
Some of the guns I regularly shoot and sometimes carry:

1910 WW Greener, 12 ga.
1916 Colt 1903, .32 ACP
1919 Colt 1911, .45 ACP
1927 Savage 1917, .32 ACP
1929 Springfield 1903, .30-06
1930's S&W Hand Ejector, .32-20
1936 High Standard Model B, .22

My "new" guns are from the '40s, '50s, '60s. :)


June 22, 2010, 11:49 PM
About the only gun I can think of that has NOT gone out of production is the M1911 in its various incarnations. I would distinguish between those that are a little too esoteric, i.e. long of out of production military surplus, long gone manufacturers and ones more recently discontinued but which the manufacturers will still work on and for which parts are still fairly available..

June 23, 2010, 12:05 AM
I shoot 130 year old rolling blocks regularly, a 120 year old trapdoor, many 1930s 40s military/civlian rifles some nineteenteens. Im careful with them, careful with how hot of a diet i feed them and i dont take them out in rainy snowy weather etc. But i dont think ill ever wear em out.

Blue Brick
June 23, 2010, 12:11 AM
There's no luggage racks on a hurse.

Nice. :)

Smokey Joe
June 23, 2010, 10:37 AM
Magnum Dweeb--Last time I looked, there was no sign on my front lawn saying "Smokey Joe's Museum." I am a shooter, not a collector.

With the exception of a couple of family heirlooms, what I have gets shot. With the exception of milsurps (Bubba-ize 'em all!!! Or shoot 'em as issued!! But, shoot 'em!) the only collectible firearm I ever had, I sold.

Wearing out a well-built firearm with a lifetime of shooting (as opposed to abuse) is the least of my worries.

If I suddenly found myself in possession of an investment-grade, high-end, showpiece-type firearm I might have to re-think my philosophy, but I'm rather confident that that ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

Except for the aforementioned heirlooms, my grandkids can collect what THEY want, IF they want.

June 23, 2010, 11:02 AM
There's a hell of a lot of guns that aren't made anymore. Actually, most of those I have an affinity for are no longer manufactured. That does not relegate them to gathering dust. ALL my guns get shot and I enjoy them all as was intended. With rare exception no gun is too nice, too expensive or too old to shoot (as long as it can be done safely). I buy what I want and don't worry about all the what-if's. Life is too short.

June 23, 2010, 12:20 PM
I regularly carry a German--made PPK/S. The Walther firm stopped making the guns, sad to say, and assigned the contract first to Interarms/Ranger, which ran through the 1980s, and then to S&W, which makes a modified version of the PPK today (extended beavertail, modified hammer block which caused the recent recall, variations on the feed ramp, etc.). But the original design is kaput, which is too bad. It was, and remains, the real deal, IMO, and still makes for a dandy summer carry piece.

June 23, 2010, 12:28 PM
I don't have any classics. Most of my guns are cheap. If they still work when I'm dead, then good for whoever gets them. Meantime, I shoot 'em.

June 23, 2010, 01:23 PM
I can see preserving an absolute 100% ultra high end handgun such as a Python in factory mint shape. Otherwise, they're made to be shot. The oldest carry piece I ever used was an 1895 Nagant from the 1920's. I also used a Colt DS and PPS from the 50's. They're slim framed and very elegant.

My current carry piece is a Speed Six that's only slightly younger than I am.

June 23, 2010, 01:34 PM
My carry piece is a 1982 production Sig Sauer P6 that I scored at a gun show a few years ago for $300 OTD..... love it.

June 23, 2010, 02:38 PM
"hogs ugly" Never heard that one before...

June 23, 2010, 02:52 PM
Shoot them and enjoy them is the way I look at it. I own a S&W model 66 no dash. I know about the forcing cone cracking issues and being a well used gun when I bought it, I try to baby it with 38's. However I still put 100rnds of American Eagle 158gr .357's through it every year. I figure if it breaks, it breaks. It's been a good gun and I'll always be happy that I owned a good classic S&W.

Steve 48
June 23, 2010, 03:27 PM
I am like you. My classics get shot once in a while but my main gun for hunting is a 3 inch SP 101.

June 23, 2010, 07:23 PM
Hunting with a Ruger SP101 3". Wow that's a new one, wish I could get past fifty yards on a silhouette target with mine.

I'm glad to see plenty of folks enjoy pieces of history. I need to lighten up and after reading the posts I have. I'm going to get a S&W 28 one day and enjoy it with .357 magnum till it breaks or I do.

Hog's Ugly---Learned this one from an older gentleman who didn't like to curse you can replace "ugly" with a word for something you might step into that is of foul smelling nature. This thehighroad so I moderate the language.

June 23, 2010, 10:56 PM
Sporterized Rock Island 1903 Springfield that is 7 numbers above the proper-heat-treatment cutoff serial number, I doubt I'll ever big game hunt with anything else, getting close to 100 years old and shoots exactly where it's pointed.

EDC and local competition pistol is an HK P7, a lot newer than the '03 but no longer made.

June 23, 2010, 11:21 PM
I just saw an almost new in the box with original tag 1974 Ithaca 4E Knick on Gunbroker. This gun looked as good as it did when the owner bought it new and he only shot several hundred rounds. It made me think: "You cannot take it with you". Although it is a beauty I would not buy it because thatis one I would not shoot.

Instead I buy good used classics.

I shoot my 1950's Iver Johnson Supertrap and my 1919 Baker Elite as often as I can. I hope to shoot my 1927 Ithaca 4E Knick as soon as it comes back from its first cleaning and tune up in a long time. My 1959 Winchester Model 12 riot gun is also getting a professional cleaning and spring update.

Shadow 7D
June 24, 2010, 06:04 AM
Its people like you that make young people like me have to search and scrounge to find one of these classics to treasure, I mean I'm not greedy, I just want one or two of every year/model from the 1902 to 1910, don't really like the ones after that....

June 24, 2010, 06:46 AM
I sometimes semi-retire some of my older guns that aren't made anymore. Usually because spare parts (especially magazines), aren't available, or I want to save them from too much wear and tear. When I do decide to put them away, it's only after I've found something new that can easily replace the gun I'm retiring.

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