Why do we care what our guns look good?


June 23, 2010, 10:48 PM
I am as guilty as the next for wanting my guns to look good.
But aside from the obvious resale issue, why do we care?

IMHO, it is a combination of enjoying good looks for good looks sake :),
plus a healthy dollop of not my not wanting others to think that I do not know how to take care of my guns.

What's your excuse?

If you enjoyed reading about "Why do we care what our guns look good?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
June 23, 2010, 10:51 PM
Same reason we care about how we look, our car looks,house,etc...
Good looks sake sprinkled with impressing others..
I appreciate beauty no matter what the object is as well,a nice design is a nice design..

My $.02

June 23, 2010, 10:51 PM
Guns are expensive ... nobody likes ugly expensive things.

June 23, 2010, 10:51 PM
I'm the same way when I first get a gun. When I first got my XD40 I babied the hell out of it, but now that I carry it on a daily basis for work and CC I love the fact that it looks like it gets used.

June 23, 2010, 10:55 PM
Subjective as all get out.

Lately I've been thinking that old blued guns with the finish worn off from holster wear look really good. :shrug:

June 23, 2010, 11:04 PM
A few weeks ago I was rearranging my gun safe; I stacked some of the long guns near a wall. A brand new Sig Sauer 556 Patrol was positioned near an M-1 Carbine that my father had brought back from Korea, and which I had inherited. As I was otherwise occupied, I heard the unmistakable clatter of one gun sliding into the next; the carbine had slid into the Sig, and left some shiny but very superficial scratches in the pristine black "pretty" of the Sig. That's a $1300 dollar rifle, and it was brand new!
And while those scratches were totally superficial, the shiny metal glared in stark contrast to the rest of the gun.
Yeah .... I didn't like it at all. Now, as the gun is shot in the future, it will no doubt get wear marks over time.
Anyway, once I stopped kicking myself .... a little bit of coldblue touched the shiny marks up almost perfectly.
The carbine? Well, it has "character" you might say. Some dings in the wood, the parkerizing is a bit worn along the barrel. But that's how it came .... and I wonder sometimes what stories those dings would tell about some unknown serviceman in late WW2 or Korea ... how'd they get there?
So the WW2 gun .... entirely different.
The Sig has no backstory. But the carbine does.
Now I like both guns .... but they're just different ... you know ....;)

June 24, 2010, 01:04 AM
I never feel bad about honest wear. I have plenty of old firearms and I never do much more than clean them. I'm not big on refinishing, just clean her up. When a situation like the one Tommy brought up happen, i freak the hell out.Oh no, my 10% blued Turk Mauser got a scratch. I realize it's ridiculous, but I still get cranky.
I guess I look at it this way: If a firearm I have came by it's finish (as terrible as it may be) through regular use I have no problem. If I did something stupid I feel like a bum. Negligence vs. wear and tear.

June 24, 2010, 01:48 AM
I liken my guns to my trucks. I want them both to look nice, so I clean them and maintain them. However, they are both meant to be used. Wear & tear is to be expected, and looks normal. It's blatant abuse that makes a gun or truck look ugly.

The Undertaker
June 24, 2010, 01:57 AM
I would say that it is less of a matter of "looking good" than "looking uniform."

For example, I see both a brand-new, Magpul accessorized AR-15 and a worn, beaten-to-Hell Mosin-Nagant as "good looking guns."

However, should someone, God forbid, attempt to Magpul accessorize the Mosin, I would cringe.


Because each gun is anchored to a particular part of our psyche. You see the AR and you think Chris Costa. You see the Mosin and you think the Great Patriotic War.

Just my two cents. Personally, I have "preferred" brands of everything from rifles to pouches. I like Daniel Defense and Eagle Industries not because they are "tacticool" but because I have use their products before and know that they WORK. As for wear and tear on my weapons and gear, I don't give two s___s about it. My weapons and gear get used, not abused or babied.

June 24, 2010, 02:06 AM
My old war rifles i prefer if they have some battle scars gives them charactor. My new rifles i prefer to keep pristine as possible think for me its just a matter of a guns history and charactor as many have said as much themselves so far in the thread. I kinda like having a beater or two around to hammer around in a tractor or pickup and not worry bout scratching thought to, but i still try to not scratch or mar them just the same.

June 24, 2010, 02:21 AM
The only "looks" I am concerned with are functional, ie, no rust, no excess crud or dirt, no damaged parts.

June 24, 2010, 03:20 AM
I care about how my guns look because I'd like them to look well maintained ...
No reservations of that kind though with either my LCR or Glock.

June 24, 2010, 05:54 AM
I guess I find the premise of the question silly. I take care of my guns for the same reason I take care of anything I own....I bought the gun (or whatever) because I like it. If I like somehting, why wouldn't I take care of it? I don't see this as being any different than asking why someone changes the oil in their car or truck. I'm not going to cry over a scratch on my rifle's stock, but I'm not going to drag it behind the truck either.

Shadow 7D
June 24, 2010, 06:00 AM
pride of ownership
and that a clean (not pretty) gun is a working gun.
If you want to see somebody who is concerned about a working gun, go to basic, you will spend all day cleaning it and your DS still won't be happy, as for pretty, that is just our ego, cause we are proud to own it.

June 24, 2010, 09:12 AM
Strange question. Pride of ownership, good stewardship. I work like a dog and anything I buy is a physical representation of the amount of toil I expended to acquire it. I care for it the same way I care for my home, my car, my tools, and my clothes. You can tell a lot about the character of a person by the condition of their possessions.

June 24, 2010, 09:13 AM
I like the colt .45 from WWII it looks better than some of the newer models IMO.

June 24, 2010, 09:15 AM
I care for my guns because I love the looks on peoples faces when I tell them my gun is x years old and it still looks new...

June 24, 2010, 09:17 AM
Same reason why we care that our cars look good...You don't need to have a clean car, but we wash them anyways...

June 24, 2010, 10:05 AM
Because statistically speaking, I will probably never have to rely on my guns to defend my life.

But I still have to look at them every single day.

June 24, 2010, 10:18 AM
For the same reason as a person cares about the condition of their car, house, whatever - its how (most) people are I think - you pay god money for something, you want to maintain and look after it.

June 24, 2010, 10:31 AM
A woman spends 45 minutes doing her hair and putting on makeup, and more time choosing an outfit, figuring out which accessories to use with the outfit, picking out shoes and matching purse, gets dressed, and heads out the door with... an ugly dirty gun? Not!

June 24, 2010, 12:10 PM


June 24, 2010, 12:52 PM
"nobody likes ugly expensive things"

How true. Talk about ugly and expensive, you should've seen my last divorce! :cuss:

June 24, 2010, 01:24 PM
my current "collection" only consists of 1 pistol (soon to be a 2nd added) and one shotgun. neither gets babied, so i don't have a problem with looks.

now, one day i may invest in a few safe queens, which i would prefer retained their original luster. for my EDCs, i could care less about looks. function is all that matters.

like mentioned before, all of my current firearms are tools. i don't care that my lawnmower has scratches and dings. my backyard looks like yankee stadium! now the second it starts to act up or cut poorly, the "ugliness" will become an issue! :)

June 24, 2010, 01:27 PM
Subjective as all get out.

Lately I've been thinking that old blued guns with the finish worn off from holster wear look really good. :shrug:

I agree.....worn bluing on guns does look good!

June 24, 2010, 01:28 PM
I always want my guns, truck, and wife to look good, and not necessarily in that order.:D

June 24, 2010, 01:31 PM
Depends on the gun.

Some are power tools. Some are works of art. Some are both.

Holster wear on a blue revolver can look good. The scratches and rust that usually accompany it look like crap. That's why most modern revolvers are stainless steel: whatever the safe queen collectors prefer, the market seems to want guns that don't have to be babied so much.

June 24, 2010, 01:31 PM
Why do we care what our guns look good?

June 24, 2010, 02:35 PM
i use all of my guns, but not abuse em. if they are long guns, i hunt with em, if they are handguns, i carry and practice with them. i think that some good ole fashioned honest wear is going to happen, and i accept that. i even like it. i like the holster wear on my 642, i like the carbon blackened front of the cylinder on my GP100, the shiny parts on the rails and reciever on my pump shotguns mean that they work, and i know how to use them properly.

i do not like rust. most all of my guns are well used. some show signs of it, but they all get cleaned and i do not tolerate rust.

i guess you could say that i appreciate a well maintained firearm that has a little wear from honest use.

June 25, 2010, 08:49 PM
While I am much, much more concerned about function and reliability over cosmetics, I would gather that many concern themselves with a weapons looks because, well, lets face it...these are expensive, personal items. Thus, they are worth caring about. It is simply about taking pride in ownership. Of course, sometimes preserving a pristine finish is quite difficult (military use, for instance). But, I am assuming we are speaking of "civilian" pride here.

Of course, if the weapon is a rare "classic," the reasons for caring about the finish is a no-brainer.

Plus, lets face it, a crappy looking weapon may very well indicate a complete lack of care and maintenance (i.e., a potentially irresponsible owner). I would imagine nobody wants that stigma attached to themselves.

June 25, 2010, 09:13 PM
"How true. Talk about ugly and expensive, you should've seen my last divorce!"

Good looking guns, well, look good. Not that I'm shallow or easily distracted, but ... ooo, shiny ...

Zach S
June 26, 2010, 05:03 PM
I care about the looks of one. Its my Thompson 1927A1. It doesn't see a lot of rangetime (all the .45ACP I find goes through my EDC), and it gets handled carefully due it its great looking blued finish...

Everything else is a tool, and treated as such. Some would say that's abusive.


Ky Larry
June 26, 2010, 09:00 PM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have an Ithica Model-37 12ga made in 1940. It doesn't have a speck of blue left on it, just a brown patina. However, it's the slickest pump shotgun I've ever handled. Works perfect every time and handles and points great. I think it's beautiful. YMMV.

June 27, 2010, 02:03 AM
I could honestly not give a darn about a scratch, heads of screws being worn or bluing in bad shape on any gun i own.
But you better believe i take good care of them mechanically and cleaning.

My 500SPX Mossberg has a warped,bent,jagged edges on some edges of the heat shield that i had trouble fitting due to the odd front sight they use on this model.

My 2 month old CZ Ultra Lux has lite scratches where the scope attaches on the rail due to me having a hard time removing dried up locktite.

My Taurus PT1911 is showing alot of holster wear from just normal use.

This may explain why all my guns are blued or black as i dont want to mess with shiny things.

But there is nothing wrong with being a little uptight about your guns looks, As long as you shoot it imo. Of course none of that applies too collectors.

June 27, 2010, 10:42 AM
clean guns work better

clean guns look better

it's all about context. If you want a gun that should be in a walnut and glass case....keep it there.

I never was one to replace form with function... If a grip or finish looks good and WORKS it stays... if not it goes. But... back to the premise above... if it works and looks good thats all the better.

June 27, 2010, 04:40 PM
I think that it is illegal to abuse pre-lock Smith and Wesson revolvers.

June 27, 2010, 04:55 PM
Guns are expensive ... nobody likes ugly expensive things.

Then why do people like Glocks? Ha ha just kidding.

I think that its just some inborn, natural thing. The "pretty things are better than ugly things" mentality probably helped keep us alive in the wild. Bright or symmetrical foods probably tasted better or held more nutrients. In mates, the things that we find attractive were signs of good health and would help propagate our genes. Seems only natural that we employ the same subconscious logic when choosing something that we may need to use to save our lives.

If you enjoyed reading about "Why do we care what our guns look good?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!