How well do firearms stand the test of time?


Winger Ed.
June 26, 2010, 04:33 AM
This is a complement to Bushmaster 1313's post that is also running now
discussing how long of a lifespan various firearms have.

Let me start this by saying, I'm 55.
My Garnd Pop, who was a career Lawman:
Either a City Cop, Town Marshall, or Sherriff's Deputy-
depending on who was elected to what, and when, in Central Mississippi Politics.

Every single day since the late 1920's or so, he carried a .38Spec., 6 shot, Colt revolver.
At any point in it's history, it was either on his belt, in his hand, or on him & Grandma's dresser.
I don't know if he bought it new, used, or if it was issued to him.
He may even have confiscated it from someone back when the .38Spec. first 'hit the street' -- I don't know.

He practiced with it-- a lot... and as the neighbors said, quite often too.
When I was 8,9, 10,12 years old, he was the Chief of Police in his community,
he'd often go out in the back yard to target practice--
For generations- He was the Police Chief, or Town Marshal, or A Sherriff's Deputy:
He fired several hundred rounds through it a year- that I saw.

I don't know how many thousands of rounds that old Colt had put through it's barrel,
or how many years it went before, or between when it got cleaned very well, or at all.

But I do know, That old Colt still works.
And using (whimpy, 800 fps) cast wadcutters I load for my S&W model 52 automatic,
I can hold about a 4" group with it at 75'.

I know I take a lot of knowlege & wisdom from here.
And, I enjoy visiting with all of yawl.
I just hope this is well recieved as a small effort for me to put something back.


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June 26, 2010, 04:47 AM
You can't make a awesome post like that without pics :)

Winger Ed.
June 26, 2010, 04:52 AM
Sorry buddy.
I'm a 'low tech' sort of guy to start with.
All of my few pictures of Grand Pop are black & whites buried back in a closet somewhere.
And my Dad has the old Colt in his desk drawer about a hundred miles from here.
I just get to shoot it, then clean it when I go visit him.


June 26, 2010, 05:04 AM
What Model Colt is it?

Army Special?

Police Positive?

Very likable Revolvers.

Have someone who is image-posting-savvy lend a hand..!

Winger Ed.
June 26, 2010, 05:19 AM
I think its a old 'Police Positive', with a rather thin- by our standards-
4" barrel, but I'm not totally sure.
I know its too long to be less than a 4,,, and it darn sure isn't a 5, much less a 6".

You guys are too much.
I thought this would go over as a 'ho-hum',, thanks,,, now let's move along sort of thing.
I really posted it as much for myself as anything.

But I tell ya what;
I can't do it this weekend, but next weekend, I'll go visit my Dad,
take the wife's digital camera and get some pictures of it.

As far as pictures of Grand Pop, I'm not exactly sure if I even have any,
or if my sister in Nevada has all the ones from our Mom's estate.

But my Grand Dad looked like a real life "Beaufort T. Justice" from the 'Smokey & the Bandit' movie.
Only without any sense of humor after he pinned a badge on his shirt & went on shift.

June 26, 2010, 05:32 AM
I'm a big fan of walnut and steel, myself.

June 26, 2010, 05:40 AM
I had received the following in an email a while back. Relevant to topic.
Of course the 1911 is an outdated design. It came from an era when weapons were designed to win fights, not to avoid product liability lawsuits. It came from an era where it was the norm to learn how your weapon operated and to practice that operation until it became second nature, not to design the piece to the lowest common denominator. It came from an era in which our country tried to supply its fighting men with the best tools possible, unlike today, when our fighting men and women are issued hardware that was adopted because of international deal-making or the fact that the factory is in some well-connected congressman’s district.

Yes, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the 1911 IS an outdated design….and that’s exactly what I love about it.
– Rosco S. Benson

June 26, 2010, 05:45 AM
Good story.

I too see a lot of questions about "wearing out" a gun. My reply is always along the line of I'd like to be able to shoot a gun, any gun, enough to wear it out. I'd BRAG about it.

Winger Ed.
June 26, 2010, 05:48 AM
I'm a 1911 guy myself.
I traded off a S&W 586 back in the late 80's to make a decent down payment on a new .45ACP Gold Cup.
After about a ton of those stumpy looking 190 gr. RCBS molded cast Lead wadcutters pushed by 5gr. of Unique---
I think around 30 pounds so far... I still haven't put much noticable wear on it.

And the Les Baer Primere,,,,
well, yeah,,,, I've shot it a few times, but its mainly just for looking at, and drooling over.


June 26, 2010, 06:57 PM
I own a Smith & Wesson M&P with a tapered six inch barrel. It was manufactured in 1913 and it's still one great little shooter. One of my favorites and one that I will hold onto. I also own a Colt Model 1908 (.380 acp) that was made in 1908. Another keeper. I love the "Old" revolvers and pistols.That Colt is a gem. Wish you had a photo however. ;)

June 26, 2010, 08:38 PM
Winger Ed-
Does your revolver look like this?
My old Police Positive...a classic beauty and still a lot of fun to shoot.


June 26, 2010, 08:45 PM
I have a 100 year old .32 Colt 1903 that is the most accurate pistol in the cabinet.

J M Browning was a genius and Colt manufacturing (circa 1910) was first rate.

All I have to do is feed it and aim well.:cool:

June 26, 2010, 08:48 PM
I thought this would go over as a 'ho-hum',, thanks,,, now let's move along sort of thing.
I really posted it as much for myself as anything.

Heck, even our Tupperware Commandos:evil: love a good tale from the days of iron men and steel guns.

June 26, 2010, 10:03 PM
People usually take better care of their guns than they do themselves, thus most guns have a much longer life.

June 28, 2010, 05:41 PM
Thanks for your great story! I never feel undergunned with an old 1870-90s Winchester lever gun. They just keep going bang no matter how old they are.

Winger Ed.
June 28, 2010, 10:51 PM
Wow, that's it. They sure are pretty when they're new.
Grand Pop's is real real 'worn' looking I guess you'd say.

June 29, 2010, 12:32 AM
I've got a few of the "well-worn" ones too, and I like them just as well as the shiny ones.
This is my "tackle box" S&W Hand Ejector in .32-20. Also a lot of fun to shoot.


June 29, 2010, 03:39 AM
The old Police Positives are just so well made and fine fit and finish. Quality was demanded back then by the Public, and by Manufacturers for their own pride and tradition and self respect.

Wish I had a Time Machine, I'd be gone like 'Poof!'...


Ragnar Danneskjold
June 29, 2010, 04:52 AM
Numerous blued steel and wood stock firearms have lasted over a century or more. If cared for and made of high quality materials, older weapons can and have lasted a great deal of time. There is less of a record on firearms with significant portions made of polymer. But consider that the US military has been fielding rifles with polymer parts for over half a century, and they have lasted a remarkably long time despite the overwhelming wear and tear they are subjected to during training and combat. To all those who say that sunshine will destroy polymer weapons, there are a lot of old M16s used by Basic training companies that have been in service out in the sun, mud, and sand for decades, yet still function when handed to the next batch of Privates. It is too early to say how long polymer weapons will truly last on way or another. But their ability to stand up to the most brutal use and punishment through military use is a good sign that polymer is here to stay.

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