Are you a collector or a shooter?


January 22, 2003, 06:45 PM
Do you have guns that haven't seen the light of day for months or years? I do, and after giving it some serious consideration, I am selling off the ones I don't get around to using, and getting to know the ones I keep better.

This is probably heresy to most people, and I would fully expect to be burned at the stake for such thoughts if I expressed them at a gun show. But think about it--how many guns can we really learn well given a finite amount of personal/range time? Unlike the idle rich, I have to work for a living, do household chores and other mundane tasks, and budget my time. Isn't it better, although not as exciting as planning to buy that next new shining wonder, to learn to handle and shoot well 3 or 4 guns (pistol, rifle, and shotgun) than to have a 21-gun safe filled to the brim?

Of course it is. I didn't really post this to because I am unsure of the correctness of the words above. What I'm interested in is if people disagree with what I've written and why.

BTW, I wonder how many collectors are really top, or even competent, shooters. If I had spent only half of the money I have spent on guns on training instead, I'd be sitting pretty. Isn't it a pity that hindsight is 20/20?

Well, this is the year I begin to remedy my training deficit. Come **** (;)) or highwater, I am going to a shooting school this year, even if I have to sell half of my guns to do it. How about you?

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January 22, 2003, 07:36 PM
WOW! What a really great question! I don't think I've ever heard such originality in all my years of surfing. How, exactly, did you come up with this particular query? You certainly have a knack for starting probing, insightful conversation. It really just doesn't get any better than this!

You're crazy if you think having only a few guns is better. I have multiple safes full of guns, guns, and more guns. You can't have too many guns. Have only 3 or 4 guns indeed! What are you, some kind of anti? By buying as many guns as I can go into debt for, I am supporting the gun industry and the U.S. Constitution. Sure, maybe I'm not as proficient with them as I'd like to be, but as soon as I find the time, I'm going to wring out everything possible from each and every one. You just see if I don't. Yup, and then I'll go to Thunder Ranch, and then to Gun Site, and then to Ayoob's LFI, and then to...
DAL('s alter ego)

January 22, 2003, 07:47 PM
Oh, ha, ha. You are SO funny. What, was that last post by "DAL('s alter ego)" supposed to be humorous? It wasn't. Leave the humor to comedians, you moron, and stick to guns. Look, if no one wants to reply to your stupid topic, then get over it, okay? Better yet, why don't you go clean a gun or something and get away from the keyboard? Man, I've seen some real nerds over the years on the 'Net, but you take first prize.
(the objective)DAL

January 22, 2003, 07:52 PM
Hey, now that's enough out of all of you! If this silliness doesn't stop immediately, I'm going to notify the proprietor of this fine establishment.
(self-appointed do-gooder mode)DAL

January 22, 2003, 07:56 PM
It is good to know how to assemble, disassemble, clean, and shoot a large variety of firearms. It is even better to be able to use very well a small select subset of that collection. I think the education a lot of us collectors get from purchasing a variety of firearms equips us then to select a few that we want to become experts at.

January 22, 2003, 07:58 PM

I have a couple guns that I have never fired, for example a 800,00 serial number mint, never fired pre Pearl Harbor Springfield M1 Garand. I try and limit the number of "white elephants" in my collection cause it sucks to have a really expensive one you can never shoot. However, I remember that I am just the current caretaker of these weapons and they belong to the generations after me. I learned that from collecting pre Meiji Japanese swords. I have some truly wonderful ones that are in the condition they are because for 100s of years people took care of them and thought about the next owner.

I have guns that I don't shoot too much because ammo or parts are scarce. Hard to find ammo for my WWII Nambu and Arisakas. I'm rarely shoot my first year Colt 1911 cause it is a original gun. My Luftwaffe drilling is in really good condition and too valuable for me to shoot very often. I have a "few" prebans who were barely imported before they were banned and parts are expensive and hard to find.

Then I have my other guns. My MP5s get LOTS of time at the range. So do my FALs, HK91s and AR15s. I take very good care of them, but I shoot the hell out of them. I try and have a few dedicated "grunt" guns. These are guns that get heavy use and nicks and dings are to be expected.

Of my primary grunt guns:

1. MP5
3. AR15
4. AK47
5. Rem 700 PSS
6. Rem 870

January 22, 2003, 07:59 PM

January 22, 2003, 08:14 PM
Well, I don't get to shoot as often as I'd like but I don't have many guns that I have no interest in shooting. I've figured out that I don't seem to be a big fan of semi auto rifles prefering bolt actions in general. No doubt I have redundancies. I probably have about 10 pretty nice bolt actions, 4 mil surp bolt actions, 2 shotguns, about 10 pistols and maybe 6 revolvers. If I got rid of all of them, I could probably replace them with about 10 guns total and be just about as happy with my collection as I am now.

high quality 22 bolt rifle
carry weight in 257 Roberts AI
heavy varmint/target rifle in 243
bench rest rifle in 6.5-284
lever action in 30-30 with receiver sight
12 gauge pump shotgun
heavy target 22 revolver or pistol
fairly customized recreational 1911
fairly customized carry 1911
4" 357 revolver

I'd be pretty happy with that. Maybe throw in a 45-70 lever action and/or a heavy 223.

January 22, 2003, 08:19 PM
If Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, and your M1 Garand has an 800,000 serial number range - it would have been built sometime in August of 1942. Not exactly pre-Pearl Harbor. Caught my attention because one of my M1 Garands has a 669,05x serial number, and I knew it came off the Springfield assembly line in June of 1942.

(From the WWII Garand serial number website:

My collection gets fired on a routine basis. If I don't shoot it, it gets sold. Even my 1912 Steyr-Hahn pistol, and 1918 DWM Luger get taken to the range every now and then. The more obsolete it is, the more fun I have making ammo to feed it. ;)

January 22, 2003, 08:30 PM
I'm a collector that likes to shoot. Some guns get shot (much) more than others. With the number of guns I own, there are some that do not get shot every year, but they will cycle through the range eventually.

And my Garand's birthday was May, '43.:)

January 22, 2003, 08:31 PM
Gewehr98, just referrence my Scott Duff book and your right. Then I realized I was thinking of my brothers Gas Trap that was pre Pearl Harbor but his is not mint.

January 22, 2003, 08:33 PM
Gas Trap!

That, and a Rod Bayonet '03 would put me in Collector's Heaven!

January 22, 2003, 08:36 PM
The only thing I have that closely resembles a collector is a Inland carbine I got from my dad, but it's a shooter & a keeper.
When I get the urge for a new gun I sometimes look in the safe and see what's gathering dust. If I decide I want the new one more than I do the dusty one and funds are short I'll sell or trade.
Been sorry I did a couple of times but came out for the better mostly.

January 22, 2003, 08:41 PM
Both for me also. I don't see why you can't do both ? I have a fairly decent collection of guns. Some of them have never been fired by me. Some I might shoot once a year or once every couple years. That doesn't detract from them in any way to me. I enjoy owning them. I enjoy taking them out of the safe and looking at them. I enjoy reading a thread about one of them on here and then taking it out to see what they are talking about. I also sometimes read a thread about a gun and think to myself, hey I ought to take mine out and renew our aquaintance. If I sold it just because I hadn't shot it for a couple months, I couldn't do that........................... I don't sell guns, I buy guns. I HAVE sold guns and regret selling each and every one of them. Some of them I will never replace because at this time it isn't a high enough priority item to me. But I would still like to own them, and knowing I once had them makes it worse. Who knows what the future will bring for us. I may never be able to ever replace them again, but I have another paycheck coming in two days. For now, I can make more money, so selling them to buy something else isn't really an issue for me. And they certainly arn't eating anything so I don't need to get "rid" of them. I have never understood the concept of getting "rid" of guns. Some people act like they are a burden or a disease that they must rid themselves of. I also own hunting guns that I pretty much only shoot during hunting season. If I get drawn for a deer tag or an elk tag, I take out my deer or elk rifle, re-check my zero, shoot a few hundred rounds from field positions for practice, hunt with it, clean it, and it stays in the safe for another year or two.

On the other hand, I probably shoot more than most people. I have a few guns that I shoot a lot. For example, right now I am on an AR15 kick. I shoot one of my AR15s at least once and usually twice a week. My Ruger GP-100 gets shot a lot. My Winchester 94/22 gets shot a lot. My Colt 1911 gets shot a lot.

My Garand's birthday was sometime last year. I bouight one of the "new" Springfield Armory Garands. Oh, and it is unfired. In fact, the day I bought it I was going on vacation. I called a friend and asked him if he could keep it for me while I was gone because I didn't want to take the time to rearrange my safe to get it in there. I never picked it up from him yet. That was at least six months ago and probably closer to a year.

January 22, 2003, 08:51 PM
The first three posts completely freaked me out, so I will just address the question in the title.

Shooter...and accumulator.

DAL, you may want to consider professional help. If you're already in therapy, spend more. :p

Standing Wolf
January 22, 2003, 09:00 PM
I'm most emphatically a shooter, not a collector. I don't know where they all came from. They just kind'a showed up, you know? I mean, it's not like things are getting downright crowded around here, you understand. It's just that...

Monte Harrison
January 23, 2003, 10:05 AM
You have to be wealthy (or at least have no family) to be a collector. I'm just a gun guy.

January 23, 2003, 10:07 AM
I don't see why you can't do both ?

I don't see HOW you can do both. With my commitements (family, mostly), I am lucky if I can get to the range once every two weeks, if that. Sure, dry-firing helps, but it's not a complete substitute for live fire. At best, it helps keep your edge, but if you've never built an edge with a particular weapon, then what's to keep? If I had the time and a nearby facility then maybe I could learn to operate a multitude of guns well. But with limited time, dealing with a small handful of firearms is the best I can do. If you can do better, my hat's off to you.

January 23, 2003, 10:11 AM
DAL, this is just a shot in the dark, but did you have a lot of pretend friends as a kid?

To (self-appointed do-gooder)DAL: Mind your own darn business, okay? That's what we have moderators for on this forum. It's people like you, people who think it's their God-given duty to stick their noses in other people's business without any real cause or justification, that have helped bring about the all-invasive government we live under today. Sure, you may have other kindred do-gooder souls on this forum, but that doesn't make your behavior right. If you want to be a moderator, ask. Otherwise, go deal with your own life and clean out your own closet before you even think about telling others how they should act, you uptight, self-rightous, pompous, odoriferous pile of garbage.
(the analytical) DAL

January 23, 2003, 10:28 AM
DAL, thanks for a creative thread--once you wrested it away from those first couple of freaks!;)

I hafta admit I share your feelings. For me, a 'collection' means basically a range of guns that will allow me to do everything I can foresee reasonably wanting to do, without taking over my house or life. That means a couple of auto handguns (well, a 9, a 45, and a 22); a 4" .357; a snub; an 870 with a couple barrels; and a couple of centerfire rifles yet to be determined (a lever and a bolt, to be sure).

I can understand the urge to HAVE lots of other neat guns; but for me, 90% of the satisfaction of such pieces can be got just from seeing them, reading about them, understanding their historical and technological siginificance, without the hastle of being the one who has to keep them from rusting :uhoh: .

'Course, folks with more militant interests and paranoi...uh, sympathies may feel the need to have whole other categories in a basic, function-oriented collection.


January 23, 2003, 10:34 AM
Well, I shoot all my guns on a regular basis. Lately, I see some really like pieces...things I see that would be to just have & one that might actually fun to shoot. But, I have my gun hobby & my son's music habit to feed so I just can't be as frivilous w/ the $$ as I used to be.

January 23, 2003, 10:36 AM
I tend to be both but lean towards collecting. I do have 2 guns that I haven't shot yet but just give me some time....:) I have a .357 Colt Python in BSTS 6" that I haven't used and believe it or not, a 22 cal. Ruger Mark II. Don't ask why....:confused:

January 23, 2003, 10:39 AM
I'd be both but don't presently have the monetary means to buy the collectables that I wouldn't shoot. So, for the time being, I'm a shooter aspiring to be a shooter and collector.


January 23, 2003, 10:47 AM
Every thing in my cabinet is a shooter. I don't have any "mint collectibles", so not really an issue for me. There are some that don't get shot as much as others, though.

January 23, 2003, 11:02 AM
Yes. :D

January 23, 2003, 11:21 AM
I thought all shooters were collectors!:confused:

I take all my firearms to the range during the course of a year.
Between sessions I take them out and clean and oil them and rub them down. Sometimes I just hold them. My wife thinks I love my guns too much. I really do love them you know.

Whether I am on the range or at home I love my firearms.

DAL, who was that strange person you were talking to at the beginning of this thread. Reminds me of Sybil or the Three Faces of Eve!:what:

Greg L
January 23, 2003, 11:56 AM
Well, my first thought was to answer "yes", however after realizing that the govt sent me a piece of paper last year (C&R) I now can answer that I am a federaly licensed collector. :D


Larry Ashcraft
January 23, 2003, 01:09 PM
I shoot a little IPSC, and I hunt, and I'm going to try a "Battle of the Bulge" match in a couple weeks so I can use my Garand and .30 Carbine. I also keep a couple rifles around to shoot at coyotes and I like to go to the range and burn up ammo. So, yes, I'm a shooter.

I also have guns I haven't had time to shoot and I never may have. I have 7 .22 pistols, 4 of them inherited and I don't know how many .22 rifles, some of them inherited. I'll never sell them, but I may never shoot them either.

Why do I keep them? Because I CAN. :D

Chris Rhines
January 23, 2003, 01:14 PM
I'm a shooter. I have very little interest in collecting. Guns I don't shoot get sold or traded.

- Chris

January 23, 2003, 02:30 PM
Little bit of both.
I have an as-NIB (no box though) S&W M1917, absolutely perfect; have never shot it, prolly never will.

I don't like the looks of dirty stainless, so after shooting my M617, or M640 or any of the others, I like to clean them up to as new looking as possible. I tell ya, I takes plenty of time and elbow grease to get rid of any trace of burn rings at the cylinder face.... so, I actually have been shooting my blued guns more lately.

This is MN, and it is VERY cold this week (-33F windchill) and so the outdoor range is out of the question.
So, the only guns I'm shooting lately are the handguns unless I decide to put the .22 conversion in the AR, but that's not much fun given that the range is 25yds max.

So, some guns I'm trying to keep cherry, some that just end up that way, and some that I just can't shoot right now like the centerfire rifles.

I'd bet that most of us fall in the middle somewhere like that.
:) -Kframe

January 23, 2003, 02:33 PM
I'm a shooter. I won't own a gun I won't shoot.

But, once a gun gets in my aresenal its pretty hard for me to get rid off it. I've only sold 3 or 4 guns in my life. But I will shoot any of them even if I don't do it very often.

Is that clear? I think I might be confused now.

January 23, 2003, 02:36 PM
I collect shooters; if I don't shoot it, it doesn't belong in my collection and I have no qualms selling it. I do have a couple guns that I haven't shot in a while, but that's only because others have been getting more attention.

January 23, 2003, 02:39 PM
I collect shootin guns! :D

January 23, 2003, 02:49 PM
Like 444, and Kframe and Smoke and RCL.

I'm primarily a shooter. I shoot in all sorts of disciplines, none very well, but I'm having fun.

I own some guns because they are classy old pieces. I have a 1923 Savage Sportster in .32 WCF. It's a neat piece of history and I do shoot it. Not a whole lot, but I shoot it.

Yes, I've sold gun off before. I miss most of them, and regret having parted with them. A couple were sold from boredom; several, (including a real Beretta BM-59) from poverty. I regret not having them now.

Does that make sense? Only from the inside.

January 23, 2003, 02:52 PM
Definitely a shooter first.

The fact that I need to collect guns in order to shoot them is the only way I consider myself a collector.


January 23, 2003, 02:57 PM
Shooter first. Started turning into collector now going back to shooter.

January 23, 2003, 03:15 PM
Shooter. But later on in life I might collect historical arms, double rifles, and tactical toys.

Dave R
January 23, 2003, 03:20 PM
Ditto. Shooter. If I ever get some more disposable income, I'll become a collector.

Country Boy
January 23, 2003, 04:25 PM
I'm in the process of morphing from a shooter to a collector. Not that I'll be shooting any less, but I'll have a bit more variety, and quite a bit more history. I've applied for my Curio and Relic Collectors license, and I really want a Swiss Schmidt-Rubin K31. It's an off the wall design that shoots an expensive cartridge. Why do I want one? 'Cause it's really cool. Do I want a lot of guns that I'm too scared to shoot? Not really, I want to feel free to run a few cartridges through them from time to time. But are they all gonna be shot each time I go to the range? Nope.

Anyhow, thought I'd chime in as a collector in training.

January 23, 2003, 04:32 PM
I'd say, both collector and shooter.. :p

January 23, 2003, 06:13 PM
shooter, although if I get anymore guns, then I think that I will be classified as a collector anyway. :D

January 23, 2003, 06:33 PM

January 23, 2003, 07:11 PM
I shoot my collection :D

January 23, 2003, 08:47 PM
I'm a shooter, I can't afford many guns so the one I have I'm gonna shoot. No point in spending what little money I have for gun and just looking at them (same reason I stay out of go-go bars). When I'm independently wealththy I'll collect, until then they all get shot.

DAL speaking of collections, one of the voices in my head advises me I have some MOA inhibiting drugs you can have the he assurse me I don't need to take anymore. When I do take them it's hard to hear it.

4v50 Gary
January 23, 2003, 08:52 PM
Neither. A collector carefully builds a collection looking for specific guns of certain quality. A shooter shoots. OK, I shoot & buy guns. I think I fall into the tasteless hoarder category.

January 23, 2003, 09:45 PM
Are you a collector or a shooter?

I was unaware the two were mutually exclusive.

No, I don't shoot my Martini-Henry or Schmidt-Rubin or my Arisaka a lot. I don't plan on taking any of them to Gunsite. I don't practice speed reloads with them or any of that other tactical garbage.

I have other rifles that I do practice that tactical garbage with, however.

I don't have a spare magazine for that Mauser HSc, which makes it a pretty sorry carry gun. But then, I never intend to carry it or use it for anything other than sitting in a gun case and looking pretty, which does not require a spare magazine to do. Heck, I haven't even shot it.

Owning that pistol does not make me any less effective with the serious pistols that I shoot and practice with all the time, however.

January 23, 2003, 09:57 PM

Don't get to shoot as much as I would like, but trying to buy a bit of property to have my own range., have some older pieces that don't see much use, and some that were bought to irk the anti's :neener: (makes them worthwhile to me!).

With some of the odd ones it is fun with the reloading.

January 23, 2003, 10:06 PM
Are you a collector or a shooter?

Yes :D

I have a few collectors guns, but my guns are primarily for shooting and self defense. :D

Pappy John
January 23, 2003, 11:40 PM
I must be a shooter, because all my guns that would have had any collector interest are now buried under new bluing, scope mounts, and composite stocks. It cost me a lot of money to loose all that value.

January 23, 2003, 11:57 PM
Both, because I seem to go in cycles of what I enjoy shooting. I will go on long sprees where I like my revolvers, then 1911's or rifles. I always mix it up some, but seem to gravitate towards majority shooting of one or the other. If I don't shoot several guns for years and then shoot them often for 6 months, am I a collector or shooter? I do own some firearms that I do not intend to ever shoot, but have duplicates that I do. I have bought firearms at gun shows with the intention of not firing them for investment purposes. Some of these same guns were fired off of some side country road before I ever made it home!:D

January 24, 2003, 12:46 AM
You mean there are people that buy guns and don't shoot them!

January 24, 2003, 01:52 AM
Mack, some of them , yes. Please quit reminding me of how strange that is! I already lack will power, as referenced in my previous post.:)

Mr Bill
January 24, 2003, 03:10 AM
Both. I have two collections, one is for display/investment (no shoot) and one is for shooting. The display/investment rifles are mostly Win 88's and other factory chambered .284 Win either nib or lnib. The shooter's are mostly odd or discontinued chamberings with some conventional chambers sprinkled in. I rotate most of the shooters to keep myself entertained at the loading table. Some, my deer rifles, I stay very proficient with. I too have a very difficult time parting with any of my guns, regardless whether I shoot them or not. I have this old Marlin 444 that hasn't been shot in over 10 years and is well used, I don't load for it and I've been considering selling it but, I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm sentimental about them and yes I too love my guns, as rediculous as that my sound. I want to be buried with my Browning 7mm-08 clutched in my hands. After I'm gone, I hope my daughter sells the non-shooters and many of the shooters to finance her college eduation for then pride of ownership will be a thing of the past for me.

January 24, 2003, 04:49 AM
Seems the older I get, the collecting part has overtaken the shooting part. Like most people there is only so much time, and fewer places to do the shooting.

3 gun
January 24, 2003, 05:04 AM
Nothing I have is for display, everything goes to the range.

Kahr carrier
January 24, 2003, 07:38 AM

January 24, 2003, 08:29 AM
Every gun under my roof has to earn its living. No safe queens here.


January 24, 2003, 04:44 PM
safe queens
We LIKE that term. What a great description.
DAL (all of us)

January 24, 2003, 08:49 PM
First I shot. Then I collected. Now I do both.

January 24, 2003, 09:29 PM
Well I have three guns right now - a revolver and a couple of Berettas. I plan to keep on buying (Berettas that is!:D ) so I guess you could say I'm a shooter that's a collector of Beretta guns. That counts, yes?:p

January 24, 2003, 09:56 PM

I'm a quasi shoota'/collecta'/accumullata'....:D

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