Are you a shooter or collector?


November 16, 2010, 07:52 PM
I am curious to know how many THR members consider themselves collectors or shooters, or both.

A shooter is someone who views guns as tools, whether for hunting, self-defense, or competition.

A collector is someone who views guns as intriguing pieces regardless of their practicality or usefulness as a tool, and may get just as much pleasure looking at a fine gun on their wall as a taking it to the range.

I consider myself both a shooter and collector, and my guns generally fall into those lines, with a little bit of overlap. I do have guns I won't shoot, and a few that I shoot rarely. But I also have guns with round counts in the tens of thousands. I am obsessive about condition in my collectible firearms, while my carry and IDPA guns look pretty beat up, and really only get cleaned when the dirt starts interfering with function.

How about you? Are you a collector or a shooter or both?

If you enjoyed reading about "Are you a shooter or collector?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 16, 2010, 07:55 PM
100% shooter.

Old krow
November 16, 2010, 08:04 PM
Mostly shooter, but I do have old guns from my childhood and before that I will not get rid of. Those guns are special cases, I typically shoot more and buy less.

November 16, 2010, 08:05 PM
I'm more shooter than anything. You really cannot call what I have a collection. I've just accumulated some guns but its too diverse to call it a collection. Just no real focus to whats in the safe.


November 16, 2010, 08:06 PM

I have my "tools" and train enough to be good with them. Plus, I carry a gun for a living. Many of those "tools" are well used and show their wear.

I also have a lil collector side to me too. Especially when it comes to historic weapons. In my case the drool starts coming when I see a nice WW2 piece.

November 16, 2010, 08:10 PM
Shooter. My wife and I don't have that many guns and we shoot them all pretty regularly. The kids shoot some of them too.

November 16, 2010, 08:42 PM
Shooter, but my definition is different than yours. Not just tools to me. By your collector definition, I am a collector, but don't collect guns. I buy guns that intrigue me. I appreciate my model 19 for what it is. A classic. I appreciate my 25-2 for what it is, a work of art. I shoot them too.

November 16, 2010, 09:19 PM
I'm a shooter as well, but I greatly appreciate the aesthetics involved and can appreciate a well made tool.

November 16, 2010, 09:23 PM
Really about 50/50. I have guns that get frequent trips to the range and some that are safe queens.

There's room for both, collections are a way to preserve history and enjoy the craftsmanship of days gone by.

I may be a little older than most members, but I've never thought of a gun as just a "tool". I guess if a person is an LEO it would be, but as a civilian it means more to me than that.


November 16, 2010, 10:25 PM
I'm both, I collect 20th century military rifles and have some examples I give the white glove treatment to; ie my IP M1 Carbine, FN49, 1911 and K31 Swiss rifles. Stuff that's not easy to replace and IMHO should be preserved for future generations.

My modern guns like my Ruger 10/22 and Sig rifle I shoot the heck out of. I took my Sig to the Appleseed and had no issues placing it on the pavement and scratching it. Guns with wear on them look good to me, I don't abuse it but I don't mind dropping the mags on the ground when I'm standing or putting it down in the dirt. (OTOH the thought of dropping my FN49's mag on the ground for an AQT change makes me cringe!:eek::D)

The modern stuff I can replace, I love shooting and buy them to shoot. I can buy a new Ruger for $200 when mine has 100k rounds through it and is shot out, which is going to be in about 8 years LOL.

November 16, 2010, 10:28 PM
Shooter, except for one or two guns they do not mean anything to me other than shooting. If I decide I do not like shooting any of them, they are gone. I have gone through dozens of them and the ones I have now are keepers, because I like shooting them.

But, I would still refer to them as my collection. Unless I were to be arrested, in which case they would be referred to as my arsenal :)

November 16, 2010, 10:45 PM
100% shooter
I was raised by a collector, though we shot an awful lot of those guns. As Pop has matured out of having teenaged boys, he acquires more collector pieces and shoots infrequently.
I have choosen my "shooters" with a preference for quality and time tested designs; FN Mauser commercial '98 rebarreled to 7mmRemMag, a couple of nice Marlin lever guns. And the Colt revolver that the Wife's father carried as a LEO for nearly two decades-doesn't get taken out shooting much these days.
Some would collect these, but to me they are shooters, worthy of protecting like a piece of fine art.

Arkansas Paul
November 16, 2010, 10:56 PM
Shooter here.
However, if I could afford to, I'd be a collector as well! :)

November 16, 2010, 11:09 PM
Shooter... I don't have enough guns to be a collector. Send me a $100,000 and I'll add collector to the description...:D

November 16, 2010, 11:26 PM
i am a shooter/hunter so i buy guns to shoot and hunt not collect dust in my safe or be safe queens.

November 16, 2010, 11:28 PM
With all due respect, you're not going to get anyone to admit that they're a collector on here. They may shoot once a year and buy a new gun three times a year and they'll still check the "both" box.

November 16, 2010, 11:49 PM
I love old guns and 'some' collectibles but I don't own anything I won't shoot.

November 16, 2010, 11:54 PM
Most of my milsurps are safe queens, most of my shooting today is done with 22s on indoor ranges. I see many of my guns they same way I see the coins I have collected-as objects of contemplation. I know a woman who collects sewing machines-same thing.

November 17, 2010, 12:24 AM
It seems that most folks are a bit of a combination. I would probably be more of an accumulator/plinker myself. I don't have really nice or collectible stuff to consider myself a collector, nor do I hunt or shoot competitively to really be a "shooter".

I have a friend who is strictly a shooter. He hunts, and in his mind the only reason to have a gun is to hunt or defend yourself. Any firearm that does not fill that role might as well be ground up and sold for scrap.:eek:

November 17, 2010, 01:37 AM
double post

Erik M
November 17, 2010, 01:43 AM
Depends on how much free time I have, this close to the holidays im closer to the collector side . . no time for the range :(

November 17, 2010, 01:51 AM
Shooter all the way. Every gun in my safe gets a workout at least a few times a month, and since I live in a rural area and own all the land around my home, it's easy to facilitate such frequent shooting sessions. All of my guns fill a role, and when I find a gun that can perform the role of 2 others, the 2 get replaced and I use the money I make from selling them to improve my new gun, and buy ammo to practice. From plinking, to hunting, to anti-material, I've got a tool for the job, and all without unnecessary overlap. To me, on a reasonable budget, that's the way to go.

November 17, 2010, 02:28 AM
I have to like whatever Tools I own and use, anyway.

So, definitely 'Shooter', and things I like living with and having/using.

November 17, 2010, 07:32 AM
I don't collect anything. I own a few guns that I'll never sell but "collecting" means buying them for the purpose of putting them aside in the hope that their value will appreciate to eventually realize a profit for the "collector".

I have buds that collect various guns, old lever guns, pre 64 Winchesters etc. Military weapons etc. and I'm sure they get enjoyment out of that.... but I buy them to shoot or hunt with period.

November 17, 2010, 08:57 AM
Both. But I don't put things away in the hope of making money from them later. I do it because I like the firearms and I enjoy the historical aspect. If I make a dollar or two, fine, but I don't worry about the value. I "worry" about maintaining the condition.

The Bushmaster
November 17, 2010, 09:25 AM
A little of both. I have every gun I ever bought and have never sold any.

November 17, 2010, 10:50 AM

November 17, 2010, 10:51 AM
I don't collect anything. I own a few guns that I'll never sell but "collecting" means buying them for the purpose of putting them aside in the hope that their value will appreciate to eventually realize a profit for the "collector".

I have buds that collect various guns, old lever guns, pre 64 Winchesters etc. Military weapons etc. and I'm sure they get enjoyment out of that.... but I buy them to shoot or hunt with period.

I think that it all depends on the definition of the term collector.

I'm a collector of several different categories of firearms, and I too buy them to shoot or hunt with period. ;)

November 17, 2010, 11:24 AM
I'm both. I like getting out and getting some rounds downrange. But I also tend to buy guns at a fairly good pace. I've got at least 10 guns that I haven't fired yet because I'm always taking something else out to the range.

November 17, 2010, 11:55 AM
Does collecting to shoot count?

November 17, 2010, 12:36 PM
Based on your definitions, I fall into the collector category. Got what I want (for now), and can't afford to go shoot, but when I can, I shoot the heck out of everything but my hunting rifles.

November 17, 2010, 12:37 PM
I only buy wityh the exception of two what I shoot. My passion is recoil operated shot guns. Love them Remington 48's, 1148's and the Browning A5,s.Only buy rifles in calibers that I will hunt with. Never got anything out of target shooting with rifle. So to sum it up, I collect what I shoot. Oh, the two I do not shoot are a 1957 Browning standard 16 with no MARKS at all and a 70's A5 magnum slug gun that also has no marks, these are for my grandson. He needs to grow a bit though as he's only 2 1/2 years old.

November 17, 2010, 01:10 PM
Most of what I own is rim fire. One I've had for 50 years. I like to shoot and rim fire is the way to go for me. I got into reloading so I could shoot my center fire's more.

November 17, 2010, 01:23 PM
I have a small collection; 20 guns; but if I do not shoot them they get sold.

November 17, 2010, 02:58 PM
lol. i selected collector just because there were so few. im a little bit of both

November 17, 2010, 03:33 PM
I can't afford to be a collector. :(

Vern Humphrey
November 17, 2010, 03:43 PM
I'm a shooter -- but I tend to collect unusual guns that I work on. My Colt New Service was a re-blued gun that shot 18" high and 12" to the left when I got it. How I got this fixed-sight gun to shoot to point of aim is quite a saga.

My Stevens Favorite was made in 1895 or thereabouts. The barrel was rusted out and re-lined. I put on a tang sight (the orginal sights were useless -- the liner wasn't coincentric with the barrel.

My M1898 Krag was "sporterized" about a hundred years ago, and sports a cocking-piece sight.

My "Heavy rifle" is Bigfoot Wallace, a custom '03 Springfield in .35 Brown-Whelen, the most radical form of the Whelen.

My varmit rifle is a M82 Kimber in .22 Hornet.

And so on and on.

November 17, 2010, 03:45 PM
I can't afford to be a collector.

Sure you can............don't eat fast food for awhile, and you can order one of these from the CMP.

November 17, 2010, 03:47 PM
I would have to say that I am a reloader/shooter
I have owned up to 46 +/- guns--but I have no interest in collecting.
I enjoy reloading much more than shooting.

Whatever floats your boat///////////// :):)

November 17, 2010, 03:53 PM

I only own two guns that could remotely be considered "collectible":

'68 Ruger Single Six

'78 Gold Cup

Everything else is competition or defense.

November 17, 2010, 04:56 PM
Shooter. I spend more on ammo than guns.

November 17, 2010, 05:01 PM
I would consider myself both, but more of a collector.
While I love shooting guns, I don't own many new, non-collectable ones. So the old ones are what I shoot. Lots of times, because these guns are old, they all don't use modern ammo, so it gets pricey. I don't get much range time at all, as I shoot on my families farm in Wisconsin only a few times per year. Consequently, I am stuck with my guns, and often admire them, look at them, research them more, etc.

November 17, 2010, 05:20 PM
I buy the guns I like AND I shoot them, such as my collection of S&W revolvers.

November 17, 2010, 07:53 PM
I do a little of both. I would buy and trade lots of pistols and rifles and even some shotguns. I don't do a lot of shooting, but really enjoy the buying and trading. I have bought many guns and rifles that I have traded in within a week. Not because there was anything wrong with most of them, but I love a variety of toys. As one said, he likes looking at them hanging on the wall. I agree. I shoot mostly .22 caliber with my friend when we go to the range. It is strictly an indoor range, since there aren't that many outdoor ranges in the area. We will own a couple of .357/30 SP rifles and revolvers, but don't shoot them as often due to the price of ammo. Most indoor shooters don't shoot rifles and shotguns, but I do from time to time, just for fun. We don't do any hunting, so we really don't need rifles and shotguns, but like buying them. LOL

November 17, 2010, 07:54 PM
Shooter/reloader in that order!:cool:

November 17, 2010, 08:02 PM
Shooter, reloader, collector in that order...

November 17, 2010, 08:06 PM
My goal is to have as few guns as I can. To use them as tools, and be good with all of them and shoot them a lot. My problem when I first started was I got an a-bolt white gold medallion and didn't want to shoot it (it hurt my wallet and I didn't want to scratch it). I also had a list of about 40 guns. Now my list is down to 14-20 total and 5 at the very least.

November 17, 2010, 08:16 PM
Yep, I'd go with shooter as well. I really don't see much of a point to owning tons of firearms if you aren't going to use them. Maybe a musket on the mantle, but that's about it

November 17, 2010, 08:24 PM
Both for sure.


November 17, 2010, 08:39 PM
I can relate to the "not enough money to be a collector" bit. I'm in that camp. As long as I have to scrimp and save to buy a gun, it's going to be one that I can shoot. There are just too many guns for sale that I would like to shoot, compared to those that I can afford to procure to just sit in the darkness of my gunsafe.

Personally, I like to build stuff. So, I built an airplane, some of the avionics, two AK47's, almost all of my ammo, a house, etc, you get idea. So there is another category. It's...shooter, collector, and builder. An AR is next on the build list. I've got a NM AR15 to shoot, now I need one to build. Then, maybe a 1911. Yeah, that has my juices flowing!


November 17, 2010, 11:08 PM
Both, but if I can't shoot it, I don't need it. Lack of reasonably priced ammo accounts for why I need to get rid of some old .32 revolvers (I don't have the time/inclination to reload).

November 17, 2010, 11:52 PM
I consider myself a shooter and an accumulator not a collector. Being a collector denotes you have some direction.

November 18, 2010, 12:37 AM
My handgun and rifle are for shooting.

On the other hand, all my shotguns are for the fun of shooting them and the joy of owning them.

Each is perfect in its own special way:

Model 12 (Washington State Patrol 1959)
High Standard 18-7 (circa 1972)
Stevens 620 (issued to U.S. Army in WWII)
870 Wingmaster (California Highway Patrol)
Model 37 (1956)

1919 Baker Elite

1927 Ithaca 4E Knick

Iver Johnson Supertrap (my "Poor Man's Model 21")

November 18, 2010, 11:50 AM
I've never understood the point of owning a gun you won't/don't shoot...

November 18, 2010, 12:12 PM
All my collectibles were stolen several years ago.

The weapons I have now all have a different purpose (in my mind) for different types of shooting and hunting.

Actually I may have a couple that might constitute some overlap but I wanted them anyway?

November 18, 2010, 03:37 PM
Shooter only. I'm trying to get rid of all the firearms I don't really shoot and bought mostly for collecting, like my BHP for example.

I'm even debating whether to keep my three military rifles, even though I mostly shoot my AR15.

November 18, 2010, 05:54 PM
I am an avid collector of vintage hunting rifles and shotguns and am constantly looking for more. However, every piece that I acquire is slected on its servicablity. I love nothing better than to go out into the field with a vintage Manlicher Schoenauer or Winchester 1897 and putting it back into service. I do have a few more modern guns and when I want to go to the range and pound out 300 or more rounds, I take one of them. These seem to come and go.

November 18, 2010, 06:06 PM
read my signature.

November 18, 2010, 06:07 PM
I voted "shooter" yesterday, but after some thought I guess I am a collector, too, since I have yet to sell any of the guns I have bought. :D

November 18, 2010, 07:01 PM
I voted "collector".

I do go out and shoot occasionally, as well as hunt occasionally (occasionally means several times/year)

I have 3 firearms that I've shot, and would again... but they're to important to use regularly. They're my grandpa's Model 12s and my dad's Model 61. Particularly the 61, I've put thousands of rounds through it, but I value it for more than utility and started to worry about wear... So I bought two more to be shooters! (now I'm almost a Model 61 collector...)

I'm not going to go tramping through the swamps with my grandpa's Model 12s, I bought a couple mossbergs for that duty. I don't care if I drop those in the mud and scratch 'em on the barb wire.

Most of the rest of my collection is old military stuff. Some of which I do intend to fire sometime, but the ammo is next super rare (Swiss Vetterli)...

Then there's the whole problem of "which gun do I take to the range?" Why would I take a Finn Mosin out again when I can have more fun banging away with one of my M1s? :D

So yes, I do shoot... but I'm more of a collector.

November 18, 2010, 07:31 PM
Right now I am more of a collector than a shooter. However this is not by choice. I love guns, and like owning them, reading about them, shooting them, practicing with them, and posting about them, but never really thought about collecting them.

But I guess having 5 guns sit in a safe is more of a collection...but I guess when you have only been home for 8 days in the last 90 it makes it difficult to get out and shoot them!:eek::(:(

Ignition Override
November 20, 2010, 04:03 AM
Shooter, but despite having three original Enfields, mostly matching parts (#4, #5), a Yugo Mauser and Garand, they all get used fairly often.

November 20, 2010, 06:43 AM
I am a shooter foremost but when someone else needs to liquidate some firearms for cash I will collect them for my self. I will always give fair value and have been told that I was better than the gunstore or pawn shop here in the area. I think that a good deal is a reason to buy another, don't you?:D

My collection grows:D

Sauer Grapes
November 20, 2010, 09:27 AM
I voted "shooter", only because I can't afford the luxury of collecting. If I had mounds of cash, I would have one HELLUVA collection!

November 20, 2010, 10:11 AM
Let's see........ I have more guns that I don't shoot than those that I do, so does that make me a "Collector/Shooter" rather than a "Shooter/Collector"?
I really don't see the sense in shooting guns that won't perform up to those that I do shoot as they all work pretty much the same way. (You pull the trigger, they go bang and a bullet is sent downrange.) However I am still enamoured of all things firearm. Maybe that's why I own very few current production guns and the majority of what I have are pre WW2.( In fact, I just checked my inventory and out of the 30 or so I own, I have only 1 gun that is currently in production and it's the one I shoot the most.)

November 20, 2010, 11:35 AM
I've know some folks who collect and rarely shoot their guns/rifles/shotguns. I myself prefer to enjoy the tactile sense of how the tool works, it's mechanisms, and how it's designed accuracy and efficiency come together. Simply put, I like to see it go boom. I think the best thing for me is to go through a course of fire, a competition, or a range session and see the feedback from that. The ability to take down 40 of 48 steel plates, place 1" groups, winning a shooting stage adds intrinsic value to that particular gun. So when I look at the scratches, slide holster wear marks, the caked up actions, I relish in a job well done. The weapon is cleaned, lubed then stored away for the next session or call of duty. Shooter first then collector as a consequence.

November 20, 2010, 11:37 AM
I said shooter, although I have bought guns because they were neat and will certainly buy guns just to have in the future. I voted shooter though because I will shoot them all. If I were to buy a brand new, unfired Colt Python or something... I shoot that sucker. They were made for shootin', not sittin'!

November 20, 2010, 08:55 PM
Definitely a shooter. I sometimes refer to my "collection," but only for convenience.

November 20, 2010, 10:16 PM
I collect my shooters and I shoot my collection. :neener:

November 20, 2010, 10:21 PM
normally shooters, are not concerned with the quantity of guns that they own, but a few that are proven, and that they are trained and very well at using the few that they do have.

Ever heard this quote? (it goes something like this)
"Beware of the man that has only one gun he probably knows how to use it."

November 20, 2010, 11:39 PM
My FiL is a Collector.
All sorts of firearms that never have/will be fired, very seldom goes to the range, he does CCW but again, practically never practices/trains.
They go into the safe and might come out for a wipe down and oiling once or twice a year. Not even displayed for eye candy.

I just don't understand it, I'm a Shooter.
My guns get used regularly and I practice/train for their intended use, target, hunting & self defense. No safe queens here.

November 21, 2010, 12:32 AM
I said both. I buy guns to shoot and shoot them a lot when they're new. When the new wears off, I often find they start collecting dust...

I will rarely sell a gun (I have to dislike it for that), so the ones that are gathering dust (figuratively) are part of my "collection" until they are given to my sons.

November 21, 2010, 12:24 PM
Both, for sure. I own a lot of guns, mostly pistols, that I regularly shoot. I also own many more firearms that I don't shoot and will never shoot, many of which are classified as antiques.

November 21, 2010, 12:45 PM
There should be another category - Accumulator who occasionally gets out and shoots.

That's me, for the time being. I buy what intrigues me and I shoot when I can.

November 21, 2010, 02:51 PM
I consider myself a shooter and an accumulator not a collector. Being a collector denotes you have some direction.

This comment probably describes me the best. I have stuff like a desert eagle in 50 cal to a revolver carbine!

Zach S
November 21, 2010, 03:09 PM
No collectibles in my safe. I leave them for the collectors.

Ky Larry
November 21, 2010, 06:22 PM
I cleaned out my safe a few years ago and got rid of several guns I wasn't shooting. I really don't have any guns that aren't shooters. Nothing wrong with the guns I got rid of(Weatherby rifle, Benelli, shotgun, S.I.G. pistol, to name a few), I just wasn't shooting them. Now I shoot everything I own at least a few times a year. Today I shot my T/C Black Diamond for the first time since last Spring. I have a Colt Police Positive .38 Spl made in 1932 that is at least 98% original finish and it goes to the range at least once a month.
Having a gun I couldn't shoot would be like being married to Miss America and having seperate bed rooms. What would be the point? YMMV.

If you enjoyed reading about "Are you a shooter or collector?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!