Totally Practical, or Sentimental and Nostalgic?


July 21, 2011, 04:36 PM
I find that sentimentality, nostalgia, and a little whimsy make up some of my choices in handguns, and wondered how many of you are that way. I like the .44 Special, for instance. Is it because it's such as good cartridge, or because I remember stories by Skeeter Skelton and others, and find some of the old guns and cartridges just a little more interesting because of it. I think if old Elmer Keith were here, he'd pass on the .44 Special and choose the .44 Magnum, just because he was practical on the issue, and just wanted a better gun for the purpose. If I were the same, I'd easily choose my Ruger .44 Mag over my Ruger .44 Special. Same about autos. I'd probably choose a Glock 20 or 21 over a 1911. But the warm, fuzzy inner feelings about blued steel and walnut, etc, keep me interested in guns that aren't always the "practical" choice. It is fortunate that I don't have to choose permanently; only daily, for which one to carry or take out shooting. What about you?

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July 21, 2011, 04:54 PM
Make mine a Smith model 24 .44 Special and a Les Baer PII 1911.

July 21, 2011, 05:36 PM
If I'm going to buy something, it's generally more utility and practical, stainless steel, etc.

The .44 Special, hot rodded, ala Kieth, etc. was a neat round, and brings out some special attributes. Accurate, and perhaps a couple of loads in the near perfect category for defense, with little recoil.

That said, I'd have to reload for it, otherwise I wouldn't be very happy with the anemic offerings by the ammo companies, at very high prices.

SDM: You have a number of very fine guns. Endulge yourself as you are comfortable, and, no need to justify your enjoyment of fine firearms.

I enjoy fondling certain guns even if they aren't the most practical.

This is my pillow gun:
Is it practical to have a .500JRH for a pillow gun? Perhaps. It's more or less what the .44 special is, just more of it. 440 grain bullet at 950 fps, without much recoil.
Plus, I just love the feel, lockwork, and fact that it's stainless.

July 21, 2011, 07:24 PM
I find that sentimentality, nostalgia, and a little whimsy make up some of my choices in handguns, and wondered how many of you are that way.

I'd say 90% of my purchases are driven by things I see like craftsmanship, style and nostalgia, with the last 10% coming down on the "practical" or utilitarian side of things.

July 21, 2011, 07:52 PM
Totally Practical, or Sentimental and Nostalgic?

Any of my S&W .357 Magnums cover all three options for me.

July 22, 2011, 12:27 AM
Ooooh, tough choice. I think my main gun purchase reason would be sentimentality.

I, for instance, once bought a very ... used? Kahr E9 simply because nobody else would.
It had incredibly worn finish, but internally looked very nice, with a trigger that was for all intents and purposes polished. Due to wear and age I can only assume.

On the other hand though, I bought my PT911 by handling *every* handgun at one particular show and seeing which handled best. so practicality won out on that one.

My continuing mild 1911 addiction though is very sentimental. I simply liked my first 1911 so much that now I'm chasing the "spirit" of it, through a new one.

So really I think my handgun buys are triggered by any one of the three ... but once in my possession ... I become so attached to my guns that it is a mix of all three.

July 22, 2011, 06:52 AM
I believe that the OP was asking what gun we would carry daily, not purchase. That being said, it depends on the threat assessment. If I'm headed to a high crime area then it's a Glock with 2 spare magazines, for lower threat values it might be my LCP or Kahr, but even when I carry my SA .45 Colt, I have 2 reloads and a back up plan. Thank God we have the freedom to carry and choose!:cool:


July 22, 2011, 07:01 AM
You can't have both features in one gun?

July 22, 2011, 08:31 AM
SDM has a very nice .500S&@ snubby, so, I don't think a carry piece is the issue.

I think it's more a general question to justify something he wants to purchase, but, has no rational reason to buy.:D

July 22, 2011, 10:58 AM
I was just wondering what leads other people to the gun they buy OR carry, but mostly just own. Some people are just totally practical about guns, the type that would own a Glock and recommend it to others, and see no reason for blued steel and walnut in this day and age. For myself, it would be a very hard thing to whittle down to "just one gun". Would it be a 1925 Colt Government, S&W Hand Ejector in .45 Colt, or a Glock 29? I really don't know. I love them all, regard the G29 for being state of the art for defense, but lovingly look upon the S&W & Colt. The old guns always got the job done before, and little has changed since then besides tactics. Hot lead hits "target", and the rest is up to luck and fate. :)

July 22, 2011, 12:04 PM
Nostalgia is in the eye of the beholder. Is a revolver--with titanium cylinder and scandium alloy frame--nostalgic? A 1911-based open-class racegun in .40 S&W? An old, first-generation Glock 17 with the non-drop-free mags: "Hey, I remember those!"

I'm wondering if you're talking aesthetics: clean lines, simple form, blued steel, walnut.

If I'm carrying concealed or in the rain, I love Glocks. But that's not aesthetics. Most of my "good weather" guns are pretty, and my hunting guns are accurate and reliable...and perhaps it's not surprising all of them are usually both.

Standing Wolf
July 22, 2011, 01:39 PM
I believe what we carry matters much less than whether we carry. All too many of us spend all too much time unarmed because it's "too much bother."

July 22, 2011, 05:43 PM
Nostalgia, for lack of a better word, as opposed to purely practical. If we choose something that is less practical for the job, less state-of-the-art useful, whatever you call it, whatever accumulated reasons make your choice less than practical. Nostalgia is just one thing that makes up the choice.

July 22, 2011, 06:11 PM
I'm more practical than sentimental. In handguns, I did recently buy a Walther PPK based more on sentiment than practicality. It wasn't because of James Bond either. It was because of the stories I read by the old-time gun writers who had used them. IIRC, Skeeter Skelton liked to carry one in the back pocket of his jeans.

July 22, 2011, 09:50 PM
Life is too short to be too practical but there's nothing saying that guns that stir the soul cannot also be very practical. It's all about proper mindset. A $5000 Bowen Best Grade Ruger, Colt, USFA or S&W is just as practical as a $400 stainless GP-100. As long as you believe that no gun is "too nice" or too expensive for serious use and holster wear.

July 22, 2011, 09:53 PM
I have to say that my tastes lean heavily towards the "nostalgic" or more classic fare. Sure, I have "practical", even polymer pieces for utilitarian purposes. I don't have issues with hi-cap magazines, laser sights and the like.....not at all.

But for sheer enjoyment and the pleasure of shooting, the old, classic stuff from the Golden Age of American mechanical engineering is what does it for me.

Examples of recent acquisitions include, Colt Agent .38, Savage 1915 .32 auto, Winchester Model 12, Colt Woodsman Match get the idea.

July 22, 2011, 10:05 PM
I think I do a little of both. My first gun (besides a musket for reenactment) was a purely practical Springfield XD. Sentimentality than won out with an M1 Garand (though admittedly it is a practical shooter as well). I then went on a milsurp kick which was mostly sentimental. This ended with the purchase of a 1911 which I initially bought mostly from sentiment but which has proved incredibly practical and is now my favorite carry piece. I almost added a Winchester 1886 (which I've always wanted) but decided it'll have to wait and more practical (especially cheap to shoot) firearms have won out. To feed my lever-action craving, I'll probably add a Henry Golden Boy in the economical .22lr (750rds of .22lr for the same price as one 20rd box of .45/70). I'd considered buying an AR-15, but I think I'm likely to buy an AK-74 varient as it'll cover the same functionality at a cheaper price (both the rifle and ammo). Anyways, long story short, I seem to flip flop between the sentiment and practicality depending on the funds available, what's already in the collection (ie perceived voids/need) and just general circumstances (ie I can't get into reloading at the moment, so the Winchester 1886 wouldn't see any range time).

July 23, 2011, 05:10 AM
I suspect there are better guns out there.. but nothing fits my hand like a 1911.

Not an A1, not a race gun or one with rails just a plain jane 1911.

Nostalgia sometimes works just fine.

July 23, 2011, 06:36 AM

Glock 30 and 29's are, by logic, great guns. I hate both of em. Can't shoot either well, and, I can find other choices that I shoot far better.

Same with my 360PD. Logically, it's a great combination of power and weight. Real time is, it's a beast, that reduces accuracy to 7 yards, and chest shots.

Irony is I shoot the big guns as good, if not far better, then these choices.

In part, it becomes what you've shot, since the 1911 variants, Detonics and Kimber, I drive tacks with, compared to Glocks.

That said, the 35 and 34 are great guns, I can shoot well, and, would own, if they weren't over priced.;)

Guns are weird, since handsize determines what you can shoot well, and what you can't, and how well it is tailored to your hands.

With hi powered guns, as you know, without custom fitting, a barn maybe safe in your sites...:what:

July 24, 2011, 02:20 AM
I love the look of blue steel and rich wood grips. However, I don't have the budget for collecting. So, practical purposes win out, for the most part.

One of the things that atracted me to the CZ p-07 was the classic beaver tail exposed hammer. It had the design and feel of a classic. Plus I planned on converting it to a manual safety for a true SA semi-auto. I just thought the safety was a little too hard to manipulate so I left it DA/SA.

I went practical when considerring things like price, reliability, capacity, and ergonomics. I went sentimental with the design stylings. I need to get one more gun and then I will start on the emotional buying.

I want to find a 1911 that closely mimics what the Army First Cavalry would have been issued in Vietnam. Then I want to get the POW MIA emblem engraved on one side and the Vietnam Vetarn ribbon on the other. Once I have that tribute to my grand-pa I'll be through with collecting I believe.

Deus Machina
July 24, 2011, 06:30 AM
Sentimental for me! A personal sentimentality, though, not one engrained into me.

Yes, I do enjoy deep bluing and wood grips over polymer, but function does come before form. But I also don't own anything I wouldn't carry, and a new Glock holds no sentimental feel to me; they feel more like a mercenary than a guardian. If you have to pull it, they have a job to do, but don't care if you get out of it alive. My previous S&W 469 felt like an old friend, like the old small-town police sergeant that possible carried it, that wanted you to go home without being disappointed in it.

July 24, 2011, 07:28 AM
My first pistol is a 1911, and I bought it because I have always had a fascination with history, and the 1911 is a pistol with a lot of history. I was not able to shoot it well, so it gradually became more practical, with improved sights. Now it does triple duty as nostalgic (completely original, with the exception of sights), practical (favorite carry gun) and sentimental (my first pistol). I have other pistols now, but it is now the pistol I would turn to if all else fails, because I know it inside and out; how it will shoot; and how to aim at longer than normal pistol range. I can't do that with any of my other pistols, so that is what practice and familiarity will do for you.

July 24, 2011, 09:31 AM
I have always liked and enjoyed shooting the 44 special. I own two of them, an original Model 24 Target model (Triple lock) that was given to me b, y a favorite uncle. This revolver has been retired to a custom walnut case and is now a safe queen. My second was a 4 5/8'' Ruger Vaquero in 44-40 that I had fitted with a custom 44 Special cylinder, since Ruger made both the 44-40 and 44 Magnum with the same diameter barrel, both cylinders were loaded with .429'' lead bullets. This Vaquero with the 44 Special cylinder is my favorite woods gun. Want to talk about 44 Specials in a 44 Maggie now.....? :)

Doubting Thomas
July 25, 2011, 01:08 AM
For a work gun I want something basic and reliable that can absorb dings and scrapes; my choice in the day was a Ruger DA .357 that refused to wear out. Hardly fancy but I did have my name scroll engraved on the backstrap because I was fond of it.

However I did carry a LW Commander with ivories for a while, and was even known to carry an old Colt SAA a time or two.

I still use that Ruger as "Old Reliable" and it certainly qualifies as nostalgic now. Same for a M1911 produced in 1913 or an M1 Garand made in the year and month I was born. If they're relics, they're darned efficient relics.

Heck, the M16 was spanking new when I was in the service; now THAT's practically an antique.

July 25, 2011, 10:01 AM
My choices for carry tend to be very utilitarian. Purchases are a much different story, I have a couple modern "plastic" guns I tend to carry most often but I don't need any more of those.

My latest indulgences are Colt 1911's and S&W wheelguns.......and milsurps...........and.....ones with interesting calibers to reload...........I think I may have a problem:rolleyes:

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