Value beyond Collectability: Guns you'd never let go


April 28, 2012, 12:47 AM
Well, I have a few- nothing extensive, and for sure this 'collection' has no theme- mostly, they are my go-to hunting guns. But, these are guns that I would do anything to maintain in perfect condition and keep at my side, all offers and 'collectability' concerns be darned:

My father's Browning BAR lightweight. How many deer this gun has taken, I don't know, but somewhere in the garage my father has the unmounted antlers of every Buck he has ever shot :). It belonged to my grandfather, who gave it to my father, and I was privileged enough to shoot my first deer (a nubbin' buck) with it. It is my family's breadwinning gun, and even if offered millions, I don't think we could let it go.

My 1942 Mosin Nagant 91/30, named Tonya. Given as my 18th Birthday present, I shot my first 'scoring buck'- the biggest animal I have taken to date- with it. I will keep it forever, and for my children, but I will never sell it or let it sit. To be honest, her value to collectors is not of concern- I will do whatever I must to keep her ready for future use (but no sporterizing :) ). In my opinion, a gun is meant to be used, not left in a safe to whisk away the years in silence. This beauty has a voice and character not bound to arsenal markings, and I love hearing her speak!

My Savage-Stevens .410. This is the first gun I ever shot. Enough said. I've had the action rebuilt and refinished a beaten stock, and this as of now unnamed gun is my go-to squirrel gun. As long as they still make .410, I'll shoot it.

My father's (and grandpa's before him) Browning Gold Hunter in 12 ga. My father and I have shot several turkeys with this gun. As one of the few remaining physical connections to my grandfather, it is priceless to me.

These are the guns that are milestone markers in my life. How about you all- for reason or another, do you have a weapon that you wouldn't part with under any circumstance? Just curious.

Have a good night,


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4v50 Gary
April 28, 2012, 12:50 AM
Grandfather's revolver.

April 28, 2012, 01:20 AM
My great grandfather's Colt's 1860 Army .44 cap-'n-ball revolver. According to our family history, he picked it up on a battlefield from a dead yankee officer after one of the battles in which he fought, 40th Georgia Inf., CSA.


captain awesome
April 28, 2012, 07:32 AM
I think of this and my Baikal O/U 12 gauge and my Ruger 77 come to mind. The Bakail belonged to my grandfather, the other my Dad gave me. But, what if someone was crazy enough to buy them for 1k$ and 4K$ or more respectively which is about double what they are worth(the Ruger actually has a lot of customizations and expensive work done on it).
Then I think about the things my grandfather and my dad both would say about my intelligence and the things they would do to my hide if I didn't take those deals, and it would be obvious what I should do, and would. It would be an insult to their memory and piss both of them off because they didn't raise me to be stupid and not take advantage of an opportunity like that. They all have their price, but no one is going to pay those crazy prices anyway, so its really of little consequence.

April 28, 2012, 07:41 AM
I'm thinking all of them.

I've only ever sold two guns, a Dan Wesson .357 with three barrels, and an 870 express. I got another 870 less than two years later (cost me $130 more than I got for the old one...) and could never afford another Dan Wesson.

I've regretted it ever since.

tightgroup tiger
April 28, 2012, 08:08 AM
I have all of my fathers and father in laws guns I inherited after they passed. No one else was interested in them but my twin brother. I gave him my fathers 1946 model 70 so he had a memory sake also.
I take them out of the safe and handle them once in a while and the memories come back. I can't put a value on what that is worth. I'll never sell them.

April 28, 2012, 08:10 AM
The 6'' S&W model 686 in .357 mag that my dad gave me for my 21st birthday in 1987

April 28, 2012, 08:30 AM
Well, I have a few- nothing extensive, and for sure this 'collection' has no theme- mostly, they are my go-to hunting guns. But, these are guns that I would do anything to maintain in perfect condition and keep at my side, all offers and 'collectability' concerns be darned:

My father's Browning BAR lightweight. How many deer this gun has taken, I don't know, but somewhere in the garage my father has the unmounted antlers of every Buck he has ever shot :). It belonged to my grandfather, who gave it to my father, and I was privileged enough to shoot my first deer (a nubbin' buck) with it. It is my family's breadwinning gun, and even if offered millions, I don't think we could let it go.

If someone offered me MILLIONS, they could have the whole damn collection..............Save 2, a pistol & a shotgun.

April 28, 2012, 09:00 AM
Dad's 552 Speedmaster, I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with the story ( at this point.

My CZ-75b in .40 S&W which is still the most accurate "out of the box" handgun I've ever owned. When you get a gun that is that "right" you keep it!

April 28, 2012, 09:20 AM
I have a Colt Officer 1911 that was past from my uncle to my father to me.

Taurus 617 CCW
April 28, 2012, 10:03 AM
I have two. The first is an Ithaca M49 single shot .22 rifle. That's the gun I learned to shoot on after graduating from a BB gun. The other is a Herbert Schmidt .22 single action revolver. It was a wedding gift/heirloom from my uncle who has recently passed away.

April 28, 2012, 10:03 AM

I won't embed due to size...Pic is from Granville, VT in 1914...

Far left crouching is my Uncle Frank...I have the Marlin 1893 he is holding...Original Marlin-Hepburn rear sight, and a Beech combination front...Half octagon, short mag...His brother Dan is far right standing (closest to deer)...Same rifle, bought together in 1912...I have his house, but the gun went to another nephew...My grandfather is the one sitting front with his rifle pointed up...Died in the early 40's so I never knew him, nor what happened to the rifle...

April 28, 2012, 10:30 AM
The shotgun my wife bought me on valentines day before we got married.

April 28, 2012, 11:10 AM
My Great Grandfather's Winchester model 97 12 Ga. I got it from my dad, and now it has even more meaning since I am only 7 months away from being a Grandfather myself!

April 28, 2012, 11:32 AM
The 1911 my father carried on Guadalcanal in 1942, (no he wasn't supposed to have one) that one will never sell. I intend to will it to my daughter who I can trust to keep it in the family.

April 28, 2012, 12:24 PM
I guess I have 4 at this point:

Marlin 1894CSS, "JM" proof. Until Remlin gets it together, this gun is virtually irreplaceable.

Marlin 39A, "JM" proof. About the same story; maybe slightly easier to replace.

Savage 24, .22/.410 inherited from grandfather. Irreplaceable.

S&W 317 with stainless cylinder. I could actually replace this, but it would take about $900 plus time at S&W for custom work to do so. I could get 5 or 6 hundred for it if I sold it, but very few people would pay me what I've actually got in the gun.

April 28, 2012, 12:36 PM
I have no guns that were gifted or passed down from anyone. That said, i've only ever gotten rid of one gun, and it was traded towards another gun that served the same purpose.
I've never had the income to buy guns on a whim; they've always been planned and budgeted to meet a percieved need. Example, my Rem 870, bought when i moved into my own place for the first time.
I can't imagine getting rid of any of my guns voluntarily at this point, but i suppose if i lost my job and home and had to live on the street, i'd entrust my Mosin M44 and customized PTR-91 to my folks or best friend, keep my Kimber Stainless TLE II for self defense, and sell off the rest.

I have no guns of particular sentimental value. I don't have any that aren't fun to shoot. So they all have their place and value. Can't really see not keeping all of them as long as i can...

April 28, 2012, 05:00 PM
I don't have any that aren't fun to shoot. So they all have their place and value. Can't really see not keeping all of them as long as i can...

Oh, believe me, I understand. I like all my stuff, too. I feel the same way.

It's just a lot easier to walk into a store and get a pump shotgun or a budget .38 snub than it is what I listed.

I'm just now getting to where I can buy "on a whim" - for now. What I have has been carefully researched and obtained over almost 20 years. If you stay with the hobby long enough, you 'll accumulate some stuff. I don't really have any more $ to throw at more guns than the average Working Joe.

Plus there is no guarantee that your replacement will work as good as what you had. So therefore... I am definitely in the "don't sell" camp.

April 28, 2012, 11:13 PM
Grandpa's 20g Wingmaster shot my first whitetail with, .243 Model 70 I shot my first mule deer with, XL7 .30-06 shot my first bear with. Memories that last till death :)

April 28, 2012, 11:23 PM
I have a single shot .22 from my great aunt, 1911 from my wife, and a mod 60 for our anniversary, these are "never sell" 's ... meanwhile, as I would like to get "one more" I try to weed out which I would part with, among more than those, and I honestly can't settle on any to sell yet.

April 28, 2012, 11:43 PM
I go along with those that wouldn't sell anything. I've only sold one gun....way back when, and wish I hadn't done so. It was a blue S&W 6" model 19, the first center fire handgun I ever bought. I sold it so I could buy my Gold Cup. I've never sold another one.

April 29, 2012, 12:29 AM
The Winchester 52B that I own. It belonged to my brother and I remember when he brought it home in 1948, it was born in 1947. I remember him mounting the Lyman Super Spot scope on it. I was 5 years old at the time.

I will never part with it.

April 29, 2012, 12:42 AM
My 870.

April 29, 2012, 12:49 AM
Nice picture Salmoneye.

April 29, 2012, 01:26 AM
there are 4 guns i own id never sell. all of the were my fathers.

winchester model 72A and a H&R 22 special he used to use them to hunt rats and other rodents as a kid in the early 50's.

his model 29 S&W he used to stop a hog that bum-rushed us out of nowhere from a palmetto thicket. it was about 20-30 feet away befor he got it out of the holster, one shot stop but oddly the 44 didnt break the breast plate, it just rode between the bone and the skin till it exited. we think it just gave the hog a heart attack lol.

and his remmington 700 bdl 30-06 that he used for hog and deer

April 29, 2012, 06:46 AM
The Winchester Model 69A that was my dad's first rifle. He taught me to shoot with it and then gave it to me when I turned 11. I've since trained my wife and my youngest son to shoot with it. My son will get it when I'm gone. Then there's my Grandfather's Model 12 12GA and my dad's model 12 20GA shotguns that will stay in the family. As for weapons that I've acquired over the the years I'm not so sure. I've always preferred HK, German built Walthers, Colt Mustangs and Government .380's, Brownings, and my CZ hunting rifles. I would like my wife, sons, brother, brother -in-law and son-in-law to pick a rifle and pistol that they like and sell off the rest. I have a few custom made holsters that are as valuable to me as the pistols I carry in them built by Matt Del Fatti that should stay with their respective pistols. Too bad that we can't take them with us. Should heaven have a shooting range there are a couple I'd enjoy plinking with for an eternity. :D

April 29, 2012, 07:23 AM
Laugh if you will, but it's my RG-22 in .22 short. First handgun, bought it from a department store with no paperwork, just proved up on my brand-new Colorado residency, having come from NYC three months before.

There are others I'd never sell, but that one is my touchstone for freedom, before GCA'68. :fire:

Terry, 230RN

Art Eatman
April 29, 2012, 03:38 PM
I have a bit of a different perspective. I'm 78, and my son looks like he'll be permanently in Germany. (All things considered, he's got a really neat deal, there.)

So, for me, it's a case of which guns mean the most, as I sorta wind down the collection.

Keepers, as long as possible: My father's bring-back M1 Carbine which he toted on D-Day. My very-early production little Model 12 in 20-gauge. An SAA in .44-40, 1903 vintage. I have others which won't go away anytime soon, but these are keepers.

Silent Bob
April 30, 2012, 10:19 AM
My Colt 1991, my Browning Vigilante HP, even my S&W 642 that has been my constant companion for a year now, and have become incredibly fond of. Forget leaving these guns to any hypothetical heirs, I want to be buried with these three guns.

April 30, 2012, 10:42 AM
Good thread, although it's been asked before in the past it's always interesting to see the different responses.

While I'm extremely fond of my Mosin Nagant over even my $1,000 guns there's no real sentimental value. However I do have a 1922 Colt .32 hammerless that was my late Godfather's, he carried it through WWII (not issued but as the story goes took it with him when he left). It was given to me along with the original box :) It is in excellent condition and I try to take meticulous care of it.

April 30, 2012, 11:15 AM
I have a Ruger Mark II Government Target Model pistol that I won't be getting rid of. Crazy accurate and will run pretty much any ammo you care to put in it.

Maybe my 10/22, only because it is only fundamentally one.

I know my guns aren't that impressive as some of the others on here. I don't have any old guns, or guns passed down from my dad.

May 1, 2012, 12:10 AM
My late Dad's M1911A1 from Army service in WWII

May 1, 2012, 01:12 AM
My father gave me a K-31 when I made the honor roll in H.S. He also gave me Remington-Rand .45 ACP from 1943.
There are 3 rifles that aren't impressive but I did a lot of wood work to them and minor gunsmithing: M1Garand, Ag42B and an FN-49. Would like to pass them on and keep them in the family

May 1, 2012, 09:04 AM
First 2 guns my dad gave ne at age 11, bolt action Remington 22 and 20 gauge wingmaster, killed my first deer with the shotgun. Later I got his 870 12 gauge. My first centerfire which is also first gun I bought on my own. Then I have an Escort pump, a 1148 20 gauge, and a 1100 16gauge my wife bought me. Next would a Double Auto, a Standard weight A5 16 gauge and an A5 magnum as well as a XP 100 in 221 Fireball. These were all given to me by a very close friend, who just recently passed away. The rest of my collection can go if nee be, but these are kinda special. Sorry for the ramble, but well you know.

May 1, 2012, 09:24 AM
I've had to let go of more guns than I like to remember as most of us. The two guns that are not going anywhere are both rvolvers. The first is my dad's Colt python 4". Hordered it new from the Colt custom shop in the '60s to shoot on the reserve police pistol team. I don't remember the date on the receipt, but do remember It was delivered to Ace Hardware invoice from Colt $96.38 custom target tuned from the custom shop. It has never had anything but .38mrwc loads fired in it and is still 100%.

The other revolver that I will never get ride of is an A factory engraved S&W mdl.57 4". This gun has custom McGivern sights, Bearhug grips and a tuned and timed action. Yes I shoot and carry it.



May 1, 2012, 09:37 AM
Grandfathers Colt Frontier Scout revolver he gave to me before he passed.
70 series Colt LWT Commander the first handgun I ever bought and a S&W model-36 with 3 inch barrel, nickle chiefs .38spl. my father in law gave to my wife.

May 1, 2012, 09:41 AM
I have 3 inherited, 2 Winchesters and a Colt of what I bought 2 Brownings would be added to the keep pile.

May 1, 2012, 12:08 PM
I don't understand being buried with them.

I have a couple sentimentals that I inherited and I'd rather have my sons get the enjoyment out of them as I have rather than rotting away in a box underground.

Think about the kids! :D And if you don't have kids to pass them down to you can adopt me. :)

May 1, 2012, 10:09 PM
I had the opportunity to have a few of my father's guns after he passed, but my brothers needed them more and quite honestly, I didn't associate any particular sentimental value with any of them. My firearm accumulation is far better overall and more diversified.

A 22 rifle I learned to shoot with.... I can buy another just like in better condition... a deer rifle or three... have all I need.... shotguns.... same deal.

May 1, 2012, 10:29 PM
Unfortunately all of my family guns were stolen by a worthless a-hole out of my uncles barn when I went to college. My dad had passed and mom didnt know what to do with them. So my uncle offered to put them in his gun safe in the barn. He had a party on a friday night and took a horse down to Texas A&M vet school on Saturday. He came back Sunday and his barn had been broken into and the safe was gone. They must have used a pallet jack and flatbed because it was a big old safe. Devastating to all of us. We had all of the serial numbers but not a single gun has shown up. That was 1995. Included in that were all of my late fathers guns from when he was a boy and a 1911 presented to my grandad when he retired.

Speaking of grandpa he had a Luger he took from a German officer right after Hitler died. He and another soldier sat on a hay bale when it started moving. Two officers quickly surrended. He sold it to a gun dealer in 1991 before moving into an old folks home because he was senile. He meant no harm but it did hurt my dads feelings a lot.

Other grandpa had a revolver her carried in WW1 that is on another side of the family. I am always putting a plug in for it but dont see those cousins much. They are probably dumb enough to sell it. I am sure it is a Colt Officers of some kind. Probably a 1917 and 45 Colt but I havent seen it in 20 years.

So, with that long post, My only sentamental guns are ones I have bought.

My S&W 44 mag from when I lived in Alaska. Lots of memories with that gun. Even thought I have no real use for a 44mag now that I am back in the lower 48 I wont let it go.
A Taurus snub nosed 38. I know that sounds wierd and I have told its story a couple of times lately. But it is the most accurate pistol out to about ten or fifteen yards I have ever shot. And it doesnt matter who shoots it. It is freakeshly accurate. I know it was not engineered to be but thats what makes it so cool. In fact the only time it ever gets shot anymore is to prove it to someone who doubts me. So far it has not disappointed.

May 2, 2012, 11:37 AM
probably a spanish 20ga SxS that is soo sweet and which has taken lots of game.

May 2, 2012, 11:42 AM
I have two handguns that I recieved from my father. One at least has no real collectors value, but to me its a priceless reminder of my father. I would never sell either one.

May 2, 2012, 11:53 AM
Any of the many guns given to me by my father. I'm very fortunate in that he has given me a number of guns over the years out of his own collection. Someday I'll write a post about all the guns I've been given since I was a kid. Most don't believe it.

May 2, 2012, 04:05 PM
I am fortunate enough to have accumulated a lot of very nice firearms over the years (and have regretted getting rid of more than a couple over that time period :( :o) but the one "untouchable" is the Winchester Model 67 single-shot rifle that I received as a Christmas gift from my parents in 1957 when I was fourteen years old. The big caveat is that the little .22rf rifle is destined to be given to a certain Grandson on a Christmas day in the not so distant future. :)

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