Anyone else love a beat up gun?


November 15, 2012, 05:36 PM
You know, faded blueing, lots of wear and character marks on the wood and lots of history behind it. :D

I love beat up guns, but only when I've been the one to wear'em out.

I kind've think that the wear is a badge of honor. :rolleyes:

Anyone else feel this way?

Post pics of your beaters!

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November 15, 2012, 05:39 PM
It depends on the gun: I'd like to see beat up AR 15s because its nice to see people running them hard even though they can be pricy...

...but I don't like to see beat up M1911s because I see them as little works of mechanical art

...and I hate to see old Blue and Wood rifles and handguns that are rusty or damaged.

In general, I like the look of beat up "military"* weapons (M1 Garand, AR) while I like my "civilian" weapons (bolt action hunting rifle, etc.) clean and shiny.

*which is not to say the these weapons are only for the military, just that they are closely associated with our military.

November 15, 2012, 05:50 PM
I like old beat up guns. Most of guns have been purchased used with no refurb.

My S&W 469 has a lot of honest wear, as does my M-44, and an old 20 gauge single shot. The guns I have bought new, tend to stay looking new. I don't baby them, though, so they have some honest wear. Just hard to get 80 years of patina on a five year old gun.

November 15, 2012, 06:24 PM
I don't like rust either actually Mr. Slander:scrutiny:

To me rust isn't honest wear, but neglect.

*I am guilty of forgetting to clean a few Mosins after some ComBloc corrosive though. :rolleyes:

November 15, 2012, 06:54 PM
I hate rust on a gun, but I love honest wear. Wear caused by holsters or scabbards or just general handling and hunting look good to me. My dad has an old Marlin 336 that he has hunted with since he was a teenager. The gun has very little blueing left on the receiver and a lot of the finish is worn off the wood from being carried through the woods countless times. That gun is like a work of art to me, it has character a NIB gun can never have. I see safe queens and perfect guns but to me they don't look as good as a gun that is cared for but used like it was meant to be used.

November 15, 2012, 07:00 PM
Rust is a constant enemy.

I put my Barrett M95 away without wiping it down a couple years back; next time I pulled it out, there's a noticeable handprint... on a parkerized finish, no less! So I have a (rather big and heavy) constant reminder now to double-check them, and re-oil occasionally.

Does it hurt the gun? No. But it annoys me now every time I look at the damn thing.

Honest wear is different. I've got a couple of old hunting shotguns that have been handed down - one is 5 generations old. It's seen better days. MUCH better days. :)

Larry Ashcraft
November 15, 2012, 07:03 PM
I have my granddad's Model 90 Winchester 22 short that has been used by four generations now. Hardly any finish left, and it's pretty loose, but I like it that way.

I inherited my dad's Model 70, 5 digit SN Winchester, in 300 Win Mag (bored out from 30-06 in 1963) and promptly gave it to my son. Dad usually carried it slung over his shoulder and held onto the barrel with his hand while climbing. The bluing is completely worn off where his hand always was. Makes my son think of his grandpa when he's hunting elk with that rifle.

November 15, 2012, 07:04 PM
As a collector, to me condition is everything. I want the guns to be in pristine condition, to the extent possible, and that's why I avoid firing them. I'll settle for a "beater" only if it's a great rarity, and unavailable in a better condition. (Even then I would probably walk away from it.)

November 15, 2012, 07:22 PM
I love honest wear & tear. Holster/scabbard wear, lead streaks on loading gates, ivory grips or stock treatments with handling patina - hell, I really love visible and well done repairs to keep a firearm going with minimal part replacement.


Old oiled limp slings
Bare metal backstraps
Worn checkering
Smoothed over parkerizing
Linseed oil soaked walnut

Give me a worn looking gun proving it was designed to stand up to extended use any day. I already have too many NIB monuments to non-use.

November 15, 2012, 07:23 PM
I grew up poor and if it wasn't for beaters and hand me downs I wouldn't have had a gun to hunt with. If it wasn't for a beater .410 single, Springer .22lr and Win 94 I'd have never known the joy of shooting. Sure these days I have some really nice stuff but the beaters still get the most love. When I walk out the door do I grab the unscathed new pistol..nope the G23 with way too many miles or grandma's old .38 snubbie gets to ride. Plinking fun Nylon 66 most days or maybe the FrankenRuger 10/22. Don't get me wrong I love a fine rifle but the majority of the time I just prefer my beaters :)

November 15, 2012, 07:27 PM
I'm kind of partial to this old S&W Hand Ejector in .32-20 that got passed down to me by a favorite uncle.
Sure I'd be happy if it was in pristine condition, but it is what it is...a fine shooter with a lot of mileage. Only problem is the scaricity and price of ammo, and a friend solved that by finding this Lyman .32-20 hand-loader in his box of tricks:


November 15, 2012, 08:22 PM
Yep! I love a gun with experience and character... my favorite hunting rifle (which was stolen) had knicks, dings, and three pin-holes in the stock from where I landed on a downed barbed wire fence... just made 'er more beautiful to me...

November 15, 2012, 08:30 PM
Yesterday I took a deer to a slaughter house for processing. Leaning up against the outside door was a Ruger 10-22 that looked like it had been submerged in salt water for a couple of years.

I commented on it's condition to one of the workers. He replied that the gun had been leaning in that doorway for over 20 years had had been splattered with blood from many many thousands of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs that it had killed over the years. He said that he only had to shoot an animal more than once since he had been using the gun.

November 15, 2012, 08:31 PM
Depends on whether its from use or neglect (and sometimes its a little of both). A friend of my dad's brought his .30-30 over the other day for some help in setting the scope. He pulled out a Marlin 336 that he said he'd had for over 4 years. There was no finish left on the wood, and the rifle was literally a shade of brown from accumulated rust that had never been really cleaned off well.

We eventually got it set and I know he kills deer with that gun every year, but it was nearly heartbreaking to see a gun in that bad of shape. I had my own 336 out shooting it as well and though its no safe queen (it's got some wear spots and a few scratches and nicks in the wood), seeing just how bad a gun CAN be made me appreciate how good of shape mine was still in.

November 15, 2012, 08:45 PM
I like military surplus guns when they have a little "character".

I'd prefer to rough up my guns myself rather than buy one that's already worn, but as long as any damage is superficial it won't turn me off from buying something. In fact, I'd probably buy the rougher one on the grounds that I might be able to get them to knock the price down a little.

November 15, 2012, 08:54 PM
Love a worn gun my 1911 has hoster wear my 336 scuffed up i just put the first scuff on the ar

November 15, 2012, 09:03 PM
My 760 has got a lot of character, 30 years of use in the Pacific Northwest rain forest, a few years of hunting in the San Juan Islands. Still functions well, though.

November 15, 2012, 09:10 PM
So I take it that you guys won't like this?

November 15, 2012, 09:25 PM
Sure. My carry pistol (P228):

Deus Machina
November 15, 2012, 09:26 PM
Looks like Ivan does a heck of a good chrome job on that bayonet!

General Geoff
November 15, 2012, 09:32 PM
Came across this on an older 1911 showoff thread. Gorgeous.

November 15, 2012, 09:37 PM
Sure. My carry pistol (P228):

What do you do? Line your holster with sandpaper?

Looks like Ivan does a heck of a good chrome job on that bayonet!

It's Chinese and I think stainless steel.

November 15, 2012, 09:43 PM
Love some good honest wear.

November 15, 2012, 09:48 PM
I love old mosins, mausers, springfields, etc that have that " been there, done that, got the t-shirt" look. Especially finn mosins.


November 15, 2012, 09:59 PM
I have no problem with honest wear on a weapon, especially if I put it there. Rust is another matter: abuse instead of use. My Model 10 and various battle rifles all show use but they are clean inside and work great. My best friend regularly uses rifles bought by his grandfather. They've seen the better part of a century's use but still hit the target.

It's a good thing honest wear doesn't bother me since I see it every time I look in a mirror. :rolleyes:


November 15, 2012, 10:36 PM
You know it, Shows character..................

November 15, 2012, 11:03 PM
If it is from me and has a story behind it, I'm okay with it. On one of my AR lowers there is a ding in the finish near the bolt catch where I missed the roll pin when I was assembling my first lower. It was one of a couple imperfections on that lower and I am proud of them all.

November 15, 2012, 11:12 PM

November 16, 2012, 09:24 AM
Honest wear is great, especially on an old shotgun.

November 16, 2012, 10:53 AM

November 16, 2012, 05:50 PM
Since I enjoy working on my guns at least as much as firing them, I really have a soft spot for less popular guns that could be returned to near new conditioning with a little work here and there. I saw an old Westernfield branded Mossberg bolt .22 a few months ago - 47.95. It was all I could do to walk away from that even though the condition of the stock matched the price. The action still worked slick and the mag was with the rifle. I should have bought that one for sure - just having a project to work on would have been worth $50.

There is a LH 788 in .308 at the same LGS now with a few nicks in the stock and a little bit of freckle rust on the barrel. My son shoots LH, but he is not really interested in shooting an accurate bolt. The bore needs to be cleaned so I can not really see if it has any real problems, but the crown and action all look good. If I had the money I would buy it just to flip it on GB after doing a bit of work on it.

November 16, 2012, 07:18 PM
You know, faded blueing, lots of wear and character marks on the wood and lots of history behind it. :D

Depends a LOT what has caused all the wear.

My carry guns and hunting shotguns are more or less beat up, but my real pride and joy is a very worn 7.65/.32ACP Beretta 1915 my father used as his last line of defense through three wars. A grim piece of history, he got it at the age of 12, in the middle of war in 1918 fighting the red mutiny socialists call finnish civil war. It may be collectible by itself nowadays, but to me it's priceless with all the scratches, dings and bluing so faded it looks almost purple. That's what I call character. It wouldn't be the same in pristine LNIB condition or, heaven forbid, restored.

November 17, 2012, 04:42 AM
Yes. Yes I do.

Traded a Springfield that was worth more for a DPS marked Highway Patrolman. Wanted one. Wanted one with some honest wear. Got one.

Bought a beat all up 870 Express from a pawn shop table at a gun show. Decent deal. Was a beater looked like it spent ten years behind the seat of some redneck's truck. Wish I knew that redneck. Great gun. Take it afield, don't have to worry bout gettin' a ding or scratch on it. Runs like a top. Take that Express haters!

Don't even get me started 'bout my M1. Trying to beautify the grain of the wood without taking out the scars. While I wouldn't mind purtifying it, certainly don't want to rob it of it's history.

Can't wait for more wear on my EDC G19.

Something about the charm of a gun been used the way it was s'posed to be.

November 17, 2012, 05:41 AM
I also like wear, but do not like rust. Rust is a sign of poor ownership.

November 17, 2012, 06:34 AM
Aint she purdy?

November 17, 2012, 06:43 AM
Sure. My carry pistol (P228):

It looks less like you're carrying it and more like you're dragging it!

November 17, 2012, 08:12 AM
This one has seen a lot of use over the years.

November 17, 2012, 08:18 AM
I like beat-up guns except when they get beat up through me being a doofus. Years ago, someone on here or gbo linked to a place that sold mostly old western guns from the cowboy era and they had a Peacemaker that had been in one Native family most its life. The grip was tightly interwoven cloth and it had been knocked around a good bit, but it was one of those "oh the stories this gun could tell" guns.

1-1 Banger
November 17, 2012, 08:46 AM
I love it when I'm the one that did it, it adds to the character of the gun. The Savage 10 in 243 that my stepdad handed down to me when I was 9 is covered in little scratches and wear marks from 2 lifetimes of hunts. My Ruger MKII has lost all the blueing on the frontstrap and the checkering on the mag release has been worn smooth, from the 1000s of rounds I've put through it since I was 11

November 17, 2012, 08:52 AM
I like my "range guns" clean and in good condition for the most part. Carry guns honest wear is nice.

My only military gun is an M91/30... I had intentions of refinishing it as a project before buying it, but since I have it now, I decided I'll just keep it original as the wear and dings show character.

November 17, 2012, 10:56 AM
My last two purchases have been of 1970's manufacture, and honestly one of the more likeable things about them (to me, anyway) are the character marks.

Both have obviously seen their share of honest use. Not a problem; both fully intended to be shooters from the beginning.

November 17, 2012, 09:43 PM
I don't mind a gun with honest wear at all. To me it tells a story.
Colt Army Special, 2.5" bbl., .38 special, mfg. 1922.
Now if this Colt could talk.....

November 18, 2012, 02:16 AM
Not really "beat up", just well worn.

These aren't my guns, just a couple pics I've borrowed from a 1911 board. Great looking pistols!

Fast Frank
November 18, 2012, 04:35 AM
Life is full of ups and downs.

There have been times when whipping out my wallet and throwing down a thousand dollars for a gun I wanted was no big deal, and I've done it.

There have been other times in my life when twenty bucks mattered, and I had to think about it hard before I could spend that kind of money.

Due to a series of unfortunate incidents, There was a point around '01 or '02 where I found myself not owning any guns at all, having liquidated them to survive.

I came to a spot where I thought I could afford to pick up a serviceable rifle, but it needed to be cheap and something I could actually use.

I had it in my mind that I would buy some old beat up thing to get me by for a while, and then replace it with something nicer when my money was in better shape.

That's when I saw this rifle at a pawn shop. It's a Marlin 336, chambered in .30-30.

Poor thing. Somebody had chopped it's barrel off short, hung a scope crooked in those ugly "See Through" mounts with the cross hairs making an "X", and painted it with spray in pickup truck bed liner.

I laughed at it sitting there in the rack, and the guy at the pawn shop said, "Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking when I took it in".

He handed it to me, so I could see some of the more ridiculous details.

It was the ugliest old rifle I had ever laid eyes on.

I worked the action, and was shocked. It was smooth as butter, and it locked up tight.

Then I checked out the trigger... Nice! It was light and crisp.

I was sitting there looking at the thing, and thinking that I actually kind of liked the way it balanced and handled.

I opened it up, and peered down the barrel. It looked dirty, but I didn't see any rust in there, or obvious problems.

I was pondering the scope mounted with the crosshairs 45 degrees from where they ought to be when I heard the guy say "I've got 165 bucks in that thing, And NOBODY is gonna give me that for it"

Well, I gave him the 165 and took it home.

It was perfect for what I wanted. I was going to just toss the scope and ugly rings and here was a rifle I could actually take a deer with for very little money.

Well, I got to looking at the scope, and it again surprised me. It was a 3-10 Bushnell and it actually had a pretty clear bright picture.

I decided to just straighten up the mounts and use that scope to see if the rifle shot straight or not.

I cleaned up the barrel and lubed things up a little. It actually looked OK down the bore.

Then, I spray painted the whole thing flat black with a can of Krylon spray paint.

So I bought a box of bullets and took the ugly little rifle to the range.

And it surprised me again.

I had a Very nice 336 in the past, with beautiful lumber on it and a nice Leupold scope. This ugly old rifle shot better.

After just a few minutes of adjusting on the scope, It was printing three shot groups that were right around an inch at 100 yards.

Here's a group I shot with it several years later for an online contest. This is pretty typical for the rifle, and sometimes it shoots a little better. It likes the silver tips a little better than the power points.

Not a target rifle for sure, but plenty good enough for deer hunting.

Well, the rest is history.

I have since gotten myself in better financial condition, and I have managed to get some nice rifles in my safe.

But I haven't found a reason to dispose of this ugly little rifle.

In reality, it's got a lot going for it. It just works. It handles and carries nicely.

It puts bullets right where I point it, Holds it's zero well, Doesn't jam, And I'm not afraid to take it out and use it in ugly weather. What's it going to do? rust?

I have taken deer with it, and there's a good chance that I just might reach past a much more expensive rifle to pull it out next time i decide to hunt.

Yes. It's a well worn old gun and I love it. It's earned it's place in my safe. I have some history with it now and I trust it. What more can a man ask of a rifle?

I'll edit in a picture in a minute...

November 18, 2012, 09:19 AM
These threads always make me want to bust out "Stinkbutt."

Stinky got its name from the foul essence of the prior owners combination of Walmart unisex cologne and Ballistol which had become imbued in the squishy Hogue grips (which are still in quarantine under the shed in the back yard).

November 18, 2012, 10:50 AM
You want honest wear?

November 18, 2012, 12:22 PM
As long as it shoots accurately &functions fine I don't care what it looks like. Some of my best shooter's are all beat up & are just fine as carry guns. I just wish I knew the history behind them.

November 19, 2012, 01:27 AM
I do enjoy vintage firearms and ones that have seen some honest use. My personal favorite in my Wilson 1911, which isn't too beat up except where it and I went down a couple flights of stairs on a call as an LEO, which put some honest use marks on both of us.

Ignition Override
November 19, 2012, 02:37 AM
Does anybody else out there with a decent Enfield #4/Mk.1 or FR8 (decent wood color) know how to post?
My wife can sometimes post, but it's not easy.

November 19, 2012, 08:59 AM
I always hated missing up an expensive rifle plowing thru the heavy woods in MI.
My last 3 rifles are plastic stocks---it is hard to show hard wear on these stocks.
I do see why they come with recoil pads--OUCH

November 19, 2012, 05:52 PM
My new shotgun has plenty of wear, I have to wonder what adventures it has been through..

November 19, 2012, 10:35 PM
I like mine beat up because then I don't have to worry about them getting beat up.

November 19, 2012, 11:04 PM
My dirty girl, she may not look like much but she is oh so sweet,.....

November 19, 2012, 11:45 PM
Model 18 .22lr Most fun gun ever!

Taurus 617 CCW
November 20, 2012, 08:21 AM
I like them as refinish projects but not to keep in that condition.

Carl N. Brown
November 20, 2012, 08:50 AM
I got a couple of pawn shop orphan .22s -- abused Marlin Model 60 and a Remington Nylon 66 -- that I cleaned, repaired as needed, and dressed up after watching "Mad Max III (Road Warrior)" the umpteenth time to use a truck guns for trips to the mountain.
(The pretty one at the top ends up staying home a lot.)

November 20, 2012, 02:22 PM
The Road Warrior was Mad Max II. Beyond Thunderdome was Mad Max III.

Old single shot 20 gauge

My S&W 469

Hungarian M-44

November 20, 2012, 08:12 PM
I have a Kreigsmarine Mauser pistol that came back from the war and someone forgot to wash the salt water spray off of it.

The corrosion adds character.

November 20, 2012, 09:32 PM
I have a "hand me down" Marlin 336 30-30
It is maybe a $100 rifle based on visual inspection.
I would be physically sick if it were to ever disappear!!!
I still keep it in rotation for hunting. Mainly hogs. It is fast and light. I can't imagine not having it to hunt with, not to mention the "legacy" it has.
I am not lacking in hardware to play with and put in the field, but that "junk" 30-30 is always going to be one of my most favorite firearms!

November 20, 2012, 09:39 PM
I prefer guns from the 50s-70s, when they where still put together by gunsmiths before CNC machining became the norm. Smooth actions, steel frames, walnut grips ah for the good ole days! I don't mind honnest wear on an older model, some of the best guns I ever owned had less than 40% bluing left on on them, mostly S&W mod 10s.

November 22, 2012, 01:05 AM

November 22, 2012, 01:57 AM
Does this one qualify? Went to work together every day for 27 years, and shared an adventure or two along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving all,

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