A 100 years or more?


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Tired_and_hungry
December 13, 2012, 07:16 AM
I read a comic and in it, a german gunsmith from the 1870s remarks to his customer that the revolver made for him will last for "a hundred years or more" provided that the piece is kept oiled and dry.

Thus, what must one do with regard to maintenance to ensure that a good quality autoloader or revolver bought in the here and now can last for a century? Please assume that 500 rounds are fired per year.

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highpower
December 13, 2012, 07:17 AM
Clean and oil it.

Edited to add a couple of oldies:

US 1903 Springfield dated 1906
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Springfield-1903/i-6Kt67M5/0/XL/IMG_1014-XL.jpg

1897 Winchester dated 1918
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Winchester97/i-ChzHZvd/0/XL/IMG_1007-XL.jpg

M96 Swedish dated 1917
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Swedish-M96/i-3sKWj8b/0/XL/IMG_1544-XL.jpg

US Model 1917 Mfg by Winchester dated 1918
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Winchester-M1917/i-6KKPbWZ/0/XL/IMG_0881-XL.jpg

US 1903 Springfield dated 1918
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/1918-Springfield/i-R3nqfWp/0/XL/IMG_1656-XL.jpg

While some of these aren't quite a century old, I have no doubt that under my care they will achieve the benchmark.

thanatopsis
December 13, 2012, 07:23 AM
It's nice to see another fan of Adam black. For modern firearms or classics it is all the same interns of care. Now it's just easier to clean since we don't use corrosive primers or powder much.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2

hentown
December 13, 2012, 07:39 AM
Just take a quick look at the slide and see if the word, "Glock" appears. If so, then you're good to go, and you can forget about all that cleaning and lubing. :evil:

Sam1911
December 13, 2012, 07:48 AM
I tend to collect and use tools that are somewhat uncommon in modern construction and many of them are well over 100 years old. A bit of oil, and a fair bit of care in storage (really just avoiding moisture) will mean a steel tool will exist in usable condition far beyond its technological obsolescence.

Wood can be a bit trickier. Too much heat and/or heat/cold and moist/dry cycling can be hard on wooden items, but a bit of linseed oil every once in a while will go a long way to preserving stocks, grips, and such.

The real question we haven't answered yet is about polymer (and other man-made material) frames, stocks, and other parts. All plastics and composites are different and will be susceptible to different aging factors at different rates. Will a VP70 still be safe to fire in 2070? I really don't know. In 2170? My gut says no, but it's really hard to say.

By comparison, I once saw a display of a carbine owned by one of the eventual governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony who'd brought it over with him on the Mayflower in 1620. The lock was made by P.Beretta in Italy. (I was told by a curator that it was believed the lock was built for a different (previous, older) gun and had been recycled for use on John Alden's piece which would make it considerably older still -- but I can't find documentation on that now.) It still seems reasonably servicable (though no one's going to try it). http://www.nramuseum.org/the-museum/the-galleries/old-guns-in-a-new-world/case-12-the-mayflower-gun/mayflower-wheellock-carbine.aspx

Compare that a Glock 17 you buy today would have to still be surviving in 2406 (at the very minimum) to match that!

BYJO4
December 13, 2012, 08:08 PM
As stated above, just keep it cleaned and oiled.

BCRider
December 13, 2012, 08:23 PM
I don't have any handguns that are that old but I've got an old Remington 6 boys rifle that still shoots darn good. And near as I can tell given the dates of introduction and shift to the Improved 6 it's at likely somewhere around 100 years old. Another Remington Model 12 pump action rimfire rifle also shoots quarter size groups at 50 yards. And from an etched code under the pump handle I'm guessing that it's around 85 years old.

So yeah, 500 rounds a year isn't a big deal. Keep the gun in good mechanical condition, store it in a low corrosion "metal friendly" environment and keep it lightly oiled and I don't see why it can't last 100 years and more with 500 or more rounds a year down the bore.

56hawk
December 13, 2012, 08:40 PM
I'm still shooting an 1883 Reichsrevolver. I don't think anyone even bothered to oil it in the last 100 years. When I got it I took it completely apart, cleaned a little rust out of it, oiled it up, and I've been shooting it at least once a month since. You would have to abuse a gun pretty bad for it to not last 100 years.

rcmodel
December 13, 2012, 09:02 PM
Heck, 100 years ain't notning!
With todays modern metals & finishes, there is no reason in the world a revolver couldn't last for hundreds of years with proper care.

This gun was made in 1955 = 57 years old.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/1950SW.jpg

This gun was made in 1944 = 68 years old.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/Victory1.jpg

This gun was made in 1943 = 69 years old.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/Commando2.jpg

These two guns were made in 1936 & 1927 = 76 & 85 years old.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/ColtWoodsman.jpg

rc

jeepnik
December 13, 2012, 10:42 PM
If it's steel and wood, the same advice. Clean, oil and keep dry. If it's a plastic gun, well since they haven't been around 100 years we just don't know. But likely the same advice will work.

But remember, if you fire 500 rounds a year for 100 years that 50,000. No matter what the gun, some parts wear is likely. But, change the few that wear out, and you're good to go.

Win73
December 13, 2012, 11:52 PM
This gun was made in 1891 = 121 years old. And it is still fully functional.

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u570/TruckinHunter/Guns/P2220020.jpg

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u570/TruckinHunter/Guns/P2220029.jpg

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u570/TruckinHunter/Guns/P2220033.jpg

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u570/TruckinHunter/Guns/P2220021.jpg

MachIVshooter
December 14, 2012, 04:33 AM
I've got a S&W Model 1, second issue that was made in 1868. No clue how many rounds it's fired, but it still works just fine. I have a few other pre-1900 guns, and quite a few pre-WWI and depression era. Except for laminated steel barrel Bayard SxS shotgun, all of mine are shooters.

The real question we haven't answered yet is about polymer (and other man-made material) frames, stocks, and other parts. All plastics and composites are different and will be susceptible to different aging factors at different rates. Will a VP70 still be safe to fire in 2070? I really don't know. In 2170? My gut says no, but it's really hard to say.

It'll be interesting to see what they do. Long chain polymers are stabile, but not to the degree that steel is. I'm sure a Glock will outlive me, but usable after a century or two? I dunno..........

ATLDave
December 14, 2012, 11:01 AM
I recently shot my great-grandfather's Colt New Pocket revolver in .32 S&W. It was made in 1907 or thereabouts. Mechanically still very sound, despite having been treated and stored in VERY rough conditions before it came into my hands.

jmr40
December 14, 2012, 12:20 PM
The real question we haven't answered yet is about polymer (and other man-made material) frames, stocks, and other parts. All plastics and composites are different and will be susceptible to different aging factors at different rates. Will a VP70 still be safe to fire in 2070? I really don't know. In 2170? My gut says no, but it's really hard to say.



There are plastic items built in the 1930's, about 80 years ago, that are still functional. Newer plastics are even better. They do require care and I suspect plastics left in bright sunlight will degrade quickly. But so would wood. Plastics will hold up better in very humid environments better than steel.

The plastic and other man made materials may require different types of maintenence to survive long into the future. But I believe they have the potential to have a useful life at least as long as wood and steel parts.

Peter M. Eick
December 14, 2012, 12:54 PM
http://eickpm.com/picts/1918_hammer_left.jpg

95 years, 2 wars and it is not in that bad shape. Sure if it was kept in a box it would look a bit better but this gun was used.

http://eickpm.com/picts/3844hd_target.jpg

April 1935 vintage 38/44 that was taken care of over its life. I would have liked to have the original grips but aged ivory works well. Other than a few scratches from nearly 80 years of use, does it look in bad shape?

Also keep in mind that for the bulk of the history of gun owners, wonder lubes were not available. These were probably lubed with sperm oil or car oil or even 3 in 1 oil for most of their lives.

The lesson I learned collecting was that a bit of care, a bit of oil and no abuse the guns will last a really long time even if you shoot them.

rodinal220
December 14, 2012, 08:55 PM
My Savage 1907 .32 still runs fine as does my Remington Model 8 made in 1908 in 35 Remington.Clean it and oil it,store properly.

oldbear
December 14, 2012, 10:15 PM
highpower, that is a GREAT looking M-1897 you have there. Is it an original “trench gun” configuration?

Dnaltrop
December 14, 2012, 10:25 PM
http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac294/greymtns/IMAG0101.jpg

Need a better photo, but 1870 or so, and I still put the odd .22 short through this one. (hands down, my oldest gun by about 40 years or so)

BCRider
December 14, 2012, 10:50 PM
DNA, that is so sweet...

I've got a Remington 12c pump .22 that I did a bit more research into the birth date just yesterday. Up to now I thought that it was a 1930's birth date. I learned from posts found on the Remington Society forums that it was born in 1912. Making it an honest 100 years old.

It came to me with an old all metal Tasco scope mounted on the dovetail for the rear sight. The last time I shot it this centenarion managed to put 10 rounds into a spot about 1.5 inches across at 50 yards and done from a rested position just to check things out. Not bad for an ol' geezer I'd say.... and the rifle did OK too.... :D

Just to get this focused back onto handguns I'd like to add that there is a fella in my Cowboy Action shooting group that does not use any replica guns. He's managed to buy and use authentic guns that were all made before the turn of the 20th Century. He only shoot black powder loads through them as well. And they all look and perform well without any issues.

SaxonPig
December 14, 2012, 10:52 PM
This is the handgun forum, guys. What's with all the long guns?

I am not specifically into really old guns, but I have a couple of pistols that are at or near the century mark.


http://www.fototime.com/0F10590641CB62F/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/339C7C20B341519/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/AAF258FCE5E86A7/standard.jpg

BCRider
December 14, 2012, 10:58 PM
Saxon, I just saw a revolver that has the same front sight as your Colt in the middle picture. I discounted it as a "Colt wannabe" due to that sight and didn't even ask to look at it. Now I'm thinking that I need to phone back the gun store and ask about it and drive back there tomorrow.

The grip scales were the more basic and smaller style and the horse on the badges simply looked too cheezy to be the proper colt symbol. As did the horse on the side plate. But maybe that was how they were done back then?

Edit- Just looked up images. I guess I'm driving back there tomorrow if the early morning phone call goes well....

highpower
December 14, 2012, 11:21 PM
highpower, that is a GREAT looking M-1897 you have there. Is it an original “trench gun” configuration?

Naw, I wish it was. What I have been able to figure out is that it stared out as a riot gun, then was converted around WWII to trench gun configuration.

I keep it loaded with #4 buckshot and it is my home defense gun.

crest117
December 14, 2012, 11:24 PM
I have a trapdoor Springfield rifle model 1873, 45/70 Gov caliber, that was manufactured in 1882 that shoots perfectly. If a gun made of steel is kept protected with oil or grease, I expect it would last for many hundreds of years.

Dnaltrop
December 14, 2012, 11:33 PM
BC

I have one of those same 19-teens Remington Pump .22's as well, (I'll get around to photographing it someday) Apparently it did duty as a shooting gallery gun... still worked well, even if the bore has been worn as smooth as a baby's bottom. Lot of fun even if it's lost a bit of accuracy.

At least before the firing pin fell out during a cleaning and simply... Vanished. :(

SaxonPig
December 15, 2012, 10:44 AM
BCRider- That is what the front sights on the target grade Colts looked like before the late 1950s. The rear sight was adjustable for windage and the front sight adjusted for elevation.

As for the rampant horse logo, it was stamped by hand so the depth can vary from gun to gun as can the placement on the frame. Get 6 Colts and you have the horse in 6 different locations.

All of mine have the early style target stocks.


http://www.fototime.com/C7C71D5ECED112B/standard.jpg

lobo9er
December 15, 2012, 11:01 AM
Glocks will at last us but 2400's?? ha I wish I was there to see it. errr will be there, or what ever.

Acera
December 15, 2012, 12:53 PM
I've got a .22 7-shot single action pocket revolver made between 1861-1869 that is mechanically sound, but missing just about all it's original finish that I fire on occasion. I keep it clean and protected with a light coat of oil. I have no reason to believe that if kept in the same condition that it will not be good to go for another 150+ years.

mnrivrat
December 15, 2012, 03:27 PM
How about my 1850's vintage shootable W.W. Marston . I'm not likely to put many rounds through the old girl anymore but it is not worn out just yet.

Nickel Plated
December 16, 2012, 12:18 PM
I guess you would also have to ask what the definition of "last" is. If some small part like an extractor or sear breaks. Anything that's just a cheap drop-in fix. Does the gun still count as having lasted 100 years. I mean when you're talking about a century, having to replace a couple minor bits is hardly a big deal.

So does failure constitute ANY breakages or is it good as long as the whole frame doesn't just straight-up snap in half?

Sam1911
December 16, 2012, 12:43 PM
True. We have another current thread where the OP is asking how long an AR-15 will last.

After being told that every part is replaceable, pretty cheap and easy, and that the lower itself would probably still be running strong after 100,000 - 200,000 rds... he's decided that for his purposes the rifle will be "worn out," and he'll sell it or dispose of it, after 10,000 because he feels that replacing a bolt carrier or barrel is just too much hassle.

highpower
December 16, 2012, 05:34 PM
True. We have another current thread where the OP is asking how long an AR-15 will last.

fter being told that every part is replaceable, pretty cheap and easy, and that the lower itself would probably still be running strong after 100,000 - 200,000 rds... he's decided that for his purposes the rifle will be "worn out," and he'll sell it or dispose of it, after 10,000 because he feels that replacing a bolt carrier or barrel is just too much hassle.

I guess he is never going to clean his AR because you need to remove the bolt carrier to clean it. And of course, it is a TON of work to pull the front pin out and remove the upper.

k_dawg
December 16, 2012, 06:06 PM
I have several bolt action rifles over 100 years old which see regular service. The oldest is a Swedish model 1894 carbine, manufactured in '95.

ElToro
December 16, 2012, 07:04 PM
an 1870s revolver, say a new-for-then Colt SAA, seeing lead bullets which were only available then and cared for should be running quite well today. thousands of 1st gen SAA are still running. Our multi generation family 1892 Win in 32-20 still runs like a top.

beag_nut
December 16, 2012, 10:40 PM
I go with what Sam1911 said about plastics: who knows how they will last? Certainly NOT the designers. Anybody see some original Bakelite from the 1920's? If not stored in some protective wrapper the stuff bulged, warped, and deteriorated. And back then it was called a "wonder material". I have a Mossberg .22 rifle made in 1932 which has a severly distorted Bakelite trigger guard (which I have replaced with metal). The same goes for some more recent plastics/rubber materials which rapidly break down in the presence of various atmospheric environments. I have some salesmen display cases lined with what used to be a foam rubber, which has turned to powder, after less than 20 years.
Me, I would stick with objects (guns) made of metal and wood.

aarondhgraham
December 17, 2012, 05:39 PM
Mine was made in 1906,,,
So I guess she (Margeaux) is 106 years old.

http://aarondgraham.com/pics/lebel.jpg

This one isn't mine,,,
Mine is actually in better shape. :D

Right around my birthday in November,,,
I took her dancing with 24 rounds of Fiocchi brand ammo.

It's a cliche but the only enemies a gun has are,,,
Rust and politicians.

Oil fixes one problem and keeps the firearm working,,,
The functioning firearm can then do duty for the politicians. ;)

Aarond

.

content
December 17, 2012, 07:34 PM
hello friends and neighbors // Don't keep it in a foam lined case.:D

Wrapped in gun paper and lightly oiled they keep well.
Glow rod in the safe is a plus.
As said a dry area is the best place to start.

This has been wiped with a cloth soaked in Barricade.
Seems to work fine at stopping rust from forming, even on guns I display a lot.
1866 Stevens pocket rifle .44sw176281

rswartsell
December 17, 2012, 08:28 PM
OK, I have a S&W Model of 1905 Target circa 1910, see Saxon Pig's post above. A French 1892 MAS St. Etennes 8mm Lebel similar to the one aarondhgraham posted AND an 1892 Safety Hammerless Smith, all still in working order and looking pretty good.

Those are just the ones over 100. Some others heading that way fast and I'm pretty sure they'll make it.

rcmodel
December 17, 2012, 08:54 PM
It seems the OP guy who ask the question went MIA 37 posts ago.

Hope he is O.K.!

Maybe all those 100+ year old guns that still work gave him the vapors or something.

rc

76shuvlinoff
December 17, 2012, 09:03 PM
but this P38 is 68, one of my 39As is 56, both older than I am.

Hell my main motorcycle will be 37 when the snow melts next spring.

http://i476.photobucket.com/albums/rr123/76shuvlinoff/photo2-2.jpg

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