How do you treat a commemorative gun?


August 18, 2004, 02:36 PM
Suppose you win, are awarded, or otherwise obtain one of those fancy commemorative guns.

You know the type - like the NRA hands out in their fundraising sweepstakes - gold plating, engraving, fancy presentation box...

It's a work of art, or a piece of over-decorated kitsch, depending upon your taste. But it's a working gun.

What do you do with it?

Do you treat it like art, or like a gun?

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August 18, 2004, 02:54 PM
#4 - Sell it and get something useable.

Unless (like the Cooper 80) it is a good solid shooter, in which case I go for #3. AFAIK, most "commemerative" pieces are not particularly functional; may shoot, but not well.

August 18, 2004, 02:57 PM
Many will disagree with me but (they're all wrong:neener: ) but life's too short to leave the 57 Chevy in the garage. What good is it to fawn over it, barely touch it and cry if it gets a ding all the while its sucked up your money to be more of a burden than utilitarian or fun.

They're all gonna burn anyway. Shoot it!

August 18, 2004, 03:32 PM
ctdonath has it right. While I might keep an antique wallhanger around, I have no use for a gun that's "too pretty to shoot" except as sale or trade-in fodder on something I want. (note I didn't say something practical ;) )

August 18, 2004, 06:07 PM
If there is any more than the slightest hint of gold, I pick option #4: sell the gold spattered thing and buy something useful. Engraved firearms, option #3. I don't buy things to look at them.

August 18, 2004, 06:18 PM
Guns are made to shoot, '57 Chevys are made to be driven and pretty girls....uh....never mind.

I'ld shoot the hell out of it.

August 18, 2004, 07:17 PM
Immediately start a raffle with it. I have no use for commeratives. I will keep a firearm unfired (and have several), but I prefer them to be just factory fresh, not engraved and blinged blinged. To me those commeratives are just a half a step above a pimp's gun. :barf:

Zach S
August 18, 2004, 08:19 PM
I cant say I'd shoot it regularly, but it would see some rangetime, or get sold.

August 18, 2004, 10:49 PM
Don't shoot it. Sell it when the price is right.

There are tons of collectors out there that think if you shoot a collector gun it is no good any more. Dopes, but they are there nevertheless.

August 18, 2004, 11:39 PM
Why must someone who collects pristine guns have to be a DOPE? Just because you may not agree with their hobby must you result to name calling?

August 19, 2004, 05:30 AM
It is pretty to look at

August 19, 2004, 05:41 AM
Shoot it or sell it before you lose your teeth... We all die and none of us can take it with us. Whenever I get so attached to something that I am afraid to use it and or want to baby it, I think of something like the Hope Diamond which many historical figures went to great lengths to obtain and keep. Well, guess what...They all died and that stupid rock belongs to who cares for how long. I myself, would rather have the money and use it for something which actually is a nice vacation, a better car, or whatever the money could go towards for the true betterment of my life...not just some thing which would collect dust if it wasn't protected by the deep cavern of a dark safe...or picture frame or whatever.


August 19, 2004, 07:25 AM
Most Commemoratives are just pricey pimped up versions of cheaper models. Look at how many Winchester M-94s out there are wearing medalions, gold plating, and engraving at elevated prices. Don't make em' shoot any better and probably brings unwanted attention. I even hate the gold triggers on Brownings.
No Thanks! No pimped guns for me.

August 19, 2004, 07:29 AM
Investment guns are just that. Investments for a time when money is needed or to hand down from generation to generation. Just like a 401k or Ira.
Firing an unfired gun will decrease its value. How much depends on the gun.
Just like cars, coins and other things, unused the value increases. After all you want to get more for an item you paid for, not less.

There are tons of collectors out there that think if you shoot a collector gun it is no good any more. Dopes, but they are there nevertheless

People who can afford to invest in collector guns usually have plenty of other guns to shoot so not shooting a collector is not a big deal to them.

Some just don't have the money to invest in collector guns and other things.

But there will always be those who's retirement depends on hitting the lottery or having the last set of NASCAR collector plates as long as they can scrape the food stains off them.
Who knows, someday those jelly glasses could fetch some big dollars.

August 19, 2004, 12:46 PM
If you have plenty of good guns, and you want it as a piece of display art, then why not?

It's just a question of fitness to purpose. A lifted Jeep can never hope to corner like a Camaro, and a Camaro can never hope to traverse rough terrain like the lifted Jeep. They are both very good vehicles for what they are intended for, but their purpose in being is totally different. If your tool doesn't fit your purpose, change tools.

Fred Fuller
August 19, 2004, 07:56 PM
"You know the type - like the NRA hands out in their fundraising sweepstakes - gold plating, engraving, fancy presentation box..."

I have one of those. Didn't answer the poll tho, because there was no answer that 'fit.'

You see, my wife bought the ticket at a Friends of the NRA dinner without telling me, and put my name on it, not hers. Now I am not complaining, how many guys are lucky enough to be married to someone who drags them off to NRA functions and buys them raffle tickets? Winning raffle tickets at that?

Mentioned selling it once, just once, got thoroughly 'arfed' at. But hey, SWMBO bought the ticket. So it sits in its factory box in the back of the safe and gets taken out every so often for TLC. Can't shoot it, can't sell it, can't display it 'cause it might get stolen. And it takes up four spaces in the safe, being kept in its box so nothing will happen to it and all.

Such problems I have...



August 19, 2004, 08:26 PM
Once upon a time - never thought I'd bother .. I am for most part - ''guns are for shooting''. I did tho aquire a ''1st Cavalry'' commem' edition .. and have not fired it ... it will stay that way. I have a Sistema and Para for lead hurling... amongst many other ''tools'' !

This one tho is pretty - I don't apolagize for enjoying it aesthetically .. and it is in a display box on the wall ... visible to my right as I type - tho not visible from office door. I enjoy it just that way ... and one day will probably move it on .. for I expect no great loss or gain.

Bottom line .. it gives me pleasure ... that is what counts for me.

August 20, 2004, 07:17 AM
I have one of those.
Mind if I ask a question about taxes? As in did you have to pay taxes on it and if so about what percentage?

Reason I ask is I was reading the American Rifleman - issue with the "Cold Dead Hands Gun" giveaway, and thinking about this thread.
NRA puts a whopping $25,000.00 value on that gun, and I doubt if it would bring anywhere near half of that if if you tried to sell it.
Depending on someone's personal tax situation, that could almost be a break even deal, if it was treated like personal income.

Fred Fuller
August 20, 2004, 07:43 AM

It wasn't THAT nice... maybe 1/25th that nice, maybe...

Just nice enough not to be a shooter. For me anyway, some people would shoot it in a heartbeat.


Brian Williams
August 20, 2004, 01:02 PM
Sell it and get one I can shoot.

August 20, 2004, 01:28 PM
I bought a 20th Anniversary Bushmaster because just before the ban went into effect here in CA (Dec 99) it was the only thing left at my local gunshop.

We shoot it all the time. Apart from some nickel plated parts and the laser engraving on the lower receiver it is just like all the other Bushy XM-15s out there.

If I had one of those gold plastered fancy 1911s that appear monthly in American Rifleman I would make sure it cycles properly, load it, and put it in a fancy glass fronted display case on the living room wall. Even the antis we know would assume it wasn't real, but it would be "available" in the event of an emergency.


August 20, 2004, 03:04 PM
I treat all commemorative guns very carefully, because they all belong to other people.

M2 Carbine
August 20, 2004, 04:10 PM
Unless you have something (like a gun) that you want to leave to your child in pristine condition to remember dear old DAD, use it in WHATEVER way that brings you pleasure.

Shoot it or look at it, but don't fail to enjoy it now.

Like "cordex" said it really belongs to someone else.
You are just holding it for a time, so enjoy it while you have a chance.

Believe me I know.
At my age I look at everything I have worked my butt off for and realize I don't own a thing.
I'm just going to be using this stuff for a short time longer.
Then it will be as if I was never here at all and someone else will be using /misusing what I've taken such good care of.

Enjoy it, you won't have it very long.;)

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