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How subjective is the NRA rating system?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by rock jock, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. rock jock

    rock jock Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    In the moment
    I have seen the NRA rating system, but there seems to be a lot of subjectivity built into it. As an example, I recently sold a Colt Buntline .22. Before I sold it, I had a gunsmith with about 20 years in the business fix a front sight that was a little canted and he told me that the gun was a beautiful specimen that probably rated 90-95%. Later, I brought it to another experienced gunsmith and he rated it 75-80%. Now, neither smith had any vested interest in the rating they provided, so how could they give two widely different opinions. How does one learn the rating system? Do you look at other guns that prograssively go from 50% to 100%? If so, how do you know that the examples from which you were taught were not rated incorrectly in the first place?

    BTW, the 2nd smith also told me that he rarely sees a NIB gun that he would give a rating above 95%.
  2. JohnBT

    JohnBT Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
  3. VictorLouis

    VictorLouis Guest

    Percentages should probably best be left in describing the finish, alone. Usually, we're referring to blueing and how much remains, but the same is applicable to nickle. I think the NRA system is pretty good, and just about universally acknowledged. However, you must be aware there are two NRA systems. One is for Antique arms, and the other for Modern guns. My buddy got burned in buying a 1911(or modern manufacture) which was rated 'NRA-Excellent', but NOT with the 'Modern' criteria!:rolleyes:

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