Reasons for keeping "safe queens"?

silicosys4

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Jun 29, 2012
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First off, I get that to many people the term doesn't apply, everything is meant to, and will be shot.
There are people who are also very meticulous and can shoot a gun without putting much, if any visible wear on it.

But there are those, and im admittedly in this group, who for whatever reason have guns they avoid shooting regularly, if at all. For me, I do enjoy condition as a window into the past, similar to a time capsule.

So to clarify, those of us who do have unfired or very rarely fired guns,

What are your determining factors in deciding you won't shoot a gun?

I'll say that I have only had a few "safe queens", and by that I mean I purposefully avoid shooting them, or even handling them uneccesarily.
In each case it was rarity and condition. They were in each case either low production and high condition, very old and well preserved, or just exceedingly rare to find in high condition.
I didn't fire my 99%+ Remington Rand because every shot would take it further away from what made it truly historical to me.
If it already shows wear I will usually shoot even rare guns, at least once for the experience, regularly if it's safe and sane to do so.
i shot my SS issued PPK a few times, because it wasnt high condition.

I unfortunately cannot shoot my guns regularly without the inevitable visible wear, even if slight. I have a hard enough time keeping them from getting safe dings.

I do have a lot of guns that don't get shot but they aren't true safe queens in that I don't avoid shooting them, they just don't whet my whistle like other guns.
I also have others that I avoid shooting because spare parts are nonexistent. I almost feel like i need a parts gun if i were going to shoot my Astra .44 a bunch.

So I'm curious, if you do have guns you do not shoot or only rarely, what are your reasons?

Photos welcome, of course

P.S. mechanical issues aside.
 
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I don’t have anything of any true value…so keep that in mind when reading my reply. Lol

1. Theoretically the less they have been shot the more they will be worth.

2. I just don’t enjoy shooting them as much as the others.

3. Cleaning and maintenance on them is more tedious than the others.

4. They may be a more exotic caliber and too expensive to shoot on a regular basis.

Doing the math…not enough return on the investment to take them out of the safe.

Bigger question: Why am I holding on to them?

Well…the Apocalypse obviously!
 
Heirlooms.
Yes. I have my granddad's m90 Winchester, shorts only. My great grandfather bought seven of them in about 1921, from Sears Roebuck, one for each of his sons. The reported price was $3.95 each. All are gone now except the one I have.

I shot it a lot in my teens, but it's getting rickety, so it only comes out occasionally now.
 
I have guns with family history that are rarely shot. A couple aren't really safe to shoot at this point, but I want to pass them on to my grandkids.

I have a couple of others that I have a long history with that I simply don't use anymore. But once again I want to pass those down too.

I've ran across a few down through the years that were uncommon, and I knew their value would increase. I bought them to appreciate and sell later. Those have already been sold, but I didn't shoot them when I had them. That is something I've only done a couple of times.

Most everything else is sold if it isn't used or fill a specific role. I keep a 10mm pistol, but rarely shoot it. But that gun fills an important role for me and I'm keeping it.
 
I have some guns that I rarely shoot but would never give them up. Some are irreplaceable and I like shooting them now and then. I have no guilt about this because my gun money always came from me working extra jobs. Besides that who would care if I had a safe queen other than me?
 
I have a few rifles that I might consider “safe queens”, but it isn’t so much about protecting them from wear…it is more that they have a special memory and when I take them out it is a special occasion and I think about the person that had them before I did.
 
Several for various reasons. One is a 22LR SA revolver that, to be charitable, might be described as "low end". But it was my father's. I wouldn't worry about condition if I were to shoot it, it just isn't worth shooting. On the other hand, I have a nickel plated S&W 29-9, probably the rarest 29 variant, NIB.
 
At this point in my life (I'm 79 years old), all my guns are "safe queens." I haven't been shooting in years -- I no longer have the time or the desire.

Just because I don't have a utilitarian purpose for the guns, does that mean I should get rid of them?

No. I still enjoy having and admiring the guns. In fact, I'll still selectively buy more.
 
I have probably 20 guns I've never fired. Both new and used ones.
Have gotten rid of 10+ that I just never shot.
 
My Dad gave me a nice Savage 99F .308 for my 16th birthday. He bought it ages ago and thought I could use it hunting deer up in Northern Ca.

I had to sell it (and a couple others) when I was between jobs in college to pay rent/buy food/fix car. That 99F still hurts me, especially when my Dad asked about it several years ago and I had to tell him what I did.

He gave me his collection a couple years ago after he recovered from a heart scare. I won’t think of selling any of the ones he gave me, even those I will never shoot, until looong after he passes.

Stay safe.
 
To me a true "safe queen" is a rare super high quality firearm worth a significant amount of money.
Not necessarily a firearm that the owner just rarely or never fired.

An heirloom isn't necessarily a "safe queen" as much as a firearm with a tremendous amount of personal sentimental value.

IMHO the term "safe queen" is way over used. I think people use the term to try to get more money for the firearm when they want to sell it.
 
My safe queen is a beautiful FN Hi Power with a high gloss blue finish. It was my pride and joy. In a jackass attempt at home-gunsmithing I buggered up the frame. It still functions fine--for now--but the damage is evident and it makes me sick. I can't stand to take it out of the safe so in the back of the safe's darkness it rests, never to see the light of day again. I can't sell it, and I can't rely on it with its micro-fractures. I have successfully done some simple gunsmithing before but after this debacle will never attempt it again.
 
I have more guns than I need, more guns than I can practically shoot, and certainly more than I ever intended to have. I am not a collector, I am a shooter. I have zero interest in collectible anything, whether it's an Elvis plate, or a gun To me, if they're not a gun I will carry, or use in competition, or have a practical use for hunting, they're useless to me.

But....I have been an "accumulator". Whether I have won something in a match, bought it on a whim, or because I wanted a project...I seem to keep winding up with so-called "safe queens". I get the whole heirloom thing. I had a few of those, but over the last couple of years, I gave them to my daughter with the admonition that he she either keep them or sell them without guilt and buy something she wants with the money.

I'm not gigging anyone who collects for the sake of collecting. I figure a feller can do what he wants.
 
My safe queen is a beautiful FN Hi Power with a high gloss blue finish. It was my pride and joy. In a jackass attempt at home-gunsmithing I buggered up the frame. It still functions fine--for now--but the damage is evident and it makes me sick. I can't stand to take it out of the safe so in the back of the safe's darkness it rests, never to see the light of day again. I can't sell it, and I can't rely on it with its micro-fractures. I have successfully done some simple gunsmithing before but after this debacle will never attempt it again.
Please tell us what you did. Many of us could learn from your unfortunate mistake. As many of us, myself included tinker and work on our firearms.I’ll break down my guns till every last spring and pin is removed for cleaning or maintenance / repair or modification.
 
My father brought back two handguns. A pristine P-08 and a late war production P-38. He never fired the P-08, preferring to keep it as is. The P-38 he used. I use the P-38. My kids have used it. the P-08 will go to my eldest, the P-38 to his younger brother. What they do with them is up to them.
 
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