Scratches on your gun=stress?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 38snapcaps, Feb 6, 2003.

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  1. 38snapcaps

    38snapcaps Member

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    I'm the kind of guy that likes his things nice, really nice, a hard core perfectionist. I park my car way out, can't stand a mess in the kitchen, and meticulously clean my guns after an outing. Just cannot put them away dirty. Yes, even my AK-47!

    I need some therapy/counseling here. How do you handle scratches and nicks on your handguns? I've seen the pictures you post and you guys have some really pristine stuff! So I know some of you understand.

    I get one of my pistols back yesterday from the gun smith because the hammer was scuffing the frame. I had asked him to thin the hammer so there was better clearance. Well, he wasn't careful and had bumped the back of the slide with the dremel tool and scuffed off the parkerizing. I had a hard time falling asleep last night I was so upset (two week old gun, by the way).

    Another time I had a smith move my rear sight over on a perfect brand new BHP (I couldn't get it to move) and his plastic punch had slipped and scratched the blueing away on the top of the slide. This one bothered me so bad I couldn't live with it and sold the gun.

    This kind of thing drives me CRAZY!!! Am I expecting too much in wanting my guns to stay new looking? I have only been in the shooting hobby for three years and come from the world of muscle cars and motorcycles where Clean is never clean enough.

    How do you cope?
     
  2. hksw

    hksw Member

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    I'm sorta the same way. Not to the point of selling off a gun because of it but close to it. Instead, I just buy another. In fact, that's pretty much why, if I like something enough, I try to buy at least two. One the shoot and not care too much of the wear and tear and the other to keep unfired. Gets costly at times but that;s the way it is for me. I use to get all stressed out and think about a new nick or ding but I've at the point that I know I'll eventually stop worrying about it. (Usually after I get another gun.)
     
  3. wingman

    wingman Member

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    Don't see you have a problem as I have been this way most of my life.:D

    In truth it's a matter of survival for the
    working class, take care of what you
    purchase. My guns, some over 30 years old look like they came out of the box and having fired 1000's of rounds.
    Father/grandfather taught me not to
    lay a gun on the ground, when hunting
    never sit the stock on the ground or use as a "cane" etc. I have seen many do this. When at the range I use a piece of carpet/cloth to place pistols rather then put them on a bench. It really doesnt take that much extra work to take care of your hobby/tools, cars, etc plus it may save a few bucks.
    It will only become a problem when you pay to have a gun refinished rather then buy glasses or dental work for you kids.:D
     
  4. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Pick a few guns to baby and shoot the rest.

    Why give yourself a $1000 ulcer over a $500 gun? Use it up, wear it out, enjoy it. You can always get it refinished or just buy a new one.

    If you'll excuse me now, I have to go pamper my safe queens.

    John
     
  5. firestar

    firestar member

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    I have allways taken care of my things very well. Sometimes it goes too far. When I was a kid, I wouldn't play with my favorite toys or wear my favorite clothes because I didn't wan't to ruin them.

    As I got older, I realized that this was stupid. I don't like abuse of my guns but good honest wear is not objectionable to me anymore. Scratches along the slide rails or around the cylinder don't bother me but dents or gouges caused by negligence do bother me.

    I shoot all my guns so they all have some wear. I don't drop my guns or bang them into things. I have a hard time letting other poeple shoot my favorite guns, I'll let them shoot some of the more beat up guns but just not my best ones.;)

    I had a Kahr that I kept in good shape until I let my numbskull friend shoot it. The range had those steel tubes that you have to shoot through and he somehow let the front sight smash into the top of the tube during recoil. It put a dent on the sight and I was hot! It is things like this that are just plain stupid! Why would someone do this? I don't know but it seems to happen when they are shooting someone elses gun.:rolleyes:
     
  6. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    "I'm the kind of guy that likes his things nice, really nice, a hard core perfectionist. I park my car way out, can't stand a mess in the kitchen, and meticulously clean my guns after an outing. Just cannot put them away dirty. Yes, even my AK-47!

    I need some therapy/counseling here. How do you handle scratches and nicks on your handguns? I've seen the pictures you post and you guys have some really pristine stuff! So I know some of you understand. "

    Another control freak. I only recognize it because I am the same way, maybe worse.



    I get one of my pistols back yesterday from the gun smith because the hammer was scuffing the frame. I had asked him to thin the hammer so there was better clearance. Well, he wasn't careful and had bumped the back of the slide with the dremel tool and scuffed off the parkerizing. I had a hard time falling asleep last night I was so upset (two week old gun, by the way).

    Another time I had a smith move my rear sight over on a perfect brand new BHP (I couldn't get it to move) and his plastic punch had slipped and scratched the blueing away on the top of the slide. This one bothered me so bad I couldn't live with it and sold the gun.

    This kind of thing drives me CRAZY!!! Am I expecting too much in wanting my guns to stay new looking? I have only been in the shooting hobby for three years and come from the world of muscle cars and motorcycles where Clean is never clean enough.

    How do you cope?"


    Same thing happened to my BHP when I had to have new front sight installed (mine sheared off and flew downrange). The smith put some nice gouges in the slide.

    Here's some advice I follow:

    1) I do most of my own smith work. If you are not retarded, have basic hand skills and will buy some tools, you can read books written by experts and do most of the work yourself. It may take more time, you may not get it right instantly, but you will end up a lot smarter and more confident about your gun. Some work has to be done by smiths, but not most.

    2) Get stainless steel guns. If you ding them, you can usually refinish and get a nice look again with very fine sandpaper, polish and a dremel.

    3) Hard chrome guns are good. At least when you get a gouge, the nick and the chrome are both silver and they don't look so bad. A gouge in a blue gun is very visible.
     
  7. Boats

    Boats member

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    I am a hard user.

    I beat the crap out of my handguns against range cover, presenting out of kydex holsters, dropping mags on the ground without regard to how/where they land, etc.

    The parts of my 1911s can be replaced or refinished. Babying your pistols during training can get you into bad habits that can get you killed.

    That said, I do like a nice finish on a handgun, but it had better be tough. I really like royal blue jobs, but only on guns that stay in a display box. I am a fan of the Robar finishes and industrial hard chrome with brushed flats. My Champion went to Robar and my Officer's that I am currently refurbing is going to Tripp, just so that I can comment on his work.
     
  8. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I think this is a common problem to people who really LOVE fine machinery. After having a number of really nice cars I finally realized I couldn't control it 100%. Somewhere a stone is going to come up and ding the paint. A numbskull is going to christen your door with his car door, etc. Life is too short to sweat these things. So I let go. Guns I'm a little more conscious of because they're smaller and more personal, but an honest bit of wear is not enough to upset me like it once would. Kinda like a wrinkle on an old friend. That said, most of my weapons are eating clean after years of use and people would swear they are brand new. As one guy said here on another thread, you do not own these things, you are simply their custodian for your time on earth. I intend to find good homes for mine before I cash in my chips. YMMV
     
  9. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Greeting's All,

    Well Sir, I use a product called Simichrome, which
    is available at most automotive outlet's. A tube
    cost about $5.00, and will last for approximately ten
    year's; cuz its like Bryl-Cream, a little dab will do you!
    Simply apply with a clean, dry cloth and with a little
    elbow grease most of the unwanted marks, ding's,
    etc. will go away. ONLY use this product on NICKEL
    or STAINLESS STEEL weapons; as it would be very
    harmful on the surface of blued weaponary. I use
    it for both, cleaning foul marks from cylinders of my
    revolver's; and as a polish. It leaves weapons to
    which it is applied very clean. Hope this helps?

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  10. TheFrontRange

    TheFrontRange Member

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    Ever since I watched in abject horror while on a range outing as a family member of mine stuffed my then-new Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911 down the FRONT OF HIS PANTS after shooting the gun dry, scraping the trigger guard and frame across his oversized belt buckle and "leaving a mark" (actually more than one!) as the saying goes...I've been a little paranoid about these same issues!

    I do try to take care of my things, weapons or otherwise. Like a previous poster typed, I, too, use a cloth or something between gun and shooting bench. And I wipe my guns down on a regular basis in between post-range cleanings.

    And that "honest wear" that BigG mentions...I like that...my current carry 1911 shows some honest holster wear on its black finish that I really don't mind at all! The same went for when I carried a blue Smith Model 19...those little hints of bluing wear where metal rested against leather added character in my book! :)
     
  11. BamBam

    BamBam Member

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    38snap;

    You may have psycholgical disorder like OCD or may just be anal-retentive. I'm not trying to insult you; these are real problems that many people suffer from. I have a friend like this and it really causes him a lot of stress.
    If you obsess about perfection, you may want to consider seeing a psychologist. The relief you may find will make life more enjoyable.

    Good luck,
    BamBam
     
  12. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    38, relax, I'm a doctor (well, not the medical kind). When you buy a new pistol, kick it to the car. When you get it home, beat on it for at least 2 minutes with a 23 ounce framing hammer.

    This practice will ensure two desired results: 1) it will knock all the feckless doodads off your weapon, 2) it may produce scratches on your weapon so you never have to be concerned over form, only function.
     
  13. Johnpl

    Johnpl Member

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    This raises the question: What is "character" and what is abuse? If a firearm has honest wear, it adds character. If it has been dropped, it is abuse. I can abide by wear, but not for carelessness or neglect. For instance, my Remington 870 12 guage has a nice ding in the stock where I bumped it against a rock while in pursuit of a pheasant-I can live with that, and in fact I think it adds to the character of the shotgun. If the same ding, in the same place, was due to my carelessness (or worse, someone else's), I would cringe whenever I saw it.
     
  14. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    Scratches = stress? No, more like character ;) Sure, new guns are nice, but there's just something about a gun that has some character lines on it. You know the owner is a real shooter, not just some tactical poser :cool:
     
  15. Soap

    Soap Member

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    I use my weapons. I don't baby them nor do I abuse them. You would probably be horrified to see the scratches on my 1911 due to one-handed reload drills. I won't even mention the scratches on my Sparks holster and Rosen belt...
     
  16. sm

    sm member

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    I take of my stuff. I used to be very picky about stuff...I mean I actually put a nasty note on my own new vehicle 20 years ago when I took up two parking places so I wouldn't get dinged. Someone gets ticked off, starts to leave me a nasty note...oh someone beat them to it ;)

    My guns are tools, heck first thing I do is scratch the frame putting the slide stop back in...get that one out of the way in a hurry.

    Yes I maintain, like a nice appearance, and all that. I think a gunsmith should take pride in their work and be responsible...as I did when I did service for others.

    Ala Dan is spot on with Happich Semichrome...great for gold, silver, brass...

    RIG universal good for blued guns...

    But my guns have 'character' I put them through the paces...I figure I won't be in a pristine enviroment if I ever have to use...so I shoot them in 'not pristine' enviroments' and subject to things...I have to know the guns and loads will work.
     
  17. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I just deal with it.

    Safe Queens are such and need to be pampered. I understand this.

    Carry & use guns are meant to be carried & used.
    I never understand how someone posts on THR (or TFL) that they just got a brass mark on their new Glock or USP or whatever and are all stressed out.

    Modern guns will outlive you. Live a happy life and use your gun(s), then pay $ to refinish it. Really anal? -Hardchrome, you will not scratch or nick or gouge it. Try boron carbide or ceramic coatings if you can wait 6mos.
     
  18. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Depends on the gun. Some of mine are handled with "velvet gloves", and others are dragged behind the car.

    I'm usually more careful with the ones I bought new, as opposed to used. A perfect example of this are my P7's. The M8 I bought new, and am very careful with. When I clean and polish it well, it still looks almost new. The M13's were both used, and I am far less dainty with them. They had scratches when I got them, and have more now.
     
  19. kumma

    kumma Member

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    Guns are mechanical objects, wear marks, scratches, dings are all gonna happen. i honestly dont waste anytime thinking about it. i have more important things to worry about.

    i have a winchester 30/30, it has more than its share of marks, when i look at it i dont see a scraped up battered rifle, i see the history of its use by my grandfater and my father. kinda makes me happy seeing it like that. my tikka rifle has some of the most beautiful wood i've seen in a while, but that scratch from the tree branch doesnt seem to detract from it.

    i also have a friend who agonizes over scrathces in his cars paint. whats the point, cars, guns and the like are meant to be used, why else would you buy them. :cool:
     
  20. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Sure, I like things to be "right", but knicks, dents, scratches only bother me in a couple cases:

    1. If it has a functional, operational, or structural impact on the weapon. If there's some problem that could cause a malfunction, I'm getting it fixed or getting rid of the weapon.

    2. If the ding/scratch/dent/scrape is due to my own carelessness, ham-fistedness, etc. Similarly, if someone else damages it due to their own carelessness, etc. I or the person should be more adept at whatever we're trying to do.

    Wear from "hard use" is fine.

    -z


    PS- the solution to any such stress is to go shooting; realize that it don't matter.
     
  21. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    My greatest fear is that I might let somebody shoot my P7M8 and they drop it... ;)

    That said, I don't bring my Delta Gold Cup out for others to shoot... :neener:
     
  22. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member.

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    Everything I own is the result of trading a finite amount of my life in exchange for that object. Some objects will inevitably get worn out or damaged: pots and pans, mattresses, tires, etc. Other things, with reasonable care, will look and feel new forever.

    With the exception of my carry gun, all others are treated like fine china. It's difficult in these financial times to get a new toy and I'll be damned if I'm going to let that sacrifice get scratched.
     
  23. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    My guns are impecably clean and well, but not over, oiled. Most of the ones I bought new could be mistaken for brand new months or years later.

    Having said that, I enjoy a well worn but unabused gun, esp a blued one. I find something conforting knowing that it has been used enough that the finish is starting to wear through.

    One of my pet peves is the idiot mark on many 1911s. But in my defense, I have bargained several 1911s down quite a bit because of said mark so I don't dislike them that much. ;)

    With cars, I'm about the same way. I have a 15 year old BMW in Diamondschwartz (Germanspeak for very dark metallic grey) that has a few knicks in the front and on the mirrors. It's very hard to match and I honestly have no desire to fix them. It's not perfect, but I still find something comforting about knowing that it's been all over the eastern half of the United States and is still going strong.

    I don't feel quite the same way about the guy that dings my door at work. :cuss:
     
  24. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Perfect condition guns? Me? Hah! As far as I'm concerned, damage only matters if it actually effects a gun's functioning. I try to be really careful about avoiding things like dinged crowns - but I've got no concerns about normal aesthetic wear. Both my autopistols have piles of such dings and scrapes (the Colt 1903 is 82 years old, and the Sistema is 39 years old, both well-used). I don't intentionally knock them around, but I think that incidental damage is simply a sign of a functional weapon.

    The worst I've done to one of my guns was on my No4 Enfield last summer - taking a rifle course on a hot sunny day, I got the forward top handguard hot enough that it cracked down the center.
     
  25. VaughnT

    VaughnT Member

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    As a fellow working stiff, I fully understand the thrifty mindset. I don't like to waste my hard-earned dollars any more than the next guy. But, carrying a pistol on my hip every day, I long ago came to the conclusion that I would be doing myself a serious disservice if I coddled my carry gear. Like others have said already, I try to take "reasonable" care of my pistol, using a rug at the bench and such, but I don't hesitate to drop mags fast, regardless of what I'm standing on and I don't care one jot about scratches from holstering my weapon in kydex. I wasn't always this way, but reading threads here and several thousand dollars in books and magazines has convinced me that you should train like you fight because you will fight like you train. Battle scars on your equipment is a sign of a dangerous, well-trained fella and you should take pride in them.

    Now, having said that, don't think I like some *** damaging my weapon through carelessness. I just sent my Colt to a highly regarded smith because the local butcher completely ruined her. Did he think I wouldn't notice that deep gouge he put in rear face of the ejector? Did he really believe I might think those circular scratches on the once mirror perfect sides of the slide were there by a divine hand?

    The worst part was that this SOB thought I didn't know the condition of my weapon before I gave it to him. Trying to hoodwink me only served to prove the nature of his character and I will most definitely have the last laugh when he reimburses me for the work he tried to do. Just thinking about it gets my blood hot!!!:fire:
     
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