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Not questioning whether you should do it, Larry. Just pointing out that down here in Journeyman card land, where I reside, old guns can be a bridge too far. A few guys here need to hear what a money pit an old gun can be.

Best,
Ted

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Sherman Bells tests only proved what they proved about the particular Damascus gun barrel he was testing.

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Ted I never experienced the money pit on any I had....because I played it really careful and only fooled with higher graded good condition guns. I'd send an online purchase back in a New York minute.

A few guys at my club were scared to let me look at some they bought....because I'd see the faults they missed.

Higher grade guns back then had higher grade barrels on them....field grade had cheaper made lower graded barrels. I figured if I was going to risk eye or limb I'd hedge my bet.

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Better to stay safe in your recliner and maintain that armchair xspurt status you have worked so hard to obtain frAnk.

It must suck to be that afraid of living.

Ted, I disagree with your take on shooting old guns. If you learn to buy old guns in nice shape they are rarely money pits. Becoming an educated buyer is not for everyone though, it takes work and finding the right gun takes patience. I waited years before I found the gun for me.

I shoot almost nothing but vintage guns and I rarely need to work on them(never have touched either of my shotguns for repair). My hunting partner shoots a British SxS from the 1880's and has put tens of thousands of rounds through it without a hiccup. Find one that has been well maintained and fits you, feed it appropriate ammo and you will rarely be disappointed.


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Originally Posted by SKB
Better to stay safe in your recliner and maintain that armchair xspurt status you have worked so hard to obtain frAnk.

It must suck to be that afraid of living.

Ted, I disagree with your take on shooting old guns. If you learn to buy old guns in nice shape they are rarely money pits. Becoming an educated buyer is not for everyone though, it takes work and finding the right gun takes patience. I waited years before I found the gun for me.

I shoot almost nothing but vintage guns and I rarely need to work on them(never have touched either of my shotguns for repair). My hunting partner shoots a British SxS from the 1880's and has put tens of thousands of rounds through it without a hiccup. Find one that has been well maintained and fits you, feed it appropriate ammo and you will rarely be disappointed.

So, you got, like, what, three old guns, and your buddy has one? There have been far more horror stories than that right here over the years. Ever read about Terry Weiand’s Hussey? You are a gunsmith, I get it, but, there are lots of guys, maybe guys who punch a clock, who would be better served not trying to find good, old guns. If your buddy has an exceptional British gun from the 1880s, at the very least be honest, and admit that it is a rare find to discover any gun that old still in good, usable condition, and that it is a lucky find and not something everyone is going to pull off this week, or month or year. Your friend likely grasps that it has specific requirements for use in order for him to keep using it. You would be amazed at the people right here who don’t.

If you know what you are getting into, that is one thing. If you are going to see to the care, use and maintenance requirements, that is one thing. But, if you think that old gun will be your everyday shooter with off the shelf ammunition, and won’t ever need much more than a good cleaning, you might be better served with something newer. Like it or not, bunches of guys in a fit of nostalgia write the check for the gun first, and discover the limitations, or worse, problems, after viewing an internet posting of a gun for sale.

Producing steel was a new and developing science circa 1900. By 1920 it was much better sorted, and by 1945 it was pretty much mastered. Even run of the mill guns are built of better steel after the war.

Best,
Ted

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SKB Offline
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I have a few more than 3 old guns, as does my hunting partner and many, many of my other clients. Guns from the 1880's in that condition are rare? That would depend upon your definition of rare, I have a safe full of them. The idea is that if you are looking for a good quality vintage gun, pay real money for condition. You pay for condition up front but you save on repairs. Buy low mileage, feed it properly, maintain it well and enjoy. No you cannot go to Wallyworld and buy ammo, yes you have to look after it, but many of us here are in the game for nostalgia. Would an auto loader be a more efficient Pheasant gun for me? Most likely but I have zero interest in that. Pretty sure you could shoot more grouse off an atv with a .22 than you are killing over your Setter, sure not much nostalgia in that though is there?

Yes indeed, steel certainly improved with time. That said, I have a lovely London built .500bpe from the 1870's with steel barrels that are holding up just fine for the intended purpose.

Besides, shopping for the keepers is half the fun. This one was built in 1894, all original and gets out to play sometimes.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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There you go SKB, consider yourself educated. Ted knows everything about everything.

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seems like no one wants to address the scale issue...


well. then there is the thing about the use of acid flux in the 1800's to solder shotgun barrels together...the acid keeps working long after the barrels are joined...eventually resulting in paper thin barrel walls between the ribs...

Last edited by ed good; 09/28/21 07:35 PM.

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Originally Posted by SKB
I have a few more than 3 old guns, as does my hunting partner and many, many of my other clients. Guns from the 1880's in that condition are rare? That would depend upon your definition of rare, I have a safe full of them. The idea is that if you are looking for a good quality vintage gun, pay real money for condition. You pay for condition up front but you save on repairs. Buy low mileage, feed it properly, maintain it well and enjoy. No you cannot go to Wallyworld and buy ammo, yes you have to look after it, but many of us here are in the game for nostalgia. Would an auto loader be a more efficient Pheasant gun for me? Most likely but I have zero interest in that. Pretty sure you could shoot more grouse off an atv with a .22 than you are killing over your Setter, sure not much nostalgia in that though is there?

Yes indeed, steel certainly improved with time. That said, I have a lovely London built .500bpe from the 1870's with steel barrels that are holding up just fine for the intended purpose.

Besides, shopping for the keepers is half the fun. This one was built in 1894, all original and gets out to play sometimes.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

My point, which, you sorta’ made for me, is, it takes money to be in that game. You missed it, twice. Not many Journeymen have the depth of pockets to get into the lightly used guns, or, to pay the right guy to heal one up.


Originally Posted by Hammergun
There you go SKB, consider yourself educated. Ted knows everything about everything.

Hardly. But, good to know who is a useless commentator on the subject at hand.

Got anything of value to add?

Best,
Ted

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You do not have to start with Henry or Holland sidelocks you know Ted. I am not a wealthy man but I am able to outfit myself with some nice guns. I also drive a 2004 Toyota with 200K miles on it. Many folks buy a new 65K Pick up every few years which depreciates more than my Holland cost me as soon as you drive it off the lot. Life is full of choices, I enjoy hunting with fine guns and do not mind the cost. I put good money into bird dogs as well and have never regretted the capital invested in either.

Years ago, my first two Springers and my first really nice English gun. A Lincoln Jefferies BLNE that was nearly new when I bought it at the Vegas show in 2002. It had pretty much all its case colors, and had seen little use. I spent a whole 2500$ on it and shot a ton of wild birds with that gun from the Canadian border to Southern Kansas without ever having an issue with it.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by SKB; 09/28/21 08:48 PM. Reason: added pic

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