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#1 jhs1970426

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 03:40 PM

This question is for all the firearm owners (the members with the Garands, Carbines, M1911s, 1903s, and EVERYTHING else that goes bang)...

Do you all actually take your guns to the ranges or backyards and fire a few rounds through them? OR do you all just buy them to complete the wonderful displays that i have been seeing over the past few months OR just for collectors items?????

I only ask because I have always wanted a Garand or 1911 and am thinking of getting one for myself as a graduation present. But I am having a difficult time trying to justify myself spending 500 to 1,000 dollars on a rifle or pistol that I will probably *rarely* have the opportunity fire.(which is why i have been posting all the other questions and trying to learn about the 45s and Garands). So any input, thoughts, personal experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks guys!!!

#2 Bugme

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 03:57 PM

Both Fire & Admire!

#3 dzandkw

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 04:06 PM

Same here i figure if i shoot a few rounds through the, at least once a year or as often as i want and clean them every time ill never hurt then in my life time. It would be like buying a 1970 GTO parking it and never driving it. Youd always be missing the whole feeling of actually owning it. To me if you didnt shoot them at least once and a while in your lifetime you may as well have no functioning replicas, it would be be alot cheaper but alot less fun

#4 El Bibliotecario

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 04:30 PM

After a lifetime of accumulation I've got more damn guns then I have either time or inclination to shoot. I have guns I bought decades ago to shoot, and which I still do, and guns I bought decades ago which I've never shot.

I don't shoot in the back yard--although the golfers on the course across the wash have tempted me--but have plenty of open space nearby. Someone without these advantages might want to consider a pistol rather than a rifle, since it can be fired in places where a centerfire rifle can't. Trouble is, it takes comparitivly more time to learn to shoot a pistol accurately than it does a rifle.

I don't mean to be patronizing, but if you're graduatiing from somewhere, I assume you don't have years of shooting experience. If such is the case, you might consider what sort of shooting you want to do. If you're happy hitting a washtub at fifteen feet, then a GI .45 is a good old gun. If you want to invest time in becoming a serious shot, there are better weapons. If you've never fired a M1911A1 or an M1, I'd suggest borrowing, renting, or begging one at a range and learning firsthand about their bad habits before investing. If this isnt the case, my apologies for presuming.

It seems outragous to me, but the $500-1000 you mention as the price for a clean GI weapon is the norm, and will probably keep going up. I believe I paid something like $50 for my first M1911A1. So if it helps you rationalize, you can think of it as an investment. IMHO, that amount of money would buy either a rifle or pistol better suited to civilian shooting. So its a matter of your priority--shoot or collect.

Where are you going to keep this weapon? If space and/or security are issues, its a lot easier to store a pistol than a rifle. Lastly, if you ever decide to sell it, pistols are relatively more marketable than rifles. *laff* Trouble is, a nice M1911A1 will cost more than a nice M1. But if you decide on the M1, I assume you know about the CMP sales program.

Edited by El Bibliotecario, 12 October 2008 - 04:37 PM.


#5 SGM (ret.)

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 05:15 PM

Depends on where you live and how much you like to shoot.

Here's my summer yard improvement project: 25 meters with 4 firing lanes and one 100 meter lane. (Course, I live in the sticks by choice just so I can do things like this.)

It's actually a refurb. My original target butts had a back-fillled log crib, but I eventually shot out the logs and they collapsed to the front. New butts are two staggered stacks of tires, sand filled and back-filled. (About 170 tires, 16 tons of sand, and 23 tons of red clay fill dirt).

Hope to get many good shootin' days out of this set-up.

I shoot a CMP M1 Garand and Carbine and a whole assortment of others. Lots of pistol shooting. Like "Bibleotecario" says, pistol shooting takes a bit more practice than long guns. If you haven't actually done much shooting in the past, it's probably worth it to cultivate some friends in a local club or range who will help you with your marksmanship. Marksmanship isn't rocket science, but like many things in life, it's worth having a good teacher or instructor (especially at first).

Buy your guns and shoot 'em! Invite your buds over and make a day out of it! Pickin' up brass is optional!

Mike

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#6 1stDivVet

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 05:18 PM

I do both.. There are a few I haven't shot yet such as my broomhandles and my Carcano's..I've fired my Brown Bess and my other original muzzle loaders too. There's a few I don't shoot anymore like my Arisaka, but I can't justify the ammo cost.. I still blank fire some of them tho.. Like EB said, there's a lot of things to take into consideration.. I got my first 91-30 from a college reenactor who's parents didn't want it in the house and they couldn't keep it in the dorm..I got it for $30.. Also as stated, They can be good investments.. My Arisaka was $25, my 1st carbine, an M2, was $125.. I had a German 1922 Browning I was given in lui of $35 and when stolen cost me $250 to replace and $500 if I wanted one in the same condition mine was in..I remember seeing 03's for a couple hundred, mine cost me $600..I'm lucky tho having a house to store it in, friends with places to shoot, and a farm for retirement in the mountains to continue shooting.. I'm gonna start re loading so I can enjoy some of my oddball calibre ones at an affordable price.. I enjoy the display too.. It boggles my friends when they see what was once a pile of old uniforms and now there are weapons to go with it all and all are originals from the period..They are a multi - faceted collectible and an adicting one..LOL

Fins.

#7 cwnorma

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 05:56 PM

There has already been some good advice so I won't be redundant. But one thing that hasn't been said yet, you seem to be relatively new to firearms. If you are looking to purchase a Garand or M1911, make sure you have it checked out by a qualified gunsmith before you take it to the range.

Most military weapons in good condition are safe to shoot however, many former military arms saw a good bit of abuse in their post-martial lives. It is far better to be safe than sorry.

Also make sure when you do buy that you let the person you are buying from know that you intend to shoot the weapon. They may already know if the gun is in fireable condition. Most ethical dealers will steer you away from an unsafe weapon. Still there are un-ethical dealers so even the sellers assurance that the gun is safe to shoot is not enough. Take it to a gunsmith.

Good luck, and enjoy.

Chris

#8 Teamski

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:05 PM

I fire mine.....

-Ski

#9 hawkdriver

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:22 PM

I don't buy anything I can't shoot, but with that said, there are guns that I haven't shot in a long time.

#10 El Bibliotecario

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:38 PM

If you are looking to purchase a Garand or M1911, make sure you have it checked out by a qualified gunsmith before you take it to the range.


I would never criticize someone who would err on the side of caution. Having said that, I've horsetraded military firearms for over four decades (I know, I need to get a life) and while I've occasionally been stuck with a weapon which malfunctioned (usually an issue with self loading weapons) I've never encountered a safety issue. IMHO, military weapons are the epitomy of the joke about an elephant being a mouse built to govt specifications. I suggest you take my experience and cwnorma's advice for what you think they're worth and draw your own conclusions.

If safety is an issue with you, the CMP checks all weapons before sale. When I was an FFL dealer I dealt with a number of surplus dealers, and never found anyone who stood behind what they sold like the CMP currently does.

Edited by El Bibliotecario, 12 October 2008 - 06:39 PM.


#11 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:48 PM

But I am having a difficult time trying to justify myself spending 500 to 1,000 dollars on a rifle or pistol that I will probably *rarely* have the opportunity fire.


I know how you feel. My only pistol in my collection is a 94 year old, WWI, 100% matching number, very rare unit marked, 97%+ condition pistol (non US...please don't ask :unsure: ) that is perfectly capable of firing. This baby cost 3G's when I purchased it a few years back. Will I ever fire it.....nope, because every round I would put down the pipe would add wear and increase the risk of breaking one of the matching number parts within... http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/crying.gif

It sure do look purty in my display case though :lol: ...not to mention it is a better investment than money in the bank (especially now).

Edited by IMPERIAL QUEST, 12 October 2008 - 06:55 PM.


#12 shrapneldude

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 07:14 PM

I have a few functional pieces that I've never fired, and probably never will. Value and condition suffer when you shoot. It's good , if you can afford it, to buy your collection piece, and stick it in a display case or whatever and keep it for show, and get a banged up shooter for firing. Lot of guys I know do it this way too.

#13 copdoc

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 07:18 PM

Same here i figure if i shoot a few rounds through the, at least once a year or as often as i want and clean them every time ill never hurt then in my life time. It would be like buying a 1970 GTO parking it and never driving it. Youd always be missing the whole feeling of actually owning it. To me if you didnt shoot them at least once and a while in your lifetime you may as well have no functioning replicas, it would be be alot cheaper but alot less fun

you mean 1964 GTO. :lol: I love the 70s also. I was not going to post until I read that.

Posted Image

I do shoot some of the old ones. Trying my best to make sure ammo is compatable and the firearm is reasonably safe to shoot. Even though I shoot some of the older ones I think it is smart to shoot modern firearms and modern ammo loaded to specs.

Here is a replica Huo Qiang (firelance) I made of bamboo and paper shooting a stone projectile for a TV series. At least it is a replica. Copied from Jieming's book on Chinese siege weapons. It was not hand held but not something to take to the community range Sunday afternoon.

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#14 US Victory Museum

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 08:41 PM

The only two weapons I own that I haven't fired yet are a Firestone M18 57mm Recoilless Rifle,
and a M9A1 rocket launcher. Give me time.

http://www.usmilitar...showtopic=14667

#15 BOLO

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 10:54 PM

a WWII combat veteran gave me a German Luger with original mags still loaded!

I only test fired it, no more shooting

#16 Johan Willaert

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 10:59 PM

Although I have fired a number of my collection guns, I hardly ever do so now.

After 26 years in the Military, of which I spent about 10 years as a shooting instructor, I've had my share of shooting....

Johan

#17 Devious6

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 03:45 AM

I shoot my Garand and carbines. The only rifle I haven't shot is my Savage No1 Mk4 Enfield - just haven't taken it out to my home range yet but have the ammo. It's good to give them some exercise from time to time - followed by a good cleaning and some TLC.

#18 Bill in VA

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 04:04 AM

I shoot everything I own, from my $18000 Thompson submachiengun to my $200 Enfield revolver, and all in between. Saturday I was out shooting, and among other things I took out to the range were a Remington-Rand 1911A1, a 1945-dated Artgentine Sistema Colt, an 1887 Mauser 71-84, and a byf 42-marked P.08/Luger. Even if you're only able to shoot once a year, why not? It's but one reason why collecting guns is more fun than collecting stamps: you can utilize your collection itmes as they were inteded to be used. (And even if you could actually use still that rare unissued "penny black" stamp, once it's gone, it's gone!)

#19 David

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 08:33 AM

Ive pretty much gotten to the point of only buying stuff Im going to have fun playing with.

I dont really care to buy that M1C because it's still just a Garand in the end or that super rare 1 of 500 Singer 1911a1. Ive pretty much moved over the wholegot to have each and every variant/manufacturer/code/whatever.

Machine guns are pretty much where it's at these days.

#20 JohnnieDavis

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 09:13 AM

Yesterday I took out my Garand, 100% original Carbine, k98, No. 4 Mk. 1 New Zealand marked Enfield, among a few other things. I'm not afraid to shoot them, that's the reason I bought them in the first place. You fall in love a little bit with these old guns, I look forward to shooting them every time I go out. It never gets old...The only gun i don't shoot is my grandfather's p.38 It's beautiful, but it's still just a p.38. 100% yes, but it's still more sentimental than cash based value.

JD

#21 rayg

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:07 AM

[quote from Bill, I shoot everything I own, from my $18000 Thompson submachiengun to my $200 Enfield revolver, and all in between.

I'm with Bill. I shoot almost all my collectable guns including the Thompson and German MP44 I have. I also reload for most of them so I can shoot the older and/or the more valuable ones with reduced loads including the foreign models like the 6.5, & 7.7 Japanese, 303 Brit and 8mm etc. The light loads reduce undue stress to them and the lighter recoil makes it more of a pleasure to shoot the weapons. I also cast the bullets for them which brings the cost down to just pennies per rd. More bang for the buck so to speak, Ray

#22 BOLO

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:14 AM

Yesterday I took out my Garand, 100% original Carbine, k98, No. 4 Mk. 1 New Zealand marked Enfield, among a few other things. I'm not afraid to shoot them, that's the reason I bought them in the first place. You fall in love a little bit with these old guns, I look forward to shooting them every time I go out. It never gets old...The only gun i don't shoot is my grandfather's p.38 It's beautiful, but it's still just a p.38. 100% yes, but it's still more sentimental than cash based value.

JD


I agree, you should not shoot your grandfather's P38, I had an all matching P38 "BYF 43" made by Mauser and after firing over 3,000 rds the slide broke in half! and ruined a historic piece of WWII militaria.

Edited by BOLO, 13 October 2008 - 10:15 AM.


#23 jhs1970426

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:39 AM

I really appreciate the responses guys!! i enjoyed reading what you had to say about your own experiences and weaponry. most of you hit the nail on the head, so to speak, when making assumptions about my shooting experience. I do not have as much as most of you here. But i do have some experiences with a rifle (a 10/22, please dont laugh ;) ) As for shooting regularly, every few months I go up north to visit family and friends who have a nice plot of land that I do some plinking on. I live in a residential area and there is no room for target shooting. And IF i do purchase one, shooting rounds through it would probably be very limited. I have plenty of time to make my decision about purchasing a historic military weapon (or modern replica like the Springfield 1911) but i want to start thinking about it. I just want to see what most of you think. Keep the comment/suggestions coming! It means alot to me and I appreciate it!!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/twothumbup.gif



Oh, dzandkw and copdoc, dont get me wrong, the GTO is a beautiful car, but I am more of a MOPAR fan. So for me, it would be like buying that multi-million dollar hemi cuda convertible and just looking at it. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#24 Roy

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:45 AM

I also like to take my weapons out to range every now and then. As mentioned in another thread, I've had a new barrel installed on my Garand, so it should have alot of life left in it. I also enjoy shooting my M1 carbine, probably more so than the Garand. A few years ago, I purchased a S&W M1917 revolver from a co-worker. So far, I have not fired it yet.

I do tend to fire my P38 and East German refurbished P08 rather sparingly.

#25 jhs1970426

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:46 AM

I know how you feel. My only pistol in my collection is a 94 year old, WWI, 100% matching number, very rare unit marked, 97%+ condition pistol (non US...please don't ask :unsure: ) that is perfectly capable of firing. This baby cost 3G's when I purchased it a few years back. Will I ever fire it.....nope, because every round I would put down the pipe would add wear and increase the risk of breaking one of the matching number parts within... http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/crying.gif

It sure do look purty in my display case though :lol: ...not to mention it is a better investment than money in the bank (especially now).


well... since you said please i wont ask... but i am curious what kinda pistol it is http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif ;) but i understand what you are saying about leaving it in the case and not firing it. If I decide to drop a ton of cash on a WWI dated M1911, then you can expect me to lock it in a safe with a security system hooked up. but if i were to buy an inexpensive arsenal rebuild 1911 or garand or whatnot, then i might not care about hurting the gun or value as much.


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