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  #1  
Old 05-18-2017, 08:09 PM
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I have been buying and collecting guns ever since I was a teenager. I love the old stuff. Made of walnut and steel. I own a couple of Glocks. They are good guns and serve their purpose well but compared to the guns made by Colt, Smith and Wesson, High Standard of any of the older guns made in years past, the just don't make me feel the same. The Glocks ect. just don't make me feel the sence of pride I feel when I handle a gun made of walnut and steel. There is no craftsmanship. This may offend some. I am not saying at all they are not good guns just that are not the same as what once was.
I remember as as a kid seeing all these fine guns in the racks and display cases at old hardware and gun shops as a young kid. I guess I just miss the things we all took for granted back in the good old days. I know it would cost a fortion to make these guns now. It makes me wonder where things will be like in years to come and the younger generations will never see what we once took for grante.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:50 PM
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It cost a fortune to make them back then. Back then you didn't run into an average middle age man who could buy and own dozens of firearms. Today, average joe can buy and own dozens of Glocks in just a few years... polymer used in firearms today is not inferior in any way to wood or even steel in regards to any and all practical purposes. That is why it is the most commonly used material on every service rifle, pistol, grenade launcher, vehicles, etc...

Polymers and synthetics are getting better every year. Price is driving this all. Lots of people are "cheap" and don't want to pay for the actual machinist work in manufacturing a firearm. They want to buy that gun made on an assembly line. This is what happened to the automative industry when Henry Ford came along. It started happening to most firearm manufacturers in these last 20-40 years... attempting to mass produce while decreasing the cost of manufacturing, which in turn decreased the cost to the end user and probably increased profits for the manufacturer as well.

For a reference, a production quality 1911 you are looking at $700-1000. For something not assembly line built you're looking at 3x the cost in the $2100+ range.


I get what you're saying, and a lot of other guys are saying it too... but they're actually usually the ones driving the industry in the other direction with demands of lower pricing. I can't tell you how many times I hear it in the local stores of some guy complaining of how he got such and such firearm at such and such price back in 19xx... I usually will ask what minimum wage was back then and what they were getting paid. They usually stop complaining once they do the math really quickly. The fact is firearms are actually far cheaper today than they ever have been. Just have to put up with the fact that if you want something like they used to make then, you are going to pay an equivalent price point. Which is not going to look pretty next to all the other firearms on the shelf today.

For a reference to minimum wage and cost, etc... minimum wage today is more than double that of the late 80's... that's $3-3.40 an hour in the late 80's. Today federal minimum wage is $7.25 and most states have higher.
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2017, 08:57 PM
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You can't pay too much for a good gun, but you can buy too early.

All it takes to make another plastic gun is another squirt of plastic. I buy guns made by dead folks that cut and fitted the steel and knew what they were making at the time. Some even signed the test fire targets!
Good guns are still cheaper than new ones but the surge in S&W prices threatens to upend that fact. Colts are already over that mark but worth it.
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2017, 10:34 PM
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Polymer guns have their purpose. I spent 2 years in South American jungle, and a walnut/steel gun would have rusted shut overnight no matter how much oil you put on it. Glovk on the other hand weathered just fine. Polymer guns don't have the maintence problems a all steel gun does. I understand both sides, I wouldn't trade my Colt 1911s for the world, but I wouldn't sell all my polymer framed guns just to buy a couple more steel ones. Everything has a purpose. I absolutely hate stainless steel/synthetic rifles, they are hideous and unsightly to my eye. But, if its raining/snowing/muddy and I am going traipsing for several days in the mountains, I will choose a stainless synthetic rifle, rather than drag a gorgeous piece of walnut and blued steel through the bush. Just my two cents
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2017, 02:24 AM
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Need to consider, are you buying "art" or "function"? There's a place for both.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2017, 05:32 AM
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Blued steel and walnut. A combo made in heaven. Of all my guns I own three polymer pistols. They work and function well and have a place but I just can't leave the one I love....
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2017, 05:41 AM
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I carried blued steel and walnut handguns in the swamps and off-shore islands of Florida and never had one 'rust up' or quit working. I've owned gun that spent a hundred years in India and S. America and none were ruined, rusty or damaged. My personal hunting rifle has spent many weeks in all kinds of weather and has never rusted, warped, cracked or flaked.

SS is nice but certainly not necessary. Plastic belongs in toys and garbage bags, IMO.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:04 AM
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Welcome to the shooters forum.

Gstrange, you and I have alot in common! Started collecting in my teens and have a strong affinity to walnut and polished blue steel.
It took some time for me to come to grips with synthetic and stainless. I begrudgingly came around after seeing what benchresters use. There is one each such rifle, revolver and pistol I really like.
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDTrapper View Post
Polymer guns have their purpose. I spent 2 years in South American jungle, and a walnut/steel gun would have rusted shut overnight no matter how much oil you put on it. Glovk on the other hand weathered just fine. Polymer guns don't have the maintence problems a all steel gun does. I understand both sides, I wouldn't trade my Colt 1911s for the world, but I wouldn't sell all my polymer framed guns just to buy a couple more steel ones. Everything has a purpose. I absolutely hate stainless steel/synthetic rifles, they are hideous and unsightly to my eye. But, if its raining/snowing/muddy and I am going traipsing for several days in the mountains, I will choose a stainless synthetic rifle, rather than drag a gorgeous piece of walnut and blued steel through the bush. Just my two cents
You can make a stainless action rifle in a synthetic or fiberglass stock look just like a classic blued rifle in a high gloss walnut stock... your just going to pay an artist a bunch of money to do it.

I was in a shop that did custom milling and enamel coating of firearms. They did a custom stainless rifle by request and the owner wanted it to look like a blued finish in a lightweight synthetic stock that appeared to be high gloss walnut. It was a lot of work on the shops part but the rifle came out great. I imagine one could do something similar at home but it would take a lot of patience and practice. It would give you added benefits of stainless with a 2nd layer of that coating. I doubt you could ever get it to rust on you! The work was not cheap though...
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:21 AM
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If they had made plastic/stainless guns in the early 1900s, perhaps folks would have thrown them behind/under the seats of pick-up trucks. Then we would now have more nice walnut/blued in our inventory today.
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:43 AM
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I have carried half a dozen EDC guns over the last 25 years. I have been carrying a Five Seven for coming up on 3 years now. The one that was most satisfying was a P7M8 with custom wood grips. That gun was stolen many years ago right before I moved to Mexico for several years. By the time I got back it was out of production and I had the crazy notion that I didn't want to pay more for a used one than I paid for my new one - one that I should still have. The Five Seven is functionally everything I wanted it to be, but when I look at it and it's plasticness, I find there is no love. Since I am appreciating (or not) my gun as art way more often than I am using it in a fight I bought a Korth Mongoose back in January. I am making my own grips and having a custom leather shoulder holster made. I get much more satisfaction from this gun than even my old P7. For me the high price and large amount of effort I have lavished in order to get a beautiful steel and ivory gun has definitely been worth it. I am a blue collar guy with a modest income but I have no buyers remorse whatsoever. The only thing that isn't quite as I would wish is the finish - it is very nice but it is not high quality blued nice. I am also starting to build an all steel and wood rifle so I can have exactly the rifle I want. It will be blued.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2017, 01:24 AM
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I reload on three presses. All were made before 1960. I cast my own bullets from lead alloy I conjure up. In my opinion the art of making high performance ammo supersedes the beauty of the walnut and steel. I enjoy shooting the ammo I make, so, polymer is fine with me. My wife feels the beauty of what you have in your hand is more important than the ammo. She shoots less than me. To each his own.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2017, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trent12 View Post
I get what you're saying, and a lot of other guys are saying it too... but they're actually usually the ones driving the industry in the other direction with demands of lower pricing. I can't tell you how many times I hear it in the local stores of some guy complaining of how he got such and such firearm at such and such price back in 19xx...They usually stop complaining once they do the math really quickly. The fact is firearms are actually far cheaper today than they ever have been. Just have to put up with the fact that if you want something like they used to make then, you are going to pay an equivalent price point. Which is not going to look pretty next to all the other firearms on the shelf today.

For a reference to minimum wage and cost, etc... minimum wage today is more than double that of the late 80's... that's $3-3.40 an hour in the late 80's. Today federal minimum wage is $7.25 and most states have higher.
I do the same thing all the time with an inflation calculator link on my phone. A Remington 700 ADL when it was introduced was pushing a grand in today's dollars.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2017, 06:40 AM
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Always buy QUALITY and it appreciates at least as much as inflation.

In 1952, my dad and uncle went shopping for .22 rifles. Dad came home with a Remington 512 and his brother a Remington 550-1. As I got older I wondered why they hadn't bought a Win 69-A and Model 63? They're much better guns. They were also $5 more.

When a friend in gunsmith school paid $55 for a new Ruger 10-22 I called him stone crazy. A Model 63 could be had (then) for $150 and it was all steel and all machined. I just bought an old 10-22 (walnut, pre-warning) for $125 and sold and old Model 63 for $1600.

I have boxes full of old, cheap parts guns and pieces. Too broke to fix and not worth the trouble or risk...junk. But, the boxes of M-98 parts are worth ten times what I paid and sometimes many more. Buy QUALITY and never lose money.

Guns and pocket watches have sentimental value even if they don't work, but the better ones are worth repairing.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
Always buy QUALITY and it appreciates at least as much as inflation.

In 1952, my dad and uncle went shopping for .22 rifles. Dad came home with a Remington 512 and his brother a Remington 550-1. As I got older I wondered why they hadn't bought a Win 69-A and Model 63? They're much better guns. They were also $5 more.

When a friend in gunsmith school paid $55 for a new Ruger 10-22 I called him stone crazy. A Model 63 could be had (then) for $150 and it was all steel and all machined. I just bought an old 10-22 (walnut, pre-warning) for $125 and sold and old Model 63 for $1600.

I have boxes full of old, cheap parts guns and pieces. Too broke to fix and not worth the trouble or risk...junk. But, the boxes of M-98 parts are worth ten times what I paid and sometimes many more. Buy QUALITY and never lose money.

Guns and pocket watches have sentimental value even if they don't work, but the better ones are worth repairing.
I had an old 10/22 with a 16.25" barrel in a black/green laminate stock. A beautiful .22, but I was made offers for it many times and one gentleman made me an offer I couldn't refuse so I sent it along. I miss that .22 as I haven't found another like it. All these new 10/22's have either an aluminum or polymer receiver, I can't really tell. They still shoot well but feel "cheap" compared to the older ones.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:15 AM
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Plastic frame, no thank you. No protection if brass fails on firing. Seen to many online.
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2017, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irv S View Post
Need to consider, are you buying "art" or "function"? There's a place for both.
The true joy to firearms, IMO, is finding the guns which are "functional art". A well made
pistol which is as fun to look at as it is to shoot.

Many dealers have a couple brands of blocky polymer guns as their chief vendors, and display
case after case of unattractive flat black plastic pistols. Gstrange is right, it's uninspiring. Many
times a pawn shop display is more enjoyable to shop.
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2017, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
blocky polymer guns
"Pistols that look like the boxes a pistol should come in."
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:46 PM
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Funny thing is, some of the blocky guns DO shoot well. The
FN-FNX45 is the double-stack, shoots anything, go-to 45
which shot great, straight out of the box, without tune-ups
or mods, for me.

Yes it's great HD/SD. Not a lot of fun to carry, or to look at.
I prefer EDCs which have better appeal.

Last edited by Danoobie; 05-24-2017 at 07:54 PM.
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2017, 10:00 PM
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I have some old guns that have gone up in value so much I would never buy them at their current prices. ( The model 63 Win is a perfect example: M1 carbine for 40$, Springfield trapdoor 100$). The older guns were what we had at the time but I look at them now and see the precision and finish they are awesome. The new cross linked polymer guns don't seem like they will ever having the collectability of the older guns. Most highest level of competition precision hand guns are still all steel guns.

The new polymer guns are nice to carry, fun to fool around with but they are more like a nice crescent wrench.
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