Someone on a forum asked about our satisfaction with the state of our collection, and I have to admit it set me back a little- because even though I don’t think of myself as a collector and never meant to be one I had to admit that I am.
That being said every functional gun I have is a shooter, and every non-functional gun is meant to become one. With the exception of one gun that was a present- an 1884-vintage S&W .38 Double Action (2nd Model) and I still shoot that at least once a year. But really I keep it because it was a present from my sweety and it’s cool.
I do have a few collectible guns, but they were bought as shooters and I shoot them regularly. This time-warp 1958-vintage Colt Frontier Scout for example- which taught me that I really can still shoot at 25 yards-
Collectible, yes. But I bought it because I wanted a .22 revolver and it was a smokin’ deal, and if I live long enough I’ll shoot it until it falls apart. Recently I picked up a .32 Colt New Police Detective Special (with a factory hammer-shroud!) for less than half of it’s fair market value. Amazing shooter; fantastic trigger, shoots dead to point of aim. Collectable as hell, but again I will shoot- and carry- this gun because it’s collectable because it’s an excellent gun and that’s what it’s for. All that excellence is there for a reason and meant to be used.
In recent years my interest has run to modifying guns, so if there is anything resembling a theme to my collection that is it. It started with a Cimarron Richards-Mason conversion in .38 Special and have progressed to a rifle and even cap-and-ball cartridge-conversion revolvers.
That started with a Remington 1858 that I turned into a snubby and bought a Kirst Gated Conversion for that I call ‘The Pug.’
It’s now progressed to where I did a complete conversion myself, making an 1858 into a .44 Colt by doing my own cylinder and breech-plate. Currently I am turning an 1849 Pocket into a .22 and will be converting a Walker reproduction to fire .45-60 Walker.
I also have non-collectible collectible guns- a pair of S&W Hand Ejectors that I repaired/refinished. Beautiful guns and great shooters now, but their collectibility was compromised long before I got my hands on them. Then there are the guns referred to collectively as the ‘Steampunk Snubbies,’ a trio of modified S&W top-breaks with ergonomic grips.
Then their are the shotguns- mostly antique doubles in 12 or 16 gauge. There’s also my M1938 7.35mm Carcano inherited from my Uncle Jim that I made a new stock for and turned into a Mannlicher Carbine. Again, all shooters (though there is one shotgun I haven’t shot yet… but I will!)
My collection isn’t limited to old and modified guns though; I have a Chiappa Rhino, a Para-Ordinance LDA.45 Carry, a 1911A1, and the other modern odds and ends lying about. Naturally there are others; I’m really just hitting the high points here. The common thread there is that they are either particularly interesting mechanically, unusual or they are icons. If I had to select a theme for my collection I think that the closest I could come would be ‘Eclectic, Interesting & Iconic.’
I’m pretty happy with the state of things. There will be more things added and occasionally the odd piece is likely to get weeded out but a collection isn’t a thing, it’s a process.
So how is your collection? What is it’s theme if any, and how pleased are you with the state of it?