When I was a little boy, my Dad and my brothers used to go clamming at the beach. It was messy work. One day, the old man gave me his Patek Phillipe to take inside. I lost it. My irresponsibility earned me some low-quality time with a leather belt. The watch turned up, eventually. Years later, I inherited the Calatrava – and a watch collecting habit. A pair of painful divorces cured me of that affliction, but I understand the collecting urge, especially when it comes to guns; sturdy objects that will easily outlive us. Are you a gun collector? If so, what’s your thing and what’s going to happen to your collection when you pass? “You never actually own a Patek Philippe,” the company’s slogan reminds us, “you merely look after it for the next generation.” Like that? 

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59 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Are You A Gun Collector?

  1. “One day, the old man gave me his Patek Phillipe to take inside. I lost it.”

    We had a similar upbringing. I once lost my old man’s Timex.

    • I once asked my father to get me a Timex for Christmas, because of my proclivity for clipping corners with my arm. (Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.) He bought me a nice self-winding day date Omega. I broke it, of course. Several times. Until it finally gave up the ghost.

    • Good God! I’ve never heard of Patek Philippe and had no idea a watch could cost six and even seven figures! This makes a Rolex look like something that rolled out of a vending machine. I’m thinking RF may have come from high brow stock. I proudly started life in a borrowed single wide – LOL! What happens in the trailer park stays in the trailer park!

  2. Yes.

    Shooting one or two of the same gun all the time gets boring real fast, to me at least. I am not into guns just for pure accuracy and functions sake. There are so many different types of guns, calibers, how they work, how they feel that it would be hard for me just to choose one or two then call it quits.

    That being the case I collect modern semi-auto’s with my primary focus being on the AK since no two are alike and every country added their own two cents to the design making them interesting to me. Plus I like stacking cheap mags and ammo too.

    • Agreed. My self-defense weapons are boring, efficient, and easily replaceable. However, there are many pieces in my collection that I just find astonishingly well designed and beautiful. I hope to pass on my physical collection, but I also collect in order to be able to pass on the philosophy, and hopefully the legality, of the tradition of the 2nd amendment.

  3. WW1-Vietnam era handguns with an emphasis on foreign arms.
    Also have a soft spot for nice pre ban rifles and com bloc Mosin M44s and SKSs .

  4. More of an amasser than a collector.
    Have no kids. Not planning on any.
    Most likely leave it to the gun club I belong to for whatever purpose.

  5. I have a collection of guns but I don’t consider myself a collector. I have collected a bunch of pistols designed by John Moses Browning and Marco Vokovic. Some stuff designed by John Garand and a bunch of bolt guns. I plan on adding a Ruger American Ranch Rifle so I can show the ATF a reason for having 223 ammo in the house after Miss Hillary assumed the throne.

    • If it is as good as my ranch in .300 BO you’ll be a happy man. You may even shoot it more often than some of your more expensive toys.

  6. 1) I would need to be an exceedingly more organized person in order to be a collector of any sort.

    2) I’ve never been of fan of owning things for a hobby, so much as doing things for a hobby.

  7. A collector? I wish. I think you have to have money for that to happen.

    That said, more than half the guns I own are lever-actions. I love leverguns, and would buy a whole roomful of them if I could. There’s just something about the look and feel of a lever-action rifle.

  8. I’m a collector. I have a mix of old and new. I really enjoy milsurps, and have quite a few of those. Some are in excellent condition, some are in OK condition, but all are shooters. Nothing is a safe queen. I have some quasi milsurps with my AK, VZ58, and other kit builds, or clones of older guns (PTR91 with wood furniture and some new parts swapped for old stuff.

  9. How many counts as a collection? I do consider my S&W 686p to be an heirloom item that I would love to pass down.

    On an aside, I believe jewlery should go down the female side of the line. That way the rings and other items stay in the family even if the names change. Give the family jewels (ha ha) to the males and if they give as a gift the item could walk off. Just my take.

    Of course, ever thing, guns and jewlery, could end up in a pawn shop 3 hours after the funerals.

  10. I wish. I would like to have a collection of Civil War era pistols and rifles, but when the nice ones start at $2000 and go up from there, I have had to settle for clones. Such beautiful guns. I do have an era saber and saber bayonet, but those were pretty cheap by comparison. And then there are the Colt 1911A1s, the Browning HiPowers, the WWII rifles, the 1903 Springfield, a Smith carbine, an 1873 Winchester, and 1892 Winchester, an 1894 Winchester….none of which I own. I guess that makes me a wannabe.

  11. Collecting can get expensive. I have possessions purchased long ago but stop short of calling any of them a collection since I don’t have examples of each nor anything of particular value.
    While not a hoarder I get my money worth out of what I buy.

  12. If I had the money I absolutely would be. As it stands about half of mine are family guns with the other half ones I purchased.

  13. I probably border on it being an addiction.
    I say border on because I don’t go to meetings yet. Just the range and far away places to shoot them.

  14. I am at the front end of the collecting process and was going to start collecting certain Smith and Wesson classic revolvers. But then I started bidding. And then I saw what collectors were willing to pay. Then I had a reality moment and decided I didn’t want to pay that kind of premium for a gun with a perfect finish.

    Now my collecting philosophy is simply to buy guns I am going to enjoy shooting. If it is a classic, it will be a shooter. I think I would enjoy shooting far more than oggling a safe queen.

  15. Have a few vintage revolvers; a Smith & Wesson 65-5 .22lr, Colt Detective 38 with full eject shroud 70’s and a Ruger SS SP101 9mm revolver. Dan Wesson 14 & 15 .357 These are rarely fired but regularly cleaned and lubed. Added a modern Ruger 9mm LCR for SD.

    If you have vintage weapons you only fire for function test, you are likely a collector.

  16. I probably have what progs would consider an “arsenal”, even though the number is relatively small compared to many other folks. No two are of the same caliber. I’m not a collector, I buy but I just don’t sell or trade. I have friends who sell/trade their Ruger to get a Glock cheaper or something like that. When I find something new that I want, I just save up until I have enough. There are two or three family heirlooms that I’m attached to and fire regularly, the rest hold no emotional value, I just don’t care to get rid of them. You never know though.

  17. A couple of Hi Points ( proud to say it) and an old pistol (wood) grip 20 guage. No real monetary value but I like them. Probably will be buried with me but in answer to the question…not a gun collector…just user.
    Fired of 150 or so rounds thru the C9. Some cap and ball 44’s. An old 22 revolver. The 380 and the shot gun today. Had a blast( pun intended)

  18. I am in the early stages of collecting communist bloc weapons, with an emphasis on automatic pistols. I have a Tokarev that I love, and a P64 Radom is currently in the mail. I also am picking up a pair of Mosin-Nagants for 99 dollars apiece next week(couldn’t pass it up, been wanting a Mosin-Nagant for a while and for this price…).

    As for who they will be left to…I am only in my mid 20s so I don’t really worry too much about it yet 😉 But most likely it will be left to whatever children I have.

  19. I have the “standards” in both pistol and rifle calibers. I think beyond that, I’ll be collecting. I want to get some oddball calibers just because, though I know at a practical level there’s little use for them. For example, in an SHTF scenario, a FN Five-seveN (or a PS90) is of limited utility once you run low on ammo. And buy-it-cheap-stack-it-deep doesn’t come into play with 5.7×28.

  20. I would say yes in a manner.

    My thing is to have a representative sample across all firearms technology (bolt, gas, piston, revolver large and small, cowboy, lever, pump, etc.) I don’t add anything to my collection unless it brings some unique quality not already present in the collection. For example, I do not have a pistol carbine yet. As such I have a Thompson and Kriss Vector on the list to represent the old and new within the pistol caliber carbine.

  21. Nope. I collect debt. I wish I could collect SOMETHING(I am an antique dealer) but right now utilitarian concerns come 1st…

  22. When is it a collection and when is it an arsenal? Is it collecting if each and everyone was a tool that was much needed and gets used?

  23. *points at username*

    Guns are a part of my larger collection of military stuff. I exclusively bought German items from both world wars for six years, but trudging through piles of fakes and forgeries wore me out. I’ve been on a U.S. Vietnam War and 90’s Yugoslav War kick for about six months and am loving every minute of it. I also have a bad habit of buying milsurps with field wear, battle damage, trench art carvings, etc. Safe queens are nice, but I like guns with character too much.

    • Yep you are collecting guns of the same caliber. At least you only have one type of ammo you need to stock but the drawback is if your caliber becomes expensive or hard to find then you are out of luck.

  24. I wasn’t a rifle collector. But that was before I started shooting in CMP vintage military events. But having one vintage M1 carbine is a lot like having just one potato chip. You always want “just one more”.
    Can’t say I have all the different M1 carbine variations. Yet. But I’m working on it. And also working on getting a bigger gun safe.
    And yes, It’s expensive. But as long as the accountant say’s it’s OK to buy them as “hard assets” going into the 401k retirement plan, I’m good with that.
    Every April 15th I get all warm and fuzzy thinking that the politicians in Washington and especially Gun Grabber in Chief Mr. Obama have helped put another $6500 worth of “hard assets” into my gun safe, I mean 401k retirement plan
    And when I pass, where this collection goes will be a decision for someone else to make.

  25. Firearms will only increase in value and I plan on leaving mine to my boys. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when they’re divvying them up. Lordy, I hope a firefight doesn’t break out.

  26. My dad loved America. And Colts. He didnt have a fancy watch but he had a few Pattersons and a Walker and more. He loved these guns because they were a part of the history of this country. I am glad he had passed when they were all stolen. But he tought me how to collect. “One good gun, rifle, toy train, automobile, watch is worth more than a dozen lesser guns, rifles, etc. Always buy the best you can afford”. That advice stood me well in accumilating several collections during my life one of which went to my first wife. Second wife bit a piece of my motorcycle collection. Third wife collects children and goats. Que sera, sera. I have had a blast through it all and collecting has helped keep the fun rolling…..

  27. I have small collection of guns I find interesting or I needed for some reason. They are mostly going to my son, a few friends (if they outlive me) and the rest will be sold.

  28. I’m collecting. All will go to my son with the caveat that my daughter can pick what she wants first, if any.

  29. Casio. Taurus TCP.
    I know what time it is, don’t feel under gunned.
    Would never have to take either off to dig clams or anything else.

  30. The statement that “you do not really own anything but that you are just its temporary caretaker” is lost on the average Moron that owns firearms. They will say ” Its my gun and I can screw it up anyway I want to”. Guns no longer being manufactured, especially those used in wars become historical items.

    Recently Chinese government agents were sent out scouring the world for pistols that were used in their “Anti-Japanese War” (their terminology for WWII). Why? Because the Morons had destroyed all their historical weapons when they adopted more modern weapons. Now they were in desperate need of historical weapons for their museums depicting their history. I think the lesson to be learned here is that when you alter or destroy a historical weapon as in the case of Jethro Bodine when he annihilates a collectable military weapon by “sports-a-tizing it he does not realize he is destroying something that not only has historical value but he destroys a weapon that will never be made again. Future collectors and just people interested in historic martial arms will shake their head in sadness and disgust. They will exclaim “What the hell went through the minds of these Morons when they destroyed these historical weapons”. The simple answer is “Morons have no minds”. They spend hundreds of dollars to turn a valuable weapon often worth thousands into a weapon worth little or nothing just in monetary value alone. In other words the Jerks lose financially 3 ways. They destroy all future rise in the collector value, they spend money altering a gun that is money that will never be recovered in a re-sale and they devalue the gun by at least 2/3’s when they alter it. Its a triple lose situation.

    The only consolation to myself is that my guns, being original, rise astronomically in value, even more than they otherwise would, because so many other guns have been and continue to be destroyed by the Jethro’s of the world whether they are from China or the U.S., all brothers in the crimes of deliberate destruction and annihilation.

    Excuse me while I barf.

  31. One day while looking at the collection that I have amassed in the five short years I have been into guns, i realized that I had crossed a line. I could either be comsidered a “gun nut” or a collector. Collector has much better connotations…

    And I plan to leave my collection to my kids. While I don’t have many really expensive items (the full auto AR-15 I recently got and am awaiting paperwork on notwithstanding), the prize is a Colt 1909 revolver in .45 LC whose paperwork traces it to the the a member of the US Military in Philippines before WW2.

  32. I wish firearms history with an emphasis mulsurp, specifically foreign military (1891-1991) was a college major.

    I love firearms and their history. Many people think I like guns like the sks because they are cheaper than ar-15s but I like them because they are more interesting.

  33. I am. I collect….GLOCKS! Let the hatred begin. I was looking at my collection one day and realized the guns I shoot every week, carry every day, and love the most were my GLOCKS. I gathered up my other autos, H&K, Walther, Sig Sauer, and $2000 custom 1911, headed to my buddy’s who owns a gun store and said “It’s time for me to get serious about my Glock problem.” I have at least one each of every model (not every gen) and a couple of doubles I am building. They make me happy. They will go to my brothers and nephews when I pass.

  34. I have a 22RF and a pistol and a pump shotgun for each son. Whichever one is the best marksman will get my custom Mauser action/Shilen barrel .270 with the inlaid birdseye maple stock and the mil dot scope. They can fight over the rest amongst themselves.

  35. Collector? I don’t know, does a deep desire to have a certain firearm like an M1 Garand make you a collector? How about impulse purchases of guns just because they’re cool?

    If so, then I guess I’m a collector. I have one son left who talks to me . . . I guess he’ll get them or the NRA.

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