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The average gun owner knows nothing much about his favorite gun. He or she knows how to feed, shoot and (maybe) clean it. They find the history of the model or manufacturer and the technology involved about as compelling as European history (which is sad on a lot of levels).

That said, collectors of historical guns tend to be remarkably well-informed. Anyway, how about you? How deep do you dive into the information regarding your favorite gun?

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  1. A lot actually. Been a gun guy since I was 6.

    God bless my mother for indulging a hoplophile

    Read Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith, Cooper, Jordan, and Askins

    Keep up with the history of a lot of good stuff

  2. Don’t have a favorite gun, but I do try to research my pieces more than the average bear does. Years of absorbing knowledge from Forgotten Weapons, TFB, Inrange TV, Michael Zeleny (Korths), Chris Bartocci, and numerous reference books have helped. I’d love to be an expert on one or more platforms but I don’t have the paid time for it. Maybe I’ll reincarnate as an engineer if I’m lucky?

  3. I never buy a gun until I can walk through the disassembly steps from memory. And I usually take it down every day or two toexamine all the working bits for a week or so until I can explain the functions of 80% of the parts and then consume 200 rounds before I trust it to be my EDC or hunting rifle.

    Does that qualify me as a little crazy? I don’t know (but I’m told crazy people don’t know their crazy)

    Short answer I try to know everything there is to know about my guns when I first get a hold of them. Can’t trust most things I don’t understand

  4. “The average gun owner knows nothing much about his favorite gun”. I’ll completely agree with that, especially when it comes to the 1911 crowd. Butthurt and complaining because I observed the truth begins below ↓↓↓

  5. I have two thumb drives that have every bit of info I can glean about each piece.
    One is kept in my safe, the other in my buddies safe.

    • I have two thumb drives that have every bit of info I can glean about each piece.

      I would love to spend a weekend camping with you, sitting around a nice campfire drinking your favorite beverage, and get a detailed explanation of your mindset in that regard.

      Everyone else figures that they will always be able to access such details from sources on the Internet. Why everyone else figures that is such a reliable strategy is beyond me.

      • Some of it is internet research, some from the owners I bought from.
        My colt Python for instance had two owners prior to me. I also paid the money to colt to give me the 411 on her.
        Three of my older smiths have their boxes and paperwork with original receipts.
        Some manufacturers have serial number ranges for born on dates. IIRC, Ruger’s serial number page only links to when it left the factory, not its born on date.
        Owner group web sites are a big help.
        Of course the ones I bout new and still have are a no brainier.
        And I’ll take you up on that camping trip.

    • We have a saying around our shop, “You learn something useless every day.”

      For instance, y’all just learned that about me.

    • Same here. Hell, I’m my case I’ve always been the type to buy, sell, and trade guns all the time. As well as restoration and refitting of junk guns I get a hold of.

  6. Forget about your personal ‘favorite’ anything. Instead, learn the basics about many different weapon systems. This is the way to be prepared and well rounded. Then, once that is accomplished, the history of various makes and models can be fully appreciated.
    Just my 2 cents…

  7. i guess i know about all that is recoverable for the FG42, love that gun. i guess if i was serious about it i would learn German.

  8. I love learning about all guns, especially their history. I tend to get scatterbrained between the various platforms, as well as hobbies outside the firearms sphere.

  9. I’m pretty sure I could build, fit, and tune a 1911 if you gave my a bin of mismatched parts. I’m restoring a Colt 1903 right now and managed to teach myself how to detail strip it, that’s much more of a pain in the ass.

    • The 1911 was designed to be detail-stripped with nothing more than a .45 ACP shell casing (to remove the grip screws) and perhaps a pencil point (to depress the firing pin in the rear of the slide so you can remove the firing pin keeper). Once you have the firing pin out, you can use it to drift out any other pin on the gun.

  10. My favorite an old Remington Model 11 in 20 gauge my Dad bought new the year I was born. I have verified the serial #. Downloaded and paper printed the manual. Will go to one of my Grandchildren. CD’s and thumb drives are OK assuming you will have a computer.

  11. My current favorite is a Colt clone 1873, and much like its predecessors, the 1851, 1860, 1861, and 1862 (all of which I own), I know every little piece (true enough there are very few), have torn them down more than once, tuned all of the actions, and made a couple of sets of my own grips. I know a fair amount of the history behind the guns as well, as well as the reloading info for each.

    I’ve built an AR. I started with a polymer 80% lower, but switched to a stripped lower later on. These are not particularly complicated either; but nothing I’ve done constitutes “gun smithing”.

    I cannot say the same for some of my other guns. Although I am sure it is not really very difficult, I have never tried to remove the firing pins from my Kahr or 1911, nor have I detail stripped either down to the component parts. The closest I’ve come is watching a video on how to tear down a 1911 with nothing more than a bullet casing. I haven’t even thought of trying to get inside my 1892 Winchester; the manufacturer doesn’t recommend it, and it is a rather involved and laborious process.

  12. If nobody else has said it, you owe it to yourself to check out the Forgotten Weapons channel and the InRangeTV channel on YouTube.

    FW is very cerebral, InRange is more hands-on. They’re both amazing. Some people listen to the radio or the news in the morning; I just let those guys educate me.

  13. I did a pretty deep-dive into everything Tavor a few years ago when I bought mine… and promptly forgot most of it. Then there’s the Webbley Fosbury (which I can’t even remember how to spell, apparently) about which I know next to nothing but want so badly!

  14. I can recall all of the Glock model numbers, size, and calibers. Can detail strip one with a typical cheap plastic pen.

    (Glock whore)

    Other than that, I can put together an AR now from parts without instruction. If that counts for anything. I don’t really have any historical knowledge if this is what the question is referencing. There’s a lot of useless stuff floating around too.

  15. I know it goes bang every time and I know it well enough to be very dangerous if any is feeling particularly stupid. Not much more to need to know.

  16. OK video, but I do have one minor quibble with GFG’s lament that Ruger hasn’t brought back the medium-framed Blackhawk, even though they build the New Vaquero as a medium-framed gun. Ruger did indeed – still does as far as I know – build a new-model medium-framed Blackhawk, starting with the 50th Anniversary Flattop Blackhawk in .357 a few years ago. They’ve since chambered the Flattop in .44 Magnum (also a 50th Anniversary commemorative), .44 SPL, .45 Colt (including a convertible .45 Colt/.45 ACP model) and a .357/9mm convertible. The regular Blackhawk, of course, still comes with the large frame.

    I’ve got one of the 50th Anniversary .357 Flattops and a pair of the .44 Special Flattops, one each in standard plowhandle grip and Bisley versions. They’re fast-handling and a joy to shoot, and feel much handier than the large-frame models.

  17. I always do a basic field strip right out of the box, sop up some of the excess grease, and see how they work. I look for burrs and parts that should have been polished but weren’t, and fix those.

    With adj. iron sights I pull out my dig. calipers and calculate the number of MOA change I get for every click or rotation of the screw; and the direction of change of course.

    The Sig P320 flap was instructive because I figured out how the firing pin blocks and trigger blade are supposed to work on my two 9mm’s. I also figured out why the recoil spring is so damn stiff on my XD. The XD has a short stiff striker spring, and when cocked and in-battery, the recoil spring must pull against the striker spring and pull considerably harder than the cocked striker spring.

  18. My uncle left me a factory sporter Ross .303. I know enough to know it is a cool gun, fiendishly complex, and I wouldn’t have wanted to carry one in the trenches.

  19. i learned which end to point away from me. i’m at the point, due to killing brain cells with alcohol to achieve the same number count as my wife (not there yet), that i have to push old information out if i am to install any updates.


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