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  #1  
Old 09-06-2021, 10:41 PM
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I was thinking about how hard it is to find many of the old classic firearms, no matter the condition. Many were made in the hundreds of thousands, some times millions, yet today they are rare as hens teeth. Usually more so the older the firearm.

Yet, firearms are "durable goods". Most will last several lifetimes, or more if taken reasonable care of. My 112 year old 1909 Argentine Mauser, complete with original stock, looks pretty close to new, and it gets shot, as it was before I purchased it in the 1970's.

I know collectors and sock drawers account for some, some are actually worn out, some destroyed, but when you look at shear numbers made, we should be awash in old guns. Where are they?

Larry
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishinfool View Post
I was thinking about how hard it is to find many of the old classic firearms, no matter the condition. Many were made in the hundreds of thousands, some times millions, yet today they are rare as hens teeth. Usually more so the older the firearm.

Yet, firearms are "durable goods". Most will last several lifetimes, or more if taken reasonable care of. My 112 year old 1909 Argentine Mauser, complete with original stock, looks pretty close to new, and it gets shot, as it was before I purchased it in the 1970's.

I know collectors and sock drawers account for some, some are actually worn out, some destroyed, but when you look at shear numbers made, we should be awash in old guns. Where are they?

Larry
We are awash in old guns, especially compared to absolutely any other durable good from the same period. We lose some to corrosion, some to fires, some to kabooms, some to boating accidents and similar, and some to crime. There are a ton for sale in various venues, online and offline, there are a ton more that are heirlooms or sitting in closets and attics. They're still around.
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:24 PM
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W there are a ton more that are heirlooms or sitting in closets and attics. They're still around.
I guess this category must be larger than I realize. In a market flooded with plastic, there must be a lot of folks who appreciate what they have, and hang on to them.

Larry
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:13 AM
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Having seen the collections of several milsurp experts sold after their deaths, a great many old guns are in the hands of a relatively small number of people.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:39 AM
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Many are in the gun safes and closets of old geezers like me who don’t put any wear and tear on them but hate to part with them.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:13 AM
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Millions and millions of guns
made but how many really
fall into the "classic" category.
Not as many compared to all
the numbers of firearms made.

When a person, a collector,
considers a particular desirable
category the pickings start to
get fairly sparse. That goes
for Smith revolvers, Winchester
rifles and so on.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:42 AM
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Many are in the gun safes and closets of old geezers like me who donít put any wear and tear on them but hate to part with them.
Tons of truth in that statement and I think I have become one of them.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:58 AM
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Many are in the gun safes and closets of old geezers like me who donít put any wear and tear on them but hate to part with them.
I don't have anywhere near the numbers I used to have, but the ones I've kept pretty much fall into that catagory. I don't shoot near as much as I used to, but I hate to get rid of the few I have now.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:03 AM
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I might need that covers a good number of mine.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:05 AM
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Been wondering that for years as I recall back in the day the LGS shelves full of the one’s we seek now. Got a buddy that has three safes full and never gets them out to see the light of the day. He won’t sell anything and has auction instructions in his will on how to dispose when he is no longer with us…. So, someone that never knew him will get the auction fees for listing, selling and buyer’s premium.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:10 AM
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All the hunters probably have at least a rifle, shotgun, & handgun of some sort. Some finally upgraded from their old rifle from youngster to a more modern one but kept the old; same with shotguns. Many handgun owners have at least 2 or more. And that's just the millions of hunters in the world. That accounts for quite a few guns. Then there's collectors of just plain old guns because they don't want to get rid of a gun just because they bought a different one. Lots of people with guns that just keep them.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:13 AM
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I'm wondering more "Where have all the good times gone?"
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:31 AM
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Around the turn of the Century I looked to replace the 2 1/2 and 4 inch 19s and 66s I traded off in the late 80s for Smith, Beretta an Sig autos................. figured I'd just run down to the LGS and buy a couple...... took me about 4-5 years to get the four P&R guns I was looking to get at LGSs around the Burgh.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:08 AM
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I have noted that a great many firearms purchased by forum members are "Never Fired" or "Fired Very Little". So most of these firearms from the past must still be in sock drawers or safes.

Last edited by jimmyj; 09-07-2021 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:02 AM
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Hate to say it but I have CMP M1s, 03A3s,98 Mausers, 303 Brits, Mosins, Winchester model 12s, Belgium Browning A5s and other long and hand guns Iíve owned for years and never fired. I really need to downsize but I just keep putting it off. And of course thousands of rounds of ammo that I will never fire.

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Old 09-07-2021, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
Tons of truth in that statement and I think I have become one of them.
Me too, Iím afraid. My hunting rifles and shotguns donít get the use they should any more.
I do hunt turkeyís and game birds still, but bigger game, at my age I need a chaperone. 😂
Just canít part with them because of the years and memories they hold for me.
Going to the range and shooting handguns is a lot easier than dragging several rifles and all the needed stuff that goes with it.
Should sell them and buy more handguns. 😎
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:21 AM
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Many are in the gun safes and closets of old geezers like me who donít put any wear and tear on them but hate to part with them.
Hmmm...That scenario sounds strangely familiar......Ben
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:45 AM
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There has to be a percentage lost in fires and natural disasters. I think of recent events with the hurricanes, floods, tornados and and other natural disasters.

I vaguely recall a photo of a rifle leaning against a tree in the wilderness somewhere. It had been placed there and not seen by a human for many years.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:24 AM
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an observation that pertains to this: i have just in the past couple of months "gotten interested in guns" and from the various gun forums, i have noticed that lot's of individual gun guys have a lot of guns. apparently dozens. that is striking to me. i'm not critisizing this, hey, you have the right to own 10,000 guns and that's fine with me. and right now, i only own 3 guns but come back and check in a couple of years and i'll probably have a dozen or more.

but there's a part of me that asks, "What in the world are we going to do with all these guns?"
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:35 AM
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One person’s “a lot of guns” might be a couple of dozen. Another’s might be a couple of hundred. I think many older owners are in a position where they are not worried about money and keep guns they don’t use simply because they are the kind of guns they enjoy owning.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:42 AM
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One personís ďa lot of gunsĒ might be a couple of dozen. Anotherís might be a couple of hundred. I think many older owners are in a position where they are not worried about money and keep guns they donít use simply because they are the kind of guns they enjoy owning.
i must admit, it can be very plearsurable just to line them up and look at them. though my lineup is not too big right at the moment.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:50 AM
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Itís also important to own guns. Guns = freedom.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
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I vaguely recall a photo of a rifle leaning against a tree in the wilderness somewhere. It had been placed there and not seen by a human for many years.
I think I remember that picture. Wasn't that a Winchester lever action that the tree had actually grown around, with the gun sticking out of the tree?

Larry
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:43 PM
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Many are in the gun safes and closets of old geezers like me who donít put any wear and tear on them but hate to part with them.
I resemble that remark!
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:48 PM
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I can remember back when I only owned about a dozen guns. But that was about fifty years ago. Iíve acquired a few more since then . A friend, now deceased, who owned a gun shop had a great fondness for 1911 .45 autos. Owning a shop put him in a position of having a lot of opportunities to acquire 1911s over a period of years. He told me he had over a hundred of them in his own private collection of guns. I doubt he ever did much of anything with them except wipe them down occasionally. I donít know what his family did with them after he died unexpectedly of a heart attack but Iím sure he simply enjoyed owning them until the day he died.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:51 PM
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He told me he had over a hundred of them in his own private collection of guns. I doubt he ever did much of anything with them except wipe them down occasionally. I donít know what his family did with them after he died unexpectedly of a heart attack but Iím sure he simply enjoyed owning them until the day he died.
And isn't that what it's all about?
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:16 PM
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Ö i have noticed that lot's of individual gun guys have a lot of guns. apparently dozens. that is striking to me.
MehÖ ďDozensĒ is a good start. They tend to multiple after 40+ years!

A friend of mine passed away a number of years ago. He was a serious collector. His wife told me that he had about 300 guns when they got married.

Another friend passed away just a few years ago and his collection was finally catalogued and sold. He had 428.

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Ö there's a part of me that asks, "What in the world are we going to do with all these guns?"
That sounds like something my ex-wife would say!
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:18 PM
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There has to be a percentage lost in fires and natural disasters. I think of recent events with the hurricanes, floods, tornados and and other natural disasters.

I vaguely recall a photo of a rifle leaning against a tree in the wilderness somewhere. It had been placed there and not seen by a human for many years.
A Border Patrol agent found a 19th century Winchester in a nook above a wash north of the border in the Grandma Mountains of SW NM in the mid-90s. Similarly, a rancher near Cloverdale in the Bootheel was going through an old, collapsed barn and found something covered in canvas. It was a functional Maxim machine gun - it now resides in the Deming museum.
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:36 PM
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A Border Patrol agent found a 19th century Winchester in a nook above a wash north of the border in the Grandma Mountains of SW NM in the mid-90s. Similarly, a rancher near Cloverdale in the Bootheel was going through an old, collapsed barn and found something covered in canvas. It was a functional Maxim machine gun - it now resides in the Deming museum.
There's also a cool museum in Cody, WY that has a ton of dug/found guns, near the much larger Buffalo Bill Center of the West. I must say though, a functional Maxim would be a bit tough to bring myself to turn in.
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:45 PM
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MehÖ ďDozensĒ is a good start. They tend to multiple after 40+ years!
What do you expect when you leave them alone in the dark?
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:58 PM
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MehÖ ďDozensĒ is a good start. They tend to multiple after 40+ years!

A friend of mine passed away a number of years ago. He was a serious collector. His wife told me that he had about 300 guns when they got married.

Another friend passed away just a few years ago and his collection was finally catalogued and sold. He had 428.


That sounds like something my ex-wife would say!
Mr Darnell over in Pahrump had something like 4,500 when he passed. A few of those are now mine.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:44 PM
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My Dad always said. "Beware of the one gun man. Cuz he probably knows how to use it." Dad shot a 2 barrel Win. mdl 12 set in 12 ga. One .22 rifle a Win. 61. 2 deer rifles. A 30'/30 Win. and a Rem 788 in 308 with scope that we gave him as he had aged to where he couldn't see the sights anymore. One 22 pistol(Beretta) and a Ruger security six in .357........He was good with all. When Dad shot......Something fell.
Sadly I didn't follow in his foot steps.....I usually carry a different gun every time I got out/hunting or fishing.
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:36 PM
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My Dad....
Sadly I didn't follow in his foot steps.....I usually carry a different gun every time I got out/hunting or fishing.
I think he would be ok with that.
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarw View Post
There has to be a percentage lost in fires and natural disasters. I think of recent events with the hurricanes, floods, tornados and and other natural disasters.

I vaguely recall a photo of a rifle leaning against a tree in the wilderness somewhere. It had been placed there and not seen by a human for many years.
This one was found in a national park and was sent to the Cody Museum for analysis. No information on the owner but it was a Model 1873 in .44WCF made in 1882. It was unloaded except for a single round of ammo in a compartment in the buttstock that was made by Union Metallic Cartridge Company sometime between 1887 and 1911.

You do have to wonder about the circumstances that resulted in it being left there.

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Old 09-07-2021, 05:05 PM
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There’s collectors of everything. The only reason needed is that you like too.
Will Jay Leno drive all his cars? Then there’s people who collect tractors.
I won’t be selling any of my things just because I have a few more than most, or to make it easy when I die. When that happens my wife has instructions and it’s all gravy then.
What would I spend my time and money on next anyways?
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:08 PM
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Where have the guns gone? Have seen pictures of tons & tons of guns dumped in the oceans by police & sheriff's department. How many have been crushed or cut up? The military has destroyed untold thousands of firearms. So how many guns are we talking about? Anybody's guess!
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:25 PM
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I would wager that every one of you know or know of someone in your local area that has a collection of several hundred to over 1,000 firearms. Most not being shot, but stored properly and maintained. You may not know that this person has that many, but believe me, they are out there. Just watch the "Estate" auctions from time to time.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:39 PM
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Good question and answers. Many folks probably hanging onto old quality stuff from years back. Years back many folks would "trade up" Now trade up to what?
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:45 PM
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I know of at least one (maybe two) old guys in Mn. that probably have MOST OF THEM..........

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Old 09-07-2021, 08:11 PM
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The most prolific "hoarder" or "collector" that I know of is J.M. Davis of Claremore, Ok. I've wandered through the state run museum a few times and always come away amazed that one man amassed this trove of weapons. I recall that he just collected and exhibited guns in his hotel and things snowballed from there. Police departments dumped their property rooms on him. The curators say they have thousands in warehouses with no room to exhibit them. I have to believe there are a few J.M. Davis types out there without as much notoriety that have vacuumed up a large fraction of these now hard to find firearms.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:17 PM
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It is simple for me, my collection will go to my great grand kids. My oldest grand kid is only 11 years old now!!
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:29 PM
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Population growth, available income, & a limited production number.

More people in the US with more money than ever before in history, fighting over whatever the production number was for a particular gun. (Ex: M1 Garand = 6 Mil. produced)

That's why I'm a big believer in the "buy it if you see it". It probably won't be there tomorrow.

I did that today with this fairly clean 19-6.

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Old 09-07-2021, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarw View Post
There has to be a percentage lost in fires and natural disasters. I think of recent events with the hurricanes, floods, tornados and and other natural disasters.

I vaguely recall a photo of a rifle leaning against a tree in the wilderness somewhere. It had been placed there and not seen by a human for many years.
Quite true along with simple neglect. I worked full time in the gun business for years. I've lost track of the number of guns that came in for sale in horrible condition, often from bad storage. Many had once been very nice examples of quality firearms. Some could be cleaned up or refinished but much of their collectible value was gone.... more than a few were only fit to salvage useable parts from. Some were so bad they weren't worth spending money or time on. Of course thanks to the internet more than a few people who brought in rusted junk were sure they had a rare treasure worth big bucks!

Add in the sad fact that the anti gun types have controlled many big city police departments for years. I'm sure many of us have seen the pics of guns being shoveled into a smelter and noticed a fine S&W or Luger mixed in with all the cheap "saturday night specials" or the "gun buybacks" where a quality, name brand long gun or handgun is posed in the pile of low end, often taped together clunkers. A certain number of the good ones are bound to be lost over time.

On a more cheerful note though, guns do come out of closets, dressers and collections as time passes and, if we're lucky, sometimes a really nice one comes our way.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:44 PM
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Thumbs up Estate Auction ! ! !

Quote:
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Hate to say it but I have CMP M1s, 03A3s,98 Mausers, 303 Brits, Mosins, Winchester model 12s, Belgium Browning A5s and other long and hand guns Iíve owned for years and never fired. I really need to downsize but I just keep putting it off. And of course thousands of rounds of ammo that I will never fire.
I hope I receive notice of your estate auction for your firearms and ammunition. Check your safes and make sure there is not any rust or corrosion on those 'unfired' weapons.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:48 PM
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Back when mil-surps were cheap and available a lot of people who were WWII vets stashed large numbers of them in their bomb shelters fearing the Communist threat and then the preppers took them and in the current political environment a lot more people have stashed them away as well. I know a number of people who have at least one weapon that can fire just about any ammunition they might run across. We are a gun culture, even the liberals have guns or hire them.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:40 PM
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I would venture a guess that is most of the guns ever made in modern times are still around in the collections of a lot of us old folks. Most of my friends have every gun they ever bought in their long lifetimes. I have very few and have always used a motto that one in means one out. I can think of several buddies that have guns in numbers exceeding 200.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:08 AM
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I’ve been to estate auctions of guys that had over 200 guns. Not uncommon at all for people to die with hundreds of guns and no one to leave them to that wants them. Just the money. I still have my Browning MKIII HP that I bought at an estate auction where the owner passed away with over 200 handguns alone. He had a few long guns and revolvers but most of his guns were a wide variety of semi auto pistols.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:59 AM
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What a great thread!!! Many thanks to Fishinfool for starting it.
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  #49  
Old 09-08-2021, 05:22 AM
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Anybody care to guess how many guns are owned by the members in this community alone.
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laketime View Post
Anybody care to guess how many guns are owned by the members in this community alone.
Not enough!

We currently have 224369 members, but most are not active. The average could easily be 5 or 10 guns. Some may only own 1 or 2, but many of our regulars have extensive collections and can take up a lot of slack!

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