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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 01-07-2020, 02:21 PM
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Default Why The Difference In Value

For instance, there are differences in the value of the Pre-26 and 26 as well as the Pre-24 and 24. Why? The number on the frame? Is there any difference in the quality of the firearms that would change the value? The same workers were making the Pre-26 as the 26. The only difference I see is that one day the workers were making the firearms without the number and then out comes a memo that says put a number on the frame after this date.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:31 PM
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No difference in the guns as far as I know. The difference is in the quantities made. I have three pre-24s and a couple pre-26s, none were easy to find or inexpensive. I would love to have a 24 and/or a 26 but don't think I've ever seen either for sale. There were, I believe, very very few of either built. Same goes for the -1 and -2 versions. Now 24-3, different story, 5000 or more of those if memory serves.

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Old 01-07-2020, 03:08 PM
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That's what I am talking out. The only difference is the number being stamped on the frame. They are still the same identical firearms aren't they?
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:16 PM
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No difference in the guns as far as I know. The difference is in the quantities made. I have three pre-24s and a couple pre-26s, none were easy to find or inexpensive. I would love to have a 24 and/or a 26 but don't think I've ever seen either for sale. There were, I believe, very very few of either built. Same goes for the -1 and -2 versions. Now 24-3, different story, 5000 or more of those if memory serves.

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IIRC, when the M24-3 was introduced, 5000 were to be built with a 6 1/2" barrel and 2500 were to be built with a 4" barrel.

BTW, I bought the first 4" blue M24-3 to appear in Birmingham, Alabama.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:34 PM
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Well, a pre-model 24 or 26 will have a 5- or 4-screw frame, and depending on the age of the model stamped gun it may be a 4- or 3-screw.

The model stamped examples of these two guns (as well as the 20, earlier 21 and 22, and 23) are pretty rare; collectors know this and values rise accordingly. As noted above the model 24, and 21/22 were reintroduced later.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:41 PM
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They are not making any more no numbered (pre) guns and haven't for a long time.
Limited runs were always the higher dollar purchase.

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Old 01-07-2020, 03:53 PM
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I understand rarity bringing more money but not so much when they are identical firearms with one having no model number and the other having a model number. Just a collector thing, I guess.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:25 PM
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Rarity and age play a part in that equation, and too demand, fads and other mysterious factors. Collectors are a mysterious lot, and sometimes it doesn't make sense. You just have to learn the trends and try to stay one step ahead.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:31 PM
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Rarity and age play a part in that equation, and too demand, fads and other mysterious factors. Collectors are a mysterious lot, and sometimes it doesn't make sense. You just have to learn the trends and try to stay one step ahead.
Example; There are only 1600 Pre-39s then known as the "S&W 9mm" built between 1954 and 57........something like 300,000 -2s were made over the next 25 years.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:34 PM
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I understand rarity bringing more money but not so much when they are identical firearms with one having no model number and the other having a model number.
Well, let's reiterate what Alan (murphydog) wrote. They are not necessarily "identical." There would be only one short time period when any of them would be.

As an example, let's take the .44 Special Target model which became the Model 24. A Model of 1950 Target made in 1957 would be a 4 screw gun and identical to an early model-marked Model 24. But one made in 1955 would NOT be identical to the same Model 24 because it would have the upper sideplate screw. On the other end of the spectrum, a Model 24-1 made in 1960 would not be the same as either of the other three guns because the extractor rod screw threads would be reversed. Likewise a -2 from 1962 would be different because it would lack the cylinder stop plunger retaining screw.

Of all the variations mentioned above, the 24-1 would be the most rare and the most valuable, since so few of them were produced. In my opinion, the 5 screw variation would be the next most desirable and valuable, assuming all of them were in the same condition.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:36 PM
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For a non collector there is no difference to a collector makes all the difference in the world. Pre model guns will just about always bring more money to collectors there are exceptions to this unwritten rule. There are collectors that want every possible variation this drives the value, and price.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:51 PM
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The Buyer has the choices -
If you don’t see a difference or value that difference,
Don’t Pay For it!
It’s entirely up to the buyer.
I had a seller go Irate on me cause I didn’t recognize the true value of cased Commemorative Hi Standard Deringers.
He insisted they had gone way up in value!
I asked him, who told you that?
The guy I bought them from!
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:54 PM
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For a non collector there is no difference to a collector makes all the difference in the world. Pre model guns will just about always bring more money to collectors there are exceptions to this unwritten rule. There are collectors that want every possible variation this rives the value, and price.
Yep. E.g Model of 1950 Pre Model 22 and "model marked" Model 22.
All based on production numbers. (and how many folks want to buy them)
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:11 PM
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Too early for April fools, so I guess this was a serious question?

Age, supply, and demand... this same logic probably applies all collectible guns. You have posted here way too many times to not know that there is a difference in value because of rarity/demand. So I will stop typing now and assume this thread was to get a rise out of us on a boring Tuesday.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:12 PM
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There is always the collecting idiosyncrasies and quirks. For example, the 2 "like" guns ... which is less likely encountered would make it a more interesting collecting object than those that there are more frequently encountered.

I would always prefer to have a model / issue that there were less (hopefully many more less) produced than its counterpart.

This sparks a greater interest in my want / need of it, but, that's just me.

Also, I'm willing to pay a premium for those that interest me more or seem more fascinating or scarce.

e.g. same as if a 5-screw vs a 4-screw, etc, etc.

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Old 01-07-2020, 09:04 PM
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Now here is a collecting quirk: The Non-registerd .357 Magnums are more rare than the ones stamped with a registration number. However, the ones stamped REG are more sought after.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:30 PM
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Another bit of collector weirdness...

When looking at engineering changes, it is allegedly so that each change represents some sort of improvement.

So, ironically, we are willing to pay more for the worst version.

That said, I love me so no-dashes.

An illness, I suppose.

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Old 01-07-2020, 10:12 PM
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Hoosier45. Incorrect. I just don't see the difference in value between a pre-26 and a 26 where there is no actual difference between the firearms other than a number on the frame. I don't post to get a "rise" out of people.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:05 PM
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And then there are those within the lunatic fringe of the collector community whose likes and dislikes have next to nothing to do with the object, the gun in this case, but with the perceived philosophies and/or attitudes of the management of the company that made them.

In the case of S&W, there are those who will tell you the philosophy held by the early management of the company went something along these lines: We will be successful if we build the best possible products for the price. They will tell you that philosophy prevailed throughout the period ending with the advent of the four screw K and N frame products-----late 1950's, thereabouts, when the philosophy began to change to: We will be successful if we build our products at the lowest possible cost. They will go on to tell you if it wasn't then, it most certainly was when the 3 screw versions of these items came to be. Needless to say, the timeline of this sort of thing can be argued, and I for instance believe a case could be made the change in philosophy came about with the demise of the Triple Lock. I suspect that position would find favor with relatively few because of all the really spiffy guns produced between 1915 and the later 1950's---never mind they were double locks instead of triple.

Then there's the matter of the company's attitude toward their customer----customer oriented or self oriented. You can work your own timeline for that.

And now, having introduced these intangible variables, I'll leave it to you to decide how these intangibles impact the tangibles made from steel and walnut----and their comparative values----if you care enough to do so. As for me, maybe a little TV----start a book---a little nap wouldn't hurt.

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Old 01-08-2020, 08:08 PM
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At about this time in the conversation I always think about the factory restored pieces and the effect that has on collector status. I feel very fortunate to have a factory restored 1st Model Double Action .44 Russian, as far as I'm concerned it is the most beautiful piece I own and would be nearly impossible to be as beautiful unless it was in near unfired condition. Therein lies the rub, someone would rather it be in nearly 75% condition than to be restored by the factory. I am not as giddy over a non factory restored piece although I have seen some very fine work. I appreciate the factories stampings of the date the work was done and other cymbals indicating specified work entailed. Of course the letter spells everything out, although not entirely, there is always something open to speculation. By guess by golly.


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Old 01-08-2020, 08:28 PM
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In the case of a company like Smith & Wesson, who have created more than it's fair share of firearms classics, part of the appreciation for those products is intertwined with the history of the arm and its creators.

The pre-model numbers, going by such names as "Target Masterpiece", "44 Magnum", "Outdoorsman", coincide with certain intangibles and personalities. The decade or so after WWII found the company under the helm of Carl Hellstrom. This was not only a Golden Era for Smith & Wesson, it was also a Golden Era for American manufacturing and American culture.

It may just be pride or sentimentality, but if it makes your heart race a little faster, or brings a gleam to your eye, you're gonna want it more, if you don't yet have it, or treasure it more, if you do have it!
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:48 PM
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At about this time in the conversation I always think about the factory restored pieces and the effect that has on collector status. I feel very fortunate to have a factory restored 1st Model Double Action .44 Russian, as far as I'm concerned it is the most beautiful piece I own and would be nearly impossible to be as beautiful unless it was in near unfired condition. Therein lies the rub, someone would rather it be in nearly 75% condition than to be restored by the factory. I am not as giddy over a non factory restored piece although I have seen some very fine work. I appreciate the factories stampings of the date the work was done and other cymbals indicating specified work entailed. Of course the letter spells everything out, although not entirely, there is always something open to speculation. By guess by golly.
Unlike some others , I get no heartburn when I see a factory rework stamp. It's Form Follows Function for me.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:43 AM
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Thinking outside the box. "Perception and Reality." Our world built on perceptions, such things heavily fostered here. And, to add, happily so. Mine, that the quality of older, generally higher than newer. Factually true about the Smiths we revere? Quite possibly, but again depending on the perceptions involved in defining "higher quality". The term speculate is often 'betting on general perceptions'. My own collecting, influenced very much by fellow collectors, most more "tech experts" in their fields. "Opinions of value", perception central. Beginning perhaps with notions of our own, but early on, heavily influenced by others with more established preferences. Showing off our "rarities". Some of which the very term "limited production" that we revere, reflecting actual market failures! That being their principal claim to fame!
Getting quite fundamental and esoteric here. But going back to my original claim... "Perceptions"... rule!
If we climb mountains "...because they're there!" We collect because of 'perceptions' and their influence on our perceptions.
All this perhaps better appreciated in company of favorite "libation'.
Just my perceptions!
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:35 AM
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At about this time in the conversation I always think about the factory restored pieces and the effect that has on collector status. I feel very fortunate to have a factory restored 1st Model Double Action .44 Russian, as far as I'm concerned it is the most beautiful piece I own and would be nearly impossible to be as beautiful unless it was in near unfired condition. Therein lies the rub, someone would rather it be in nearly 75% condition than to be restored by the factory. I am not as giddy over a non factory restored piece although I have seen some very fine work. I appreciate the factories stampings of the date the work was done and other cymbals indicating specified work entailed. Of course the letter spells everything out, although not entirely, there is always something open to speculation. By guess by golly.
In collecting, 99% of it is personal preference. To me, a factory refurbished S&W in outstanding condition is something I would not pass up, if priced within reason.

Moreover, the close inspection of the piece to examine "THROUGH" the factory refurbish to determine how beat up or how nice it was prior to the rework.

Then, there's the consideration of if ... whether or not ... someone did a second refinish on top of the factory refinish / refurb trying to pass it off as the original S&W refurb.

The factory re-works have a place, position and certainly a much more sought after bunch of collectors over another like S&W that was reworked by some, unknown, gunsmith.

This does not, in any way, slander some of the professional restorationists or older craftsman who performed factory quality work as their standard of quality.

Just to mention one was Charles Duffy. Master gunsmith & refinisher. His standard refinish was, by far, better than most other "restoration" jobs by other gunsmiths.

Back to S&W Factory refinished / refurbished guns, they surely have a place in better collection for what they are, factory refinished / refurbished which are a lesser value than an equal quality original.

In our day and age of cosmetic perfection, many newer collectors would opt for the gun more cosmetically appealing while us old "hard core" mustachios would prefer our guns to be finer condition originals.

I have mostly original condition antiques, relics and curios, with fewer factory refurbished S&Ws but I certainly DO have some outstanding factory refurbished S&Ws.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:35 PM
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In collecting, 99% of it is personal preference. To me, a factory refurbished S&W in outstanding condition is something I would not pass up, if priced within reason.

Moreover, the close inspection of the piece to examine "THROUGH" the factory refurbish to determine how beat up or how nice it was prior to the rework.

Then, there's the consideration of if ... whether or not ... someone did a second refinish on top of the factory refinish / refurb trying to pass it off as the original S&W refurb.

The factory re-works have a place, position and certainly a much more sought after bunch of collectors over another like S&W that was reworked by some, unknown, gunsmith.

This does not, in any way, slander some of the professional restorationists or older craftsman who performed factory quality work as their standard of quality.

Just to mention one was Charles Duffy. Master gunsmith & refinisher. His standard refinish was, by far, better than most other "restoration" jobs by other gunsmiths.

Back to S&W Factory refinished / refurbished guns, they surely have a place in better collection for what they are, factory refinished / refurbished which are a lesser value than an equal quality original.

In our day and age of cosmetic perfection, many newer collectors would opt for the gun more cosmetically appealing while us old "hard core" mustachios would prefer our guns to be finer condition originals.

I have mostly original condition antiques, relics and curios, with fewer factory refurbished S&Ws but I certainly DO have some outstanding factory refurbished S&Ws.

Very well said, thank you sir, Thanks for adding your picture of an outstanding fitted piece.
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:30 PM
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I believe there is only one Model 26 known to exist, so if you are a collector of this model, it would be very expensive to add this extremely rare variation to your collection. I don't know how many Model 24s with a 4-screw frame exist, or how many Model 24-1s with a 4-screw frame exist, but again, these variations are rare to very rare and a collector of this model would pay a high premium to add them to his or her collection.

As a collector of the 44 Magnum, or Model 29, I paid a premium for guns marked 29-1 as relatively few are known to exist.

So, it is "a collector thing".

Bill Cross
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:49 PM
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At about this time in the conversation I always think about the factory restored pieces and the effect that has on collector status. I feel very fortunate to have a factory restored 1st Model Double Action .44 Russian, as far as I'm concerned it is the most beautiful piece I own and would be nearly impossible to be as beautiful unless it was in near unfired condition. Therein lies the rub, someone would rather it be in nearly 75% condition than to be restored by the factory. I am not as giddy over a non factory restored piece although I have seen some very fine work. I appreciate the factories stampings of the date the work was done and other cymbals indicating specified work entailed. Of course the letter spells everything out, although not entirely, there is always something open to speculation. By guess by golly.


Have you checked with the Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation on this gun yet?

I believe that their amazing work is going to change the S&W collecting landscape as more people become aware of the potential for finding the documents regarding the factory re-working.

I personally became extremely keen on modified, or factory re-worked/finished guns, mostly due to my limited budget. Such guns have been panned by the more well heeled collectors for quite a long time. So I could get them on the cheap.

Thing is that with the potential for documentation existing from the point in time when the gun visited the service department, some extremely cool information can be attached to these guns, elevating them (in my mind) to a 'Poor Man's Registered Magnum'. The RMs having a part of their mystique of course being in how fine they are, but the other part in the likelihood of the gun being attachable to a particular individual, who's history is revealed by the gun continuing to live on well past the lifespan of it's owner.

It is my personal belief that the market for guns that have visited the service department, and have SWHF documents revealing ownership at the time, will attain a similar status to custom order guns with the same documentation.

I for one am very much looking forward to seeing more fantastic documents like the ones the SWHF has furnished me on a number of my guns now. The hand written letters are just a joy to read through. They add so much to owning the guns, and enjoying them.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Doc44 View Post
I paid a premium for guns marked 29-1 as relatively few are known to exist.

So, it is "a collector thing".

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I'm thinking I'd like to have a 27-1.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:00 PM
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My impression of this kind of topic from years of being a member here and reading lots of strings about such topics:

People like me simply have a hard time understanding the collector value set. My firearms have to be functional for serious purposes; everything else is a secondary, tertiary, or non consideration. Aftermarket finishes that stand up better, better grips (almost always rubber), better sights (especially as I get older) are all important and pretty much non-negotiable. When I get interested in firearms, serious users (mostly a small group of a cops) dumped the wood grips as fast as they could. The early night sights were a big deal. Most of my friends are like me - firearms are for police, military, and personal defense use, and maybe hunting. Everything else is mostly inane. From collectors, I see responses darned near equating such with a mortal sin. To them, then, some of the considerations that go into value make a huge difference, even when the firearm in question is, as you describe it, nearly identical.

I am sure collectors don't generally share my value set, and it is likely just as foreign to them as theirs is to mine. That's ok, no matter how bizarre it seems to me, they are within their rights to do so.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SixgunStrumpet View Post
Have you checked with the Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation on this gun yet?

I believe that their amazing work is going to change the S&W collecting landscape as more people become aware of the potential for finding the documents regarding the factory re-working.

I personally became extremely keen on modified, or factory re-worked/finished guns, mostly due to my limited budget. Such guns have been panned by the more well heeled collectors for quite a long time. So I could get them on the cheap.

Thing is that with the potential for documentation existing from the point in time when the gun visited the service department, some extremely cool information can be attached to these guns, elevating them (in my mind) to a 'Poor Man's Registered Magnum'. The RMs having a part of their mystique of course being in how fine they are, but the other part in the likelihood of the gun being attachable to a particular individual, who's history is revealed by the gun continuing to live on well past the lifespan of it's owner.

It is my personal belief that the market for guns that have visited the service department, and have SWHF documents revealing ownership at the time, will attain a similar status to custom order guns with the same documentation.

I for one am very much looking forward to seeing more fantastic documents like the ones the SWHF has furnished me on a number of my guns now. The hand written letters are just a joy to read through. They add so much to owning the guns, and enjoying them.
I have not contacted the SWFCA but I did get a letter from Mr. Jinks, which I found interesting in its own right.
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M. View Post

People like me simply have a hard time understanding the collector value set. My firearms have to be functional for serious purposes; everything else is a secondary, tertiary, or non consideration.
I have guns that I like to shoot and guns that I like to just look at and admire and will probably end up shooting them one day. well most of them.

Other than rubber grips for shooting I like my guns just the way they left the factory.

I don't have any that have been refinished or have aftermarket anything on them.

But, that's just me.
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