Historic Firearms

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Ok, we've talked battleships, military strategies, history, now I want to talk a little about guns. I am a collector of antique firearms, my collection includes:

Belgian Army Flintlock Rifle (napoleon era)
Springfield 1873 Trapdoor
Percussion lock hunting rifle
Remington Old Army Single Action 1861
DWM Luger 9mm
M1911PD
91/30 Tula Mosin Nagant (Russian BA)
Mosin M44 Carbine Isveck (Russian BA)
Lee Enfield 1 MK III (UK/Aus BA)
K98 Mauser (German BA)
Swiss Rubin (Swiss BA)
M1 Garand (USA SA)
AK-47 (Romanian SA)
Arisake Model 99 (Japanese BA)

My Favorites: Enfield 1 Mk III, It's my only WW1 rifle, somewhat rare, but well balanced, easy to handle and works perfectly for it's age.

m1 Garand: This gun holds a very special place in my heart. It took me three years of research to track down. It belonged to my Grandfather during WW2. When I found it, I wanted to cry both because I found it, and because it was in terrible shape. I have since oiled it, greased it, and brought it up to firing condition before presenting it to my family (whom could not believe it). However it has since been retired due to constant jamming.

Least Fav. Swiss Rubin... I hate this gun it has a massive kickback, and unless you are wearing gloves, it can't be gripped. But its a bolt action, and I collect them.

Anyone else have a personal favorite if they've fired one?
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
m1 Garand: This gun holds a very special place in my heart. It took me three years of research to track down. It belonged to my Grandfather during WW2. When I found it, I wanted to cry both because I found it, and because it was in terrible shape. I have since oiled it, greased it, and brought it up to firing condition before presenting it to my family (whom could not believe it). However it has since been retired due to constant jamming.

M1's are great rifles. I had some issues with jamming a couple years ago due to a slightly bent piston rod (doesn't take much of a bend). Slide kept popping out of the track. That's probably not an option for you if you're intending to keep it all original parts. Plus replacements are getting incredibly expensive. If I ever end up with the money I'll be getting a more modern rifle to use as a "fun gun" and save the M1 for special occasions.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
M1's are great rifles. I had some issues with jamming a couple years ago due to a slightly bent piston rod (doesn't take much of a bend). Slide kept popping out of the track. That's probably not an option for you if you're intending to keep it all original parts. Plus replacements are getting incredibly expensive. If I ever end up with the money I'll be getting a more modern rifle to use as a "fun gun" and save the M1 for special occasions.

Yeah my family would NEVER forgive me if I started modifying that rifle. No, I'll keep the originals just because they were what my old man used. As for a fun gun, if you like old styles, go with a 91/30 Mosin. They are awesome, very reliable, and go for about $99.
 

Red Baron

Rear Admiral
Yeah it's hard NOT to have a Nagant. But ever since i broke my wrist i'm uncomfortable with its straight grip. I have a nice .44 Marlin lever-action, but same problem here.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Yeah my family would NEVER forgive me if I started modifying that rifle. No, I'll keep the originals just because they were what my old man used. As for a fun gun, if you like old styles, go with a 91/30 Mosin. They are awesome, very reliable, and go for about $99.

Eh. I started out with bolt action weapons. They're a great place to start, but I meant a relatively new semi. Besides, I have a nice 30/30 lever-action Marlin for the manual labor fun.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I don't own any guns, but I would be interested in firing (and possibly owning) historical weaponry; where do you start?
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
I don't own any guns, but I would be interested in firing (and possibly owning) historical weaponry; where do you start?

Well first and foremost it depends on what state you are from and what the gun laws are there, especially the storage laws. Look into that and take the required courses. Its a lot of reading, but better safe then arrested.

As for what kind of gun... It depends on your area of interest and personal finances. Personally, the best place, in my opinion, is a single action revolver. You really get the feel for the gun, plus they're a good (to borrow the phrase) "Starters gun."

I started off on a Glock 17 just as a gun that was easy to maintain and get a feel for before moving on to more valuable firearms. For rifles... I gotta say the Mosin nagant. Cheap, easy to find, very reliable etc.

The best thing you can do is RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH! I'm not kidding its worth saying three times and more if you're going after historic stuff.

Example:
The Luger 9mm is a VERY finicky pistol due to the way its designed. Unlike most semi autos, this one has a series of levers on it to eject used cartridges. So what ever you fire, needs to have enough kick to push the levers back far enough to eject them, otherwise the gun jams.

It really should be listed as a 9mm 230grain, because anything lower, or not specifically made for the Luger, will jam and/or damage the gun.

Another good example is the Nagant 1895. Ammo for this is 7.62x38mm. Not easy to find in the US at all. In fact its near impossible. So you get this gun and it collects dust. However the gun will also work with .32mm Long Barrel rounds, which are easier to find.

Other then that, it is a very fun hobby. I find that when I take my guns to the range, I usually wind up shooting for an hour and then spend the next 2 chatting with the other shooters about the different guns and the history behind them. It's always a great time.

Eh. I started out with bolt action weapons. They're a great place to start, but I meant a relatively new semi. Besides, I have a nice 30/30 lever-action Marlin for the manual labor fun.

Well my favorite "Fun gun" perhaps is the one i forgot to mention. It's a Coach Gun. Basically a very short, double barrel hammer lock shot gun. Its fun to skeet shoot with and can be fired (one barrel at a time!) with one hand.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
I don't own any guns, but I would be interested in firing (and possibly owning) historical weaponry; where do you start?

To follow up here... it really depends on if you have an exact interest. My personal interest has always revolved around WW2. The M1 Garand, for example, is still actually incredibly easy to get and for a decent price. It's the only rifle in my personal collection (everything else is owned by my family). Because I'm a WW2 nut I'll use examples from that...

There are a number of factors that also play in to how easy to find and how expensive a weapon is going to be. A bolt action rifle mass produced in the millions such as the Mosin Nagant practically falls off bread trucks, and are likewise incredibly affordable for a rifle. A fully automatic weapon made in smaller quantities, such as the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, will cost more than a new car and require a lot of Federal paperwork and steep requirements to legally obtain (last I checked you have to operate a gun shop to qualify, f.ex). So, unless you feel an uncontrollable urge to drop everything and open an armory out in the Midwest, you're limited to semi-automatics, bolt actions, and single-shots.

Another Russian weapon that's not too hard to come by is the SKS. With the Mosin Nagant that'd be a good start to an affordable collection. Then pretty much any WW2 infantry weapon is a likewise easy place to expand in to, and most of the ammunition is still produced.

EDIT: Find out if you have any local gun clubs or outdoor gun ranges. The former might be willing to answer questions and even take you out to try a weapon or two. The latter you might be allowed to watch, and if Maryland gun enthusiasts are like the ones down here, they'll also be glad to answer questions.

A quick glance shows that you have the typical hoops to jump through (long guns you can buy and walk out with same day, pistols have a wait and you'll be registered with the police).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
My real interest would be something older -- I would like to learn to fire a muzzle-loaded Civil War rifle. I'm not sure where you start; can you buy a real 1861 Springfield? A replica? What's the process?
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
My real interest would be something older -- I would like to learn to fire a muzzle-loaded Civil War rifle. I'm not sure where you start; can you buy a real 1861 Springfield? A replica? What's the process?

Again, it depends on where you are from. In my state, anything that uses black powder and/or is made before 1890 you can get without a license. In your case Loaf, in addition to a state license, I'd recommend a Curio and Relic's license. It allows you to import from out of state.

Most of the historic guns can be purchased, its a question of knowing where to get them. I don't purchase replicas, mine are all original and I am currently trying to negotiate with an antique store in Sandwich Ma for the purchase of an original percussion lock Confederate Army rifle.

The problem is, many of them are way past the days when they could be used and most fill the roll of "wall hanger." Even if they are functional good luck finding ammo for them. You would have to find a gunsmith who can custom make it for you, and that carries a rather heavy price. If you do find an antique rifle that you want to try out, get it inspected, make sure it can still handle being fired. If you're looking to learn to fire one, buy a replica first. Perhaps consider joining the colonial militia, I did that for a few years, it's fun. As for just learning, there are several sites that can show you how to load a muzzle loader... it can be a real pain in the ass.

If you are asking if there are special laws in place detailing what you can and can not do with them, the answer is no, at least no more then the normal guns.

They usually carry a hefty price tag though. The one I'm negotiating was original $2300.

Antique shops are hit and miss these days, some of them try to pass off replicas as the real thing. The trick is to look for the Arsenal markings. For what you are looking for Loaf, and I can not believe I am saying this, a gun show would be the best place to go. Just make sure you know whats legal/illegal in your state as these gun dealers who go to these shows from out of state will sell you anything regardless and YOU are responsible if they are illegal.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Again, it depends on where you are from. In my state, anything that uses black powder and/or is made before 1890 you can get without a license. In your case Loaf, in addition to a state license, I'd recommend a Curio and Relic's license. It allows you to import from out of state.

A concealed weapons permit would also be worth checking out. Even if you never plan to "use" it, at least in Florida they remove all the hassle of a purchase because all of your paperwork and background information is on state record - thus, you never have to do it again.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
A concealed weapons permit would also be worth checking out. Even if you never plan to "use" it, at least in Florida they remove all the hassle of a purchase because all of your paperwork and background information is on state record - thus, you never have to do it again.

GOOD CALL! That's actually the best advice anyone can give. I currently have a State class A license, which legally allows me to carry and conceal high capacity firearms. This should be all you'll ever need, although the a fore mentioned C & R license will also make things easier, and it is a federal license.

Although Class A is tough to get and you basically need to have a totally clean record and/or a non-liberal police chief that doesn't have his own political agenda. I realize that is a politically charged comment, but any Massachusetts gun owner can tell you stories of how hard it can be to get one.

Either way, the max is definitely worth it. It makes it less complicated to transport, gives you a few more liberties, and allows you to purchase almost any legal gun.

A word of warning though, stay away from the Machine Gun Licenses! If you can even get one. Once you do, you've signed your life away to the Government. Forget protection against Illegal S and S, forget privacy, you get a machine gun permit, you're allowing the authorities to come in and inspect your guns at ANY time, and if they don't like the way your storing them (whether you are in compliance or not) they will confiscate your guns, and you will face criminal charges. It happened to a guy I used to shoot with, gun laws in many states are so crazy, not even the police can sort them out, as a result a lot of people are wrongly charged. All in all, a machine gun license just isn't worth it.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
A word of warning though, stay away from the Machine Gun Licenses! If you can even get one. Once you do, you've signed your life away to the Government. Forget protection against Illegal S and S, forget privacy, you get a machine gun permit, you're allowing the authorities to come in and inspect your guns at ANY time, and if they don't like the way your storing them (whether you are in compliance or not) they will confiscate your guns, and you will face criminal charges. It happened to a guy I used to shoot with, gun laws in many states are so crazy, not even the police can sort them out, as a result a lot of people are wrongly charged. All in all, a machine gun license just isn't worth it.

Arguably the first step to developing an armory of that nature is to move to a state like Texas where the only applicable laws are Federal with the obligatory state concealed weapons laws. Certain states are just more gun friendly than others.

But since we're talking muzzle loaders you'd need a pretty totalitarian and asinine state/local government to run into that magnitude of problems.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
But since we're talking muzzle loaders you'd need a pretty totalitarian and asinine state/local government to run into that magnitude of problems.

Like say... Massachusetts? :p

But yeah, Texas and Alaska seem to be the two most gun friendly states in America. California, followed closely by massachusetts being on the other end of the spectrum.

Of course the worst thing is that the Mass Laws are so ridiculous that only three other states recognize a Mass gun license, and NONE of them are anywhere near Mass, so forget going out of state with gun.
 

ELTEE

Vice Admiral
Like say... Massachusetts? :p

But yeah, Texas and Alaska seem to be the two most gun friendly states in America. California, followed closely by massachusetts being on the other end of the spectrum.
.

New Jersey is actually one of the worst as well. I once got in trouble simply for having an unloaded and inoperable air rifle. I was lost and didn't even know I was IN NJ. I was 17 at the time. Bottom line? They wanted to charge me as an adult and for carrying and automatic rifle. What a bunch of idiots.

@ LOAF - my good friend is a Civil War re-enactor. He collects many period pieces, both originals and replicas. They are relatively easy to find - you can buy fully functioning replica Springfields, for example, right at the Gettysburg battlefield site!

As many have said before me here, your best bet is to start with a check on your state's applicable laws, and then go from there. Combine your interests with what is possible. Sometimes, it's easier to just get started somewhere, and then worry about upgrading your licenses/permits later depending on where your tastes take you. In NY, for example, it can be difficult to obtain a concealed carry right off the bat. It is often easier to start with your sportsmen, then upgrade later. Obviously, knowing your local judge or sherriff can go a long way in helping you get started. Often, a local gun club will help you make those necessary connections if your state hints that they are needed.

It's like anything else in life - it's all about who you know! :p
 

privfan

Commodore
my WW2 era stuff
1903A3
M1
Mosin M44
Yugoslavian mauser, similar to the K98 but a bit different. don't remember the model number
M1 carbine
Enfield, don't remember the version
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
my WW2 era stuff
1903A3
M1
Mosin M44
Yugoslavian mauser, similar to the K98 but a bit different. don't remember the model number
M1 carbine
Enfield, don't remember the version

where'd you get the 1903? I've been trying to find one for years.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Well, it's not firearms but.

I collect medieval/fantasy swords myself, and specifically workable ones(so not the import limited spanish you can take by their handle and start shaking until the blade pops off(this is a limitation build in so they are safe to sell since they could not be used as weapons) I do think a non-historical weapon like the "klingon Bath'let" would be a nice above my chimney. You can best order stuff like that from a weaponsmith present at an event you visit, and then get it delivered at home, you'll see far more nice things than standard, customized and are far cheaper then just ordering them straight from a webshop, not to mention original. (Although I am still looking for the replica of Marvell's version of "Mjolnir")

Fully functional guns are not legal to own around here unless you have a weapon license for the specific weapon, but if it were i would like to get a replica of "Ol painless"(the weird gun from predator, if you watch the documentary, you'll see its origins and how unpractival it is with ammo), just for kicks.

Also collecting any sort of weapons is illegal in a lot of countries, If you buy a "real" weapon, check with a local cop if it's okay, let him judge it(and call for a superior if needed to get the facts straight), For instance it's not allowed to own a morningstar and I had to disable the mechanisms on my crossbow. Better safe then sorry.
 
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