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What the Wear and Tear on a Rifle Says About Its Owner

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August 30, 2012

What the Wear and Tear on a Rifle Says About Its Owner

By David E. Petzal

A couple of weeks ago I returned a loaner rifle to the maker. It was a very expensive gun and he had been nice enough to let me keep it for 10 years, but the time had come. When he got it, he called to thank me and then said, “But you never used it.”

“Au contraire,” I said. “I hunted with it in Quebec, Maine, Wyoming, and South Carolina, and those are just the places I can remember off the top of my head.”

Some people are careful with their guns and some are not. Warren Page’s 7mm Mashburn, Old Betsy Number One, took 475 head of big game all over the world, under all conditions, for nearly 25 years, and is still in pretty decent shape. Jack O’Connor’s Al Beisen .270, which was his go-to rifle for something like 15 years and shot everything everywhere, shows use, but is still presentable.

On the other hand, C.J. McElroy’s .300 Weatherby, which killed an unimaginable number of big game, is hardly recognizable as a rifle. It looks like it was thrown into a gravel pit and then run over repeatedly by a D9 Cat.

I’m always suspicious of people who beat up their guns. It shows contempt for the firearm, and by extension for whoever made it. This kind of attitude shows in other ways.

Years ago, there was a very good sporting clays range a bit north of me, and the road to the clubhouse was slightly rougher than the north ridge from Tibet that leads to the top of Mt. Everest. It was something that you would take very slowly and carefully in an SUV with skid plates.

But invariably, I would see people in Mercedes and BMWs just thrashing their way over the rocks and potholes. It was their way of saying to the world: “Not only can I afford an expensive car, but I have enough money to beat it to death for no reason and then buy another.”

Substitute the word “rifle” for “car” and you see what I’m talking about.

Comments (61)

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from Moose1980 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

A gun is a tool to me, but I tend to take care of my tools. I like them to show some use. Nicks and scars tell the tale of a hunt. I don't mind a scratch or 2 in a wood stock but it kills me when I nick some blueing off, its like scratching the paint on a car.

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from Kenton wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Guess it all depends on how you were raised. When I got my 1st .22 (some 50 yrs ago) I was instructed that it was to be wiped down after every use, no exceptions. Then there were the adult inspections that ID'd my errors followed by a berating if I didnt meet expectations... It was drilled in my head that most guns are family heirlooms that are to be passed down. Thats how I taught my kid years later. I still have the old .22 and she looks almost as good as the day it came out of the box.

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from ALJoe wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My father always taught me that if I take care of my equipment it will take care of me. This is true for firearms as well. I try to treat mine like precious babies. But no matter how hard we try most hunting rifles will end up with a few "honorable scars."

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from bigeyedfish wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I actually enjoy a gun that has honest wear on it. An Ithaca 37 with the blue on the receiver and magazine tube well worn from years of being carried is a beautiful thing. That same gun with gouges and scratches everywhere from abuse is not so attractive.

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from swbutt wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

The money it takes for me to acquire my toys (trucks and guns), is too hard to come by. They don't come all that often, so I prefer to keep them looking shiny and new.

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from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I've no idea the origin, but I heard it from the SEAL community, so it's as good as law. Take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you. And that goes for about everything.

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from DesertWalker wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Well I was always told, such as the other people above, that my guns were to be passed down and could be used from generation to generation. That its important for me to take care of them cause they are family heirlooms. I take care of my guns as if they are my child, clean them whipe them down and make sure that they are keept safe. normal wear is ok, but wear from neglect isnt ever ok.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I take care of my rifles and shotguns. I sold a Browning BLR to a friend and six months later saw him toss it on the tailgate of his truck at the end of the day. I have regretted selling it to him ever since. Plus the fact I wish I hadn't sold it anyway. I liked it.

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from ATC7779 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I agree with this to a point...I was in the Marine Corps for a little over 5 years and in those 5+ years I fired MANY different weapons, not one of them looked even remotley new! However, everyone of them was just as accurate as the day it came from the factory. Comparing it to a car is silly, bashing a car in the way described ruins the ENTIRE car, to the contrary a gun that looks like crap on the outside (just like every one I shot in the USMC) can still shoot MOA as long as it has been taken care of internally. I'm not saying your average hunting rifle will take a beating like the ones I used in the service, but nicks, scrapes and a little less bluing than when it was new aren't going to effect its accuracy if it is taken care of on the inside! Every gun I own still looks new but that's not because I treat it with kid gloves, I do take care of the enternalls as best as I can though.

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from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

As long as you take care of something that means anything to you, it will take care of you whenever you may need it. Treat your rifles how you treat your friends, they will be sure to pay you back.

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from rob wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I like things that have patina, a well cared for look that can only come with age. Blueing worn off a reciever from days in the field, honest scare here and there.
To see a gun rusted and pitted or battered and beaten just brings a tear to my eye. It says a lot about the character of the owner, in my opinion. That is why, also in my opinion, that plastic guns are all the rage these days. People can treat them like crap, and not worry about the damage that they inflict.
Seems about the way that society values one another any more.

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from Douglas wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My firearms look like their owner. A few dings and scratches from use, but still clean and functional for the intended use.
Like my firearms, I don't plan to get dragged thru the gravel pit and run over by a D8 if I can help it.

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from chuckles wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I take good care of my firearms but I also expect they will get scratched and dinged in the woods. I only get mad if the damage is/was preventable. Doesn't happen very often anymore.

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from Brazilnut wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I believe in taking good care of one's gear, but I also believe this quote from Hemingway could apply to hunters and their guns:
"In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused."

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from hunterandfarmer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I agree, my toys stay in the under $500 range because of a limited income. For that reason my collection grows rather slowly. However, I do my best to keep my guns clean and free from unnecessary scratches and dings, but it doesn't always work. For example, last fall I was carrying my All-Weather 10-22 behind the seat in the combine and it shifted around and the fore-arm got gouged pretty bad. Fortunately, it didn't mess the barrel up. Other than that I have managed to keep my guns in good shape.

I think it would be neat to see a blog about shotguns that serve multi-purpose between home defense and field use.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Respect and pride of ownership are governing factors.

The majority of my guns have been acquired via creative financing due college [my education and my kids] and divorce. They aren't treated in reckless disregard although they have been used in harsh conditions. As such they show use, but very little abuse.

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I tend to baby my guns, esp. those that are in like-new condition.
When I acquire a used gun that shows considerable wear and tear, I enjoy the relaxed feeling that I can handle it in a more casual manner.
But I still baby it and wince if it picks up another scratch, ding or dent.

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from scottrods wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

If you "look after" your rifles, you simply haven't bush hunted then. We put a cover on our scopes and tape over the muzzle but, when you have to crawl on hands and knees up through gorse, blackberry and other thick regrowth the rifle will suffer. Hence why a synthetic stock is a benefit.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Nicks,small dents, worn bluing etc etc are just like a badge of courage or honor but the ones I put there by my own stupidity are not

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from chaslee wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I treat all my guns like I do my daughters. I made a mistake of letting one roll down the steps at 6 months (no injuries thank god) and scratched a stock on a barbwire fence once. I buy them to use them but take care of them.

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from buckstopper wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My Dad had 3 guns, a rifle, shotgun and pistol. Rem742Carbine, a A-5, and a German pistol war trophy 7.62 Mauser. The shotgun saw much more use and showed its age. No telling how many times it went under water while duck hunting or scrapped a tree while in the saddle scabbard when squirrel hunting on his quarter horse with his favorite dog. He sometimes got caught in the rain or snow, but the shotgun always got stripped, cleaned and oiled when he returned. It was a mark of passage for me to get the chore of cleaning it for him in the evenings after the hunt, but I had better not put the friction rings backwards or it would kick like a mule. The bluing on the muzzle and the "hump" was well worn, the stock had a few dents but there wasn't one rust pit on it. I follow his example.
I have more than a few shotguns and rifles. I know every dent and scratch in each of my wood stock Citori's. It used to hurt my feelings when some clod knocked over my gun in the blind, but it just reminded me more of the hunt when I see the scars. I never let anyone out side of my family borrow my guns because I know they won't take care of them. Dad taught me that one, if someone had to borrow a gun they more than likely don't know how to use it. I let my son take my Citori one time to shoot clay birds with his friend and his friends dad. I found a dent on the vent rib where said friends dad loaded the trap thrower in the car trunk on top of my shotgun. Lesson learned, don't buy an expensive shotgun (or rifle) and use a soft case. So far I've had good luck when flying with my Pelican case. All of my rifles are synthetic stocked except my Kimber 8400. I'm saving that one for a special occasion, it won't leave my sight.

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from duff wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Dave, thanks for the post. I haven't been on here in a good long time, but read continuously. Unfortunately the bid "c" has returned. My blessings to all the posters! I have a question though. I shoot/shot a lot of short wall Winchesters and some Farquharsons- the latter with customized Richardson triggers- fun deluxe. I do love falling blocks, in addition to all my others - no Closet Queens although .348 Winchester (Model 71) in the forehead isn't my idea of fun anymore. Anyway, I have the opportunity to buy a friend a gun to go on safari with. Please tell me what you think of the Ruger No. 1's ability to handle a big load. Can it be reliable over the long haul on a .416 Rigby for example, or do you recommend going to a bolt?
Thanks...see ya around, and keep up the great work!

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from Ga hunter wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I love all my guns and I use them all a good bit and with a lot of use will come a lot of wear n tear. But I still take very good care of my guns like everybody should! My rifles have served me well and I bought them all myself which with me being 16 is kind of difficult. So the fact that I bought it myself makes me just want to take care of them more. I

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from duff wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Sorry...Big...I can't get much right anymore.
Thanks!

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I take care my rifles, but nicks and scratches happen. I thing some wear and tear on them gives character. It's the memories of past hunts those rifles wear proudly..can't wait for hunting season!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Most of my hunting rifles and shotguns tell the tale of season after season of hard use, but not abuse. Most are a bit like me: old, a little scarred up, not rusty or dirty, but will shoot a gnat's azz off the top of a telephone pole.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

the metal on ma rifle is still close to flawless after close to 17 years of hunting, but the wood is damaged and restored then damaged again to where once it off ma rifle for a new stock, its only good for firewood..
i must have contempt for woodstocks or stockmakers then...
-ponders-

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from kudukid wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

There is a tougher road in the Chewore District of that beautiful and pathetic area once known as Southern Rhodesia...40 kilometers of the Chigusa River Road. Woe to those who venture down this path!

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

As far as myself I wold say Kenton said it best. Whose your Daddy and at whose table did you eat. I have any number of tools [socket sets to rifles] that show honest use. They are old beyond their age. I guess this was because I was the product of two people who lived during the depression and did not have much. Conspicuous consumption was the punch line in a joke and down right sin. This even carried over to hunting and fishing. If you killed it you did for food and never sport. Being a Grandfather now I try to instill this in my progeny's in their day to day life. I still remember my dear departed Uncle Joe with regard to my first car. "Did you check the oil". Yes I replied. Looking at me he said "it's better if you use a rag and not your mouth"!!

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from firedog11 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Many of the posters here and I assume Dave and Phil are old enough to have grown up what I would call lower middle class or upper poor (no offense to anyone intended) as I did. This meant basically that you learned from your parents not to waste or carelessly lose or destroy family tools and property because they were hard to replace or expensive. Most if not many of our society have had everything handed to them free of charge and throw it away when it no longer works. I am amazed at the number of people today who have no idea how anything works or how to maintain it. That is why firearms, tools and cars take a beating.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

To Duff: The Ruger Number One is a tremendously strong action and very reliable, but for a dangerous-game rifle I would rather have a magazine with three or four rounds in it. Tom McIntyre has used a Number One for buffalo, but my guess is that he had plenty of practice reloading it fast before he left for Africa.

I vote for a bolt gun.

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from RandyMI wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

WHEW!!! Your Can O' Worms Opener is also well-maintained and working perfectly! ("Those people" just finished their convention... They also seem to want to run roughshod over the environmental protections we've struggled for decades to win) Without tippy-toeing through the woods, I also try to not be abusive with my equipment. I also felt the same at my place of employment whereas some seemed to believe there were rooms packed with cash in large denominations and truckloads of repair parts somewhere "in the office"..... (off subject?)

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from duff wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Dave thanks! I appreciate it.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I suppose there is a third group of people who just do not maintain their gear and don't generally know any better or care.

I know a few people like that. They're nice guys, but I don't understand how letting rust form on their dove gun is acceptable, even if it is a plastic stocked cheap pump.

I don't abuse my gear while in use. When I get home I clean it. If it rained (this is AZ so condensation is not a huge issue) I always field strip it too.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

There's a big difference between honest use marks and abuse. It's almost impossible to hunt with a gun for any period of time without accumulating a few minor scars; scars that stir the memory as much as the horns or hide that end up on the wall.
On the other hand, it makes me cringe to see someone treating a nice rifle -- or shotgun -- with all the care normally reserved for a shovel. There's a special place in Hindu Hell reserved for that kind of cretin.
I recall a mule deer hunt I was on in the Trans Pecos when I jumped a buck in thick cat claw. I knew the briars gave out about 75 yards away in the direction the deer took, so I tucked my rifle up against my body and took off crashing through the briars. Upshot, he was standing on the side of an open hill about a hundred yards away, where I shot him. When my wife came walking up she turned white and was nearly hysterical wanting to know what had happened to me. I didn't even realize I was covered in blood from all the briars. My first concern was my .270, which as it turns out didn't have a scratch on it because I had protected it with my arms.
Flip side of that story was a hunt I took with my brother-in-law near Sonora, TX. I had an extra rifle along -- a pretty H&R 340 30-06 -- which he asked to borrow when something happened -- I can't remember what now -- to his gun. I knew that he abused almost everything he owned and was beyond reluctant to put that rifle in his hands, but what are you going to do? Upshot of that one is that when I met back up with him a couple of hours later he nonchalantly handed my rifle over, without mentioning that it looked like it had been chewed by a rabid cat. I blew up. Turns out he had just flat dropped it on a pile of rocks he was standing on. Didn't even occur to him that I might be bothered by all the scratches on the stock. Luckily, it was a linseed oil finish and most of the damage polished out, but it still makes me boil when I see the faint scars that remain.
I have never lent a gun to anyone for any reason since.

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from mike0714 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

i have my bench guns and my field guns. my bench guns a re polished buffed clean and shined. my field guns (only have 4) .204, 284, 10 mm, and 12 gage have marks and scratches. I would love all my guns to be spotless but if you use them from NY to Bc to AZ they can get a little beet up. i dont think this is disrespectful to the maker. it means i love your gun so much that despite having other guns i could use, i alway use yours because of the quality and reliability. i am not talking about poor gun upkeep if the barrel is full of fowling or the action is dirty or the is pitting then we are in a whole new ball game.

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from Bob Migliaccio wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

You'll might not like some of my guns. Shotguns with no finish on the wood and deep scratches, all from briar patches, although no internal damage. Or the 870 that slid down a rocky 50 foot embankment with me, with the real deep gouges covering it. Stripped it down and refinished it, but still looks bad. As I slid, a nice 10 pointer went to my brother, and is now hanging on his wall. Guns are tools, meant to put food on the table, and as long as it is kept free of rust, it is fine. And I shoot every gun I own, including my civil war Springfield

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from Bill Fischer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I have a 375 H&H and a 458 Win Mag that I took to Tanzania a few years ago to hunt Cape Buffalo. While not quite as bad a thumper as the 458 lott,the 458 win mag will still get your attention. I put no less than 200 rounds through each before the trip. Glad I did as the first buff I shot ended up in a charge. After all the dust had settled, we had shot this bull 9 times. All shots were were within 22 yards. When they skinned him they found a bunch of our bullets and a 500 gr lead conical and a 400 gr round ball from poachers. This bull was not afraid of guns.......

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from goin2themountains wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I'll just say any of my guns have fewer dings than I do in my late 50s.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I find that I treat my rifles like a new car...I obsess over the appearance until I get a scratch on it then I can relax a little. Half of my rifles I bought new the rest used. I will not buy a used rifle with less than an immaculate finish because a nicked and dented finish says the previous owner didn't care about the finish. If he doesn't care about the finish I don't know if he cleaned or oiled it propoerly. All of my rifles are heavily used but other than minor scratches look great and have smooth shiny bores.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I always treated my guns as best I could under the circumstances. Unfortunately, the circumstances were usually pretty nasty. Check my profile photos and you'll see my favorite rifle stuck back together with first aid adhesive tape after a horse wreck down the side of a mountain. For those who sit in a tree stand to hunt deer I can see how a lifetime of hunting shouldn't show much wear. But that's not the kind of hunting I do. I'm a tracker and I have been out in torrential downpours, blizzards, near vertical slopes, falling in creeks, etc., etc. Someone who doesn't know me would probably look at my guns and conclude that I abuse them. Anyone who could stick with me in the field for a couple of days would conclude the hunting abused them.

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from Bizzydays wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Tell you what firedog11, my coffee table is my grandfather's carpenters tool box. It rode on his spring wagon and there are still some shavings there but no rust. My grandson likes it. After 29 yrs my Rem 870 has a nice patina on the stock as does my Ruger 10/22. No scratches, no dents. Scratches and dings mean there is a story or you're a slob, not a sportsman. Oh, and by the way, I have my great grandfather's guns.

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from elmer f. wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

i think that most of us are working stiffs, with families. we were raised in the same, and taught to take care of the equipment, no matter what it was. from the 4 way lug wrench, to the best firearm, you did not abuse it, or put it up wet. and they ALWAYS worked. if you use any tool hard, it is going to show signs of wear. but there is a HUGE difference between wear and abuse. i still (some 30+ years later) remember my father screaming at my older brother for emptying the 30-06 semi auto that he had just purchased, as fast as his itchy trigger finger could pull the trigger. there was a 15 minute lecture, and then we packed up and went home. my brother got to fully disassemble the firearm with dad watching him like a hawk, and cleaning every single part of it like it was going to preform surgery the next day. it took them 4 hours. my brother never did that again. and i knew better. i am sure it did not hurt the gun. but it was the idea of abusing the gun that made him "flip out". all of my guns show some signs of wear. i could never pass any of them off as new, or like new. i hunt hard, so the stacks do get little scratches from briars and such, bumping things here and there, etc. but mechanically, they all work like new, or they get repaired at the first sign of something not working correctly.

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I can't stand people that beat stuff just to prove a point about their finances or more likely, somebody else's who is actually footing the bill. Firearms are tools that must be taken care of. Do I cry like a baby if I put a scratch in my firearm? Probably, not but it'l really piss me off. I value the inevitable "worn" look but you can still tell if a gun has been used and cared for from one that has not. Normal wear and tear shouldn't be an issue. But intentional disregard? That's pure stupidity.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I am reminded that I have a couple of guns to clean, personally I care about the bore more than the exterior. Cheers. TGIFALL!

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from 268bull wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My Rem. 760, .270 cal. was used and a little abused when I bought it 35 years ago. And hunting on the wetside of the west central cascades, it takes a little more beating each elk season. But it get's wiped down each night back in camp, and 2 or 3 good cleanings after the season is over. It goes to the range with me, and after finding paper after a couple of shot's, that old girl drives tacks. That was the best $150.00 I ever spent on myself, 35 yrs. ago!

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I think we should remember that guns are used outdoors, in the woods, and not in some indoor fully-carpeted, climate-controlled environment. Mother Nature can be unforgiving, and a momentary lapse of attentiveness can be a disaster.
I well remember the day I leaned my brand new Model 70 against a large boulder as I turned away to answer a call of nature. I can still hear it sliding along the rough surface of the rock until it hit the hard ground, leaving a a few permanent scars in the stock.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

i consider myself a hard hunter, but at the end of the season my firearms rarely show it. if you take good care of a gun, even if you beat the hell out of it in the field, it should not look destroyed.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

That also reminds me that you new truck drivers will need to pony up and buy a four wheeler because your not heading down the over grown logging roads with your garage queen either. The screeching sound of branches will bring tears to your sentimental heart. Salut. 2 weeks and my SBL hasn't made it in, by ordering a "brush gun" I've already decided to take it wherever the game takes me.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

PS- Dave could you have the guys refrain from putting the Marlin SBL on the cover I would really like if it wasn't backorderable since I like to receive tools prior to work day. Thanks.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Back in Montana for a week to help my brother put on a new roof. Took a break yesterday to hike into my old fishing camp back in the days when I had horses (see profile photo). I got there and found the trail had been abandoned by the USFS probably over twenty-five years ago when I was last up there. Gad, what a mess. Endless tag alders that simultaneously shoestring AND clothesline tackled me. Didn't see any grizzly sign up there and very glad of that. They undoubtedly would have followed my blood trail! Lucky I don't have a broken leg but it sure feels like I do. I have hunted in that kind of crap for going on fifty years. Sorry boys, but if you expect to keep a gun looking new tracking a moose or elk in that stuff (and I have shot several in it), then you'll deserve the starring role in the next Mission Impossible movie. Yew brush and menzesia is as bad or worse. You need all your limbs to keep yourself upright.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

With timber prices down logging has stalled and thus logging road maintenance. I know you folks that lease tree plantations know what I'm talking about. It is rough out there, had to buy a Stihl limbing saw to keep branches in check, you don't need a 14 lb chainsaw to maintain roads, so the 192t-ce is a nice tool.

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Gerald S. kept his equipment immaculate!

Hunting and fishing with Gerald was a whole new concept in patience!
Gerald fishes while directing you to keep limbs, stumps or snags from touching his boat.
Water fowl? Everybody's picking up layouts, dekes and birds. Gerald is retreating to the vehicle to wipe down and stow his gun first.
Deer hunt with Gerald? Heaven forbid killing one! The preparation necessary to keep the smallest speck of blood off his vehicle wasn't worth it to me.
Yeah, take care of your equipment! Being "fanatical" is something else!

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from stack75 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

The key is "for no reason" for your personal firearm but to haphazardly be inconsiderate with a loaner is grounds for castration, especially if it has a claro walnut stock.

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from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My guns (and my bow for that matter) all look like they just came off of the dealer's shelf. My family wasn't wealthy growing up, which instilled in me the need to value and take care of things that have value (like firearms).

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

how about notches cut on the stock to keep score?

how about the embellishments (usually cartridge case heads) on the Remington 760's used by the Benoit family? BTW, for all the 760/7600's supposed faults (trigger pull, detachable magazines that could be lost), the Benoits use them exclusively.

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from duckdog07 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

In this economy who can afford to tear up their equipment? probably the same folks who review rifles for a living, none being under four grand with few exceptions.I would have a better chance surviving a heart attack under Obama care than I would talking my wife into letting me buy rifles at a pace that renders them disposable nope its off to the cleaning bench for me

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from Sneaky wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

If my gun, my truck, and my body don't have a fair amount of scars, I feel like I haven't hunted hard enough.

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from shane wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Like well taken care of automobiles, my rifles look mostly brand new until you get up close and see the inevitable dings. I can't completely baby them, I'm slogging them through the woods so I can kill things with them, but I'm not careless, either.

One gun I'm a bit ashamed of, despite it not being a looker in the first place, is a Savage MKII with the heavy barrel and grey laminated thumbhole stock. A rogue breeze and some careless placement took it down onto concrete, marring the stock, bolt handle, and heavily denting a scope adjustment cap.

The damage is all cosmetic, it seems, as I swear it's more accurate now. I don't remember it being so easy to shoot 1/4 inchers at 50; I surely haven't become a better shot.

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from jwallen wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Carry a rifle for a couple of thousand miles and it starts to get a little funky looking. Bashing around in the bush for decades I am starting look a little beat-up also.

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from 357 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I carry my now departed Uncle's 300 savage, it has some scratches and some dings from his use but it's in good mechanical shape. When i was out hunting this last season for Javelina i lost my foot on a loose rock bruised my ass and scratched the stock. told my dad about it later and he laughed and told me an afternoon of stories of him and my uncle dinging them selves and their hunting guns. Worth the scratch for the stories.

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from Moose1980 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

A gun is a tool to me, but I tend to take care of my tools. I like them to show some use. Nicks and scars tell the tale of a hunt. I don't mind a scratch or 2 in a wood stock but it kills me when I nick some blueing off, its like scratching the paint on a car.

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from Kenton wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Guess it all depends on how you were raised. When I got my 1st .22 (some 50 yrs ago) I was instructed that it was to be wiped down after every use, no exceptions. Then there were the adult inspections that ID'd my errors followed by a berating if I didnt meet expectations... It was drilled in my head that most guns are family heirlooms that are to be passed down. Thats how I taught my kid years later. I still have the old .22 and she looks almost as good as the day it came out of the box.

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from Brazilnut wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I believe in taking good care of one's gear, but I also believe this quote from Hemingway could apply to hunters and their guns:
"In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused."

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from bigeyedfish wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I actually enjoy a gun that has honest wear on it. An Ithaca 37 with the blue on the receiver and magazine tube well worn from years of being carried is a beautiful thing. That same gun with gouges and scratches everywhere from abuse is not so attractive.

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from firedog11 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Many of the posters here and I assume Dave and Phil are old enough to have grown up what I would call lower middle class or upper poor (no offense to anyone intended) as I did. This meant basically that you learned from your parents not to waste or carelessly lose or destroy family tools and property because they were hard to replace or expensive. Most if not many of our society have had everything handed to them free of charge and throw it away when it no longer works. I am amazed at the number of people today who have no idea how anything works or how to maintain it. That is why firearms, tools and cars take a beating.

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from ATC7779 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I agree with this to a point...I was in the Marine Corps for a little over 5 years and in those 5+ years I fired MANY different weapons, not one of them looked even remotley new! However, everyone of them was just as accurate as the day it came from the factory. Comparing it to a car is silly, bashing a car in the way described ruins the ENTIRE car, to the contrary a gun that looks like crap on the outside (just like every one I shot in the USMC) can still shoot MOA as long as it has been taken care of internally. I'm not saying your average hunting rifle will take a beating like the ones I used in the service, but nicks, scrapes and a little less bluing than when it was new aren't going to effect its accuracy if it is taken care of on the inside! Every gun I own still looks new but that's not because I treat it with kid gloves, I do take care of the enternalls as best as I can though.

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from rob wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I like things that have patina, a well cared for look that can only come with age. Blueing worn off a reciever from days in the field, honest scare here and there.
To see a gun rusted and pitted or battered and beaten just brings a tear to my eye. It says a lot about the character of the owner, in my opinion. That is why, also in my opinion, that plastic guns are all the rage these days. People can treat them like crap, and not worry about the damage that they inflict.
Seems about the way that society values one another any more.

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from ALJoe wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My father always taught me that if I take care of my equipment it will take care of me. This is true for firearms as well. I try to treat mine like precious babies. But no matter how hard we try most hunting rifles will end up with a few "honorable scars."

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from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I've no idea the origin, but I heard it from the SEAL community, so it's as good as law. Take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you. And that goes for about everything.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I take care of my rifles and shotguns. I sold a Browning BLR to a friend and six months later saw him toss it on the tailgate of his truck at the end of the day. I have regretted selling it to him ever since. Plus the fact I wish I hadn't sold it anyway. I liked it.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Nicks,small dents, worn bluing etc etc are just like a badge of courage or honor but the ones I put there by my own stupidity are not

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

There's a big difference between honest use marks and abuse. It's almost impossible to hunt with a gun for any period of time without accumulating a few minor scars; scars that stir the memory as much as the horns or hide that end up on the wall.
On the other hand, it makes me cringe to see someone treating a nice rifle -- or shotgun -- with all the care normally reserved for a shovel. There's a special place in Hindu Hell reserved for that kind of cretin.
I recall a mule deer hunt I was on in the Trans Pecos when I jumped a buck in thick cat claw. I knew the briars gave out about 75 yards away in the direction the deer took, so I tucked my rifle up against my body and took off crashing through the briars. Upshot, he was standing on the side of an open hill about a hundred yards away, where I shot him. When my wife came walking up she turned white and was nearly hysterical wanting to know what had happened to me. I didn't even realize I was covered in blood from all the briars. My first concern was my .270, which as it turns out didn't have a scratch on it because I had protected it with my arms.
Flip side of that story was a hunt I took with my brother-in-law near Sonora, TX. I had an extra rifle along -- a pretty H&R 340 30-06 -- which he asked to borrow when something happened -- I can't remember what now -- to his gun. I knew that he abused almost everything he owned and was beyond reluctant to put that rifle in his hands, but what are you going to do? Upshot of that one is that when I met back up with him a couple of hours later he nonchalantly handed my rifle over, without mentioning that it looked like it had been chewed by a rabid cat. I blew up. Turns out he had just flat dropped it on a pile of rocks he was standing on. Didn't even occur to him that I might be bothered by all the scratches on the stock. Luckily, it was a linseed oil finish and most of the damage polished out, but it still makes me boil when I see the faint scars that remain.
I have never lent a gun to anyone for any reason since.

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I can't stand people that beat stuff just to prove a point about their finances or more likely, somebody else's who is actually footing the bill. Firearms are tools that must be taken care of. Do I cry like a baby if I put a scratch in my firearm? Probably, not but it'l really piss me off. I value the inevitable "worn" look but you can still tell if a gun has been used and cared for from one that has not. Normal wear and tear shouldn't be an issue. But intentional disregard? That's pure stupidity.

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from swbutt wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

The money it takes for me to acquire my toys (trucks and guns), is too hard to come by. They don't come all that often, so I prefer to keep them looking shiny and new.

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from DesertWalker wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Well I was always told, such as the other people above, that my guns were to be passed down and could be used from generation to generation. That its important for me to take care of them cause they are family heirlooms. I take care of my guns as if they are my child, clean them whipe them down and make sure that they are keept safe. normal wear is ok, but wear from neglect isnt ever ok.

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from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

As long as you take care of something that means anything to you, it will take care of you whenever you may need it. Treat your rifles how you treat your friends, they will be sure to pay you back.

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from Douglas wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My firearms look like their owner. A few dings and scratches from use, but still clean and functional for the intended use.
Like my firearms, I don't plan to get dragged thru the gravel pit and run over by a D8 if I can help it.

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from hunterandfarmer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I agree, my toys stay in the under $500 range because of a limited income. For that reason my collection grows rather slowly. However, I do my best to keep my guns clean and free from unnecessary scratches and dings, but it doesn't always work. For example, last fall I was carrying my All-Weather 10-22 behind the seat in the combine and it shifted around and the fore-arm got gouged pretty bad. Fortunately, it didn't mess the barrel up. Other than that I have managed to keep my guns in good shape.

I think it would be neat to see a blog about shotguns that serve multi-purpose between home defense and field use.

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I tend to baby my guns, esp. those that are in like-new condition.
When I acquire a used gun that shows considerable wear and tear, I enjoy the relaxed feeling that I can handle it in a more casual manner.
But I still baby it and wince if it picks up another scratch, ding or dent.

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from scottrods wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

If you "look after" your rifles, you simply haven't bush hunted then. We put a cover on our scopes and tape over the muzzle but, when you have to crawl on hands and knees up through gorse, blackberry and other thick regrowth the rifle will suffer. Hence why a synthetic stock is a benefit.

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from buckstopper wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My Dad had 3 guns, a rifle, shotgun and pistol. Rem742Carbine, a A-5, and a German pistol war trophy 7.62 Mauser. The shotgun saw much more use and showed its age. No telling how many times it went under water while duck hunting or scrapped a tree while in the saddle scabbard when squirrel hunting on his quarter horse with his favorite dog. He sometimes got caught in the rain or snow, but the shotgun always got stripped, cleaned and oiled when he returned. It was a mark of passage for me to get the chore of cleaning it for him in the evenings after the hunt, but I had better not put the friction rings backwards or it would kick like a mule. The bluing on the muzzle and the "hump" was well worn, the stock had a few dents but there wasn't one rust pit on it. I follow his example.
I have more than a few shotguns and rifles. I know every dent and scratch in each of my wood stock Citori's. It used to hurt my feelings when some clod knocked over my gun in the blind, but it just reminded me more of the hunt when I see the scars. I never let anyone out side of my family borrow my guns because I know they won't take care of them. Dad taught me that one, if someone had to borrow a gun they more than likely don't know how to use it. I let my son take my Citori one time to shoot clay birds with his friend and his friends dad. I found a dent on the vent rib where said friends dad loaded the trap thrower in the car trunk on top of my shotgun. Lesson learned, don't buy an expensive shotgun (or rifle) and use a soft case. So far I've had good luck when flying with my Pelican case. All of my rifles are synthetic stocked except my Kimber 8400. I'm saving that one for a special occasion, it won't leave my sight.

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from duff wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Dave, thanks for the post. I haven't been on here in a good long time, but read continuously. Unfortunately the bid "c" has returned. My blessings to all the posters! I have a question though. I shoot/shot a lot of short wall Winchesters and some Farquharsons- the latter with customized Richardson triggers- fun deluxe. I do love falling blocks, in addition to all my others - no Closet Queens although .348 Winchester (Model 71) in the forehead isn't my idea of fun anymore. Anyway, I have the opportunity to buy a friend a gun to go on safari with. Please tell me what you think of the Ruger No. 1's ability to handle a big load. Can it be reliable over the long haul on a .416 Rigby for example, or do you recommend going to a bolt?
Thanks...see ya around, and keep up the great work!

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from Ga hunter wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I love all my guns and I use them all a good bit and with a lot of use will come a lot of wear n tear. But I still take very good care of my guns like everybody should! My rifles have served me well and I bought them all myself which with me being 16 is kind of difficult. So the fact that I bought it myself makes me just want to take care of them more. I

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Most of my hunting rifles and shotguns tell the tale of season after season of hard use, but not abuse. Most are a bit like me: old, a little scarred up, not rusty or dirty, but will shoot a gnat's azz off the top of a telephone pole.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

To Duff: The Ruger Number One is a tremendously strong action and very reliable, but for a dangerous-game rifle I would rather have a magazine with three or four rounds in it. Tom McIntyre has used a Number One for buffalo, but my guess is that he had plenty of practice reloading it fast before he left for Africa.

I vote for a bolt gun.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I suppose there is a third group of people who just do not maintain their gear and don't generally know any better or care.

I know a few people like that. They're nice guys, but I don't understand how letting rust form on their dove gun is acceptable, even if it is a plastic stocked cheap pump.

I don't abuse my gear while in use. When I get home I clean it. If it rained (this is AZ so condensation is not a huge issue) I always field strip it too.

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from Bob Migliaccio wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

You'll might not like some of my guns. Shotguns with no finish on the wood and deep scratches, all from briar patches, although no internal damage. Or the 870 that slid down a rocky 50 foot embankment with me, with the real deep gouges covering it. Stripped it down and refinished it, but still looks bad. As I slid, a nice 10 pointer went to my brother, and is now hanging on his wall. Guns are tools, meant to put food on the table, and as long as it is kept free of rust, it is fine. And I shoot every gun I own, including my civil war Springfield

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from goin2themountains wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I'll just say any of my guns have fewer dings than I do in my late 50s.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I find that I treat my rifles like a new car...I obsess over the appearance until I get a scratch on it then I can relax a little. Half of my rifles I bought new the rest used. I will not buy a used rifle with less than an immaculate finish because a nicked and dented finish says the previous owner didn't care about the finish. If he doesn't care about the finish I don't know if he cleaned or oiled it propoerly. All of my rifles are heavily used but other than minor scratches look great and have smooth shiny bores.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I always treated my guns as best I could under the circumstances. Unfortunately, the circumstances were usually pretty nasty. Check my profile photos and you'll see my favorite rifle stuck back together with first aid adhesive tape after a horse wreck down the side of a mountain. For those who sit in a tree stand to hunt deer I can see how a lifetime of hunting shouldn't show much wear. But that's not the kind of hunting I do. I'm a tracker and I have been out in torrential downpours, blizzards, near vertical slopes, falling in creeks, etc., etc. Someone who doesn't know me would probably look at my guns and conclude that I abuse them. Anyone who could stick with me in the field for a couple of days would conclude the hunting abused them.

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from elmer f. wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

i think that most of us are working stiffs, with families. we were raised in the same, and taught to take care of the equipment, no matter what it was. from the 4 way lug wrench, to the best firearm, you did not abuse it, or put it up wet. and they ALWAYS worked. if you use any tool hard, it is going to show signs of wear. but there is a HUGE difference between wear and abuse. i still (some 30+ years later) remember my father screaming at my older brother for emptying the 30-06 semi auto that he had just purchased, as fast as his itchy trigger finger could pull the trigger. there was a 15 minute lecture, and then we packed up and went home. my brother got to fully disassemble the firearm with dad watching him like a hawk, and cleaning every single part of it like it was going to preform surgery the next day. it took them 4 hours. my brother never did that again. and i knew better. i am sure it did not hurt the gun. but it was the idea of abusing the gun that made him "flip out". all of my guns show some signs of wear. i could never pass any of them off as new, or like new. i hunt hard, so the stacks do get little scratches from briars and such, bumping things here and there, etc. but mechanically, they all work like new, or they get repaired at the first sign of something not working correctly.

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from chuckles wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I take good care of my firearms but I also expect they will get scratched and dinged in the woods. I only get mad if the damage is/was preventable. Doesn't happen very often anymore.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Respect and pride of ownership are governing factors.

The majority of my guns have been acquired via creative financing due college [my education and my kids] and divorce. They aren't treated in reckless disregard although they have been used in harsh conditions. As such they show use, but very little abuse.

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from chaslee wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I treat all my guns like I do my daughters. I made a mistake of letting one roll down the steps at 6 months (no injuries thank god) and scratched a stock on a barbwire fence once. I buy them to use them but take care of them.

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from duff wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Sorry...Big...I can't get much right anymore.
Thanks!

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I take care my rifles, but nicks and scratches happen. I thing some wear and tear on them gives character. It's the memories of past hunts those rifles wear proudly..can't wait for hunting season!

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

the metal on ma rifle is still close to flawless after close to 17 years of hunting, but the wood is damaged and restored then damaged again to where once it off ma rifle for a new stock, its only good for firewood..
i must have contempt for woodstocks or stockmakers then...
-ponders-

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from kudukid wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

There is a tougher road in the Chewore District of that beautiful and pathetic area once known as Southern Rhodesia...40 kilometers of the Chigusa River Road. Woe to those who venture down this path!

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

As far as myself I wold say Kenton said it best. Whose your Daddy and at whose table did you eat. I have any number of tools [socket sets to rifles] that show honest use. They are old beyond their age. I guess this was because I was the product of two people who lived during the depression and did not have much. Conspicuous consumption was the punch line in a joke and down right sin. This even carried over to hunting and fishing. If you killed it you did for food and never sport. Being a Grandfather now I try to instill this in my progeny's in their day to day life. I still remember my dear departed Uncle Joe with regard to my first car. "Did you check the oil". Yes I replied. Looking at me he said "it's better if you use a rag and not your mouth"!!

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from RandyMI wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

WHEW!!! Your Can O' Worms Opener is also well-maintained and working perfectly! ("Those people" just finished their convention... They also seem to want to run roughshod over the environmental protections we've struggled for decades to win) Without tippy-toeing through the woods, I also try to not be abusive with my equipment. I also felt the same at my place of employment whereas some seemed to believe there were rooms packed with cash in large denominations and truckloads of repair parts somewhere "in the office"..... (off subject?)

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from duff wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Dave thanks! I appreciate it.

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from mike0714 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

i have my bench guns and my field guns. my bench guns a re polished buffed clean and shined. my field guns (only have 4) .204, 284, 10 mm, and 12 gage have marks and scratches. I would love all my guns to be spotless but if you use them from NY to Bc to AZ they can get a little beet up. i dont think this is disrespectful to the maker. it means i love your gun so much that despite having other guns i could use, i alway use yours because of the quality and reliability. i am not talking about poor gun upkeep if the barrel is full of fowling or the action is dirty or the is pitting then we are in a whole new ball game.

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from Bill Fischer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I have a 375 H&H and a 458 Win Mag that I took to Tanzania a few years ago to hunt Cape Buffalo. While not quite as bad a thumper as the 458 lott,the 458 win mag will still get your attention. I put no less than 200 rounds through each before the trip. Glad I did as the first buff I shot ended up in a charge. After all the dust had settled, we had shot this bull 9 times. All shots were were within 22 yards. When they skinned him they found a bunch of our bullets and a 500 gr lead conical and a 400 gr round ball from poachers. This bull was not afraid of guns.......

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from Bizzydays wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Tell you what firedog11, my coffee table is my grandfather's carpenters tool box. It rode on his spring wagon and there are still some shavings there but no rust. My grandson likes it. After 29 yrs my Rem 870 has a nice patina on the stock as does my Ruger 10/22. No scratches, no dents. Scratches and dings mean there is a story or you're a slob, not a sportsman. Oh, and by the way, I have my great grandfather's guns.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I am reminded that I have a couple of guns to clean, personally I care about the bore more than the exterior. Cheers. TGIFALL!

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from 268bull wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My Rem. 760, .270 cal. was used and a little abused when I bought it 35 years ago. And hunting on the wetside of the west central cascades, it takes a little more beating each elk season. But it get's wiped down each night back in camp, and 2 or 3 good cleanings after the season is over. It goes to the range with me, and after finding paper after a couple of shot's, that old girl drives tacks. That was the best $150.00 I ever spent on myself, 35 yrs. ago!

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

I think we should remember that guns are used outdoors, in the woods, and not in some indoor fully-carpeted, climate-controlled environment. Mother Nature can be unforgiving, and a momentary lapse of attentiveness can be a disaster.
I well remember the day I leaned my brand new Model 70 against a large boulder as I turned away to answer a call of nature. I can still hear it sliding along the rough surface of the rock until it hit the hard ground, leaving a a few permanent scars in the stock.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

i consider myself a hard hunter, but at the end of the season my firearms rarely show it. if you take good care of a gun, even if you beat the hell out of it in the field, it should not look destroyed.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

That also reminds me that you new truck drivers will need to pony up and buy a four wheeler because your not heading down the over grown logging roads with your garage queen either. The screeching sound of branches will bring tears to your sentimental heart. Salut. 2 weeks and my SBL hasn't made it in, by ordering a "brush gun" I've already decided to take it wherever the game takes me.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

PS- Dave could you have the guys refrain from putting the Marlin SBL on the cover I would really like if it wasn't backorderable since I like to receive tools prior to work day. Thanks.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Back in Montana for a week to help my brother put on a new roof. Took a break yesterday to hike into my old fishing camp back in the days when I had horses (see profile photo). I got there and found the trail had been abandoned by the USFS probably over twenty-five years ago when I was last up there. Gad, what a mess. Endless tag alders that simultaneously shoestring AND clothesline tackled me. Didn't see any grizzly sign up there and very glad of that. They undoubtedly would have followed my blood trail! Lucky I don't have a broken leg but it sure feels like I do. I have hunted in that kind of crap for going on fifty years. Sorry boys, but if you expect to keep a gun looking new tracking a moose or elk in that stuff (and I have shot several in it), then you'll deserve the starring role in the next Mission Impossible movie. Yew brush and menzesia is as bad or worse. You need all your limbs to keep yourself upright.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

With timber prices down logging has stalled and thus logging road maintenance. I know you folks that lease tree plantations know what I'm talking about. It is rough out there, had to buy a Stihl limbing saw to keep branches in check, you don't need a 14 lb chainsaw to maintain roads, so the 192t-ce is a nice tool.

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Gerald S. kept his equipment immaculate!

Hunting and fishing with Gerald was a whole new concept in patience!
Gerald fishes while directing you to keep limbs, stumps or snags from touching his boat.
Water fowl? Everybody's picking up layouts, dekes and birds. Gerald is retreating to the vehicle to wipe down and stow his gun first.
Deer hunt with Gerald? Heaven forbid killing one! The preparation necessary to keep the smallest speck of blood off his vehicle wasn't worth it to me.
Yeah, take care of your equipment! Being "fanatical" is something else!

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from stack75 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

The key is "for no reason" for your personal firearm but to haphazardly be inconsiderate with a loaner is grounds for castration, especially if it has a claro walnut stock.

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from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

My guns (and my bow for that matter) all look like they just came off of the dealer's shelf. My family wasn't wealthy growing up, which instilled in me the need to value and take care of things that have value (like firearms).

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

how about notches cut on the stock to keep score?

how about the embellishments (usually cartridge case heads) on the Remington 760's used by the Benoit family? BTW, for all the 760/7600's supposed faults (trigger pull, detachable magazines that could be lost), the Benoits use them exclusively.

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from duckdog07 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

In this economy who can afford to tear up their equipment? probably the same folks who review rifles for a living, none being under four grand with few exceptions.I would have a better chance surviving a heart attack under Obama care than I would talking my wife into letting me buy rifles at a pace that renders them disposable nope its off to the cleaning bench for me

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from Sneaky wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

If my gun, my truck, and my body don't have a fair amount of scars, I feel like I haven't hunted hard enough.

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from shane wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Like well taken care of automobiles, my rifles look mostly brand new until you get up close and see the inevitable dings. I can't completely baby them, I'm slogging them through the woods so I can kill things with them, but I'm not careless, either.

One gun I'm a bit ashamed of, despite it not being a looker in the first place, is a Savage MKII with the heavy barrel and grey laminated thumbhole stock. A rogue breeze and some careless placement took it down onto concrete, marring the stock, bolt handle, and heavily denting a scope adjustment cap.

The damage is all cosmetic, it seems, as I swear it's more accurate now. I don't remember it being so easy to shoot 1/4 inchers at 50; I surely haven't become a better shot.

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from jwallen wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Carry a rifle for a couple of thousand miles and it starts to get a little funky looking. Bashing around in the bush for decades I am starting look a little beat-up also.

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from 357 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I carry my now departed Uncle's 300 savage, it has some scratches and some dings from his use but it's in good mechanical shape. When i was out hunting this last season for Javelina i lost my foot on a loose rock bruised my ass and scratched the stock. told my dad about it later and he laughed and told me an afternoon of stories of him and my uncle dinging them selves and their hunting guns. Worth the scratch for the stories.

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