I recently had the opportunity to advise a customer on a question that comes up a lot for any of us that collect guns.  He had purchased a great revolver, new in the box, for his son as a Christmas present.  As we were admiring the revolver he asked me whether or not I would shoot the gun if it was mine.  My response to this question is always the same; yes, with a provision.

I do not own any guns that have not been fired.  I am not a collector that buys guns for the intrinsic value of a piece that will add to the overall worth of my collection.  In fact, you would be hard pressed to call the guns that I personally own a collection.

When I first started buying guns I had a mentor who really exposed me to the love of shooting.  He is a wonderful firearms engraver (more on that in another post) who specializes in Colt Single Action revolvers.  Most of the guns in his very extensive collection are more than 100 years old, and he shoots them all regularly in different cowboy competitions.  In a way I guess it is ingrained in my mind that guns are meant to be shot.  I own a Colt 1911 decorated with his work that is beautiful, and I shoot it regularly.  As a matter of fact, I qualified with it several years ago for off duty carry while serving in the sheriff’s office.  The only provision I have to this rule is that if you come across a piece that has never been fired, and doing so would ruin the value, don’t shoot it.  Sell it and buy another example of that piece that you can actually take out and enjoy.

Obviously if you are a real collector not firing your guns will appeal to you more than others who would rather shoot for their enjoyment.  Guns mean different things to all of us.  Just remember our baseball analogy and you probably won’t make any decisions that you will regret later.  Either way you will have a great hobby that allows you to meet some interesting people.