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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems to me there's a bit of debate between those of us who won't ever buy a new gun for various reasons (decline in craftsmanship, advent of locks and safeties, no MIM parts, price and so forth), those who only buy new (don't want someone else's problem; actually prefer locks, etc; want the latest model and warranty) and others who are looking to buy a particular gun and don't much care when it was made.


I thought a poll on the subject might be interesting.

Me? I fall firmly in the third category. With one caveat, I do love the older guns and will choose one if I can find a suitable model in acceptable condition. But I also feel it's important to buy new handguns, especially from U.S. makers, because I want the ones who make good stuff to stay in business.

If you're an "other" I'd appreicate you explaining what that is. I added that category because I thought I'd covered all the bases, but as Chuck Berry once sang, "you never can tell."

Max
 

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Hi there Max,

I can never pass up a great post like this and a very interesting topic.

As with many things that include handguns, I love the craftsmanship and hand building of handguns of decades past. I recently have handled several handguns that were built when all handguns were forged, hand filed and polished to their final form. There seems to be a solidness that is difficult to find with newer handguns. I have owned Colt Python's that whose actions one could describe as almost buttery compared to today's revolvers.

On the other hand, I marvel at what CNC technology has brought us coupled with super light weight high strength alloys that make handguns so light now. When I brought home my new S&W 642 tonight, I kept thinking that I had actually left the revolver in the store because it was so light!

Regardless, I had to vote that neither is particularly better and feel that each has its own intrinsic qualities to the owner.

Chris
 

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Neither is always better!

Here we go a couple of projects I wouldn't mind doing sometime in my life.

Webley MK VI in .455 Webley. Convert to .45 ACP, shorten barrel to 4", fit with round butt and nice rounded grips. Add bright insert front ramped sight and insert square/post/dot into old rear sight. Hard chrome or nickel plate.

Brand new 1911(RIA, Colt 1991, SA Mil-Spec, whatever I can afford), add King-Tappan combat sights, custom grips, bob hammer, standard grip safety, extended thumb safety, match grade barrel and bushing, and bobtail MSH conversion, parkerize.

A melding of old and new, I love 'em both, but my favorite place is the middle ground where old meets new. Function meets form which meets and exceeds my needs and dreams.


-Rob
 

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My response for "new" is purely subjective and unscientific. For me personally, I like every purchase I make (whether it be a gun or car) to be new. I think technology, steels, strength, etc. of today are better than yesteryear. I also don't want to buy someone else's problems. That being said, there is something to say for handfitting, oldtime blueing, and the buttery triggers of some older guns.

As a history buff I treasure old guns. Maybe I have a split personality...

I guess for a gun to carry day-to-day I prefer new and for aesthetics I admire old guns. Upon further reflection, I change my vote to "both"!
 

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I also voted for "neither is always best."

When it comes down to it, I'm most likely to be found carrying a Glock 26 that I bought new. It works.

But it's about as fun to shoot as a Honda Accord 4-cylinder is to drive. (It works.)

I sure do like shooting my nice older guns. And I like looking at them. Revolvers, semiautos - it doesn't matter. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I chose "Neither is always better." I generally prefer that my weapons come to me NIB. The exceptions are reserved for those models which may not be available new, or which are known to have been made better than they are currently made. So far, I haven't made any exceptions, but I'm sure I will. Can't get a new Sistema, for instance.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I love the Honda Accord comment. That's pretty much the way I feel about my Glock 19.

On the other hand, and people probably get tired of me bringing it up, my S&W 625, bought new, feels like it was made by someone -- some machine? -- who loves handguns.

Max
 

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Hi there Max,

As a proscript of sorts, I have had the opportunity of shooting both my 1969 era M38 and the new 642-2 over the past two weeks.

Neither action is better than the other in terms of smoothness, trigger pull or left off. I suppose that one of the things that has evolved successfully with S&W revolvers is the quality of their work.

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I very rarely buy new..part of why is they don't make them like they used to and alot of used guns haven't been shot too much..I know people who own guns and never shoot them..I know others who lock them up in their safes and never shoot them
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's always comforting to think that "older" products mean "higher quality", but I'm not sure that's true. As each of us age we remember (probably inaccurately) things as being better when WE were young.

Having said that, I personally have an affection for older pistols/revolvers, hence my ownership of one Colt DS, two older Cobras, one J-Frame Smith model 49 bodyguard, Walther P1, and a Star BM.

But, I also think my Sig P239 is the finest firearm I've ever owned.

Go figure?

Best Wishes.

JP
 

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If both the new and old guns are in equal shape.... then to me, the question of old or new...is not considered. I look for workmanship, and a proven track record. I will not even look at plastic, or a design, that the designer got carried away, with his focus on his personal work overtime. Look at the design of yesterday, and the designs of today....most of todays weapons need a specialist to do anything except routine maintenance.
 

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All things being equal (which, of course, they never are), I generally go with older ones; they have more style. Okay, that's not entirely true. Out of five handguns, three of them were bought new, but they were old designs (1911s and Hi-Power), so they still have the style. That above rule does hold true for my rifles, however.
 

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Both, I like the older ones for their history. HP'sand 1911's for their longevity and style. I mean think about how they were made before computuers. Plus the fact they are still being made and used. The Mauser bolt action, still being emulated today. If you forget the past you can't look to the future. We have gone from steam power to atomic power in less than 100 years. I don't know where the future of fire arms is going put it is exceiting to imagine.
 

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I am very happy with my old argentinian Browning. Old, used pistol, but very reliable.
I have a new Bul, and I can tell you, At the beginning I had a lot of malfunctions. Now that the gun has been shooted a lot, it works much much better.
 

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I much prefer guns made or at least designed prior to World War II. Most of my usin' guns fit that description. Besides, there's too many more classic models that I want to add to the collection to bother with new guns.
 

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Falling back on my training, "Depends on the situation!". Generally in plastic guns, I like new. In metal guns, I will generally look for something old. I like the old revolvers better than the new ones. I have plastic stocks on most of my rifles but certain ones can only have wood. Not rational in the slightest I know but there it is!
 

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I voted "neither". In a revolver, I believe older is always better (think S&W/Colt) unless it's a Freedom Arms (talking PRODUCTION revo's). Autoloaders are a different story. My thinking is : as wonderful as the old Colt's, Luger's, P-35's were, the Baer's, Wilsons, RRA's are their equal.
 

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I voted for both. All my guns are shooters so I prefer new but wouldn't pass on a good deal on a classic pistol or rifle which would of course be old.
 
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