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Education / Training Changing times

Changing times

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

Vintage firearms — Nelson Lewis
Sniper rifle
Henry Deringer
Remington American Boy Scout
What about airguns?
Crosman Trapmaster
Crosman Mark I and II pistol
Erma ELG-10 
Winsel — a turkey?
What’s happening?
Hold out

Today I write a report that has been on my mind for months. I even wrote down the title to remind myself it needed to be written. Today is the day.

Several months ago I was talking to my shooting buddy, Otho, and the subject was older firearms. I told him I was getting tired of shooting some of mine and he said to sell them. I responded by telling him that I would, but the prices people were getting for most of them was so low right now I would lose my shirt if I sold them.

Saying that prompted me to look deeper, and I found I was right. Many older firearms are losing their value.

Vintage firearms — Nelson Lewis

Let’s start with vintage firearms. I have a double-barreled combination rifle/shotgun that was made by Nelson Lewis in the 1860s. Nelson Lewis is a fairly well-known maker of fine sporting and military arms from Troy, New York. My gun is in antique excellent condition and functions fine. I paid almost $2,400 for it 10 years ago but today I see similar combination guns by Lewis being offered on Gun Broker for $1,800, with nobody bidding on them!

Nelson Lewis gun
My Nelson Lewis combination gun is a beauty that nobody but me seems to care for anymore.

Sniper rifle

Nelson Lewis is one of several famous gunmakers who supplied long-range sniper rifles to the Union Army during the Civil War. Those rifles weigh from 15 lbs. to over 35 lbs and came with false muzzles and other accoutrements for precision loading. Rifles like this used to start at $6,000 and quickly go higher, but there is one I have been tracking on Gun Broker that has a starting price of $3,650 and no apparent interest.

Lewis sniper rifle
This Nelson Lewis long-range rifle has a false muzzle and was drilled and tapped for a scope, which means it may have been used as a sniper rifle in the Civil War.

Henry Deringer

Most people know of the derringer pistol that was made by Henry Deringer through its association with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I remember when they would start at $2,800 and attract a lot of interest. Today nice ones start at $1,850 and no one bids on them. A Henry Deringer rifle is starting at $2,000, where that would have been almost double a decade back.

Remington American Boy Scout

If you like .22 rimfire rifles you probably know about the Remington single-shot rolling block that was made for the American Boy Scouts. They were not the Boy Scouts of America, but a lesser-known and competing paramilitary organization that was founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1910. They changed their name to United States Boy Scouts in 1913 and, after many years of conflict with the International Scout Movement and the BSA, they changed their name several more times and eventually faded into obscurity.

American Boy Scout rifle
Remington’s American Boy Scout rifle is a rimfire collector’s dream!

American Boy Scout markings
Not the Boy Scouts of America — the American Boy Scouts were a competing organization!

The rifle they convinced Remington to make for them is one of the most collectible single-shot .22 rifles ever made. It came with a bayonet that today is extremely rare and sought after. Nevertheless, a very nice example with the bayonet has been languishing on Gun Broker for some time at a super-low starting price of $1,850. I say the price is super-low, but with the trend I’m reporting today, maybe it isn’t.

Build a Custom Airgun


Of course there are exceptions to this. Garands seem to hold their price well, as do some Winchesters from the 19th century, though I see a .22-caliber 1873 that’s starting at $1,600 with no reserve and no bids. There were a lot of 1873s made, but the .22 was not common.


My observation is the firearms collecting market has gone flat and even receded in many cases. It’s primarily the older firearms that are affected. Relatively modern firearms like the Colt Python or the Winchester model 70 still seem to hold their valve and increase steadily over time.

What about airguns?

When I realized that, it prompted me to look at my airgun collection, to see if the same thing is at work. And, sure enough, I think it is.

Crosman Trapmaster

One gun that has been flat for many years is the Crosman Trapmaster air shotgun. This CO2-powered .380-caliber air shotgun was all the rage 25 years ago. People couldn’t get enough of them. But in the last five years I have seen beautiful examples languish on tables at airgun shows. Guns that are nearly new in the box no longer seem to attract the attention they once did. And the mechanical trap that throws the aerial targets that went with the shotgun cannot be given away! I guess people just don’t have room to display it.

Crosman Trapmaster
The Crosman Trapmaster 1100 air shotgun that closely resembled the Remington 1100 is no longer in the airgun public’s eye.

Crosman Mark I and II pistol

There was a time 10 years ago when a Crosman Mark I pistol would fetch $200 and up. When the UK relaxed their laws regarding CO2 guns, the Crosman Marks I and II and the model 600 were cleaned out of the American airgun market overnight. I remember working model 600s fetching $300 for a short time. 

Well, all that has settled down and it’s possible to buy a Mark II pistol that needs seals for $50 these days. I just bought a pair of them for that price. Mark Is still pull in $100 — especially when they hold gas. And model 600s that hold and shoot will bring $125-150 all day long. If you bought one when the bubble was inflated it may be a long time before you see your money again.

Erma ELG-10 

The Erma ELG-10 spring-piston air rifle is an airgun that has been flat the longest. They brought $550 in the early 1990s and they still bring that today.

Erma ELG-10|
The Erma ELG-10 rifle has been flat as long as BB has been writing about airguns!

Winsel — a turkey?

I remember when a boxed Winsel at an airgun show stopped the crowd. The Winsel was a CO2 pistol made in 1950 and sold under a ridiculous marketing campaign. They gave you a cardboard mailing box for when your CO2 tank ran out of gas, so you could mail it back to the company to be refilled! What genius thought that up? I don’t think the company was in business long enough to ever return a refilled tank. I did talk to one owner who sent both tanks in and never heard from them again!

The Winsel came with two CO2 tanks and a cardboard box to mail one back for a refill.

Their marketing campaign was used by the federal government for years as an aptitude test for employees they were considering to draft the new income tax code. If you thought Winsel had a good idea, you got the job!

Winsels use to grace tables at airgun shows with price tags of a thousand dollars. Perhaps they still do. Or perhaps the one or two that are still on the tables have been there all along. I never saw one that was not like new in the box. I suppose people used up the gas and then gave up.

What’s happening?

I think what is behind this is the people who liked those older airguns and firearms aren’t around anymore. Time has thinned the herd. It isn’t them selling their collection — it is their family. Recent airgun auctions have borne this out with numbers that were surprisingly low.

But some guns are immune to this principal. Those guns that hold their value are the ones that actually perform — guns you can actually shoot — like the FWB 124 and the Colt SAA, though the Colt is another one that’s starting to flatten out.

The airgunner of today is getting younger through attrition. If he served in the military he most likely carried the M16 or the current arm of his country, rather than the guns of the past. And many have never had to serve (thank goodness!). While there will always be those who are interested in history, as time advances, history advances with it.


What this can mean for those who are interested in the odd and unusual airguns of the past is that many of those airguns are now becoming affordable. Some, like the FWB 300, will never fall into this category, but target rifles that were sold at the same time might well become bargains.

Hold out

One thing to watch is pricing. People unaware of all I have written will still put an exorbitant price tag on an airgun and lay it on their table. But a year later, some of them will soften up and be open to offers. You don’t have to wait a year for this to happen if you peruse the online auctions. A little checking can often turn up when an item was initially listed, and that will tell you how much time has passed.

Other dealers are hard-headed and never soften up. When you discover that, skip them and move on. Their airguns may become part of a large estate sale at some point, but until then they are priced out of your reach.


While today’s report sounds like good news for many of you, it’s not so good for others. We bought our collectibles when there were still people around who knew what they were. Now we have airguns that only we can appreciate.

Use this information wisely if you are one who likes the old stuff. This is the sort of thing that can help you put together a nice collection over time!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

62 thoughts on “Changing times”

  1. One segment where the prices have been going up are WW2 surplus guns. I’ve been watching for over a decade now, and I’ve watched the prices (in Canada) roughly double on one specific niche: World War Two rifles from major combatants.

    Most commonly Lee-Enfields (SMLE, No.4, No.5), but also Ljungmanns, Garands and Carbines, the older American-made M1917 and P14 Enfields, SVT40s, Mosin-Nagants, Czech Mausers.

    I’d put an asterisk around the SVT40s, SKS, and Mosin-Nagants though, because they were both a) sold cheap when they were flooding in last decade and b) dried up with the fighting in the Ukraine. I suspect more than a few may be ending up with the various militias and paramilitary groups, but either way, new examples haven’t shown up in a while.

    We’ve also seen the Chinese and Yugo SKS supplies stop, although we can’t say whether because they’ve stopped surplusing them or have finished surplusing them.

  2. this same thing has been rattling around in my brain for a while.
    The younger crowd want tatic-cool guns
    But there will always be a smaller group that want fine, vintage wood and polished steel, but you have to find the right buyer.

    And if you are looking, you have to be ready to jump when one drops in your lap.

    I built a dedicated Ar-15 in .22LR, after a few years, I ran into a guy at the range that wanted to trade me a Remington No.2 rolling block in .22 rimfire, it had the tang sight, and the hunting sights as well.

    It was engraved on the barrel “7th Hog Fair 1879”. I can only guess it was a prize at the fair. he had inherited it from his great grand father.

    I can build another AR, you don’t find a nice #2 every day.

    in 1996, I saw a Clean 1892 Winchester in .32/20(32WCF), on consignment, in a pawn shop in rural Louisiana he was a high at $1800, and I passed, fast forward 15 years, we were visiting family, and stopped at the pawn shop for a rest and just to look around, (i hit the gun racks, my wife hits the jewelry cabinets for vintage jewelry.)
    The ’92 was still there with a $2200 price tag.
    I handled it looked it over, looked up the date by serial number, and talked with the owner of the gun, who now worked at the pawn shop.

    7 or 8 years later, we stopped in again, it was still there, and back at $1800, and I was talking with the owner of the ’92 again, and asked how much interest he had had in the gun over the 20+ years I knew it had been sitting on the shelf. There had been a few tire kickers, but no one had been serious about it.

    I asked what would he realistically take for the gun right now.
    He gave me a number, it was less than what a Uberti replica was going for.

    I was going over the gun again, he asked me to make an offer since I was the only repeat interested party.

    I made a 3 digit offer as much as i had on a credit card i had in my wallet, he said yes.

    Sometimes you just have to find the right time and person.


  3. B.B,

    Over here the bottom has fallen out of the antiques market in the late 1990’s with the same cause as in America. Younger folk have no interest in old things and are selling their family pieces.

    With airguns another cause is here that shooting clubs are declining as people like shooting better in computer plays. My children only shoot on vacation when life is slow and wireless halting or non existent.

    Advantage is that I bought three FWB in functioning but battered state (old shooting club rifles) for $ 280 last week. Which augments my FWC collection to 5 FWB 300S and a 300. Nice but a bit too much. In the end I will stop buying to a room will be a problem.



      • RidgeRunner,

        Ah, but that’s the thing. You, Sir, are a shooter! You collect air guns that are fun to shoot. Even a style that falls out of vogue can still be an excellent shooter. Drops in prices because of market demographic changes and style vagaries only benefit you. In one way of looking at it, you are the purist form of air gun collector. You don’t just put ’em on a wall or in a closet, you use them!


        • Michael,

          That is indeed true. I enjoy shooting these old gals. Market speculation of any kind is very risky.

          I have noticed recently that older Daystates are coming to market and at very reasonable prices. There is nothing wrong with these gals. The new ones very likely shoot no better. It is just that they have gone out of style.

          Now if I could just figure out how to raise the necessary funding. Maybe I can persuade you guys to send donations to RRHFWA to help offset adoption fees?

  4. BB

    As Ian stated, they are not tacticool. As you have noted, if you bought your collection for other than personal pleasure, your investment value is plummeting. You are going to see a change at airgun shows that will mimic gun shows. The tacticool, like the FX line is going to be a seller while the antiques will languish. It is already heading there. A black synthetic stock today is almost a requirement. This is why some companies are painting/staining their stocks black.

    If someone can break the price barrier with an accurate, well built tacticool they will have a winner.

  5. B.B.

    Collectables of all sorts have fallen in value. Nobody wants “old junk” in their cell phone world.
    My cousins in Europe melted down 250 year old silverware because it trades by the kilogram!
    Remember the saying, “Out with the old and in with the new”. Sad but true!


  6. As i have said i have sold collectables and antiques over the years and i know you understand you have to have willing buyers. I have a rule buy what you like because sooner or later you are getting a non seller or one that will not command the price you want. Because i bought and sold as a means of making some money is the reason i don’t collect. The fact that most deals for every dealer and collector come from estate sales should be a giant red flag for collectors who are waiting for a market to come back. plenty of people get so old they can no longer enjoy the collection and i could go into more detail but that would get darker than i care to be.

    Look enjoy what you can while you can and if some items you no longer need or care to use command a lower market value it is more likely other items will also reflect the same trends keeping in mind real quality top examples don’t fluctuate much across the board. So perhaps take the hint when the cost of an item you have slips in price.

    I have done enough talking with collectors and know they have this idea that when they are no longer around that the legacy collection they adore will end up in the hands of others who will covet these items just the same, but this is ego plain and simple sure some may pass to family members and they may appreciate the item. You can’t take it with you!

  7. BB
    I remember the words “Don’t collect anything because you think it will go up in value. Collect things you enjoy owning.”
    Holding on to your old stuff, although not really collecting, seems to make sense too. I have been warned not to get rid of my daughters toys, dolls and games and yes my two ’69 Mustangs they have lots of memories with.

    I have noticed this decline in interest in old cars too and the grand old ladies are not being sold for much. People tend to buy cars that they desired in their youth and as you mentioned, beyond that time period only diehard collectors may have interest in them and they better be in good shape. Restorers are looking for the rest right now.

    The world has changed. People are not sure about their future anymore and tend to be less frivolous with their savings.
    As you know I have lots of airguns but only a few cost over a thousand bucks. I’m not really looking to make any money on anything. If it happens, fine, but I think I’ll be lucky to ever break even or sell them off for half price.
    I have already given away a few. Now I did put some money into sets of engraved and plated Colt SAA airguns, but they are a joy to behold under glass and I will never sell them off. They will always be rare in condition and availability…. Right ! eh! Forgot about the set of engraved Schofield No 3’s ( No longer offered? )
    I sure hope you did not intend to supplement your retirement by selling them off for more money.

    I agree with you that there is a limited time frame within a generation when things become desirable and thus valuable. If you hold on to something too long you will miss that window of opportunity to make money … if that was your goal. New airguns have so much more to offer for the buck.
    Bob M

  8. BB ,

    We are seeing this at the local gunshops with nice older shotguns. The younger crowd under 40 wants AR type rifles and Striker fired pistols . The prices are down on Beretta shotguns also . The only guns that hold up are the classics such as AH Fox , Parkers or Winchester 21s and Model 12s . I explain to people all the time that there is a window to sell these guns , someone wanted them because there Father , Uncle , etc. had one or they couldn’t afford one when they were young and starting out in life . You have to catch these people when they are affluent enough to buy them but still young enough to use/enjoy them !! You can see this in the Muscle Car market now.

  9. BB, I have always shopped what I call “behind the curve”. I buy what used to be popular and gained a good reputation. That has, for the most part, kept me out of the hole. The exception for me is some custom Mac1 CO2 airguns that are just worth more to me that the market will bear. Just about any classic CO2 airgun has lost value since the cheap PCP revolution and cheap compressors have been developed. This is beginning to affect the values of even the higher quality springers, even those made by HW, AA, and Webley.

    Back to your topic, the one reason you didn’t mention is the current trend towards downsizing, decluttering, and minimalizing. Almost any collectable has fallen in price due to this. The item I notice the most is antique furniture. People just don’t want it.

    Another thing you didn’t mention is that most people now days to not grow up around firearms and are afraid of them. To many people firearms are just evil thing just waiting to kill someone.

    I enjoyed the post,

    David Enoch

    • David,

      Yes, the changing profile of society is definitely in the mix. I also try to shop “behind the curve” as you put it. Apparently older firearms and some airguns are going behind the curve at the present. Sometimes, though, as you noted, there are things you just gotta have.


      • I work for Uhaul, in the mid 2000’s Uhaul was on the verge of bankruptcy.

        Then they crossed over into storage also.
        Now, 93% of the income is storage based.

        but the trend in downsizing is coming, and in 20 years, the self storage business is going to be vastly different.
        I have seen people get a few “valuables” out of their deceased parents or relatives storage, and leave you would not believe the antique furniture and other collectables for Salvation Army or Goodwill to take and resale.

        Some people think their gold plated do-hickie is worth thousands, and others have 200 of them, and think they are just junk…


        • Ian,

          In the 3rd season of Fargo, Mrs. Goldfarb, the Queen of Self-Storage in Minnesota and North Dakota says, “Self-storage . . . a place to put the things you’ll never use again.”

          Sad but true.


          • The very first person to rent a storage at this location in 1982 when it opened is still here today we figure they have spent about $62,000 in storage.

            Our contracts runs sequentially and they are contract number one.

            • 45Bravo,

              The sheer financial logistics of that is mind boggling! What is in there???? From what I have seen,… abandonment or fail to pay ends up in an auction. Do you look inside first or do you auction the contents sight unseen?


              • Once the unit hits 30 days it is subject to being auctioned

                the storage manager and the manager of that location will open the unit but do not enter it

                they write what they see in the unit such as “three bags, two suitcases, a bed, a, dresser”
                but no one actually enteres the unit and there are two people present to make sure nothing happens.
                the storage manager than seals the unit and starts the auction proceedings, but before it goes to auction, numerous attempts are made to contact the customer and have them come get their belongings at a reduced amount of what they owe.
                but they have to move out of the unit.

                Auctioning a unit actually cost the establishment a fair amount of money unless the unit sells for a large some of money, as you have to pay the auctioneer and have to pay to have the legal documents run and published in the newspaper and several other costly steps

                We worked for a different storage company in Memphis and one lady would wait until the day of the auction every three months to come pay her unit.
                the auctioneer would be on the lot selling units when she would pay

                she was paying $180 in late fees every time.
                we can only guess that somewhere in that unit was an ex-husband in a drum.

                • 45Bravo,

                  Well,… thank you for that in depth insight into being a rental storage unit mogul. 😉

                  As for “insight”,… maybe having an “ex-in a drum”,…. might be more than I care to know or even think about! LOL! 🙂 People can be darn hard to figure out sometimes.

                  Thank you for the behind the scenes peek. I live pretty rural,… and they are everywhere in and around the local big “burb”.


  10. B.B.

    It’s hard to really come up with a reasonable price now for the vintage guns. I really don’t think that the Blue Book is really any help. There is a Ted Williams 2nd variant Crosman 160 on e-bay for $420 and been relisted at least twice. Way overpriced. Yet there are other Crosman 160’s that need reseal, in 50% condition or less and people ask $175 or up and I’ll be darned if they don’t sell. That’s just a small example. So your blog today is really telling it how it is. One day the guns will sell at a hight price and the next day the bottom has dropped out.

    It has gotten hard to know what is a fair price to sell or for that matter to buy. You sell for what you can get and pay what the gun is worth to you.

    • We have seen that here, the price goes up as the popularity does.

      The price for a S&W 78g i the box hovered around the $150-$175 mark for years.
      Some went for more, some went for less.

      A couple of years ago, the market dropped to about $100 for one in the box.

      Then Tom did a new blog series on them, and with the reseal instructions in the blog, due to the increased interest, the market price jumped up to where one that needed resealing started the auctions at $199 area.

      For now it seems to have stabilized at about a starting auction price in the $175-200 range, and you don’t see as many listed as needing a reseal.

      Once someone with a lot of followers, starts talking about a gun, the interest hits a bump for a short time.

      I see it in the used airgun marketplaces online, When Tom starts a new historical series, there are soon either several new Want To Buy ads for that model, or more For Sale ads for that model.

      When Tom Gaylord talks, people listen..

      Sounds like an old TV commercial…

  11. B.B.,

    I know you have written about the Nelson Lewis long rifles before, but I didn’t make the connection. Today, I have!!
    Here is a link with photo; it says “A Nelson Lewis Civil War Sharpshooter Rifle Fitted With a William Malcolm Telescopic Sight”.

    This is exactly what I remember seeing in that old shop in Rosenberg Texas. I swear, my heart skipped a beat when I landed on this one.


    Now, back to the rest of today’s blog.


  12. A health scare was a wake-up call about leaving behind my significant firearm and airgun collection to my heirs. Most don’t give a hoot about guns and allowing the burden of disposition to fall entirely on their shoulders made me shudder.

    Over the last 10 years I’ve sold 95% of my guns for these reasons.

    The sun is definitely setting on values for vintage and antique guns. This applies to firearms and airguns. Of course there are exceptions. Those that are rare or have impeccable provenance will likely hold their value or even increase in value.

    The window of time has closed on many others and we can now see peak values in the rear view mirror. Gene’s analogy of muscle cars is spot on in my opinion.

    Even my guns that were once highly sought after and deserved to be sold in the Rock Island auction disappointed me with the values that were achieved. You can continue to see this downward trend of values at other auction houses like Christies.

    Broad, general interest in firearms is shrinking for a variety of reasons. As B.B. mentions attrition is certainly a factor. There are other forces as well.

    Unlike my generation fewer and fewer in the next wave come from rural backgrounds, were hunters that put meat on the table or served in the military. Since history isn’t stressed in schools the historical significance of firearms is fading. Contemporary heroes have changed too. Those of us that grew up with Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne even Clint Eastwood are befuddled at the attraction of the contemporary heroes. The non stop push to demonize guns has also been a factor.

    The high cost of indulging the interest of collecting guns plays a role but apathy and fear seem to play bigger roles.

  13. B.B.,

    No offense to the hopeful sellers, but there’s a Beeman P1 on GB right now with a starting bid of $429 and a Webley Senior with a starting bid of $650. And no reserve for either! Those are the prices they would have commanded had they continued to rise at the same trajectory they were rising 15 years ago. But a flat trajectory over that time . . .


    • Michael,

      For those not familiar with selling,.. “no reserve” means what? No minimum start price? The gun can sell for anything? The seller can not refuse a $10.00 winning bid?


    • Michael,

      The P1 is worth $350 TOPS. That’s like new and in the box. Just a gun and with some marks, maybe $250.

      The Webley Senior is worth $300 unless it is a straight grip at 100 percent and in the box. Then it’s worth close to the asking price. If its a shooter with finish loss and marks then $250 is about right.


      • B.B.,

        The Webley is a later Sr. with the slanted target style grip, very clean looking, with box.

        Back to your original point, I decided to research it because I don’t know much about firearms, and it is a good excuse to learn stuff. I chose a firearm I consider to be right up there with the Colt 1911 and Colt SAA in terms of being an icon, the S&W Chief’s Special/Model 36. On GB there are many of them (perhaps lack of scarcity is a factor) in what looks like pretty clean condition, and most are $400-$600. These are still quite usable and practical, right? .38 Special is a current production, serious round. I would think it’s a valid CC candidate. Plus, it is an absolute classic.

        I can only only think of the reasons you detailed above for the lack of interest.


  14. Readers

    Hoping you are training kids and grans gun safety. There is an early age where they are impressionable for guns. When they are trained in safety they are ready for gifts from dad or papa. It helps if you are a reloader and take them to a range. Don’t make the shooting session too long. Pack up and leave while they are still enjoying it.

    I have been following this advice for my family youngsters who have not been already turned by educators and some parents. Their classmates in school sometimes express shock.

    I know many readers are passing on their love for shooting. Just be sure you are one of them.


    • Deck,

      To me,…. not having been brought up in the shooting world,… it comes down to,…. 1) An individual challenge and learned discipline. 2) Defense needs,.. should it arise. 3) Survival/hunting,…. if needed. 4) Hunting,… and all of the aspects that come with it.

      I am not sure how you incorporate all that into the so-called “modern” world,… but that would be my priorities for teaching the youth of today.


    • Decksniper,

      “…who have not been already turned by educators and some parents. Their classmates in school sometimes express shock.” Why do we allow this type of thing to happen? We need to educate these types that their are jobs, athletic competition and scholarships that require extensive education and training, to include safe handling, in the shooting sports in order to be successful. We can’t just let their fear drive them to reject out of hand endeavors that we love and want to continue to grow. We need to educate these parents and educators that there are consequences for denying fundamental Rights described in our Constitution. That there is everything to be gained by not facing a discrimination lawsuit for their anti-Constitutional activities.

      We lose that which we don’t stand up for! Everytime.


    • I’m not the youngest airgunner. But at 42, I’ve been shooting airguns for 10 years. That might make me a little newer than some.

      In a lot of ways I fall into the newer generation of airgunners that didn’t come from a rural or military background.

      I dont own firearms. I didnt grow up around them. I grew up in suburbia. And I (regrettably) didnt serve in the military, though I have great respect and appreciation for those that did.

      How did I get into airguns? Two ways.

      First, I had a practical need to control rodents around our home in suburban Washington DC. With infants/ toddlers, rat traps and poison are problematic. A .177 Gamo Whisper Classic (c. 2010) filled the gap. A practical tool, that I would begin to appreciate and enjoy.

      Second, I love history. Especially WWII history. The wonderful selection of replica airguns available over the past few years gave me an affordable way to shoot a K98, M1 Carbine, 1911, MP40, P.08, etc. I love them. My only wish is for even higher quality products that emulate the real thing. Wood furniture? Distressed/weathered look? Love it.

      Airguns offer another valuable opportunity. Safe gun handling. I want my young children to learn. I wont know when friend/neighbor/whatever might have something around my kids as they get older and spend time outside the home. I may not be there. I need them to be smart and know how to handle a situation.


    • Deck, Shootski, it saddens me to see guns (airguns, firearms, all guns) being demonized in many parts of our country; fortunately, here in Georgia, we take our gun rights seriously; both firearms and airguns are extremely popular. Also, we take the safety of our young people very seriously (as you can see by the sign below, which is posted at the middle school a couple of miles from my house); guns are just tools, and in the right hands, they are an excellent protection device; and many airguns, besides being just plain fun-to-shoot, are also excellent trainers to make one even more proficient with their defensive firearms. Thank God the Founding Fathers of the USA had the foresight to come up with the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment. Besides the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, I keep a copy of the Federalist Papers on my desk…I only hope and pray that more young people will do the same.
      One out of four of my nephews is up on this; he has a vast knowledge of history…but he did not learn it in school; sadly, he had to learn it on his own.
      May we never need to fire our guns in self defense,
      yet may we all enjoy shooting them all our lives,

      • Yes, I agree. I just don’t get the cause of all of these school shootings. Someone needs to find the root cause, AND FIX IT! This was unheard of in years past. I believe the news media helps to exacerbate the problem too. Is it really necessary to show every detail to sensationalize it. It seems that the more news coverage of these events, the more it happens. Let’s outlaw guns, that’ll fix it…idiots are everywhere! They should outlaw cars too because they kill more people than guns do. Of course, another big problem is that our politicians don’t have anything between their ears. 😉

        • Geo,

          Ohhhhh!,……. you tempt me! I shall decline. I have been catching some NEWSMX,.. along with the usual FNC. Not bad. It is just mind boggling to see things unfold. WOW!

          I just typed another 4 paragraphs (in my head). I got to go now before I get kicked off of here! 😉


          • Chris, Geo,
            My wife grew up in a small rural community, where they hunted for their meat and grew their own vegetables; hence, guns were very valuable tools to help provide food to feed the family.
            Additionally, (as my wife likes to say; and it’s about the most polite way I can put things) common sense was quite common back then, but it’s sadly in short supply today! =>
            Peace all,

            • When I was growing up and became old enough to hunt on my own, I hunted rabbits almost daily when I got home from school. I had a cracker jack beagle mix and we ate a lot of rabbit back then. My dad owned an auto repair shop and worked every day but Sunday. Then he would sometimes go with me. Those were good times. When I married, my wife was not into eating wild game. I wouldn’t shoot anything we couldn’t eat, so then I didn’t hunt often. We also bought a little house in town so I had to drive to go hunting. There was a old abandoned farm that was within a few miles where I would go to hunt. One fall when I drove out to hunt, the land was all posted. A hunting club from Chicago had leased the land and posted it. That was the end of my hunting. That was the last straw and I hung up my guns. 🙁
              I really enjoyed that time in the woods with my beagle, even if I didn’t shoot anything. When I only wanted to give my dogs a run, and didn’t really care if I got anything, I would carry my .22 Smith & Wesson revolver instead of my shotgun.

    • P.S. My memory’s not what it used to be either; I just had to go back to the archives, B.B. You did not one but two reports on this cool ol’ gal! =>

  15. BB: I bought a Iver Johnson Single Barrel Shotgun in 1966 from a friend who needed $$ for a hot date in Calif. for $12.50 with two boxes of shells. what do you think it is worth Today, I still have it and do You want to buy it back?

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