September 5, 2013
It should all be only in the eyes of its owner....who cares what pontificators profess.....everyone to their own opinion....including me !
I love to hold, shoot, admire a beautiful fully restored back to original historic firearm...the deep blue, perfect stock finish, deep rifling, tight action...looks like the gun purchased by someone in 1873-1899 from his/her small town local mercantile with their hard earned $$. It looks, feels, and shoots the same......that is my pleasure to feel what was enjoyed as new, at that time 140 years ago.
Made in Italy, Japan, etc., quality reproductions/clones simply cannot transfer the vibes that one with the Winchester stamp made in usa 140 years ago can provide, put back in a time machine, in the original mercatile display case and seen as our ancestors viewed, purchased and took them back to the farm/ranch, or a trek west...not in my world anyway.
The alternative is to buy a pristine original, untouched well used piece since the last time it was shot a century ago.....oil it, wrap it up and put it in drawer/closet/safe what have you....where it sits, and sits for years without enjoyment, waiting and hoping for the right buyer to come along and hopefully triple your money. Looky but dont touchy...it might destroy its value !! These guns need to be put in a museum; where all folks can look, without touching all day long.......now that is nice.
Now if the firearm had very interesting history that has profound, irrevocable provenance.......that is a different story.....but that too cannot be unduly handled, shot, displayed as it may be damaged, rusting, stolen, etc...under lock and key. Most of these go from auction to auction..hoping for that elusive profit.
Hope I did not hurt too many feeling.....but these old timers should be enjoyed to their fullest.
June 11, 2014
I would say that if one wishes to properly restore an old Winchester, then it is preferable to choose one that already has sanded and refinished stocks or been re-blued, rather than one that is still in original condition. It is extremely easy to find Winchesters that have been messed with in some way. In fact, sometimes I think it is harder to find an honest one than one that has been altered.
From what I hear, Europeans, especially those in the UK, like to restore their old guns and have no problem with it. I have no problem having a gun that has been badly messed with, restored (Mike Hunter did a beautiful job for me a few years ago on a severely messed up '86), but I could not bring myself to restore an old Winchester that was still in original condition.
April 23, 2012
In my opinion the best way to get a restored gun, is to buy one cheap that has already been done (properly) that has a very diminished value because of the work. I have come across a few of these and really enjoy shooting them. But to supply an original and finance the large pricetag to get one done is certainly a big time losing proposition. Some exceptions may apply if the original has some sentimental family value, but I would think that unless very ugly it would be better to keep the heirlooms with history in original condition And yes I do have Ubertis and Japchesters and Commemeratives that are enjoyable too, but I do like to shoot and admire the original nicely redone 100 yr +Winchesters much better especially if I got them for a bargain
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