Bill and I are collectors. Lots of people collect things like stamps, coins, Beanie Babies (or are those too passe to list). We collect guns, a hobby that makes us somehow suspect in some peoples' eyes. Look at eBay. They sell almost everything, but no guns--not even collectible antique firearms. This is just part of the world the gun banners have made for us.
Oh well, it is the world we live in although we at the Ten Ring are doing everything we can to change it.
Bill and I enjoy collecting guns and everything that goes with it: buying, shooting, researching, cleaning, and seeing how the firearms work. We don't have the largest collection in the world and we don't have the best guns in our collection. We can't afford association guns (those that are made valuable by being connected with a famous person or event). There are certain firearms that are completely out of our price range such as a Borchardt, the Luger's immediate ancestor (some sell for as much as a new car). Some antiques are also out of our league.
We also do not collect machine guns. The Hughes Amendment to the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act banned civilian sales of all fully automatic guns made after 1986. Subsequently, prices for fully automatic and transferable guns (meaning registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) skyrocketed. If you have the money, these weapons are a great investment unless Bill and I can get the Hughes Amendment repealed (fat chance of that).
But, we collect what we can. We have several quality criteria. Serial numbers must match when applicable, the gun must have its original finish (no reblueing, etc.). The gun must have no missing parts. Finally, we insist on shooting the guns.
Many collectors won't shoot their guns. And, we confess if we stumbled on an expensive firearm that would decrease in value if shot, it would remain in the gun safe. With that one caveat, we shoot all of our guns. We just think that guns were made to be shot and we guess you could say we are shooters first and collectors second.
Denise has a Curio and Relics license from the US Government which allows her to receive and ship firearms that are over fifty years old and/or listed in an ATF publication. She also once worked in a museum as an objects conservator. Her specialty was guns and has cleaned and preserved more guns that she can count. We never "restore" our guns, but they receive much tender loving care.
We will be sharing parts of our collection with you every now and again. Each post will include what it is like to shoot the gun, a range report if you will. These posts will be done occasionally and they will include some historical and technical information and pictures (we are not professional photographers, though). We hope you enjoy these posts. We posted one that was not planned as part of this series, but it will give you the idea. We will post another one sometime later today--or early tomorrow.
We have a little bit of everything. For you black rifle aficionados, we have those. For the handgun enthusiast, we have those. For the shotgunner, we have those as well.
If you are with a gun-banning group and making a list of everything we own, you won't see all of them here so list away. If you are a burglar making a shopping list, our guns are securely locked away in the World Headquarters of the Ten Ring, deep within an abandoned mine, surrounded by razor wire, machine gun nests, and we almost have the moat completed.