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Are Antique Firearms The Right Choice For You?

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Like most gun owners, you buy your guns for a specific purpose: You want to hunt, or defend your family home, or use them in a shooting competition. Still… there’s just no two ways about it: Guns are cool. Incredibly, seriously cool. 

More than that, they’re incredible and beautiful pieces of engineering. We take the elegance and near perfection of modern firearms so for granted that we forget what an absolute miracle it is that we can jam round after round through a Glock or a Smith and Wesson or whatever and reliably expect the weapon to continue shooting, each and every time without blowing up in our hands. 

There’s a third layer to a love of firearms, however, that dovetails off of every reason firearms enthusiasts are passionate about weapons: Historical, antique firearms are not just beautiful pieces of the past that were engineered so well they continue to shoot time and again today – they can also be great investments. 

Are Antique Firearms A Good Investment?

Are antique firearms a good investment? It’s a fair question to ask before you start throwing down your hard-earned dollars on a 100-year-old shotgun. The short answer is: Yes, if you know what the heck you’re doing. It’s easy to buy an old gun simply because it’s old and has little more than a conversation piece over your mantle. It’s a whole other thing to be able to flip these for profit.

So if you want to get into the world of antique firearms as investments, you need to do a lot of homework and due diligence before you start showing up at a gun show looking for some ancient lever action you hope is your kid’s ticket to Harvard. 

All you need to get started, however, is a passion for firearms, a knack for research, and an eye for detail and attention. If you have all three of those – and no less – this can be a lucrative way for you to make money over the long term. 

Good News: The ATF Can’t Snoop On Your Antiques

Ok, so let’s say you only have two of those qualities or even just the one where you like guns a whole lot. There’s still a good reason for you to buy antique firearms: The ATF’s snooping doesn’t apply to antique firearms. 

You heard us right: You can fly completely under the radar of the gun grabbers in the federal government with antique firearms. 

Firearms made before 1899 are not covered by federal law. That’s the good news. On the other hand, they might be subject to state law and, if you live in a state where the government is run by a bunch of gun-grabbing tyrants, they probably are. So make sure you check with your state laws before you start collecting old weapons and maybe check two or three times if you live in Massachusetts or California. 

There’s also a huge list of newer weapons on a special ATF list that aren’t subject to their snooping and shenanigans. These are weapons deemed “historically significant” that are older than 50 years, which at the time of this writing includes anything made before 1973. 

Particularly for guys who are good at fixing up old firearms and breathing new life into them, this can be a killer way to get weapons that are outside the scope of the ATF’s purview. 

What Should You Buy?

There are so many old weapons out there that we can’t even begin to list what you “should” buy or even where you “should” begin looking. The bottom line is that the weapons that spring to mind first when you think of antique firearms are likely going to be the most expensive. That doesn’t necessarily make them bad investments, but it does mean that they’re going to be a lot harder to come by and that they’re a bit riskier due to the upfront cost. 

On the other hand… well, they’re not making any more of them, are they?

Do you have an interest in antique firearms? Anything special you wish you had in your collection? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Firearms

Protect Your Second Amendment Rights: Oppose SB 1160 and SB 1253 in California

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On Tuesday, April 2nd at 8:30am, the California Senate Public Safety Committee is slated to review two concerning bills that threaten the rights of firearm owners across the Golden State. As staunch advocates for the Second Amendment, it’s imperative for NRA Members and supporters of gun rights to take action. Senate Bill 1160 and Senate Bill 1253 pose significant threats, and it’s crucial to voice opposition to these proposed measures.

Senate Bill 1160: Annual Firearm Registration Requirement

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Senate Bill 1160 represents a direct assault on the rights of law-abiding gun owners in California. This bill seeks to mandate an annual re-registration process for all firearms with the Department of Justice. If enacted, firearm owners would be compelled to navigate bureaucratic hurdles each year and pay undisclosed fees to maintain their registration status.

This onerous requirement not only burdens responsible gun owners with unnecessary red tape but also sets a dangerous precedent for government overreach into the fundamental rights protected by the Second Amendment. Under SB 1160, failure to comply with the annual registration mandate could result in severe penalties, including fines of up to $1000 and the potential confiscation of unregistered firearms.

Upholding Second Amendment Freedoms: Take Action Against SB 1160

It’s imperative for Second Amendment supporters to stand united against Senate Bill 1160. This legislation threatens the core principles of individual liberty and firearm ownership rights. We urge all concerned citizens to contact members of the Senate Public Safety Committee and vehemently oppose SB 1160.

Senate Bill 1253: Restricting Firearm Possession without Firearm Safety Card

Another concerning proposal slated for review is Senate Bill 1253, which seeks to further restrict firearm ownership rights in California. Under existing law, individuals are required to obtain a Firearm Safety Card to purchase or receive a firearm. However, SB 1253 aims to extend this requirement to possession, effectively prohibiting law-abiding citizens from possessing firearms without a valid Firearm Safety Card.

This additional hurdle not only imposes unnecessary burdens on responsible gun owners but also fails to address the root causes of crime and violence. Criminals, by definition, do not adhere to firearm laws, rendering such measures ineffective at curbing illicit gun activities. Instead, SB 1253 unfairly penalizes law-abiding citizens and undermines their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Defending Second Amendment Liberties: Oppose SB 1253

Senate Bill 1253 represents yet another attempt to erode the Second Amendment freedoms of Californians. By imposing stringent requirements for firearm possession, this bill unfairly targets responsible gun owners while doing little to enhance public safety. It’s essential for proponents of gun rights to take a stand against SB 1253 and advocate for the preservation of constitutional liberties.

Take Action: Protect Second Amendment Rights in California

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As the Senate Public Safety Committee prepares to review SB 1160 and SB 1253, it’s paramount for NRA Members and supporters of the Second Amendment to make their voices heard. Use the Take Action button below to contact committee members and urge them to oppose these egregious bills. Together, we can defend our cherished freedoms and safeguard the right to keep and bear arms in California.

Do you live in California? What do you do to oppose greater encroachment on your right to keep and bear arms? Leave your thoughts in the comments

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Firearms

The AR-15: A Versatile Platform for Every Shooter

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The AR pattern rifle, affectionately known as the “AR-15,” has become a staple in the firearms community, offering unparalleled versatility and customization options. From budget-friendly builds to high-end boutique rifles, there seems to be a configuration for every shooter’s preferences and needs. But with so many parts available, is there truly a rifle for everyone? And is there even a wrong answer to the AR question?

Diverse Builders, Diverse Builds

The AR-15 has evolved beyond just a firearm; it’s now a sport in itself, with enthusiasts eagerly assembling rifles tailored to their specific desires. Whether someone is aiming for the cheapest build, the most boutique setup, or a specialized rifle for a particular purpose like suppressor use, the AR platform offers endless possibilities. This diversity among builders reflects the platform’s adaptability and appeal to a wide range of shooters.

Navigating Budget Builds: A Personal Journey

Recently, there’s been a surge in interest in building affordable AR-style rifles, prompting many to explore budget-friendly options. One such endeavor involved sourcing parts directly from Bear Creek Arsenal (BCA), a company with a reputation for offering budget-friendly components. Despite initial reservations due to past controversies and quality concerns, the experience of assembling a rifle from BCA parts proved surprisingly positive.

Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Upon receiving the parts from BCA, there was a mix of anticipation and skepticism. However, upon inspection, there was a notable nod of approval for the quality of finish work, packaging, and overall presentation. While some parts lacked robust packaging, none arrived damaged, showcasing BCA’s attention to detail. Despite some vagueness regarding product specs, BCA’s use of 4150 CM-V and 416 Stainless barrels instilled confidence in the build.

Assembly Practices: Attention to Detail

Building the lower receiver proved relatively straightforward, but attention to detail was paramount. Proper torqueing of the castle nut, staking the end plate, and meticulous lubrication ensured adherence to factory specifications and optimal performance. The importance of using proper tools, lubricants, and assembly techniques cannot be overstated, particularly for critical components like the trigger and gas system.

Navigating Upper Receiver Assembly

While assembling the lower receiver was relatively straightforward, the upper receiver presented more complexity and significance. Attention to detail during barrel installation, gas system alignment, and muzzle device timing were crucial for ensuring accuracy, reliability, and safety. Thermal fitting techniques and proper torqueing procedures were employed to optimize barrel-to-receiver fit and gas system performance.

Range Testing and Final Thoughts

After meticulous assembly and function testing, the rifle was taken to the range for reliability and accuracy testing. Using a variety of ammunition types and optics configurations, the rifle performed admirably, showcasing respectable accuracy and reliability. While there were minor issues such as an over-gassed barrel, these were addressed with aftermarket solutions. Overall, Bear Creek Arsenal’s components proved to offer excellent value for budget-conscious builders, demonstrating that affordability doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on quality.

The AR-15 is a highly adaptable platform allowing builds for a wide array of preferences for all kinds of shooters. Whether building a budget-friendly rifle or investing in high-end components, the AR platform offers endless customization possibilities. While each builder may have their own priorities and preferences, the beauty of the AR-15 lies in its ability to accommodate them all, ensuring that there truly is a rifle for every shooter.

Do you own an AR-15? Have you ever built one? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Firearms

Mack W. Gwinn Jr.: A Tribute to a Firearms Pioneer

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Mack W. Gwinn Jr., a visionary in the firearms industry, passed away on March 11, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and dedication to his craft. Born in Florida, Gwinn’s journey into the world of firearms began with his service in the U.S. Army Special Forces, where he earned several Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star during seven deployments to Vietnam.

From Military Service to Firearms Innovation

Following his military service, Gwinn transitioned into the firearms industry, where he made significant contributions. One of his notable achievements was acquiring the rights to the Colt IMP-221, a stockless, gas-operated bullpup pistol initially developed for aircrew survival in the U.S. Air Force. Redesigning the concept to accept the 5.56 NATO caliber and standard AR magazines, Gwinn founded Gwinn Arms and introduced the Bushmaster Arm Pistol in the early 1970s.

Pioneering Personal Defense Weapons

The Bushmaster Arm Pistol, an innovative pistol-sized firearm utilizing an intermediate round, predated the concept of personal defense weapons (PDWs) by a generation. Although not a commercial blockbuster, the Arm Pistol laid the foundation for Bushmaster Firearms and left an indelible mark on the industry.

Legacy of Innovation

Beyond the Bushmaster Arm Pistol, Gwinn’s influence extended to various other firearms projects and inventions. He held patents for extended capacity magazines and developed concepts for firearms applications ranging from target pistols to recoil reduction systems. His ingenuity and curiosity led him to explore diverse projects, including vehicle design and accessory development.

Remembering a Trailblazer

Mack W. Gwinn Jr.’s passing marks the end of an era in the firearms community. His contributions to the industry will be remembered for years to come, serving as inspiration for future generations of innovators. In honoring his memory, donations can be made to the Maine Veterans Project, and condolences may be expressed to his family at BrookingsSmith.

Mack W. Gwinn Jr. leaves behind a legacy of excellence, marked by his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of firearms design and technology. His impact on the industry will continue to resonate, ensuring his place among the pantheon of firearms pioneers.

Do you know Mack W. Gwinn Jr? How about his famous firearms? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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