Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 22 of 22

Thread: Freshest example of a prewar air rifle?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    City of London
    Posts
    8,900
    Quote Originally Posted by Muskett View Post
    I suspect this rifle started out as in exceptional condition, and then given a thorough clean, polish, and maybe retouch. Just sometimes such guns are put away correctly, wiped down with oil, and stored in the right conditions, so they come out 20, 50, 80 years on very clean and tidy. They invariably pick up something. Small spot of pitting, just something. Given a thorough clean they look very tidy. Interestingly they will have matured with age and don't quite look factory, some kind of change from the day they came out of the factory. Factory can seem rougher than a rifle that has been cleaned a few times.

    Factory paraffin waxed in waxed paper for storage can produce the most factory as can be found, even after years and years. Even the wood has little age depth to it. So new they can often look as if they have lost something; they seem unloved as they missed all those years of being caressed
    I agree that cleaning takes away something priceless that can only come with age.

    Probably this one is my very best prewar rifle and even it has picked up a couple of small scratches over its long life.

    https://forum.vintageairgunsgallery....-17/#post-2392

    One of these small flaws is that some monkey has tried to use the cocking slot to give leverage, as you can see in one of the pics.

    Look at all the angles in the shape of the trigger block - it's a masterpiece!
    Vintage Airguns Gallery
    ..Above link posted with permission from Gareth W-B
    In British slang an anorak is a person who has a very strong interest in niche subjects.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    East Sussex, Nr Rye
    Posts
    15,104
    Over cleaning can, and a strip back certainly does. A full back to metal, and back to white wood, takes all the history off. What is funny is that some of these full stripped and refinished end up superior finished to what would have come out of the factory. I'm not a fan, but they are good to use for another "many years".

    What is often important is to stabilise and stop further damage. Its quite a challenge to know how far to go, and very easy to go too far.
    On the whole a honest gun will show its age somehow. A well used gun can't be made factory fresh. Given enough time no gun can stay factory fresh; though the paraffin/paper method can get close.
    Most collectors want "honest".

    The thread example looks fine. Not too much, but just enough to show how clean an example it is. Importantly enough done so it should stay good for a good time.
    Long term storage is difficult because it doesn't take much for some tiny rot to take hold. One reason I gave up collecting.
    The 1980's onward collectables can be had BNIB, but even those should be checked and wiped every few years. Rejuvenate the oil. Every time something might have attacked them. Leather, PFE, plastics, and some paint will deteriorate just by time. Heck, even the box and packaging can self destruct and do harm in some cases.

    Its hard to keep guns "perfect".

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Dursley
    Posts
    8
    There are lots of mint guns out there which aren't, I got caught with a Senior pistol that had been greased up to make it look ex factory. It had clearly been used.
    Best,

    Clive

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Bath, innit?
    Posts
    5,941
    Quote Originally Posted by cloudr View Post
    There are lots of mint guns out there which aren't, I got caught with a Senior pistol that had been greased up to make it look ex factory. It had clearly been used.
    Itís the same old story: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
    Morally flawed

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    East Sussex, Nr Rye
    Posts
    15,104
    Buy a new gun, and it has a certain something out of the box. That something barely lasts a few days in use. New guns are a bit dull, underwhelming having picked up no lustre at all. First oil, wipe down, and its gone.

    The only BNIB air rifles should be 1980s onwards. Maybe even those aren't "new" anymore??? Anything before should be at least wiped down with oil. It could be still unfired or like new, but isn't BNIB.
    Mint is over used. Mint is coins still in their Mint packaging; from the Mint. Guns aren't mint but factory fresh at best. Use the rifle and its wont be factory fresh, just lightly used.

    Factory fresh in box is just a great way to have some examples in circulation in years and years time. A way to give an excuse not to use them. I'm please some people do have such collections as there are plenty second hand rifles to shoot. Lets wear those out those first!
    If you like shooting then second hand, well cared for, rifles are there to enjoy. Most will shoot as well if not better than when new. Better than new as they have bedded in and lost the sharp edges from the manufacturing process.

    Ha ho, all good fun.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Hemel Hempstead, Herts
    Posts
    889
    There are air guns out there getting on for 100 years old which could be described as 'mint'; 'factory fresh' or 'as new' condition, those freakish guns which literally were bought, not used and put away in a dry place.

    They are usually pistols for obvious reasons. A case in point is a late Webley Mark 1, pre war slang grip air pistol, from say 1938/9. I have seen several of these that look new, appear never to have been shot, the barrel still being 'stiff', and in their still crisp boxes with all the relevant paperwork.

    My theory with these, and especially since I have seen more than one such, is that they were bought just prior to the outbreak of war. The owner then went to war, was killed in action, and then the gun remained 'put away', in a drawer most probably, until decades later having been discovered by another generation was sold on?

    I have seen similar BSA's rifles from the 1st world War period, also seemingly unused, but being a rifle and kept in the open, some tarnishing has inevitably occurred and the oil and grease dried to crud. Amazing to think such things can go through three or four generations, and only one mishap on one occasion, would render them no longer 'mint' (or whatever).

    Hence why truly 'mint' guns will, or at least should, achieve a significant premium when they are sold, even over a similar item in merely 'excellent' condition - ie used but still retaining most original finish.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    East Sussex, Nr Rye
    Posts
    15,104
    I once valued such a collection. Went to war and never came back. All the guns bought between 1897 and 1910.
    Sadly, no one used them but someone had handled them. All had deep finger mark pitting. So bad the values were half what they might have been. No wear from use, just handling. Still came to a substantial amount.
    I own the gun cabinet that was given as a gift for the advice. The gentleman had great taste in guns.

    If something is oiled and in a case or box, and the conditions in the storage place right, then time warp examples can be had. But for collectors of a marque these will be one offs in a stable of other levels of condition.
    Absolutely they should demand a premium, and do. But the main value will be if desirable in the first place. A uninspiring gun will always be not very exciting however old.

    All adds to the joys of collecting.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •