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Have your tastes and needs changed when it comes to firearms over time?

Times and conditions have changed.

When Ike was President I preferred single shot rifles and 410 shotguns. And woods. In fact I was squirrel hunting on the Catoctin ridgeline once when suddenly a whole bunch of men in suits appeared and asked me just what I thought I was doing. I explained that so far I wasn't doing very much since about all I'd done so far was annoy a few critters. They laughed and explained I was on government property and so no hunting was allowed but if I'd head back beyond a creek I'd passed about ten minutes earlier all would be fine. I apologized and said I hadn't known there was a military base around there and they said it was more a meeting place.

By the time Kennedy was President I was more likely to be carrying a small Beretta pocket pistol. That remained the norm until I moved to Arizona during the Johnson Administration. It was pretty normal to see folk wearing a handgun at the time and since it was a whole new world for me; like all my life I had been wearing dirty glasses, a Smith model 19 became my preferred handgun. In town and around town it was loaded with 38 Special and when in the mountains or deserts with 357.

When I moved to California a heavier gun for the 357 caught my fancy and so a Highway Patrolman was my pick until Ronald Reagan made it illegal for a citizen to publicly carry a loaded gun, and then small once again became my pick of the litter. A few Smith J frames became the norm and that pretty much remained my primary choice. There were others of course, HP and HP clones, lots of Sigs, a few Berettas but the snub nose revolver remained the most often carried handgun.

When in the wilds a Smith or Colt 45acp revolver was also a common choice for many decades. I tried to like the 1911 format but honestly we just never really meshed. That stayed pretty consistent whether it was the mountains and deserts of California and Arizona or the mini-mountains and forests of Appalachia or the swaps and rice dikes of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.

Lately though I have returned to the modern version of where I was at the time Kennedy was President with small size, small cartridge pocket pistols. Today there really are quite a few more choices than there were back then and today's 380acp sure aint the same thing I shot back then either.


"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
My tastes in firearms have always been pretty eclectic. Growing up reading gun mags, I always wanted one of everything, but couldn't afford very much at all. My first love beyond a hand me down single shot .22LR Remington Rangemaster bolt action were S&W revolvers, which still have a large place in my heart. When I started shooting local IPSC matches, I became a die hard 1911 guy, then going to Jeff Cooper's Gunsite shooting school solidified my love for the 1911 in .45 ACP. Reading about all the classic single action revolvers in various old calibers got me into .32-20, .38-40 and .45 LC Ruger revolvers. Then the pistol hunting articles peaked my interest in Thompson Center Contender pistols. I have three and several barrels. Military rifles, ARs, M1 Carbine, M1A, M1 Garrand, SKS, AK semiauto and Robinson Arms XCR. Deer hunting bolt actions, centerfire target bolt actions and various shotguns. Eventually I went over to the dark side and got into Glocks. Also into Ruger rimfires, custom 10-22, MK-III, 22/45 and Super Single Six .22LR/.22mag. And there are various odds an ends, usually pistols. My interests shift over time, but eventually come full circle, shooting guns I haven't shot in years.
First handgun I bought, while at Ft Bragg, was a surplus inglis hi power, started buying stainless rifles with plastic stocks, then plastic handguns. Was into tactical rifles, ARs, HKs, a galil, a few Sig 556 rifles, and a few others. As I have become older, blued handguns, blued rifles with wood stocks, and side by side shotguns. The ever present 1911, and a couple more hi powers. My collection became more quality, than quantity

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The Instigator
Oh heck yeah. I can't carry a 1911 anymore ... the plastic guns of today; they are so much easier to tote.

But I will never discard the revolvers of yesteryear. Motorboats and sailboats also coexist ... and there is always the matter of style.


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The Instigator
Ah, the Great Holes in the Water into which You Pour Money.

Oh not me anymore- that ship has sailed (and I'd never even take one as a gift!)

No; I was just saying old style and new tech can coexist. A Glock to bet your life on, a blackpowder cap-and-ball to shoot on Sundays.

Always preferred steel. Revolvers and 1911s. Carry is a J-Frame, messing around in the woods, a 357 or 41, generally a Blackhawk. A variety of 44s and 480s go handgun hunting, as I've aged carrying a heavy rifle isn't as much fun as it was. I don't harvest as much, but enjoy it a lot more trying to get into a good shot. (I hear the same from archery hunters)

I own 2 poly pistols, favorite is a Walther PPS, but rarely carry. If I feel the need for a concealed semi I carry Springfield EMP.

My tastes haven't really changed much. It's still walnut and blued steel and bone charcoal case colors - preferably with straight grip, splinter fore-end, and 2 triggers. I really don't feel the need to conceal carry, but I do keep a Pietta 1858 Army around with a added .45 Colt conversion cylinder and an old Ruger Single Six with the extra .22 Mag. My rifles are all WW2 vets also.

That said, I have recently inherited a couple plastic shooters, A Savage 110 in .243, a Winchester SX4, 870 Express, and a Saiga AK style 12ga.

The .243 is a tack driver, but I still love my old war horses more. The SX4 is unfired and has rust issues on the barrel that took some work to repair. The 870 Express should be a fine tomato stake. The Siaga could be fun, except for the fact it randomly drops the mag under recoil - I will need to fix that I suppose.
Same as ackvil when it comes to calibers. Used to be the guy that wanted the biggest boom in a small package; read .45 and .357. I definitely found it in the Springfield XDM in .45, but have lately found myself more than happy with plain old 9. Maybe it's how far technology has come or me just becoming more comfortable and proficient with what I carry that I no longer reach for the biggest caliber.
Another change that's fairly recent is that I find my range sessions are getting far more frequent but also much shorter in duration and far more focused. Long long ago in a land far far away I'd go to the range with several guns and boxes of ammo and shoot. Today it is usually one gun and a few magazines of ammo but testing or practicing one particular technique or mechanical change. Since my range membership includes unlimited number of sessions and is just about 10 minutes from my house it's easy to run over to test a new ammo for reliability or test some change made in springs or accessories or work on one facet of performance. Quite often I'll spend maybe ten minutes on the line and an hour or so looking at new stuff or just chatting.
Over the last few years though I've gotten way more interested in early martial black-powder repeaters like the Swiss Vetterli or Dutch Beaumont-Vitali. Lots of work to make them shootable like centerfire conversion, case forming, and casting your own boolits. It's a big investment of time & learning and one I am not quite ready to make. If it happens it's because I stumbled across a deal I can't pass up. Both have fairly respectable ballistics too. The .41 Swiss is ~1300 ft. lbs. @ muzzle, the Beaumont-Vitali about the same.

Here's what those look like -

Swiss Vetterli 1871


Dutch Beaumont-Vitali

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