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Old Trooper Gunsmiths LLC


My Blog


The dark history of some guns.......

Posted on October 28, 2016 at 6:34 AM
            There are some things that collectors will get and just wonder "I wish you could talk". Firearms are no exception. 
      We have quite the company collection of older guns. Things from the 1790's all the way up to some newer police trade pistols with some "scars". They all have a story. With guns, especially millitary ones they have date stamps, proof marks, regimental markings, ect. But that may tell you where it went. Or when it was made. But not the story behind it. 
        This seems to be the problem with how history is thought in the modern age. It is all about dates, names and times. But that is what you can get off a SN# or a proof mark. But, now be honest here: what did you learn from memorizing enough dates and names to pass a test? Most of us retained NOTHING! But, you tell the story behind the event. Tell WHY something happened, and what was learned from it. That, that is where you learn something productive! 
        I got into firearms as an extension to history for me. A long, long time ago I was a voulenteer at a local historical fort, spent many, many hours in research. But was fascinated by the "why" behind most of the events of the era. Why the army had more muskets than rifles, why cannon were gauged the way they were. Ect...  led to WHY the battles were fought the way they were..  I thought it was fascinating at least. Although a lot of my fellow reenactors were of the "I Dunn get to shoot shit" variety. I wanted to know WHY. 
      So fast foreword over 20 yrs. have a large collection of historical arms. All of them will tell you their story. 

     Only if you know where to look. 

      Every weapon that was issued to a soldier who has to bet his life on it has left an impression on his tool of choice. From the earliest  matchlocks with scortchmarks from the over worked musketeer letting his match burn low to the final twists of match wrapped around the wooden stock, because he was to busy applying the bayonet or had become a casualty already.  To the repaired crack when it was picked up off the battlefield to be reissued. 
     Or to the M4 carbine (I know, not like you will ever see one of these received for civil sales)  with the anodizing worn clean off one section of the lower receiver from being constantly worn against a bit of gear that would rub as the soldier moved. Scars  and down the handguards and stock due to receiving heavy, brutal use. Extensive Brass knicks in the brass deflecter from heavy use. Down to the tape residue near the mag well from being taped off due to not having a mag in place, but crud still not wanted in the needed rifle. 

        Stocks can be cleaned, metal  refinished. But some wear will never leave.  My first M1 had a curious bow shaped scar in the foreword handguard. Took me some time to realize that was a soldier's last impression. It was a dent from the guys THUMBNAIL! It is about 1/8 deep. There were much shallower depressions on the other side from the other four nails. Whatever happened to this guy, it was not good. Have a Hungarian army issued  hi-power clone that had the most significant holster wear I have ever seen. No finish and a lot of scratches in one 3 inch area of the slide. Thinking a tanker in a worn out hip holster.  My first 1911 was an Argentine copy. Police issue.... a lot of parts from other pistols went into that rattle trap to keep it running... It had knotches carved under the grips... yeah, sort of creepy there... A "Chang-ci-sheck" type 24 Mauser that cam to us with bad pitting along the wood line and gray mud under the barrel. And a €£#^}< load of yack grease ot whatever the early reds used before cosmoline.  Hell, we have even had a French 1842 rifle musket that was loaded when we received it. With military ball cartrage no less! Must have been loaded for at least 100 years or so. Fortunately, just one round was down. Unlike most battlefield recovered muskets that would have one to six, yes six rounds down! 
     But do not think that only millitary guns have history. I have a worn Winchester 1897 shotgun that was a prison guard gun. Shortened stock, but with the full field barrel with extensive wear near the muzzle from being in and out of a scabbard or wall rack constantly. My old duty pistol, a retired MSP Walther P99 qa. Had some holster wear, but the barrel was completely shot out. Still had the "law use only" marked mag. Than there is the guns that were on the other side of the law. A Toledo built Union firearms company 16ga side by side that had the triggers worked in a way that both barrels would always go off at one pull. Looks like some rum runners last resort gun....

      See... story's that will tell you of a great history. But only if you know where to look. 

Old troopers actual, wishing you another year without seeing Roland behind you. 


Categories: Rant

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Reply Seth
6:36 PM on November 7, 2016 
My interest in history and the "how" and "why" was also what got me into firearms. I spend probably what some would consider an unhealthy amount of time researching firearms technology and why some concepts work while others didn't. I've also always had a fascination with military and police firearms both for the historical significance they held, and for the stories each individual weapon might hold on its scars or wear. If money weren't such a big issue for me, I'd likely have a sizable collection of police trade-ins and old milsurp rifles filling up my closet. Ah well... Where my collection might be lacking, my interest in the aforementioned subject is always expanding.

Speaking of, when I did my FFL transfer through you, it was great to hear all the additional wisdom, random facts, and advice you had to share, not just about the gun I was buying, but about the various other subjects you covered as well.
Reply Corey
9:08 PM on December 29, 2016 
I grew up in Mansfield and my father purchased a rifle from the Sportsman's Den years ago that was from the Ohio State Reformatory. When they closed it down, they sold all the guards guns to the Den for resale. Looking for one that was cheap and unmodified, he managed to get the one with OSR#1 marked in the receiver from one of those handheld etching pens, and #1 in white paint pen on the bottom of the grip. All original stainless barrel and receiver. He also has a brought back Arisaka that they were only able to get a couple file strokes on the mum. It truly is interesting to know, or at least understand, the stories behind the old guns.