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Discussion Starter #1
Just kind of wondered, the "books" generally contend that bore condition is overlooked in antique guns, but I wonder how many agree with this notion, when it comes to technically "antique" but still shootable guns such as the ones most of us have.

Of course depending on whether it was a BP round, or always smokeless, will make a difference in existing examples. Few 30 30s for example are going to be pitted beyond recognition, but the same cant be said for a 38 40 that was neglected.

What amazes me is how worn a barrel can be, and still shoot very well. I have a 25 20, with just hints of rifling left, yet it shoots real close to one a buddy had relined, results at 100, average around 3" for 5 shots, give or take.

So do most of you guys give brownie points for a good premium bore? I do cause I intend to shoot them.
 

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RGR said:
So do most of you guys give brownie points for a good premium bore? I do cause I intend to shoot them.
RGR, I'm by no means a serious Marlin collector and I don't have any high end antiques in my collection, so take that into consideration. I too favour bores that are in good shootable condition and would not be interested in a rifle with a shot out bore unless it was priced low enough that I could get the barrel relined and still come out ahead. The better the bore, the more I'm willing to pay as I prefer barrels that are easy to clean.

I would pass on a rifle with a shot out bore if it was not priced in accordance with the bore condition. If a rifle is too valuable in an untampered state, I'd rather let a serious collector pick it up.
 

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I think part of the anwser would would be if you were collecting old winchesters the bore condiction wouldnt mater as much because if you had a $30,000.00 plus rifle you proable are not going to use it
at the next cowboy action meet.
 

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Thats a good point, but while a 30 thousand dollar gun wouldnt be used in a match, I would shoot that sucker on the range, using proper care. I recently handled a Lefever A grade, two barrel set, belonged to the great uncle of a local friend, that the hammer fell at 57K, and there is little doubt in my mind, the gun had been fired at least in the last decade, possibly at doves or quail, and given the chance, I would have fired it the day before the auction, and after cleaning, no one would have been the wiser. :D

I have always considered typical collectors guns, as being a "treasure" one can use with care, if desired, and no harm is done. In the case of the recently auctioned Roosevelt Fox, that went on his Amazon trip, there its a piece of history perhaps, and even the risk of transporting it from the present owner to the auction house had some bit of risk from car wreck to theft, how ever slight.

But any gun, high grade or not, that has been hunted and used in the past, I see no decrease in value if they are handled and shot with care. But thats just me, others can rightfully disagree. ;)

But I would also say, the guns that most of us have, maybe they have 30% original finish, wouldnt bother me a bit to use them in a cowboy match, or take them out a few times a year, Again, with judicious care. In that case, a good bore is more desirable I think. :)
 

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I'm not a real collector, more of an accumulator. But bore condition definately matters to me because I tend to shoot all of them to one extent or another. So if the bore is shot I'm going in knowing I'll probably be getting it lined or rebarelled if I have or can find another barrel. I guess when I can afford a $30,000 gun my thinking might change.
 
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