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I while back, I inherited a John Wayne Commemorative (made in 1981, one of 49,000) with the pewter, engraved receiver. It has never been fired, short of factory proofing, has been in the box for 30 years, and is pristine. The other night, for grins and giggles, I took it out, wiped it down with some silicone cloth and just fondled it for a while before putting it back in the safe. I also have ten boxes of the Winchester .32-40 nickle plated, Duke headstamped ammo.

Since then, I keep thinking I should just get this thing out and shoot it. I have seen them going for anywhere from $1,100 to as much as $1,800 (depending on how many goodies go along with the rifle). I don't have the Bianchi Scabbard, the pretty little wooden show stand, or anything like that. Just the rifle and the ammo.

I don't like the idea of taking my Pop's "ol' John Wayne Collectible" (as he called it) out and firing it. How much deterioration in the value would it suffer if I did just that? In the meantime, I think I hear it calling out to me to be fired, but doing so is a tough decision. Really, rather an emotional and distressing position for me to be in. ::) ??? :-\

Any guesses or estimates? And since I respect the opinion of most all of ya'll on this site, what in the dickens would you all do?
 

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I'm a shooter, not a collector. For me, a rifle that cannot be fired has no value. That's just me. I once had a unfired VZ24 7mm that my wife bought for me for Christmas. It was so pretty! But I had to shoot it. A few years later, I sold it for more than it cost. So firing it wasn't a big deal, to me anyway. It looked just as pretty as it did when it was in unfired condition. So I could see no loss, but I did get pleasure from shooting it!

I really can't see any harm in firing your rifle, but I wouldn't shoot the John Wayne ammo in it. I'd buy non-collector value ammo and use that. I really can't see any value in any unfired rifle, but then again, that's just me. If you are suffering anguish because your rifle is unfired, and you are not a collector, then it would be too painful to have such a fine rifle and not fire it. There's only 2 ways out of your predicament. Sell it unfired to a collector, if you are a shooter, or shoot it and have FUN doing so! Take pleasure in whatever you do. :)
 

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My deceased cousin bought a "bunch" of Colt and Winchester commeratives along with two or three Smiths back in the 70s-80s. He finally dumped them at the Las Vegas show in the late 90s. With the exception of the John Wayne Winchester and the Texas Ranger Smith and Colt, I don't think he kept up with inflation, and those three barely got over the hump. Fortunately, they were gone when I dispersed the rest of his guns and most of his other stuff for his daughter and son. I have little use for commeratives, but I really do like nice finished, nice wood and, embellishment which many commeratives had. Pop passed the rifle on to you, lilely without any strings attached, so I say enjoy it in whatever manner you like. The good book tells us that there is no sorrow in heaven, so Pop just doesn't care anymore if you shoot it. Conversely, if it makes you happy to just wipe it down every so often, that will be OK also. Me, I would shoot it or sell it. Cousin left me a beautiful engraved Browning Gd IV BAR. I shoot it from time to time and honor his memory on each occasion. Best wishes, Jack
 

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xbones88 said:
I really can't see any harm in firing your rifle, but I wouldn't shoot the John Wayne ammo in it. I'd buy non-collector value ammo and use that.
Exactly my thoughts. 8)
 
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DWB, shooting it won't hurt it, using it as a pick axe will. Shoot it and enjoy it, just wipe it down before storing it.
I can't have a firearm in the house that I don't shoot. I'm a shooter kind of guy too. My best friend on the other hand wears white cotton gloves to show me some of his pristine firearms from his collection. He cringes and turns white when I ask him, "Did you shoot it yet?". Funny to see him get all queezy when I ask that!!!!LOL
358 Win
 

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I must go along with the previous postings. If I was lucky enough to have one I would shoot it every once in awhile, clean it and put it, and the memories, back in the safe. Firearms were made to be enjoyed. If you don't want to sell it, offer it and the ammo for sale to a collector. If it has been in the family for some time you should recognize a profit. I remember when they were available for less than $550.00 new, in the box. At current prices you could buy a nice shooter grade firearm, bank the rest and never look back.
Either way, best of luck. Any hope for a few pictures? Nothing like gun porn. Shenandoah
 

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I don't know about this gun, but recall a thread about a guy that got a 100 year old unfired Savage 99. Nothing special back then, but now, collectors dream of finding something like that. He took it hunting. Saw no reason to give it special treatment.

My take is that if it is dilemma, don't do it. If you truly don't care, do it.

I once threw out a bunch of presents that we had received for our wedding. We weren't using them and I saw no reason to store them. My wife freaked out. She eventually calmed down after a month or 2. Everyone has their opinion, but the only one that matters is yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sure would like to talk with Pop about it...

Need to think this one through a bit. Will try to get some photos taken this evening for you Gun-Pervs. ;) ;D
 

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It is hard to say what is right and wrong you know your dad better than anyone. What would he do?
If it was my gun I would take a few shot's and if it is shooting good go out and bag a deer with it I know my dad would be proud of me. I know I would only take a few shot's as I like rare ammo.
 
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Not too sure about that. If dad wanted it shot, don't you think that he might have shot it? In any case, it is the son's decision now.
 

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Asking that question on this site is like Cheech asking Chong, "Hey man, do you wanna smoke this doobie now or save it for later,man?" You KNOW what the answer will be. ;D DP
 

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I see it as this, are you going to sell it? Yes or no? If yes, do not shoot it. If no, you are going to keep it, shoot it some and enjoy it. Just take good care of it. I would not shoot the collector grade ammo, get some regular stuff.

A good friend bought the Ollie Winchester gold colored commemerative in .38-55. We shot it all of the time because it was so darn accurate and had a nice trigger. It was always cleaned up and looked like new every time we tood it out. No problems there.
 

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.

I am a collector of Winchesters. Some of the commemorative Winchesters did not increase in value and shooting them doesn't reduce the value much. On the other hand, some of them have increased substantially, the John Wayne is one. The John Wayne, new unfired with box and hang tags is collectible and worth some bucks. Once you fire it you can never unfire it...the damage is done. Firing the JW is a very quick way to make a $700 gun out of a $2000 gun. Any smart collector can see that it has been fired, but it's your gun and if you think your dad would want you to fire it do so. But as said before, if he wanted it fired then why didn't he fire it?
 

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JBledsoe said:
... Once you fire it you can never unfire it...the damage is done. Firing the JW is a very quick way to make a $700 gun out of a $2000 gun. Any smart collector can see that it has been fired, but it's your gun and if you think your dad would want you to fire it do so. But as said before, if he wanted it fired then why didn't he fire it?
Been thinking alot about this the past day or so. Spoke with a purveyor of fine firearms this afternoon, and he said he would be keenly interested in buying it, especially when I told him it has only been racked 6 or 7 times in 30 years. I asked him if I was to take her out and put some through it what it would do to the value. He said it would knock 30 to 35% off what his offer is. He wasn't so interested in the ammo, but said he might be after he had a chance to research the market.

Funny, he said the same thing as JBledsoe -- Once you fire it, the damage is done.
 

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The ammo is rare, but not that rare. GB has it all day long for $55/box. There is a shop near me that tries to sell the same couple of boxes at gun shows for $60/box and always comes home with it.
 

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I took some photos of this rifle -- nothing to brag about photography-wise, but then I ain't no Roe, either.

This is of the rifle and ammo.
 

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You ask opinion, so here is mine. I do not think we should covet any object, be it gun or whatever. If something has a purpose it should be used for that purpose. I am not interested in commemoratives, or really nice guns, that are so nice I feel like I have to baby them. I take care of my guns and like a gun to be in good shape, so don't get me wrong. However, in this case I would do one of two things. I would lock it away in the safe and keep it pristine in memory of your father, (if you think that was his wishes) and buy me a shooter in that caliber. Option 2 would be sell it too someone who really likes it and is into commemorative stuff that would display it and really appreciate it, buy me a shooter and pocket the rest.
 

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Woo! Woo! Woo! :eek: I just checked out Ammo-one.com and the .32-40 John Wayne ammo is going for $14.95 a cartridge!!! Ammo-one has some very inflated prices on many single cartridges, and I do have one in my ammo collection, but I didn't pay that much for it! I think that I payed $1.00 a couple of years ago for the cartridge that I have.

Well, for whatever it's worth, the .32-40 JW ammo ain't cheap any more! And I surely wouldn't shoot it! But it sure is pretty to look at! :)
 

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It goes for around $55/box on the internet. Not insane, just pretend you are shooting a Weatherby. But 32-40 is a handloader caliber these days. I hunt with a Winchester "Collectible" :) A Canadian Centennial 26" octagon barreled 30-30. At any given time, you can find a dozen NIB for sale. So not too rare. Great shooter, and if that stamped carrier ever busts, I can alway put it on the wall.
 
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