Take a Shot at History

What I Learned From My Dad

by Harry Viezens

I’ve been seriously collecting since I was around 12 or 13 years old. My dad must have seen something in my methods or in how I was collecting. Dad was always encouraging me with my budding knowledge of firearms and my ‘eye’ for finding neat stuff. One of the ways dad would go about this was to insist that before I could buy or make a trade for a new firearm I had to do a full research on that particular gun.

This meant that I had to find articles or books on the particular firearm I am interested in, and any verbal research was allowed but the statements had to be backed up by books or known facts. After I was done putting all the details together I had to give a verbal and written report to dad.

It had to consist of the gun’s condition, it’s value and potential resale value, plus a history of that particular firearm. Also included was my argument as to why it would be a good purchase or deal to trade for.

Now on its condition I had to report on its finish whether it was original as it left the factory or reworked. How much finish was left; how good or bad its mechanics are; and if it needed repairs can I do the repairs myself or have a gunsmith do them; and what the cost will be. Would it be worth fixing and finally, will l gain a profit when I wish to sell this firearm at a later date.

From my point of view as a kid, what a pain in the butt! In later years, however, I’m sure glad dad made me do this. what I got out of this is a pretty good library for my research and a pretty good comprehensive knowledge of firearms. Fifty years later I’m still buying books for research and studying firearms. I’ve never gotten tired of learning new facts or learning something new about the history of guns.

By following the rules my dad set down, I rarely make a bad decision on a gun purchase. Also I learned very early on that condition is everything! It influences demand and desirability even for common standard pieces. I made a point early on to buy only high quality condition firearms. They hold their value and the demand never weakens, even in a bad market.

So if you get anything out of this little article, it’s this… know all you can about the firearms you wish to collect and you are less likely to make bad decisions or be bamboozled by unscrupulous individuals.

Until next time!