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Mangonboat

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Full Disclosure: I'm a 65 yo guy who a) hasnt shot a black powder gun in 30 years; b) is still working full time as a solo business owner; c) has too many hobbies already. My Dad passed a year ago and I inherited several of his guns including three percussion rifles and a cap and ball pistol. I actually chose these BP guns over unmentionable rifles when the guns were being divvied up between me and my brothers, but after months of research, I'm convinced I have too many BP guns . I know..blasphemy. But I am not a collector of things and already have more bows, guns, fishing rods and boats than I can use. My wife has no interest in my shooting and hunting but we enjoy hiking with the dogs (a lot) and paddling our kayaks on the rivers. We recently downsized to a new, smaller home and we are both enthusiastic about clearing out stuff that we wont use. So I come before you as a man in search of information to help guide my decisions.

Item 1: a Farmington Shiloh New Model 1859 Sharps rifle, 54 cal. , mid 3 digit SN, fired less than a dozen times. This one has a strong sentimental atttraction, as my brothers and I were Scouts in a very active troop in the late 1960s and spent a lot of time hiking and camping in Civil War battlefields all over the southeast but especially Shiloh. That was the attraction when my Dad's good friend opened a gun store in Blissfield, Michigan (that I helped build) in the mid 1970's and this was the first BP gun my Dad bought. He didnt know that the definition of muzzleloading weapon for Michigan's muzzleloader season excluded breech-loading rifles and this this beautiful gun never went afield. Long story short: this gun is really heavy for a hunting weapon but it is so well-made, so interesting from both historical and functiona/operation standpoints, now legal for hunting ,at least in all the states I hunt, and suited to any game I might hunt with it. Plus it offers the entire sideshow of rolling your own paper cartridges.

Item 2: a Cabelas /Investarms Hawken, 50 caliber, drilled an tapped for scope mounts with a Redfield 3x9 scope . This was my Dad's BP hunting rifle. Dad was an excellent bowhunter dating back to the late 1940's. He disdained hunting deer with a unmentionable rifle, having done it exactly one time in 1968 for 30 minutes and harvesting a buck at 175 yards. But he enjoyed hunting in the late muzzleloader season for deer and turkey and took a very practical approach: a Cabelas Hawken was not a collector's piece and was kind of like an updated mountain man weapon, and a scope made it easier to shoot with confidence but without a lot of time on the practice range. If I was going to be serious about harvesting deer in the BP seasons, this would be my first choice, but I am a traditional bowhunter , have been for 50 years, and I'm not as serious about harvesting as I am about being in the woods and able to consistently put myself in a position to be able to choose in the moment whether to shoot or not.

Item 3: a 50 cal.. repro Kentucky rifle made in 1976 by Palmetto Arms in Italy and sold by Richland Arms in Blissfiled Michigan. This gun has never been fired. As noted above, my Dad's good friend opened a gun shop in Blissfield and was close friends with the owner of Richland Furs in Blissfield that branched out into Richland Arms as both were essentially import sales businesses. Dad liked the look of the long Kentucky / Pennsylvania style BP rifle and bought this one to hang over the fireplace, as depicted so often in TV and films. He said it was my Mom's gun. The gun is very basic, as if it was intended for an owner who wanted to have the plain brass plates custom-engraved. But the stock is pretty and it served its intended purpose for over 40 years. Could be a great shooter, could be tempermental and spray bullets. It has the practical advantage of being a 50 cal. so compatible with the bullets, balls, powder, patches, etc. for the Hawken, which I'm sure my Dad considered, but that never became a relevant advantage. Our fireplace is actually a modern wood-burning furnace that generates 40,000 BTU of forced air heating, so I'm not going to hang a firearm over it. This rifle does not hold much interest for me.

Item 4 : a 1976 Pietta reproduction of the Remington New Army aka 1858 cap and ball revolver, 44 cal., also purchased by my Dad from his buddy who got it through his buddy at Richland Arms but not marked as such. Dad bought these guns when his 4 sons were in high school or college nearby but within 2 years were were all involved with other things or working hundreds of miles away, so this one has fired less than 100 rounds..but it was fun at the time! This one is intruiging for its history and functionality plus much more simple to maintain and operate than a muzzleloader in terms of accessories and supplies. I like that the operational concept is so simple: load 30 gr. of fffG, place round ball on top ( filler and /or wad optional), move on to the next chamber. Add some grease over the balls, place caps on when you're ready to shoot, shoot six shots and thats about it. Glaringly obvious in its rejection of the need for fiddling with charge, projectile, wads, etc. and equally obvious in its being unsuited to use as a primary hunting weapon or to modern warfare. But I am a participating witness that it's magnificently fun for plinking. Has a matching holster. I love American history but the odds of my suddenly deciding to become a re-enacter are zero...there is too much going on in our country right now that holds my attention.

So what does a fellow whose BP passion is unlikely to rise above the level of "casually-interested" and whose tolerance for toys he doesnt use do in this situation? Dad had more hobbies than me and after he retired added going to auctions and estate sales so when the time came to clean out their 5 bedroom home, full basement, attic, garage, and polebarn, I became very clear in my determination to never do that to my wife or my kids. If any of you folks have faced a similar dilema or have relevant expereince with any of these guns, please chime in.
 
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The similar dilemma is that my wife and I seem to be setting our kids up for a similar situation as you have experienced with your folks. I am early seventies and now see too much stuff, not enough time. My father-in-law say, I'm not worrying about it, you guys can handle it when I'm gone.
 
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To me, it looks like #1 and #4 have the most use for you as well as maybe sentimental value. #1 has the pros you point out and is not readily replaced. #4 is a ton of fun and could be useful for places where it may be legal and a "firearm" is not and other odd circumstances. #2 and #3 are pretty much ho-hum rifles. #2 with the drill/tap and scope is of less interest to some than one without such additions, yet another person may want it for exactly the reason that it already has a scope. Nonetheless, it is readily replaceable and not particularly valuable. #3 is also a pedestrian muzzleloader that will attract a limited audience at any price less than a steal.

My idea with items like these (particularly of mediocre value if you don't need the money) is to pass on the legacy of the original owner through them. Consider donating them to a muzzleloader club or even an individual youth or first-timer along with the story of your Dad's interest in them and his disdain for hunting with modern rifle. I think the story, gesture and gift would stick with someone and stoke their passion. I would add a caveat that they pass it forward in the same manner should they decide to ever part with it.

When I had a commercial hunting ranch there was 3 rifles that were donated in the manner above. When we had a youth or newcomer without a rifle we let them use one for their hunt, and told them the story of how we obtained the rifles. Sometimes that person would go out and seek the same or very similar rifle. When we sold the business, those 3 rifles were gifted to youth through a process which written submission were submitted as a sort of nomination and then anonymously sent to a group of volunteers for review. The volunteers decide what 3 submissions "deserved" the rifles, and then the names of those people were disclosed and they were gifted the rifles. You could consider something like this.
 
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am also in early 70's and i look around and swear i am going to "clean up this mess". i have sold most of my collection of unmentionables. down to 15 long guns and 11 hand guns.
what did i do? spent the monies on muzzle loaders and trappings.
the bulk of the "Mess" hasn't reduced.
the wife looks at the long rifles leaning in the corners and asks "do they breed when the lights are off?".
i really need to simplify my hobbies.
that said it's probably a better investment than the stock market. certainly enjoy it more.
 

Old Hawkeye

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I don't "worry" about what I leave behind. I just enjoy it all while I'm here. All your heirs have to do is call an auction company & they will come haul it all off, catalog & sell it, then hand your heirs a nice fat check. What's to worry over? If you sell it all now & don't die, then what?
 
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I don't "worry" about what I leave behind. I just enjoy it all while I'm here. All your heirs have to do is call an auction company & they will come haul it all off, catalog & sell it, then hand your heirs a nice fat check. What's to worry over? If you sell it all now & don't die, then what?
I’m not a big Kurt Vonnegut fan but I often quote him. “Don’t kid yourself, we were put on this earth to screw around.” I like your attitude.
 

rafterob

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I concur with Sparkitoff's analysis of your statements. You have an attachment to the Sharps, the Remmy doesn't take up a lot of room and is fun to shoot. The Richland Arms is not anything to write home about and the scope mounted thing is as you describe it. A functional tool.
 
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One thing is really necessay if you decide to keep them. (and this goes for all of us.) Make a list or tag the Items ,as to What they are,any customIzination, and a realistic value.This will take a load off your wife. As well as making sure that some Jerk doesn't BLOW SMOKE up her a## and give her pennnies on the dollar. WE"VE all seen it happen. I did this a few year back,But I Need to do it again due to rising values. I also find that my list is incomplete,the number of guns has changed, I haven't sold any. Maybe DEERSTALKERT'S wife is right. I'm gonna leave a light on in my gun room to see if any MORE show up.......BE SAFE>>>>>>>Wally
 

dave951

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While I understand sentimentality, from a purely financial POV the Sharps is far and away the most valuable. The others are only a fraction of that value. I shoot in a competitive black powder org that focuses on Civil War guns and that Sharps is highly regarded. And, of the repops, the Farmington Sharps is probably the closest to the originals. A reenactor with this gun is like letting a toddler have a Picasso. Just don't.

The other guns, pretty common really. In the grand scheme of things, sentiment means nothing to anybody but you and in that sense, they're priceless. If you make the mistake of selling them, you can never get them back. Keep that in mind even if that means those guns just sit in a safe or are wall hangers.

If you are serious about passing a couple on, find a deserving young person who would cherish and value it like your dad did.
 

new2bp

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So... I have this "bucket list" of guns that I would like to own, shoot, and enjoy in my lifetime. Black Powder stuff is on that list, but just generically "bp rifle and bp pistol". In the past year I've fallen into deals on both - a 1858 NMA clone, and a .54 percussion sidelock.

So... I'd keep the Sharps and the revolver, and then either sell the others to fund other things in life (for me it would be another gun on the bucket list that I've not had yet, or have had and regret getting rid of)
 

Rock Home Isle

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Full Disclosure: I'm a 65 yo guy who a) hasnt shot a black powder gun in 30 years; b) is still working full time as a solo business owner; c) has too many hobbies already. My Dad passed a year ago and I inherited several of his guns including three percussion rifles and a cap and ball pistol. I actually chose these BP guns over unmentionable rifles when the guns were being divvied up between me and my brothers, but after months of research, I'm convinced I have too many BP guns . I know..blasphemy. But I am not a collector of things and already have more bows, guns, fishing rods and boats than I can use. My wife has no interest in my shooting and hunting but we enjoy hiking with the dogs (a lot) and paddling our kayaks on the rivers. We recently downsized to a new, smaller home and we are both enthusiastic about clearing out stuff that we wont use. So I come before you as a man in search of information to help guide my decisions.

Item 1: a Farmington Shiloh New Model 1859 Sharps rifle, 54 cal. , mid 3 digit SN, fired less than a dozen times. This one has a strong sentimental atttraction, as my brothers and I were Scouts in a very active troop in the late 1960s and spent a lot of time hiking and camping in Civil War battlefields all over the southeast but especially Shiloh. That was the attraction when my Dad's good friend opened a gun store in Blissfield, Michigan (that I helped build) in the mid 1970's and this was the first BP gun my Dad bought. He didnt know that the definition of muzzleloading weapon for Michigan's muzzleloader season excluded breech-loading rifles and this this beautiful gun never went afield. Long story short: this gun is really heavy for a hunting weapon but it is so well-made, so interesting from both historical and functiona/operation standpoints, now legal for hunting ,at least in all the states I hunt, and suited to any game I might hunt with it. Plus it offers the entire sideshow of rolling your own paper cartridges.

Item 2: a Cabelas /Investarms Hawken, 50 caliber, drilled an tapped for scope mounts with a Redfield 3x9 scope . This was my Dad's BP hunting rifle. Dad was an excellent bowhunter dating back to the late 1940's. He disdained hunting deer with a unmentionable rifle, having done it exactly one time in 1968 for 30 minutes and harvesting a buck at 175 yards. But he enjoyed hunting in the late muzzleloader season for deer and turkey and took a very practical approach: a Cabelas Hawken was not a collector's piece and was kind of like an updated mountain man weapon, and a scope made it easier to shoot with confidence but without a lot of time on the practice range. If I was going to be serious about harvesting deer in the BP seasons, this would be my first choice, but I am a traditional bowhunter , have been for 50 years, and I'm not as serious about harvesting as I am about being in the woods and able to consistently put myself in a position to be able to choose in the moment whether to shoot or not.

Item 3: a 50 cal.. repro Kentucky rifle made in 1976 by Palmetto Arms in Italy and sold by Richland Arms in Blissfiled Michigan. This gun has never been fired. As noted above, my Dad's good friend opened a gun shop in Blissfield and was close friends with the owner of Richland Furs in Blissfield that branched out into Richland Arms as both were essentially import sales businesses. Dad liked the look of the long Kentucky / Pennsylvania style BP rifle and bought this one to hang over the fireplace, as depicted so often in TV and films. He said it was my Mom's gun. The gun is very basic, as if it was intended for an owner who wanted to have the plain brass plates custom-engraved. But the stock is pretty and it served its intended purpose for over 40 years. Could be a great shooter, could be tempermental and spray bullets. It has the practical advantage of being a 50 cal. so compatible with the bullets, balls, powder, patches, etc. for the Hawken, which I'm sure my Dad considered, but that never became a relevant advantage. Our fireplace is actually a modern wood-burning furnace that generates 40,000 BTU of forced air heating, so I'm not going to hang a firearm over it. This rifle does not hold much interest for me.

Item 4 : a 1976 Pietta reproduction of the Remington New Army aka 1858 cap and ball revolver, 44 cal., also purchased by my Dad from his buddy who got it through his buddy at Richland Arms but not marked as such. Dad bought these guns when his 4 sons were in high school or college nearby but within 2 years were were all involved with other things or working hundreds of miles away, so this one has fired less than 100 rounds..but it was fun at the time! This one is intruiging for its history and functionality plus much more simple to maintain and operate than a muzzleloader in terms of accessories and supplies. I like that the operational concept is so simple: load 30 gr. of fffG, place round ball on top ( filler and /or wad optional), move on to the next chamber. Add some grease over the balls, place caps on when you're ready to shoot, shoot six shots and thats about it. Glaringly obvious in its rejection of the need for fiddling with charge, projectile, wads, etc. and equally obvious in its being unsuited to use as a primary hunting weapon or to modern warfare. But I am a participating witness that it's magnificently fun for plinking. Has a matching holster. I love American history but the odds of my suddenly deciding to become a re-enacter are zero...there is too much going on in our country right now that holds my attention.

So what does a fellow whose BP passion is unlikely to rise above the level of "casually-interested" and whose tolerance for toys he doesnt use do in this situation? Dad had more hobbies than me and after he retired added going to auctions and estate sales so when the time came to clean out their 5 bedroom home, full basement, attic, garage, and polebarn, I became very clear in my determination to never do that to my wife or my kids. If any of you folks have faced a similar dilema or have relevant expereince with any of these guns, please chime in.
You’ve really put a lot of thought into this decision…your reasoning is very logical and well presented. Based on your posted history and the back ground that you’ve stated concerning each item…You’re probably going to receive more enjoyment from items that have personal meaning and that bring back fond memories.

I see two outstanding choices, both financial & personal.

The Shiloh Sharps would be my #1 keeper. For you it ties into your childhood and the fond memories that you have of camping, the scouts & battlefields you visited in your youth. Those are strong memories, that are some of the last to fade as we get older. For some of us, a certain song on the radio will take us instantly back in time to fond memories of growing up, time with friends, that special someone. The Shiloh will be a gun that will take you back every time you pick it up and shoulder it; it’s your time machine…so it’s a keeper. It’s also going to gain in value, those guns are or already have become collectors…so on the shallow side, there’s that…

The Cabelas/Investarms is the #2 keeper. It was your dad’s hunting rifle. Scope and all, keep it just as he had it setup. That gun for you is a personal connection to your father. Every time you look through the scope, you are seeing it just as he would have... That was his personal hunting firearm, so a lot of him will be within that gun. Your father is part of who you are as a man…You’ll feel that connection every time you clean it and hold it and look at it, and show it to others…it may not appreciate in value as much as the Shiloh Sharpes, but it’s more personal, making it more valuable because of who it was used by…so yeah, it’s a keeper.

Based solely on what you’ve posted…those are my thoughts…
 
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TFoley

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ME, I've got no-one to leave my guns to. By UK standards I have a lot of guns - just not saying quite how many though. Our daughter is severely disabled - you'd say 'handicapped', but here in UK that is not a commonly-used term. Our granddaughter, now seventeen, only talks to us when she needs money. Given the laws on gun ownership here, I can't do much except donate them to a club, or to the police, who will destroy them.

I could sell them on, though, to a dealer, or put them into auction. I'm getting on in years, so some serious thinking will be necessary pretty soon.
 
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I’d keep the Sharps for certain, and the pistol probably, but if you aren’t going to shoot any of them you’re just delaying the inevitable. If you don’t shoot them or have a family member who will, eventually they’ll be sold.
 

wltcol60

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Keep the Sharps, it is really fun to shoot. I'd hate to see it as wall hanger. The other guns do have some value and can be sold here on the forum.
 
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Honestly I'd do precisely what I'm doing now.....I'm currently selling anything that hasn't "stuck" or really grabbed my interest.

I had a real self-talk with myself, that , at best, I may find time to go shooting once or twice per month and do I really need 30 muzzleloading rifles. So I thinned the herd. I have many I haven't even fired yet still.
 
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Keep them I got my fathers guns when he passed, He always told me someday they will be yours, over the years I gathered my own guns. And now have his some of them I will never shoot, keep them well cleaned and stored, they were part of him now they are part of him and me. I use his un-mentionable deer rifle first day of the modern rifle season every year, its his way of still hunting with me. That rifle has put a lot of deer on the ground and is still doing it. He was not a traditional BP shooter but a true hunter in all sense of the word. Once they are gone theres no getting them back. And there will come a time if you sell them you will regret it. So I guess what I am saying is find someone to teach you how to shoot and care for your dads guns even if you do not hunt get them out once in a while and do some shooting with them or just hold them and let the memories roll through your head the old man will be with you more than you think.
 
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