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    Collector status

    I've been wondering the last few days over a simple question. At what point in time, during ones journey in collecting, are you considered an advanced collector? Is it based on quantity or quality-or both? If i have 55 rifles does that make me advanced, or is it based on value like having a mint complete M1c and a gas trap? Is it also based on how much research one does while collecting various items along the way? Just curious what others consider this title to mean. I suppose to me it means a collector has a little of both, quantity and quality, as well as a good base of knowledge on what he collects- Sprinkled in the collection are a few items that are obscure or difficult to locate. Thoughts???

    #2
    Collecting is a personal thing. What you consider a collection probably won't be considered the same by someone else. The news media would call my collection an arsenal. It ranges from just about every common vintage rifle from WWII and Korea to modern hunting rifles to AR rifles in 8 different calibers. All stuffed in 3 gun safes and a metal cabinet. I consider it a collection. I also have a collection of bayonets to go with all the vintage rifles. Then there's a few handguns and hand cannons to go with the above and a few pieces of WWII web gear.

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      #3
      I’m missing hand cannons from mine. Sounds interesting, thanks Larry.

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        #4
        IMO being a advanced collector has more to do with knowledge than amount of rifles in possesion

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          #5
          Thanks Orlando, I agree with that very much.

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            #6
            Interesting question.

            Honestly, I don't get too concerned about the title. I think everyone and anyone can be advanced and new at the same time. I may have seen something on early WRA's that isn't commonly known which makes me advanced on them, while you may have seen something in a book or a museum about snipers that I have never thought of which makes you the advanced one and me the rookie. I always liked staying in tune with the newer guys as they have a way of seeing something new in the information that we may have all missed for years on end. After all, it was a new set of eyes that noticed the shotgun WB in Bruce Canfield's shotgun book looked exactly like the WB inside the double box WB's on Garands. I remember him trying to explain it to me on the phone and he was so excited that he couldn't even get it out! It was awesome and it is the accepted idea now.

            To me it is that kind of energy and excitement about the subjects at hand that makes you advanced. Or maybe it is when that level of enthusiasm starts to fade that you are more of an advanced guy, ... (I remember when I started out I digested Scott's red book from end to end. Then I found out he had a web page, WITH a phone number! Honestly the first few times I spoke with him I really did think i was talking to an assistant. I remember talking about the WWII M1D's and trying to argue a new angle, actually quoting the page numbers of his red book TO HIM in support of my idea, ... Yea, that level of enthusiasm. Newer guys are so much fun. I like to just see the energy and excitement in them still.).

            Jokingly, I say the real line for being advanced is when someone finds their first postwar no hole front handguard liner and gets all cranked up and excited that they found a gastrap part. Sure it is a mistake but in order to make it they have gotten very far into the information from several sources and have a very good command of it all, but they just haven't quite seen enough in person yet to temper it (and see that presence of the notch is imperative). Whenever I see that one, rather than let them get picked on or be embarrassed for the mistake, I say 'Congratulations!' to them - that is next level stuff there and we just saw someone graduate, and that is good times to me and all of us because we just welcomed a new member to the fold.

            I always try to encourage people to speak up and to not worry about making mistakes. After all, you never know when those new set of eyes are going to see something that we old guys (if I may) have missed for years, like the shotgun stamp being used in the double box WB, ...

            AMHO. Best all.
            Last edited by Bodyman; 10-09-2017, 09:56 AM. Reason: Clairity

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              #7
              Well written Bodyman, thank you.

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                #8
                I agree, I couldn't have put it any better.

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                  #9
                  You are welcome. If it is anything like the old days, I am sure someone will come along and abuse me for it. Honestly, I always just considered myself a serious student of the subject.

                  It has been a wonderful ride so far and I just can't wait to find out what is around the next corner. I am an originality guy and any good piece still gets me going. Combine that with early and it is all the more awesome (of course the earlier the better). Early Winchester is just as snarky cool as it gets for me - as sort of an offshoot of the Garand story it attracted me as much for the rarity as for the fact that so few were there trying to study it. I missed my opportunity to acquire 100,001 because I just didn't have that much scratch - I think he set the price by looking at the number on the heel but wow, that would have been neat. I would love to find a Jap Type 5 at a garage sale or pawn shop someday, but baring that I probably missed my opportunity for any of those as well - they were never cheap but they are well out of reach now. It took several months to arrange, but I did get to handle the Garands left in England at the Royal Armory (the absolute best skinny SPG out there!)- stunning, and you get to take a tea break! They don't let you leave any DNA on them because you have to wear white gloves for everything. I wish I had a week there instead of just a morning (they used to let let anyone visit - just make sure you arrange it well in advance!). The vault at the Marine Corps Museum was to die for but it helps if your buddy pulled duty as one of the curators (back when Jeremy was still in the Corps)! He did actually hand me Mike Edson's '03 and then told me who's it was - I handed it back and told him to warn me if he did that again! When I met Bob Seijas for the first time and he looked at me and said; "I thought you'ld be older.' Watched a grizzled old Marine give a talk on restarting the sniper program in the Corps, Jim Land, handed a Garand by us at the GCA for speaking, ... and I watched him so surprised that he got choked up and actually had to wipe a tear from the corner of his eye as he asked; 'Can I come speak again next year?". My wife and I were more than happy to buy lunch and sit for an hour and a half with MoH awardee Walt Ehlers in Reno - hard to chew when your jaw is hanging like that. Met John Holbrook there too - a real quiet American hero, and what a stitch, by the way. Got to drive a tank in Virginia. Well, technically a 175mm self-propelled gun, with Alan Cors (president of the NRA currently) in the commanders seat telling me thru the headset to slow down! I was just trying to get third gear, ... Gave a little talk over one of his rifles at the NRA Museum which inadvertently shot myself in the foot for ever acquiring it - he stood right behind me during the whole thing as I oooh'd and ahhhh'd over all the little details inside and afterwards he thanked me and said he never knew how good a gun that was, ... crud. The inside covers of my red book which has already fallen apart once, is covered with old phone numbers, ... many of them like John Robertson's don't work the same way any more, ... (far too many of them). It has been a great ride so far - can't wait to see what is next. I just need more time and money, ... then I'd really be dangerous.

                  See, just a serious student, just like you guys given a little more time. I can't wait to see what you all find over the next 20 years - I am just glad you are picking up the reins for those that come next.

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                    #10
                    Bodyman, as always thank you for the tome! I only wish I could find the picture of me wearing your red shirt manning a .50 cal in the desert... thanks again for the great tidbits and information... as you say, you never know what you'll find under the table next to you....
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