Date of Manufacture (curious)

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Jim K, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I have been around guns for at least a week or two and am curious. I have owned a couple of guns and never really cared when they were made. Now it seems that about every other question concerns when a gun was made.

    First, many factories never kept records, or if they did the records have been lost. Some factories kept meticulous records of shipping information, but not of manufacturing dates. Others kept good information, but choose (for whatever reason) not to open their records to the public or writers of books. In other words, sometimes the date of manufacture is just not available.

    I can see that in some cases (to determine if a gun is legally an antique, or to comply with some other law, or to verify an item of provenance) knowing the date of manufacture might be necessary. But in most cases, a given model of gun was made for many years and the guns are identical over that period. Yet, if someone asks the date of manufacture of a gun and can't get an answer, he/she is offended, considers the information to be some kind of right, and acts as if we were deliberately holding back vital information.

    I don't get it.

  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    I am right there with you. For some reason the year it was made is more important than if it even works at all. I had a guy bugg'n the heck out of me for finding out the manufacture date of a hardware store coach gun. Like it made any difference. For some reason i believe people connect age with value but in 99% of the cases, it don't matter. Its just old or looks old. Its not like I can cut it in half and count the rings.

  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    It seems to be a natural curiosity of most people. Some of it, I agree, is fueled by the internet and the Antiques Roadshow, where the older it is, the more valuable it is. But I think a lot of it is that crap, nowadays, isn’t designed to last. People are so surprised when you have something that's old, and they want to know "how old".

    Sometimes I’ll pull up somewhere, and someone will say, “Hey, nice truck. What year is it?” If I had a piece of Combat Tupperware in my hand, or a tricked-out 1911 with a rail and a laser, nobody would care, but if it’s a single action revolver, or plain-jane 1911, somebody is sure to say, “Wow. How old is that?”

    But me, I just like knowing how old my guns are. Back when SARCO brought in all those Husqvarnas, a few years back, I bought some. Thought it was kinda cool, when I found out that one of the shotguns was made in 1922. My father was born in 1922. That’s old. I bought an old Smith, and checked the date on it. It was made in 1955. I was made in 1955. That’s also cool. They made the 1903 Colt 32 automatic until the early 40s. Having a gun that is like the one that Clyde Barrow carried is kinda cool. Finding out it was made in 1928, so while it wasn’t carried by Clyde, it might have been carried by a cop that was chasing him (as opposed to one made in 1939, after he was killed) is cooler. Sometimes people look at their old guns and think, “If this could just talk”. They imagine things. “This M1 rifle coulda been at Omaha Beach.” Well, the SN on mine dates it to June of ’44, so I don’t think mine was there.

    Then, sometimes it’s just – curiosity. I’ve got a mug. I think it’s called a “Toby” mug. My mother gave it to me for Christmas, one year. It had been her father’s. Now, Grandpa died in ’67. So, did he buy this in ’62, or in 1904? Its age really does not matter, unless I planned on selling it. But – I’d like to know. Just because.
  4. dammitman

    dammitman Active Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    i for some reason also enjoy finding as much out about a firearms date of manufacture as possible. i think it started when i bought a LAR grizzly after finding out it was made on my birthday the year my son was born. now thats a keeper!
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