How long do you hold onto one?

birddog 68

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2022
Western Pennsylvania
I’m talking about a rifle! Curious to how long you keep a rifle before parting with it? Not a sentimental value or a poor shooting rifle but a good solid rifle. I know guys that change rifles almost yearly always chasing something better and I know a couple people that have been using the same rifle for 40 years. It seems like I usually keep most for about 15 years before wanting a change.
Let’s hear why you change so much or why you don’t and what you’re holding onto.
Good question. I’ve always just decided to let a couple go when they don’t get used and also don’t have any sentimental value or no history with me. Also have let some newer factory ones go due to the fact I’ve gotten spoiled with some customs. I don’t usually like having anything that is common or easily obtainable by others.
I was rotating about every two years for the ones that were real shooters and right away if they were not. Reason for selling in most cases was the “itch” was scratched and a new one emerged. In all the ones that went down the road, I only regretted selling one. It still haunts me to this day and probably will never get another like it.
I get a used one and start making everything correct on it. Then work up a load for it. When it shoots close to one hole at 100, down the road it goes and I look for the next challenge. I don't know, just a hobby for me. I do hunt with them while I work with them.
My Ruger Ranch Rifle .223 will shoot 5 at 100 yds that can be just about covered with a quarter.
Had a .280 commercial Mauser and the .284 bullet of 5 shots opened to .384" Down the road she went.


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I rarely sell any of my firearms. I have many custom & semi-custom rifles that are occasionally rebuilt into something different; but actions last forever so why sell them?
I've done far more rebarreling than buy & sell deals.

However, there is a practical limit to how many firearms it makes sense to own. At some point the "safe queens" need to move out if new hardware is coming in.
It really depends on the rifle. Some go very quickly. Some stay forever. Some will get rebuilt/restored. I have a dozen years on my go-to LRH rifle, a Cooper that is still going strong, and I’d expect many more years out of it. My old Pre-64 Model 70 and 375 H&H Whitworth Mauser will likely be passed on…..still shooting sub MOA. I tired of “musical chair” rifles many years ago. Perhaps I’m a bit boring, but a good hunting rifle lasts quite a while……
I'm buy once cry once now. Fooled around with some off-the-rack Rugers and Model 70s, couldn't get the accuracy I wanted, then had a Sako and a Model 70 customized and for new rifles went to Cooper and Dakota.

But, they all have nice wood, too, so they're fun to look at. I understand not getting attached to synthetic stuff.

We do have ARs and would sell those in a heartbeat if we didn't use them though.
I can identify with several replies to this thread. Not much of a shooter or loader any longer, but boy do I have a few guns. Getting close to a 'hunded.. last count. My go-to hunting rifle I've had for over 50 years. A custom 264wm that was cobbled together by several 'friends' when I worked in the gun industry. Koa wood stock, FN Mauser action, Canjar trigger, Hart bbl... No other like it, and taken deer, elk, antelope over the years with it. That's what started the unusual 'collection'.. High grade customs, limited production factories. Black powder SAA pistols and rifles. Anything that made them unusual and in mint, or close to mint, condition. However I gotta add that my collecting has come to a roaring halt the last few years with people going nuts on what they're paying for guns and ammo lately. Even BP Italian SSA's. I've seen stuff, in instances, selling for more than retail at auction.. And I might add I've only sold 1 rifle to my son-in-law in all those years.
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