Marky’s post about the legitimate wear on his little VP9 got me thinking about gun wear and what it means. To me, it’s like the gun’s soul. Worn bluing, flattened checkering and the little dings and scratches are all part a unique tale that many guns can not tell.
Years ago, I picked up an El Tigre at a gun show. This is a Spanish knock-off of the Winchester Model 92 and it’s a hell of a gun if you can find one. They were made for both civilian and police use, and saw emergency use during the Spanish Civil War. Mine had that gun-grey patina that screams, “been there, done that.” I wish it could talk. The finish on the forend was mostly worn off from being carried, and the entire gun looked as if it had seen many hard miles in a scabbard, perhaps on a horse. Did it see action? Did it take game? Did it kill anyone? I don’t know, but it had a story to tell and it looked like a heck of a story at that.
Then I wiped it all out and killed the gun’s soul by having it refinished.
Don’t get me wrong; it looks brand new again. But the problem is it looks brand new. That entire story is gone forever and it can never be retold.
Which brings me to a new product I recently saw. There are companies selling new gun parts with the “distressed” look. I get it. It’s a popular look. Heck, there are even cars covered in surface rust that people clear coat to keep that look. On the cars it’s genuine, but these new distressed look guns are nothing more than stolen valor in my opinion. It’s like when I was a firefighter and you’d see someone rubbing their helmet in ashes or soot to make it look like they had seen action, while the rest of us simply let them embers fall on us for real.
I like the distressed look, but I want to know it’s for real. What are your thoughts?
[Editors Note: My VP9 isn’t THAT little. 😉 –Marky ]
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”
In 2008, Mayer returned to the editorial side of publishing, this time in the digital field, as Editorial Director for Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Handguns and Rifleshooter online magazines. After a brief stint in 2011 as the Digital Media Director for an ABC TV affiliate, Mayer returned to the outdoors industry and Safari Club International where he is currently Assistant Publisher and Multi-Media Communications Editor.