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Re: 1873 Springfield trapdoor

Posted by John on Monday, 28 March 2011, at 10:34 a.m., in response to Re: 1873 Springfield trapdoor, posted by FrontierWest on Monday, 28 March 2011, at 4:38 a.m.

To restore or not to restore is an old question among collectors, and the owners get to exercise the option they prefer, regardless of what others might like.

The antique car people seem to replace lots of parts, new upholstery, new paint, rebuilt engines, new tires and think nothing of it. Some gun collectors will refuse to even remove a bit of rust.

This leads us to some dilemmas: The British Museum reportedly once carefully pounded out the dents in some brass shoulder scales- thereby removing evidence of saber slashes in desperate cavalry fighting at Waterloo. But, I guess they looked better without the ugly dents.

Would someone "restore" an old "sporterized" Carcano rifle removing the scope and filling the holes, even though it was the one used to kill President Kennedy?

Bonnie and Clyde reportedly chopped up the barrels and stocks of a BAR and some shotguns to use in their crime spree. Easily replaced parts to get them back to "original" condition, but is it the right choice?

Thousands of flintlock muskets were converted to percussion for use in the Civil War. Should they be left in their "evolved" state or "restored" to flintlock?

How about the line-throwing trapdoor rifles? Easy restorations, but is this destroying history or regaining former glory?

Again, the owner gets to call the shots, and the rest of us only get to agree or disagree.

My preference would be to usually keep the "evolved" state as part of the total history of the gun, rather than restoring it.


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