My first was/is my Remington 511 - first shot on
Halloween Day 1954.
It's been the primary 'learning rifle' for my four kids
and four of the five grandkids - although, we have
four 10/22's ... a bolt action (I think) is a better/safer
first long arm for kids.
We had it out again last week for my seven year old
grandson. Let's see, that make almost 53 years in
the service of this family - and still hits everything
that we aim at - and no retirement in sight!
I hope it serves the same purpose for my great
First to retire: my Belgian Sweet Sixteen I bought in '63. I shot birds with it until my shoulder could stand no more. Replaced with a Remington 1100 in '81. Next the Baby Browning bought in '64. Retired as soon as I could buy a wheel gun.
Last, the S&W Chief Special bought in '63. Wore the blueing off of it, had it parkerized and kept going until I got a S&W 6904 in 9mm in '92.
The guns I've bought since then were bought as shooters or collectibles.
I retired my first wife, but she was a blonde so that doesn't count does it?
OK, she didn't like my guns, now tell me that still doesn't count!
I married a redhead with an attitude that was born in Tombstone, AZ and grew up shooting with her 7 sibling and Father. Her Dad and I still go out plinking and he's 93 now.
I have retired lots of guns that I did not like and did not keep.
The worst I can remember was a Browning DA 380 if I remember the name of the gun. It jammed all the time. I had it worked on several times under warranty by Browning. It also beat the internal metal up by mushrooming inside at the end of the slide which made it hard to remove.
Browning sent me a letter asking what ammo I was shooting and I told them. Then they told me that this gun "is after all just a self defense handgun and not designed for plinking".
I also had a new lever .22 from Browning that starting jamming. The Gunsmith fixed it 3 times but the problem kept coming back.
I have never bought another Browning product and I don't own guns that I don't shoot.
My S&W Mod.1½ was retired when I took possession of it. It had been on display for about 13 yrs or so when I decided to finally shoot it a few months ago. I did, it was fun, now she’s retired again. I just can’t see any good reason to put any wear on the ole’ girl, after >100 yrs. of faithful service.
Everything else in the safe is for shooting!