Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Welcome to the Leverguns.Com Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here ... politely.

Moderators: Hobie, AmBraCol

Forum rules
Welcome to the Leverguns.Com General Discussions Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here other than politics... politely.

Please post political post in the new Politics forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posting leader...
Posts: 26769
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:03 am
Location: Hoosierland

Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by AJMD429 »

I had a friend whose house burned down, eliminating all the firearms he had except his CCW piece, and I've had other friends who had burglaries that wiped out their collections. IF they were lucky, they eventually got a check from an insurance company...

So......what would YOU do if you had zero firearms, and only had, say, $500 from some insurance company.....what would you get if starting from scratch (assume no stockpile of ammunition or reloading dies to steer you to a particular cartridge)...?

What would you get if all you had was $500...???

How about $5,000...???

How about $50,000...??? (...I know most of us think that is a huge amount, but don't tell me that MANY gun owners don't have collections in that price range; now they may or may not elect to replace all those First Generation Colts or Autographed and Engraved guns once owned by Carlos Hatcheck... :wink: )

I think of course the FIRST gun I'd get during 'normal times' would be a CCW handgun, and even during really bad times, it still might be the logical choice. If I didn't have any other guns to pair with, or any other ammunition supply considerations, I'd probably get a 9mm full-size semiauto like the Taurus PT-92, which is essentially a Beretta 92 with a 1911-style 'push-down' safety instead of a 'push-forward' one. If not that, it would be a Para Ordnance double-stack 1911 in 45 ACP, for the only-slightly-less 14 shots versus 18, and the mo'-betta' bullet diameter. Both have been utterly reliable for many thousands of rounds. I am slightly faster with double-taps using the Taurus.

The next gun...? Depends on 'good times' (probably a Marlin 1894 in 45 Colt or 44 Mag, or a threaded/suppressed one in 357 Mag), or 'bad times' (probably an AR-15 SBR and suppressor).

After that...??? Maybe a 10/22, or a bottleneck rifle of some sort, like a 223 Rem, 308 Win, of 375 Ruger.

Then what...???? :?
Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws
"first do no harm" - gun control LAWS lead to far more deaths than 'easy access' ever could.

Want REAL change? . . . . . "Boortz/Nugent in 2012 . . . ! "
User avatar
Deaf Smith
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by Deaf Smith »


I'd surf the pawnshops (well I do that anyway.)
Ruger 10/22 rifle. - $125 good for varmints, small game, and HD.
Mossburg 500 Shotgun. - $125 Ducks, Deer, and also good for HD.
Ruger LCR .38 Spl. - $250 carry gun and hiking gun.



Ruger 10/22 heavy barrel and laminated stock with Leopold scope! $400 wish I did!
Mossburg 500 Mariner 12 gauge with Magpul stock and Tac-star side saddle. $500 already have that
Remington Varmeter .308 with Magpul stock and swarovski 4-12x50 scope $1600 already have that.
Colt AR-15 (M4) with Burris 123 scope, surefire light, and one point sling. $1500 already have that.
Glock 26 night sights, grip reduction, spare mags. $500 already have that.
S&W Centennial .38 all steel 640 $500 already have that.

$50G?? Blows the mind!
User avatar
Spambot Zapper
Posts: 13232
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:32 pm
Location: You can see my house from a tall tree in Maine.

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by gamekeeper »

For my general needs and allowing that I'm not allowed anything "interesting" in the UK, a single barrel .410 and a single barrel 12 gauge would suffice. I could get a used d/b 20 gauge that would be a useful all-rounder and perhaps a better choice for HD. Rifles would have to wait until I had a bit more money.....
A few years ago my needs would have been a lot different.
From his weapons on the open road no man should step one pace away, you don't know for certain when you're out on the road when you might have need of your spear.
Havamal ( Viking collection of common sense )
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:03 pm

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by historicfirearms »

First gun I would get would be a used 12 gauge pump for around $200. That would serve home defense, small game, and even deer hunting.

With the remaining $300 I would buy some different choke tubes and ammo.
User avatar
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4261
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:38 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by OldWin »

For my 500 bucks, I'd find a (maybe finish worn, but solid) 94 carbine in 30-30. I could keep myself fed and defended. Need no mags, etc.

With more money my next purchase would be a 1911 or a 4" 66 or 686. It's a toss up.

Then an 870 in 12ga.

Model 70 in 30-06.

Colt M4 (6920)

.22 pistol and rifle of some type.

After that, whatever strikes my fancy.
The oppressors have won.
User avatar
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 7689
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:59 am
Location: OH, South Shore of Lake Erie

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by 2ndovc »

I'd start with a Glock 19 or Springfield 1911 and move on from there. One can find them used for $500 or less and cheap magazines. M1A, AR-15, an 870 and a good bolt action .22lr. Maybe a Marlin 35 Rem or .45-70 after that.

My dad's place was broken into in December. They zeroed in on some 1911's and a Luger, the creeps got eight pistols all together. My dad just got a check for almost $30k. There were some pretty rare pistols in the case they took. The PD has recovered one, unfortunately it was the cheapest one of the bunch. An early Chinese Tokarev. He's taking the check and spending some time in Spain and Portugal. He has plenty of other firearms and not planning on replacing all of them. He did order a new Python though. At 79 he's finally discovered the .357 Magnum after picking up a couple of Colt Troopers over the last 2-3 years. Should be in by the time they get back from Europe.

jb 8)
jasonB " Another Dirty Yankee"

" Tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
User avatar
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4672
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:40 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by marlinman93 »

If it was $500 and I'm starting with no guns, then a good carry gun in 9mm or .45 ACP would be my first purchase.
Now if it's $5k then I'd start with the same CCW, and then buy a good hunting rifle in a bolt action, and a good .22 rifle and handgun. The rest would just be put in my wallet to go towards whatever might catch my eye later.
Same if I had the $50k. I'd buy all the same guns as step 2, but then begin to rebuild a collection of guns similar to what I had. But $50k wouldn't begin to scratch the surface if I lost my single shot collection.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by BeeKay »

I had to start over a few yrs ago
I made the decision to buy stainless if possible because with costal weather conditions, condensation is inevitable.
The first one I bought was a .357, because it's versatile. If it came down to a bad times survival scenario, hunting is possible using reloads, and a revolver doesn't rely upon consistent recoil or some other source of energy to cycle the action. I can reload that with shotgun powder of any type, or even crushed matchheads in a pinch (seriously) and it's somewhat lighter than a big bore revolver. In this case, I leaned toward concealability and opted for the SP-101.
My next one was a stainless big bore magnum revolver, just cause I like hand cannons and it's more powerful than the .357.
Revolvers are getting more expensive than semi autos now... I just found a reasonable deal on a Super Blackhawk... greater chance of coming home with meat using this than the .357.
With every choice I have made I asked myself, what if the bad times tomorrow?
I bought a stainless BLR in .308 with the takedown option.
I liked it so much that I got a .358 Winchester BLR... Although the stainless takedown option is not available there.
The BLR offers some features that make it very practical: Box mag, Stainless, Takedown
And I got a shotgun that has interchangable barrels so I could potentially hunt or use it as a combat gun in certain scenarios, mainly defense.
I am a CA resident and the day is coming when semi auto rifles are going to be banned... most likely.
If it weren't for that I'd invest... But my 12 ga is a semi auto and it cost less than $300

This doesn't adhere to the $50,000 limit, it's more where to start for a guy who's on a budget and has to make sacrifices to be able to afford to buy 1 gun every couple months.... The guns I have probably set me back $5000 over a period of a few years.
Also, being a reloader puts things into a bit different perspective.
Levergun shooters have a different way of looking at things than 'Normal People'
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 2025
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:15 pm

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by stretch »


I might go with a 357 revolver to start with, but a 1911 would be a close 2nd choice.
Or maybe an old Model 10 and a 10/22.


A 357 AND a 1911, a 10/22, an SKS, a Forster press and some dies, and a bunch
of components.

$50,000....... :D

Wow.... All of the above and more and better besides. Definitely a Quigley Sharps replica.
In 45-90 would be nice, but 45-70 would be slightly more practical. And maybe a Centennial model
Winchester in 50-90. And a coupla Hi-Powers. (And a big, honkin' safe, of course......)

User avatar
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 5805
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:39 pm
Location: On the Beach

Re: Starting a 'Working Gun' Collection from Scratch

Post by jeepnik »

$500, one really good 1911A1
$5000, two really good 1911A1"s
lefty Remington 700 in 30-06
lefty Remington 870 in 12 ga
Marlin 1895 GS
Ruger .45 colt Blackhawk
Ruger MK1 Target
Ruger 10-22 Stainless
There would be a few dollars left over for odds and ends
Jeepnik AKA "Old Eyes"
"Go low, go slow and preferrably in the dark"
"Freedom is never more that a generation from extinction" Ronald Reagan
"Every man should have at least one good rifle and know how to use it"
Post Reply