column By: Steve Garbe | June, 23
There is probably nothing more satisfying to the lover of old firearms than when a vintage firearm is restored back to usefulness. I say this as a rifleman, who believes that careful restoration does not affect the overall worth of a firearm, but enhances it. I know there are collectors who will be aghast at such a statement, but I firmly believe that firearms are functional art forms and when they cease to function as they were intended, then they are simply conversation pieces. I like to shoot my rifles and take care of them rather than watch them slowly rust away in a collection. But that’s just me.
So, you can understand how much I enjoyed Jim Bowen’s article on restoring an original Ames and Bown .30 caplock rifle back to shooting condition. Jim did the restoration intelligently, and in my mind, preserved a nice old muzzleloader for future generations, as well as giving himself a dandy small-game rifle to enjoy for years to come.
Our cover in this issue features that restored .30 caliber caplock rifle along with proof of its ability to function in the field. If you have an old rifle that needs careful and judicious restoration, then read Jim’s article and be inspired.