Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weapons of Beauty and Character

Several of us own things, in our shop, in our homes, that strangers would only politely say if they saw them, "well that has character", even as they went on to exclaim as to the beauty of some other trinket without real use or function.

It's man's nature. Beauty awakens the souls natural response to living. Man acts on it as we know it is rare, and yet , it is usually a fleeting gift, sometimes with no other value.

Beauty may coexist with character, even as it can be absent of it, blinding us to that fact with its promise.

Character, as well, may be totally bereft of beauty, possessing no more than what is necessary for dependability, its light hidden.

Beauty is uplifting, but when cunning and wisdom is betrayed by evil and ice, gravity and fire, beauty may be as empty as a promise.

Character is calm, the ability to function and endure even with the foreknowing of defeat.

Beauty is the promise of satisfaction, character is the affirmation.

When faced with hard choices, evil thundering towards you to crash loudly into your world, what would you reach for?

Would you reach for the beautiful firearm that sits on the shelf to be admired or the one on your hip. The one unmarked, polished and perfect from its protective possession or the plain and well traveled one with a few scuffs and dings. The one pristine or the one with marks of your courage, etched into the very wood and steel, not to instill envy, but for the hurt and pride and liberty for which men long ago gave their lives for.

I know which one I'd reach for.



  1. What's off is that there are people who take pride in the fact that they would have to choose between their kid's Louisville Slugger of the kitchen Henkels.

  2. Brigid has both beauty and character.
    And is a weapon, as well.

    What a combination!

  3. Good points, but as one who believes that Tools are Tools, I could never figure out those who spent large amounts of Money for Pretty Weapons that are just made to be Fondled.

    But nothing says one must use ONLY Ugly Guns for "Social Purposes," either. Gen. Patton's Ivory Gripped Peacemakers earned 4 notches as I recall.

  4. I know which one I would choose now. I am constantly working on my character. Not that I would ever willing cause harm to another, but changing how I react to evil, that is a work in progress for me.

  5. Guffaw - Thank you, my friend. But as for the "and is a weapon". You've seen me drive then?

    Bubblehead Les - so true.

    Agirl - character is an ongoing project for any of us.

  6. All of my 'using' weapons have dings and scratches, thats why they are familar, I use them. Good points B.

  7. I'm a function over form kind of guy. I'm of very little use to my wife when it comes to decorating around the long as I can make everything work, I don't care what color the dish towels are.

    It's the other reason I will never be a big collector of 'fine' classic firearms...anything I ever get my hands on had better be a 'shooter' instead of a safe queen that is to be looked at instead enjoyed. What goods a gun that you don't shoot.

    That doesn't mean something can't be functional and okay looking. I have choosen my CZ-75 over Glocks for that purpose...both firearms are extremely functional, so I see no reason I can't have a CZ with decent looking wood grips, if it gets the job done

  8. It will most definitely be the one that I have practiced with and shows the wear of that practice.

    Great post.

    What rifle is that in the third picture? It looks like an M1 Garand but there's something different there.

  9. I will grab my Colt S80 Government model.
    Worn, scratched, almost ugly, to most. Beautiful and accurate, to me. it meets the criteria... It says Colt on the side, goes bang when i pull the trigger and is the most accurate firearm I've ever had.
    My Marlin .30-30 is next on the list. Stainless, wood.. always works.

  10. I'd want the one that....WORKS!

  11. I just want one that works for me, besides beauty is a subjective sorta thing.

  12. Looking around the house I don't see any purty tools....well the 686 is shiny..kinda.
    The most beautiful sight in this world is sitting next me, next to her .38spl.

  13. Hat Trick, you have a good eye. That's an M-14 type rifle, based on the Garand but designed with a removable mag and a .308 caliber.

    Can't say I have any "beautiful" guns at this point. I look after my stuff, but it's hard to use something and not have them exhibit wear. Every time they go out, they get a little more worn and a little more used looking. I'm so OK with that.

  14. Is that one of the italian ones(BM-59?) I saw one at a gun show last year for about $900, but I had never even heard of them. It looked like some strange cross-breed of an M-1 and a M-14 that someone had built in their garage.

    If I had done my research ahead of time I might have picked it up...

  15. That works for people as well....

  16. Heresolong - Thank you. I think Greg has a point. It's been a while since I examined an M-14 up close but that does look like a Garand receiver modified to M-14 configuration.

  17. Well said.

    There is an old saw that tells one to be very careful when you see an old man with only one gun on the range with the bluing worn off of it.

    I see the handguns that are coddled, displayed at the range as simply possessions one can acquire just because you can.

    I also observe and fall into the category of having lived long enough that some of my firearms that I carried have achieved "Safe Queen" status. Family connections and a shared history mean that they are cherished possessions now, no longer just tools.

    They have marks on them, but they simply have become so expensive and hard to replace that I chose not to carry them any more.

    So a dichotomy exists as you so eloquently point out. For me, I never thought I would own, much less carry a polymer framed gun (Tam calls them 9mm bullet hoses). I do now. It must earn its keep and has done so admirably. I just seriously doubt that 100 years from now when I am dust someone will ask the S&W Historian about this gun.

    Having said that, if the only thing around is the "safe queen" as evil presents itself I would not hesitate to use any one of them.

    They are soulless things nowadays. I had more fun working on a 100 year old shotgun and shooting it yesterday that I will ever have putting 100's of rounds through the bullet hose.

    If that shotgun could talk imagine what it would say.

  18. I agree with Guffaw ~ Perhaps the title of this post should also be the title of your memoirs. ♥♥♥


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