I have recently acquired my Federal C&R license, which for the uninitiated means that I can buy all sorts of cool older guns and have them shipped directly to my home. There are a lot of websites out there that serve the collector, and of course you have the auction sites at www.gunbroker.com and www.auctionarms.com to find more and more creative ways to separate me from my money.
The coolest thing about C&R (for me anyway) are the jillions of old wheelguns out there chambered for .38 S&W, .32 Short, and occasionally .38 Special. You’ve also got Nagant revolvers, which are a fascinating piece of history (and a fun shooter).
Then there are the rifles. A lot of old bolt rifles, but a few good finds in there amongst the semi-auto category, most notably the Yugo made SKS rifles. There seems to be a never-ending supply of those; for $150 bucks you should probably buy one now before Pelosi decided that you can’t have them any more. Actually, one of the rifles on my Homeland Defense Rifle list can be found on the Gunbroker C&R site. The Ishapore .308 NATO Lee Enfield rifles are still available.
C&R collecting is a lot of fun, especially if you’re like me and happen to be a huge history buff. I’m not one those collectors that buys a gun and lets it sit on the shelf, I want to shoot the sucker. You won’t see me dropping $1,000 on some rare WWII Luger, but I’ll buy a CZ52 for $150 and shoot it whenever I have ammo.
After my recent experiment with the Hi-point pistol and the sundry disappointment that followed, I started thinking about “what if someone carried a C&R?” I ruminated on it for a while; and I did have a couple of germane thoughts. A lot of these older guns are military pieces, designed to ridden hard and put up wet. Apart from the abysmal sights on a good percentage of them, you could do a lot worse for a carry gun that packing a Star Model B (or whatever). Again, I’d say wait a month and buy a used GP100 for $300, but if all you’ve got is a surplus CZ50 (.32 ACP) and you can shoot it, it beats a pointy stick.
Anyway, the point of all this is that C&R guns are fun, and often provide a link to history. If you’ve got a friend that likes war movies, show him Enemy at the Gates and then let him shoot a Mosin-Nagant; watch Band of Brothers on HBO and then take an old German Gewehr out for a ride.
The license is easy to get, there’s a $30 fee and the ATF will do a pretty thorough background check, but it’s well worth it. Get your C&R, and go play with history.