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Starting a Military Collection

Discussion in 'Collections' started by Brayden Allen, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Brayden Allen

    Brayden Allen Member

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    I just recently decided that I wanted to start my own personal military collection. However, I don’t want to limit it to just WWII. Anyways, I was wondering if anyone had any like tips or good suggestions on how it could get a good start. If you have any questions please feel free to comment.
     
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  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    May I ask what kind of collection you are going for?
     
  3. Brayden Allen

    Brayden Allen Member

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    Well thats what im still trying to figure out. My inspiration came from a guy called “Dragonman” who has an enormous Military collection ranging from weapons, to clothing, to vehicles in Colorado Springs. His collection is from WWI all the way up to Afghanistan. I wanted to do a collection similar to his.
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I certainly don't have a "collection" in that I don't collect military memorabilia. My suggestion is that you first collect books. Reading will help you determine what's of interest to you. Books will also give you a better understanding of events, whether it be WW2 or later conflicts. You can't go wrong "collecting" books.
     
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  5. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Well in that case I guess I'm a book collector, and I am no expert on collecting anything, but I think you should start out with a specific category of things you want to collect, and have a budget, I am tempted a lot at airshows surplus stores to go crazy, so make a list of things you want and set time and money related goals. Just my opinion.
     
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  6. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I've been told I'm just a bit of a collector. My advice: start small, and branch out from there. Go with your "impulse" interests. I.E. If you see something that interests you buy it. For example, like that M1 Garand bayonet that your friend offers to sell you? Get it. Next month say you like that spent 20mm Oerlikon shell at the local junk store? Buy it. Etc. Once you start to have a small collection you'll find out what interests you, and then you can refine your purchasing. None of this has to be expensive... there are a lot of interesting things you can get for under 20 bucks.

    It sounds like you don't know what you want to collect at this stage so in my opinion it is pointless to try and formulate where you want your collection to be in 5, 10, 20 years or more in the future. You need to start somewhere. Gun and militaria shows are a great place to pick up small and relatively cheap items that would be a great start for you. While you're at it try to make friends with other collectors. You'll be surprised at how much you will learn just by talking to other collectors, and in addition most of the "good stuff" is traded privately as opposed to at shows.

    Definitely follow Lou's advice. Books are a great thing to "collect" and as you start to move into more specific interests good books will help you know what to buy.

    BTW: While "DragonMan" has a nice collection, he sounds like he's a little full of himself. “I have almost 200 [machine guns] on my name. I don’t think anyone in the US has that many guns in their name." BS.... I guess we don't pall around with the same sort of people.
     
  7. chibobber

    chibobber Member

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    I would suggest that you start collecting militaria related to any family members that may have served.(not actual items,but say unit patches,medals,uniforms,equiptment,etc) This will add a personal touch and you can branch out from there.There are forums on collecting almost anything.Do buy the books for research and to save you from making costly mistakes.The vast collection out there were put together over the years,a lot when surplus was plentiful and cheap,not like today's ebay world.
    Remember have FUN.
    Good luck
     
  8. Brayden Allen

    Brayden Allen Member

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    That’s what I though about doing. I’ve had a few family members serve in the military. I will probably be able to get their medals and uniforms once they want to get rid of them. For example, my great grandfather served during WW2 and my grandmother has alot of his medals, and other things.
     
  9. RRA227

    RRA227 Member

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    You can go to flea markets,yard sales,auctions and thrift stores. Rich A. in Pa.
     
  10. Brayden Allen

    Brayden Allen Member

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    I think I have decided what Im am going to do. I am going to collect uniforms, weapons and stuff that is easy for me to get. I am also going to collect stuff from my family as well. It's just now I have also thought about creating my own "historical organization". I was planning on fully creating it one day and maybe even creating a museum of some sorts. I even considering majoring in history when I go to college.

    But anyways I was hoping yall could help me come up with a name for it. One name I have considered and I kind of like is "Bearcat Archives".
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  11. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Glad you have narrowed it down to a few things you're passionate about collecting, as for a name, I like "Bearcat Historical Society of the Second World War."
     
  12. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    My advice, as a collector myself, pace yourself. I had a small collection when I started out and their was no rhyme or reason to my purchases, just WWII. As the years progressed I found my passion on ephemera and propaganda. I was moved by the personal correspondence and psywar stuff. It has now been my focus. Be patient. Find what interests you the most and really gets your mind thinking. That way, when it gets more expensive and you have random deliveries that you have to hide from your spouse (lol) you can justify it cognitively, ha ha.
     
  13. Oregon Diver

    Oregon Diver Member

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    I have to concur with Chibobber, in that the more you read, the more research you do, the better the chance you won't get scammed into buying fake or altered pieces. When an artifact is altered, it might as well be fake as they lose value. Start small and make sure you have adequate safe storage for your collection. Oh, and document the heck out of everything.
     
  14. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member

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    These are all great tips about starting a collection. I also would suggest to to make sure that your collection is what represents you and do not try to mimick someone else. I started collecting when I was fourteen and learned so much by just talking to other collectors. Gun shows are a great place to see a lot of things and begin to learn the good and unfortunately the bad part of the hobby.

    Reading and research will never steer you wrong and even then you can still make a mistake. Be patient when purchasing and the best advice I ever got many years back was “If it’s to good to be true, it probally is”. Good luck on your journey.
     

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