You know that high school girlfriend you think about every now and then? The one who keeps popping up unbidden, despite the fact you love your wife and kids and wouldn’t ever dream of doing anything to jeopardize the good thing you’ve got going? Yet there it is, that memory that won’t go away.
Like most daydreams, the reality isn’t anywhere near as good as the fantasy — a situation that goes double for guns. Despite the pitfalls it might entail, we decided to go back to the future. Rather than just pick 10 years beginning with a zero and ending with a nine, we chose a chunk of time which spanned the end of the Cold War and the as-yetunseen origins of the GWOT — think “Clash of Civilizations” meets Lethal Weapon. Our staff then chose their favorite guns from the period and were given the remit of dragging them kicking and screaming into the 21st century, without any editorial oversight or direction. As a result, some of us chose similar solutions to the problem, some picked stuff on the outer fringes of the options currently available, and all of us had fun indulging the ex-girlfriend fantasy.
After many thousands of dollars of modifications, we came away with the same conclusion. While it was a fun exercise and produced some fine firearms that would just about hang with anything we could buy today, there are plenty of good options currently available for about a third of the price. As gun consumers, we’re truly living in the best of times, so despite that nagging thought that keeps popping up every now and then, enjoy what you have and don’t live in the past. There’s a reason windshields are bigger than rearview mirrors.