After more than two years and $12 million, the world’s oldest commissioned warship has been restored to her original glory before she was returned to a Charleston dry dock over the weekend.
The USS Constitution, nicknamed Old Ironsides, received a remade bow, a new copper keel, and a rebuilt stern, along with repaired wooden planks, renovated gun carriages, and new rigging and windows.
Military historian retired Army Col. David Fitz-Enz called the ship the most valuable piece of American military history.
“She is so visible,” Fitz-Enz told the Boston Herald. “It’s not like walking into a museum and looking at a picture or a model — she’s there right in front of you and she’s only held back by your imagination.”
USS Constitution Museum spokesman David Wedemeyer said, “We’re extremely excited,” noting that they have waited more than two years for the completion of the restoration, which began in May 2015.
We got in two of our best-selling Turkish imports from Landor Arms – the AR-style LND-117 shotgun and the bullpup BPX 902 – to give them a whirl on the range and see if the reliability could be paired with the affordable price.
Marlin once claimed their Model 39 as the eldest continually produced, shoulder-fired rifle of all time. Though that record ended when the Marlin brand was parted-off to Ruger, the rimfire world is anticipating a return of this classic.