Guns as Investments


Seven High
August 21, 2005, 09:06 PM
Does anyone know of any books that deal with the topic of guns as investments? I would like advice as what to buy that should increase in value.

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August 21, 2005, 09:09 PM
Pre-'86 title II machineguns.

Dan Morris
August 21, 2005, 09:23 PM
I've bought a number of pre 64 M70 winchesters. I always buy shooters...that way no suprises! So far, they have proven good!
I just know what it's worth to me....and I don't go over that!
Good luck.No books, just guts.

August 21, 2005, 09:37 PM
seven high? That is a loser. An investment has to be secure to be an investment. If Hillary is our next president that investment may be worthless.
I am 56 now, and I have been saying for many years that my grandkids will never be allowed to own firearms legally. I would like to think I am wrong, but the odds are for a bookie, and not an investment councilor.

August 21, 2005, 09:49 PM
Colt auto pistols, vintage S&W revolvers. Buy the best condition firearms you can afford. Buy high quality guns. 100 year old junk is still junk. You won't get rich, buy you'll beat inflation and bank interest.

August 21, 2005, 11:28 PM
I'd have to agree with Husker, buy the very best preserved specimen from highly regarded manufacturers (at the time of manufacture). As other examples, almost any factory engraved firearm from an established manufacturer, high grade Brownings including engraved shotguns and rifles or Renaissance grade pistols, early Mannlicher system pistols. It's still a crapshoot when dealing with firearms as investments but you have the best chance when you have the finest examples. Learn how to tell a restored firearm, they look great but when you want to sell it suddenly won't matter, because everyone will only be interested in originality.

August 21, 2005, 11:53 PM
Guns in general are poor investments.

As an example, take a nice classic firearm, the Colt Single Action Army. Lets say you bought one in 1873 for the sum of $200 (which i believe is higher than it actually sold for). In pristine condition, you would now how a gun worth between $10,000-20,000.

Sound like a great investment, doesn't it?

But $200 dollars invested in 1873, at an annual return of 7% will double every 10 yrs, and today would be worth over $1.5 million. Even if you had to start over during the great depression and re-invest a new $200 in 1935, your investment would now be worth more than $25,000.

August 21, 2005, 11:56 PM
Well since you asked and, since no one really answered what you asked, allow me. You may want to buy some gun valuation type books to begin with. The 2005 Standard Catalog of Firearms (The Collectors Price and Reference Guide) is a fairly good one to start with. Read the articles in it. It will point you in the right direction. Just going out and buying well made firearms from good name manufacturers is not the way to go if you are primarily concerned with guns as an investment. Many guns that come out, that are earmarked as collectors editions, actually go down in value over time. Some restored firearms are almost worthless to collectors as investments yet, others are quite valuable: for instance a refinished Colt Single Action Army revolver recently sold for $11,200. It had a provenance (a history of its origins) attached to it. It had belonged to Wyatt Earp. Another revolver, this one was nickel plated S&W model 3 with only about 60 to 70% of the original nickel (pretty bad shape for a nickel plated gun) sold for $385,000 at auction in 2003. It too had a special provenance, it was given to Bob Ford by Jesse James, Ford later used it to kill Jesse James. While some model 3s can sell upwards of $14,000 most are in the range of a thousand to a few thousand dollars. A firearm with good provenance makes a good investment as long as there is an interested market.

Of course, many firearms without a special origin are also fairly good investments. Old rare guns that are in demand can bring nice money. New rare guns in demand can do likewise. Demand can change at any time, but collectible guns have, in general, kept going up in value.

The 2005 Standard Catalog of Firearms can give you a good look at what guns are worth, will give you the basics on how to grade them, and will give you some insight into the world of gun collecting.

Good luck with your investments.

August 22, 2005, 12:04 AM
I look at things this way:

Another domestic terror attack, militiarized government, world war three, stars-and-stripes dictatorship...

$600 invested today in a GP WASR 10, mags and ammo
$800 invested today in a Savage bolt w/Scope

5-10-20 years down the line? PRICELESS

Mr. Goodglock
August 22, 2005, 12:52 AM
Hi from Thailand,

It's really an investment here as gun price is soaring due to high demand from the trouble Thai Southern Region terrorism and limited import quota. Demand -Supply rule works flawlessly.

In 18 months:

1. Taurus 85S from 750 to 1,450 USD

2. S&W 60 and other S&W .38 from 1,100 to 1,700 USD

3. Glock 26/19/17 from 1,100 to 1,700 USD

4. CZ 75 from 1,100 to 1,800 USD

5. Benelli M1 from 1,100 to 1,700 USD

6. Benelli M4 from 1,300 to 2,100 USD


Have a nice day in USA!!

August 22, 2005, 01:18 AM
If Hillary is our next president that investment may be worthless. Hmm, since when could the President draft and pass legislation, or amend the Constitution? I must have missed the Amendments that made those things possible.

I'll say the same thing I did during the most recent silliness that was a federal election year: People need to start putting just as much emphasis and debate (if not more) into who gets elected to Congress as they do who gets elected President.

August 22, 2005, 01:25 AM
As an example, take a nice classic firearm, the Colt Single Action Army. Lets say you bought one in 1873 for the sum of $200 (which i believe is higher than it actually sold for). In pristine condition, you would now how a gun worth between $10,000-20,000.

Did you actually mean 200 dollars or was that a typo? I'd have thought the price in 1873 would've been closer to two dollars than two hundred.

August 22, 2005, 02:14 AM
In order to profit from investing in guns, you'd have to be able to locate rare stuff at decent price, or stuff that's likely to go up in value.

Really this would limit you to either NFA Title II stuff, specifically full-auto, or antique firearms that are rare, historical, or possess some other trait that makes them desireable.

Assuming you don't believe in the imminent collapse of all of civilization, you'd be better off investing the money in a mutual fund*.

*I am not a stock broker, and this is internet advice. Always consult a professional in the field before deciding to put your hard-earned dough into an investment.

August 22, 2005, 03:30 AM
I consider guns to be a great investment. Milsurp guns won't lose their value... if anything, they'll gain. It's not a spectacular profit (although very reliable... it's almost certain gun values won't ever crash like a stock market can), but considering that it's basically money you can have fun with, guns are a good deal. Also, in a total breakdown of society, guns will be in high demand and extremely useful for barter.

August 22, 2005, 07:02 AM
DMF I agree with you but remember one of the rules of battle, effective use of force. Which is more effective to deal with 1 person with his or her hand open to stop something or 535 congresscritters each of which has their hands open?

August 22, 2005, 11:44 AM
Milsurp guns won't lose their value... if anything, they'll gain.

The increase in value does not keep up with inflation and cost of living though.

cortez kid
August 22, 2005, 12:54 PM
I think a prudent aquisition of firearms over the long haul would be a fine investment. Although, investing in guns for a strict investment play would require a good deal of research and capital. Every dollar spent on a gun is less money for McDonalds or Wally World. Assuming you keep your head and put other necessities first, I can't see the harm. There are a lot of dynamics in appreciation. Rarity,condition, completeness of a collection. Besides as in other things, such as used cars, the new models are continually going up in price. This always has the effect of bringing up the prices of the used counter-part. If you collect for the pleasure of it, the appreciation will follow.

August 22, 2005, 01:12 PM
I use my modest collection of firearms to be a sort of savings account. I can have fun with them, but when times get hard, I start selling some of them off. I have never lost money on one of them yet. Just recently, the wife and I went through some very hard times financially, the sale of several firearms is what literally kept us afloat. I would say that is a good investment anytime.

August 22, 2005, 08:01 PM
My 2 cents.... Guns as a true investment are probably poor by most people's standards relative to rate of return and so forth. That said, I still think selectively buying guns that you really like and appreciate are a reasonable hedge against inflation. But most guns don't really appreciate even at the inflation rate unless you just luck out. Most guns don't go down in value either if you take a snapshot 5 years down the road from the date of purchase.

Best way to make money with guns is to buy low and sell high (no suprise there). Turn the money quickly and re-invest and do it again over and over. This does not work when you become attached to guns and view them as anything more than just another commodity. You will do better with real estate.

With all this said, I still like to buy guns and I do think of them as investments. Just mediocre ones.

August 22, 2005, 08:15 PM
The only dividend I expect to receive from my firearms investments is the "Grin Dividend".

Guns are poor investment or savings plans.


Seven High
August 22, 2005, 09:40 PM
A while ago I saw a vietnam commerative ar 15 for sale. It was about $2000.00 I was tempted to buy it for an investment. What do you think of these type of weapons as investments? Anyone made any money off of this type?

August 22, 2005, 10:24 PM
Seven High, If you enjoy them, go for it. I believe they are a particularly poor firearms investment, though. They must remain pristine and unfired, and their boxes must also be pristine. Only a few of them actually skyrocket in value. I sure wish to heck I had a truckload of John Wayne Winchesters, though.

August 23, 2005, 10:39 AM
There's another problem with buying a gun as an investment - in order to realize the gain, you have to sell it.

I've bought a lot of guns over the years. I've only ever sold one, because I didn't like shooting it.

August 23, 2005, 04:28 PM
My 2 cents.....

I buy guns to shoot. At the very least, any firearms you buy for investment you will/should not be able to shoot. I just would not have the discipline to not to shoot my collection.

Your money will do better in other investment opportunities. IMHO

A gun collection can be an asset that can be liquidated (been there, done that). But you will lose money when it is all said and done.

That's not to say you can't "dabble" in firearms as investments. Who knows, you may even get lucky. But I would not expect to build a retirement fund.

I would love to know how many of those commerative firearms actually gained value? I don't mean a higher price tag at a gun show, I mean someone who actually sold it for more then they paid. I just don't make enough money to buy a $2000 gun that will never leave the box.

Nope, for me guns are a "living expense". Just like the car, motorcycle, groceries, vacuum cleaner, etc.

Anyway, all that was just my opinion. I could be wrong.

August 23, 2005, 06:32 PM
As a retired pawnbroker, I say guns are a great ...hobby...but NOT an investment. NO collectible is an "investment."

And especially guns. Legislation affects them. They are hard to preserve. And they are very ILLIQUID.

They can NOT be sold QUICKLY. SOMETIMES they can, but generally not. And as a further codicil, they are one of the absolute WORST things you can leave in an estate.

Heirs do not know them or CARE to know them. Heirs want CASH!!! Dad's finest moment in firearms acquisition will very likely be considered just another "foolish" thing the old man did.

They are a GREAT investment in your own pleasure. But not as an investment.

Income producing assets are investments.

Non-dividend paying STOCKS are not even truly an investment. They are speculation, pure and simple.

I am also a COIN collector and even though coins are just about the MOST liquid collectible, they also have cycles and ...cycles...are exactly what is NOT needed in an actual ...investment.


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