Moral dilemma on very collectable firearm...


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redneck2
April 3, 2003, 05:12 PM
I have an acquaintance...not really what I would call a friend. He buys odd stuff, cheap stuff, older and military guns. Most are kinda crap.

He stumbled upon an original Singer 1911A1 at an auction for $125. Now, for the unwashed and non-pure, a Singer brings anywhere from $8,500 to $25,000 according to the Blue Book. And, before anyone starts whining...... yeah, it's original.

He doesn't have a clue what he has. I suppose it's some kind of personal justification, but I just cringe thinking of him throwing it under the seat of a 1978 Ford pick-up and beating it up

So what do I do??? I could probably trade one of my existing guns that's worth $600-1000. He'd make 5 times on his money for doing nothing. Of course, I'd put it at auction and make $15,000.

Is it right to make that kind of deal since I know what it's worth???

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blades67
April 3, 2003, 05:19 PM
I'll help you out here. Give me his number, I'll buy the gun from him for $200 and then put it up for auction to those folks who know the guns value. That way you won't have trouble sleeping.:D You a liberal democrat or somethin'?:scrutiny:

Greg L
April 3, 2003, 05:19 PM
Start off the conversation with "If I knew a way to make you a bunch of money will you give me a sizeable finders fee?"

If the answer is no then talk about other things for a while and offer to buy the pistol later. If yes, get it in writing and put the pistol up for auction.

Greg

Chipperman
April 3, 2003, 05:22 PM
You owe it to the gun to not allow it to be abused.
Buy that sucker. Ask him what he wants for it first. He may have more of an idea of its value than you think.
If he says $200 then go ahead and buy it. He's still coming out ahead.

redneck2
April 3, 2003, 05:26 PM
he does know that most 1911's go for $500-800

I already offered $500. He thought about it a little, and then he turned it down

This is like one of those deals on Antiques Road Show, 'cept it never happens to me

He wouldn't abuse it if he knew it was so valuable. Just that most of his stuff is pretty beat up. No pride of ownership.

10-Ring
April 3, 2003, 05:29 PM
Do whatever your conscience will allow.

If he's really not that close a friend & you don't mind potentially burning that bridge over money, then offer him $250 and tell him you collect 1911's and it would be nice to add to the collection ;) Much more than $250 & he might start wondering why you're offering so much.

TarpleyG
April 3, 2003, 05:33 PM
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I could never, ever, ever, find a deal like this as long as I live. Man, some people are just born lucky I guess.

GT

redneck2
April 3, 2003, 05:45 PM
this guy stumbled into it and doesn't know what he's got. Doesn't have a clue, other than 1911's are worth "X"

The reason he did is 'cause he does what we don't want to do. He goes to tons of auctions. He always thinks he's gonna get the deal of a lifetime.

Guess he did. Now he doesn't know it.

blades67
April 3, 2003, 05:48 PM
Ask him what he wants for it, then work a trade for one of those guns you're willing to trade.

Kharn
April 3, 2003, 05:50 PM
Show up at his house with $1000 in cash in your pocket and put $50s on the table until he tells you to stop.

Kharn

BHP9
April 3, 2003, 05:58 PM
Off the top of my head I am not familiar with exactly how many singers were made but I remember reading along time ago that one of the rarer model 1911's was made in extremely low numbers and I imagine it may have been the singer considering its value.

I have seen machinests make firearms in their shops and even part time at their jobs that were authentic down to every detail including the markings on the gun. After aging the part like the frame original internal parts were then mated to the newly manufactured frame and then sold to unsuspecting collectors for big bucks. They were so well done and aged that I doubt if even a lot of experts could have detected them , they were actually that good. All this is a moot point considering that the gun would never be found out so to speak and be sold and resold for bigger and bigger bucks as it changed hands.

One gun to really watch out for is the M1 sniper which is probably one of the most faked military guns in the world due to the large number of surplus scope mounts and scopes that have come on the market in the past years.

I would try and buy the Singer very quickly if you think it is original because the fellow who owns it will indeed find out sooner than later how much it is really worth. If you get no bill of sale expect a lawsuit and then maybe a lawsuit even if you do get one.

anchored
April 3, 2003, 06:04 PM
IMHO, a moral dilemma only arises when somebody knows the right thing to do, and doesn't want to do it. But, if you want to justify it to yourself, just assume any person with a hobby of buying old guns knows what they're worth to him, and make an offer in whatever range that is. If it's worth more to you, well that's just commerce.

CZ-75
April 3, 2003, 06:08 PM
Part of a good deal is that someone doesn't know what they have.

If I felt guilty afterward, I'd cut him in for a sizable chunk of the proceeds, maybe half, minus your purchase price. He'd probably feel ripped off though, even though he'd have ended up ruining it.

Do some research to make sure it isn't a fake, then be persistent, but not so much so that you tip him off. Swede M94s, which are still under $1000 are faked quite often, so why not something like a Singer 1911?

Mike Irwin
April 3, 2003, 06:13 PM
The biggest indication that it's not a fake, at least to me, is that he got it at an auction for $125.

If it were a fake, someone would have tried to pass it off for a lot more somewhere else.

As for whether you should buy the gun from him, sell it, and keep the cash without telling him, that's a moral question.

You may be able to do that and look at yourself in the mirror in the morning. If so, that's you.

If this were in my court, however, there's no way that I would, or could, do that. But that's me.

Jack19
April 3, 2003, 07:45 PM
The right thing to do is to tell him what a great deal he got. Period.

Life is not about screwing your friends. If you want the weapon, do the right thing, be honest.

:banghead:

HABU
April 3, 2003, 07:49 PM
How does a schmo like your "friend" get a deal like that? For that matter, I have never seen any 1911 for 125 bucks.

ajacobs
April 3, 2003, 07:50 PM
there are tons of these being faked and comming in from mexico for cheap. IF you are sure it is real do whatever it takes to preserve it.

Coltdriver
April 3, 2003, 08:43 PM
Do the right thing.

Tell your friend what his singer is worth if it is real.

Don't ask us to tell you to screw somebody.

Redlg155
April 3, 2003, 10:27 PM
He doesn't have a clue what he has.

Are you absolutely sure of this??


I already offered $500. He thought about it a little, and then he turned it down

Still sure he doesn't have a clue? Why it's only a standard military 1911..nothing fancy right?


He always thinks he's gonna get the deal of a lifetime..... Guess he did. Now he doesn't know it.

I would suggest you tell him exactly what he has. Just don't be surprised when he tells you he knew that already. More than likely he had to go through an FFL to get the pistol. He could have gotten tipped off by the dealer.

I also think the fake arguement has some validity. If you fork out some serious money you might be the one taking a trip to the cleaners instead of him. Deception works both ways.

Good Shooting
Red

NapAttack
April 3, 2003, 11:55 PM
Jeez, I cannot believe you people.

Coltdriver and Jack19 have it right, the only thing to do is to tell him what he has. Any thing else and you are a criminal just as surely as if you stuck a gun in his face and demanded his money.

Just out of curiosity, how many of you folks that suggested redneck2 try to steal the pistol consider yourself Christians?

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 12:29 AM
Steal it? The guy would be selling it.

Why? Because he thinks he's making money on it, not because he's being altruistic.

If you buy it for a steal, then sell it for what its worth and split the profit, you'd be no less honest than a broker, salesman, agent, etc. who gets paid for their time, knowledge, insight, etc.

The real solution, however, is to suggest he get a Wilson beavertail grip safety and Novak sights installed. ;)

S_O_Laban
April 4, 2003, 12:50 AM
Redneck2, several others have already stated, do the right thing. You won't regret doing the right thing, you WILL pay for not doing the right thing some where down the road. What goes around comes around. The fact that you are asking tells me you already know what's right and just probably wanted to hear it from somebody else. Well, now you've heard :D

Blackhawk
April 4, 2003, 01:11 AM
S_O_Laban said everything you need to hear very well! :D

SquirrelNuts
April 4, 2003, 01:25 AM
If he were really my friend, I would tell him what he has and not try to screw him over. Telling him wil strengthen the relatioship, and he will help watch your back. Not telling him cannot lead to much good. Put yourself in his shoes.

This reminds me of the signature "WWJMBD?"

-SquirrelNuts

Old Fuff
April 4, 2003, 01:28 AM
Redneck2;

Before you go too far, be aware that while Singer didn't make a lot of guns the did make a lot of slides. These "Singer marked" slides were used by the military services as repair parts. Guns that were reworked using Singer slides are not fakes - they are military reworks - and as such are not particularly valuable.

Singer was assigned certain ranges of serial numbers. so you have to be sure the frame's serial number falls into one of those ranges.

Second, you have to be sure the government inspector's marks are those of officers that were assigned to the Singer factory.

Then you have to be sure that the lockwork (hammer, grip safety, grips, trigger and mainspring housing are the right style for a Singer gun. Also, the finish has to be right - blued, not Parkerized.

Then, and only then do you have a big-bucks $$$ gun - if everything checks out.

samualt
April 4, 2003, 01:44 AM
Offer $300 for it, then just keep and covet it. There is no need to be greedy and sell such a beautiful gun. It's only wrong if you do it for profit. DO IT!

:evil:

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 01:50 AM
Perhaps the real question redneck2 wants to hear is: Is this guy's friendship worth $25K to you?

I'm not sure how guilty I'd feel about removing a collector's item from a gun-abuser. Still, he should get at least half should he sell it to you with a misguided expectation of it value.

If he's a really good friend and not just some guy from work, you probably owe it to him to to tell him.

synoptic
April 4, 2003, 01:58 AM
I think Samualt has the right idea. Buy it for yourself, it's alright, buy it with hopes to sell, crossing the line

LoneStranger
April 4, 2003, 04:40 AM
Various members of my family are involved in buying and selling junk, read antiques, and other items. When we come across this style of situation, large dollars and friendship involved, the procedure is to inform other that you think you can sell something that he has. Then you ask whether he will split with you if you can sell. Usually results in a base price with split of amount over that base.

Yes, one should be sharp but not to the point of inflicting a fatal wound.

Hal
April 4, 2003, 05:38 AM
www dot thehighroad dot org.

I think your answer lies in the name of this place,,,,,and not so much in the advice given.

Powderman
April 4, 2003, 06:13 AM
There is only one answer, and you know what it is.

My father told me once, "The only thing you have that is truly your own is your integrity. It is yours to do with as you will. No one can take it from you; you have to give it away. But if you give it away, you can never get it back."

How much is your integrity worth, my friend?

redneck2
April 4, 2003, 01:09 PM
I just talked to one of the other guys he works with. Said he wants to sell it for $700

Scary part is he was "going home to clean it up". That may well mean steel wool and a home re-blue at the kitchen table.

So how much is integrity worth??? Twenty grand pushes it pretty hard. Like I said, he's just an acquaintance...not family, nor even a friend.

I'll take the above advice about Singer making the slides, and also check the SN. Whole thing may be a moot point after getting that info.

If I did get it and sell it, I'd probably split the difference. He'll have a lot of moeny he didn't expect, and I can make out too. And the world saves a super rare gun from a terrible fate.

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 01:19 PM
I would buy it if the guy is selling it. Go get the $700 (perhaps $1000, to be safe) after doing your homework.

Tell him that you've been wanting a gun like that to fill-in your collection for a while, but that you'd like to buy it "as is," since you like the historical value more than looks.

Acquaintance doesn't hold any water for me and half is more than fair. A lot of the replies here sound like socialism, in that you should give up your advantage of superior knowledge to help the less informed. You could be paying $700 for a fraud or arsenal re-work too, and I'd bet these same folks wouldn't suggest this guy give you your money back should your risk fall through. The risk and reward are both yours.

Family and friends who are like family are to only two considerations I'd be willing to make.

Labinnac
April 4, 2003, 01:41 PM
A conscience is a discreet inconvenience. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. If you don't share a bank account I don't see a problem at all. Knowledge is power, if you have it and he doesn't, go for it!

Jack19
April 4, 2003, 01:46 PM
So how much is integrity worth??? Twenty grand pushes it pretty hard.

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

The sad thing is, I don't think you're kidding. My friend, if you screwed me out of a $25,000 weapon because I didn't know what I had, and I found out about it, you'd meet my attorney real fast. I'd make sure you spent every dime of what you stole in legal fees.

A thief is a thief. And, then, you'd split his money with him to soothe your conscience. Unbelievable.

:barf:

Brian Williams
April 4, 2003, 01:50 PM
If it is a Singer the SN # will be S800001 to S800500 from 1911.org
http://www.m1911.org/full_dates.htm

(*) Singer was awarded educational order No. W-ORD-396 for the manufacture of 500 M1911A1 cal. .45 pistols on April 17, 1940. The contract was to be completed by May 1, 1942. All 500 pistols of the order were posted in Ordinance procurement records by December 1941. They were then shipped to Springfield Armory and distributed mostly to Army Air Corps.

They also had what is called a DU-lite finish.

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 02:06 PM
The sad thing is, I don't think you're kidding. My friend, if you screwed me out of a $25,000 weapon because I didn't know what I had, and I found out about it, you'd meet my attorney real fast. I'd make sure you spent every dime of what you stole in legal fees.


A thief is a thief. And, then, you'd split his money with him to soothe your conscience. Unbelievable.

Get real! The guy wants to sell the gun, from what we're hearing. He wants $700. Does redneck2 have some moral obligation to pay him more? Is he obligated to fill-in the gaps in this guy's knowledge? Half is more than fair. Too stupid to know what he has? Too bad.

I suppose all those folks on "Antiques Roadshow" who see something valuble and pay a pittance for it should be sued also?

This is America, not a communist country. There are no guarantees.

Labinnac
April 4, 2003, 02:32 PM
Get real! The guy wants to sell the gun, from what we're hearing. He wants $700. Does redneck2 have some moral obligation to pay him more? Is he obligated to fill-in the gaps in this guy's knowledge? Half is more than fair. Too stupid to know what he has? Too bad.

If you've ever bought a used car from a dealership I guarantee sombody got screwed whether it was the person who traded it in or the person who bought it or both. Haggling is a time honored artform that should never die.

Collectable stuff has the potential to be even worse. Baseball cards, beanie babys, antiques, guns, etc. There are people out there who make a LOT of money from such miscellaneous things.

Here's another angle to consider. The internet can provide a wealth of information and it's available to anyone with some time and forethought to research what you need. All your "aquaintance" needs to do is look around, ask questions, and he can have the same information that you already have. If he doesn't bother that's his loss and your gain.

MitchSchaft
April 4, 2003, 03:12 PM
Damn, Lab beat me to the car dealer scenario :neener:

80fl
April 4, 2003, 03:29 PM
Certainly a tough call on my part. Just where would most draw the line?
Let's say you found two cars you were interested in to purchase. Both IDENTICAL; # 1 was $10,000.00, # 2 was $9,500.00. For those of you inclined to tell Mr. 1911 what he has, would you, in a like manner, insist on paying the owner of car # 2 $10,000.00?

Exactly where is the line between getting a good deal and ripping someone off?

Where I come down on this, If Mr. 1911 is SELLING his gun for $700.00, it is not immoral to purchase it for asking price.

HOWEVER.....If Mr. 1911 asked our friend how much it's worth, it would be morally wrong to say anything but the truth in an attempt to CREATE a good deal.

OF
April 4, 2003, 03:39 PM
a moral dilemma only arises when somebody knows the right thing to do, and doesn't want to do it.This is not a question that can answered through commitee.

- Gabe

Labinnac
April 4, 2003, 03:51 PM
A transaction is a mutual agreement on the part of both the seller and the buyer.

You both walk away happy. Once its done its done. All the legal stuff is BS. It isn't like you're threatening or otherwise coercing him to sell it to you at a lower than fair price. Real simple, let him decide a price, negotiate a little and buy it. If you sell it and become a millionaire big deal, you did nothing wrong. Hire another "aquaintance" if you feel lonely.

The addage goes "let the buyer beware". Not the other way around. If somebody sells something for far less than what its worth, that's their loss. That isn't the buyer's fault regardless of what they know about the item in question. I wouldn't define that as being screwed. Buying a forgery or a fake of a rare item and paying top dollar for it from a knowing seller is being screwed.

Once the item is yours you can decide a price to sell it for as well. You can CHOOSE to just double your money or make 50 times your money. You can choose to create a bargain or a ripoff.

ahenry
April 4, 2003, 04:01 PM
I don’t see this as cheating the guy in any way, shape, form or fashion. Nothing is forcing this guy to sell a price far below the value other than his ignorance. Now, if he came to you asking your opinion and you lied in order to pick it up cheap and resell it high, it would be a horse of a different color. However, since he hasn’t done that, keep your mouth shut about what you know and pay him his asking price (maybe minus a bit for hagglings sake). It is his asking price after all.

redneck2
April 4, 2003, 04:02 PM
the reply about $20,000 was really tongue-in-cheek

guess there's ways to justify either side. My brother goes to a lot of auctions. Bought the proverbial "box-o-junk" for $1. Found some type of little heirloom doo-hickey that was worth $200 in the bottom. Should he go give the seller another $175??

And, if Mr 1911would just buy a "Blue Book" for $34.95 like I did, he'd know better

Never thought about the "Antiques Roadshow" angle. I bet every single one of those people go back to the original seller and split the money.

And, to answer CZ's question...is his friendship worht 25K??? If I never saw him again it wouldn't be a loss to me.

ahenry
April 4, 2003, 04:05 PM
guess there's ways to justify either side. I don’t see this as justifying anything. You happen to have a bit of knowledge that allows you to turn a 500-700 dollar gun into a many thousands of dollars gun. There is not one single thing keeping this guy from taking the gun to an expert or buying a blue book or researching it on the internet. If he chooses to remain ignorant and by so doing is happy with a price lower than the maximum he could get for it through more knowledgeable circles then that is his choice.

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 04:10 PM
HOWEVER.....If Mr. 1911 asked our friend how much it's worth, it would be morally wrong to say anything but the truth in an attempt to CREATE a good deal.


Agreed 100%.

Going back to the "Antiques Roadshow," some guys did this on some Civil War militaria and got spanked big time. It could be because they are recognized experts and appraisers, but I would expect if you mislead your friend with an intent to defraud, you'd be legally liable, expert or not.

cslinger
April 4, 2003, 04:27 PM
I am firmly in the do the right thing camp. In the end you are much more likley to get better service from a good friend then any machine.

Tell the guy what he has and to get some kind of appraisal done. Just tell him to throw some of his good deals your way in the future.

No item is worth screwing a friend or even somebody you don't know but have the least amount of respect for. Money is money but it isn't worth a relationship.

Climbing off my soap box now.

Now that I am off of my soap box, I don't know the guy from Adam, give me his number I have some bargaining to do.:D

Chris Rhines
April 4, 2003, 04:32 PM
That gun is worth exactly what everything else in the world is worth - what the buyer and seller agree on. If the guy wants to sell it, offer him a price. If he offers it to you for $700, give him $700 and be happy. You haven't cheated him, lied to him, misled him, or anything else - you have no moral issue whatsoever tied up in this transaction.

Were it me, I'd buy it and sell it to someone who really digs collectible 1911s. There is nothing at all wrong with buying the gun to resell it.

On the other hand, if he asked me straight up if the gun was valuable, I'd tell him the truth.

- Chris

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 04:42 PM
No item is worth screwing a friend or even somebody you don't know but have the least amount of respect for. Money is money but it isn't worth a relationship.

This is just some guy at work. That isn't enough reason for me to tell him anything.

Additionally, no one is forcing the guy to sell it. Neither are they keeping him from knowledge.

I suppose you'd go to a garage sale and tell the sellers what everything is worth and that the items you want are too cheap? Being TOO honest is not in most folks self-interest.

ahenry
April 4, 2003, 04:42 PM
No item is worth screwing a friend or even somebody you don't know but have the least amount of respect for. I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, but are you screwing him out of something? This individual has every right to set his own price. He has done so, and if it happens to be less than what he could have gotten, is it screwing him over to buy it at his price? Although as I think about it, if it were a friend of mine I would tell him because as his friend I want to see him to well. It’d be like telling him about a good deal I saw at a store or something. So I guess to some extent friendship does play a part. I think in that case though, it is because you want to see your friend get a good deal simply because he is your friend, not because you would be screwing him over otherwise.

cslinger
April 4, 2003, 04:50 PM
Hey like I said I got the impression he was a friend of some level. If it is simply like finding a good deal at garage sale then have at it.

If it is somebody you know and they find out you turned around and made thousands on something it will effect your relationship.

Like I said, I don't know the guy from Adam, give me his number.

El Rojo
April 4, 2003, 06:01 PM
From my viewpoint, finding stuff at yard sales and at auctions for cheap is fine. You don't have to tell them it is worth lots of money. If it were a friend? I would feel like a pretty pathetic friend to buy a pistol from a friend that I knew was worth $10000 and not tell the guy as I gave him $1000. That is called greed. It isn't a virtue last I checked. Tell him about his fortune. Telling him only after he promises you a cut is once again greed. Unfortunately from a monetary view, my character is worth more than a few thousand dollars. If it weren't, I would be a criminal. You can make more money that way.

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 06:07 PM
If it were a friend? I would feel like a pretty pathetic friend to buy a pistol from a friend that I knew was worth $10000 and not tell the guy as I gave him $1000. That is called greed. It isn't a virtue last I checked. Tell him about his fortune.

Read carefully.

This is just some guy at work.

I find that degree of propinquity worth next to nothing, to me. Plenty of people where I work that I wouldn't give the time of day to and vice versa. Redneck2 already said that he wouldn't be broken up if he never saw the guy again.

NapAttack
April 4, 2003, 08:33 PM
I begin to understand why this country is in the sorry shape it's in today.

It's all me, me, me. As long as I get mine who cares what happens to anyone else. At least some of you extend that me, me, me to include your family and friends. I'm a hunter, who cares what happens to all those nasty assault rifles? And everyone wonders how the antis are so successful in taking our rights away?

A conscience is a discreete inconvenience. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. I love that quote, I'll have to remember that.

Whatever happened to the golden rule? My daughter once asked me a question about a moral dilemma she was having regarding her husband. I told her to turn it around and how would she feel if their positions were reversed. She did the right thing.

Bread cast upon the waters. What happens if it does turn out that this pistol is worth a lot of money and you don't tell him about it. You buy it from him then sell it for a huge profit. Then other people including your friends and family find out? If they're good people, you have just completely ruined your reputation. If they're the kind of people that would congratulate you for making such a smart deal then I'd be dog gone careful to watch my back. A man is known by the people he surrounds himself with.

Edited to add: I had an uncle who was a phenomenally successful salesman. He could sell you your own eye teeth and you'd be glad you bought them. No one in the family ever trusted him around their wives or with a dime of their money.

MountainPeak
April 4, 2003, 09:06 PM
For me, "friend" is the operative word. Other than that, I don't see a problem in giving him a profit that he is happy with. Isn't that what a good sale is? When both seller and buyer are happy. NapAttack, I admire your uncle!:D If it were a friend, I couldn't and wouldn't do it.

Feanaro
April 4, 2003, 09:37 PM
Perhaps it's a little late for this(Can't read all three pages), but why not tell him you know a way to make a lot of money. Ask him for however much of the profits you want, half to be fair maybe. Then if he agrees tell him. You don't screw him over, you both make much money.

cratz2
April 4, 2003, 10:02 PM
Funny thing, I'm almost starting to believe that there is a professional fake Singer maker in Indiana. I have two friends with Singer 1911s in Indiana. One guy said his uncle who was a medic in North Africa brought one back after WWII and the other bought it at a gunshop. An actual gunshop sold a Singer 1911.

I've never seen either of them but their stories never change. If I saw one in person, I'm not sure if I'd cry or laugh out loud. Of course, I wouldn't be able to tell a real one from a fake one.

Who knows... maybe they're all real. Hope yours is. ;)

280PLUS
April 4, 2003, 10:04 PM
take his gun and your knowledge to make the profit and split it with him.

but thats just me.:D

firestar
April 4, 2003, 10:19 PM
The only fair thing to do is tell him how much it is worth. If it is a fake, you saved yourself from looking like a greedy fool, if it isn't a fake you still saved yourself from looking greedy. Don't be one of the bad guys, do the right thing. I think he may have a lawsuit on you if he ever found out what you did, the law, at the most basic level is about fairness, it is clear that what you are suggesting would not be fair.

That being said, I am not you and I don't know the situation. You may be able to get the pistol at a good price even if you tell him the truth.

OkieGentleman
April 4, 2003, 10:35 PM
I once had a friend that was GIVEN an artillery Luger, in the original box, packed in cosmoline, wrapped in the original packing with the test fire target in the box. He had just cleaned it and was going to take it to the range to shoot. I went nuts on him and made him call his wife and get the box, packing and greasy rags out of the trash before the trash was picked up. The I explained what he had in his hand. It looked like it was made out of black glass it was so shining, manufactured if memory serves right about 1912 or 1913, this was 1968. After I calmed down I offered him as much money as I could beg or borrow. This was after I told him to get a letter from the person that gave it to him to show that it was genuine, and if he would put it in safe storage, when his first kid got old enough for college it would probably pay for his/her education in 20 years. Then I tried to buy it from him again, at what was probably a low price, but it was all I had or could borrow at the time.

It is called ethics. Do I regret not getting the weapon? Yes, did I keep my self respect? Yes again, call the guy, tell him you have done some checking and the pistol may be worth between$8000 and $12000 if genuine. You can look youself in the mirror when you shave the next day, that is worth much more than the money and it lasts for years and years.

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 10:57 PM
I begin to understand why this country is in the sorry shape it's in today.

Yes, all that communist rhetoric is affecting people's thinking.



This guy is nothing to redneck2 but some guy at work. I don't know about you, but that's far from a friend. Redneck2 owes him nothing.

This guy is selling of his own volition and redneck2 doesn't have a gun to his head. If he had half a brain he could find out what the gun is worth, online, blue book, gun dealer, etc.

Almost all transactions involve incomplete knowledge between buyer and seller. Some folks pay a little over invoice for a car because they searched the 'net and buying guides and drove around to find a deal, where others go to the local dealer, trade their old car in for a fraction of its value, pay over sticker and get the rustproofing and dealer add-ons. This is the free market and the dealer who gets all he can is commiting no crime; the buyer is free to walk and shop for a better deal. Or insist they be allowed to pay full price. :rolleyes:

Same at a garage sale. You see a $50,000 Tiffany lamp and offer $5. The seller accepts and you walk out with your treasure, no crime or ethical violation commited. It is the seller's problem they got less than the value of the item. I can't think of a person who'd insist they'd pay the full value of the item anywhere but on the 'net. :rolleyes:



What happens if it does turn out that this pistol is worth a lot of money and you don't tell him about it. You buy it from him then sell it for a huge profit. Then other people including your friends and family find out? If they're good people, you have just completely ruined your reputation. If they're the kind of people that would congratulate you for making such a smart deal then I'd be dog gone careful to watch my back. A man is known by the people he surrounds himself with.


My family would say "tough tookies." Seller's fault he didn't research the item before selling. But my family aren't a bunch of socialists, either, so YMMV. "Profit" isn't a dirty word to them.

it is clear that what you are suggesting would not be fair.

You mean paying him what he asks? :rolleyes:

I see no cause to reward stupidity. Giving this guy half of any future sale is more than fair.

It is called ethics. Do I regret not getting the weapon? Yes, did I keep my self respect? Yes again, call the guy, tell him you have done some checking and the pistol may be worth between$8000 and $12000 if genuine. You can look youself in the mirror when you shave the next day, that is worth much more than the money and it lasts for years and years.

Two points.

One, you made the offer to buy. He didn't have to sell. Redneck2 also made an offer, which the owner refused. The owner now is offering the piece for sale at his own asking price. I see quite a difference between badgering someone to sell on the spot and the person making an active decision after giving it some thought. The guy could easily have done his homework; his fault he didn't. Giving this guy half is probably more than he deserves.

Two, it would be different if there was a friendship involved. There is none. I don't go around trying to ensure every place I go gets more than their asking price every time I buy something out of some false notion they're my friend or that I have some obligation to them.

OkieGentleman
April 4, 2003, 11:16 PM
Ok I goofed, I did not see the post about him trying to sell it for $700. Pay the man his money and go about your business. If you sell something valuable cheap, your loss and a smarter mans gain.

NapAttack
April 5, 2003, 12:13 AM
I'm a capitalist from way back. TANSTAAFL and value received for value given have always been my motto.

The issue here has nothing to do with making a profit. No one with any sense ever begrudges anyone a profit. The issue here is morals and ethics. The simple fact is that if Redneck2 doesn't tell the guy what he may have then he is morally wrong. You can waffle and justify and rationalize all you want. That's what's wrong with this country today. Too many people believe morals are situational.

It doesn't matter if this guy is a friend or not. He could be someone you hate and you would still be wrong for not telling him. If you had already bought it and then found out that it was valuable then you'd be completely justified in keeping every penny of your profit.

If you have family, friends and relatives that would support you in not telling this man what he has then I can only say I pity you and I would suggest you keep your hand on your wallet and watch your six.

My ex-wife asked me to hold $20,000 for her while she was going through a divorce from her second husband. She didn't want him to get his hands on it. We had been divorced for over five years at the time. I held it for her for over a year and then returned the entire $20,000 plus interest. I would be willing to bet that anyone in this thread that has said not to tell him doesn't have a friend or relative they could trust like that.

Thanks for the entertaining discussion but I'm beating a dead horse here. You can't argue morals with people that don't have any. Do what you want, you'll have to answer for it not me.

Powderman
April 5, 2003, 12:40 AM
I stopped in a few days ago at my favorite local gun shop. The guy there--actually a pawnbroker--had a Model 66 in his case, in almost mint condition. I checked it out well--timing was dead on, cylinder gap tight, no topstrap erosion, no bore problems, no blemishes--altogether a tight, nice .357. I asked him about the price--he said $250.00.

I drooled for about 5 seconds.

Then, I told him that the gun could sell for WAY more than that.

I have helped him sell guns before, and he respects my opinion. I could have walked out of there with the revolver. But I thought it best that I tell him what the thing was really worth.

What anyone does in this scenario is their business. How you feel afterward is your business.

But you are the one who has to look yourself in the mirror in the morning. You are the one who has to reason to yourself concerning the validity, morality, and ethics of your actions.

You are the one who will have to explain to your kids (if you have any) why you did what you did.

And, if I were in the same shoes, I would have to be the one who one day stood before God, to account for all of my actions during my lifespan.

Even if you don't believe in a higher Authority, ask yourself: would you want someone to do this to you?

I ask that you choose the hard right over the easy wrong. Why do I say that it is wrong? I think that you have second thoughts yourself. If not, why ask on this forum for a consensus on your actions?

You know what the right thing is, my friend. Do it.

Then you will notice that you will have a little spring in your step, you will feel a lot better about yourself, and you will walk a little bit taller.

To walk away with this bargain is the easy thing.

To walk away FROM this will be hard. But--do the right thing, my friend.

You will not regret it---not in a million years.

Anyone can take advantage of another. But it takes a real big man to not do so--even when it is handed to you on a silver platter.

Do the right thing.

Grayfox
April 5, 2003, 12:42 AM
The gun and its possable value are moot points. What we have here is an ethical question. Are you willing to knowingly screw a fellow man for your own profit?
It doesn't matter if he's a friend or not. All that matters is what's in your heart and what you can personally live with. While seeking advice is always a good idea, the only real answer lies within yourself.
Redneck 2, the very fact that you asked this question should speak volumes toward finding your answer.

As for myself, reading this has taught me a great deal about this board and the quality of the people who post here.

CZ-75
April 5, 2003, 01:44 AM
I held it for her for over a year and then returned the entire $20,000 plus interest.


???????????????


Did you spend the money while in your possession?

If not, why did you pay her to do her a favor?

Moreover, how is letting her hide her assets with you qualify as "moral"? :rolleyes:

Seems like you are confused by more than a little. I never pay folks to do them a favor, that why it's called a "favor." I also never try to get sanctimonious after I aided and abetted someone in commiting a fraudulent, criminal act.

I have no problem trusting my family, especially since they haven't asked me to break the law for them. I believe the concept they espouse is commonly called "personal responsibility." The seller is responsible for his actions, such as setting his asking price. It would be immoral for me to try to second guess him.

Are you willing to knowingly screw a fellow man for your own profit?

The man asked $700 and that is his problem. Sounds like we have a buttload of democrats here, expecting everyone to look after the interests of our fellows before our own, at our own expense. This man has free will and he can charge whatever he feels, to his betterment or detriment. In other words, he's a big boy and he should take time to research his actions so they are in his best interests. I feel no obligation to him.

As for myself, reading this has taught me a great deal about this board and the quality of the people who post here.

Since you think that we should go around holding each others hand, acting as our brother's keeper, I suggest you head over to the DemocraticUnderground site to hang around with like-minded folks.

I'd posit that realists post here, else they'd be waiting on the government to take care of them and keep them safe, rather than hold down jobs and take their self-defense into their own hands. Consequently, they should also believe in free market capitalism and that each man is the captain of his own ship.

Edward429451
April 5, 2003, 09:42 AM
A conscience is a discreet inconvenience.

So is red lights but they save lives. Thats about the most twisted thing I've read in this thread. 25K sounds like a lot of money, but it really isn't. When the cash is gone, whats left? No cash, no respect, no integrity, it goes on. Wealth is an illusion.

I'd probably try to buy it from him for whatever cost, pay him, done deal. Then put it back in his hand, and tell him you just want him to know that you could have took it but value his frienship and your own integrity a lot more than 25K. Then help him sell it and don't ask for any return. Thus you retain your integrity, gain his respect, can both have a good laugh if it turns out to be fake, and plant the seed for him to be able to grow his own integrity by allowing him to make a decision about recompense if it turns out to be real. You can then somewhat judge his value of the friendship and his integrity by his decision of recompense. You can not lose either way. The ball is in his court.

25K is a small price to pay for personal integrity. 25K is a small price to pay to find out if a friend is really a friend. A real friend is worth a heck of a lot more than 25K. Priceless. What goes around comes around.

Edward429451
April 5, 2003, 09:54 AM
The man asked $700 and that is his problem. Sounds like we have a buttload of democrats here, expecting everyone to look after the interests of our fellows before our own, at our own expense. This man has free will and he can charge whatever he feels, to his betterment or detriment. In other words, he's a big boy and he should take time to research his actions so they are in his best interests. I feel no obligation to him.

lemme get this straight, you see your brethren about to stumble, have the ability to help him and deny help cause its not your problem?

(Thou shalt) Drop into the rotten mouth of death. (shakespere)

[You] speak an infinite deal of nothing. (The merchant of Venice)

Tamara
April 5, 2003, 11:28 AM
I'm taking that Five Screw Smith & Wesson back to the gun show and telling the man that he charged me too little for it.















Not. ;)

redneck2
April 5, 2003, 12:48 PM
I wonder if these guys go thru a gun show, see a gun they want that should cost $500, but priced at $350, and tell the seller "Hey, you're getting took. You need to take this back to your store so I can pay you $500"

Or they just buy it. The big reason we go to shows is to get stuff cheap. If you buy something at 50% off, you're evidentally screwing the seller, 'cause he should have gotten more.

FWIW...I did have my local dealer, who I consider a friend, offer to give me almost $100 too much for a trade in. I advised him it wasn't worth what he was offering and I took the lower amount.

I was in a large discount store a number of years ago. They advertised boxes of .22's for 99 cents. The girl at the register had been selling bricks of 500 instead of individual boxes. I advised her of the error of her ways. I coulda got the whole inventory cheap, but she didn't know any better. Pretty obvious that would be wrong.

CZ-75
April 5, 2003, 12:53 PM
tell him you just want him to know that you could have took it but value his frienship and your own integrity a lot more than 25K.


The guy is someone at work, not a friend. I do not want everyone's friendship, and I doubt redneck2 does either. I am not my brother's keeper and a deal is a deal. The only time I would feel the need to look out for someone's interests is if danger of life or limb exists. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Moreover, should redneck2 buy the gun and save it from this idiot abusing it and "cleaning it up," the 50% value the seller would be given would probably exceed the ENTIRE value of the ruined gun.

So I guess I don't feel the need to save someone from their own stupidity. I also think that giving them a share of the profit is more than fair; his property and someone else's brains.

This much anti-capitalist thought is distressing. I guess there is more to not being "sheeple" than owning a gun; physical self-determination is only a part of the equation, as there is also economic self-determination.

Edward429451
April 5, 2003, 02:03 PM
Buncha extremism here I see. No don't take back the smith. Man to man is one thing, man to company is another, within reason.

Thats just what I'd do. Why no middle ground with some of you people? Friends or not theres still YOUR integrity. Big difference between 350 and 500 and 700/20K. To each his own.

redneck2
April 5, 2003, 02:13 PM
if he paid $125 and sells it for $700 and makes 500%, that's OK

but if I pay $700 and sell it for $3,500 and make 500%, I'm a thief????

I bought a little bobble-head doll in a re-sale shop for $4. Looked it up on e-bay and then sold it for $82.

Guess I'll burn in hell for that one :evil:

Now I'm just wondering where "the line" is

CZ-75
April 5, 2003, 02:16 PM
Buncha extremism here I see.



I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

-Barry Goldwater




Man to man is one thing, man to company is another, within reason.

You're rationalizing.
:rolleyes:

jimbo
April 5, 2003, 04:38 PM
"What profits a man if he gaineth the world, yet loseth his soul."

Jack19
April 5, 2003, 06:07 PM
Hey, if I'm out of line with my comments fine. But there's a huge difference between buying a weapon retail, or at a marked price at a gunshow, and buying a weapon from a guy you know well enough to entitle the thread......

Moral dilemma on very collectable firearm...

My point is that if there's enough of a connection to make you wonder whether you're actually screwing the guy...there is.

NapAttack
April 5, 2003, 09:45 PM
CZ-75, To answer your particular post. I am not in the slightest bit confused about my morals. I'm not the one who posts on an internet forum requesting guidance on a moral dilemma and then argues with everyone who tries to tell you to do the right thing. I generally don't have a problem figuring out what the right thing to do is on my own.

I did not pay my ex-wife to do her a favor or break the law. Though I have no problem whatsoever breaking an immoral law. If I find a law that conflicts with my moral or ethical code I will not hestitate to break it. You cannot legislate morality.

The money in question was the child support I had been paying since we were divorced and she had put all of it in the bank and was saving it for my daughter's education. The interest in question was where I had put it in a savings account and it had earned interest. In my mind, both the money and the interest it had earned were hers. Morally the money was my daughter's and my ex-wife's money, the second husband had no moral or ethical claim on it. Did I break some law somewhere? I don't know and don't care. If I did it was an immoral law and my conscience is clear.

CZ-75
April 5, 2003, 11:46 PM
I'm not the one who posts on an internet forum requesting guidance on a moral dilemma and then argues with everyone who tries to tell you to do the right thing.

And neither am I, because I would never bother to ask.

The right thing is to buy the gun at the price the seller asked.

By your asinine line of thinking, the current owner ripped of the party that sold him the gun for $125. When he sells it, he should go back and give them the rest of the money. :rolleyes:

I wonder where morals stop and gross stupidity begins.

Edward429451
April 6, 2003, 12:48 AM
You guys are really wacked out about this. You ask a question and freak out about it when you don't get the answer you wanted. Yes, take back everything you ever got on sale and pay full price!

:rolleyes:

Tamara
April 6, 2003, 12:50 AM
That'll be quite enough of that.

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