Box o' guns dilemma


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hso
December 27, 2005, 01:14 PM
A friend (who died a couple of years ago) of mine's wife called and told my wife she had found a bunch of handguns under the living room couch while cleaning. Odd since our friend had usually been very good about such things, but first a kidney transplant and then his dad's death and then his own failing heart (which he didn't recognize and neither did we) would be enough excuse for anyone to stuff something under the couch. Regardless, his wife brought this nice cardboad box over full of handguns and told me they were his dad's and that would I please go through them and sell them for her and keep one for myself.:what:



This is what was inside.

S&W Model 31 .32 revolver in perfect condition with the box
S&W Model 39-1 9mm pistol in perfect condition with a spare mag
Astra Model 600 in with the holster an extra mag
Nambu M14 8mmNambu pistol in perfect condition with matching serial numbers (except the mag)
High Standard 103 Supermatic Citation "Space Gun" with the front buffer, but no weights.
Colt .32 hammerless pocket pistol blue with factory pearl grips.
Colt 1911 .45 (1914 period) with double diamond grips and target sights.

Now, I don't know if the target sights were done by the factory or not, but the .45 got me all excited (as did the .32 and the Supermatic and the Nambu).

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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Rembrandt
December 27, 2005, 01:31 PM
....so if it were a box of money, let's say dollar bills, couple of fives, a twenty, and a hundred spot.....what would you do?

Dr Laura would say...."go do the right thing".

armoredman
December 27, 2005, 01:37 PM
I wouldn't mind that 39....if i had $ that is!

Wow, what a find. Like the man said, do the right thing - you'll keep the 1911, right?

jobu07
December 27, 2005, 01:44 PM
You could offer her a fair price for the entire box. That way she'd be satisfied with having some extra $ and you'd have a new box full of treasures. You probably know more about them and their history than she does at this point, so you'd be able to properly take care and treasure them.

dasmi
December 27, 2005, 01:53 PM
You could offer her a fair price for the entire box. That way she'd be satisfied with having some extra $ and you'd have a new box full of treasures. You probably know more about them and their history than she does at this point, so you'd be able to properly take care and treasure them.

+1 on that.
And maybe convice her to keep one for herself, for defensive purposes.

Rembrandt
December 27, 2005, 01:59 PM
Colt 1900 .45 (1914 period) with double diamond grips and target sights.

I doubt it's a Colt "1900" in .45.....there were only 3500 ever built and all were in .38 rimless chambering. Model 1900's could be worth anywhere from $750-$20,000.

Is it a 45 rimless or a 45 ACP?

Don Gwinn
December 27, 2005, 02:12 PM
Rembrandt, I don't think he was talking about doing anything unethical at all. She told him he could keep one of the guns for his trouble. He's trying to choose which one.

Paying her for the others is one option, but if you do that, you might want to get a third party to give an opinion of what a "fair price" would be. I wouldn't know what price to put on those guns, but even if you do, you might be happier later if someone else set the price, know what I mean?

Then there's the fact that I personally would probably not be able to afford to buy the rest of the collection even if I wanted it, and maybe hso is in that position, too. Those knives eat Benjamins, you know.

GRB
December 27, 2005, 02:30 PM
Well, if you are going to help her sell these, please let me know. I would possibly be interested in the Astra depending on condition and asking price.

Man, under the sofa for a couple of years at least! What a find.

Preacherman
December 27, 2005, 02:34 PM
I'd talk to Tamara about that Nambu... just try to keep the drool off it while she looks at it! :D

Oh - and don't show her the .45, whatever you do! :neener:

tonytulipz
December 27, 2005, 02:34 PM
Ummm......WELL....to maybe HER benefit and yours and mine and some others. If you wanna ask her if you can sell them here for like a "Tribute Fund" or something ..

I would love to buy that Astra 600, She (you) will get scrwed at a Gunshop on those models!

my $.02

Rembrandt
December 27, 2005, 03:22 PM
Rembrandt, I don't think he was talking about doing anything unethical at all.

Sorry, didn't mean for it to come out that way. If the guns were all of equal value it wouldn't matter.....but if one is worth 10 times the rest, I'd make sure she was aware of it.

hso
December 27, 2005, 03:24 PM
I doubt it's a Colt "1900" in .45.....there were only 3500 ever built and all were in .38 rimless chambering. Model 1900's could be worth anywhere from $750-$20,000.

Is it a 45 rimless or a 45 ACP?


Woops. Thanks! That's 1911 now.


Don't worry guys. She knows she doesn't have to worry about me cheating her. If her husband had had the time before he died he'd have given me the keys to the gun cabinet and told me to pick one gun for each of the guys in our group and to sell the rest for her. Kind of punishment of me for him having met her through us (Kidding, just kidding Hank:neener: )

You're right that she doesn't know much about this batch and I do know the history on almost all of the guns. Hank's dad competed with the Supermatic and the .45. I think his uncle had given the Nambu to Hank's dad. The S&W .32 was bought for his mother, but she carried a .38 snub nose that Hank's brother has. I have no idea about the .32 Colt or the Astra (which doesn't have Nazi markings). :confused:

I had her shoot the 9mm and had her shoot a .38 revolver of mine to see which she preferred and she didn't like the 9mm at all. She has a Bearcat and Hank's bedroom revolver (.357) so we decided she's better off with the .357 currently at the house. (She also has his 45-70 Guide Gun that he and I picked out right after his transplant surgery)

If I were to consider paying her for them as a lot instead of pimping them out I'd have 2 different shops look at them first for pricing and give her the best price of the 2 (she is the widow of one of my dearest friends and she has entrusted them to me afterall so I certainly don't need the bad karma of having my ferengi side coming out).

I have looked in Flayderman's and researched "sold" prices at Gunbroker and Auction Arms and prices at Gunsamerica and was shocked at what some of the prices were (both high and low).

All that said, I'm going to leave it up to her wherher she wants to maximize the cash for them by selling them for best price slowly or just sell them quick for fastest return.

I'll post a picuture of the contents of the box o' guns tonight.

adaman04
December 27, 2005, 03:47 PM
Wow. If they are guns you like, tell her you would like to buy them. You would think it would mean a lot for you to have them for yourself since he was your friend. Better than just some average Joe taking it home and it not having any special meaning to it. Just my .02.

HSMITH
December 27, 2005, 04:03 PM
I had a situation come up like that about a year and a half ago, a buddy died suddenly and his mother asked me to help her with the guns.

Your friend trusted you or she wouldn't be asking for your help, that is an honor. You are lucky that there isn't that many guns and they are 'desireable' guns, but if you are like me you are going to ask more for them than if they were your own. The best I could do by her was get top dollar for them, and that takes time. Be patient and ask around, your buddies will end up buying quite a few of them if they were close to your friend that died.

I was offered guns for selling the rest and I couldn't take one let alone more than one, I just didn't feel right about it. If you do take one I would suggest getting a solid value on each one, and pay the difference between the average price and the value of the one you take. Without a doubt I would pick the 1911.....

V4Vendetta
December 27, 2005, 04:41 PM
"Colt 1911 .45 (1914 period) with double diamond grips and target sights."

Give it to me! How much?:)

Moonclip
December 27, 2005, 05:38 PM
The target sights on that 1911 seem fishy to me, maybe non factory but I could be wrong. For pure value the Colt 32 would be probably the keeper or maybe the Nambu. All those guns in that condition are desireable though.

Moonclip
December 27, 2005, 05:46 PM
The target sights on that 1911 seem fishy to me, maybe non factory but I could be wrong. For pure value the Colt 32 would be probably the keeper or maybe the Nambu. All those guns in that condition are desireable though.

As for the Astra not having Nazi marks, IIRC from about serial numbers up to about 10500 are the Nazi ones, the blue book says which ones I think. The next 20-30000 were intended for the Nazis but were never delivered and were re sold back to the West German border police years later. The rest were sold to various places includiong the Portuguese Navy. remember this is offf the top of my head and an internet search will produce more info.

And yes, taking this gun to a shop, you will get hosed, put it like on an auction site probably to get max value for her. I pad $160 for a nice exaple with battered holster recently as these guns have an unorthodox appereance and get tarred with the all Spanish guns are soft and junk brush.

Grey54956
December 27, 2005, 05:51 PM
Give her a fair estimate on the entire lot, then buy the whole thing, lock, stock and barrel. Sounds like there is a possibility that some of them may have collector value.

If nothing else, you have a good keepsake of you friend, and a nice little collection to boot.

Jim Watson
December 27, 2005, 06:06 PM
Be fair, go by Blue Book or survey the www sales sites for prices. A dealer will not likely make a fair offer or a helpful appraisal.

As far as the individual guns go, I think:
M31 - She might do well to keep this one for a purse gun, along with the .357 for a house gun.
M39-1 might be a serviceable pistol. If actually, truly NRA Perfect, they are getting some collector interest.
A600 would be a neat centerfire plinker if in ordinary condition, if top notch, see above.
High Standard - a great target pistol, considerable resale value.
Nambu - Definitely for a collector, I would have no interest in shooting or owning it.
Colt .32 with factory pearls - Definitely for a collector.
Colt with target sights - Colt was not installing target sights on 1911s in 1914, period. Now if they are the tall bullseye shooter's sights in the GI dovetail and the slide has not been altered, it could be restored to stock appearance and considerable value. Is it military or commercial?

Tim L
December 28, 2005, 12:31 PM
You're right that she doesn't know much about this batch and I do know the history on almost all of the guns. Hank's dad competed with the Supermatic and the .45. I think his uncle had given the Nambu to Hank's dad. The S&W .32 was bought for his mother, but she carried a .38 snub nose that Hank's brother has. I have no idea about the .32 Colt or the Astra (which doesn't have Nazi markings).
You know a lot of the history of all but 2 of them, I think you should make an offer and keep them together. If not all of them, get both the Colt and the Supermatic and shoot them in memory of your friend and his dad.

Tim

mbs357
December 28, 2005, 12:37 PM
Buy all of them yourself.
Decision problems = over!!

V4Vendetta
December 28, 2005, 12:43 PM
I would pay her a fair price & take them yourself. That way you can mke sure your friend's wife has a good deal, you get great guns.:) I repeat what I said earlier however. How much for the 1911?:D

Don Gwinn
December 28, 2005, 02:54 PM
If the guns were all of equal value it wouldn't matter.....but if one is worth 10 times the rest, I'd make sure she was aware of it.

That's a really good point, and it never occurred to me.

CAS700850
December 28, 2005, 03:53 PM
+1. If one of the pistols is a super valuable gun, and it turns out to be the one you wanted, it could lead to hurt feelings down the road. And, watch out for gunshop estimates. If they know the situation, they may greatly undervalue the prices. I got my Glock 19, purchased from a widow, because several gun shpos told her attorney (a friend) that it wasn't worth more than $150 or $200. I looked it over, and said it (and three mags) was worth at least $300 or $350. The lady sold it to me for $300, and thanked me for my honesty and integrity, as she would have sold it to me for the $200 if I agreed that was what it was worth.

Get some trustworthy estimates, let her know the values, then ask about the one you want. "Ma'am, I know this one is the most valuable gun in the lot, but I'm interested in it because of (insert reason here). That said, I want you to know its value, and you to make the decision on it, as I don't want you to think that I'm trying to turn this into a big gain on my part. That said, whatever gun you allow me to keep, know that I'll not be selling it, as it will mean more to me, and the memories of my friend, than the money it might get."

You'll get a nice keepsake, and keep a friend.

Then again, buy the lot if you can afford it. ;)

aaronrkelly
December 29, 2005, 06:50 AM
Since a few of these were "kept in the family" is there not any sons or daughters that would be interested in these guns. I hope when I die my kids get my guns.....

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