How much does a gun cost?


May 1, 2003, 03:20 PM
I wondered where all you folks went, after TFL shut down.

In any case, as a pure vanity post, I thought I'd introduce myself to the new forum with my thoughts on the cost of firearms.

If you talk to an accountant, he'll talk about how important it is to depreciate any capital investment over the expected life of the investment.

A new milling machine may cost a bunch, but divided out over its useful life, it may be well worth the money.

Guns are, in my mind, the same. Except that they have a far longer useful life.

A modern firearm, properly kept, can last for centuries, if not millenia.

Which means that, properly depreciated,

Guns are free


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Marko Kloos
May 1, 2003, 03:37 PM
In a way, they are free indeed. If you hold on to a gun long enough, you will always be able to get what you paid for it back out. Many guns actually increase in value immensely with time, thanks to ever-increasing restrictions. If you had bought a half-dozen HK91 rifles for $500 a piece back in 1987, a total investment of $3,000, you could sell them now for $12,000...four times their original price tag. Few methods of investment give you that kind of return. Not all guns increase in value to this degree, but guns will always be a valued and easily sold commodity.

May 1, 2003, 03:38 PM
Well, for an example I bought a scoped bolt action 22 a few years ago for $75.00. The rifle was made back in the forties, and probably cost something like $14.95 brand new. What do you call that ... negative depreciation?

Not sure, but I probably also paid more for a used Ruger Security Six than it cost new back in the seventies.

If you buy a new gun, it will start to depreciate right away (just like a car), but if you keep it long enough it will be worth more than you paid for it.

I suppose the same could be said for a car (what is a Model T worth today?) but a gun can be used regularly and still be in good working condition 50 or a 100 years later, without any major restoration.

Finally, Marlin still makes virtually that same model of 22 rifle today (only difference that I can see is that you can only get that one with synthetic stock now).

May 1, 2003, 03:38 PM
what, exactly, is your point?

Like anything else in a free market, guns' cost = the equilibrium point between supply and demand.

4v50 Gary
May 1, 2003, 03:39 PM
Acquisition of firearms aren't exactly free and generally entail conversion of asssets (cash) from one form to another (cash). From a strictly cost-benefit analysis, if you have one gun and it saves your life or the life of a loved one, the cost is nothing. However, if you had 100 guns and used your cheapest one to save the same life, while the benefit is still the same, it's not cost-effective since cash assets for the ninety-nine guns produced no benefit.

Nonetheless, I like the reasoning. Just another excuse to buy another gun. :D

May 1, 2003, 04:13 PM
Welcome aboard! I like your thinking! Hope my wife will see it the same way when I try this reasoning. If not, you know who's gonna get the blame! :rolleyes:

May 1, 2003, 04:25 PM
what, exactly, is your point?

I think the point is that guns, given any kind of reasonable care, are an extremely good long term investment.

Unlike many other investments, guns are something that you can use without diminishing their value.

Most of gun technology peaked about 1900, so there is very little obsolesence from an operational standpoint (we won't even think about future legal issues).

Okay, if you still don't get it, you go buy a new VCR and I will go buy a new Ruger revolver, and we will see which one is worth more 50 years from now. :D

May 1, 2003, 04:35 PM
"what, exactly, is your point?"

Just that, when you're pondering over whether to buy or not to buy that new firearm you desparately don't need, just say to yourself "hell, over the long run, it's free", and go for it.

Henry Bowman
May 1, 2003, 04:44 PM
What about ammo? is stockpiling ammo a good investment also? of course, using it to hone skills is a good investment.

But any gun in the future is worthless without ammo. True, many have reloading equipment and even cast their own bullets. But casings do not last forever (with repeated use) and few of us can cook up smokeless powder in our kitchen.

Just like the toy store reminds you that you new GameBoy is worthless without batteries, I say, "Don't forget the ammo!" :D

Send Lawyers, Guns (w/ammo) and Money.

May 1, 2003, 04:53 PM
Does anyone done a good statistical study on used versus new prices for older firearms ?

I certainly agree firearms seem to hold a higher value than many other purchases, especially well-used items. However, I imagine if I buy a NIB Colt Python now for $1100 I would have a hard time getting all of that money back in the next ten years. So if I could only sell it for $700 then that item did depreciate $400.

Seems like various new restrictive laws jack up the value of pre-ban items. It would be a great investment to "ride" those laws but you could get stuck holding a lot of inventory, say high cap mags, if the law is either repealed or modified so you can't even sell what you have.

At the end of the day, any gun that saves my life is priceless. It might as well cost half my lifetime income and still be welcomed.

Standing Wolf
May 1, 2003, 05:00 PM
As investments go, I believe firearms on the whole are mediocre at best, and generally poor. That said™, it has to save your life exactly once to be of incomparable value.

May 1, 2003, 05:19 PM
All of this "if I sell it, I won't get all my money back" whining misses one of the fundamental truths of gun nuttery:

Never sell a gun

Then you don't need to worry about it.

Nobody in my family has sold a gun in three hundred years. (Please excuse the slight exageration for conversational effect). We just give them to younger members of the family, or to family friends.

You buy a new M1911 for $1100, and ten years later you could only sell it for $700? So what?

Give it to a nephew. It has a couple of generations of use left in it.

(The point behind this thread is, after all, rationalizations for buying more guns - we're not actually interested in making any money).

May 1, 2003, 08:09 PM
:confused: Anyway, Welcome to THR! :D

May 1, 2003, 08:21 PM
Heh. Negative depreciation is simply appreciation. ;)

May 1, 2003, 08:25 PM
I only buy really cheap high quality guns.

Winchester 94 for $90

Remington 870 wingmaster $79

CZ 70 $130

These guns are common but well made. If I find them at
a pawnshop on clearance I can take them home and clean them up. Its almost like uncovering a treasure.

My gun budget is not what I want it to be so I have to find the maxium gun for the least money.

I've got quite a few old shootable well made guns that are not
exactly pristine but they fill up my gun room nicely and I'm sure they are already worth more than I paid for them.

May 2, 2003, 10:41 AM
The cost of an investment only amortizes to zero if you have an infinite time horizon.

Of more importance is the fallacy of dividing the initial cost by how many years it will last to arrive at a yearly cost. This ignores the fact that the present is more valuable than the future. Therefore from the perspective of the present, each consecutive future year adds less to the total than the previous year.

Never mind the opportunity cost :rolleyes:. TANSTAAFL.

So no, guns aren't "free".

May 2, 2003, 11:06 AM
MoNsTeR, if you keep thinking that way, you'll never have enough guns ;)

Gordon Fink
May 2, 2003, 11:49 AM
A modern firearm, properly kept, can last for centuries.…

Don’t forget maintenance and ammunition expenses, which will continually add to the overall cost of the firearm.

~G. Fink

May 2, 2003, 12:53 PM
Just that, when you're pondering over whether to buy or not to buy that new firearm you desparately don't need, just say to yourself "hell, over the long run, it's free", and go for it.

jdege - I find myself liking your philosophy, in that light!

I'll have to try it out on the fiancee next time I want a new piece.


May 2, 2003, 01:01 PM
Dorrin79, it only works for weapons! :D No insult intended.

May 2, 2003, 02:16 PM
MoNsTeR, if you keep thinking that way, you'll never have enough guns
Jdege, if he's like the rest of us, he never will anyway. There's no such thing as enough guns. :D


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It's like too much money, there's no such thing
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