Colt SAA As An Investment


August 26, 2007, 03:58 PM
Perhaps one of the most recognizable handguns of all time is the Colt SAA. It has appeared in more movies and TV shows than I care to know. In addition, many less expensive versions of this gun have been marketed for shooters. This brings me to the point of this thread: has anyone purchased a Colt SAA solely as an investment commodity? Strange as this might seem, people do invest in a variety of commodities, and it does not seem implausible that someone might invest in this particular gun. I would appreciate some thoughts on this matter.


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August 26, 2007, 04:32 PM
My $0.02: There are a lot of good reasons to buy nice vintage guns, such as an original Colt SAA. With rare exceptions, though, an investment isn't one of them, IMO. Yes, assuming you bought a bona fide original, it'll hold its value and will probably even go up some. It'll be a hoot to hold and to show and possibly even shoot (oh, but it's an investment, so you better not shoot it), But for something to be a good investment you 1) ought to get a good return and 2) be willing to sell it at some point to realize that return. Over the last 40 years, the S&P500 returned 7%. If you bought Colt SAA for $4k (a guess), in 10 years, it would have to be worth nearly $8k to match even the S&P500. Will it be? Maybe. How much have they been increasing in value? Was that $4k gun selling for $3800 last year? Would you be willing to sell it at some point? Would you be willing to not shoot it?

I'd love to get one of these, so I'd say go for it it you really want one. Then enjoy it and pass it on to your heirs. If if ends up becoming more valuable in the interim years, great. But if you're only considering it as an investment, I'd say there are a lot better places to put your money.

Jim March
August 26, 2007, 04:54 PM
Investment-grade guns are a MAJOR specialty you shouldn't get into without some hardcore research, way past what you'll get in answers on a web-forum.

If you don't do your homework it's real easy to lose your shirt.

The Lone Haranguer
August 26, 2007, 05:59 PM
Even I, an investing ignoramus, know you should not buy high (as they are now) and sell low (as will happen when you try to resell it).

August 26, 2007, 08:40 PM
The only real investment-grade SAAs are those made before WW2, and CERTAIN ones made during the Second Generation. I am sure there are exceptions, but Colt has been lowering the price on the Third-Generation guns the last few years, while upping the QC, so guys who bought themselves a new "real" Colt a few years ago have actually seen their investments lose value by hundreds of dollars. To recognize a good deal on the First and Second Generations, a guy has to really know his stuff, and be able to spot non-factory work and outright fakes.

Peter M. Eick
August 26, 2007, 08:43 PM
The problem with real collector's or investment grade guns is finding someone who wants it when you want to sell it. I have a few of them but it would be hard to "turn them" for a reasonable profit in a short period of time.

Aim more for the 1 to 4K$ guns that can bought by the masses and appreciate. Right now Colts Diamondbacks seem hot. PreWar S&W anythings are good. Early 1911's are always a safe bet.

August 26, 2007, 08:44 PM
2nd Gen NIB NEVER EVEN SPUN. Yes they are an investment. Cylinder spun is a 1000-1500 dollar loss.

First Gen Read everything you can. To many are messed with and faked be very carefull.

August 26, 2007, 10:24 PM
For now IMHO SAA prices have peaked . I look for nice 1st generation Bisleys and such before they hit the store and give the 1-2K $ for a clean one. I look for the slower moving 2nd Gen. models (like the .357s and .44spls) and find a nice one for $800-1100. I inventory everything with pictures and current values ect. I won't make a lot, but if inflation makes our money go way down- well the old 'guns and gold' addage!;)

August 26, 2007, 10:30 PM
Aren't current SAAs made by Uberti for Colt?

August 26, 2007, 11:04 PM
I would not buy one as an investment. there are too many other ways to make money out there that have a better return.
I do have a very nice 1st generation Colt that is in mint condition with all matching numbers that has been in the family many years. I think it was made about 1905-06. I keep saying I am going to get a letter of authenticity from Colt but have yet to shell out the $150 for it. I am sure I will one of these days it would be nice to see where my grandfathers Colt came from. He may have even bought it new, I am not sure. rumor in the family is that it was what he carried when he became a motorcycle patrolman for the city of San Antonio in 1917. It has since been handed down to me. I don't think of it as an investment because I would never sell it, this one is to be handed down.

August 26, 2007, 11:23 PM
Only buy a SAA as 1st Gen if you really know what you are looking or really trust the dealer. There is a considerable amount of questionable guns out there. They have came out of the woodwork with the New high prices. IMHO SAAs have a little room to climb left and then they are going to take a fall.

I only buy for my personal taste and not to sell unless you are a dealer you aren't going to make a good return so I'd stick with good Mutual Funds or quality stocks. If you happen onto a great deal then sure go for it--but alot of those deals might not be as great as they look.

Also be cautious of some fine gun dealers I once got sold a Holland and Holland that was not exactly what the dealer told me I was getting but a rather nice forgery. Thankfully I am not an H&H expert and the dealer had guaranteed it to be as sold and took it back. However, that same dealer sent the gun to another shop and passed it onto some other unsuspecting buyer. This lost my business permanently. I will never purchase another item from that organization.

Double Naught Spy
August 26, 2007, 11:30 PM
As with most other investments, you really need to have many before the investment is actually beneficial to you for investment purposes. You might be able to turn a profit, maybe even a pretty good profit, but unless you have a gun portfolio and have purchased wisely, singular investments such as a Colt SAA won't turn you enough profit to actually have much of an impact on your overall investment portfolio.

August 26, 2007, 11:55 PM
The advice you gentlemen have given is sound. The Colt SAA, like any commodity, requires painstaking research before any investment is made. Otherwise, you can loose your proverbial shirt.

The reason I started this thread stems from a statement a gentleman made to me many years ago. He had purchased a 2nd generation Colt and thought it was a wise financial investment. At the time, I truly believed there were better investments that offered a greater return, but he disagreed. Since then, I have often wondered if any of our members shared his outlook. It seems everyone so far is more business savvy than that gentleman. I am proud of you. Thanks.


August 27, 2007, 08:02 AM
There is some great advice here. Investment grade firearms have greater risk and unless you have LOTS of cash to afford the best you're better off in the S&P 500.

Want a real Colt? Buy one or a pair of new 3rd generations and shoot them. Yeah, some people will pay alot more for "Unturned" Colts but can you really be sure? Are these worth the extra cost, IMHO: NO!

Expect to pay $1100-1500 NIB but they are real Colts made in the USA.


cortez kid
August 27, 2007, 11:32 AM
The problem is that you used the "buzz" word. Investment. I would'nt invest. I would accumulate. I haven't bought a used firearm yet that isn't worth more than what I paid for it. Sometimes a lot more. Get what you want, hold it or shoot it. Enjoy it. It will be worth more later. Use play-around money. Money that goes for icecream, McDonalds, movies. Let the professionals lose, I mean invest your money. Any good collection of most items, purchased with a little smarts and luck, will be worth more. Especially after you croak. :D

Michael Zeleny
August 27, 2007, 07:22 PM
I bought my first two Colts in my early twenties. They were a Match Target Woodsman and a 30-06 Colt Sauer. The .22 automatic was more of a single shot and the bolt action rifle turned out to be too glossy for my applications. I sold both of them for what I had in them and stayed away from Colts for nearly twenty years.

Over the past year, I have purchased five Colt handguns: a 1933 .45 Colt 7.5" SAA, a 1939 .45 ACP National Match Government Model, a 1936 .357 Magnum 6" Shooting Master, a 1963 4" .357 Magnum Python, and a 1977 6" .357 Magnum Python. I could not be more pleased with their quality and performance. Based on the current online auction prices, I could probably sell the SAA and the NM online within a month or two, for half again as much as I spent on them, and at least break even on the rest. But if I had to sell them in a hurry, I would be lucky to lose no more than half of my purchase price.

Guns are not a good investment vehicle. If I felt compelled to justify my gun purchases with the hope of future profit, I would either spend my money in the highest end of the market, or try to make educated guesses about future trends in gun control. Certain people have done very well trading rare 1st Generation SAAs and Registered Magnums in the high four to low five figures apiece. Likewise the crufflers with their mass quantities of SKS carbines and class III accumulators with their pre-1986 full autos. On the other hand, I wouldn't expect anyone to profit on run of the mill Glock or S&W semiautos, outside of artificial shortages of the kind imposed by CA drop safety requirements.

If I wanted to speculate on SAA appreciation, I would read every book I could find on the subject and follow auction sales both online and in realspace. I would buy the rarest prewar variations I could afford in the best condition I could find. I would resolve to take my time selling my guns and count on keeping them for at least a decade. I would maintain a complete inventory of my collection and instruct my heirs as to the best way of handling it after my death. Above all, I would make every effort to share my appreciation of fine guns with all interested parties. I take that as the main purpose of this forum.

August 28, 2007, 05:10 AM
Why buy a gun if you can't shoot it?

I have a Colt 1917, complete with US Property Stamp and a SAA. I shoot both of them, and from what I can tell, they have gone up in value a bit. I get more enjoyment out of shooting them than having them be "safe queens". I will pass them on to a "deserving person" when I die, not too soon I hope. In the meantime I will enjoy them.

Niether gun is an EDC gun. They are "treasures" that are treated as such. My "investments" are dealt with by my Financial Advisor, and he doesn't deal in guns. :)


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