Decreased value of fired gun?


June 24, 2008, 05:08 PM
I just purchased a new Ruger Vaquero .44 magnum, (Davidson or Davison ?special), 5 1/2" barrel, high gloss stainless steel, with rosewood grips. Incredibly BEAUTIFUL revolver. I've been told I'd be stupid if I fired it because the value would decrease so much. Is this true? I saved money for a LONG time to buy a revolver and just happened on this one. I bought it to use and not to just have. I value the opinions expressed here because if it weren't for a few people taking the time to reply to an earlier post, I would have bought the Heritage Rough Rider .45. I ask for input on this and the few that replied all said RUGER. THANK YOU!!! I held the Rough Rider and then the Ruger, forgot all about the Rough Rider immediately! You guys were right on, the Ruger just felt right and even with my limited experience, I could tell the Ruger was a far better gun. Thank You again! Back to my question; should I use my Vaquero or not? Is the value decrease that much?
I appreciate any opinions on this. Thanks in advance!!!

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June 24, 2008, 05:13 PM
It isn't a car; shoot your guns and clean them properly.

June 24, 2008, 05:13 PM
You will be pushing up daisies before it ever becomes worth any more then what you paid for it to a collector.

So, Shoot the darn thing!
That's what you bought it for.

It's a brand new Ruger, not an unfired 19th. century Colt SAA!
And even rare old Rugers are not worth a whole lot more then a similiar new one.


June 24, 2008, 05:19 PM
You've been saving for a new car for 6 months. You go to the lot and buy THE one you've wanted. Fill out the paperwork, shake hands, and you are handed the keys.

Then you stop, one foot out the door of the sale's cubicle because if you go one inch further, the value of your BRAND NEW car drops 15%-20%.

So you sit there, in the cubicle, afraid to drive your dream car because it'll depreciate.

Is it going to be a driving car or a museum piece? You want to drive it...

Moral of the story: did you buy the gun to be a collector or a shooter? If a shooter, then load it and shoot the hound out of it. If a collector, box it up with moisture-absorbing materials and lock it up, out of sight and out of mind.

Honestly, it'll probably lose some of its value. But, as a long-term weapon and tool, it will hold its value longer and depreciate a whole lot less rapidly than other guns [read: Rough Rider]. A Corvette holds its value a whole lot better than a Aveo.

My 2 cents???? Why are you sitting at your computer asking the question when you should already be posting range reports :p ???

June 24, 2008, 05:24 PM
When I bought my old model Vaquero it had been test fired at the factory, and I paid $394 out the door for it, I sold it last year on GB for $460 net to me.BTW it was exactly as the one in post one, 44mag SS 5.5" barrel

June 24, 2008, 05:26 PM
There are folks that pay thousands of dollars(and more) for classy shotguns and double rifles. They kill critters with said fine firearms.
A gun is for shootin, so go shoot it.

For the record, if someone gave to me an unfired 19th century Colt SAA, it would only remain unfired for as long as it took me to get to the range.

June 24, 2008, 05:39 PM
That right there will cost you several thousand dollars!


Old Fuff
June 24, 2008, 06:04 PM
For the record, if someone gave to me an unfired 19th century Colt SAA, it would only remain unfired for as long as it took me to get to the range.

Let us hope that no one gives you anything...

The following link might help some understand what can happen to values when deep pocketed collectors get interested in something that formally only shooters cared about.

June 24, 2008, 06:30 PM
Sorry, but allow me to make a bold statement.

I have enough respect for a firearm to use it for the purpose for which it was created. I can think of no greater disrespect than to leave a gun unfired.

Heck, leaving a gun unfired is like never hugging your grandma, or like marrying a virgin and making her stay that way.

June 24, 2008, 06:53 PM
my guns must be worthless..............:rolleyes:

June 24, 2008, 06:53 PM
Take that thing out and fire one round.

After that it won't matter. Go ahead and shoot 1,000,000 or so. :D

Old Fuff
June 24, 2008, 07:54 PM

I have enough respect for a firearm to use it for the purpose for which it was created. I can think of no greater disrespect than to leave a gun unfired.

If you look in the official Colt instruction book and owner's manual that comes whith each of their Single Action Army revolvers you will see that it says in bold print:


Yup, that's directly from the factory itself. They go on to explain that the gun is suppose to be a collector's item, and to fire it even so much as once will degrade its value. :eek: You shouldn't in fact, not even turn the cylinder lest you mark it up. :uhoh:

Now this is straight from the horse's mouth (pardon the pun) so obviously EVERY handgun is not made to be fired. I'm sure you wouldn't challange the Colt company as the top authority on this would you???

Would you... :neener:

June 24, 2008, 08:22 PM
I'd shoot it. It's a Ruger.

I have a number of guns that have not been fired and they never wll be by me.

June 24, 2008, 08:45 PM
Happiness is a warm gun.

Enjoy it, and by all means shoot it!

Depreciation in a guns value probably has alot more to do with how you treat it while in your posession.

As many have said above - clean it well after firing.


June 24, 2008, 09:14 PM
"I have enough respect for a firearm to use it for the purpose for which it was created. I can think of no greater disrespect than to leave a gun unfired."

Amen. A gun that wasn't made to be fired is a gun that's absolutely worthless to me.

"oh, honey! A robber has broken into the house!"

"Well, I suppose I could shoot him... I guess it depends on what he takes and if it's worth more or less than the amount this gun will depreciate if I shoot it... How much is your life insurance policy worth?"

I'm not saying you'd do this, but that popped into my head. I know you speak of range shooting, I'm just having a little fun. But you should go have fun too- go shoot your Ruger. Bill would roll in his grave if he thought people were buying his guns to lock away in a glass box!

June 24, 2008, 09:24 PM


Okay, so you meet the girl of your dreams.

She's... ahem.... chaste. Always has been.

So, in order to keep her in this pristine condition....... well, you know. Hands off.

After all, she'd be worth a lot more to you that way, no?

Wouldn't want to decrease her value.


(please note I'm not suggesting you shoot her, so to speak)

June 24, 2008, 09:30 PM
The real question is did you buy it as an investment or did you buy it to shoot. That will determine what you do with it.

June 24, 2008, 09:52 PM
bullseye308 Nailed it!

If you bought it as an investment, as mentioned, Rugers have not been the best investment anyway.
If you bought it bacause you wanted one of the toughest, best built guns available right now, you did good, as they are one of the best.

Shoot it! Just take good care of it. That alone will have more to do with how well it holds it's value. Used guns that don't look used are the ones that hold value.

June 24, 2008, 10:38 PM
Old Fluff, I reckon you have a point in that instance.

Otherwise, the wheel on the gun goes round and round. :p

June 24, 2008, 10:44 PM
The real question is did you buy it as an investment or did you buy it to shoot. That will determine what you do with it.

Yep, if it was an investment don't... but that isn't 120 year old revolver, I'd shoot the heck out of it myself. Oh yeah, keep it clean too!

June 24, 2008, 11:52 PM
Who told you that you'd be foolish to shoot it? Because in all honesty, they are just peeing on your parade. The Davidson's special edition Vaqueros are very nice guns, but we are still talking Ruger new Vaqueros here. It's a current production gun made to be a shooter, at a price point shooters can afford. That's really the story of the Ruger SA revolver, start to finish right there; it's why they make them! We're not talking about some kind of $5000 NIB custom shop one off price drop here.

Of course you should shoot it!

Long term, it'll hold it's relative value as well as any other handgun as long as you're not using it to stir stew and pistol whip the lamp post. I'm kind of peeved at whoever told you not to shoot it.

June 25, 2008, 12:12 AM
FWIW, shoot it and enjoy it. Take care of it. Having a beautiful gun and not shooting it is like having a beautiful girlfriend/wife and not making love to her.....:evil:

June 25, 2008, 12:25 AM
Gee, I thought things gained value from being scarce... not pristine. I'm sure that an "unfired" weapon might draw more money, but the ones that have been fired are where it's reputation will be determined. There's an Arab sheik that has a diamond covered car that he charges $1000 for people to simply touch... but I can think of lots of things to do with a grand that don't involve the momentary pleasure of touching his car... same with having a "bookshelf" gun.

If you're buying guns for investment, you have to be able to read the future and know which ones are more valuable than others. "DON'T FIRE THIS WEAPON" is merely Colt's take on the value of the gun... and while they might like to be in the collector business, they're in the gun business... and it would piss me off if Smith and Wesson sold me a gun and then instructed me "dont fire it"... it's a collector's item... so was my '66 Mustang... and I put a couple of hundred thousand miles on it.

If you want to invest, talk to an investment counselor... not your local gun dealer. While the gun company's stocks are on the market, I don't see where investment brokers are piling huge sums of money into stockpiling "collector firearms". There's always been a collector's market, and probably always will be... but guns are meant to be fired... not kept as paperweights... except for the SNS that aren't safe to use (and unfortunately, I have one of those).


Steve C
June 25, 2008, 01:30 AM
I've bought and sold a few guns in the last 30 years and never sold one for less than I paid for it. Inflation and the cost of new guns will make it worth just what you paid for it in 5 years in private sale whether you shoot it or not as long as you keep it in good shape, IE don't drop it on the concrete, don't let it rust, don't bugger it up with "customizations". Generally used guns will appreciate the most and if you find good deals even better.

Money you put into a gun 'customizing' it is seldom recouped.

June 25, 2008, 06:55 AM
Fun and interesting read, especially for a duffer who isn't going to buy anything I don't intend to shoot.

June 25, 2008, 09:37 AM
At my estate sale the auctioner says nib never fired its a lie!

June 25, 2008, 10:59 AM
That comment by the auctioneer concerns test firing at the factory not necessarily shooting by the owner. A gun can be NIB and have been test fired as that is the way it came from the factory.

June 25, 2008, 12:08 PM
He said his estate sale, and since I doubt he's deceased at present, what he means is that he's going to fire any gun he owns.

I think it would be interesting to see what's valuable years from now. People knock some makers right now, but there's a lot of high dollar items on the collectors market that were considered sub-par, junk, or just plain utility when they were new. So there's no telling what could happen.

June 25, 2008, 10:16 PM
Thanks! I bought it to shoot and it's been killing me not to. The guy that told me not to shoot it is a co-worker. He has several guns and has never fired any of them (that's what he said anyway). I'll be shooting it this week end :D and now that I think of it, I'm not sure why I listened to him in the first place. I bought a box of .44 specials and a box of magnums, both 240 grain.

June 25, 2008, 11:31 PM
Enjoy it. Like my first post, it's a Ruger and most Rugers are not very collectable with some exceptions. You'd probably have to wait 20 years for it to be considered a collector piece with any apprecable increase in value over regular factory production. Shoot it and take care of it. If by chance it does become more valuable, you'll just have a 95 or 98% gun vs 100%.

Years ago Colt made Commerative and limited production guns (by design, say a 500 production run). They were usually designed for collectors. Collectors discovered that the regular production guns were usually more valuable and some began shooting their commerative guns. Makes perfect sense to me. This frequently applied to the single action colts.

June 26, 2008, 04:02 PM
For the record, if someone gave to me an unfired 19th century Colt SAA, it would only remain unfired for as long as it took me to get to the range.

And I would put some holster wear on it, field carry it, and add some character marks as well.

Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 10:01 PM
And I would put some holster wear on it, field carry it, and add some character marks as well.

After you came up with the 30 to 70 thousand dollars it would probably take to buy it.

Dream on... :neener:

June 26, 2008, 10:20 PM
Just think of how much more valuable the other unfired copies would become when we reduce their numbers. :) We're doing collectors a favor!

June 26, 2008, 10:43 PM
Missouri-Shooter, it's a Ruger Vaquero, not a 1900 Colt Bisley. Shoot the thing! It may someday make some kind of "collector" status, but in the grand scheme of things, it will never be very valuable.

As for Colt Single Action Armies, too bad they weren't made to be shot. I'm disgusted to have been part of devaluing a wonderful example of a current production, 3rd-gen SAA in .45 Colt. I got to shoot rounds 6-10 through it! :neener:

June 26, 2008, 10:43 PM
I almost think these comments are humorous about shooting a 100 year old Colt single action. Mostly I dismiss them as uninformed....

June 27, 2008, 05:52 AM
I have guns I've shot 3000+ through, and they look new to the naked eye.

June 27, 2008, 12:10 PM
Pretty sweet Old Fuff ... well maybe not pretty.

June 27, 2008, 04:19 PM
The real "collectors" value on a new Ruger will be when your Grandson says to his son " this was your Great Grampas' gun, the one he taught me to shoot with", waitin' for a Ruger to "appreciate" in value is like waitin' for compost to turn into crude oil.

June 27, 2008, 04:24 PM
What will give you the most pleasure.

1. Shooting the heck out of your new revolver.

2. Your grandson or great grandson getting $75.00 more for it because it wasn't ever fired.

I have a few pricey firearms. Some are unfired. Even if they are 65 years old they are NIB. If I have another just like it (model 91 winchester for example), why shoot the new one? If I didn't have another, I would shoot the new one. This is a hard question for newbies until you decide whether you are a collecter or a shooter. I've decided! I'm a shooter!

You have to decide what you are. If you decide to be a shooter, take good care of your weapon but shoot it.

If you are a collector, stop buying Ruger Vaqueros and don't shoot what you collect. What do you enjoy the most.


June 27, 2008, 04:58 PM
I know a guy who never really uses anything new he gets. He's the kind of guy that keeps on the plastic wrapping on everything he buys. The transparent sticker screen covers on his cell phones stay on until he resells them. He only buys white vehicles because he says that the color helps resale value, even though his favorite color is red. All in name of preserving the resale value. And he has a point, he usually gets pretty good resale value on the things he sells.

But, I think that he never really enjoys what he buys. Some people are like that. It seems to me that you bought a gun to shoot it, so go ahead... SHOOT IT. You will feel so much better once you do.

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