Where are gun prices going ??


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John Fugate
July 15, 2008, 12:52 PM
I have watched guns actually double in price over the last three years and in some cases triple. I am talking about REAL investment grade guns like older New in the Box Smiths and Colts and Winchesters. Where is this market going ??? Is it topped out ? Will it fall ? Has it slowed down ? Any thoughts ,,, I am banking on the prices to continue to rise,, thats where my money is at, but I would like some input from the forum. I want to say this sure is nice forum and I am glad to be a part of it.
John

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Thaddeus Jones
July 15, 2008, 01:01 PM
They are going up.

Maybe unscrupulous gun dealers scouring gun board classifieds, and auction sites, and buying up nice guns at reasonable prices, then turning around and immediately offering the same guns for sale at exorbatant prices, and running sham auctions on Gunbroker are to blame.

What do you think Mr Fugate?

redneckrepairs
July 15, 2008, 01:14 PM
Investment grade guns seldom go down any , and then only a short dip time wise . However the " gun of the moment " that brings a premium is not an investment , its a sellers dream . I'll point to the prices mod 29 smiths brought after each " dirty harry " movie as an example . Good 29s are now coming back to the prices that some were paying for them then .

mtngunr
July 15, 2008, 01:29 PM
On all these investment guns, how many tanks of gasoline did they cost, and how many tanks of gasoline are they worth now? Or gallons of milk?

22-rimfire
July 15, 2008, 01:37 PM
The market over all has not topped off. The market is trendy and somethings increase in value faster than others for reasons other than rarity.

Look at Colt Diamondbacks as a good example... Prices were pretty flat for years in the early to mid 1990's until one day everything changed. I don't know what changed?? People began buying them rapidly a few years back and the maket price increased. Collectors started to look at the different variations and the prices on the rarer variations skyrocketed. At the moment, the market seems to have leveled out on them at around $1000-$1200 for a nice speciman in 22. So, the price essentially doubled to trippled on the common ones and went up as much as 10-fold on the rare variations. Doubling of the price does not seem unreasonable with the interest and the current price of quality guns.

redneckrepairs
July 15, 2008, 02:29 PM
On all these investment guns, how many tanks of gasoline did they cost, and how many tanks of gasoline are they worth now? Or gallons of milk?

Ok buy a tank of gas , or a gallon of milk today and see what it is worth in 30 years . Just put your gallon(s ) into safe storage and watch the current prices much less the " collectors price " of vintage gas or milk . Food is going to go up in spite of " farmer welfare " that many here bitch about , its driven by oil prices . If you had a bushel of say wheat from the turn of the century you would make a bit ( as sales wheat from then is virtually worthless as seed ) , if you had a gallon of milk you would have a science experiment , and time to write the paper on it . If however you had an early 1911 or better yet a 1903 well then the market bears it out . Grain and meat have not kept up with inflation due to " farmer welfare " . I do ranch , and i have yet to take a .gov payment on my cattle . 2 years ago i lost half the calf crop and no one is offering to pay me for the dead calves ( the ones who were not frozen we hauled into our living room to feed and maby save .. clean that off your carpet ) . Talk crap about the price of food when you have a clue . To the mods ... i apologize that my post was not high road . I just snapped i guess hearing again how high food is today when compared to lasting items such as collector level firearms . I produce some of that food , and i collect firearms too lol .

welldoya
July 15, 2008, 02:56 PM
Just because they've gone up in the past, doesn't mean they will keep going up. The real estate market disproved that theory.
I think as the economy heads south and people don't have as much discretionary income, prices will level out or even drop.
I may be my imagination but it seems that I am already seeing that on Gunbroker.
I was watching the Barrett/Jackson Classic Car auction last night and I was amazed at how little some of the cars brought. Much less than they would have brought a few years ago.
Hmmm. Sounds like maybe the originator of this thread may not have too many fans around here.

Hawk
July 15, 2008, 03:08 PM
I only got back into firearms recently but it's my impression that markets can soften in anything. Beanie babies, rubber-nosed Corvettes, whatever.

I discovered a short while ago that if I state that current Colt SAAs retain value real well I should take care not to state such in front of people that paid 1,700.00 a decade or so ago. I gather that between distribution changes and some other arcana a new SAA is 400.00 less right now than it was.

USFA recently had a round of MSRP drops.

The real old - "don't shoot it" stuff may be safer but I've watched a certain 20,000.00 investment grade Colt on Auction Arms for the last two years. It'll no doubt sell someday. I was brought up to believe if something sits on your showroom floor for two years you've taken it in the shorts - a profit that takes two years to realize is no profit. Investment grade firearms seem to sell in their own sweet time - any attempt to rush the process will drop the sell price like a stone. They're a conspicuously poor investment for anyone without patience or that might need to liquidate in a hurry.

I believe it was Greenspan that noted that the definition of a "bubble" was knowingly overpaying for something based solely on anticipation of somebody else knowingly overpaying even more. That would certainly seem to be the case when spending 20,000.00 in 2008 dollars for two 3" barreled Pythons.

Personally, I won't spend more than 5 bucks for any "collectible" unless my betters vouch for the seller. Investments are to some extent a matter of trust - particularly with those few of us that are unprepared for the pittfalls in collecting. It's not a field for the uneducated or unwary.

Phydeaux642
July 15, 2008, 03:52 PM
I know this may sound silly, but I hope they quit this ridiculous climb brought on by unscrupulous knuckleheads that really are only in the hobby for the money. It sure would be nice to walk into a shop on occaision and walk away without feeling like I have been violated.

fugotti
July 15, 2008, 07:43 PM
Yes you are correct. I am Matt Fugate and I have never tried to hide the fact. Why does everyone feel this is some big secret that you have told here. If you want to know the story just ask. ;)

Evocatii
July 15, 2008, 08:16 PM
Not sure if anyone else mentioned this...

My personal opinion is that the price of firearms (particularly new ones) is most affected by the rising cost of metals and the diminishing value of the dollar. Put them together and you have doubled and tripled price tags.

Investment guns are also affected by these cost increases to some degree. Dollar value would be the biggest factor I suppose.

Brian Williams
July 15, 2008, 08:22 PM
All complaints about the Fugate's business dealings go here in the "rate retail transaction, forum
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=378146

The Prices thread will stay open and be HighRoad or those being nasty will be banned.

Brian Dale
July 16, 2008, 12:55 AM
I want to say this sure is a nice forum and I am glad to be a part of it. Sorry about the bumps in the road on this thread, John.

My view is that gun prices will stay up; some will continue to increase slowly and the prices of various categories of guns will jump drastically as fashions make them more popular. Collectors' pieces will bring stratospheric prices.

Welcome to THR.

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 04:41 AM
Thank everyone for their comments. I am inclined to think the prices will move on up simply because the demand seems to outweigh the supply. I have been looking for a few pre war guns to complete my collection and I cannot find them at any price, therefore when I do find them "if I do" I will have to pay the price whatever is ask and I will. I searched for 7 years a NIB Colt Bankers Special .38 square butt for several years and I never found one better than 95% and that’s just not what I wanted. I had it in my mind not to pay over 3k for what I was looking for. When I got the call that one was for sale NIB for 4800.00 I broke my neck to get to where it was at and could not pay the gentleman fast enough when I realized I had found the perfect example ''the test target got me." What I am getting is how can you put a price on these NIB investment grade guns? What’s too much. 3k was tops for me on my 7 year hunt for a NIB bankers special until I found it and right then and there my budget went out the window. I will admit I lost my cool and went overboard, but you know what? I got what I wanted and I was a happy camper and I still love to look at the gun to this day. I think if the buyer and seller agree on a deal and both parties are happy when the deal is complete it’s a good thing regardless of price. This is just my point of view and I know we all have different views on this that is why I started the thread to see things though others eyes. I may be the only who feels this way but I am very happy with my overpriced Bankers Special.

John

Oro
July 16, 2008, 05:28 AM
Gun prices have been dropping since last December, as those of us who take careful note of transaction prices well know. They are down about 10% since then, supply is up about 20%, and the trend isn't going to turn around soon.

I spent a prior life as a stock broker and then money manager. How markets work was my life, and this one is just in the very early stages of a good sized downturn. The underlying fundamentals are, as always, supply and demand. Guns are not a restricted commodity like gold. Manufacturers are happy to forge, cast, machine and (sadly in some cases) stamp whatever you want to buy.

Collectible gun prices have undergone a ramp-up the last five/six years because of a few factors:

1) the internet, which has created a national, instead of local marketplace
2) In the case of S&W, the works of Roy Jinks and Supica/Nahas, who have published some great works which have drawn attention to a stellar product
3) The general economic boom, which has enabled the "average" man to plunk down $1k for a 38/44, 27, Gold Cup, pre-64 Winnie 1894, etc.

At the end of the day, the first two support the price rise and won't go away. The third item will go away rapidly as the $5/gallon fuel costs start to work their way through our economy. It has already started going away based on transaction prices and supply/demand curves. Go to GB and search up "686" or something and see how many are for sale, and how many actually have bids. The effects of this have not yet even begun to be felt - people are in shock and hope it goes away, but it's permanent and once that message gets through, there will be a large re-alignment of costs, profits, and pay throughout our economy, and it won't be pretty.

The best advice I ever read/heard about a down market was from the fabled investor Sir John Templeton. He said something like "When you think a market crash has hit bottom and you want to buy, wait six more months." Anyone who's worked in financial markets knows "six month" is the market equivalent of two life-times. My best estimate is that this market is about a year or two from bottom.

You can try to talk up prices if you want, but it would be wiser to sit back and wait...

LA Rondo
July 16, 2008, 05:58 AM
Guns may not be a restricted commodity like Gold, but they are certainly subject to significant market limitations.
A continued initiative called "Guncontrol" does take care of it and limits distribution dramatically.
Given different state laws, I can only speak for CA.

It doesn't matter, how many revolvers S&W puts out in a fiscal cycle, I can by law only pruchase 1 new firearm evey 30 days. That's a very restricted market, which is not helpful to lower prices.

On the used market Californians are unable to import "New Old Blood" from out of state because of the same restrictions. So prices for those used guns that cannot be restocked thru import will remain high, unless you find somebody who wants to get rid of it quickly and/or needs the cash.

Alltogether, it may not be a restricted commodity, but it certainly is very restricted market. Those restrictions bump the price, like it or not.

Mr Fugate,
your passion for collecting your desirables, certainly derserves every respect, yet it does not reflect investor behavior.

But you never know, some day it may be even worth more to someone else, in case you decide to put it on the market.

However, compassionate spending also supports higher price levels.

Oro
July 16, 2008, 06:30 AM
LA Rondo has brought up a great point I had not adequately addressed.

CA, a massive part of the US economy, is now effectively out of the used firearm market. NYC, a hotbed of wealth and millions of people, is also effectively out (and I know wherefrom I speak, lived under it's vile laws for eight years). MD is also in about the same category.

If makes used prices in CA really high, but it denies NYC, CA, and Chicago citizens the ability to buy in the market place. These are significant buying sources that are shut down, and likely won't change for years until the effects of Parker, et al and Heller work their way through the system.

Very good point.

Brian Dale
July 16, 2008, 06:32 AM
You can try to talk up prices if you want, but it would be wiser to sit back and wait...Thank you!

Oro
July 16, 2008, 06:36 AM
Hey Brian,

Thanks for the endorsement, but am actually posting to say I've always admired your signature line. Wise advice. Sometimes I fail. Now that the pleasantries are aside, let's talk about how you spell your name...;) (No, really, I love your sig. line.)

Bryan

Brian Dale
July 16, 2008, 07:14 AM
Bryan...Hmmm...looks like a typo to me... :scrutiny:

:D

Thanks for your thoughts about my sig line. It's a good reminder for me; I make a fool of myself often enough as it is.

Brian

BryanP
July 16, 2008, 09:51 AM
Bryan...Hmmm...looks like a typo to me...

Nah. Those of us who spell it correctly know better. ;)

Pilot
July 16, 2008, 10:17 AM
Just because they've gone up in the past, doesn't mean they will keep going up. The real estate market disproved that theory.

Sorry, but I think you are wrong. Gun prices have and will continue to go up GRADUALLY. The real estate market, the commodities market and the stock market all had bubbles because they went up too quickly. Guns will keep pace or out pace inflation even in a poor economy.

Hawk
July 16, 2008, 11:47 AM
Sorry, but I think you are wrong. Gun prices have and will continue to go up GRADUALLY. The real estate market, the commodities market and the stock market all had bubbles because they went up too quickly. Guns will keep pace or out pace inflation even in a poor economy.

I tend to agree in those cases where the value indeed goes up gradually.

However, there are numerous examples of precipitous price increases and little mini-bubbles bursting. Speculative buying has risks. Pricing based strictly on rarity can backfire as soon as a fashion moves on or something impacts the rarity.

My wild guess is that the individual that paid 20,000.00 for two 3" barrel Pythons will be holding onto those things for a long time before a profit is realized. Not an issue if one simply likes 3" Pythons but if one is looking to make a profit, as opposed to his heirs cashing in, there are probably better choices.

Hows'about SIG semi-auto 550s? There's a NIB on GB that's been listed 11 times in the last 90 days and is averaging a closing bid (below reserve) of roughly 7,500.00. Weren't those going for 10 large a decade ago?

One of my dealers, not generally given to irrationality, is stubbornly holding onto a grocery bag full of Glock magazines he gave 45.00 a piece for waiting for the market to catch up to his purchase price. Darn AWB sunset anyway.

SIG 550 pricing may have been depressed by the 556, I don't know. But I wouldn't be surprised to see the rare Colt bubble go splat without Colt having to resurrect the line. It could collapse simply from fashion changes blowing in the breeze. Or not. Nobody knows.

The milder examples of Colt and USFA price drops in the more or less recent past remain. The irony of the Colt example is that no small number of people actually bought SAAs at the 1,700.00 tariff as an investment. Anybody that had anything to do with that lesson will have a long memory.

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 12:07 PM
Kamerer,
You post was most informative and I agree with part of your analysis. You are correct about the 686 Smiths on GB,, most do not have bids. That is not the part of the hobby I am referring to. A Smith and Wesson 686 is not an investment grade item to me its a service item. I am talking about 30 year old guns new in the box and pre war hard to find guns and such. Guns that are not readily availible are the items I am trying to figure out the future of, a 686 is a 500.00 gun and will be next year as well. I am talking about guns like the nice pre war 38/44 outdoorsman recently on gunbroker that brought 2500.00 on a buy it now in the matter of hours,, How can you put a figure on that gun ? I thought long and hard about buying the gun and probably should have but I didnt it. A gun like that is hard to go buy a blue book,, because its the only one I have seen surface in a few months on the web. I know these items are out there but I cant pic up the phone and buy one so where does that factor in on its value. I wish I could buy out of the blue book or any gun value guides, when some tells me a pre war NIB K22 only books for 1100.00 dollars my response is where do I order one. I am getting older and just trying to balance my 401,, it seems these type of guns have had a huge increase over the last three years but where does it end ? I just dont want to have have all my eggs in one basket when the dance is over. Its kinda like gold,, you see it going up everyday but what are the key factors in it all and what makes us invest or not ? Can the bottom line be oil prices dictate our gold prices as well as investment grade firearms ? They seem to be hand in hand, one must admit ? Once again I appreciate your response and I think you have valid valuable evaluation of things. I just wanted to clarify the type of items I am researching. I am sorry if I did not make that clearer in the first of the thread. Let me know what you think, I would like to hear you opinion. I like the fact your response was based on real facts and real concrete evidence. One last question if you had to put 10,000 bucks somewhere as a five year investment where would it be ? Oil Gold Diamonds Cattle Land S&P 500 or NIB five screw S&W's ? I'll take the cold blue steel please but thats just me.

Thank You , John

Quote
"You can't fake it if your gonna make it You got to live it"
Randall Hank Williams Jr.

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 12:09 PM
Kamerer,
You post was most informative and I agree with part of your analysis. You are correct about the 686 Smiths on GB,, most do not have bids. That is not the part of the hobby I am referring to. A Smith and Wesson 686 is not an investment grade item to me its a service item. I am talking about 30 year old guns new in the box and pre war hard to find guns and such. Guns that are not readily availible are the items I am trying to figure out the future of, a 686 is a 500.00 gun and will be next year as well. I am talking about guns like the nice pre war 38/44 outdoorsman recently on gunbroker that brought 2500.00 on a buy it now in the matter of hours,, How can you put a figure on that gun ? I thought long and hard about buying the gun and probably should have but I didnt it. A gun like that is hard to go by a blue book,, because its the only one I have seen surface in a few months on the web. I know these items are out there but I cant pic up the phone and buy one so where does that factor in on its value. I wish I could buy out of the blue book or any gun value guides, when some tells a pre war NIB K22 only books for 1100.00 dollars my response is where do I order one. I am getting older and just trying to balance my 401,, it seems these type of guns have had a huge increase over the last three years but where does it end ? I just dont want to have have all my eggs in one basket when the dance is over. Its kinda like gold,, you see it going up everyday but what are the key factors in it all and what makes us invest or not ? Can the bottom line be oil prices dictate our gold prices as well as investment grade firearms ? They seem to be hand in hand, one must admit ? Once again I appreciate your response and I think you have valid valuable evaluation of things. I just wanted to clarify the type of items I am researching. I am sorry if I did not make that clearer in the first of the thread. Let me now what you think, I would like to hear you opinion. I like the fact your response was based on real facts and real concrete evidence. One last question if you had to invest 10k for a five year maximum return where would you put it ? Gold Diamonds Oil Land S&P 500 or NIB 5 screw S&W's. I will take the cold blue steel but thats just me.
Thank You , John

Quote
"You can't fake it if your gonna make it You got to live it"
Randall Hank Williams Jr.

mtngunr
July 16, 2008, 12:10 PM
Mr. Redneckrepairs,
I was only pointing out there are very many ways of looking at gun values....in a way, they are at all-time lows when compared to prices of consumables that nobody can do without.
There was no dig at the (all stand, please) Redblooded All-American Farmer, as I grew up on a small family farm and know all about getting up before sunrise to feed chickens, slop hogs, and milk cows, plus bunches of backbreaking labor in fields before the big operations with big equipment came along....

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 12:37 PM
Sir, I did not take it as a dig of any kind. I am just trying to map out the future of collectible firearms and I figured this was a good place to get input. You address me as Mr redneckrepairs ? Is this because of my poor tying skills,, ? If so I understand and yes I have slopped hogs a few hogs myself and feed 200 head of cattle to this day but for how long I do not know. I have taken the largest portion of my farm operation out of cattle and have been raising corn, I know all about the All-American Farmer. God Bless this country and those who grow our food.
John

mtngunr
July 16, 2008, 12:59 PM
Nope, replying to another poster on the thread...personal feeling on investment guns being most folk can't afford true investment guns....investment guns being those so rare and expensive that only the very wealthy can afford them....ornate early guns, rare Winchesters, that sort of thing....only the buyer guarantees the value, and wealthy buyers are what it takes to maintain value.

All the complaining about higher prices is being blamed on sellers.....like gasoline prices, it's the buyers who are driving up prices....if nobody bought at high prices, the prices WOULD fall.

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 01:51 PM
Thank You for letting me know he was replying to another member, I appreciate that, sorry for the confusion. Also let me commend you on your answer, I think you hit the nail on the head. I think the buyers control the market not the sellers,,, He who pays too much is the one driving up the prices/market. The seller is just along for the ride. I am glad to pay 4 bucks a gallon for gas. Dont get me wrong, I dont like the price but I do like the product. I aint gonna walk,,,, I'm gonna ride.
John

Phydeaux642
July 16, 2008, 03:56 PM
Collectible gun prices have undergone a ramp-up the last five/six years because of a few factors:

1) the internet, which has created a national, instead of local marketplace

You know, that is very interesting to me that this has happened with guns. It seems to me that the internet has hurt the value of a number of other collectables.

Old Fuff
July 16, 2008, 04:06 PM
An example. Note the opening and final prices. Current book value of the piece is about $500.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=103727115

JohnBT
July 16, 2008, 04:50 PM
Didn't they make the Terrier from the mid-30s to the mid-'70s? I know some of them got used, and used up, but there must be some nice ones left in circulation. I found one on GA that sold for $695, but that still seems too high.

Who knows which guns will be valuable tomorrow. I never thought I'd see people paying $400 or $500 or more for a Winchester Model 72 (sort of inexpensive .22 bolt action) and that much or more for a Remington Nylon 76 lever action .22.

Here's a Nylon 76, "never fired", with an asking price of $995.

www.gunsamerica.com/915016493/Guns-For-Sale/Gun-Auctions/Rifles/Remington-Rifles-Modern/Non-Model-700/REMINGTON_NYLON_76_LEVER_ACTION_22CAL_BEST_I_VE_SEEN.htm

And I thought I overpaid for the pretty nice one I gave my uncle a few years ago. HA! That $450 seems downright cheap now.

John

P.S. - You know all of that money that was going into real estate investments and the stock market? For the time being it's going into other things. That will change eventually and the price pressure in some sectors will ease off.

LA Rondo
July 16, 2008, 04:52 PM
You can try to talk up prices if you want, but it would be wiser to sit back and wait...

I think the same, that's why I never bid early in an internet auction.
Early bidding does nothing but driving up the price.

If you're really up to something, you wait and watch, just like a Mountain Lion and you act up to the situation at the moment of truth :D

BTW, I think the CA ban is lifted when it comes to anything older than 1940-50.
I am not into those items, but I think from there and older CA considers it rather a collectible then a firearm. So, imports are possible.

I never buy at MSRP. Usually way below, which helps at least to control a possible loss.

An investment can have different attributes, such as stable value, or value increase/loss option.

Even a 686 can be a solid investment.
It's value may not increase to dwindling heights, but if you buy at a price low enough, it also won't fall thru the bottom.

If you treat it well and keep it in good condition, it can achieve proper resale $$$, which together with increasing inflation rates can still be considerable.

LA Rondo
July 16, 2008, 05:01 PM
An example. Note the opening and final prices. Current book value of the piece is about $500.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=103727115
Good example. Lucky seller. Must have been a bunch of folks really after it.

The internet made it possible for the common man to do something, which in the past was reserved for the "well-to-do". Auction bidding.

LA Rondo
July 16, 2008, 05:05 PM
All the complaining about higher prices is being blamed on sellers.....like gasoline prices, it's the buyers who are driving up prices....if nobody bought at high prices, the prices WOULD fall.Absolutely.

Old Fuff
July 16, 2008, 05:20 PM
Good example. Lucky seller. Must have been a bunch of folks really after it.


Which brings up a good point: What is happening can be as important to sellers as it is to buyers.

The true value of something is what someone else will pay to get it. :scrutiny:

nicki
July 16, 2008, 05:24 PM
Buy investment grade guns only if you love the guns.

A investment that you can't quickly liquidate is tied up working capital.

With the economy tanking, there will be lots of potential buys.

If you are going to be a serious firearm investor, then become a licensed gun dealer so that you can go to estate sales and easily acquire guns.

Buy doing this, you can now have business related expenses.

Of course you won't be able to take vacations with your family, but you can take them with you on your "business trips" that you make while you are prospecting for gun purchases from estates.

KBintheSLC
July 16, 2008, 07:20 PM
I assume they will keep going up. Gun and ammo prices are tied closely to three factors...

1-The cost of raw materials
2-The cost of energy
3-The political environment at large

... currently none of the three look too good.

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 08:48 PM
All I can say is you guy have some great views on the subject ,actual and factual. I like that !! Concrete answers and a good forum. Solid !
John

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 09:05 PM
Nicki,
You are correct about your statement
'' A investment that you can't quickly liquidate is tied up working capital ''.

True investment grade guns are liquid, but so many people buy the wrong items thinking they are buying investment grade guns. People buy what they like and assume they are investing there money wisely, sometimes yes and most of the time no. I hate to see people buy the wrong items and get dissapointed when they go to cash out. But its trial and error we all have bought the wrong things sometime or another,, I dont remember all of my winners but I can tell you every loser I ever had. It sticks with you. A old man once told me how to succeed in gun investing ,,,,, his word was participate. He said those books are simply for reference,, those guy writing price books make their living writing books not buying and selling guns.
John

DRYHUMOR
July 16, 2008, 10:18 PM
I've bought, sold, traded guns off and on for years, along with antiques. Old rule of thumb, people with money to invest, invest in quality items as a hedge.

When time get hard, like they are now, look around. People are looking to sell and people are looking to buy. The nicer stuff will continue to rise because it will get scarcer. I can say I don't come across too many deals on good antiques anymore, the stuff just isn't out there. I don't even bother anymore. Best bet, buy what you personally like, at a fair price, don't worry too much about it.


I could have bought nice cased A5 Belgian Brownings years ago for 400 to 600 a pop. Had I done that, and sold when Browning stopped producing them, nice return. Now the prices are more in line.

However, there are folks that "want" a gun and will pay better than top dollar for it. They will see little return out of it, and maybe a loss when they sell. Those are some of the guns to look for, if the folks who bought them realize they can/will/have to sell at a loss.

I look at it this way, if I pay X for a gun to shoot, shoot it, enjoy it, own it for X amount of time. I can depreciate it accordingly to a fair level and move it on to someone else who can do the same. Odds are, enough time has gone by that when he move's it, it's worth more and brings more.

Buy one as an investment, best bet is buying nice solid guns, with lower production numbers. Embellishments are great to look at, but are they worth the upfront cost with the hope of the better return at the end?
Some are, some aren't.

I picked up two pistols out of an estate several years ago. One, a Colt SAA 1873 I sold. The other an Iver Johnson "Sealed 8" .22 I kept. Plenty of Colt SAA's out there, not as many Sealed 8's.

John Fugate
July 16, 2008, 11:43 PM
Dryhumor,
Its funny you bring up antiques,, that is what I have done all my life. I broke in buying small estates when I was young. I have always bought and sold fine antiques it goes hand in hand with guns. People want nice all original unmolested items, and they want the best. What we call honest items and the good items in demand more than ever even in these tough times. Its a tough game anymore, I collect gas pumps coke machines roseville watt griswold duck decoys porcelain signs and turn of the centry items, brass cash registers cofee grinders ect but I cant find enough stuff anymore to keep my interest. Ten years ago the stuff was around, but it all has been ebayed and the good stuff is locked away in collections. The days of the barn find is over,, but I still look.
John

DRYHUMOR
July 17, 2008, 09:05 PM
Yep, I look too, but not too hard.

I've found decent guns at fair prices just by asking folks if they have any while visiting yard sales and whatnot. Or, someone knows someone kind of a thing. Once in awhile a treasure turns up.

Forget about the estate auctions. The prices seem to really climb, plus the buyer's premium, plus the taxes.

I spoke to a fellow a couple of months back about "semi safe queen", a model 19 .357. It was listed locally for $600. Maybe it's just me, but I just didn't see any sanity in paying $600 for a gun that I had bought new for $250 in 1981.

Yeah, he had the box, paper, etc. But at that price, it just wasn't an investment. At that price it was a gun to shoot and enjoy, though somewhere around $450-500 would have been more enjoyable.

John Fugate
July 18, 2008, 04:13 AM
Prices are extremely high for sure, but when a plastic glock cost you 550.00 a good old smith dont seem so bad at 600.00. They all cost too much but so does everything else. I personally would rather have a 99% gun for 500 than a new in the box for 800.00 . I can shoot and enjoy the cheaper gun and I dont have to worry about it so much. I have the safe queens and I have the shooters,, the nice shooters are my favorite for sure but the new in the box gun will sell faster than the 99% shooter even at almost double the price. Cardboard and paper is whats got expensive. Colts SAA black boxes are literally worth their weight in gold.
John

dwf6666
August 4, 2008, 01:46 PM
Personally, I’m watching the phenomenon of internet gun sales quite closely. It is probably a REAL education in economics. I’m certain that history will look back on this with great interest in not only guns but all commerce taking place on the net.

The key term is “Speculation”. Take a look at the price of oil today. The steep climb of oil prices is directly tied to the increased activities of the speculators after the deregulation on them at the end of the 90’s. We live in a society were “Making a Profit” no matter how it’s done, is admired and encouraged. The question in my mind is, "Where do we draw the line and should we draw the line?” I believe that the free market will correct itself, but in the meantime we do need to keep a close eye on SPECULATION.

Look at the mess the housing industry is in. Once again, the speculators have been driving up housing costs dramatically in the last 20 years. Now, due to the over inflated costs and the potential of losses by the average American whose life savings are tied to this market, the government is forced to bail the system out. Once again the speculators have been hard at work.

You can read various opinions on this subject as it applies to the gun market in many of the gun forums on the net. Look at the poster who starts out “Look at what I found this weekend. Model X gun at the unbelievably low price of $XXX.” Then they go on to crow about their great fortune because the internet dictates that this gun is most certainly worth 3 or 4 times what they paid for it.

I believe that you can divide the gun market in to two categories. There are true collectors/hobbyists who acquire their guns purely for the sake of collecting and shooting. Then there are the speculators who prey on the collectors/hobbyists for the purpose of making a profit. As I said, I am watching this with great interest. Most all of the true collectors I am familiar with are getting older and this market will dry up through attrition. There are very few young collectors that I have met. The younger individuals are in this buying and selling every day on the net and at the gun shows. They are out there selling books and running auctions. They scrape their profits right off the top. This is very similar to the casinos of Las Vegas or the horse racing tracks around the country.

The speculators always take the position that this is America and I am free to make my profit because this is the land of the free. Well, I have no argument with that. When the market corrects, as it most certainly will, the only question will be, “Who will be left holding the bag?” As the speculator always points out that it is their right to make a profit, I am of the opinion that it is imperative that the collector/hobbyist bring their side to the light of day so that the most deserving are the ones “Left Holding the Bag”.

Remember the famous quote, "There's a sucker born every minute."

John Fugate
August 4, 2008, 11:12 PM
Supply and Demand,, its a crazy thing. The people who do not put up a few nice old guns will be left holding the bag. The bag full of regret. I am convinced you cannot pay to much for the best. I may be wrong but when a 71 Cuda brings over a million bucks at Barrett-Jackson and K-22 are bringing 800.00 it makes you want to invest in high end high condition items. The key words here are " The Best " mediocre is still mediocre 50 years from now. Buy the best and keep the boxes,,, :p ENJOY YOUR COLLECTION AND CASH OUT IN 20 YEARS,, ITS A WIN WIN,,, !!!!!!!!!!
John

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