Surplus Guns Question


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Sulaco
January 23, 2004, 02:36 PM
I am constantly looking at all of the different websites selling surplus guns like the Russian and ComBlock stuff. I was wondering, are these things worth getting before they are gone? Or are they going to pretty much always be around? It seems like I have always seen an abundance of them ever since I got into guns in general.

I was looking specifically at the Mosin's, the AK's and the Makarov's.

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Greg L
January 23, 2004, 03:01 PM
I would start accumulating them now. After WW2/50's most countries started switching over to select fire rifles. Baring an unexpected change in the NFA I doubt that those will be available anytime soon. I don't expect the surplus available to dry up anytime soon, however the prices in general should only go up.

Greg

GD
January 24, 2004, 09:19 AM
The Mosins and AKs seem to be abundant now but either by law or supply they will eventually dry up. An example would be the Finnish mosins which are considered by most collectors the epitome of mosin production. The Finnish M39 production was about 100,000 firearms. Right now you can get an excellent one for under $200. When you consider firearms like the German K98k, the Springfield '03, and the Garand which were at one time very common and cheap, are now many times more valuable.

Right now the great values in milsurps are
1) Finnish M39
2) Yugo and Albanian SKS
3) Swiss K31
4) Russian capture K98ks
5) Rearsenaled Russian M91/30, M38, and M44

The first 4 are destined to greatly increase in value when the importers stop inporting them. The Russian mosins are so common I think it will be quite a long time before they appreciate in value. They are still worth having as they are fun shooters and have lots of history.

I was in a gunshop yesterday and picked up a June 1963 Guns and Ammo magazine. Here are a few sample prices listed (which by the way you needed no license to buy - they just shipped it to you)
Garand - $79.95
M1 carbine - $78.88
Springfield M1903 - $36.38
Italian Carcano - $12.88
Surplus handguns (S&W, Webley) from $12.98 to $18.95
Sniper Model 1917 (with scope) for $39.95

These were all advertised as being in like new condition. Don't you wish you had one each of those?

Snowdog
January 24, 2004, 09:46 AM
Springfield M1903 - $36.38

That makes me want to cry. To think so many of those beauties were brutally sporterized years ago....


Still gonna find that pristine 1903 for a fair price one day.
;)

benEzra
January 24, 2004, 10:11 AM
Get some!

I actually saw some Russian M44's in halfway decent condition for $39 (!) at a gun show a year or so ago. Still kicking myself for not getting one. I did later get a Polish M44, though.

My M39 will shoot into less than 1.5 MOA with inexpensive Wolf ammo. (1942 VKT, receiver date 1905, still has imperial crest of the Czar on the receiver . . .)

Okiecruffler
January 24, 2004, 04:29 PM
I remember seeing crates of greasy Russian SKS's at gunshows for 50 bucks a pop and thinking "who would want one of those nasty things?" Oh the foolishness of youth.

Scottmkiv
January 24, 2004, 04:47 PM
Garand - $79.95
M1 carbine - $78.88
Springfield M1903 - $36.38
Italian Carcano - $12.88
Surplus handguns (S&W, Webley) from $12.98 to $18.95
Sniper Model 1917 (with scope) for $39.95

Those prices sound cheap but if you factor 45 years of inflation, they aren't too far off in todays dollars. According to http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

you have to multiply those prices by 5.65 to bring them up to date with todays prices.

Garand - $451.15
M1 carbine - $445.67
Springfield M1903 - $205.55
Italian Carcano - $72.77
Surplus handguns (S&W, Webley) from $73.34 to $107.07
Sniper Model 1917 (with scope) for $225.72

So some of those are really damn good deals, but other stuff is no more valuable today than it was 45 years ago. I remember seeing a carcano priced at 60 something in a gunshow two or tree weeks ago, and that is after it got famous as the gun that shot JFK.

Kestryll
January 24, 2004, 05:14 PM
I remember seeing crates of greasy Russian SKS's at gunshows for 50 bucks a pop and thinking "who would want one of those nasty things?" Oh the foolishness of youth.

Stop it! Now you're gonna make me cry!
I remember those cheap SKS's and thinking 'I'll get one later or next time. I'm sure there will be plenty for a long time.'

DOH!!! DOH!!!! DOH!!!

telewinz
January 24, 2004, 08:20 PM
I can remember just 15 years ago Norinco AK47s going for less than $200, all you want. They were soooo cheap I turned my nose -up at the gun and cartridge. Now, they represent about 40% of my shooting, youth is wasted on the young.:rolleyes:

MatthewVanitas
January 24, 2004, 10:54 PM
Scottmkiv: thanks for bringing sanity to the debate. It always chaps my hide when people completely ignore inflation.

But the story gets worse...

So, in inflated dollars, your $78 M1 Carbine is worth $445, and maybe it's a nice one you can get $700 for at a gun show, for $255 of profit. Not bad.

But, let's say you took your $78 back in '63 and invested it in the stock market. The market has averaged around 12% in the long, long haul (even counting the Crash, Great Depression, etc.). Let's say you kept pace with the average:

78x 1.12 x 1.12 x 1.12 (I forget the proper notation for this) for forty years... =






$7,257



Anyone with better math skills, feel free to correct me, but the point remains. If you actually enjoyed having it all those forty years, and pass it on to the next generation, then it's worth it. If you coated it in cosmoline and locked it in the attic as an "investment", you could have saved yourself some trouble.

Not out to harsh anyone's buzz, just bringing up a point. Another round of applause for Scottmkiv.

goalie
January 24, 2004, 11:19 PM
Show me where I can get a guaranteed 12% ROI please. I am just sticking with index funds right now, so the heads up would be appreciated.

MatthewVanitas
January 24, 2004, 11:37 PM
Reading my brokerage statement, in the last 12 months, USAA's NASDAQ fund has brought in 51.86%, 35.39% on the USAA S&P fund.

Granted, that's short term. But not bad at all. I'm also an index-fund guy, as I'm a long-haul, low-involvement type.

I chose 12% for the demonstration as this is a commonly-cited figure for the average performance of the market over the last 80 years or so. Please do feel free to contradict if you have sources giving a markedly different figure.

If we use 6%, (maybe you bought long-term Treasury Bills in a good year), we get $802 after forty years. So, if you bought a particularly collectible M1 Carbine, you could beat a T-Bill.

Sunray
January 25, 2004, 01:43 AM
"...are they going to pretty much always be around?..." Nope. 30 years ago, nobody thought a Garand or a No 4 Lee-Enfield would ever be worth what they are now. Enfields were sold by the pound at one time. Now, just tonight I saw one on a site the guy wanted over $300US for. I think I paid $50 Cdn for mine.
"...if you bought a particularly collectible M1 Carbine..." If you bought any military M-1 carbine 20 years ago, your investment would be better than T-Bills. My 1903A4 sans scope cost me $175 Canadian in the early 80's. The last one I saw in a shop up here had a price of $1100Cdn. And that was over 20 years ago.
Surplus firearms are a great investment and it doesn't matter if you shoot it or not. 20 years from now, that Moisin-Nagant will be worth a whole bunch more than what they are now. And you'll have a piece of history you can expect to hand down to your kids or grand kids.

GD
January 25, 2004, 08:28 AM
I agree with Scottmiv up to a point:
Due to inflation most of these 1963 "deals" are not that much better than today. However, some deals were. One is not going to get rich collecting these rifles and occasionally you might even lose money (for example, 5 years ago Russian M38s were selling for $225 and now $59 and Yugo SKSs were hard to find for $1000 and now are $125).
What is interesting are the ammo ads. In many cases the prices are about what surplus is selling for today. Hence todays prices are over 5 times cheaper! We are living in the golden age of ammo purchasing!
What I like about these investments is the fact that they are not paper. I can shoot them, display them, impress my friends, and defend home and country with them. Try that with your mutual fund!

telewinz
January 25, 2004, 08:50 AM
I've got a whole stack of late 50's and early 60's American Rifle magazines. Other than rare surplus guns, today's prices for ammo and milsurp weapons are a BARGAIN. Except for legislation, we never had it so good.

Navy joe
January 25, 2004, 11:38 AM
Pick one you like and buy multiples. For me it is the K-31. I've been saying I've paid more than the gun's price just to get a trigger that nice on other guns. Now that I detail stripped the gun I see how nice it really is. Insane level of craftsmanship. I can't wait until I put it back together and tweak the pull weight. Next I'll free up the one place the stock is touching the barrel, very close to free-floated right now. Already lapping the bolt group in with JB. The rifle's performance will be on par with much more expensive guns.

Eventually I want one stock, one scoped with a Zeiss 4x I have kicking around, and one with diopters. I just need one more gun. I certainly dont think the guns will become any cheaper, so buy now.

The M-44s are fun, just a little crude with crappy ammo to boot, think I'll sell mine.

Heck, if the ban dies I think I will employ my metal skills and attempt to make a 20 rd. mag for my K-31s. If not, some ten rounds and 6rd copies.

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