Have you done a cost analysis of your collection?


April 18, 2012, 07:55 AM
Out of curiosity, I decided to do a cost analysis of my firearms and ammo. I was using what they [firearms] cost me when I purchased them and the current price of ammo. If you have done this, were you:

1. Shocked at the amount you've spent?
2. Though, "That's about right, actually."
3. Had to say, "I need to step up my spending"?

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April 18, 2012, 08:30 AM
I wouldn't call it a cost analysis, but I do keep a spreadsheet of everything I own. Gun type, caliber, serial#, price paid and approx value today. In general, it gives me warm fuzzies to see that delta between the price and current value. ;)

April 18, 2012, 08:41 AM
I've dropped only about $5000 for guns and ammo total, but almost nothing on reloading equipment because my grandpop gave me a lot of stuff and I traded around for some other stuff. In relation to what 99% of everyone else on this forum has, I've barely spent anything!

My reaction though wasn't that I need to stop spending, but that I need to get a better job so I can pay for more of this stuff! :D

April 18, 2012, 10:20 AM
I don't even want to think about it.

April 18, 2012, 10:31 AM
I don't even want to think about it.

...I'm with him! :D


April 18, 2012, 10:50 AM
Is anyone adjusting for inflation?
Still feel warm and fuzzy when you run the numbers against initial investment compounded by 5% interest over the # of years that you've owned the firearms?

If you take those things into account I doubt they are good investments. But you have the benefit of having fun with your guns and getting most of your money back out of them, should you decide to.

April 18, 2012, 10:54 AM
Is love ever cost-effective?

April 18, 2012, 11:01 AM
If I did, I would have a heart attack.

April 18, 2012, 11:02 AM
I have about $3,000 invested, total. Small collection. If my firearms collection value ever gets near to or exceeds my tool collection, then I'll get worried.

April 18, 2012, 11:20 AM
I know almost exactly how much I have spent since 2006 when I started tracking it (and yes I put in significant money before that).

As of today my collection is probably worth less than half of what I have spent on it since 2006, and like I said that includes some equity that existed from prior to 2006 that is not accounted for in my spending number. So overall, I've lost well over half the money I have ever sank into shooting. The only thing that would have been a worse investment is a car. This will change at little if all things AR15 related return to high price levels with the election.

Also I started shooting more sometime after 2006, now do a lot more shooting than gun buying, and ammo/components represents a 100% loss.

April 18, 2012, 12:07 PM
Worth every penny spent!

April 18, 2012, 12:11 PM
Elrowe said it best. Factor in the pleasure and enjoyment and especially all the great people you've met along the way. If I do that I've made a fortune.

April 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
I keep track of the collection value, mostly for insurance purposes, and I think it is "about right."

I made the mistake once of tallying up, piece by piece (which I acquired over about 3 years) what I had spent on my suppressed SBR with 2 uppers (and the associated optics, etc.) On that one I was shocked at the amount I had spent.

Wil Terry
April 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
WHY ???

April 18, 2012, 12:38 PM
No. Too much work.

First gun I bought (that I still own) = $55 for a new Single-Six Covertible in the early '70s.

Last gun (so far) = $2500 for a P210, plus $280 for 2 spare mags.

Hey, do I get to count the cost of all of my late father's guns as = to zero? And my grandfathers' guns and my mother's gun and my aunt's gun and my great-uncle's gun? And the Mountie my uncle gave me in the early '60s? That would bring the average cost per gun down. Do I figure the cost of the Cooper rifle I gave my dad as zero or do I have to use what I really paid for it? What about the Guerini 28 ga. he gave me?

Too much work. I was a physics major, not an accountant. ;)

April 18, 2012, 12:44 PM
I dropped almost 6k on one rifle/scope combo. I need to slack off on my spending, but..... My name is Chad, and I have a problem....lol. My pockets aren't as big as my ambition. But it is a solid investment to me. Seems like no matter what I own I always see something else I "can't live without".

April 18, 2012, 12:55 PM
The real reason why I wanted to do this was because I received my bill for my renter's insurance and wondered if I have enough on there. . . . . . but then wondered if they [the insurance company] would insure weapons and ammunition. . . . .then wondered if I WANT them to know about them.

Maybe I should just buy a good, solid, fireproof safe. :confused:

April 18, 2012, 01:55 PM
You should carry insurance only if you cannot afford the loss of what you are insuring.

April 18, 2012, 02:04 PM
I could afford for my house to burn down, but since I would rather not absorb the loss if it did, it is insured...

April 18, 2012, 02:19 PM
I haven't spent as much as I WISH I could.

April 18, 2012, 02:28 PM
Replacement Value, the key is could you afford to replace your guns if something happened. That is why I carry renters insurance and keep up on what it would cost to replace my Guns as opposed to what I have spent acquiring them.

April 18, 2012, 03:12 PM
Still feel warm and fuzzy when you run the numbers against initial investment compounded by 5% interest over the # of years that you've owned the firearms?

This is the wrong standard since, for most of us, it's been a long time, like 10 years, since we averaged 5% interest on any investments. My firearms are the most stable investment I have...at least they haven't lost any value, unlike my IRA's and 401K's (and they are earning more than the money would if it was in the bank.)

Steel Horse Rider
April 18, 2012, 03:44 PM
Funny this subject should come up. This weekend I was doing some tidying up in my older gun safe and found a receipt from February of 2000 for a Ruger P97 pistol and holster for which I paid a total of $345. I think it was a better investment than a tech stock!

April 18, 2012, 03:51 PM
I try not to think about how much this hobby has cost me. As long as I enjoy myself, then its worth it.

April 18, 2012, 03:54 PM
I spend more on computer-related goodies than guns...

April 18, 2012, 03:58 PM
Yes, I've done it. It looks like a lot of dollars (at least to me), but then my mind goes right to what I need to add to the list! Now if only my money tree would start producing this year.

April 18, 2012, 04:15 PM
Gregaw, . . . . . actually, though I was shocked at the amount, I TOO have some other things to get [adding to the cost].

April 18, 2012, 04:24 PM
Let see.

about 10 K

April 18, 2012, 05:51 PM
You guys are all nuts. Listen to my motto: Never EVER count the money you spend on a hobby or a vice. LOL

April 18, 2012, 06:01 PM
i have a understanding of the net dollars i have invested in my firearms. i am not a collector and i only keep what i shoot regularly. a recent move prompted me to divest of some great pieces that won't be used much. the money recouped is going back into some reloading equipment and accessories and upgrades.:uhoh:

April 18, 2012, 07:54 PM
I could never do such a thing. If my wife seen a total dollar value I'd be divorced. I can get away with a few dollars here and there but if she knew there was thousands of dollars worth of stuff in that big metal box it would be the end of me. :eek:

April 18, 2012, 08:05 PM
I had to choose between fast cars, fast women, and ugly guns.
The guns seemed to be far more cost effective than the other choices.

April 18, 2012, 08:13 PM
The guns hold value pretty well, some can even turn a profit, but the ammo is a flat out expense -- like golf or any other hobby.

I've spent more on the ammo run through most of my guns than I did on the gun.

April 18, 2012, 08:16 PM
this winter i set up and a gunshow and sold off a bunch of guns that i really didnt shoot much anymore.some id had as long as 20 yrs, some maybe only a few months.the ones i had the longest i made to most money on but i made money on all of them. i rarely buy new guns at all. mostly people in my area know they can come to me and ill give them more than a pawn shop if they have a quality gun.so i buy my guns right.i enjoy shooting them but a lot i just buy to resell if they are below market value.once i learned just to buy quality and never buy something i dont know the value of, ive never lost money on a gun since.if i buy a 100$ gun ill want to know i can get 130 to 150$ out of it.if i buy a 500$ gun ill want to get 600$ or more out of it.if you buy smart you can make money.

April 18, 2012, 08:26 PM
Safe $600
Mossberg 12 gauge $600
45ACP $800
S&W 29 44 rem mag $1300
Rem 700 .300 RUM scoped $1500
Redfield binos $300
Leupold rangefinder $450

Not too bad so far at $5550 not counting the ammo cache.

When I sold all my scuba gear, this is about what I got in return, so I am just shifting assets away from scuba back to hunting on dry land.

I always get beautiful guns, 4WD vehicles not fast, and ugly women but grateful ones just like the song says (If You Wanna Be Happy For the Rest Of Your Life).

April 18, 2012, 08:29 PM
If my firearms collection value ever gets near to or exceeds my tool collection, then I'll get worried.

My firearms collection is my biggest tool collection.

When I was young, I had a friend whose dad was a long time FFL and gynecologist. Crates of ammo, FALs, everything-under-the-sun and such would show up at his practice. Shooting range in basement, regularly fired gold custom engraved Colt single actions. Because of his influence and collection, I was able to fire everything-under-the-sun, hence wetting my appetite for such a collection when I became a man of means. Once I realized that I would never become a man of means, I figured out how to acquire such through simple hard work and lots of layaway.

When I look at how much I've spent, it can be a bit alarming. I do have a C&R FFL, reload, hunt and spend quite a bit of range time all of which require fun tickets. But those early 1990 era purchased S&W revolvers that were $250 are all going for $1K now...

April 18, 2012, 09:37 PM
One thing is to add up the value of your guns. They have a value today and will tomorrow. I don't feel you can add in the value of ammo you bought and then shot. If you still have it sitting around, it has value because you can sell it. If you shot it, it's gone forever but it should not be part of your cost.
Well, the shooting part is the hobby or fun part. Adding the cost of ammo shot to your total gun addiction is not fair. Would you add the cost of a round of golf to it? How about the pizza you ate or the beer you drank or the movie you went to. That's all money gone as well but we chalk it up to leisure spending. You can count the cost of ammo shot as part of your leisure spending but it's not fair to add it to the cost of owning guns. It skews the number and makes it seem a lot worse than it really is especially considering you can still sell your guns if needed. The true cost of owning guns is the price paid versus the price you can get paid for them adjusted for inflation. Add in any accessories, repairs or upgrades and you get your true cost. Ammo shot is just that. Call it pizza and beer money, not the cost of owning firearms.

April 18, 2012, 09:53 PM
I've made money on every gun I've ever sold. Hell I made $400 on an sks I paid $90 for this last weekend. I regret I didn't buy more $90 sks's!

I've also regretted most of the sales I made at some point or another.

loose noose
April 18, 2012, 09:58 PM
Thanks Larry I needed that!;)

April 18, 2012, 11:58 PM
Lol. Noobs (and yours truly) quickly learn(ed) that the gun is the cheap part of shooting.

April 19, 2012, 12:09 AM
Cost analysis?

A Wife, kids, hearth-and-home, religion, or a new vehicle... would be hard to Justify on a Balance Sheet.

That doesn't make them an imprudent addition to one's life.

April 19, 2012, 01:33 AM
you dont want to know. i could liquidate and buy a nice new car. but that would be no fun.

April 19, 2012, 07:43 AM
I just buy guns and shoot them. The only paperwork I do is reloading data and trapline data. Paperwork is for work. Toys are for fun.

April 19, 2012, 08:10 AM
i could liquidate and buy a nice new car. but that would be no fun

Yes, but if you drive the car (like shooting the guns) the car will be worth next to nothing in 10 years while you should be able to get the same, if not more, for your guns in the same 10 year period.

Even though new guns depreciate, much like new cars, if you buy used and keep it well maintained, you should be able to get the same money for it down the road. You shoot it, shoot it and shoot it some more and it won't depreciate. So, if you buy a nice, used Sig for $500, put 5,000 rounds thru it and sell it in 5 or 6 years, you should still get the same $500 for it, if not more. You do lose the value of the dollar (inflation) but for all practical purposes you shot for all those years for the cost of ammo (which, to me, is not a cost of owning guns). Bottom line is your hobby does not cost that much if you don't count ammo shot. The ammo shot is money spent on leisure which is no different than going golfing, bowling or to dinner and the movies.

Zach S
April 19, 2012, 08:33 AM
I was more shocked at the amount of time I spent the money in, than I was the amount I spent...

The current price of ammo has put a damper on my rangetime though. I hate glocks, which is one reason I chose a Glock 19 as my beater pistol, but other than my rimfires its what I shoot the most. I recently purchased an STI Spartan in 9mm so I could shoot my preferred platform in a cheaper caliber. It'll see carry duty once it proves itself, and like the 5" Kimber, it will see regular rangetime as well.

On that note, buying a gun to save money on ammo is like buying a smaller car to save money on gas. I didn't see the point when a tank of gas lasted me a week, but due to the 94 mile round trip to work, that tank of gas doesn't last that long...

I'll never shoot as much as I used to, but it would be nice to shoot twice as much for the same cost. And unlike the cars, I'm selling a pistol to offset the cost of the new one.

April 19, 2012, 08:41 AM
Sounds like a good idea, until about 2 minutes in and you start feeling bad, because you told your spouse we had no money for the kids shoes. :o :cuss::banghead: :p
I agree with the others, you can't put a price on enjoyment.

Zach S
April 19, 2012, 09:11 AM
Sounds like a good idea, until about 2 minutes in and you start feeling bad, because you told your spouse we had no money for the kids shoes.
Eh, I spent most of the money while I was single, free, and living cheap. And if it didn't get spent on guns, it got spent on the hot rod.

Besides, my ex would go to the store for a pack of smokes, and come back with smokes, a 2 liter Mountain Dew, chips and dip, and a 20oz Mountain Dew since she couldn't wait 5 minutes to get home a pour a glass... Those $5 trips that ended up being $20 instead cost us a lot more than the money I spent on guns during the course of our marriage.

April 19, 2012, 09:45 AM
I keep a spreadsheet with all info on every gun purchase and update it occasionally with MSRP from Gunbrokers just to keep info for insurance purposes. I have a lot of guns that were given to me by friends and relatives so I keep that info on the sheet. I also put the name of the person I want to have the gun in case of my sudden demise. That is cheaper than changing the Will every month or so and my wife knows what my intentions are. I do not keep up with ammo and accessories like magazines and scopes though I probably should. Especially on the scopes that cost a lot..

April 19, 2012, 11:01 AM
I ran a ballpark estimate for insurance purposes a few months ago. I was surprised at the total value, but that was largely due to an M1A1 Carbine I received as family heirloom. At the time I had no idea Carbines were selling for that amount. The total collection value still pales in comparison to many on this site, though!

April 19, 2012, 08:23 PM
I did and I was surprised; good thing the wife didn't see it.

April 19, 2012, 08:42 PM
It's a hobby. I don't flowchart hobbies - I keep current spending to limits within budget. I have a separate rider on my insurance for guns, just in case, but no, I really don't think abut or track what I've spent. The total might be a little scary, probably enough for at least one fancy sports car if not two.

April 19, 2012, 08:54 PM
Desert Fox, an ffl and gynecologist sounds like a dream job. I spent most of my money on beer, horse's and guns ,the rest I just wasted.

April 19, 2012, 11:17 PM
Between the guns, the trucks, and the booze- I really DON'T want to know what I've blown.

April 19, 2012, 11:45 PM
I'm in line with several others, in that I don't really want to know. I have lots of fun with the few I own and looking back, I haven't bought many of the guns in my safe. They were gifts or inherited.

If you own guns, you also buy ammo, cases to carry them in, oils and cleaners for their well being, club memberships for their field trips, and all those accessories...scopes and special sights and lasers, lights, slings and such.

So, the guns are part of my life and the fun of living it. The cost is not something I want to put a math equation on. Too much fun to throw a dollar sign at. :D


April 21, 2012, 08:15 AM
Strictly for insurance purposes. Doesn't really matter what I spent as long as I can still afford to pay my bills! I'm spending my kids inheritance!

April 21, 2012, 11:30 AM
I have inventoried and have had my collection appraised for insurance purposes but doubt if I would ever do a cost analysis of it. It's a hobby to me and I really don't have a reason to crunch numbers just for a financial report.

April 21, 2012, 01:12 PM
Yep hogshead, he was the ultimate in my book. My first exposure to Barrett 50BMG semi-auto, Thompson 1928 full-auto, MP40 full-auto, real Dragunov (not PSL), Galil full-auto, sheer craziness. New neighbors would call the sheriff who would say, "Oh, Jim must be up at his place. Nothing to worry about." Then he'd come rolling up to come shoot with us! Ah the good ole days.

April 21, 2012, 05:12 PM
For my collection I review the "current retail value" about once a year.....using Gunbroker and reference books. It's pretty easy to change the "current value" amount if needed in NMCollectors software. The program keeps a running total to let you know how much it's increased.

To date the collection is worth 232% more than it cost. That number is based on the presumption I could get full blown current retail price if liquidated....which is unrealistic. If I based the liquidation value on what a pawn shop or dealer might give the percentage drops considerably.

Fortunately I've kept every receipt, box, and scrap of paper for every gun in the collection....as well as accessories and gunsmithing costs for each one. Makes it more accurate to know exactly how much is in each one.

Have all the receipts for ammo, components and reloading equipment....but don't keep tabs on the totals.

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