1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

When did the gun market shift to collectors & accumulators?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bushmaster1313, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    IMHO, a very large proportion of the guns bought today by private citizens in the USA are bought by people (bless their hearts) who already have all the guns that they really need for defense, hunting and recreation.

    I am sure that this has not always been the case, and in the not too distant past, most gun owners felt lucky to have a gun, and if they were real lucky, to have a rifle, a shotgun and a handgun.

    When did the market turn to lots and lots of guns being bought by people who already had lots of guns?
  2. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Well-Known Member

    Good topic,

    I would guess since the mid to late eighties.
  3. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    A trip to the local LGS or surfing Gunbroker shows that lots and lots of guns are being marketed beyond the basic rifle, shotgun, handgun.

    I think it's fun.
    Just wondering, when did the fun start?

    In comparison, we are probably at that point with watches, but we are certainly not at that point with cars.
  4. wojownik

    wojownik Well-Known Member

    I dunno if I exactly agree with the premise of the question. Firearms collections have been around since ... well, since there were firearms to collect. So long as there have been disposable incomes and accessible prices of firearms, there have been folks who have collected. I remember as a boy visiting Teddy Roosevelt's historic home on Long Island, and being awestruck about the collection he had been amassing since the 1880s. And my uncles collection that he'd been building since the late 1940s. And a neigbors since the 1960s. Collecting is nothing new.

    Much of this discussion may already be occurring here in a related thread http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=686249
  5. creeper1956

    creeper1956 Well-Known Member

    As compared to today's plastic guns, the guns of years past are, for lack of a better term "interesting". If you look at who are buying "steel guns", it's guys in their 40s or older, with the exception of the 1911... which has had quite the resurgence with the advent of $500 1911s that aren't total crap. Apparently, even the younger folks find the 1911 fascinating... if they can get one for the price of a Glock.
    I don't find this statement to be true. In the 70s I had a much larger gun collection than I do now and even larger in the 80s and 90s. I've recently (the past year and a half) divested myself of many of my guns because I got cancer and needed fast cash... had I stayed healthy, I'd still have over 40 very high quality centerfire firearms and premium target air rifles. :(
  6. rust collector

    rust collector Well-Known Member

    guns are durable goods

    They are made to last. If you want to stay in business making such items, you must find new markets. Gun makers have been catering to collectors for hundreds of years, and started marketing to a whole new group of owners near the turn of the century--women. The assault weapon ban ramped up demand for black rifles, and what is the fun of a lego gun with only one upper?

    It's a constant challenge, especially when there may suddenly be boatloads of Mosin Nagants or SKSs arriving in ports. Maybe even lend lease 1917s and M-1s. And when folks start putting a bunch of time and money to make these useful for big game, well, it's time to kick out as many model 70s and 700s as you can. Sooner or later demand wanes, tooling wears out, and the fun is over.

    Gun makers are also creating demand by putting out better firearms. They have a limited window of opportunity with us baby boomers, and then it may be a long dry spell.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I don't know. I think it has been this way pretty much since WWII and especially with the advent of "gun shows". I wonder when the first gunshow happened? I know of them going on since the 70's for sure.
  8. maskedman504

    maskedman504 Well-Known Member

    Since the concept of disposable income and the advent of manufacturing technology. :D
  9. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Well-Known Member

    Here is one reason: other than milsurp rifles which were already damaged or otherwise messed up, my goal was to keep buying Enfields, trying to shield them from people who want to sporterize original rifles. Hoping my son will one day become bitten by the gun bug.

    The original reason I bought a second Enfield (the first #4) was actually to limit wear/tear on my first, which was a #5 "Jungle". Then I discovered how many rifles had wood sliced off, metal parts cut off or holes drilled, and seldom found one in the original configurations at our really small shows near Memphis. Guys in Atlanta are much more fortunate, but I doubt that they appreciate it. Our gun shops seldom have any.

    At my first shows in late '08, each time an original LE #4 was spotted, it did surprise me, and I had no idea how many more would appear at shows which often have none. This can ignite a buying habit.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  10. stickhauler

    stickhauler Well-Known Member

    I'm much the same with M-1 Carbines, I actually feel a need to nearly weep seeing how some people have butchered these noble warriors.

    Actually, the money I've spent on firearms has actually been a better investment than my 401-K, they've actually increased in value. That 401-K seems to bleed more value every month.

    I'll grant you, I knew a good many people back in my youth that had a small number of firearms, usually a shotgun and a rifle. Usually a single-shot break-down shotgun, and a bolt action .22 caliber rifle. I knew very few people who owned handguns. And in truth, back when I was a kid, if they'd tried passing a law that banned handguns, it very well would have passed and been accepted. The common belief was that people who owned handguns were likely those with criminal intent (at least where I grew up).

    But I also knew some folks who had many guns, even back then. And I never thought them to be strange in any manner. I shared their fascination with well constructed wood & steel firearms. I was intrigued then as to how they functioned, and still am. I'm much the same with motor vehicles, though I can't afford that little habit as easily as I can indulge myself with owning firearms.
  11. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    When people have disposable income, they buy what they like. Since WWII, Americans by and large have had a lot of disposable income.

    However, I don't think the percentage of people with "lots and lots of guns" is as high as you think. There are (with a sizeable margin of error), about 80 million gun owners and 300 million guns in this country. That's slightly less than 4 per person broken down evenly. Now, say that only 1/4 of gun owners have more than one gun. That leaves 240 million guns for 20 million people, which is 12 per. Still not "a lot". Suppose 18 of those 20 million people have 10 guns each. That leaves 60 million firearms for the remaining 2 million owners, or 30 each on average. You can see where this is going.

    In short, the number of people out there with truly staggering collections is really pretty small. It's a devoted subculture.
  12. roscoe

    roscoe Well-Known Member

    Ding! Winner!
  13. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Well-Known Member

    Sign of the times........
  14. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    When "the economy gets tough", people go out and buy luxury items. It's a vicious cycle.
  15. SigMic

    SigMic Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't think it's anything new. Just out of curiosity Bushmaster, do you think this is a bad thing? I read your question as if you think so, but then again, I'm terrible at reading into people's intents on boards like this, so I figured I would ask.
  16. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Well-Known Member

    Despite the realities of the last few years, the whole post-WWII economy is probably when the thing really took off. Prior to WWII more people actually needed a gun to put food on the table than today (more farmers, ranchers, trappers per capita than today) but those folks would be living on a pretty tight margin and thus own only those guns that they needed.

    Post WWII, salaries climbed to the kind of adjusted level we see now, more or less, thus allow folks who hunt for sport, protect themselves, control varmits, and just plain shoot for fun, to accumulate more than they need do actually do so.

    Thus we see guys with a dozen old Winchesters because they love old Winchesters etc., etc., etc. In my example, probably some of these same "old Winchesters" were the one and only centerfire weapon owned by some fellow living very close to the land in the early decades of the 20th Century.
  17. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    I don't think the disposable income thing really popped until fairly recently. I know for many years we struggled to raise 2 children, and it wasn't until about 20 years ago that I really began to have very much disposable income with which I could buy whatever guns I wanted. Sure, I bought a few along the way, but most people I knew didn't have the amount of disposable income they have today. There was some, but not nearly as much as today.

    Of course, part of that equation is that I built and sold a business and retired, and I don't have the expenses I did a few years ago. Now I guess I'm one of those who already have a lot of guns and continue to buy more. Why? Because I can, and because I enjoy them. I don't shoot all of them by a long shot, but I still enjoy having collectible things with history around them. BTW I don't own any tupperware.....;)
  18. eldon519

    eldon519 Well-Known Member

    You pretty much answered your own question before you asked it. Collectors and accumulators buy lots of firearms, thus the market caters to them because they are the ones doing the buying. If you buy a handful of guns and call it quits, you're no longer a customer, so why cater to you?
  19. Wouldn't they be the ones with the money?
  20. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Well-Known Member

    As a society we seem to want more of everything...cell phones, computers, TVs, cars, more bells and whistles on our cars, so it makes sense that we want more guns too. Gun ownership, especially with personal carry, has become increasingly popular these days. I love guns and have about 15-16 of them...2 more if I count a pellet rifle and BB gun.

Share This Page