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Are the days of finding a nice SKS for $350 over?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by KYamateur, Sep 27, 2013.

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  1. outerlimit

    outerlimit Member

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    Ten years ago I was paying $89 for unissued Yugo's still in the cosmo with all matching #'s.

    Ten years before that they were $1200-1500+ because of scarcity. Now they're $400-$600 because of stupidity.
     
  2. nathan

    nathan Member

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    SKS is a very solid built semi auto centerfire rifle designed for war. It s designers
    made it robust , simple and idiot proof. And the bayonet comes in handy. Whats not to like? The cool factor, too, is that these were made a half century ago in the Cold War years between East and West. f you ever find a nice one all original configuration with mint bore for $400, then thats a steal nowadays. They dont make them no more.....

    If you want a cheapo $200-250 semi auto, then might as well find the old reliable Ruger 10/22 rimfire with all its variations.
     
  3. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Because that is what the buyer and seller agree on,which is the sole deciding factor in determining any thing's value. It makes no difference what anyone else thinks it's value is,it is worth what someone is willing to give,no more,no less.
     
  4. MrWesson

    MrWesson Member

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    Yes.. the days of owning one for 250 long gone and 100 further still.

    A SKS going up in value I have no problem with.. Its the lack of import of new/used/mil surp arms from all over the world to replace it with something.

    I worry about a gun world where it takes 5-600 to break into and may scare away new/young people from owning them.
     
  5. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    ^ This is a good point. Back when I picked up my SKS, it was an affordable way to get into the game.

    The way prices are rising now, after awhile all new shooters will have to turn to will be ultra-budget bolt guns or maybe a very well-worn .30-30 for that super-affordable first centerfire. As you say - most anything else will be somewhat more (then again I've never been a big Mosin Nagant fan).
     
  6. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac Member

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    I found a SKS sporter at the local flea market a couple months ago. The blueing was pretty gone and it was in a ATI folding stock. I asked the guy the price and was told $200. I quickly paid for it. Another guy that got to the table about a minute behind me was trashing the SKS saying the 200 was waaaay overpriced. (I think he wanted me to put it down and think twice). The seller said thats funny because this guy didnt have any problems forking the money over, full asking price.
    I didnt wait around for them to finish the conversation. I quickly walked away popping the AK47 magazine out of the magwell. Yes it was a 16" norinco "sporter". I did sell it a month later to fund the purchase of my compact RIA 45. jim
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, really. The effects of supply and demand influence much more of our lives than simple monetary transactions. But we're getting off topic so let's not go farther with that one.

    There is no such thing as "intrinsic value." It's a fallacious theory. There are costs for finished goods, raw materials, parts, pieces, labor, overhead, etc., etc., but you can't even look at those costs, the week you put your gun, car, house, etc. together, and say that's an "intrinsic value" because all of those parts and pieces -- and the raw materials for them, all the way back to the costs of the right to the minerals, timber, energy, and labor to harvest them, are dictated by the market. Your house is worth $100,000 because that's what it cost in materials and labor? Oh? Why did the studs cost $3.50 each? Why did the fuel for the delivery truck cost $3.89 a gallon? Why did the electrician's or plumber's labor cost $60 or $120 an hour? Why did...? I'm sure you get the point.

    Now on to another point: If you're a manufacturer of things (any things) you'd better flippin' HOPE your goods are WORTH more -- much more! -- than it costs to produce them! Otherwise, you're out of business before you start. There's a word for a company that makes goods that aren't worth more than the labor, and materials, and overhead, (and transport, and distribution, and retailing, and taxes, and...) it costs to make those goods: FAILURES.

    Wait, what? They're worth exactly what it cost to build them? Or something considering like and similar condition? That's two completely different things! Cost to build them is heavily dependent on market forces (and as we've seen, no builder will stay in business if his houses are only worth what it cost him to build them! That's just working your way into bankruptcy.), but it is a single-point recorded amount which is handy. However, condition modifiers and "comps" of other houses similar to that one are totally at odds with cost to construct and often FAR different! Why include them in one sentence as if they were related?

    Uh, tell that to the folks who want to buy and sell! You can CLAIM the house you want to sell is worth what you paid to build it. (Well...what YOU paid? Or what the builder paid? Or what the materials suppliers paid? Or? ... ;)) But that claim won't get you one extra nickle at settlement. You can CLAIM that a house in a nice neighborhood is only worth what it cost the previous owner, or the owner 15 owners back(!), to build it, but that will get you laughed out of the real estate office.

    You can claim those things, but they're detached from any form of reality.

    Well, yes, yes it does. The law of supply and demand says that you pay whatever it takes to procure an item, and no more. You might have to pay more than it cost someone to make it because a lot of people also want to buy items like that and you have to outbid enough of them to procure one for yourself. You might have to pay a lot LESS than it cost someone to make it because there are a lot of these things around and few people want one. You don't GET to pay JUST what the maker paid, even though lots of folks would pay more. You don't HAVE to pay every penny that the maker paid, even though no one's bidding against you and he really needs to move these things and recoup as much of his costs as he can. You (have the chance to, at least) pay EXACTLY the perfect amount. No more or less than necessary.

    And, what you pay becomes even more perfect because your price point "data" becomes part of the market and helps to define and change the market. Your price pulls the market price closer to itself. You've paid an amount and you've taken some of the available supply. You've informed the market.

    Hey, feel good about yourself! YOU make a difference! :) (Shucks, beats voting! :D)

    Oh really? It is what it is. It's no more artificial than saying you're "artificially fat" because you eat a lot of Cheetos. Factors go in, results come out.

    Well, if you think that's the case, you'd better tell me what that "same amount of money" is. Is it $750? Why? What makes it WORTH $750?

    But let's say it is $750. WHY was it $750? Because the market said so. There were x,xxx DPMS M4s for sale for every x,xxx people who wanted one on any given day. That surplus or deficit of guns for buyers pushed the price to $750. DPMS makes a few too many, that price falls to $650. DPMS makes a thousand or so fewer that month, the price rises to $850. All moderated and modulated by a market full of makers doing the same thing and choosing different price points at which to sell. Everyone and their brother wants whatever AR they can get? Price rises to $1,400.

    Neither price is one iota more "artificial" than any other. They just are what they are.

    Now DPMS might be able to survive as a company on the profit from making that gun and selling it for $750. They might be breaking even or losing money selling it for $650. They might be banking cash and opening up new divisions, taking home fat bonuses, and investing heavily into R&D if they're selling each one for $1,400. None of that matters at all to what their guns are WORTH.

    Once again, it isn't and never was a "$60 rifle" in any sense of the word that has meaning, and second -- if the price to buy a semi-automatic military surplus rifle is $400-$600, and they want to own one, they aren't FOOLS for buying. They may be POSSIBLY intemperate for buying now and not waiting for a better deal. They may POSSIBLY be very prescient for buying at only $600 when that rifle might have been worth $1,200 in another year. (And depending where you live, that's a very real possibility.)

    When the price of poker is $600, and we constantly clamor that we need more folks on our side playing our brand of poker, it seems very counter-productive to ridicule them and label them FOOLS for jumping in the game.

    DO you have any -- really, ANY -- concept of what a non-artificial price for an SKS "should" be today? Pick a number. But declare your reasoning for coming up with that number. Is it just whatever the Russian or Chinese or Albanian government paid ... uh, itself(?) or whatever... to make it in the 1950s or '60s? Is it what someone would have had to pay to get one in the USA in 1960? Is it what Ruger would have to charge today to make that rifle and turn a profit? Is it what someone could have bought one for in 1991? Is it what a resident of a ban state would have to pay for a "grandfathered" one? Is it what you could whittle one out yourself in your garage for? Where is the "intrinsic" value set?

    [EDIT TO ADD:]
    I assure you, $30 USD has nothing at all with what it cost any of those governments to produce them. How would you even begin to figure it out anyway? Command economies, heavily subsidised production throughout a half-dozen or so different producing countries in several different parts of the world, in multiple decades? All you've basically said is that these guns cannot be valued properly because there is literally NO way to begin to calculate a standard of what it cost to produce them. Your guess that it cost about $30 to make one is about as groundless as any guess I'd make on the number of strands of spaghetti it would take to span from here to the moon -- except that my guess would be A LOT EASIER to substantiate!

    I prefer them with marmalade.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  8. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Dont get stuck with the idea these SKS s are still priced low like ten years in the past tense. We are in different times now. The only thing constant is change, and change means high prices and values go up especially for those that arent made no more. If its a nice Russian SKS for $500, then dont wait a second. Grab it and be happy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  9. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    If there is a parallel with Enfield #4/Mk.1s, I suspect that if imported 7.62x39 ammo (.25/rd. in bulk) is ever taxed much more or has very high tariiffs added, so that the prices were to approach US-made x39 prices, the SKS might fall a bit in demand and price, as the rifle will never have quite the Hollywood-driven insurgent/guerrilla image of the AK clones.

    Maybe my impressions are also wrong about Enfield #4/Mk.1s, but with very scarce, non-reloadable surplus .303 ammo selling for not much less than reloadable commercial Prvi P. ammo (.75/rd.:(), this seems to have kept #4 rifle prices pretty stable since '09.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  10. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I'd like to buy some gold that was mined in 1960 for 1960s prices....

    As for the SKS, I think all the 'fools' realized that this is a great rifle and was a steal at $70, $150, and even $300... and the prices will continue to rise and peak around $500 or so in todays dollars, just beneath the AK and AR and other similar semi-auto rifles.
     
  11. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I cannot believe how expensive they are.

    I got one in excellent condition, still covered in cosmoline, for $135 shipped with FFL transfer fees, in about 2006. That really wasn't all that long ago...and now we are asking if the days of $350 are over.

    Holy crap.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Oh, certainly. I bought a Russian years back for $200, and probably should have shopped around a bit more at the time. Now what's a pristine Russian SKS go for?

    But here's the thing: It is a very solidly built, blued and wood semi-auto, all original, military service rifle (with an integral bayonet, for what that's worth). Accurate and dependable, in a very useful and effective cartridge quite suitable for defensive purposes or hunting out to maybe 200 yards or so.

    Why WOULDN'T that cost $400-$600 today? We've been very spoiled by having a huge surplus firearms market which put a whole lot of quite good guns in the hands of a lot of shooters for many decades. But the low price of those guns was about as "artificial" as you could possibly ever expect to see. Heck, when I got my Garand (yeah, from the DCM...not the CMP!) it cost me $265, and folks were grumbling about how much they'd gone up! Good heavens. Just look at one and explain what makes that a $265 rifle? Nothing but high supply and relatively low demand.

    It has nothing to do with how much it cost a government to make or purchase them, nor anything at all to do with how good a gun it is relative to other guns, or with how useful such a thing would be to any owner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  13. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member

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    Losing battle Jimmy, might as well try to explain it to your cat.
     
  14. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I suppose you're right. I've been here before. BTW,my cat already knows this but the dog is still struggling with it.
     
  15. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Nothing about an SKS is cheap. The ONLY reason people think they are cheap, is because of simple supply and demand. WE were flooded with these (and other milsurps).

    If they had trickled in at $800 each people would have been happy to get one at $700.

    Agreed, that these well made rugged semi-auto battle rifles are comparable to many other rifles at twice the cost.

    Some people are slow to understand this concept. I'm glad I scored mine over the years, and still buy up any good ones I can find ...
     
  16. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    For those who now contemplate and find their first SKS to be affordable, you might consider buying a heap of ammo first.
    Ammo prices can jump far out of proportion compared to the rifles.

    We know what can happen overnight with absolutely no warning. Just clicks with a credit card.

    leadcounsel: many of us are so thankful that the various AR rifles' and components' "cool factor" diverts vast amounts of cash away from other rifles.
    At the river or club, I seldom see an SKS, but the ARs are countless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
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