Cashing in on your gun collection?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sniper66, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Well I will say I am coming away from this thread with a much, much different outlook that I would have thought. While I can appreciate that during the course of life that stuff happens I never would have believed that anyone having 100, 200 or 300 guns in a collection would be hard pressed to come up with $3,000 for any sort of a life emergency short of selling off their guns or some of their guns. Then too, $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 is not a heck of a lot of money, unless of course you do not have it in which case it is a very large amount of money. I am just surprised at some of the replies I guess.

  2. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Denham Springs LA
    I guess that some missed the wink after the comment about my kids. It was a joke.
    I was raised on a farm, Pets are pets. I love my pets and care for them, but I do not see them as a family member. Now when it comes to my kids, There is nothing I would not do for them. Now I see nothing wrong with those that treat their pets as family and would do anything for them.
    I do not buy guns to sell. I buy them because I enjoy them. That KKW would be an easy sale. It would only take one or two phone calls to have it sold.
    If I really needed a large sum of cash I could contact Simpson LTD
    And they would come to my home and make an offer on my collection and be ready to write out a check. I have a friend that contacted them and sold his collection for $25000.
    So cashing in my collection is something I could do if needed, but most likely I will end up giving most of them to my kids and grand kids.
  3. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    Somewhere in the U.S., London, or Australia
    Sure. I look at most of my rifles. I don't know if any of them that I could not turnaround and sell for what I have in it. Some precision rifles I know I could even make money off of. Some of these precision rifles with scopes and all go for $3000+ all day long so its not unreasonable to think he could sell some stuff and raise that kind of cash. Most people I know look at them as investments. Some of them are. Some of the guys I shoot with have $10,000 rigs.
  4. Schwing

    Schwing Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Layton Utah
    This is a great statement. I know people, even in my own family, who have had radical financial changes over the last 5 years. I don't see it as far fetched at all that someone with this kind of collection might be in this position given the current financial environment. I have a brother who once had an impressive Harley collection... that has been sold to pay the bills.

    Personally, I am doing very well right now but that was not the case as little as 2 years ago when I saw my income cut by nearly two thirds.
  5. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    Some of us are not good at keeping cash on hand. Toys, home repairs/improvements, entertainment......literally dozens of things gobbling up those readily liquid funds. But guns can provide a little bit of financial security for the precise reason some here don't consider them a good way to invest or save money. For those of us who are not so good with highly liquid funds, we will have something that can be moved relatively easily for a decent return, but are a little too much headache (or possible loss on investment) to sell for impulsive, discretionary purchases. Likewise, they make great barter items.

    Personal examples of selling/trading guns to benefit me:

    1) 2008-10: The dive in the economy hit me pretty hard, gobbled up what little savings I had in no time. Over the next two years+, I sold off about two dozen firearms at 70%-$150% of what I originally paid and was able to keep my home while I sorted things out. We're talking making up for a monthly disparity of about $800. How many here (especially under 30) honestly have $20K+ in savings? I doubt very many right now, and I'm certain even fewer prior to 2008.

    2) Cars/bikes:

    -Used Glock 22 for an '84 VF750F that I still ride to this day

    -Used Romak for my '78 Aspen Coupe, still have that too.

    -S&W M19 I paid $200 for got me a '66 Dodge D-100 that I later sold for $900

    -Sold a Colt Combat Commander for $750 (I paid $365) when I needed an econobox real quick after my only double digit fuel economy vehicle died when I was commuting 76 miles/day.

    -Traded two guns worth about $800 for a Jeep Cherokee, which I drove and maintained for about a year before trading it straight across for a full size 4x4 SUV that I still have.

    3) Machines: Without getting really specific, I'll just say that I've traded used guns for used equipment that would have cost me twice as much in cash as what I had into the guns that were bartered.

    These are just some examples of how firearms as semi-liquid assets have either kept me afloat in a time of need or greatly benefited me in bartering. Sure, I regret selling some of them, but had the money I spent on them been squandered into travel, gambling or other frivolous endeavors, I certainly wouldn't have acquired some of the things I have, and very well may have lost my home 6 years ago.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  6. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    New York
    Had to sell off---actually trade off---half of my modest collection to make it through the winter of 2014. Fortunately the oil man was a collector, and gave me a good deal. Oddly enough, I don't miss them.
  7. Valkman

    Valkman Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    I just got rid of 3 guns I hadn't shot in 20 years. One I broke even on, one I made a few $$$ and one I got soaked on. It was a Pro Ordnance Carbon-15 .223 pistol I paid $1500 for right before the CA AWB went into place and I got $550 for it. Oh well I got enough to buy a XDS and a Marlin 1894, both of which I will shoot.
  8. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Norfleet, Florida
    I am finding myself in this situation soon. I just retired from my state job, after finding I was on the 'short list' to be let go due to downsizing. I decided to go out on my own terms than be fired. Won't get my retirement checks for four and a half more years, due to my age. Gotta wait til I am 62.
    So I will soon be looking for other work. I have been collecting guns for twenty-odd years, and have many that are just sitting in the gun locker. I will begin selling them as I go. No great hurry yet. Also have several guns I inherited last year from my late Father - they will go too.
    Been considering 'culling the herd' for some time. :rolleyes:
  9. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    Too late now, but should have rode it out. I understand the pride thing, believe me, but had they laid you off, you'd have been eligible for unemployment benefits while you searched out a new job. That's why we pay into unemployment insurance. Yeah, it gets abused like crazy, but I have no problem with people using it as it was intended, meaning for a few weeks or months while they find work that will pay their bills.
  10. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

    Sep 17, 2013
    I have sold firearms over the years to pay the bills. The first revolver I ever owned was a Dan Wesson 15-2VH and I sold it to pay the gas and electric bill when I couldn't find a job...my father in law always loved that gun and knew how much it hurt to lose it.

    When he died 30 years later my mother in law told me to look under his bed as we were collecting and cataloging all his guns. There was a box with an exact duplicate DW .357 with my name on the box. He bought one shortly before his death and left it under the bed for me.

    But I have many times used my guns as pawn fodder to buy food or keep us afloat over the decades. Now I'm 58 and set for retirement and have plenty of guns and cash/property stashed and regret every gun I ever let go. I have been buying replacements of the most missed items.

  11. Sarge

    Sarge Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    In 1968 I used my gun collection as collateral for a loan to buy my house.
    In 2002 I decided I didn't need 3 MG 42s and so sold one. The $$$ bought me a new Ford Ranger and I had $$ left over.
    Very little that is "in my collection" is for sale or trade - that's my collection!
    I have a variety of other guns that are not part of the collection that are subjekt to what ever whim comes upon me!
  12. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    I recently took a lower end Benelli shotgun as collateral for a small loan and when the owner defaulted on the loan I traded it to another guy for services I needed around my place. It meant nothing to me, I didn't have much invested and I didn't have it long enough for it to lose value. Other pieces with sentimental value would be painful to let go. I could easily let my Colt AR go but not my Dad's 39A.
  13. BobTheTomato

    BobTheTomato Member

    Aug 1, 2006
    As others have said, "Its a hooby not an investment." That being said its a better investment than a bass boat.
  14. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Houston, TX
    This is a really complicated question. You get into assets and ownership along with transfer of wealth questions between generations.

    I suggest you contact a good retirement counselor if you want to go this way.

    Now as to the comment about guns not being a good investment I disagree. The problem is you have to recognize what is an investment opportunity prior to it being an opportunity. Then it can be an investment. As an example, just randomly buying guns and throwing them in the safe is probably not a good investment for the future if you are after growth in value. Some may do good, but others will not.

    On the other hand, if you focus and buy one reasonably rare model with some desirability and you hit it right, you can do OK at it. I went after pre-numbered 38/44's and only buy those.


    This picture is so out of date it is criminal as I have well over 60 now. Anyway, my first ones I bought at only $250 to $300 as who wants an N frame 38 special. Less than a decade later those some guns go for 10x of that for the same quality level. Remember they have not been made in over 50 years so the demand for high quality ones is only getting better.

    So today the question would be what common guns can you start picking up that would be investment grade in say what ever period of time you want to select? I think any Python is good, other Colt Revolvers (357, Diamondback, Detective Special). Rare Ruger's (357 Redhawks, 3 screw Flattops early MK1's), P&R-ed S&W's etc.
  15. short barrel

    short barrel Member

    Jul 8, 2013
    There's not much I wouldn't do for my dog. I might be weird, but I love him as if he were a human brother.
  16. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Yep, I have ...
    When I wanted to buy a new car, a toy if you will ... My wife said to go ahead but no payments and you (I) couldn't touch the bank accounts ... Guess what she said when I showed up with this :)


    I've also liquidated guns to but new carpet for the house, started a college fund for my youngest daughter ... But the very first time was when I bought her a new / bigger diamond for to replace the 1/4 caret that she had originally ... It was all. I could afford at the time, and it was on payments. I took the small stone and had it made into a pendant with our birthstones along with a pair of matching ear rings ... All from gun money, and I've never gotten any crap for it ;)
  17. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Johnson County Texas
    I made money on guns but not 3 grand worth.
  18. natman

    natman Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    If you're worried about resale, don't buy new guns.

    Guns keep up with inflation pretty well, certainly better than most hobby gear. How much would you get for your 5 year old skis / tennis racquet / scuba gear?
  19. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Sep 19, 2010
    California Coast
    You simply don't know that...

    First, you have no idea how many utils (which could be expressed in $$$) the gun owner received by owning the gun over that 20 year period -- whether he used it to hunt (and maybe saved food $$$), used it simply to shoot and enjoy himself or just to keep in pristine condition and show off every now and then.

    You also have no idea what the opportunity cost of that $400.00 was. Yes, he might have bought Microsoft stock at the right time. He might have also "wasted" it on a vacation, a poker game, a used motorcycle that he completely used-up or a ton of ammo that he shot-up.

    FWIW, the "value" of something to someone is most certainly directly reflected in the "price" that is ultimately paid for it...
  20. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Just two minutes from sanity.
    Yes, I do know that. Thanks to the RMU MBA program, I understand this very well.
  21. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

    Feb 3, 2012
    Guns CAN be a good investment. So can cars and houses and just about anything else. Most of these things are NOT good investments but they can certainly be turned into cash if needed. If your house is paid off after a 15 year mortgage then you have complete equity in your house and can sell it and pocket the proceeds. That doesn't mean it was a good investment because the carrying cost MAY have been higher than the selling price.
    If you need cash and you have guns to spare then selling them makes perfectly good sense. If you have cars to sell then by all means sell them. Maybe you picked up a 1967 convertible Mustang and kept it in the garage every day and maybe you have a couple of high dollar shotguns to sell.
  22. primalmu

    primalmu Member

    Jul 31, 2012
    Mooresville, NC
    I have absolutely no problem cashing in guns for other purchases, especially my most recent purchase, a recumbent trike.


    I sold my S&W 686 and a Springfield GI 1911 to buy this trike, and it was probably the best decision I've ever made. I've been overweight all my life, but for the past 2.5 weeks that I've had this trike I've gotten more exercise than I've done in the past 4 years. I'm also down 21 lbs since May, so this is only going to accelerate my weight loss.
  23. hueytaxi

    hueytaxi Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    Lakeland, Fl
    Well in the last year, my IRA earned $.43 and my mutual fund earned $510. I sold two guns with a $800 profit. I consider my collection an investment. Especially the thousands of rounds sitting idle.
  24. happygeek

    happygeek Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Not to pry, but just curious what it's in to make that last year? The S&P index made something like 20% in 2013, YTD for 2014 is 6.45%.
  25. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

    Dec 11, 2010
    if your going to sell guns for a profit you have to buy them at way less than retail price and then keep them awhile. they have to be quality guns also.

    DO NOT buy any guns you dont know the exact value of, DO NOT buy impulse purchases,DO NOT BUY JUNK or off brand guns.unless yu can get them for 50 percent of value.

    for instance, i got a nice 340 savage 30-30 for a 100 buks the other day. come deer season ill sell it for 200 buks. but i will of held it for around a year.not a prob. kind of a investment.

    other guns ive held for a few years and sold for much larger profits.

    making money on guns always depends on how cheap yu buy them and how long yu hold them.

    not to say ive not sold guns next day and made money on them.but that dont happen much.
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