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Milsurp Investment

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Stationary Smell, Apr 25, 2017.

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  1. Stationary Smell

    Stationary Smell Member

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    Do you guys think military surplus firearms are a good investment? I understand there might be some Garands coming back to the states... but I'm talking surplus firearms as a whole. Over the last year I've acquired a few surplus rifles (an sks, a few Mosin Nagants, Hungarian Mauser, M95 Steyr Mannlicher, Polish PA-63, ect.) and I'm curious if you think firearms like these might be decent as an investment... or maybe I should sell a few?
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Your money is likely safe unless you grossly overpaid.
     
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  3. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    Are there any examples where these guns drastically dropped in price? I only hear of the opposite. I mean even Mosins are getting crazy. I paid $99 a few years ago...now...not so much.

    While I am certainly not an investment manager, there are certainly worse things to buy.
     
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  4. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    No. The surplus guns will always climb in price.
     
  5. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I've always viewed these as shooters that never lose value. That right there is one reason to own and shoot them. US surplus probably has more potential to increase in value than something from another country. If the Garands are actually military surplus from the CMP I would say that's about as good as it gets. The CMP cert will ID it as genuine US surplus, not something imported from someplace like S. Korea.

    I think there are still a few Garands coming from the CMP but mostly the supply has dried up. Get qualified to purchase if you aren't already.
     
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  6. 444

    444 Member

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    I can tell you that 15 to 20 years ago there was a flood of milsurp rifles and ammo coming into the US and the prices were far too good to pass up. I was buying nice rifles for under $100. I became hooked on the whole thing and was buying two rifles every time I got paid. Now these were imports; US Milsurp rifles were several times higher in price. But when I see this stuff for sale now it has doubled and tripled (or more) in price. As was mentioned, I once bought a 91/30 for $39 from a dealer. SKSs were typically $69. Now they are a couple hundred. I don't have a crystal ball and I have no idea if the prices are going to continue to climb and if they do at what rate. But, you could do worse with your money.

    One thing I can't resist saying I told you so. Back when they were darn near giving milsurp rifles away, guys were posting endlessly on forums about doing all kinds of bubba mods to them and I would say: they may be cheap and plentiful now, but at some point the price will go up and clean unmodified rifles are going to become a lot more valuable: if you want a rifle with a scope and all that just go to Walmart and buy a modern bolt action rifle and put a scope on it rather than butcher up a milsurp that has some historical significance. And someone would say............there are millions of them.........blah blah blah and I pointed out that I bet right after the American Civil war you could buy those rifle a dime a dozen also, but with time, things change. Well.....things have changed.
     
  7. Bert W.

    Bert W. Member

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    I agree with Cool dill. I remember buying Mosins out of a barrel at Roses dept. store for a touch over 50 bucks. I also read an article about Southern Ohio Guns using barreled actions from Mosins in the foundation of their new building for rebar. Now base for a nice one on GB is $200-250.
    Last example, I was a gun dealer in the early 90s. If I bought SKSs by the case they were $67.50 a piece. Now what, $350.

    Sorry to repeat the obvious, it looks like me, coal train and 444 were typing at the same time.
     
  8. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Buy them because you like them, not as an investment. Remember that, as an individual, you are buying at retail and selling at wholesale. Therefore, you are not going to be able to flip milsurp guns for a quick gain. Now, if your time frame is 20 years or more, yes, you'll do OK. Generally speaking, U.S.guns will do better, value wise, than foreign guns. Whatever you do, keep them original (for God's sake don't sporterize them). Sporterizing milsurp guns is a thing of the past.
     
  9. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Sure as God made green apples, they aren't making any more of them....
     
  10. denton

    denton Member

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    Dissenting opinion....

    Com bloc rifles are expensive partly because they are blocked from import. If that is lifted, we could see a decline in prices. Mosins won't be $39 again, but they could be under $200.
     
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  11. Mayvik

    Mayvik Member

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    Those Polish PA-63s are super rare, definitely hang on to that one!
     
  12. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    No.

    Buy a rifle because you want to own it and shoot it and if it goes up in value and you want to sell it, all the better.

    But as an "investment", they MAY rise in price over time faster than inflation or a decent index fund, but getting your money back out of them can be time consuming and involve significant costs (i.e. shipping and FFL fees). There is also the risk of loss due to fire or theft so you'll need a safe, a security system and insurance (in case the safe and security system which the insurance is going to require) aren't enough. Factor all of that into a Net Present Value (NPV) analysis and you may find that as an investment vehicle military surplus rifles could well lead to a future where the dinner choice is Nine Lives or Fancy Feast.
     
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  13. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    That is true.

    But is also true they're not making any more of the people who lived through World War II, the Korean or Vietnam Wars that would be most likely to have the greatest interest in paying premium prices for rifles of that vintage.
     
  14. Stationary Smell

    Stationary Smell Member

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    I just looked at it now after reading your response and realized it's Hungarian... my mistake. Made by FEG. I assume Hungarian ones are easier to come by?

    I agree with this. All of the rifles I have, I'm not afraid to shoot... that's also the cool part! I didn't mean buying all the surplus rifles I could find, assuming the market for them will significantly increase. I was just curious if you guys thought they would hold, if not gain value.
     
  15. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    Chances are, ordinary milsurp will at the very least hold its value unless another batch is imported. Some appreciation is likely, but a lot of otherwise uninteresting milsurp tends to plateau in price about where commercial firearms become more interesting. Right now seems like a bad time to buy since we seem to be hitting those plateaus.

    You probably aren't going to lose money. But if you want to get any appreciable profit out of it, it's going to be a lot of work.
     
  16. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    The good thing about buying guns is that they can generally be turned back into money again if the need comes up. If bought sensibly, quite a few will at least bring back close to what was initially paid even after a few years. Try that with a cellphone, TV, computer, or car.

    Milsurp guns are indeed clicking up the price ladder, and they'll be more likely to recover that initial outlay, and with a bit of a bonus after some time. But I don't see them as being part of an "investment portfolio", so to speak. One can certainly justify the purchase of a milsurp firearm under the logic that he or she can probably get their money back later, but that's about all I'd count on.
     
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  17. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    I think they're as good an investment as anything else, especially if you enjoy shooting them (or fondling them from time to time, whatever your bag is). The more historical the gun, the more it's bound to increase in value, especially if it's relatively rare. I would suggest going for quality over quantity. There are shooter milsurps and collector milsurps, and the latter variety will probably appreciate more. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend big money. Even a Mosin Nagant can be worth collecting and preserving, and there are lots of Mosins that fit into that category for under 500 dollars. If you're going to collect milsurps I would highly suggest getting a C&R license. It will pay for itself basically on the first purchase.
     
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  18. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    Over the years, I've picked up some MilSurp's really cheaply. Like 91/30's for $95.00 that are now going for $250.00, and SKS's for $125 that are now bringing $325.00. Have they increased in value; yes, but hardly what I would call an investment. Buying in crate quantities helps, but then you'll probably end up selling in crate quantities at a discount anyway. Buy 'em to shoot 'em. Once cheap surplus ammo disappears, the magic of milsurp. will cool I think.

    IF you can pick up a few in "unissued" or LN condition, those might be worth setting aside for future generations to enjoy, but remember that most of these were made in the 100thousands or millions so condition is EVERYTHING..

    The big ?? is what future generations will think of those old, clunky bolt-actions when they've all been brought up on black rifles made with lots of fiberglass, plastics and SS.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  19. TheSquire

    TheSquire Member

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    As we have somewhat stricter licencing laws here in the UK than you enjoy in the USA, good condition deactivated military surplus guns generally command a higher price than 'live' ones that require a Firearms licence.
     
  20. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    I imagine they'll think about the same thing we think of muskets. And pay big bucks for them just like we do for antique muskets.
     
  21. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Its hard to say what the future may hold. I'm sure plenty of people remember $75 SKS rifles and $250 M1 Garands. My personal tastes are for US property marked firearms since they seem to be most valuable, and just because.
     
  22. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    Maybe; or maybe not. That's the question. When I think of an investment, I think of things that have widely-held appeal and value to a lot of people. That makes them easily bought and sold at a predictable price. Given that there are 325 million people in the USA now, and maybe around 1000 folks on this forum, I don't think I'd qualify 99.9% of Mil-Surp's in that category.
     
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  23. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    IMHO and remember this is just another one...you know the saying everyone has one.

    We will never see prices like that again. "They" (importers) know what we will pay, and they do this for one reason....to make money. And do you think those people in "eastern europe" are clueless as to what they are selling for over here....do you think they will sell them again for $10 to the importer knowing that the importer is going to mark them up again....no the world is more connected then ever before....everyone knows what the going rate is and while you are likely to see a small change in price if a new flood comes in I doubt it will be that much.

    Are they an investment....well a pretty risky one if you ask me....or ask someone in the UK or Oz. We are one election away from huge gun reforms....and you know you can still own your gun, but why does that SVT40 need a 10 round magazine....the people in Canada make do with just 5 and it works there.....see where I am going with this.

    If you are buying it for an investment, or an investment that you can also play with from time to time....like that '63 Corvette split window....then you are fine, but remember that market will change....it will go up and down like any other investment, does not matter if it is a classic car, classic lever gun or gold and silver....there is no sure fire will be worth more in 10 years. So for an investment like all investments don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    I know one lawyer that "invested" in winchester lever guns....he has hundreds....from Henry (the real ones not the junk made today) on up....he even had a volcanic pistol. This is what he "invested in"....pretty sound, and pretty safe as many are antiques.

    So in general I think that military guns up to the late 50's are going to be pretty safe, what you need to do is find that one thing that has not really taken off yet.....and it is not just military guns...other things as well. I am on a kick of "house brands"....Western Auto, Sears, Wards guns that they had years ago....these...well most of them anyway are not insane yet. In the world of military surplus, look at Italy and Japan, the prices on those have not gone stupid yet, and I really think that popular culture can really change gun prices....I really think that Walking Dead has helped Python prices go way up, just like Dirty Harry did crazy things to the Model 29 sales.

    Research is key to any investment.....do your research, make sure you get that real "jungle carbine" and not one that was cut down....or a "fake" sniper. But yes I do think that they are a good investment.
     
  24. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

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    Since I was a young man I always wanted to collect military surplus firearms, But back then when prices were low and supply was abundant I was raising a family and it just wasn't possible for me to justify an expense like that. Most of you all know how that is. My children are long gone now although they live close by to where my grand children think my wife and I are cash cows. I really don't mind that though I have a job now just because I want something to do. My first retirement bored the hell out of me.
    I have a C&R license and have bought several mil sup rifles over the last few years and am just now branching out to handguns. Just a couple of words of advice from an old guy. Do your homework. The internet can be your friend. Know what your getting into before you buy it. There's a lot of crap out there and many unscrupulous low life's ready to sell it to you. If your going to look at something bring a bore light and remember some wood stock repairs can only be seen in the right light. If a seller is up front about condition issues that's great. I bought an Enfield that has some cosmetic issues and I almost passed on it but the seller lowered the price a little and it turned out to be a great shooter.
    Nowadays I'm always on the prowl at gun hows and pawnshops looking for that lost gem. As investments? I really don't know. I collect because I like it. As others have said here they ain't making them anymore. Have fun.
     
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  25. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    I am sitting on a gold mine of milsurps. But then again I bought my first Milsurp rifle back in 1985. I paid $75 for a 1916 Spanish Mauser, that I still have. I have right at 40 Turkish Mausers. I started buying them when they were selling for $40 but have paid as much as $200 for one. I have another 30 or 40 Mausers from different countries. And Enfields, I should have started buying them in the 80s when really nice ones were selling for $60, but I do have about 20 or so.
    Now when it comes to Mosins, I have around 50 but 10 are M91s. The most I have paid is $240 for a M91. I also have over 10 US Milsurps.
    I could go on with all the great deals, but that is only because I have been buying for a few years. But I also hunt pawn shops for good deals. Like others have said, the good old days of cheap surplus weapons are over, but there are still good deals to be found. Last October I picked up a Webley Mark IV in 455 Webley for $300 out the door.
    US surplus weapons do bring higher prices but don't get cought up in the BS about CMP being genuine US surplus and worth more then the ones that have been imported. Where do you think CMP has been getting their guns.
    Now back when you could get guns through the DCM program, those were guns that came directly from US Govt. surplus.
    Buying Surplus guns can still be done for investment, but you need to buy right. Do your homework.
    Now a weapon with no import mark and a story that a vet brought it back from a war. It's just a surplus gun with a story. Now if it has bring Back Papers with it, it's worth more.
    Remember to never educate the guy at the gun or pawn shop you buy from. The less they know about surplus guns the less you will pay for them.
    A while back I walked into a pawn shop and saw a Mosin sitting on the rack. Right away I knew it was a M91 Dragoon. I asked to look at it. The guy said I have it marked higher then a regular Mosin because it is Finn marked. I see that he has $240 marked on the tag and the SA stamp on the barrel. But I also seen that it has a modified 1st series handguard and 1st series bands. I was not about to tell him that the rifle was worth $450 to $600, but I did ask for a better price and got it.
    Here is tip. A lot of true Collectors would rather sell one of their guns to another Collector that will care for the gun for years to come. Most often you will get a better bargain from the true Collector.
     
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