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Where are gun prices going ??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by John Fugate, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. John Fugate

    John Fugate member

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    I have watched guns actually double in price over the last three years and in some cases triple. I am talking about REAL investment grade guns like older New in the Box Smiths and Colts and Winchesters. Where is this market going ??? Is it topped out ? Will it fall ? Has it slowed down ? Any thoughts ,,, I am banking on the prices to continue to rise,, thats where my money is at, but I would like some input from the forum. I want to say this sure is nice forum and I am glad to be a part of it.
    John
     
  2. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    They are going up.

    Maybe unscrupulous gun dealers scouring gun board classifieds, and auction sites, and buying up nice guns at reasonable prices, then turning around and immediately offering the same guns for sale at exorbatant prices, and running sham auctions on Gunbroker are to blame.

    What do you think Mr Fugate?
     
  3. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Member

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    Investment grade guns seldom go down any , and then only a short dip time wise . However the " gun of the moment " that brings a premium is not an investment , its a sellers dream . I'll point to the prices mod 29 smiths brought after each " dirty harry " movie as an example . Good 29s are now coming back to the prices that some were paying for them then .
     
  4. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

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    On all these investment guns, how many tanks of gasoline did they cost, and how many tanks of gasoline are they worth now? Or gallons of milk?
     
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The market over all has not topped off. The market is trendy and somethings increase in value faster than others for reasons other than rarity.

    Look at Colt Diamondbacks as a good example... Prices were pretty flat for years in the early to mid 1990's until one day everything changed. I don't know what changed?? People began buying them rapidly a few years back and the maket price increased. Collectors started to look at the different variations and the prices on the rarer variations skyrocketed. At the moment, the market seems to have leveled out on them at around $1000-$1200 for a nice speciman in 22. So, the price essentially doubled to trippled on the common ones and went up as much as 10-fold on the rare variations. Doubling of the price does not seem unreasonable with the interest and the current price of quality guns.
     
  6. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Member

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    Ok buy a tank of gas , or a gallon of milk today and see what it is worth in 30 years . Just put your gallon(s ) into safe storage and watch the current prices much less the " collectors price " of vintage gas or milk . Food is going to go up in spite of " farmer welfare " that many here bitch about , its driven by oil prices . If you had a bushel of say wheat from the turn of the century you would make a bit ( as sales wheat from then is virtually worthless as seed ) , if you had a gallon of milk you would have a science experiment , and time to write the paper on it . If however you had an early 1911 or better yet a 1903 well then the market bears it out . Grain and meat have not kept up with inflation due to " farmer welfare " . I do ranch , and i have yet to take a .gov payment on my cattle . 2 years ago i lost half the calf crop and no one is offering to pay me for the dead calves ( the ones who were not frozen we hauled into our living room to feed and maby save .. clean that off your carpet ) . Talk crap about the price of food when you have a clue . To the mods ... i apologize that my post was not high road . I just snapped i guess hearing again how high food is today when compared to lasting items such as collector level firearms . I produce some of that food , and i collect firearms too lol .
     
  7. welldoya

    welldoya Member

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    Just because they've gone up in the past, doesn't mean they will keep going up. The real estate market disproved that theory.
    I think as the economy heads south and people don't have as much discretionary income, prices will level out or even drop.
    I may be my imagination but it seems that I am already seeing that on Gunbroker.
    I was watching the Barrett/Jackson Classic Car auction last night and I was amazed at how little some of the cars brought. Much less than they would have brought a few years ago.
    Hmmm. Sounds like maybe the originator of this thread may not have too many fans around here.
     
  8. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    I only got back into firearms recently but it's my impression that markets can soften in anything. Beanie babies, rubber-nosed Corvettes, whatever.

    I discovered a short while ago that if I state that current Colt SAAs retain value real well I should take care not to state such in front of people that paid 1,700.00 a decade or so ago. I gather that between distribution changes and some other arcana a new SAA is 400.00 less right now than it was.

    USFA recently had a round of MSRP drops.

    The real old - "don't shoot it" stuff may be safer but I've watched a certain 20,000.00 investment grade Colt on Auction Arms for the last two years. It'll no doubt sell someday. I was brought up to believe if something sits on your showroom floor for two years you've taken it in the shorts - a profit that takes two years to realize is no profit. Investment grade firearms seem to sell in their own sweet time - any attempt to rush the process will drop the sell price like a stone. They're a conspicuously poor investment for anyone without patience or that might need to liquidate in a hurry.

    I believe it was Greenspan that noted that the definition of a "bubble" was knowingly overpaying for something based solely on anticipation of somebody else knowingly overpaying even more. That would certainly seem to be the case when spending 20,000.00 in 2008 dollars for two 3" barreled Pythons.

    Personally, I won't spend more than 5 bucks for any "collectible" unless my betters vouch for the seller. Investments are to some extent a matter of trust - particularly with those few of us that are unprepared for the pittfalls in collecting. It's not a field for the uneducated or unwary.
     
  9. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

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    I know this may sound silly, but I hope they quit this ridiculous climb brought on by unscrupulous knuckleheads that really are only in the hobby for the money. It sure would be nice to walk into a shop on occaision and walk away without feeling like I have been violated.
     
  10. fugotti

    fugotti member

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    Yes you are correct. I am Matt Fugate and I have never tried to hide the fact. Why does everyone feel this is some big secret that you have told here. If you want to know the story just ask. ;)
     
  11. Evocatii

    Evocatii Member

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    Not sure if anyone else mentioned this...

    My personal opinion is that the price of firearms (particularly new ones) is most affected by the rising cost of metals and the diminishing value of the dollar. Put them together and you have doubled and tripled price tags.

    Investment guns are also affected by these cost increases to some degree. Dollar value would be the biggest factor I suppose.
     
  12. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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  13. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Member

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    Sorry about the bumps in the road on this thread, John.

    My view is that gun prices will stay up; some will continue to increase slowly and the prices of various categories of guns will jump drastically as fashions make them more popular. Collectors' pieces will bring stratospheric prices.

    Welcome to THR.
     
  14. John Fugate

    John Fugate member

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    Thank You for your views

    Thank everyone for their comments. I am inclined to think the prices will move on up simply because the demand seems to outweigh the supply. I have been looking for a few pre war guns to complete my collection and I cannot find them at any price, therefore when I do find them "if I do" I will have to pay the price whatever is ask and I will. I searched for 7 years a NIB Colt Bankers Special .38 square butt for several years and I never found one better than 95% and that’s just not what I wanted. I had it in my mind not to pay over 3k for what I was looking for. When I got the call that one was for sale NIB for 4800.00 I broke my neck to get to where it was at and could not pay the gentleman fast enough when I realized I had found the perfect example ''the test target got me." What I am getting is how can you put a price on these NIB investment grade guns? What’s too much. 3k was tops for me on my 7 year hunt for a NIB bankers special until I found it and right then and there my budget went out the window. I will admit I lost my cool and went overboard, but you know what? I got what I wanted and I was a happy camper and I still love to look at the gun to this day. I think if the buyer and seller agree on a deal and both parties are happy when the deal is complete it’s a good thing regardless of price. This is just my point of view and I know we all have different views on this that is why I started the thread to see things though others eyes. I may be the only who feels this way but I am very happy with my overpriced Bankers Special.

    John
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  15. Oro

    Oro Member

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    Sticking your head in the sand doesn't make the problem go away...

    Gun prices have been dropping since last December, as those of us who take careful note of transaction prices well know. They are down about 10% since then, supply is up about 20%, and the trend isn't going to turn around soon.

    I spent a prior life as a stock broker and then money manager. How markets work was my life, and this one is just in the very early stages of a good sized downturn. The underlying fundamentals are, as always, supply and demand. Guns are not a restricted commodity like gold. Manufacturers are happy to forge, cast, machine and (sadly in some cases) stamp whatever you want to buy.

    Collectible gun prices have undergone a ramp-up the last five/six years because of a few factors:

    1) the internet, which has created a national, instead of local marketplace
    2) In the case of S&W, the works of Roy Jinks and Supica/Nahas, who have published some great works which have drawn attention to a stellar product
    3) The general economic boom, which has enabled the "average" man to plunk down $1k for a 38/44, 27, Gold Cup, pre-64 Winnie 1894, etc.

    At the end of the day, the first two support the price rise and won't go away. The third item will go away rapidly as the $5/gallon fuel costs start to work their way through our economy. It has already started going away based on transaction prices and supply/demand curves. Go to GB and search up "686" or something and see how many are for sale, and how many actually have bids. The effects of this have not yet even begun to be felt - people are in shock and hope it goes away, but it's permanent and once that message gets through, there will be a large re-alignment of costs, profits, and pay throughout our economy, and it won't be pretty.

    The best advice I ever read/heard about a down market was from the fabled investor Sir John Templeton. He said something like "When you think a market crash has hit bottom and you want to buy, wait six more months." Anyone who's worked in financial markets knows "six month" is the market equivalent of two life-times. My best estimate is that this market is about a year or two from bottom.

    You can try to talk up prices if you want, but it would be wiser to sit back and wait...
     
  16. LA Rondo

    LA Rondo Member

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    Guns may not be a restricted commodity like Gold, but they are certainly subject to significant market limitations.
    A continued initiative called "Guncontrol" does take care of it and limits distribution dramatically.
    Given different state laws, I can only speak for CA.

    It doesn't matter, how many revolvers S&W puts out in a fiscal cycle, I can by law only pruchase 1 new firearm evey 30 days. That's a very restricted market, which is not helpful to lower prices.

    On the used market Californians are unable to import "New Old Blood" from out of state because of the same restrictions. So prices for those used guns that cannot be restocked thru import will remain high, unless you find somebody who wants to get rid of it quickly and/or needs the cash.

    Alltogether, it may not be a restricted commodity, but it certainly is very restricted market. Those restrictions bump the price, like it or not.

    Mr Fugate,
    your passion for collecting your desirables, certainly derserves every respect, yet it does not reflect investor behavior.

    But you never know, some day it may be even worth more to someone else, in case you decide to put it on the market.

    However, compassionate spending also supports higher price levels.
     
  17. Oro

    Oro Member

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    LA Rondo has brought up a great point I had not adequately addressed.

    CA, a massive part of the US economy, is now effectively out of the used firearm market. NYC, a hotbed of wealth and millions of people, is also effectively out (and I know wherefrom I speak, lived under it's vile laws for eight years). MD is also in about the same category.

    If makes used prices in CA really high, but it denies NYC, CA, and Chicago citizens the ability to buy in the market place. These are significant buying sources that are shut down, and likely won't change for years until the effects of Parker, et al and Heller work their way through the system.

    Very good point.
     
  18. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Member

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    Thank you!
     
  19. Oro

    Oro Member

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    Hey Brian,

    Thanks for the endorsement, but am actually posting to say I've always admired your signature line. Wise advice. Sometimes I fail. Now that the pleasantries are aside, let's talk about how you spell your name...;) (No, really, I love your sig. line.)

    Bryan
     
  20. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Member

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    Bryan...Hmmm...looks like a typo to me... :scrutiny:

    :D

    Thanks for your thoughts about my sig line. It's a good reminder for me; I make a fool of myself often enough as it is.

    Brian
     
  21. BryanP

    BryanP Member

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    Nah. Those of us who spell it correctly know better. ;)
     
  22. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    Sorry, but I think you are wrong. Gun prices have and will continue to go up GRADUALLY. The real estate market, the commodities market and the stock market all had bubbles because they went up too quickly. Guns will keep pace or out pace inflation even in a poor economy.
     
  23. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    I tend to agree in those cases where the value indeed goes up gradually.

    However, there are numerous examples of precipitous price increases and little mini-bubbles bursting. Speculative buying has risks. Pricing based strictly on rarity can backfire as soon as a fashion moves on or something impacts the rarity.

    My wild guess is that the individual that paid 20,000.00 for two 3" barrel Pythons will be holding onto those things for a long time before a profit is realized. Not an issue if one simply likes 3" Pythons but if one is looking to make a profit, as opposed to his heirs cashing in, there are probably better choices.

    Hows'about SIG semi-auto 550s? There's a NIB on GB that's been listed 11 times in the last 90 days and is averaging a closing bid (below reserve) of roughly 7,500.00. Weren't those going for 10 large a decade ago?

    One of my dealers, not generally given to irrationality, is stubbornly holding onto a grocery bag full of Glock magazines he gave 45.00 a piece for waiting for the market to catch up to his purchase price. Darn AWB sunset anyway.

    SIG 550 pricing may have been depressed by the 556, I don't know. But I wouldn't be surprised to see the rare Colt bubble go splat without Colt having to resurrect the line. It could collapse simply from fashion changes blowing in the breeze. Or not. Nobody knows.

    The milder examples of Colt and USFA price drops in the more or less recent past remain. The irony of the Colt example is that no small number of people actually bought SAAs at the 1,700.00 tariff as an investment. Anybody that had anything to do with that lesson will have a long memory.
     
  24. John Fugate

    John Fugate member

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    Kamerer,
    You post was most informative and I agree with part of your analysis. You are correct about the 686 Smiths on GB,, most do not have bids. That is not the part of the hobby I am referring to. A Smith and Wesson 686 is not an investment grade item to me its a service item. I am talking about 30 year old guns new in the box and pre war hard to find guns and such. Guns that are not readily availible are the items I am trying to figure out the future of, a 686 is a 500.00 gun and will be next year as well. I am talking about guns like the nice pre war 38/44 outdoorsman recently on gunbroker that brought 2500.00 on a buy it now in the matter of hours,, How can you put a figure on that gun ? I thought long and hard about buying the gun and probably should have but I didnt it. A gun like that is hard to go buy a blue book,, because its the only one I have seen surface in a few months on the web. I know these items are out there but I cant pic up the phone and buy one so where does that factor in on its value. I wish I could buy out of the blue book or any gun value guides, when some tells me a pre war NIB K22 only books for 1100.00 dollars my response is where do I order one. I am getting older and just trying to balance my 401,, it seems these type of guns have had a huge increase over the last three years but where does it end ? I just dont want to have have all my eggs in one basket when the dance is over. Its kinda like gold,, you see it going up everyday but what are the key factors in it all and what makes us invest or not ? Can the bottom line be oil prices dictate our gold prices as well as investment grade firearms ? They seem to be hand in hand, one must admit ? Once again I appreciate your response and I think you have valid valuable evaluation of things. I just wanted to clarify the type of items I am researching. I am sorry if I did not make that clearer in the first of the thread. Let me know what you think, I would like to hear you opinion. I like the fact your response was based on real facts and real concrete evidence. One last question if you had to put 10,000 bucks somewhere as a five year investment where would it be ? Oil Gold Diamonds Cattle Land S&P 500 or NIB five screw S&W's ? I'll take the cold blue steel please but thats just me.

    Thank You , John

    Quote
    "You can't fake it if your gonna make it You got to live it"
    Randall Hank Williams Jr.
     
  25. John Fugate

    John Fugate member

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    Kamerer great response,, thank you !

    Kamerer,
    You post was most informative and I agree with part of your analysis. You are correct about the 686 Smiths on GB,, most do not have bids. That is not the part of the hobby I am referring to. A Smith and Wesson 686 is not an investment grade item to me its a service item. I am talking about 30 year old guns new in the box and pre war hard to find guns and such. Guns that are not readily availible are the items I am trying to figure out the future of, a 686 is a 500.00 gun and will be next year as well. I am talking about guns like the nice pre war 38/44 outdoorsman recently on gunbroker that brought 2500.00 on a buy it now in the matter of hours,, How can you put a figure on that gun ? I thought long and hard about buying the gun and probably should have but I didnt it. A gun like that is hard to go by a blue book,, because its the only one I have seen surface in a few months on the web. I know these items are out there but I cant pic up the phone and buy one so where does that factor in on its value. I wish I could buy out of the blue book or any gun value guides, when some tells a pre war NIB K22 only books for 1100.00 dollars my response is where do I order one. I am getting older and just trying to balance my 401,, it seems these type of guns have had a huge increase over the last three years but where does it end ? I just dont want to have have all my eggs in one basket when the dance is over. Its kinda like gold,, you see it going up everyday but what are the key factors in it all and what makes us invest or not ? Can the bottom line be oil prices dictate our gold prices as well as investment grade firearms ? They seem to be hand in hand, one must admit ? Once again I appreciate your response and I think you have valid valuable evaluation of things. I just wanted to clarify the type of items I am researching. I am sorry if I did not make that clearer in the first of the thread. Let me now what you think, I would like to hear you opinion. I like the fact your response was based on real facts and real concrete evidence. One last question if you had to invest 10k for a five year maximum return where would you put it ? Gold Diamonds Oil Land S&P 500 or NIB 5 screw S&W's. I will take the cold blue steel but thats just me.
    Thank You , John

    Quote
    "You can't fake it if your gonna make it You got to live it"
    Randall Hank Williams Jr.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
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