Dollars vs. Sense : How Much Is Too Much?

Dollars vs. Sense : How Much Is Too Much?

This is a discussion on Dollars vs. Sense : How Much Is Too Much? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; You've probably heard somebody say that they'd much rather have a gun they can shoot instead of one that hangs on a wall or lives ...

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Thread: Dollars vs. Sense : How Much Is Too Much?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Dollars vs. Sense : How Much Is Too Much?

    You've probably heard somebody say that they'd much rather have a gun they can shoot instead of one that hangs on a wall or lives under glass (if you haven’t said it yourself). Similar things have been said for just about anything people collect, especially if that item serves a function (read:"tool"). That includes motorcycles, swords, cars...and you get the idea. It seems to make a special kind of sense when you're talking about guns.

    I feel fortunate to have had the chance to shoot at many different ranges and sports clubs. That means that I've seen lots of guns. Some of the Class III stuff that one gets the opportunity to see and shoot at annual events here in Kentucky are unbelievably valuable, well into five digits. But the ones that take the moneycake always seem to be SHOTGUNS . It is worth adding at this point that, unlike their full-auto counterparts, these guns are used regularly. I'm looking at a Purdey shotgun catalog right now that has several models that run about 78,000 pounds. Current exchange rates mean this gun goes for $157,684 US dollars! This is for a NEW shotgun, not a museum piece. Perazzis are another name that fetches such figures, among others. I’m sure we’ve got a few members of our forum who own ‘em…and shoot ‘em (unfortunately, I’ll never be in the position to consider spending such a figure on anything I don’t live in).

    So, does a gun ever become 'overly collectible'? Specifically, when does a gun's monetary value mean you probably shouldn't shoot it anymore, lest it lose 'value'? If people can (and do) shoot those Purdeys, I wonder if that point really exists at all. Incidentally, there are lots of those that bear history tied to an individual or event, for instance, the .45 revolver that Jack McCall blew Wild Bill's brains all over the newly named ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ of aces and eights…the gun is insanely valuable because of the history. Is that where the line is drawn? I have a friend that has a 1911 that he paid $3000 for and says he’ll never shoot it. Is that $3000 too much for a fancy paperweight?

    (Before anyone responds, lemme' just say that I'm not asking a deeply philosophical question about the value of ANYTHING beyond the function of that thing. I think it is clear that the open market is many things, but Taoist is not one of them. Different things fetch different dollars based on lots of different factors, and that is the way the world works. I'm not asking about the inherent good or evil therein, okay? It is what it is, and that ain’t what I’m talking about here.)
    Last edited by Scot Van; March 19th, 2008 at 12:30 PM. Reason: typos
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  2. #2
    JD
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    I'm 50/50 on this one, if it's truly an investment piece, IE vintage WWI/WWII, or other collectible items, where shooting them will decrease their over all value, I'd leave them be.

    If were talking a Nighthawk Custom, Wilson Combat....what's the point of having such a fine 1911 that you'll never shoot it?

    I bought Lima's Wilson at a great price just so she COULD shoot more.

    To each his own, but unless there's real collectors appeal, I'm shooting it.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I uesd to collect a few things (baseball cards, coins, etc) but nothing that had any "real" purpose (i.e. tool). I'm of the 'ya get what ya pay for' mentality. As for firearms, those top-end, high dollar shotguns are nice......but have no business in my gun safe. Same for any gun......I need a tool for a specific purpose, not a valueable "safe queen". Spending the money for a good, quality is worth it, but not if it'll depericate it's value to a point you'll want to put it under glass.

    FWIT, if I did put money like that out for anything 'collectable', it would have a history, vice me buying a 'name' and/or 'reputation'.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  4. #4
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    I only have 2 guns that I will not fire. I S&W .38-40 (Edited to add not a .38-40 but .38 S&W) and a 10ga shotgun. Both were my Great Grandfathers.

    Everything else I shoot including my Curio and Relic's. I don't shoot my C&R's much.
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    My firearms are tools, I don't collect them (although my wife might disagree, she's from the one is enough school of thought).

    To me:
    Reliability > Function > Price > Form > Collector Value

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Consumption vs. Investment

    So, does a gun ever become 'overly collectible'? Specifically, when does a gun's monetary value mean you probably shouldn't shoot it anymore, lest it lose 'value'?
    I view guns and many other tangible items as a combination of the two terms "consumption" and "investment". Consumption involves using up an item so that when you are done with it, it has less remaining utility and much lower value that when you acquired it. Examples might be a restaurant meal, a leased car, or a desktop computer.

    Investment is the purchase of something mainly for the possibility of increasing in value over time, so that you can sell it later and make a profit. Examples would be company stock, a bar of gold, or a '56 Corvette in top condition.

    Some items have elements of both consumption and investment because they can be used to some extent and still have the chance to retain their value or increase in value. But often heavy use of the item will limit the increase in value. So you have to decide when you buy such an item how you will handle it on the consumption/investment spectrum.

    Personally I like handguns, and shooting them or looking at them is satisfying to me. I have some that are pure consumption - "shooters" that I bought slightly used and shoot frequently, with no hope of appreciation. A few others are pure investment - classic guns, out of production, in excellent or unfired condition that I never shoot and keep in the safe, taking out once in awhile to look at or photograph. I hope these will go up in value, and many of them have. You just have to keep straight which are which.

    Below are examples of each type - a Sig P229 that I bought used and shoot all the time, because it is fun to shoot. And the other is a Series 70 Colt Gold Cup in factory nickel that has not been shot, which is pure investment.



    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

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    I'd pass on buying a gun that I couldn't or wouldn't shoot. I love antiques and old stuff. I enjoy antique and classic firearms, furniture, books, coins, watches, and used to keep a collectible car. But only in the context of reserving the option of enjoying it for it's intended purpose. I sit on our antique furniture, read my antique books, wear old collectible wrist watches, would drive the old car, and shoot the old guns (don't spend the coins). I'm sure there's a value to maintaining pristine, historically significant, or well-kept examples of goods from the past as objects of reference, historical interest, or even as art. I'll leave it to the museums and collectors to maintain such items.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scot Van View Post
    Is that where the line is drawn?
    Everyone's chemical imbalances strike at different points. There's no explaining one or the other position that folks take, unless you know all that they know.

    You might as well guess whether a person best prefers hikema, rhubarb, horseradish or lima beans.

    For me, it's too much when: one cannot ride out the investment curve; it doesn't provide sufficient satisfaction or use; I can't explain it to anyone else.
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    Member Array alfack's Avatar
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    I think its sort of relative. If you are super rich, then a $100,000 shotgun might make sense. If you are not, like me, you get a Remington 870. Both serve the same purpose and I'd wager that there is not $999,700 performance difference.

    OTOH, I can understand people speculating that the values of these things will go up and treating them like investments.

    The temptation would be too great for me to not shoot any type of firearm I might purchase, though.

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    Just my opinion that the Colt Single Action Army collectors and the Colt 1911 collectors (and others) have already pulled to many vintage firearms out of the hands of the shooters.

    I don't have any kids to leave mine to so I'm shooting my collectibles no matter what their dollar value.
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  11. #11
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    "...S&W .38-40..."

    Ooo pgrass101...that's really rare!

  12. #12
    Senior Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    "...S&W .38-40..."

    Ooo pgrass101...that's really rare!
    So rare I don't think it was made.

    I meant .38 S&W Regulation Police in .38 S&W

    Sorry I had a mind fart
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

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    Member Array TLeath's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't want something I can't shoot. Sure my Wilson is expensive (at least to me) but not only do I shoot it, I also carry it. It will get plenty enough range time for me to be accurate with it and I sure don't shy away from shooting it. That's what it is for.

    I will shoot my Kimber more than the Wilson but it isn't for dollar reasons. Its a full size model and simply is softer shooting versus a commander size. I'll also shoot my Glock a lot too but that really has to do with ammo prices (9MM vs .45). For real money savings I always carry my Buckmark with me when I go to the range. Fun to shoot and the ammo doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

    Really high dollar stuff? I don't own any and probably won't. The only guns I have that I don't shoot are the really old ones passed down through the family. Some aren't even in good enough shape to shoot but that is ok with me. Their value isn't in dollars but in memories.
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  14. #14
    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    I do have 4 rifles that I do not shoot, but it is not because of collectable status. These are rifles that I inherited from my father and I will probably never sell. One is a Springfield 1903 that was made in 1918 and rebarreled in ’42, I do not shoot this simply because I am not much on bolt action. One is a Winchester model 100 in .308 that has been “mine” since I was 10 years old, I do not shoot this simply because I can not justify the cost of additional magazines and you can not get 5 or 10 round magazines for it. One is a Winchester model 190 .22 LR that I do not shoot simply because I do not like the tubular magazine. The last is an old Stevens model 11 rolling block .22 that I do not shoot because it is missing a firing pin.

    So bottom line is that I do have a few weapons that I do not shoot but their value is sentimental and not monetary.

  15. #15
    Ex Member Array MaxLoad's Avatar
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    My perspective is a little different. When I was a youth, my Dad's collection of several thousand firearms was stolen while the family was on an extended vacation. (They took 4 safes and everything in the 20x40 gun room!)

    Since then I've been a little hesitant to 'collect' fine firearms. And, Dad never got back into collecting again. He's gone now, but I just couldn't bear to come home to an empty gun room again! I know, that if the BGs want them badly enough, they'll find a way to get at them! Even with safes, dogs, alarms and such!

    So, everything I own is a shooter.
    Last edited by MaxLoad; March 20th, 2008 at 02:46 AM. Reason: sp

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