collecting guns for investment

This is a discussion on collecting guns for investment within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Anyone have any suggestions on how to start an "investment" collection? My wife and I discussed buying a gun a year for investment purposes. I ...

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Thread: collecting guns for investment

  1. #1
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    collecting guns for investment

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to start an "investment" collection? My wife and I discussed buying a gun a year for investment purposes. I don't really have a feel in the $1k+ guns and wonder if there is primer or any good books or resources for true gun collecting. I was considering getting a curio license, but what should one look for? We were looking to turnover acquisitions every 5-10yrs. I have seen the price of arms skyrocket and thought to (attempt ) to make a few bucks on my hobby.
    Please advise or dissuade my plans.

    Thanks!
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

    Vegetarian: Indian for inept hunter.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    It seems the only way to make a large profit on firearm collecting is to purchase items that you believe will be banned at a later time. Lowers for AR's, high capacity magazines, EBR's, etc have a possibility of being regulated out of existence, therefore anything pre-regulation will probably increase in value.

    For older collector type weapons, like an unfired Colt limited edition, etc, I don't believe you will be able to make very much money on, because the prices for those are already about as high as they will get...(inflation aside).

    Estate sales and auction sites seem to be the best chance of buying firearms that are undervalued and could turn a good profit.

    https://store.bluebookinc.com/Firearms/Default.aspx would be a good investment, as a lot of pawn dealers, used firearm dealers, estate managers, etc don't always check things out fully. Slight differences in design could make a firearm very rare, hence the value change drastically.

    Honestly, IMO, the best way to make money on firearm collecting would be to purchase firearms where the owner doesn't know exactly what he is selling. Or to purchase items that you believe will become illegal/regulated in the future.

    As to whether or not your ethics would allow you to do that, is of course, up to you.


    Also, if you choose to purchase items that you believe will be regulated/banned, if those items are not grandfathered in, or if the sale or transfer of those items becomes illegal, you are left holding the bag, so to speak. So, you could say it is a risky investment.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Some people are absolutely convinced (to put it mildly) that in the upcoming president's term "assault" rifles are going to be banned. They point to historical bans on firearms, like Kerbouchard mentioned, and say that they will grandfather the law in meaning expo facto law is in affect (if you already owned it before the law was set it is leagl for you to own that particular firearm or anyother that was built before it was made illeagl). THus their value would most likley increase by a crazy high %.

    This of course is all speculation on the part of the community of responsible firearm owners.

    I don't see any ethical implications here, mainly b/c every red blooded american needs a gun (if not 10+) and a gun is a gun is a gun weather it be black evil or not.

    As to wheather or not it is a sound investment plan... I'm not a financial advisor, and would hate to give you advice that would leave you broke and without medications one day, but i'll give my opinion: Firearms are not a sound investment as far as monetary purposes as the margin of profit to cost is just too small.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    My ethical statement was more of buying that mint condition Colt from the elderly lady who found it locked up in the safe after her husband died.

    Or perhaps purchasing something that you do not want, or need, solely because you believe it will become illegal.

    YMMV, but for better or worse, I still think those 2 methods are the best method for making a profit through gun collecting.

    And I'm not even sure of the legalities of purchasing a gun, solely to sell it at a later date. It kind of gets close to a straw purchase.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

    http://miscmusings.townhall.com/

    Who is John Galt?

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    Member Array gg12's Avatar
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    Staw purchase even with an expected sale date 5-10 years in the future to an unknown buyer?

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    I collect investment grade firearms regularly. My S+W 1950-1970 revos, prelock era make about 10-15% a year, every year. They aren't making them anymore like that, and there's smith revo collectors who pay upwards of 1500.00 for one revo from that era.

    Be aware that if they are going to be collectors, they need to be 98% or better and all original. The original box and tools will add another 100+ to the value of the sale as well.

    It no good to buy an old Smith that 90% original, the value will not increase as readily as the true collector grade guns.

    I also colllect older 40's-50's pump 22's, oddities like the Coonan arms 357 I recently showed here on this site, etc. I've never lost money on a collector gun. The trick is to plan on holding it for at least 10 years, or more.

    The assault type rifles like the AR/AK/FAL/HK91-93's etc are items to consider in this political climate, and if they election goes the wrong way could increase by 300-400% in a year or two. I've put 7 AR's away this last year along with three FAL's and several AK's in different configurations in anticipation of the climate ahead.

    To collect, do you research before you buy so you don't pay too much. Market value is one thing, but you can get into a situation quite easily where you've paid too much and it will take longer to get your money out of it later.

    Brownie
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  8. #7
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    I'd hate to have to offer any advice on what will appreciably climb in value or what the whims of the collecting fraternity will be.

    I've got some neat stuff that I bought years ago for cheap. I could never afford to replicate my menagerie now. I wasn't astute but more of the "blind hog." Some of it was considered ordinary and perhaps even less than desirable 25 to 35 years ago. They were just old guns. Never dreamed that the guns would become "collectors" items" at the time they were acquired. I was just enjoying playing with the oldies. Have been scolded more than once recently for actually employing them for shooting by jazbos at the range or the gun show.

    Classic Winchester, Colt, Smith & Wesson, U.S. military are always in demand and prices rise steadily. Some classic models of Remington rifles and the Savage 99 are good choices. Only the older "traditional" guns have the most universal appeal and not current production models from these makers. For instance I'm thinking rotary magazine Savage 99 rifles are heating up. WWI and WWII weaponry are pretty reliable.

    I'd strongly recommend staying away from the limited edition or commemorative firearms. There's only a narrow interest in such products and almost no big ticket items amongst them. Personally, I hold them all in contempt and know that many other gun folks do as well. I see them as contrived collectors' items. The big money is in the older original guns of whatever particular era they served.

    I suppose some quick money could be made speculating on potentially regulated or banned firearms IF they are in fact restricted in some fashion in future. Seems more risky to me than the old stuff but then I'm more familiar with old guns.

    Of course I never set out to accumulate guns for investment purposes anyway.

  9. #8
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    Of course I never set out to accumulate guns for investment purposes anyway.

    At least half of the guns I've collected on speculation have allowed me to hold one or two identicals for myself and after the profit of selling duplicates, mine end up being free in the safe.

    When they sit in the safe and make 10-15% a year, they didn't cost me anything after selling the duplicates, it makes for good investments.

    Brownie
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    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

  10. #9
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    Yeah Brownie, but you're more intelligent than I am. I never did put any proper amount of thought into my acquisitions, was frequently willing to settle for less than perfect metal surfaces and, most foolish of all, wanted some of all of them, not limiting myself to one speciality. While I have some treasures amongst the trash, it's insane to attempt to collect across the broad spectrum of what's out there. My problem is that I like the Winchesters, Colts, S&Ws, U.S. military, British military, Savage 99s, Remington Models 8, 14, 14 1/2, and 30, Lugers, Hi-Powers...

    I can never concentrate.

    Oh, might add that one should avoid refinished guns. Original finish with character trumps refinished every time. In years past I acquired some refinished examples of popular classic guns and always came to loathe them. Long since stopped buying refinished guns.

  11. #10
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    Do not buy any specific Commemorative firearms.
    Because you'll never know which exact ones are going to take off & which ones are going to rot like dead fish.
    Some of the John Wayne might be an exception to that rule.


    You probably should snatch up a Colt Reproduction WWI & a WWII New In Box but, they have already started to climb up there.
    They are certain to increase in value in a decade or so.

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  12. #11
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    Yeah Brownie, but you're more intelligent than I am.

    I doubt that, but concentrating on certain fields of collection does narrow the knowledge you need to find em and buy em right.

    I used to collect ww1, ww2 1911's, all original of course when back east. Sold most of them when I moved to Az 4 years ago, now I'm into the Smith revos from the 40's through the 70's.

    It took me weeks to read up on that subset before I'd start t6o collect em.

    Brownie
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    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Do not buy any specific Commemorative firearms.
    I agree with that. Commemorative guns are a waste of money. The S&W Model 19 Texas Ranger Commemorative I bought NIB for MSRP in 1973 has increased in value very little since then. I sold it years ago.

    My thoughts on investment collecting:

    S&W pre-1982 revolvers.

    S&W pre-1957 revolvers (when they were known by names, not model numbers.

    Colt SAA revolvers, 1st & 2nd Generations.

    USGI M1911 and M1911A1 pistols in original condition.

    Luger pistols.

    Winchester Model 70 rifles.

    Original Winchester lever actions.

    U.S. Martial rifles and handguns.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    U.S. Martial rifles and handguns.
    Just be careful with any 'sporterized' military rifles. They aren't worth much, if anything, as a collector item...but they do make a heck of a deer rifle..
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

    http://miscmusings.townhall.com/

    Who is John Galt?

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    Geesh...if you can find and get a sweet deal on a nice condition ol' Colt Python revolver in a private sale...they are always HOT!

    And a MINT S&W Model 41 50th are fetching 5 Grand plus these days.
    I'd love to find one those on a table at a house sale some day.

    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array NYcarry's Avatar
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    Take this at face value, but I have heard ramblings on the boards of the next ban, that the items that would be grandfathered in would not be transferable.

    So who ever owns it would be unable to sell after the ban, including magazines and such.

    Who knows.

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