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Thread: Are guns and investment.

  1. #1
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    Default Are guns and investment.

    I'm not talking about Collectors, or Antiques, or selling guns as a business.

    I mean the average Joe, who buys guns, with the idea of using them or just having them, and keeping them thinking they will appreciate, and there will always be a market for them.

    I've always thought, NO. They don't appreciate in value enough, even in 1/2 a lifetime, to be considered an investment. Therefore, investing is usually NOT a good reason to purchase a gun. And there is no reason not to sell a gun to finance another one to play with.

    BUT, NOW, they have gone up so much, in, AT LEAST ASKING PRICE, and because of,( according to our friend Andy), the INTERNET, with Gunbrokers, GunsAmerica and the like, it has become a World Market.

    Perhaps, it IS or WAS an INVESTMENT after all.

    What are your thoughts on this important matter?

    Smitty of the North
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    In 30 years of buying, selling and trading guns I'd hate to know how far "down" I am...just the cost of admission for the fun I've had.

    There are a bunch of guys out there buying and keeping guns as an "investment" and unless they're literally new in the box that's a pretty hard sell. Even NIB it can be a tough sell. Some pretty rare numbers don't ever go up in value, some go down, and trends wax and wane.
    Knowing what will go up and what will not is a pretty tough prediction.

    I've always thought (kinda cynically) that if a guy wants to shoot- buy a gun. If a guy wants to invest- by a mutual fund.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Few guns were every a good investment and the first owners didn't know it at the time. The twenty five dollar military 1911's the NRA sold pre 68 would indeed have been a great investment if you purchased a hunderd or so back then and sold them today. The same holds true for the 98 Masuers sold by Sears in trash cans in the 50's from ten bucks to twenty five depending on the can you picked from/If you buy one today you will not make any real instrest for a very long time if ever.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I bought my first Winchester M-70 in 1964, the gun store was dumping those "OLD" model 70's (You know I think they later called them Pre-64 models) anyway they had all the Standard Receivers for $149.95 and the Long action ones for $169.95 Well I bought a .300 Winchester Magnum, and my friend bought a .264 Winchester Magnum. We each got a free box of cartridges. Anything to get rid of those "OLD" models. We could stand in one county and take out Ground Hogs two counties away.

    In 1965 I bought my first Colt Python 6" for full retail $124.99

    I would buy 1917 Enfields for $14.95 and other Military Rifles for $9.95 up to $11.95 and they would mail them to me for free. Direct.....No Paper Work. No 4473.......The mail man would just stand them up against the Mail Box,

    I was still in High School. We could take our rifles to school and keep them in our locker. As I recall this started in junior high school. You could just tell the school bus driver to please let you off on the far side of a mountain and hunt your way home to the farm.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    I bought my first Winchester M-70 in 1964, ... all the Standard Receivers for $149.95 and the Long action ones for $169.95 .
    ....and if you'd have bought $1000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway during Buffett's acquisition of the company in 1964 you'd have $10.5 million today.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    In 30 years of buying, selling and trading guns I'd hate to know how far "down" I am...just the cost of admission for the fun I've had.

    There are a bunch of guys out there buying and keeping guns as an "investment" and unless they're literally new in the box that's a pretty hard sell. Even NIB it can be a tough sell. Some pretty rare numbers don't ever go up in value, some go down, and trends wax and wane.
    Knowing what will go up and what will not is a pretty tough prediction.

    I've always thought (kinda cynically) that if a guy wants to shoot- buy a gun. If a guy wants to invest- by a mutual fund.
    Yeah, "KNOWING" which ones, is the thing.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Few guns were every a good investment and the first owners didn't know it at the time. The twenty five dollar military 1911's the NRA sold pre 68 would indeed have been a great investment if you purchased a hunderd or so back then and sold them today. The same holds true for the 98 Masuers sold by Sears in trash cans in the 50's from ten bucks to twenty five depending on the can you picked from/If you buy one today you will not make any real instrest for a very long time if ever.
    Then, maybe to be considered an investment, one would have to have bought a BUNCH and stored them down through the years.

    Is selling a FEW guns at a profit, worth it?

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    How do you put a value on the pleasure that a man receives from a quality firearm......or a Quality Lady. Priceless. And if you take care of them they will give you a life time of pleasure. And if you abuse them, either one can KILL you.



    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Then, maybe to be considered an investment, one would have to have bought a BUNCH and stored them down through the years.

    Is selling a FEW guns at a profit, worth it?

    SOTN

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    I don't think they are a good idea at all in terms of wanting to get a better return on them than what you paid for it them. Just llok at our younger shooters today do they share your same interests as you, probably not.

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    The last couple of years has seen a devaluation of guns during resale. You would have to see what your local area likes and dislikes. Breaking even on most post 1990 firearms is the best most folks do, unless the person needed quick cash and sold cheap. The best profit seen is more the double on a pair of Mosin m38s. Double on Enfield #4 mk 2s. These guns are hot in my area. Now guns that have gone up and tend to hold value here are: Ruger gp 161 half shroud. Colt anaconda. AR's, Ak's, semi auto handguns not so much.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

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    A few short years ago one could make some quick money buying and selling guns. It was a territorial thing. 8 years ago almost to the day I bought a Winchester model 70 SS in 375 H&H from a mom and pop gun store in Georgia for $455.00 and sold it for a thousand dollar profit to some guy in Alaska needing a bear gun. What the heck good is a 375 H&H in Georgia? I relocated it. You could at that time buy and sell guns and make money doing so and even keep them long enough to enjoy some of them. That doesn't work so well today. Everybody and their dog watches gunbroker looking for that special deal. In the end the bidders act like bickering old bittiess at a garage sale that ain't gonna loose come hell or high water. I laugh at some of the amounts that some guns go for on gbroker these days. Some idjuts think that just because they spent $2500 on a bottom of the barrel AR15 a little over a year ago that they somehow deserve there money back out of it. That isn't going to happen. A month ago my wife and I made a trip to Indiana. She drove home and I spent all 7 hours with my smart phone looking to make a buck on the gun auction websites. I came up empty. I saw a lot of neat stuff that interested me and had I been buying to keep I might have paid the asking price for some of it but as for buying with the idea of reselling I came up empty.

    It was but two years ago that Smokey and I each got brand new SS Ruger Hawkeyes in 358 Winchester for less than $500 each. They came from Bud's Gun Shop via gunbroker. That was a steal! He had 8 of them and they were all gone in a hurry. I just happened to be looking in the right place at the right time on that deal. Smokey still has his but I got badgered to death about selling mine by a local yahoo and when he flashed $800 at me he got the 358. I kinda wish now that I had kept it but........I don't need to explain that to you guys.

    At this point in time I am done buying any guns with the idea of turning them in a short term profit. It's just not there! Hind sight is 20/20 but foresight isn't so. It's anybodies guess as to which gun being manufactured now will be the next Colt Python. If I knew then I'd buy several of them but I don't so I won't.

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    Short answer is no, for all the reasons already stated. If you get lucky, a few models are probably keeping up with inflation. Surprisingly I'd put the M44 in that category, I haven't pushed a pencil on it but I suspect the ones that used to sell for $49 and now go for around $200 are doing ok as a hedge.


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    Smitty, as long as ya have at least one gun you will always have unlimited income possibilities, Jessie James is proof!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I'm glad to see that the nearly unanimous consensus here is "no." The one thing no one has yet mentioned is the effect of inflation on your "investment." If you bought a gun (or any item, for that matter) in 1980 (25 years ago) for $500, you would have to get $1,436.50 for that gun in 2015 just to get back your equivalent purchasing power; that would still equal ZERO PROFIT. Name a gun that has tripled in value in the past 25 years? Meanwhile, if you invested $500 into anything that returned an average rate of just 4.5% in 1980, and adding nothing to the investment principal, you would have realized a $66 profit this year

    I will often consider this when I see the price of a used gun. I recently saw a gun identical to mine on AK List. Asking price was $425. Original price, in 1998, was $325. Accounting for inflation, comparing the value of a dollar in 2015 to 1998, that is a depreciation, a realized loss, of about $130. I don't see that asking price as "more than it cost when it was new."

    But then again, I see "value" in items very differently than other people. A DNA trait from my dad and one I criticized him on as an adolescent. For example, two gus I've wanted for YEARS now is a Win 92 or 73 in 32-20 and a Ruger Redhawk in 44 Mag. I saw TWO Winchester 73's in 32-20 this past weekend; one was $1k, one was $2k. By a twist of fate, I actually have a little over 2 grand int he bank right now (which is really really rare for me.) I didn't buy either of them because, to me, those guns just don't hold $1k worth of value. Same with the Redhawk. You can buy Redhawks on AK List (or here) all day long for $700. Even when I have $700 in my pocket, I don't buy one; I just don't see the value of $700 there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Short answer is no, for all the reasons already stated. If you get lucky, a few models are probably keeping up with inflation. Surprisingly I'd put the M44 in that category, I haven't pushed a pencil on it but I suspect the ones that used to sell for $49 and now go for around $200 are doing ok as a hedge.


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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Just a couple days ago I had a young acquaintance offer me a Moisin for $400.

    I asked him what made him think a Moisin was worth $400 and he said he would like to get some profit on it.... I had to chuckle and tell him I passed on truckloads of them when they were $79 and though that was too much.

    At some point, people came up with the idea that guns always go up in value...when in fact the opposite is true more often than not.

    Some guns- like the "pre-64" Winchesters and the Colt Python have substantial collector interest but look at the scads of guns that were their contemporaries.... many are nearly worthless on today's market- even in pristine condition.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Just a couple days ago I had a young acquaintance offer me a Moisin for $400.

    I asked him what made him think a Moisin was worth $400 and he said he would like to get some profit on it.... I had to chuckle and tell him I passed on truckloads of them when they were $79 and though that was too much.

    At some point, people came up with the idea that guns always go up in value...when in fact the opposite is true more often than not.

    Some guns- like the "pre-64" Winchesters and the Colt Python have substantial collector interest but look at the scads of guns that were their contemporaries.... many are nearly worthless on today's market- even in pristine condition.
    I still get them for $129. Mosin rifles are valued on rarity of production. A niche to say the least. In ten years it will be a new fad. Save a good fn49 in 06, I think the next ten years will be all the people who are broke dumping their AR,AK, Mosin that will make up the rifle market and the glock crew for handguns.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    ....and if you'd have bought $1000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway during Buffett's acquisition of the company in 1964 you'd have $10.5 million today.

    Boddaboombaddabing! An investment has a regular and positive contribution to your Bank Account. A lot of what people think are investments (a truck, a boat, a gun etc.) are nowhere near the definable term called "investment". Some guns are investments - if you never shoot them and pick the right ones. I have no use for safe queens. My guns Kill Animals.

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    In answer to Smitty's original proposal, I think no, guns generally are not a good "investment". Usually the margin of profit when sold is not high enough to be worth your time. However, if you can buy locally,(not on the internet), and cut a good deal for say, 50cents on the dollar, and make a quick sale at close to market value, then there is usually good money to be made.
    One sector of the market that has doubled, tripled, and in some cases quadrupled over the past decade, have been the quality registered transferable machine guns. Those would be a good investment.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    How do you put a value on the pleasure that a man receives from a quality firearm......or a Quality Lady. Priceless. And if you take care of theput a value on the pleasure that a man receives from a quality firearm......m they will give you a life time of pleasure. And if you abuse them, either one can KILL you.
    I don't "put a value on the pleasure that a man receives from a quality firearm......".

    The question is, as I've said, strictly about "INVESTMENT". Buying Guns with the idea that they ARE an "investment". I asked, "Is selling a FEW guns at a profit, worth it?"

    Say, I have 3 rifles, purchased a long time ago, and they are now worth a little bit more than I paid for them. Sure, there is a profit to be made, but is every "profit" an investment? Is the profit from selling them ENOUGH to consider it an "investment".

    I'm just analyzing the responses I got from Hodge and Amigo.

    I also said, "maybe to be considered an investment, one would have to have bought a BUNCH and stored them down through the years".

    I submit that if I had INVESTED in Several Hundred of the Military Surplus rifles, FOR EXAMPLE, Mausers, Enfields, Springfields, Whatever, back in the 60s when you could buy them for $15 to $35, and have them mailed to my door, AND stored them in the hopes that they would someday become scarce and be worth what they are TODAY, that would have been an "investment". (If a little bit of profit is good, a LOT must be better.)

    I know you've been in the Gun Business, and possibly, you still are, but that's not the concept I'm exploring here.

    Still, I ask you, do you buy guns, choosing ones that you think will appreciate, for the purpose of making $$$ on them, and buying them is substantial numbers?

    What are your thoughts regarding "investing" in guns?

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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