Colt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
I imagine the fan base for percussion arms is shrinking.
also,
there are a lot of high condition/cased sets available.
I really appreciate them but I don't buy any more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
I worked for James Julia Auctions, 2015-2017, and the trend of softening was already being noticed. Due to attrition, large collections were coming in, and new collectors were not repopulating the hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I worked for James Julia Auctions, 2015-2017, and the trend of softening was already being noticed. Due to attrition, large collections were coming in, and new collectors were not repopulating the hobby.
That's unfortunate, as Colt produced a quality percussion revolver and ones still with condition today are aesthetically pleasing and fully functional.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
I worked for James Julia Auctions, 2015-2017, and the trend of softening was already being noticed. Due to attrition, large collections were coming in, and new collectors were not repopulating the hobby.
Demographics is killing most collectibles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Demographics is killing most collectibles
Yes, that's obvious.

BUT, I'm not quite sure it's as bleak as it seems.

Here's why. There's a fairly significant interest in Blackpowder Reproductions. If there was no interest in those, I would say that the Colt antique Percussion market was hopeless. Some demographic out there has an interest in the reproductions, and I think it's just a matter of finding the intersection of the declining values of the originals and the interest and the availability of funds of those interested in reproductions to decide to buy an original. Even though it cost fairly more than the reproduction, can only be fired occasionally, and is mostly or fully for display purposes only.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
It's also poor timing, in current market conditions, to be selling items other than semi auto pistols/rifles, defense style shotguns, etc. Many people are saying "well, I've got $1000 to spend...I better get that Glock, 870, etc and some ammo now because I'll always be able to buy that blackpowder gun". A few week back, I tried selling a few S&W 3rd gen pistols on various forums, including here. A few tire kickers but not sale. Two weeks ago, right after the election, I put them up for auction. I doubled my money, selling each for easily twice what the market was worth just a month prior. I never thought I'd have seen a used 3913 go for well past $800. The buyers both seemed very satisfied, so we're all happy on both ends. With that type of attention going even to those older semi autos, there isn't nearly the wide attention thinking "I'd like to dabble in the black powder guns", save for the true collectors that are focused just on that. Just my opinion and thoughts on the current situation for gun sales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
It's also poor timing, in current market conditions, to be selling items other than semi auto pistols/rifles, defense style shotguns, etc. Many people are saying "well, I've got $1000 to spend...I better get that Glock, 870, etc and some ammo now because I'll always be able to buy that blackpowder gun". A few week back, I tried selling a few S&W 3rd gen pistols on various forums, including here. A few tire kickers but not sale. Two weeks ago, right after the election, I put them up for auction. I doubled my money, selling each for easily twice what the market was worth just a month prior. I never thought I'd have seen a used 3913 go for well past $800. The buyers both seemed very satisfied, so we're all happy on both ends. With that type of attention going even to those older semi autos, there isn't nearly the wide attention thinking "I'd like to dabble in the black powder guns", save for the true collectors that are focused just on that. Just my opinion and thoughts on the current situation for gun sales.
If the black rifle and panic buyers evolve into collectible gun accumulators that could be huge boost!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Take this bit of advice from someone who knows a thing or two about antique guns, the market for them, and their prices:

Anyone buying "gray" guns today at retail prices has to be prepared to lose a substantial portion of the purchase price immediately. Think of it as buying a new car, where you lose 20% of the value once you drive it off the lot. As others said, the softening of the percussion gun market has been happening for a few years now, and is not abating any time soon. It's likely to get even worse as, sadly, the Baby Boomer generation is downsizing their collections for a variety of reasons (moving into a smaller assisted-living situation, dying, selling to maintain retirement living).

My dealer friends would hate me for saying this, but I have to be honest: if you're buying from an antique arms dealer these days, you're throwing your money away. If you collect and you want to maintain the value of your percussion gun collection, at this point you should only buy high-condition guns, and buy them at auction. But be very careful buying at auction. Many pitfalls there and you really need to know what you're doing. Don't buy at smaller auctions. Buy from the big ones, and really question them about the gun. Read the books, do your research, know what you're buying. I recently saw a very high condition Colt sell for nearly $15,000 at auction, and the finish was totally bogus. I mean, the gun was refinished, the auction house didn't say anything about it, and someone overpaid by about $14,000. So do your research.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,233 Posts
Or buy from a member like Cam and skip the auction houses additional 20%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,953 Posts
At the gun shows over the past decade if it isnt plastic and rhymes with "block" there is almost no interest. Generational change. Im 59. I recognize it. But its sad to see the 70 year old dealers set up at a table with old Winchesters and Colts with OUTRAGEOUS prices on them....with some even if they cut the price in HALF they would still not sell...they have no idea time has passed their guns by and to move them they have to take a loss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It is absolutely pointless to buy grey guns these days. Especially antique Colts. There is diminishing interest, and if there is more supply and less demand, no one really needs to bother investing in most grey guns. But, most of this stuff at the Morphy's auction was Percussion era Colts with condition, better than most existing examples out there, and still they sold at the lower end of what was expected.

Yes, agreed it is pointless to buy from a dealer. Buy at the dealer's source, an auction, and bypass the markup (sorry to say it like it is).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
It's curious what's happening with Morphy's auctions of percussion guns. I haven't done the bean counting, but it seems to me that every auction has fewer and fewer percussion guns, and lower and lower realized prices. Since Morphy bought James Julia auctions which were very strong, I would have thought the action would come to Morphy. Instead, it looks like the action went to Rock Island. It's a pity, as we need a strong auctioneer like Morphy on the East Coast and I want them to do really well and get good consignments. Despite everything we said about about Baby Boomers and big collections being sold, I'm just not seeing that at Morphy and I'm scratching my head at that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Rock Island Auctions has nice stuff, no doubt, but they overrepresent their offerings and hammer prices are often full retail or worse. Many bidders bidding unreasonably not using common sense; also RIA using many liberties when describing a firearm or chiding to omit pertinent information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Rock Island Auctions has nice stuff, no doubt, but they overrepresent their offerings and hammer prices are often full retail or worse. Many bidders bidding unreasonably not using common sense; also RIA using many liberties when describing a firearm or chiding to omit pertinent information.
Mine was a rhetorical question, as I have my own thoughts on why all this is happening, but if your math checks out, then there's part of the answer to the question of why Rock Island has more guns, and more high end guns. Consigners will consign where they can maximize their profit. That's just a fact of life. So if that's the case, then those who want to get good deals need to watch Morphy's auctions closely. It may take more time, and maybe a much longer time, but one can perhaps get a better deal at Morphy. Also, I think Poulin's is doing a better job these days with catalogues, pictures and descriptions. I believe they need to work even harder but they are certainly becoming a player.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
Another factor is that Morphy charges a 26% buyers premium or 23% if you pay with cash. Rock Island charges 18.5% buyers premium or 15% if you pay with cash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Another factor is that Morphy charges a 26% buyers premium or 23% if you pay with cash. Rock Island charges 18.5% buyers premium or 15% if you pay with cash.
Bid accordingly. Know what the buyer's premium and calculate your bottom line in advance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
954 Posts
Interesting discussion. Although i have a fair size collection I do not think of it as an investment, there are better ways to invest money for my future financial well being. I buy Colts because of history and the development of various models. I do know my collection has some value and will benefit my heirs when it is sold but I do not count on it for retirement income. I just enjoy owning pieces of history!
I do agree with the advice on buying, I buy at auctions or large gunshows where I can negotiate a price. Another bit of advice on buying is the old one of "buy the book first"
Jim
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top