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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is my updated list of prices when gun collecting was affordable, gas was 25 cents a gallon and $100 a week was good pay.

Gun Prices Over Time
Value of guns and estate planning caused me to look up the below info. I had appraised an estate
in 2009 and found random notes and receipts about guns, when where and how much paid. At the time
on memory lane I added a few of mine plus a little history

It seems to show that collectible old guns can be a good investment.

GUN PRICES BACK THEN
From Estate Collection Notes:
Place, Year & Price
Colt Fluted Army - This piece & Colt '51 Navy plus
8 guns not described Ardmore, OK 1941 $100
Colt 3rd Dragoon good - Arkansas 1945 $100
Colt 2nd Dragoon VG 90% scene Kimball Arms 1945 $110
Colt '72 Open Top - fair Mexico 1952 $60
Colt SAA 7 1/2" F to G Texas drugstore 1941 $4
Colt Bisley VG Texas 1943 $15
Colt 1900 .38 Auto fair Shotgun News 1943 $30
Colt Lightning 2 1/2" Pearls fair 1943 $15
Hopkins & Allen ,22 Muff Pistol fair/good 1944 $3
S&W No. 2 Officers VG Tulsa 1971 $45
Remington Army Single Shot Pistol Fine 1971 $175
Southerner Derringer - no finish 1971 $65
Standard Derringer 1971 $35
Rem Double Derringer vg/E 1978 $150
Most of these were still in the collection of over 100 pieces.

HERE ARE SOME OF MINE:
US Revolver 50% Ardmore, OK 1937 50c.
Colt 1911 all markings ground away Ardmore, OK 1939 $5
Colt SAA 60% Ardmore, OK 1940 $5
Colt .380 Pocket Auto 90% Ardmore, OK 1941 $6
1873 Winchester .38-40 80% Ardmore, OK 1941 $7
Starr DA Perc 80% San Francisco, CA 1943 $24
Remingtion New Model .44 Perc 90% San Francisco, CA 1943 $24
Pair English Flint Officers 9" bbl VG/E San Francisco, CA 1943 $48
Remington .36 Pocket conv to 38RF VG San Francisco, CA 1943 $12
Remington Double Derringer w pearls, 50%, Ardmore, OK 1969 $15

Europe 1947-60s, I bought Cased Pairs of Dueling Pistols from $30 to $40, single dueller type as
low as $1.50, English 1800 Military Pistol $1.50, 1800 Brown Bess Musket $15, Wheellock rifles
& pistols $30 ea.

My Father dealt in guns in Oklahoma in the 1950-60s. It was a kind of trading post dealing with
'estate' items, Some '50s-'60s gun deals: Colt SAAs, from old-brown to some-finish $25-50. He
traded six SAAs (common in OK) for six 1860 Colt percs (scarce inOK) with someone in Nebraska.
Bought a Merwin Hulbert, earliest .44, 70% nickel with pearls, for $15 - I still have it. 1886
Winchester, .36-56, rusty for $15, sent it to me in NY. I reblued it, got it rebored to .45-70
($18),sold $95. 1873 Winchester, .32-20, 50%, with set-trigger, $30. Bought a SAA old brown
gun $25 with 2 digit s/n, sold it for $100

The major gun pub, 1960s, for the trader-dealer-collector was Shotgun News. You communicated by
phone or mail, you traveled on gravel roads unless it was a US highway. Most old people attitude
re guns was as an implement. People getting old, changing times - an old gun would bring a few
dollars. A man with a job visiting farmers accumulated a huge collection with some fantastic
pieces at rural Oklahoma prices.

Still 1960s, a dealer in Alabama, Walter Craig, in Shotgun News advertized batches of surplus
imported stuff. Visiting an OK visit I bought six huge Gasser revolvers, welded them up solid
mounted them on little wood placques and sold them in NY at $25. He had a variety of dewat
WW2 submachine guns for around $25 - a set eight as I
recall at about $20 each.

Same period, Long Island NY, my local gas station would sell stuff for customers. They once
had a ‘somewhat’ dewatted Browning BAR, again a functional French Chauchat, $15 apiece. I
cautioned about Fed Regs . Even legal guns could be risky in NY. I had a pistol license.
There was a lot of activity in illegal guns but my only risky event was buying a nice SAA from
a man in our shops for $300 the day I left NY when I retired in 1981.

Here are some Europe acquistions plus some of my Dad's, pix taken 1949.

 

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1971 I was a sort of Good Humor Man, working for a little Ice Cream Company as a Route Driver...everyone had their own route, and, turned out I was pretty good at it, so, soon on, I was bringing home about $1,250.00 a Month in Cash, and, making much more than that of course for the Company.

Well, I was 17, Gas was 22 Cents a Gallon where I bought it, and, a good used 'Garage Kept' Car could be had any day of the week for $200.00 or so, often less. Very clean good running garage Kept 1920s and 1930s and 1940s Cars and Trucks were all over and if you had 2 to maybe 4 Hundred Dollars, you had a lot to choose from to get in and drive it home. My Car at the time had a 20 Gallon Tank, and, so, for $5.00 I could fill the Tank from bone dry and also get a Pack of Cigarettes.

Cigarettes were running like $2.75 a Carton at Safeway or other Stores.

Around that time I went to look at some old Guns from a Want Ad I saw in the local Paper. The guy had a LOT of old Guns too, and I did not know hardly anyting about them then. I knew a little about the Springfield .45-70, and, he had one in particular I admired, a deluxe 'Officers' type, with the long range Sights, the fancy Grade Walnut Stock, and, fine checkering forearm and wrist, and, it was minty and perfect and he wanted $100.00 for it.

He had dozens of SAAs and I knew nothing about those, but, if I remember right, they were priced more or less as the .45-70 was, some a little more, some less. He had a minty old SAVAGE .32 ( the first model ) for $35.00.

Ohhhh, sigh...


I just did not know enough yet about what I was looking at, to know what to do! So I did nothing.

Same with the Gun Shows...I would go look, and admire and I just did not know anything or enough of anything to know what to do...it was all a 'blurr', I had no critical perception or familiarity, even though I had done some shooting and I was a prety good shot.

By the time I had started learning, things of course had gone up, and, my income had for a time gone down...or has never caught up to where the ratio was as good as it was then in 1971 anyway.


Lol...


But, I started getting a few things off and on anyway, by the mid 1980s, and, I am so glad I did.


Gosh, even in the mid 1980s, m1911s and Gov't Models, early ones, pre WWII ones, were everywhere, every Gun Show had oodles of them, all like 2 or 3 hundred dollars if that...how many did you want? I wanted one just to keep in the Truck, so I got a very low miliage, frail vestigual Blue, 1917 WWI, and it was $225.00.

All those later Phosphate or Parkerized ones, seemed like no one wanted, Sellers almost were apologetic about having them on their tables...it was easy to fine NOS looking ones of those, and, basically, no one cared, they were just of little to no interest compared to Blue ones.


How things have changed!

I wish I had it all to do over again!!!
 

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yep.
i was there and didn't know anything about guns or values, either.
i was into cars and bikes and had a lot of cool toys that i sadly kept none of.
my good deals, a few of the ones that i kept, came from the late 80's and early 90's.
both my 1911 and 1911a1 are original and were under $500 for the pair.
the good old days, indeed.
 

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Gun show last weekend

1964
Browning Medalist complete with box, etc
$124 - original receipt
(like this)


I wish, but not mine.

(OTD selling price was $1050)
 

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I remember when the NRA sold 1911's for $21.00 & M1 carbines for $17.00,I bought them & yes I sold them off later,but I've known about Colt SA's long before that & I've kept them,I remember paying $75.00 for a nickle plated 1897 4 3/4 .45,today a bolt & hand for them costs that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1960s I did a little job for a man I later learned was or had been an officer of some kind in the NRA. He told me a few .30 Cal carbines had been discovered in storage somewhere, too few to advertize but if I would write to an address he gave I would get the purchase authrization. The gun came eventually, classed as unserviceable, for $24. Unpacked it was factory new, a Winchester. I learned that "unserviceable" could be due to need of repairs or having exceeded its 25 year storage limit without inspection.

Couple years later same story, same $24 for a 1922-M2, ,22RF training rifle, also new, unfired.
 

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In 1957 I was sacking groceries for 44 cents/hr and occasionally helping a neighbor sack grain for whatever he felt like paying (never much). But for a kid living at home with no expenses, my nest egg grew right along. The swap shop on the way to town had a 4 3/4" Colt .45 that had caught my eye for several weeks. It had so much holster wear the muzzle was worn to an oval, all finish gone, right grip nearly gone and repaired with a wood piece glued in and painted black. But it cocked in four clicks, and the cylinder was only sorta wobbledy.

For $65 I got the Colt, about forty old cartridges, and a sugar sack to carry it all in. Then to the sand hills south of home, I rode with a couple of friends for some target practice. Although I was proficient with my JC Higgins nine-shot .22 revolver, the bounce and blast of the old Colt rattled me, and ten shots at cans about a dozen yards away all missed. My companions, older guys and more than half ornery, razzed me mercilously. What was worse, using MY Colt and my cartridges, both guys could blow up cans and keep them rolling down the slope. They were experienced pistoleros (at 18 &19), and I had just watched TV and movies.
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On a later shooting trip with one of the rowdies, he brought along a coffee can of reloaded .45s and introduced me to the old dry-fire-on-empties-then-add-a-live-round-or-two method. Whenever I flinched on an empty or missed badly with a live round, he sharply snapped the back of my right ear and called me [an unmanly wretch]. Before the can was half empty, he had steadied my hold to where I too was occasionally blowing cans in the air and dusting them along the slope. So my belated thanks to them both for fully infecting me with the gun bug.

A few years later I sold my old Colt for $10 more than I had paid. . . and congratulated myself for being a shrewd fellow. Ah, youth!
Regards, Thos
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm with you on regrets about selling guns I should have kept. At least when I sold one, I had it for a while. OTOH it's the guns I didn't buy that bother me, usually passed for a trivial reason, like couldn't make up my mind..
 

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I just remembered one in 1977 in Texas, I went to a logal Gun Show, and a guy haqd a really high condition, about as new, Colt 1903 Pocket Automatic in .38 ACP.

My dad and one of his friends were with me, and, I had made up my mind I wanted an old .380 Browning.

Well, when I would ask verious sellers about if they had any old .380 Brownings, no one knew what I was talking about, so, I was being shown m1908 Colt .380s here and there, and, the .38 ACP.

The 1903 Pocket I remember was $100.00 even, and, I had a couple hundred Dollars on me, but I was all confused about what it was.

It said Brownings Patent on it, and, was a "38", but it was not a .380...

I have no idea now how or why I had "380 Browning" on the Brain, but, somehow I was stuck on that.

Fast forward to a month or so ago, and, I finally DID get a ".380 Browning", aka the 'Pistolet Auomatique Browning' made by FN way back when...so, such a thing DID exist afterall!!! Lol...

Oh...the journey has been fun,s-l-o-w to get started, but oh Lordy, the Learning Curve in retrospect is laughable...( or cry-able...probably mostly the latter..! )
 

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Good point, being thankful for what one has had or experienced. Yes, that old Avenue of Regrets is always there; best stay on the Sunny Side--the experience and knowledge gained even in those bad trades and missed chances.
Regards, Thos
 
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