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So...walk into a gun show, with a mint original Colt Paterson. Walk up to a table manned by the grizzled old guy with worn cowboy hat, bushy sideburns and dead eyes. SHow him your Colt...out comes the Blue Book. "Wa'al, that there piece ain't nuthin special,' about 40%, seen em' all over .....give ya $150 on a trade and Ah'm gittin screwed, but Ah'm feeling generous t'day..."

Walk into a gunshow, see Colt whatever on the same guy's table," say "I'm interested" and pull out the Blue Book. He says..."hell, nobody goes by that rag anywho...."
 

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The Bluebook‘s value is not in specific prices. It in evaluating relative pricing. For instance what multiple of the value of a rebuilt Colt 1911 is an all original one worth. Plus markets vary widely based on geographic location. Dealers of any product buy at wholesale and have to sell for more than that in order to stay in business.

Having said that, sometimes the only bargain is the opportunity to buy something.
 

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Buying the Blue Book is like printing the Internet. That being said, I have the latest one. I find it convenient to have models of some firearms that I'm not familiar with grouped together for a quick reference. As far as prices go, it is just isn't rational.
 

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The Bluebook‘s value is not in specific prices. It in evaluating relative pricing. For instance what multiple of the value of a rebuilt Colt 1911 is an all original one worth. Plus markets vary widely based on geographic location. Dealers of any product buy at wholesale and have to sell for more than that in order to stay in business.

Having said that, sometimes the only bargain is the opportunity to buy something.
I'm just going by my long, often painful personal experience....
 

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I only use the Blue Book to help determine finish condition, as Dogface6 mentions above. If you have a collection of old issues, you can find many guns shown over the years and it makes a very useful reference for the same or similar models. I only buy used Blue Books for this purpose.

Their "current pricing" for any given year runs from common-sense to comical.
 

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There just isn't enough independent and "clean" data to support Blue Book gun values. Better to search around the internet for recent sales on your own.
 

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I agree that the book is out of date by the time it’s printed, one way or the other. There are times it could be accurate, but the last time I checked 1st gen SAA pricing in the BB, it was way off, and I don’t see any reputable SAA collectors/sellers using the bb anymore.
 

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I use the digital version of the Blue Book and purchased the multi-year program. When this subscription is up I probably won't renew - I can get more CMV prices searching the different gun web site and looking at current asking prices, recent solds, and what didn't sell.... I also look at the major auction house sales like RIA and reduce the "sales" price by 20% - the "buyer's fee"
 

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In the last couple of years, you'll notice that some guns are listed as N/A at 100%. That to me means "the skies the limit" Some Colts and Smith & Wesson's are listed that way for example. It's worth what your willing to pay for it. I go to a lot of auctions, Redding in Gettysburg is my favorite, and I've learned over the years that the BB is a reference to get an idea of what it might go for. Condition is everything. Since there is no buyers fee at Redding, the bids are a little higher. It all boils down to how bad you want that gun. You get two bidders who have deep pockets and want that gun, I've seen guns go for well over the 100% book price. If you buy a gun in the percentage and price of the BB, I'd be satisfied.
 

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In the last couple of years, you'll notice that some guns are listed as N/A at 100%. That to me means "the skies the limit" Some Colts and Smith & Wesson's are listed that way for example. It's worth what your willing to pay for it. I go to a lot of auctions, Redding in Gettysburg is my favorite, and I've learned over the years that the BB is a reference to get an idea of what it might go for. Condition is everything. Since there is no buyers fee at Redding, the bids are a little higher. It all boils down to how bad you want that gun. You get two bidders who have deep pockets and want that gun, I've seen guns go for well over the 100% book price. If you buy a gun in the percentage and price of the BB, I'd be satisfied.
I like how you summarized it. I use the BB as a good indicator and feel I’ve not been screwed if I end up within the BB values. I certainly have lost some opportunities because of “believing” the 99-100% numbers were accurate. Experience has taught me that these percentages require additional research like auction sites to provide a better indication of what the gun may be worth.
 

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The advent of smart phones and wi-fi connectivity almost anywhere has been a boon to gun shopping, especially at gun shows. The only issue I have had is it is sometimes hard to work with a tiny 2" screen and I have thought about a lightweight tablet style to keep in my backpack. A couple of cases in point: I saw a Swiss Model 1882 Ordnance revolver in 7.5x22mmR for a very reasonable price. I thought that may be because ammo was about as scarce as a Democrat who supported the 2nd Amendment. I did a quick online search with my phone and saw that Fiocchi still made ammo, with Boxer primed cases. Not cheap, but at least available. And could be reloaded with .32 Long dies which I already had. I bought the gun.

Then at another show, I spied an Astra 4000 Falcon Tri-Caliber Kit. I had a vague knowledge of them from my Astra book. I found one on Gunbroker for almost 3X the price of the one on the dealer's table which was about what a nice Astra 4000 in .32 would sell for plus an extra .380 barrel and magazine plus complete .22 caliber slide assembly and .22 magazine values. I bought it. Antaris says less than 200 sets were made in 1957-58 only.

In both cases, the Blue Book would have been worthless. Of course there is still the risk that as you are standing in a corner with your head down looking at your phone and doing some research, that once you are convinced that you should buy it you will go back to the table and it will be gone to someone who knew more than you did.....
 

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BB has a lot of good information, but not necessarily the prices. Keep in mind the published prices are AT LEAST 18 months old. For some models, that time delay is negligible. For others, it can be way off.
 

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Hello all,

Obviously, when selling anything, the key issue is supply and demand.

That being said, how many members use the Blue Book of gun values when buying and selling used firearms? Should it
be considered the definitive guideline for buyers and sellers?
I use the the online version a lot as well as the Standard Guides for Firearms & Military Firearms. I find them to be 'OK' references, but also compliment my research (I'm also a FFL) with Gun Broker Completed auctions and listings on Guns International.

It also depends on the gun: it's worthless for that Parker shotgun but OK for the used 10/22.
 

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If you are talking used 742 Remingtons the Blue Book is probably as accurate as it gets, but when it comes to high condition collectibles there is no set price. Look at any auction of collectible guns and you will see prices for similar guns all over the place. The Blue Book uses these results as the best indicator of what something is actually selling for, and not everyone will agree. Virtually identical guns will sell for different prices, depending on how many people want the same gun and are willing to pay what it takes. In the long run you just have to satisfied that you paid a fair price for something you had been looking for.
 

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I agree with JohnnyP, and will add that there is often a premium price paid at a gunshow or LGS by a buyer due to the old "I can't remember the last time I saw one of these (fill in the blank) and don't know when I will see one again. Better buy it now before someone else does" effect. Been there, done that many times. Eventually the price will catch up if you feel you overpaid.
 

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I agree with JohnnyP, and will add that there is often a premium price paid at a gunshow or LGS by a buyer due to the old "I can't remember the last time I saw one of these (fill in the blank) and don't know when I will see one again. Better buy it now before someone else does" effect. Been there, done that many times. Eventually the price will catch up if you feel you overpaid.
I don't remember who said this here on the forum, but I think it's appropriate here..."You didn't overpay for your Colt...you simply bought it too soon."
 
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