Always a valid question. The BB is usually a little behind the market and definitely low on Colts that are considered rare / scarce / collectible (tried to use all the words). However, the BB probably is a fairly good guide for the higher volume guns like the DS. In any particular case, a question is "Is the gun 100% even though it may be unfired in the box?" 100% is the real basis for the pricing. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
You guys bring up a great point: even though it may be unfired, new in the box, it may not be considered "100%".
What should a newbie be looking for that would tell him if this particular make/model/issue gun can be classified "100%"?
The factory test fires each gun so no gun is actually "unfired" but can still be considered as 100%. After the test firing the gun was cleaned as new (unfired).
Look for power soot around the cylinder front and rear, rear of barrel and around the firing pin. If the gun was originally purchased for defense around the home the gun had bullets loaded and will show bluing wear where the cartridge will rub. If the gun has been carried, it will show signs of holster wear. Look at the front of the barrel, front sight and all sharp edges that would contact the holster.
Look for a cylinder turn line. Be cautious of the re-blue. This would be more concerning than not being 100%. The edges will be sharp, the stamping will be sharp. Take a 10x magnifying glass and look at it outdoors in good light. Indoor lightning can hide a lot of problems. If the seller won't allow the gun to go outside for viewing then he is hiding something. Just walk away.
In my 4 years of collecting, I probably looked at 1000 guns before I found one in MINT condition. That was a early Trooper .22LR with 4" barrel.
Gent's, Keep in mind that I only look at guns that are older than 1965 so mint is harder to come by. When looking for 30, 20 and 10 year old guns, they become much more common.
Again I'm commenting where I'm not the expert, but since I have already commented ..........
The BB % grading is based on the "remaining" finish. Any dings or wear marks diminish that. There can be finish wear on the barrel or cylinder just from being shuffled around in the box the same as a holster or handled and admired. Also, there is unfired and then there is unturned. Turn lines on the cylinder do not come from firing per se. They come from opening and closing the cylinder (which of course is also done for actual loading and ejecting in order to fire) and turning it to drop the bolt into the notch. When firing, the bolt is not dragging on the cylinder between the notch areas. More comments from others, no doubt. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
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Turn lines on the cylinder do not come from firing per se. They come from opening and closing the cylinder (which of course is also done for actual loading and ejecting in order to fire) and turning it to drop the bolt into the notch.
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It's very possible to open and close the cylinder and achieve NO turn line. If when closing the cylinder, the bolt is lined up with the notch one can achieve no to very little turn during cylinder closing. This is my practice ALL the time.
The asking price is apparently $599. It's an out-of-state/internet purchase with a 3 day inspection period. I'm waiting on an e-mail with pictures. I've talked to the dealer over the phone. Sounds like I need to do some negotiating.
I bought my first DS (3rd issue) about 2 months ago. I'd say it is about 95% condition and I paid $340. But it is so damn nice that I felt guilty carrying it or taking it to the range to shoot. In order to alleviate my guilt I went searching for a NIB/unfired to keep as a "safe queen".
So, to answer your question, this will be a "collector"!
I think that's the answer you wanted to hear.... /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
It was an internet purchase and I just cropped the ad picture that I had downloaded for reference, so I stole the picture too. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif Just for the sake of story, it was on GA and although I noticed it early, I think I was in the process of buying something else. Much later, I scrolled several pages down and inquired and it was still available. Price was very fair and I would call it a solid 98%. Looks like maybe it was drawered or carried very carefully but perhaps not even fired after the factory. I guess every now and then one has your name on it. But enough about me.
I believe addicted's comment reflects the fact that DSs of that period aren't considered classic collectibles (yet). In line with that, I was thinking of suggesting that you just keep that one to admire and handle without reducing its value and acquire another not quite so nice for a good price that you can shoot. Just a suggestion, not telling you what to do. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
I understand addicted's point. It's more of a value to me than anything else. It's a case of beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
To your point A1A, the DS I bought in October will become my shooter. If I get the NIB/unfired one, I won't feel guilty about shooting it anymore. The NIB will be safely tucked away only to be taken out and gazed at occasionally.
Well, this story doesn't have a happy ending.
The seller was asking for $575 (plus shipping). I offered $525 (which I thought was fair) as it was going to also cost me $35 to ship and $40 for a local transfer dealer.
He held at $575. I walked away.