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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. What’s the current mania about wanting to collect relatively recent production guns in NIB condition, and paying exorbitant prices for them? Because they’re NIB and in pristine condition, I imagine that any slight degradation of the box is going to affect value, so every time you open the box to look at the gun you’re potentially reducing it’s value; and God forbid you accidentally tear an end flap when opening the box. So you can’t open the box, or look at the gun, or handle the gun, let alone shoot; all you can do is open the safe and look at all the pretty Colt boxes.


And what’s with that Diamondback (discussed in a current thread) selling for $5,500.00??? What would the value of this Diamondback be if it had been shot a little bit and was only in 98-99% condition, and didn’t have the box? Is this Diamondback really worth more than a high condition pre-war SSA, or nice Registered Magnum? Does anyone really think that in 25 or 50 years anyone will give a rat’s rear about a Colt Diamondback?


I don’t know if what’s going on with this current frenzy for Colt DAs in unfired, NIB condition, is a bubble or not, but if I was paying $5K+ for collector guns, it sure wouldn’t be for NIB Diamondbacks, Pythons, DS, etc. I’d be looking for high condition SAAs, 1911s, and other iconic guns where the difference in value between a 99% gun and a 100% NIB is not potentially measured in thousands of dollars.


Maybe someone can explain it to me


Sorry, Rant mode off.


Best regards,
 

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I don't know...


But 'investment stragies' typically aspire to be in advance of trends...or to anticipate future trends, thus contributing to inflation or to escalating prices, of those commodities they are after in their speculation/investment strategy.

Others on the sidelines, see prices going "up" for some particular thing which exists only in a limited quantity, and, then, Sellers on the side lines raise their prices, seeing the incipient 'trend'...so then buyers, seeing the escalating prices, feel that prices ARE going "up" and buyers then feel they got a good deal, paying twice what they would have six months prior...which then emboldens Sellers to ask more, and, rewards the Investors, who had been accumulating or hoarding stock-piles of the commodity, who had inadvertently shrank the supply, and started the Ball rolling.
 

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Its crazy .... all my pistolas are used and continue to be used .I enjoy the time with my sons at the range. Especially when I take out a antique Colt for them to shoot. That expieriance in its self is worth more then a safe queen. Just my 2 pennies.
 

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Just a thought...you can store your NIB guns in gun rugs and store the boxes separately. That way you can enjoy looking at the guns anytime without affecting the original boxes.
 

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If that DB didnt have the box and 98-99%, it would have brought about 2000 imo. One thing to look at is even though the 4 inch 38 DB Enickel is the most common (the 6 inch 22 is close to it imo), they probably made at least 100 enickel pythons to every Enickel DB. I have been telling my buddies for a few years (even before I was into Colts big), to invest into NIB guns instead of 98-99%ers. The rate of return is always greater the higher the gun gets. I agree the current market on some Snakes is making me scratch my head.:confused:
This past weekend at the big show around here (Friday-Monday, of which I only go Friday because of the unbearable crowd), I saw a nice 6 inch 45 Colt Anaconda in the Colt blue case with papers (no outer sleeve-which means no box) for $1800 on the first table I came to. I thought if it had the box, I would probably buy it or at least make a slightly less cash offer. As I was looking around making my way to the building, the gun beat me to the building on a guy table in there for 2200 cash now lol. He even admitted it was the same gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If that DB didnt have the box and 98-99%, it would have brought about 2000 imo. One thing to look at is even though the 4 inch 38 DB Enickel is the most common (the 6 inch 22 is close to it imo), they probably made at least 100 enickel pythons to every Enickel DB. I have been telling my buddies for a few years (even before I was into Colts big), to invest into NIB guns instead of 98-99%ers. The rate of return is always greater the higher the gun gets. I agree the current market on some Snakes is making me scratch my head.
Just because something is rare or unique doesn't make it make it inherently valuable. In the early - mid '70s I was a manager at a large gun shop, and later through the early '80s I worked with a major S&W distributor. At that time the DBs were seen as a bit of a dog sales wise. We looked at them as kind of a pimped out detective Special, something of a sales gimmick to play off the reputation of the Python. There's nothing about the DB that makes it a particularly noteworthy or outstanding revolver, and certainly nothing that supports that kind of price. The perception of value has to be based upon something other than us just telling each other that it's worth that much, otherwise we might as well be buying and selling tulips.

If there's a $3,500.00 difference in value for some cardboard and Styrofoam, and a few rounds of ammunition through a gun, mark me down for the 98-99 percenter every time.

Best regards,
 

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I don't get it, either. I have never understood how anything modern or currently produced could be considered "collectible", be it firearms, or anything else, for that matter. In my opinion, something to be collected needs to be something that is not currently produced, and probably has not been for most, or all, of the lifespans of those alive today. And, they usually would not have been considered collectible items when these aforementioned items were new. Therefore, the object or item in question was used, abused, maybe destroyed. Such as single action army first generation Colt revolvers. 357,000 were produced, many led a hard life. The thrill is trying to find an original specimen, with condition, maybe with a special order feature if one is lucky.

Likewise, it seems sort of ridiculous for someone today to purchase a Colt for investment purposes, with a black powder frame, etched panel, long flutes, or other similar feature produced today or fairly recently. It is merely a reproduction of what once was... Anyone can obtain a similar firearm, with enough money or a current credit card. Really, to collect, one needs to search amongst a finite number of objects or specimens, so currently produced new or NIB specimens, to me, should be of a value that only reflects, at its maximum (!), current retail (or recent retail) value, but probably significantly less, as it is a used item. And this retail value reflects demand, the cost of materials and labour to produce that item, etc.
 

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To me guns were meant to be shot,so I have never understood the NIB thing and never will.In the old days I always wanted but couldn't afford a Python and now the same holds true even for a shooter grade because of the "Snakemania" that as taken place.As all things the bubble will eventually burst and prices will drop.
 

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I have to agree that there is a current craze in collecting recently produced pistols, and the prices being paid are way out of line with rarity. If the bubble bursts, and they have before, the collectors in for the short haul will be hurting. Probably the biggest adjustment was in the Browning A5 shotguns. When it was announced that production was being moved from Belgium to Japan there was a mad rush to buy every NIB A5 out there, and prices doubled over a few months. When collectors finally satisfied their appetite for the high priced NIB shotguns there were a lot left on the market with no takers. The prices of the shotguns fell and stayed there for a several years before starting to rise again in a more orderly manner. The Brownings came back on market demand rather than wild speculation, and now there is a stable market.

To a lesser extent the same thing happened with Rugers when the "New Model" was announced. The "Old Models" skyrocketed in price, and even those just made doubled in price in a very short time. Speculation again drove the market, and when everyone discovered that there was an abundance of the Old Models the prices dropped.

It just makes no sense to me to pay huge prices for something that Colt could again produce if they decided to. We will never see a return to the pre WWII quality and finish, and their place in the market has been extremely stable with prices rising in an orderly manner.

As to insane buying, a couple of years back RIA had a Walther PPK Party Leader rig, and most thought it would be a good buy in the $15,000 price range. It ended up selling near $65,000, and for no other reason than two people decided they just had to have it.
 

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I have to agree that there is a current craze in collecting recently produced pistols, and the prices being paid are way out of line with rarity. If the bubble bursts, and they have before, the collectors in for the short haul will be hurting. Probably the biggest adjustment was in the Browning A5 shotguns. When it was announced that production was being moved from Belgium to Japan there was a mad rush to buy every NIB A5 out there, and prices doubled over a few months. When collectors finally satisfied their appetite for the high priced NIB shotguns there were a lot left on the market with no takers. The prices of the shotguns fell and stayed there for a several years before starting to rise again in a more orderly manner. The Brownings came back on market demand rather than wild speculation, and now there is a stable market.

To a lesser extent the same thing happened with Rugers when the "New Model" was announced. The "Old Models" skyrocketed in price, and even those just made doubled in price in a very short time. Speculation again drove the market, and when everyone discovered that there was an abundance of the Old Models the prices dropped.

It just makes no sense to me to pay huge prices for something that Colt could again produce if they decided to. We will never see a return to the pre WWII quality and finish, and their place in the market has been extremely stable with prices rising in an orderly manner.

As to insane buying, a couple of years back RIA had a Walther PPK Party Leader rig, and most thought it would be a good buy in the $15,000 price range. It ended up selling near $65,000, and for no other reason than two people decided they just had to have it.
I like your points JohnnyP. The A5 Market hits close to home as I had a family member who got put on the map because of the A5 Market and I would not be a FFL dealer today had he not done so well. The Difference in my opinion between the A5 and the Colt Market is that there were more than enough A5s to go around because of the numbers produced. With 850,000 Pythons to go around and 7 Million greedy Colt slob collectors out there who want to own 300 of each barrel length, the laws of supply and demand are taking over heightening the Colt Market well beyond the draw the A5 ever felt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
...To a lesser extent the same thing happened with Rugers when the "New Model" was announced. The "Old Models" skyrocketed in price, and even those just made doubled in price in a very short time. Speculation again drove the market, and when everyone discovered that there was an abundance of the Old Models the prices dropped.
Yes, speculation is the proper description for what is currently going on in the Colt DA market.

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Just to clear things up a bit. Most guns you see and claim to be NIB are NOT. That is a way the seller is trying to bs the buyer to get higher price tags. Granted they are out there I have 3 NIB that I purchased my self back when they were still being made and sat there in the safe since I had 2 others that are used. To me there was no need to fire all five. There is no difference between them. But the key thing is take a look at the face of the cylinder of the revolver if it has heavy burn rings then the gun has been fired more than what the factory test fires it. The factory fires 3 rounds in every other chamber. When you clean it it comes off 99% of the time. Blue guns it may not. Then on the stainless guns well let's just say there is no way to be 100% sure since there are polishes and other means to clean that. You can check the chamber ends of the cylinder to see if there is some type of build up and that gives the gun away most of the time from the uncareful scammer or just the unknowlegable seller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just to clear things up a bit. Most guns you see and claim to be NIB are NOT. That is a way the seller is trying to bs the buyer to get higher price tags.
That reminds me of when I used to be into Corvette before I got interested in Alfa Romeos; It was often said that there were more restored '57 fuel injected Vettes than were actually built by Chevrolet. Kind of the same thing here, there's probably more NIB Pythons, Diamondbacks, and DS now than there was 5 years ago. With speculation there comes a big increase in fraud.

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When I was a young collector, I remember a couple of the older guys saying that so-and-so had a really rare Henry - it wasn't engraved...

Fraud exists in pretty much every field of collecting - the only way to beat it, is to know your subject matter through research and listening to established collectors in whatever field you pursue - and to avoid succumbing to the idea of 'What If??' and 'Maybe?'.

Personally, I don't understand the appeal of the modern stuff, myself - there's no sense of history - no sense of service - and I like things to have that historical 'gravitas' that attaches when the piece performed for its owner as it was meant to, and came out the other side just as good as it went in.

Do I like boxes?

Sure - but all they represent to 'me' is that someone liked his purchase, and kept the 'stuff' that came along with it, and probably took damned good care of it - nothing more.

Buy the piece because of what it represents and because of its condition - anything 'extra' is nice-to-have stuff.

Good Hunting!
 

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Yes, no sense of history with the modern stuff. Early Colt SAA's in the right serial number range "could" have been at the Battle of Big Horn...a firearm NIB made a few years ago...not a chance! A NIB revolver, is just that. Fire it just once, and it is no longer NIB. Pick up a brand new SAA and watch the seller go ballistic if you think about turning the cylinder. Converesely, pick up a first generation SAA in 30%, 50%, 90% condition and shoot it a few times. Besides having a lot of fun, it is still a 30, 50, or 90% gun when you are done with it (unless you drop it or something).
 

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Same goes for the SAA from 1890 that is in the box. Someone shot it once or twice then put it back. There is no history to that either but still worth what its worth. I would still love to have one from that period in great shape. I personally would buy a SAA engraved for 10 or 15 grand than spend that on some python in a box. Just my thinking no one needs to agree.
 

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Yes, speculation is the proper description for what is currently going on in the Colt DA market.

Best regards,
I speculate that I won't be purchasing a NIB Python, Diamondback or other "snake series" due to the pricing becoming prohibitive for a guy that likes to shoot his firearms. I have the revolvers I've yearned for and see no worth in adding to more of the same. Got my Police Positives, Police Positive Specials, Officers Model Target, Official Police(s), Detective Specials, Troopers, Diamondback and Pythons. Managed to acquire a few N1908s, M1908s, and M1903's. A few Frontier Scouts and SAA's and now some new model semi auto's that Colt is doing a superb job with fit and finish and that Bright Stainless 1992 GM MK IV Series 80 that just makes me smile every time I hold her. Almost forgot the wife's GM .380 with ivory panels. The boys will enjoy my accumulation when I'm dust and I can concentrate on being a better marksman and maybe splurge on custom stocks and holsters and more ammo. When the well comes in, and it will, I may change my mind on a few handguns I have on my "wish list" but until then I'm "Happy, Happy, Happy". Timing is everything and luck is even better :)
 

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I agree there are alot of guns out there which have been fired, but like I tell everyone, I would rather have a "Perfect NIB Looking (100% Condition)" that has been fired 6 times than a gun which I know for a fact has never been fired and has one little tiny scratch on it. Most condition collectors feel the same way I do. I dont think if a gun has been fired, it takes away from the value, maybe on Commemoratives which tend to show it more. For those who feel differently, think about this, actually some places/books (Like Gunbroker lol) defines a NIB/NOS gun as a gun which has never been sold at retail so if you bought that gun new and never fired it, some wouldn't consider it NIB or NOS. I have seen thousands and thousands and thousands of vintage guns and only ONCE did I see a gun which would be considered this. They weren't even vintage, only about 12-15 years old, they were pre-lock smith PC guns which a distributor was cleaning out the warehouse and found about 8 of the same model. They sold them to this FFL dealer at a discounted price. I saw the last one and my buddy wanted it badly so I told him to take it (even though I did drive him 1.5 hours each way to the shop and wanted it also:)). I always am on the lookout for that "perfect" gun with box and papers, box is a must, papers not so much but are a big plus. Let me tell you it is hard to find "perfect" guns, maybe one out of 25 "NIB" not LNIB guns MAY fit this criteria. The older the gun, the harder it is to find of course and that number goes up. I had a collection of Smiths, and about 15 older Kit Guns (with only one double-2 perfect 51s-) which fit this criteria, which took me years to track down. I sold them when I got the Colt bug and have since regretted it because I know now I am not physically able to do all that traveling to track them down, and now that Colts have gotten so high around here and online, I have started back on the Smiths again. They have gone up alot also, but nothing like the Colts. I have a buddy who LOVES SAA's especially 1st gens, but I never had any interest in them much. I am a DA man, and I'm not sure I want a gun I know has killed someone. But to each his own, that's what makes gun collecting so GREAT!
 
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