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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


My folks had a small collection of guns. Some from her parents and grand parents. A few they purchased.

Then there were the "legend guns". Family guns going back generations that others had seen and may be even shot but long gone now.

They counted ammo for all those guns not by the box, but by the season. 3 or 4 rounds for deer season. May be 1/2 a box of shotgun shells in the Fall and if we were lucky a box or two of 22 shells to shoot up every year.

Fast forward to me. For years I shot several thousand rounds a year for competition and pleasure. Some times as much as 25K rounds in a year. There was a time having one handgun was a luxury. Then a 2nd used as a spare, even more of a luxury. And barely affordable.

Now I have to look at the current printed inventory to keep track of what I have. Some are still unfired. Many of them simply investments to be sold later at a profit. Intentionally part of my 401K.

I have a few guns. But nothing compared to what some of the regulars here have stashed away.

I don't buy guns I don't like. I also don't find the need any more to shoot every gun I own. I get as much pleasure, at times, just staring at them on display. All the while letting my mind wander to where they have been, why they were made or who used them, as me shooting them.

If I were to guess, it would be the vast majority of guns in American seldom get shot. Lots of reasons to own a gun. Not all of them involve shooting.

Curious as what other here think.

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When I was keeping track of such things I would shoot 50 to 60 thousand rounds a year.
Now I'm down to 20 or so thousand.
Like you more of my guns are bought as investments but I can not help myself and must pop a cap or two in each.
As I write this I'm looking forward to getting back to the shooting and focusing my collecting areas.
Life's to short to be shooting uninteresting guns.
Take care, Duane
 

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My father told me a long time ago that if you buy a gun and keep it new its value will go up a little every year because everything gets a little more expensive every year. He also explained to me the a newer condition gun would be more valuable than a worn gun in a SHTF scenario. I always remembered that, I guess that was also how I learned about inflation. Over the years he also told me "buy Colts".
 

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I think a lot of collectors have similar views. I don't feel the need to shoot all of my guns, but I do have a few I shoot on a regular basis.

Still, I've never seen any of my guns as an investment. I learned when I first sold a gun 30 years ago that guns are not worth what you paid for them, but what someone will pay you for them... and those two amounts are very, very different. And if someone knows you're in financial trouble, the price they're willing to pay you generally goes down... kind of like rubbing salt in a open wound.
 

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I don't have many, but most of what I have I cherish. There are a few I shoot and carry regularly. There are a few that I just marvel at and won't shoot at all. Mostly I just come here to see and learn about what you guys have.
 

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I took a 35 year hiatus from gun ownership while I lived in New York City. In 1987, if memory serves, a good condition 1st generation SAA, not black powder, cost about $1200. Today, that same SAA would be under $3000. Not much of a return. Prewar/ Postwar SAAs in NIB condition have done much better, for reasons I cannot fathom, going from $2000 to $10000. Maybe Pythons and 1911s have had better returns but rarity and condition are the rule there, too.
In general, if you want to make money on collectibles you have to buy what the really wealthy will want 10 years from now and spend top dollar on the best you can barely afford. One $50K engraved 1st Gen SAA will make you more money that 10 $5K guns, 10 years from now.
I've seen the wrist watch market go nuts over the past five years because of limited supply and international demand with many current production watches selling for multiples of MSRP. Have you tried to buy a Rolex Daytona lately? MSRP $13K, grey market price $39K. If you want to buy one from an Authorized Dealer for MSRP you have to spend $100K on other junk just to get on the waiting list and it will still take 2 years to get. A huge worldwide market of buyers focused on a few models by even fewer makers.
I love to collect and shoot my guns but it's a slow, treacherous road to riches.
 

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With the exception of one 1911 that I bought new in box and intend to keep that way, I have shot or would shoot everything else I own. Some I haven't shot yet are in obscure, hard to find calibers. Others I am just too busy or lazy to take to the range.
 

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Like many here I suspect, I’ve been fortunate in life to be able to afford pretty much anything that comes my way. That being said, I buy only what I like and what I plan on shooting. I’ll pass on a good deal if it’s something I’m not interested in shooting. I consider my Colts and Winchesters a hobby, absolutely not an investment.
 

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I would shoot a lot more if I could do it off my back porch. If I had rural property where I could shoot on my own land and set up a small course of steel targets like hickock45 has, then I would shoot a lot more. Not during the current severe ammo shortage, of course. I haven't done any shooting at all of late. When oh when will we see ammo stocks back to normal, if ever?

Having to pay range fees and go to a range is just another disincentive. It doesn't stop me from shooting, burt it certainly works to reduce how frequently I go shooting.

Rifles are a pain to clean. I am down to shooting rifles once in a blue moon anymore. Which is a shame, because I have some fun ones to shoot. Of course, it gets more challenging as the eye sight diminishes.
 

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I'm not a gun investor, I just buy what I like and shoot all of them. I also like to admire them when I don't go shooting. My wife just doesn't understand us gun people. I'm not a high volume shooter maybe 500 rounds a year if that. Strictly a hobby that I enjoy for the past 47 years. I do wish I kept every Colt SAA I've owned. Would be a hell of a collection for me. So now I'm down to 3 Colt SAA's and that's good.
 

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Being a military history buff my collection tends to be more U.S. military oriented than sporting oriented. Krags, ‘03s, a Garand, a Martini Cadet, riot and trench shotguns and martial 1911 autos and revolvers. Some were bought to used as cas toys. Also have a couple of .22 trainers, a Model 52 pre A and a 1922M2. All were bought to shoot not for show. Do about 200 rds a month at matches. Also love Woodsmans and Marlins.
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I may be an exception here, but I think a toybox can be too big.

When I was a kid, I had 2 hot wheels cars. One was the good guy. One was the bad guy. I always had a blast playing for hours.

Over the years I got new cars for Christmas and birthdays. The Hot Wheels collection grew to over 50 cars. Every time I went to play with it, I was overwhelmed by the huge number of choices. Do I play with the Jack Rabbit or the Paddy Wagon? Oh, but the Red Baron is really cool! No, I want the Woody. Or maybe...

Half the time I would just close the box because I was overwhelmed.

I think a few really good items that you love to use in any manner, beats an unmanageable number any day. But then I'm not the smartest Joe, and maybe that is part of my problem when collections get too big.

Just my personal feelilngs. Others may well and righeously disagree.
 

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When I was keeping track of such things I would shoot 50 to 60 thousand rounds a year.
Now I'm down to 20 or so thousand.
Like you more of my guns are bought as investments but I can not help myself and must pop a cap or two in each.
As I write this I'm looking forward to getting back to the shooting and focusing my collecting areas.
Life's to short to be shooting uninteresting guns.
Take care, Duane
How do you manage to find that much ammo and/or reloading supplies in this current environment?
 

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Over a brick of primers a month plus all the time it takes to reload those rounds. Plus work. That’s why he’s ‘starved’. No time to eat, I gotta get back to the basement and get the Dillon going.
 

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I may be an exception here, but I think a toybox can be too big.

When I was a kid, I had 2 hot wheels cars. One was the good guy. One was the bad guy. I always had a blast playing for hours.

Over the years I got new cars for Christmas and birthdays. The Hot Wheels collection grew to over 50 cars. Every time I went to play with it, I was overwhelmed by the huge number of choices. Do I play with the Jack Rabbit or the Paddy Wagon? Oh, but the Red Baron is really cool! No, I want the Woody. Or maybe...

Half the time I would just close the box because I was overwhelmed.

I think a few really good items that you love to use in any manner, beats an unmanageable number any day. But then I'm not the smartest Joe, and maybe that is part of my problem when collections get too big.

Just my personal feelilngs. Others may well and righeously disagree.
Well said Clint!!
 

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I've never bought a gun as an investment,I've also never bought one from an auction,the un-informed bidders bid w/their hearts instead of their heads & run the prices up out of sight for the rest of us.And like Cozmo said I've been shooting in different kinds of competition for about 65 yrs & put a lot of rounds down range,way too many to count.On a recent visit I showed him the Colt I won in the 1960 Calif State championship & how & where I'd worn most of the blueing off the back strap & trigger strap from all the use it's had.I still shoot once in awhile[not in competition],depending on weather & how good I feel,I've got a range about a 100 yds from the house.
 

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I enjoy target shooting and hunting, not collecting. If I can’t shoot it regularly I don’t want to own it. But your collection and history may be different from mine, so you have to decide what to do in the years you have left on earth with your possessions. When I get into what I think to be my last decade I’m going to start finding relatives who may have an interest in a particular firearm and make sure they get it.

There’s only one gun in the family that I would buy as a collectible, if my brother-in-law would sell it. It’s a nickel-plated Colt new police in 38 Smith & Wesson with mother-of-pearl stocks. I was with my in-laws when they bought it, because my mother-in-law could not handle recoil from a 38 special. She learned to shoot that Colt really well and it has some sentimental value for me. Other than that, I cannot think of a gun in the family I want just to have it.
 

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Interesting read this is.

I guess I'm all over the place, changing my gun life as time goes on. There was a time I only had a few, all purpose driven like various hunting caliber rifles and a pistol/shotgun for personal defense. At various times, I've leaned towards military style weapons, both old and new. Too late in life, I finally took an interest in Colts but, I've done well for myself. Some to shoot, some just to learn about and a couple intentionally purchased as an investment. Sure, a global economic crisis could occur but if so, I submit that I (we) will have much bigger worries than not being able to sell my guns at a higher profit. I also grab up just about anything that "floats my boat" at the time, ranging from big bore woods guns to the latest Keltec CMR30 .22 magnum just because it looked fun and has proven so, especially with a suppressor on it.

Looking back, it's just about firearms in general I suppose. Studying, learning, becoming proficient with them. Often there was a focus on a style/type/purpose but overall, it's an appreciation for firearms in general, what it represents (defense, means of providing food, enjoyment, maintaining freedom, etc). My 1849 Pocket is just as interesting to me as a Sig 1911 in .40s&w. Obviously very different in which one I'd take to a fight today but, at their core, they are the same.

I often wonder, will a couple of my guns be as enjoyed by future owners, say 100 years after I'm gone? What about those that are simply working guns now, having been used in life saving fights? Will someone hold that gun in 100 years and cherish it as a real Colt that's "been there, done that", much as I would now for a Colt some cop used in 1920 to take down a murderer?

It seems I'm just rambling and letting my mind wander.......I'll close and enjoy what others keep putting down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
A new member recently asked if I was bored with my guns. He seemingly couldn't understand the "collecting". I think of myself as a shooter more than a collector but I do have some that are just part of my "collection". I have some of my Grandfather's and Great Grandfather's guns. Oddly enough none from my parents. Although if I wanted, I could replace everything they owned. I have a few engraved guns. Some that I commissioned from artists to commemorate something important to me. Most of the artists are now deceased. Having an engraved gun done in the style my Great Grandfather's pair were done in...but long gone now... was meaningful to me for family and family history. Only wish I could have done that sooner. I still enjoy owning and shooting (on occasion) custom guns I have had made or built over the years. Guns I used in IPSC and 3 gun competition 40+ years ago. (hard to believe it was that long ago now!) Or guns I have used more recently in SASS. All guns that I still value and have kept, along with those I have used for work. The guns I use here on the ranch or on a horse I still own/use. A few big bore rifles I built specifically for trips to Alaska in 338, 416, 45 and 505. Fun trips. And I never fired a round out of any of them while in Alaska. I sure liked having them there though.

Firearms have been a big part of my life, my income, my lifestyle and my entertainment as long as I can remember. Sure there is a "collection". And an even bigger collection of memories connected to most every one of them. That is what I really collect. Memories are one of a kind and priceless.

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