There’s been some discussion lately as to whether guns make good investments, as well as some examples of guns that are valuable and those that aren’t. How can you tell if YOUR gun will make a decent investment? That it will appreciate over time?
Well, there’s a rule that applies to other durable goods such as cars that’s works with firearms, too. The more rare and desirable a car is, the more it’s valued over time. Right now, a DMC-12 will run you about $40,000 and up, according to a brief search on AutoTrader. A Chevrolet Celebrity on the other hand is basically worthless. The former is both rare and desirable.
The same is true with guns. The rarer and/or the more desirable a gun is, the more it may be worth one day.
For instance, a run-of-the-mill vintage .38 Special revolver may not be worth much…but the .38 Special revolver that Phil Spector reportedly threatened Dee Dee Ramone with? Now that would be quite the find. George Zimmerman was offered almost $140,000 for his Kel-Tec, which is certainly far, far more than anyone would ever think about paying for a Kel-Tec pistol.
However, you may find that 16-gauge shotguns sell for less than the 12-gauge versions of some scatterguns. How come? Because the Sweet 16 has fallen out of favor. Shooters found the 20-gauge got close enough to 12-gauge performance with less recoil than the 16-gauge to make the 16 gauge a touch redundant.
What makes a particular gun desirable?
There are a few things that can do it. One is that it’s already desirable to begin with.
For instance, Colt Pythons have remained valuable because they were hand-fitted, they were made with a certain finery, a trigger as smooth as buttah, and were relatively expensive to begin with. Boss, Purdey, Fox or Holland & Holland shotguns (to name a few) remain expensive because they are bespoke, handmade works of great finery.
An Aguirre y Aranzabal isn’t worth as much, despite a similar level of detail and craftsmanship. Why? Because it wasn’t made in England and lacks the other brands’ reputations.
Other guns are rare despite being otherwise not terribly noteworthy. Singer 1911s, for instance, aren’t necessarily the best that the platform has ever been. It was just a very small production run of M1911A1 pistols by a sewing machine company. You can get basically the same gun from Springfield Armory, Auto Ordnance and a few other companies right now for as little as a few hundred dollars. However, because they’re exceedingly rare, they are valuable.
Another reason for a gun’s value may be related to who owned it. A run-of-the-mill gun may not be worth much, but a run-of-the-mill gun owned by a famous person?
Robert Ford’s Smith & Wesson Model 3 – the one he used to kill Jesse James – sold for $350,000 to a private collector, according to True West Magazine. Granted, even the reproduction Model 3s aren’t cheap, but that’s a princely sum.
In 2016, a Winchester 1886 rifle owned by Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Henry W. Lawton fetched $1.2 million, according to The Atlantic. Lawton pursued and brought back Geronimo, the Apache war chief, but didn’t get the gun until later; it was presented to him as a gift by a friend who worked at Winchester, though it was the first production gun. Winchester still makes them and they are still expensive but certainly not that expensive. Sadly, the gun didn’t do Lawton much good; he perished during the Philippine-American war a few years later.
And so on and so forth.
So, is your gun going to worth something someday?
Sadly, your plastic fantastic probably isn’t going to be worth very much. They’re just too common, unless you have an ultra-rare special edition. Your tactical shotgun? You probably shouldn’t bank on it. Well, if you have a SPAS-12…then okay.
Basically, your gun has to have something going for it in order to become valuable.
Do you have a gun you think will probably be worth something someday? Let us know in the comments!