Author Topic: Values in today's market.  (Read 1200 times)

Offline utseabee

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Values in today's market.
« on: May 16, 2020, 01:19:24 AM »
   I am kind of at a loss trying to figure out the values of decent examples of original longrifles. I know that the real high end signed items still bring high dollar, but it seams like the bottom has dropped out on mid grade examples. I no longer have any idea of what mine are worth or what to pay or offer to acquire new ones. The prices do not seem consistent at all. Every once in a while you see one selling for what you think it should or higher, but usually the seem to sell for way less than what was expected or estimated. To me it appears that the quality contemporary items now sell for more than originals. They deserve every penny that they get for them with all of the work involved with building a nice rifle. At first, I thought it was a good thing because I could purchase rifles that normally would have been out of my price range. Now, I wonder if the market will come back. What are your thoughts or opinions?

Offline Stoner creek

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2020, 01:40:53 AM »
 I really enjoy acquiring these things. I do it to satisfy that ďcollector geneĒ that I possess. I have a love for the history and artistry in the Longrifle culture. At age 62 itís quickly becoming the only thing that I can do that doesnít make me feel bad the next day.
 That being said, I no longer look at most of my collection as investment pieces. When I reach a certain age (and I have a number) Iíll probably liquidate, win or lose. I know that there are some pieces that will far exceed my purchase price but very few.
 My bottom line here is that this Longrifle thing is a big part of who I am and Iím going to keep on collecting and enjoying for as long as I can. There are some really nice high end guns that I have my beady little eyes on right now!
Remember what got us here.

Offline utseabee

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020, 01:55:40 AM »
    I am definitely didn't buy any of them to make money. I am now clueless how to come up with a fair/ reasonable offer for ones that I might want to buy. I still have a lot to learn.  I try and see what comparable rifles sell for and go from there. I want to expand my small collection so this may be a good time for me.

Offline JTR

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2020, 02:06:34 AM »
I think the initial downhill slide started several years ago with the purge auctions of several large collections. That said, that purge offered many great deals for collectors. I'd like to say 'younger' collectors, but the average age of collectors today seems to be grey haired or no haired, and very few younger. Despite the good economy, seems younger guys have the bucks, but just don't have an interest in these old guns. Or actually any old guns! Black plastic is the ticket of the day.

I think for the average nice gun, say $10K of less, if you're going to collect these guns, collect them for the love of it, and hope for maybe a bit of profit someday, or at least not too much loss. If you can swing a fine Beck or Dickert, etc. I think they have mostly bottomed out. Certainly not cheap, but should hold the value and be relatively easy resales'. As long as there are some old grey haired, or no haired guys around to buy them.

These are just my thoughts, having sold the majority of my collection in the past couple years.
It'll be interesting to hear what others have to say.
John
John Robbins

Offline Stoner creek

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2020, 02:23:37 AM »
    I am definitely didn't buy any of them to make money. I am now clueless how to come up with a fair/ reasonable offer for ones that I might want to buy. I still have a lot to learn.  I try and see what comparable rifles sell for and go from there. I want to expand my small collection so this may be a good time for me.
My one example at perhaps exceeding market value (whatever that is these days) was a recent purchase of an in new condition Lester Smith rifle. I had it in my head that the gun was coming home with me regardless of cost. Practical, probably not unless there is a renewed interest in Johnson City guns out there. You have to go with what makes you happy.
Remember what got us here.

Offline utseabee

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 02:25:26 AM »
I think I fit that description between grey hair and no hair. If It wasn't so short, it would be grey ::)
Some of mine aren't going anywhere others may be traded or sold for nicer ones. If I end up with a Beck or Dickert, they'll end up in the not going anywhere group.

Offline jdm

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 03:37:25 AM »
 . The way the market has fluctuated the last few years it's hard to get a handle on prices now.  I used to have a good feel for them.  As JTR said there have been some big   collections  on the market  to a limited amount of buyers.  These type of things go in cycles . Collectors get old or die and there collection goes on the market. Those guns get socked away in collections prices go back up and then in twenty or thirty years they  are on the market again. 
In the past { early 2000's } prices sky rocked artificially  in my opinion due to investors and few cases where several wealthy individuals  got in a #$%@! match to see who would win  or years later lose.

I try to keep up with values as best as I can. I don't want to be the last fool in line.Price matters.  Having said that the way I buy now is what it 's worth to me. How much am I willing to pay . Win ,lose or draw.   Whats it worth to me,  with in my means,  for the enjoyment I get.   I think  if you are collecting with the goal of making money you may be disappointed.  If it's for the love of history  or the item, your enjoyment  will be priceless.   

Just my thoughts sense you asked.   Jim
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 03:40:53 AM by jdm »
JIM

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020, 03:57:37 AM »
You have to go with what makes you happy.

Best advice ever!

I've been buying and selling collectible firearms most of my life. The one thing I try to do is stay in my area of expertise. I've seen two guns on a table before where one would be priced 5k and the other 10k and I couldn't come up with a reason why or even tell much of a difference. In cases like that I always pass on both of them.  In my simple mind today I  put them into two categorical cases, either worth buying "makes me happy" or worth nothing at all. What really makes me the happiest is when I acquire something I know a lot about especially in the details.
Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2020, 03:35:46 PM »
I wonder about the "greying" aspect of of current collectors and the lack of interest of the younger generation about anything historical. A sizable portion of them don't know who fought who in any war earlier then Afghanistan. I can't see these people take an interest in historical guns in the future.   

Offline backsplash75

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 04:13:33 PM »
I think the initial downhill slide started several years ago with the purge auctions of several large collections. That said, that purge offered many great deals for collectors. I'd like to say 'younger' collectors, but the average age of collectors today seems to be grey haired or no haired, and very few younger. Despite the good economy, seems younger guys have the bucks, but just don't have an interest in these old guns. Or actually any old guns! Black plastic is the ticket of the day.

I think for the average nice gun, say $10K of less, if you're going to collect these guns, collect them for the love of it, and hope for maybe a bit of profit someday, or at least not too much loss. If you can swing a fine Beck or Dickert, etc. I think they have mostly bottomed out. Certainly not cheap, but should hold the value and be relatively easy resales'. As long as there are some old grey haired, or no haired guys around to buy them.

These are just my thoughts, having sold the majority of my collection in the past couple years.
It'll be interesting to hear what others have to say.
John

A black plastic gun that is accurate, reliable and a hoot to shoot can be had for under $750, so that is a big deal to a younger guy with a family, mortgage, car payments and child care costs. Because of the individual and unique nature of rifles (vs say, mass produced 1816 muskets) and scarcity, they bring prices that likely puts off younger folks vs a retired guy who has a paid off house and pickup truck. I'd love to find a 1770s rifle that costs less than my truck or house, but I doubt that ever happens. However, you can find RevWar era muskets and fowlers in that range. I suspect as the generation who grew up watching Fess Parker passes on, that the non show stopper middle market guns will get cheaper as demand lowers. I guess the old guys who are worried about the younger folks getting into it should consider cutting the young bucks a good deal to set the hook.  ;D

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2020, 04:35:08 PM »
A lot of the younger people just aren't interested in history. I asked my daughter when she was just out of high school when the American Civil War was. She didn't know so I dropped hints and she couldn't guess within a hundred years of when it was!
Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline mbriggs

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2020, 09:58:51 PM »
Unlike others on here, I solely focus on Longrifles and powder horns made in North Carolina.  I have little knowledge about rifles or pistols made in other states, as I have never focused on them. I therefore have little knowledge on their values or how many people are collecting them.

Fortunately, I can tell you that I have not seen any drop in value on North Carolina longrifles. In February I was asked by an old collector friend to help him sell 25 N.C. rifles from his collection. I was able to sell the 15 best and most expensive examples over a three week period, before everything closed down over the virus.  I got top dollar for each rifle. I am confident I will be able to sell the remaining ten rifles once the country gets back to normal. (Whatever that is.)

When I am traveling and visit my collector friends or go to a longrifle show and find a quality N.C. rifle I am thinking of buying, my first question is am I buying this to keep in my collection, or am I buying it to resale.  If it is something great that would fit in my collection or is better than the one I currently own, then will buy it and not be greatly concerned with the price.  Many times over the years I purchased great rifles at what seemed like a top of the market price, only to look back in just a few years and realize what a bargain it was.  If it is better than the one I have, I buy it and sell mine. The key has always been to buy the best I can possibly afford.  Over a forty year period I have been blessed to build a collection I could never have dreamed of when I was starting out.

If it is an item I plan to resale, then I am only concerned with market value and is there enough margin.  I have no interest in tying up $2000 for six to twelve months to make $200.  If I am confident I can double my money in a reasonable period of time I will proceed.  In an average year I buy a dozen or so rifles, keep the two or three best for my collection, and sell the rest.

Bill Ivey's wonderful book North Carolina Longrifle Schools and my four books on the individual schools have brought a number of new collectors into this hobby.  Several of them are serious investors which helps keep the market value up for these items.   

Considering how many times I have lost my A__ in the stock market like in 2008, or this March or April, I feel much more confident in having over half my life savings invested in my collection, and feel comfortable with this decision.

Michael 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 10:03:01 PM by mbriggs »
C. Michael Briggs

Offline utseabee

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2020, 03:06:44 AM »
     Everything that I have is from Lancaster or Lebanon County Pa. I will be looking for Reading, Berks or Lehigh next. I don't know enough about  other schools yet. I prefer the earlier stuff, which still commands higher prices. Hopefully some of the shows are going to start happening soon so I can see what things are going for. I haven't tried my luck at auctions yet. Should be an interesting year.

Offline oldtravler61

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2020, 04:50:03 AM »
   One thing I have learned in 50 years of doing this...Don't buy an antique firearm at a longgun show. Go to a modern gun show an watch for the antiques to come in. You will be surprised at what you will find for the least amount of money...
But when it comes to collecting. If it's what you want then the price doesn't matter. Because you are not looking for resale value...IT'S about your collection..at least that's my thoughts..
Oldtravler

Offline Rajin cajun

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Re: Values in today's market.
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2020, 05:50:08 PM »
Old traveler l have add this to your thoughts. It seems like the price on a long rifle is driven by the pedigree of the person selling the item. Or whose collection it was in. Iím going on 80 years young, and have always felt like the emphasis should be the pedigree of the rifle. Thatís just my observation of how the hobby has changed in recent years. I still love those old rifles along with all my old porch dog buddies! We make the shows mainly to get together and visit, some we only see once a year. Not many new young collectors.
Itís not the size of the dog in the fight, itís the size of the fight in the dog !