Where are the collectors?

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contender

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I have been pondering something for a while. I finally decided to ask the questions.
Where are the NEW Ruger collectors?
Why do folks not try & collect Rugers or Ruger related stuff?
What is preventing folks from trying to collect Rugers?

I FULLY understand & accept the premise that some folks are NOT collectors & prefer to only have shooters. Those are not the folks I wonder about.

But I look back upon my own journey into collecting,, and that's what made me ask the questions.
I was young,, and I truly enjoyed my few meager Rugers,, but WANTED more. Most of what I had,, of all brands were shooters.
But I had a yearning to delve more into it. And then, I saw a display by Bill Hamm,, decades ago,, and it lit the fire of the idea of being a collector.
And,, my funds were NOT capable of just going out & buying whatever I wanted. I struggled for many years just to meet bills & afford my small but slowly growing selection of shooter guns. And,, I would sell something to buy something else,, or to pay a bill. But I always tried to collect a few things here & there.
In my case,,, memorabilia was cheaper & easier to find & collect. so it started mostly with that. And I also freely admit I was ( & in a similar fashion still do) more of an accumulator,, than a dedicated one focus collector. Oh, my preferences are stuff associated with the Ruger SA handguns. But I have also always kept my eyes out for ANYTHING Ruger that was fairly priced, and that I could afford at the time. And my memorabilia collection still grows. So, for me,, I actually classify myself as an "accumulation collector who has managed to get an assortment of stuff worthy of being a mediocre collector." I still do not have the money to invest in the seriously rare & expensive Ruger's I'd love to own,, such as any RSSE's, or many of the single-digit serial numbered guns, or whatever. And, still many of my guns & such are bought with a bit of wear, or use,, because I find them, and recognize them for what they are.

But,, I look around,, and it appears to me that there are other folks who enjoy Rugers & such stuff,, yet fail to try & collect & share their stuff.

My first display show,, in Nashville Tn. put together by Bob Nelson, was an eye opening experience. I bought 2 tables to use to display my "collection." There was no title, not theme, no organization, no labeling, etc. Just a mixed up selection of stuff I had collected & was proud of. God bless Bob,, for he came over,, and in his calm, soft southern gentlemanly way,, sat with me & gently tried to explain about how theme shows went,, and doing so in a manner as to try & not upset me. When I eagerly explained how I was a newbie & would NOT take offense at ANY & ALL advice,, he helped guide me towards becoming a better collector & displayer. Thank you Bob!

Now,,, that was many, many years ago,, and I've never forgotten how nice, how helpful, & in general, how good ALL the folks who were at the first display show were towards me. I looked around then,, and realized,, I was a bit "younger" than most of the guys & girls,, but we all had a passion for Rugers.

But I have been pondering the reasons more folks do not get into collecting. You can collect AND get shooters to enjoy. You can select a specific theme,, of say; "OM 45's" and try & collect them,, and the associated stuff. There were only 6 variations of that OM caliber. Or,, maybe the OM .30 Carbine SA Blackhawks. Only about 2 variations there. Or,, maybe the Single-Six guns are your passion. Now,, in that case,, there are over 200 variations in just the OM years.
But,, there are also NM guns that are quite rare. There are many things Ruger that are seldom seen or in low quantity.

So, my question is "Why NOT get into a little collecting,, if you have any interest or appreciation of this?"
And again,, to the "I just enjoy shooters" crowd,, I again say I fully understand. Some folks are just not into collecting. That's FINE!

But I just wonder if collecting is a fading thing,, or are just some folks who feel they can't collect. If that's the case,, share your thoughts!
 

bogus bill

Hunter
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Just my opinion. Ruger hasn't been around near as long as Winchester, Colt & many more. We associate Winchester and Colt with the old west, ALL western movies etc. You dont see Rugers in any old movies.
Except for newbys most of us were here before the first Ruger. (I am going on eighty).
 

hittman

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Collectors are a dying breed.

Many folks age 40 and under have no connection to nor interest in the "westerns" we grew up watching that glorified gun use.

There's many others factors too ..... economic, social, etc.

For example, our local Harley Davidson store closed after about 80 years. One of the sales managers told me the younger folks can't text and ride a Harley even IF they have the income for Harley payments after spending $300 a month on a cell phone.
 
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I think "collecting" in general is a fading thing. Younger people, let's call
them under 50 as a round number, are more interested in doing stuff vs.
having stuff.
I know several who are into collecting experiences, as a sorta runner I know
people who want to run a marathon in all the different states. Just using
that as an example to the mindset.
I know there are exceptions, but I'm saying in general that this is the trend.
Swim in all the oceans, fly as many different airplanes as you can....etc.
Dave
 

Dan in MI

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Dave P. said:
I think "collecting" in general is a fading thing. Younger people, let's call
them under 50 as a round number, are more interested in doing stuff vs.
having stuff.
I know several who are into collecting experiences, as a sorta runner I know
people who want to run a marathon in all the different states. Just using
that as an example to the mindset.
I know there are exceptions, but I'm saying in general that this is the trend.
Swim in all the oceans, fly as many different airplanes as you can....etc.
Dave


I agree with this somewhat. All collecting seems to be going downhill. Cars, coins, stamps, trains, guns, cards. For whatever reason collecting is losing its luster to the younger generations. Maybe they got burned by the Beanie Baby craze that exploded and then burned. :lol:
 
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This is a good topic and definitely something to think about.

I’m a couple months shy of being 51. I wouldn’t say I collect anything, but do have some small “groups” of various things. But I look at my parents who are in their 80’s. They are trying to get rid of a lifetime of junk. So I look around my house and wonder why I bought half the stuff I bought.

It’s a tough balance. I think guns have gotten expensive enough that I can’t go out and buy 10 variations on the same platform, or even 5 similar guns. Say for example similar Blackhawks in .45.

Since guns are so expensive, I would rather have a variety of different style guns instead. Different calibers or a variety of semi action vs revolvers.

My question would be for those that do collect, what are you going to do with your collection when you are in your 80’s? I do have a few guns I’d like to sell. A couple rifles and one shotgun I know won’t get shot again. But shipping costs have gotten so expensive.

Contender, I guess the shot answer to your question, for me at least, is just practicality. Living expenses are taking priority right now. My daughter is in 6th Grade, and we are trying to save for college. Then, Tomorrow morning I have to take one dog to the vet for her annual checkup and shots. I bet that will be close to $200, maybe even closer to $300 no joke.
 

375supermag

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Hi...
My 2¢ worth on this topic.
I have a deep lifelong interest in a couple of hobbies but don't really "collect" anything.
I own 50+ firearms but there is no focus, I shoot everything I buy because that's what I bought them for.
I have an extensive library of military history books but while my main focus is on WWII, it is not a "collection". They were bought to be read and to used as references. A few are rare or very limited editions(read expensive) and quite esoteric in scope and focus.
Very few are what would be called popular histories of the war. I am very deep into the nuts and bolts of the weapons, battles and unit histories.
 
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I remember going to gun shows back in the late 60's. Back then the collector interests were Colt SA's, DA Smiths and Winchesters. I remember table after table of these. Most of the folks behind the tables were in their 60's through their 80's. If you think about it, these folks were kids around and before the turn of the 20th century. These were the firearms they grew up with as kids just like us born after WWII saw the dawn of Ruger, Model 70's, 700's, etc. Interests change. The Polymer generation is becoming prevalent.

Another factor is the cost of collecting firearms is high and it has to be your primary hobby to justify the expense. I realized this some years ago when I was collecting Ruger #1's. I just couldn't afford it.... So, my approach has changed. I accumulate firearms that mean something to me regardless of manufacturer. Right now I have half as many firearms as I did even 5 years ago. I have Winchester, Remington, S&W, Colt and Ruger firearms with other manufacturers that appeal to me. So, to collect just one manufacturer such as Ruger, I would be cheating myself.

Bottom line, I just can't justify owning a bunch of safe queens that only I appreciate. Part of collecting is sharing. With no folks around to share with it becomes meaningless. So, I guess I am just a shooter, shooting guns that appeal to me.
 

bogus bill

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I never was the type to own many of the same model guns. I am on the colt and other gun sites under various names. What gets me some guys will show pictures of maybe twenty 1903 model colts or whatever other models!
What I really wonder is where do they get the money for such extravagance. Do they also let their wives spend equal as much on whatever turns her on?
Are they the type guys who used to sit in a bar and buy their buddy's a round of beer while their sons sit shivering in the car waiting for him and he wont buy them anything?
I own a fair collection myself that I could never replace today. I bought most of them in my single days many years ago. Truth is now I seldom pull them out of the safe to even look at them much less shoot them. I am trying to recover from a hip replacement, coming up on eighty and know my much younger wife dont know how to sell them. She will need the money when I croak as my retirement stops when I die as I married her after I retired from my job. She is 17 years younger and there is no social security for her. I just cant let go and know I should.
If I sold a gun today, truth is two weeks later I wouldn't have the money for it AND couldn't tell you where it went!
Just read Helimans post above and it closely resembles my collection etc.
On top of all this I twice had my collection robbed through the years or it would be worth at least twice as much as it is.
 
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welll to me in a nut shell, like said above, today the "interest: in collecting ANYTHING is an issue of "how many can you possibly get your hands on, let alone 'AFFORD".........toward the end of my wife "actively" collecting, I was always along for the ride...she realized one day that her realm of "collecting" older, original 22 Ruger Red eagles, Single Sixes and Bearcats, and the venue of displaying, and to be able to "score" a better than GOOD display, and achieve "completeness" the reality of the matter that in the 22 Single Sixes alone,,,there was ( is) like over 200 variations of this gun ALONE......tadaa...end of search.......now fast forward to the years of the NEW models, totally, logistically IMPOSSIBLE to obtain a "complete" collection...she is happy with what she has, as well as the memories of "who" she got most of them from,,,,today many are "gone",,, to the BIG gun show in the sky...she has reached her level of "contentment" and is happy, proud of what she has gotten and achieved...trick is to pass this on to NEW players,,,and as I have ALWAYS found out from doing this since the late 1950s, set up at THOUSANDS of gun shows, all around the country....there are FAR, FAR more users and shooters, and target shooters , hunters ,than "collectors" and the factory is going after ALL of them,,,,,,,,and few today can afford the going rate of TRUE "collectibles"........
8) :roll: :wink:
 
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Carl always said "Today's Rugers are tomorrow's Colts."

I'm not sure that's still true. For one thing, guns have become a huge political issue in this country, and many of the younger folks have bought into the story that guns are eeeeevil. :roll:
 

Dan in MI

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Kevin said:
My question would be for those that do collect, what are you going to do with your collection when you are in your 80’s? I do have a few guns I’d like to sell.

I worked with a guy that a small collection of nice collectible motorcycles. Early Indians and Harley's. He bought them as investments for retirement. As he need cash after he retired he sold a bike. A year or so later he'd sell another bike.

I don't think that option is really available like it was then (1980's/90's) I bought a few collector guns using the same premise and am now thinking I need to move them before I can't.
 

Bear Paw Jack

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I've never been a "collector," always more of an accumulator. I spent a good part of the night laying awake after the experience we (my sister and I) had with my mothers death. She was somewhat of an accumulator as well and really treasured the things she had accumulated. I'm not sure how many times she asked me if there was anything in her house I'd like to have. I always had the same answer, "NO". I already have well more "junk" and accumulation than I need. First it occurred to me that if I passed my wife would be lost trying to get rid of my accumulation. If we both passed my son would have more than his hands full getting rid of our household items and end up with darn little to show for it. And for what? It's more about ego. What you have. Sure you get some gratification out of "having things" but the real question (to me anyway) is what are you leaving behind for family to get by on, when you are gone. Like Heliman I see guys at gun shows with their collections out on the tables who absolutely refuse to believe that their big time collection is no longer worth (to buyers anyway) what they think it's worth, or even what they paid for it over the years. They are going to leave a mess for their family. They will be left to find out it's not worth what you thought and that their inheritance, or what they will have to live on when you are gone is not worth nearly what you thought it was. I've started selling things off as my wife and son are more important to me than things. Hopefully that will get me motivated to clean out all the boxes of stuff in the garage. I certainly hope so. Like to be able to get the car in the garage. At least my wifes car. I've more or less discovered, that at least for myself, it's been a lot about ego. I have all the calibers of this... I was the only one who cared. Now I no longer care that much. Even after I thin the heard substantially I will probably have way more than I could need or use, and will probably still continue to buy when I run across the right deal, but hopefully not as much as I used to. Guess I'm not much of a collector.
 

Fox Mike

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While I don't have a copy of every Bearcat ever made I do have relatively nice group. I have no safe queens. I have fired all I own except my low three digit. I don't attend shows because of health issues and distance. I know if I could arrive that there is help available. The getting ready, pack, and unpack is just a bit too much.
As to what will become of my guns; my grandsons become their owners when I leave this good Earth
 
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Fox mike said..
"As to what will become of my guns; my grandsons become their owners when I leave this good Earth"

I just did a recent "will" where my guns are concerned. My Son's get one rifle and handgun each. Other than that it is my wish that my "collection" be sold off for my Wife's welfare. There are a couple of heirlooms that the kids can figure out what to do with also.
 

bogus bill

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My folks were hard working, frugal and never threw ANYTHING out. Mom went first. Ten years later dad died with Alzheimer. It was up to me to sell everything and get dad to go to assisted living. Fortunately I had just retired.
I have a older sister but she was zero help as she was deep in Scientology and a teacher for them. My folks being strong Christians hated Scientology with a purple passion yet wanted to be fair and everything was divided equally.
Sisters half went straight to Scientology and today she is poor as a church mouse. Lives with a daughters family, also Scientologists. Our mother studied Scientology just to be able to intelligently argue against it with sister.
Mom and dad were "disconnected" from sisters family for it as in Scientology they are ordered to "disconnect" from any family and friends that dont buy and bless their cult chit! Folks seldom got to see their six grandkids.
BUT they wanted to be fair and half of everything they ever worked for went to the very thing they hated most!
Seldom are these inheritance issues simple.
 

blackhawknj

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I have been an accumulator, not a collector, in my occupation of finance and investments I usually tell people to keep their investments as liquid as possible.
In an era where job losses have become more frequent and corporate loyalty has gone out the window, where divorce has almost become the norm, it's generally wiser to be able to quickly pick up stakes and move-how do you access your collection when your soon to be ex has filed a restraining order against you?
I have only 3 Rugers, a very accurate Stainless Security Six, 2 all original Old Models, like to get a 77/357.
I have noted inheritances are a colliding front between family values and moral beliefs and often require a certain amount of hard headedness
and even cold bloodedness.
 

Fox Mike

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bogus bill said:
My folks were hard working, frugal and never threw ANYTHING out. Mom went first. Ten years later dad died with Alzheimer. It was up to me to sell everything and get dad to go to assisted living. Fortunately I had just retired.
I have a older sister but she was zero help as she was deep in Scientology and a teacher for them. My folks being strong Christians hated Scientology with a purple passion yet wanted to be fair and everything was divided equally.
Sisters half went straight to Scientology and today she is poor as a church mouse. Lives with a daughters family, also Scientologists. Our mother studied Scientology just to be able to intelligently argue against it with sister.
Mom and dad were "disconnected" from sisters family for it as in Scientology they are ordered to "disconnect" from any family and friends that dont buy and bless their cult chit! Folks seldom got to see their six grandkids.
BUT they wanted to be fair and half of everything they ever worked for went to the very thing they hated most!
Seldom are these inheritance issues simple.
I thought that we were talking about collecting Rugers? When did Scientology become a part of collecting?
 

Big Old Boy

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Dec 31, 2013
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I had a pretty good bunch or Rugers till a few weeks ago now my grandson has most of them. Do not come knocking late at night I still have enough to sleep peacefully.

what on earth is Scientology I’m not collecting that.
 
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