Where are the collectors?

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contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
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Lake Lure NC USA
All the comments are good.

Interesting thoughts too.

Mostly,, I know many of us are aging,,, and plan on either passing along our Rugers & Ruger stuff, or allowing the selling of our stuff after we pass.

More to the point,, is why aren't there more people picking up the art of collecting, the study of the history, the sharing of our hobby by displaying, OR attending display shows to enjoy the displays etc.
I guess that was more to what I was asking.

I understand how younger folks may not have the "disposable income" to invest in collecting. Or, how their interests may be a bit different than what we choose to collect. But I guess I was trying to understand why many seem to not have the interest in the history, or the study of Rugers.
Colts, S&W's, Winchesters, Remington's, all have an interest,, even after 2 centuries of existence,, and yet,, Rugers seem to not enjoy the same thought process.
Yes,, Rugers are not as old as these others,, but that's the beauty of it. We are in the early years of Rugers & being able to collect & share. So,, my question was more of "Why not?"
 
Joined
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Ragnarok Farm, Iowa
blume357 said:
I figure in a few years my collection will either be worth at least what I paid for 'them' or nothing depending on politics.

I think this is the 800 pound gorilla looming over the OPs question.

If you have a large collection, what happens if or when your government decides you can't own them anymore, or each one requires a 200 dollar tax stamp, or that while grandfathered for you are illegal to pass along to your heirs when you die, or even to sell to anyone else?

Right now, guns are a hot commodity. And still legal in most places. Might be a good time to sell...
 

bobski

Hunter
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Ct., Va., & Vanzant, Mo.
no more pride in ownership.
todays world is living in a temporary existence.
everything.
to them, having a pic flash up is all they need. they don't need to touch anything anymore.
no more show and tell of stuff.
instead, its smearing a smart phone in your face and scrolling thru 200 snap shots of stupid stuff, where they make dogs smile and humans have goat faces.
weird new world.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,626
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Oregon City, Oregon
There is a generational/culture thing going on here.

Out west, we have a very popular and well used gun forum. northwestfirearms.com

There are some geezers as myself on the board, but it is predominantly younger folks. They talk all day about the AR's and Glocks they've built, but if a geezer mentions his old bolt action M77 or his Single Six Flatgate, he's immediately thought of as a FUDD, not an endearing term.

So...It can sometimes be a tough sell getting the young folks interested in real guns.
 

bobski

Hunter
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I just sold a substantial high standard collection to a fellow in ky.
yep...you guessed it. he's 76.
he has about 200 already. now he has mine.
whats an old guy gonna do with that many guns??
yet....it seems to be the only people buying good guns these days. and we did it w/o a computer. all it took was a phone call. word of mouth and trust. rare indeed in the new world.
 

Rook

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bogus bill said:
Just my opinion. Ruger hasn't been around near as long as Winchester, Colt & many more.

Yep, not even close. Ruger founded in 1949.
Colt was founded in 1855
Winchester was founded in 1866.

Heck I've been around as long as Ruger. I was founded in 1949 also. :D

You don't see Ruger in old western movies because they were't around during the old west.
 

SteveRuger

Hunter
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Apr 6, 2004
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Northern, Utah. USA
In 'The Shootist' at the end of the show the gun that Ron Howard throws across the saloon was a Ruger Vaquero. Because in the Show John Wayne used his personal 'Engraved Great Westerns' he was not allowing one of his guns to be thrown across the saloon sliding across the floor.
So... Ruger made the western movies atleast once. J/S
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
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Two thoughts come to mind having read thru this thread:
1) I believe that in my lifetime, I haven't met many people who truly are "collectors" (of anything). Just speaking 'statistically'..... of the thousands of people that I have known in my 70+ years, just a couple "collect'. This, alone, could be the answer to the question..... then, add:
2) I would speculate that in the last 50 years, teachers of children and young adults truly believe, and have planted the seed in young minds, that guns are, at best dangerous and useless except to kill; thus EVIL.
It seems plausible (to me) that IF these two concepts were combined, your question may have an answer here (?)
JUST MHO,
J.
 

Boxhead

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hittman said:
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.

That said, I do not see many OM's for sale. I have a pretty good pile but really see little for sale anymore. Just look at these classifieds.
 

Robb Barnes

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I think that "collecting" can take different forms. I collected certain Ruger revolvers for awhile several years ago. I started with the set of early fluted bisley large frame guns then went to different types of flat top 357 including a Ross gun. It was during this time that I became somewhat disenchanted with collecting stock Rugers when I started looking at ivory grips. The fact that no one (unless they were the original owner) could authenticate original ivory grips and the responses were so all over the board I decided to go back to my original collecting love and focus on custom Rugers. I blame it all on Hamilton Bowen and his book "The Custom Revolver" and John Taffin's articles and books but I fell head or heels with the idea of custom revolvers. I started what I call my Quest to collect or commission a custom revolver from each of the top gunsmiths of this current area and that has been my off the wall collecting theme for well over 15 years now. I am down to waiting on my last gun from one of these gentleman then my version of a collection will be complete. The only stock Ruger single actin in the safe is a 357 maximum I bought, you guessed it, to customize!
 

toyhunt

Single-Sixer
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Flagstaff,AZ
Yes, only see old guys with old cars. New generation is into protesting and complaining. I collected ertl banks,now worth nothing. Did beanies with daughter, give away,worthless. Stamps, only very old or rare,rest for postage. When things were made to be collectable,they are not. Add ebay for destroying all collecting.
 

gemihur

Bearcat
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Aug 28, 2013
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Ridgelines of the Blue Ridge, Roanoke, VA
Today = consumers
yesterday bred an appreciation of history and quality
Today = a divided society ruled by the wishes of the minority
yesterday knew tradition and respect
Today the working class resume after Kwanza-like holiday of JuneTeenth!?! Whathe ....!?!
 

Jeepnik

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On the beach and in the hills
I’m proudly not a collector. Most collectors amass items and then, at most, look at them from time to time. The items never again are used for their intended purpose.

I accumulate. I have, as an example, several “collectible” firearms. I shoot them regularly. I have been taken to task at the range for “destroying the value” of a firearm for shooting it.

I even had one fellow insist I sell him a particularly nice artillery Luger so it wouldn’t be damaged further. My response was to rapid fire a full magazine. I swear his head was exploding. A very satisfying moment I assure you.

Physical objects are meant to be used!
 

NikA

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Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
I am young and I used to be roughly the sort of collector initially described. Two things have put a pause on that process:

1) Life, work, kids, and other fiscal and temporal responsibilities.
2) The collector market has changed in ways that make the activities less enjoyable. 10-15 years ago, I could go to a gun show and see hundreds of guns ranging from Civil War to the modern era. In the past 4-5 years (the problem predates the current plague), I'd be lucky to find 4 or 5 guns in a whole show that align with my collecting interests. Given that, it's not worth my time (or money) to spend time at most gun shows.

IMO, much of the collecting market has moved to online auction environments, and frankly that's not of much interest to me. I like to make a connection with a piece and inspect it to make sure it's worthy of my collection before purchasing.
 

xtratoy

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Vancouver WA USA
Unless you have a youtube channel with a million subscribers and a Patreon channel where people support you, many younger people just don't have the financial ability to buy or a place to keep a collection. As stated above their most important asset is their cell phone.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
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Messages
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Real Question #1 - Why so few Collectors of anything ?

Real Question #2 - Why so few Gun Collectors generally ?

As have been kicked around , there are a couple of middle approaches :

Making an effort at Breadth of ( accumulation of firearms ) .

And when filling a need/ category for regular usage , deliberately acquiring the oldest / reasonably unique option to fill that niche .
 

bisleyfan41

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People's Republic of Maryland
Collecting anything does not resonate at all with younger generations. I'll be 52 this year and hardly anybody I know collects anything. As said above, doing stuff is prioritized over owning stuff. History is irrelevant today.

My mother experienced this with antiques she tried to sell. Nobody buys old stuff anymore. Nobody cares about the history of things. Stuff that is supposedly "worth" a lot of money is worthless. No demand equals no value.

Current trend today. Nobody wants to own anything. They rent, lease, subscribe to this or that, but don't own anything. Ownership means commitment and responsibility. That's so last century.

Long term, collections aren't gonna be worth a whole lot to potential buyers. Some ultra-rare Single Six variant will be only seen as just another 22 revolver. Today's buyers don't see the Ruger #1 for the beautiful rifles they are, simply an overpriced single shot.

And just wait until those that own high-dollar customs or inherit them from parents/grand parents in the future; they won't be able to move them for anywhere near the money they have in them. For those who collect or build customs, in anticipation that someday they'll be showered with riches, you might want to think about unloading them while there are still people who appreciate them. Those who do are extremely few in number, and getting fewer.

Add in the ever-increasing PITA it is to own guns in more and more locales, let alone multiple guns (domestic terrorist arsenal, you know) and the future looks even worse. I'm just thankful I'm a glass-half-full kinda guy! JMO
 
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