Where are the collectors?

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Mauser9

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 20, 2022
Messages
112
Good and interesting thread. Lately it sure seems milsurps like the 98k are sure still big collectibles. Price sure have gone through the roof.
 

weaselmeatgravy

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
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Mar 28, 2001
Messages
2,294
I agree that young folks have other commitments for their money and it isn't until they get better established in their career and family that they may start having more time and discretionary income to consider collecting something moderately expensive like firearms.

I had several guns that I bought when I was a teenager with a job but still living at home. When I moved out on my own, I bought a few more and maybe had a dozen when I got married. My accumulation was half Rugers, a few S&W, and a Remington. But it stalled there for the next 15 years due to budget constraints and time commitments. After college, several job changes, two cross-country moves, a divorce, remarriage, and a child, I was probably 36 when I bought my next gun, and another followed maybe a year later. But I still wasn't a collector.

What tripped the collector trigger for me was that my dad died and he left me his guns (or rather, everything went to my mom, who didn't have use for firearms, so she gave them to me and then gave an equivalent amount of money to each of my sisters). One of the guns I bought when I was 19 was an old model Ruger Super Blackhawk. My dad had several Rugers but only one old model, a .45 Colt Blackhawk with a 7.5" barrel. Once I had his 7.5" .45 to go along with my 7.5" .44, I started getting the itch to collect a 3 screw Blackhawk in each caliber. Then each barrel length. Then Single Sixes. Then flattops once I knew about them. Then brass frames, parts variations, Hawkeyes, Lightweights, Bearcats, double actions, etc. It just mushroomed.

Now I'm retired and my son is almost 30 and he's in that short on time/money phase. He has a job that keeps him busy, a wife, a young son, and they are trying to buy their first house. Plus he's in a band. Gun collecting would be the last notion to cross his mind at this point. He has a couple hunting rifles but never showed much interest in single action wheelguns. So I suspect that if he inherited my collection today, there would be a big Ruger auction. That might change in a decade or two when he gets more settled, so I'll try to postpone his inheritance as long as possible!
 

Terry T

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
1,833
Time to chime in, I guess.
I agree with several of the observations posted:
"Things sold new as collectables usually are not."
"Politics is the unknown in future gun values"
"Today's youth are more into collecting experiences rather than things."
I've tried to focus on collecting Rugers that will at least have "street value" as shooters while acknowleging the "collector premium" may not be recoverable.
My collection is split between my two kids. My son will keep some, my daughter will probably sell most of hers. I've set aside a few for each of the grandkids who will do as they please with them - sell or keep. The last thing I would require of any thing passed on is that it be kept - just too much to ask of anyone. Times change and they may not be able to keep this or that gun. I just hope they have fond memories of the 'old man'.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
7,567
man, some of you guys are too hard on the younger crowds. There are some good statements above too, like collecting anything takes money. But I don’t think it’s fair to say just because younger people don’t collect anything is because they don’t appreciate quality, or don’t care about the past, etc.

My house is stuffed to the gills with various collections, rocks, gems, and minerals, brass animals, antique furniture, etc.

It’s so full that now every time I consider buying anything, I have to really consider hard if I truly need it, or where it will go, or should I even spend the money.

Money it tight these days. Really tight. That’s a big reason the younger crowd isn’t collecting as much.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,350
This thread certainly achieved a second life.

I collect guns. I have many that I've never shot. But even on this forum, the non-collectors are vocal about the ridiculousness of owning any gun and purposely not shooting it. There's a lot of folks thinking this way. With this line of thought, I guess they'd drive their show-quality Model A as a commuter in rush hour traffic. Their opinion, and they'll likely never be collectors. And this newfound anti-collector mentality is affecting the value of my collection.

For so many reasons, many of us have discussed the disposal of our collections when the time comes. My boy never had an interest in my guns until very recently. But he still has no interest in the study of firearms. But at least now, I'm comfortable that he'll at least 'accept' my guns someday.

Times are changing. Youngsters cannot over night possess a valuable collection of anything, so instead, they belittle those of us that do collect. I imagine most new collections now will be acquired thru an inheritance. And these collections, I fear will languish.

And my new purchases have slowed way down.
 
Last edited:

bisleyfan41

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
515
I imagine most new collections now will be acquired thru an inheritance. And these collections, I fear will languish.
Unfortunately, many a "prized" collection that took decades and thousands of dollars to build, will be hauled to the nearest pawn shop for disposal (for pennies on the dollar) once inherited by the uninterested. Or auctioned off for cash.

Thinking Johnny the son or Janie the granddaughter will treasure what you leave behind, especially when they have no interest, is naive. And it can be unhealthy to burden our loved ones with the task of carrying our interests.

I have front row seats to this one. My parents, both in their late 70s, have a large house and several outbuildings full of crap they were guilted into keeping by their late relatives over their lifetime. " We can't get rid of Aunt Maggie's......" That's Uncle Fred's....so we can't get rid of that." "My grandmother would haunt me forever if I sold her...."

Carrying this kind of burden for a big part of their lives has been overwhelming and debilitating for them. For years, my sister and I have repeatedly and continually tried to reason with them to no avail.

Don't place that burden on your loved ones. Even if YOUR stuff is important to you, it ain't important to them. In reality, it ain't your stuff anyway. You were blessed to be a caretaker of it for a time. Somebody else will eventually own everything you have. Most won't even know who you were.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
8,704
Well the guy is not a collector and it was not a Ruger but I was at a customers house and he showed me his pride and joy...

Navy Colt in 36 caliber built in 1853... he even let me hold it. And it was in pretty much perfect condition.
 

Snake Pleskin

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
910
Unfortunately, many a "prized" collection that took decades and thousands of dollars to build, will be hauled to the nearest pawn shop for disposal (for pennies on the dollar) once inherited by the uninterested. Or auctioned off for cash.

Thinking Johnny the son or Janie the granddaughter will treasure what you leave behind, especially when they have no interest, is naive. And it can be unhealthy to burden our loved ones with the task of carrying our interests.

I have front row seats to this one. My parents, both in their late 70s, have a large house and several outbuildings full of crap they were guilted into keeping by their late relatives over their lifetime. " We can't get rid of Aunt Maggie's......" That's Uncle Fred's....so we can't get rid of that." "My grandmother would haunt me forever if I sold her...."

Carrying this kind of burden for a big part of their lives has been overwhelming and debilitating for them. For years, my sister and I have repeatedly and continually tried to reason with them to no avail.

Don't place that burden on your loved ones. Even if YOUR stuff is important to you, it ain't important to them. In reality, it ain't your stuff anyway. You were blessed to be a caretaker of it for a time. Somebody else will eventually own everything you have. Most won't even know who you were.
Thank you! When my parents passed, i was left with an extensive collection of China, Silverware, Cut glass etc...I have two daughters & a son. Only the one daughter had any interest in the items. The others could care less having been bit with the liberal me me me disease, they had no time for the history of may items their grandparents cherished. So, the youngest daughter (30) got what ever she wanted and the rest was donated or sold. it is what it is. I have a house full of different furniture and other items that all have a memory attached to them. Some people ask me why I keep those things, saying you could "update" this or that. I tell them, I feel no need to update anything about or from my parents, and I would rather have a home full of memories than one I bought somewhere that means nothing.
 

Fox Mike

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
9,990
While I don't "show" my guns I have my own "collection" of Bearcats. I tried to acquire by serial number digits. I have a low 3 digit, a 4 digit, and do on. I also try to get each type, such as Shopkeeper stainless, blued, also sighted model, different barrel lengths, etc. Will they be worth anything in the future? Who knows. My 3 digit w/box I feel will but I wouldn't bet on any of the others. I didn't start this as an investment but rather as a hobby.
 

Mauser9

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 20, 2022
Messages
112
Still got a Panasonic RF-2200 from 1977. Not a super collectible like some here but selling for a lot more than I paid back then if in mint shape. Guess we have collectors of radios and electronics out there too.
 

Rumrunner

Hunter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
4,031
In the 70's I managed a couple of gun shops, one in IL and one in AZ. I became a Ruger fan, owning many 10'22 and double action revolvers. I sold a lot of my guns and lost some in a fire. Then I started working offshore and only had a few guns. I started collecting Ruger merchandise as at the time I couldn't afford many guns. I have almost every 50th anniversary item that Ruger made. Because of my age and needing room for other things these will be coming up for sale in future.
At the gun shops, we used to throw away boxes due to taking up too much room. If only I would have known the extra value they bring now.
 

Bad Barlow

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
162
In the 70's I managed a couple of gun shops, one in IL and one in AZ. I became a Ruger fan, owning many 10'22 and double action revolvers. I sold a lot of my guns and lost some in a fire. Then I started working offshore and only had a few guns. I started collecting Ruger merchandise as at the time I couldn't afford many guns. I have almost every 50th anniversary item that Ruger made. Because of my age and needing room for other things these will be coming up for sale in future.
At the gun shops, we used to throw away boxes due to taking up too much room. If only I would have known the extra value they bring now.
This is the most thought provoking thread I have read in a long time.
Many of the comments and suggestions apply to me .
Am I delusional about the value of my firearms to : collectors
: the general public
: my family
: myself
???
 

Snake Pleskin

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
910
This is the most thought provoking thread I have read in a long time.
Many of the comments and suggestions apply to me .
Am I delusional about the value of my firearms to : collectors
: the general public
: my family
: myself
???
Yes and No, some are going to want the items and some are going to care less about them.
 

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