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· Gold Bullet member
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2,935 Posts
Good. For me, not for sellers, though. There have been lots of junkers, though. A NEW finished at $155 yesterday. I bid on it, but stopped short. Gotta stop bottom feeding, and that one had issues with pitting and missing handguard. Like some of the other collectors say, it's better to save and pay a little more for a better quality piece than get lots of poor condition rifles. It's hard for me because I love projects. Also because just about anything under $200 slips under the radar of Household-6, whereas a very nice piece for $400, even if months apart, sounds the alarm.
 

· Gold Bullet member
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549 Posts
They are cheaper than last year, but 3-4 times as much as 5 years ago. I remember buying mint B barrel M91s for less than $80 about then. My reaction is not the M91 4/$100 M91s I bought from Century 6 years ago are only worth $200, but now that I can get M91s for only $200 I am buying. 3 in the last 30 days.

I think the bubble has burst and they are getting down to reasonable prices. Even with the recent reductions they are still holding their value better than my 401K.
 

· Gold Bullet member
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4,425 Posts
Two things. It's not quite time for spring range season, and the economy sucks enough people have less spending money.

Plus the Black Rifle Fever has many collectors in it's grip right now, and it's not hard to see why sales are diminished.

Also, awhile ago, say about last spring, several of the dealers spiked prices on Finns above what I thought was average, and they were selling briskly for a short while, then stopped moving. I think the market is simply stable and demand's somewhat low right now. I'm still seeing stuff moving around, just there's more of it and buyers aren't quite keeping up.
 

· Platinum Bullet Member
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1,555 Posts
Meh, the economy is down and people need to sell. There are not many willing to buy. Supply and demand. Prices will be lower. Good time to be buying.
 

· Premium Member
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14,333 Posts
Economy sucks. I used to watch the MINT No4MkII's so that I could time the sale of mine. Last year, you couldn't find one for less than 500 bucks, and most sold upwards of 750 on average. Now, you can't sell one for 450. So the pall is evenly distributed.
 

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295 Posts
You would never know that prices are down if you go to a gun show...

I saw must of seen a whole pile of greasy, ratty Enfields for $400 a piece :( at the last show I went too.

Of course, dealers aren't offering squat for anything you want to sell.
 

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2,137 Posts
This is a temporary downturn in prices related to the economy. Take advantage of it. For those of you who do not have a couple decades of collecting under your belt let me enlighten you about something. From the late 80s into the early 90s there was a run on assault rifles due to the 1989 import ban and the impending 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Quite a few of us, who had been casually collecting old guns for years turned back to them in those years to escape the crowds and to take advantage of the plunging prices of these collectible guns at that time. As well, large numbers of imported rifles, handguns and ammo became available to C&R FFL holders meaning more and more folks began to become interested in the old surplus guns being placed on the market. As a result a critical mass of collectors were primed to be joined together into a community instead of the small regional pockets of collectors that had been the norm for decades before. The came Brent Snodgrass with the Mosin Man internet site and the community of collectors found its home. Almost from day one that site, the predecessor to this site, acted as the catalyst of exchange and interest in the surplus arms collecting community. Indeed, the community went from small regional pockets of collectors to collectors spanning the entire globe instantly.

In the end this site owes, in some small part, its existence to the fact that the prices on surplus arms went down in the late 80s and early 90s attracting many new collectors into the field looking for information about their new purchases. Although, I have considerable investment in these old arms I also welcome the lower prices and the potential addition of new collectors to the community.
 

· Gold Bullet member
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4,823 Posts
Two things. It's not quite time for spring range season, and the economy sucks enough people have less spending money.

Plus the Black Rifle Fever has many collectors in it's grip right now, and it's not hard to see why sales are diminished.

Also, awhile ago, say about last spring, several of the dealers spiked prices on Finns above what I thought was average, and they were selling briskly for a short while, then stopped moving. I think the market is simply stable and demand's somewhat low right now. I'm still seeing stuff moving around, just there's more of it and buyers aren't quite keeping up.
+1 That about sums it up
 

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932 Posts
Collector Advice

If you have to move a few less favorite pieces at less than you would like to get a much better piece at a fairer price, now is a good time. Condition always brings better prices and more is not neccessarily better.
 

· Copper Bullet Member
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12,874 Posts
Prices have come down but not nearly enough yet to spur sales. The number of listings (and bids) seems to have declined as well. The number of unsold items is very high. I probably won't buy or sell anything soon.
 

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1,617 Posts
It depends on what you have to sell. SOME 28-30's are going to close what I sold mine for a year and a half ago on Gunbroker with 'auction fever', not many though.
 

· Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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23,078 Posts
Funny thing - I have seen the exact opposite around the St. Louis area. Prices are not going down on Milsurps - and they are selling more now than before. All of the dealers have been bought out of the black rifles and AKs - folks are still flocking to the gunshows in numbers not seen since the Clinton era (does that give you a clue? Shudddderrr), and since they can't find the black guns and AKs, they are looking to buy other things.
 

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80 Posts
Some of the small town dealers may have unappreciated gems that have been collecting dust on their racks and they're priced to get out the door. I have one here in town with 9 m44's, 9 m91/30's, a m38, 2 SKS's, a MAS 36 and 49/56, a K-31 and several different Enfield's. Not to mention the usual mausers, 1903 Springfield's and 2 Garand's.

From what I have been reading, the prices are not too out of line with pre-election pricing. My 1919 Tula m91 was only $89.00 and it looks like it may be a good shooter. I'll find out this April.
 

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131 Posts
The shops and shows in our area are not reflecting falling prices - actually most are overpriced and don't seem hungry enough lower them (though I can't blame some of them since they have overhead to cover, and it's gotten much more difficult for them to compete with the big box store pricing).

Had a great idea floated out there from the fellow selling me ammo last night...we were just commenting on the price of brass (I'm always cranking on him about the fact that he hasn't had any ammo sales in the last couple of years:D)...You want to see a Black Monday - hold a nation-wide ammo sale!
 

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339 Posts
I gotta say...I read comments like this leading up to the last show and I was expecting to sell only a few of the bolt guns I had on the table. They flew off the table! $160 for a Turk Mauser, $160 for a SA marked 1930's Tula 91/30, $265 for a Yugo SKS, $90 for an Omega T-53, etc. I made a nice profit on every gun but two, and sold 14 of 17 bolt guns! I was shocked as shit. There were only two bargins on the table...everything else was priced at the going rate.
 

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585 Posts
As stated above, the summer months are usually a dip in both volume and a slight retreat in prices. People are focused elsewhere. For non-collecting activities, I've observed spring as a bump and always felt it was for two reasons: 1) tax returns 2) hunting licenses; then a slow down mid-summer. I've watched prices for over 10 years running a site to track prices (example: SKS prices, but will need to terminate the site this year once my hosting contract is over, just not enough revenue to justify it and kicked off of ad platforms due to the content being about guns. Not enough traffic to justify alternative ad platforms who require a minimum traffic level, and as stated kicked off of the 800 pound gorilla platform). Anyway, summer can be a dip and as with stocks, "buy the dip". General trend over the 10+ years I've run the site is up and if viewed as investments (I don't it's a collection for my enjoyment) every single purchase I have made is well over the dream 8% return (8% doubles every 10 years). Still buying when I spot something to fill a gap in the collection, but maybe not at the rate I was a few years ago. The items I'm buying now are higher priced, like a 1903 Springfield, so that helps temper the rate compared to buying interesting Mosin Nagants at Big 5 for $50 (actually picked up a hex receiver M44 for $50 at Big 5 years ago for $50!).

Another thing that will contribute to a slow down long term is a lack of youth getting into the hobby of collecting and shooting in general. So much easier to play a video game than all the work for hunting or even shooting for fun and cleaning firearms after the fun is over. Not my kids (to brag a little), who enjoy "hiking with guns" as my son calls hunting up until the point we find the animals and harvest to feed the freezer. Very few want to do all the work necessary to harvest their own food (and we smoked some excellent elk steaks last weekend and elk shisk-b-bob this weekend!). Collecting and learning the history is a hard thing to get some kids into and it is fun but hard work to learn. If I do ever let people see my collection, their first word (after wow...) is "arsenal" as that is how they have been conditioned to react through popular culture. It takes a while, but eventually everyone I trust to view the collection comes away with somethng like "it's a historical collection". Just recognize it's harder to collect and learn vs. pushing (monkey-click) a single button on an iPad until you get a dopamine rush. I feel it's better to work to know what you are looking at, and after maybe years of reading and learning find "the one" and bring it home, clean and shoot. Quite possibly, given the ammo situation, you'll have to buy dies and reload some new caliber, find a new powder, and a new diameter projectile to make the ammo to shoot a new find (maybe even fire-forming brass...)! That's a lot more work and time than downloading a new game.

I see the same with collector cars, kids just are not into it. Sure, there will be a demand for Mustangs and Corvettes for a while, but once the boomers die off I expect a slump. Who wants to hunt for, find and restore a 1967 AMC Marlin (one-off year for the body and parts are made of unobtanium!), or any other wonderful odd-ball? Car show attendance is down and the stuff that is coming is much more standard and has a narrow focus. I stopped attending mixed shows when people started sitting on the fender of one of my odd cars to take a picture of a 70s Mustang painted plum-crazy (a Mopar color) and telling me that Mustang was "restored".

Plus there are space concerns. To live like we do now, single-family, detached home, lawn to mow and maintain, with space to hold and display a collection, would require a huge investment. You'd be working for your house for years (maybe your entire career) to pay it off before you could play. We accepted that there would be some "wage-slave" years and that retirement would bring comfort, time to spend with kids, travel more and grandkids and enjoy hobbies. That deal is actively being destroyed. Look around in the cities and see all the apartments being built. The sprawl may have been unsustainable, but every day looks more and more like a dystopian movie (like Soylent Green, if not a more modern version).

Ugh, that's a downer. I'm going to go reload some odd caliber now and focus on some future fun shooting some old rifle soon.
 
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