I hope things change but I’m afraid “the old days” of milsurp are done. My buddy has the license but …no availability with current politics.My buddy is the importer that brought in 9 million rounds of 7.65x54R and many of the Mosins and the Russian K98’s. I had crates of them in the day. Just sold the last 91 Tula. $475
Value is always part of the equation, but when you bought your collection was that the reason? I would keep your collection as long as it interests you, and your financial needs are met. I don't see prices dropping, but who really cares what the next generation will collect anyway.Price is relative. When I started collecting in the 90s, my salary was less than half of what I would be earning today. Ten times that from 1971, when I started. Admittedly, though, the Turkish Mauser I bought for $20, is worth more than double the money. But times change. The passing of those who drove the Western/Civil War boom also collected Model Ts and other 30s/40s cars, which now are a drug on the market. A diminishing return passed on to their descendants.
We collect what interests us, what we grow up with. Being 77 now, I grew up on westerns and WW1 vets (relatives). Later on there were WW2 vets and Combat on TV. Later generations had Nam and then Middle East vets, who used M-16s. Explains why us geezers collected WW1 and WW2 weaponry and the next generations are into black rifles. Which probably means I should sell all my wooden stocked rifles soon.
I've been scouring the listings for a good many years longer than you have and I've noticed the same thing. The number and quality of military collectibles seems to have nosedived in the last couple years. The prices have gone up a bit, but the big difference to me is how much harder it is to find many things. I don't know if its that people want to hang on to them at a time of high inflation or what it is, but the higher end collectibles are much fewer and further between than they were.I've noticed the more time goes on, there's less and less coming up for sale, especially quality stuff. I've been scouring listings for over 2 years now for an exceptionally nice 1925-1928 Tula ex dragoon, and while there are some that come up for sale, there's always something wrong with them. Either they'll have electro penciled or mismatched numbers, have a wartime or postwar stock, have awful flaking lacquer or be refinished/sanded, be pitted or counter bored, have a poorly struck/dull rollmark, ect. ect. I have seen quite a few Izhevsk that meet the same criteria in the last 2 years, although not many lately. Have y'all been experiencing the same with searches of items your looking for?
Out here in the Southwest we have noticed the same at gun shows and in private collection liquidations. The one trend we note is this: classic collectibles are now monetized. We are seeing professional buyers snapping up unique collectibles at premium prices for folks who are not your run of the mill C and R collector. My group, Mohave Arms Collectors Assn pretty much covers the shows here in the Southwest. We have major collectors as members and they are reporting this trend back at our meetings. Classical firearms are now joining classic cars, art, collectibles from sports and entertainment as a place to hide 'value' as inflation eats away at your dollars. Some are beginning to think of their collections as a safer investment than their IRA/401k.Collectable milsurps have dried up, there is no doubt about that.
It is sad to say, the only way to get really nice additions to your collection today, is from another collection that is being sold off.
My last three purchases (over the last two years!), have been from the collections of people I know who have been selling their collections off. Sadly, that is the way it is, and will be until if and when another cash of milsurps is imported. I do not hold my breath on that happening.
I've been looking for one actually since 2009-2010 or so, back then, I remember seeing some WOW examples of '25-'28 Tulas. I was in high school at the time though, and back then they were going for about $250-300 or so, a regular 91/30 was $100-150. All I could scrape together at the time I used to get a 1935 Tula in a laminate stock (keep in mind the recession was particularly bad here). I hadn't started looking for one again until the spring of 2019 off and on, but since early 2020, I've been looking about 3-5 times a week. I missed the boat when a large batch of early Tulas came in late 2016, and now it's like they never even existed, except for the lesser examples. I actually had a 1926 Tula from when I bought a guys collection in August of 2020, but I sold it because the bluing wasn't great, nasty import mark, and rough looking wartime stock. Nowadays the problem isn't that I can't afford one, it's you can't even find 'em.A Tula Dragoon from that date range and with your requirements was going to be a hard find anyway-even years ago.
I still find deals but my collecting style is more, “I know a bunch about milsurps, let’s see if something got overlooked at this pawn shop…” In other words, I’m not picky in the least. Last thing I bought at a store was a Turk Mauser (former Gew. 98, rebarrel and refurbed after WWII) because it was $250.
What you say is happening today, I don't see it changing. The wives and kids aren't usually selling the guns themselves, they take them to the local gun stores. The stores have waiting lists, or they can go on GB. If the collection is particularly large it gets auctioned. There are some that go to relatives, and those can end up at shows or pawn shops. Some guys want to sell them now so the wife doesn't dump them, and get pennies on the dollar. It's just that the market is growing. The people that are buying as an investment, are the examples that surface most often because they are collectors for a different reason than most us here.The boomers have the most money of any generation currently, and consequently they also own the most toys. They have the most buying power of any group, and if they're not interested in selling a finite resource then your odds have become quite a bit worse. It will take a lot of them shuffling off the coil to release what is in private hands. The youngest of that generation is 58, so my guess is in the next 10 years or so a lot of milsurps will find their way back into the market when wives and kids don't want to fool with dad's collection.
Those same cheapos who bring up prices from 5+ years ago as the reason "ur overpriced" wouldn't dare sell you any of their stuff for 5 years ago pricing.. Bottom line is they want/expect a deal and like a spoiled child that didn't get the toy they wanted, they'll throw a hissy and think by making passive aggressive comments will get the seller to say "you know what.. you seem super upset, tell you what, let me sell you this at 2015 pricing because you're so special."maybe many rifles in good shape taken off the market cause people want to pay 1982 prices. guys get disgusted end the ad and put them away rather then deal with the shysters and lowballers. nobody wants to pay a fair price even. they act like the women on Bridezilla. they want total perfection for junk prices. I will be putting up some rifles to see how long I can take it lol
Nice gun! I was briefly interested in Carcanos -- until I found out how difficult it was to find ammo and reloading components for them.