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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Machine guns are cool, and I'm sure you all know that, but are they $10,000+ "cool"? Well, many argue that they are also an investment, which accrues value as time passes. This is something I've been trying to convince myself but have had limited success in objectively quantifying it. Nevertheless, here is a short financial analysis of (entry-level?) firearms that I'm considering buying.

While websites offer historic data on MG prices, they are limited by how one is able to manipulate the data. (i.e account for inflation etc.) Therefore, to also satisfy my nerdy tendencies, I wrote a web-scraper to pull archived price data whose earliest data was from 2008. Unfortunately, I was unable to filter out pre 86 dealer samples, and post 1986 MG. However, they accounted for a small subset of the prices, and I have given lower and upper limits on all data points with a visual comparison to Machine Gun Price Guide. Also, prices were pulled by keywords, therefore "Uzi" also includes mini-Uzi etc...

Inflation was adjusted by using the consumer price index.
DOW stock and gold prices were already adjusted for inflation.

As a reference
ROI Dow Jones Industrial Average (2008-2021): 156%
ROI Gold (2008-2021): 106%

Uzi
Visual Comparison with Machine Gun Price Guide (red line represents 2008 date of DealerNFA earliest archive.)
Rectangle Slope Line Font Parallel

Rectangle Slope Font Plot Line


My archived data appears to generally capture the Machine Gun Price Guide (Especially the high/low in the later years).

Now Adjusted for inflation:
Rectangle Slope Parallel Plot Font

ROI Uzi adjusted for inflation: 68%

Some other entry-level pieces
ROI Ingram M10:75%
Rectangle Slope Font Line Parallel

ROI Sten:48%
Rectangle Slope Plot Line Parallel


In conclusion, entry-level machine guns are in general are worse investments relative to stocks or Gold. But, they appear to be less volatile. Consider how the Dow were impacted in the 2008 recession and 2020 COVID pandemic:[Dow Jones - DJIA - 100 Year Historical Chart]

Any other MG you suggest I look into? Thanks!
 

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The dow looks great right now. You forgot to factor in annual fee's and taxes after your stock sale. I buy and sell an Uzi for cash or trade. Also factor in when you own DJIA stocks what do you hold in your hand? Do you like massive volatility of your values? That volatility controlled by other people with values fluctuating in a market that is fixed where some people can sell at times and prices that you are not allowed to. Where IPO's are offered to a select few and not an open market?
I was buying Uzi's in 2003 for $2200-2600. Still have them. I'm not buying at 15K, but I see some people are. Lots more buying the dow at 35,000. To double your money it will need to hit 70,000. When will that happen? Or will that happen? How much money will have to be printed and dispersed to make that many people spend their money on those particular stocks to drive prices to double?
What no one seems to be buying is US dollars. Taxes are for sure going up.....possibly retroactively to 2020 or before?
It's good to have choices for as long as they last.
I would look into MG's that you like or want to own. Fortunately for me I like them all so when any of them come up for sale it's not that hard to justify so I use the price as a gauge as to whether or not to buy. I don't really like any stocks, so currently I don't own any.
 

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In my over 50+ years as a MG owner, I have handled and fired hundreds of different MGs Some stand out as great guns and others are ones I wouldn't own. The Uzi falls in the latter category. The ones I've shot were "jam-o-matics" (Why do you think the US Secret Service got rid of their Uzis when a better gun came on the market?) Original factory manufactured selective fire Uzis are rare so most of the Uzis on the market modified in some way to make the selective fire. There are semi-autos converted to selective fire in which some conversions are done well and others are questionable. If I was going to buy an NFA registered gun, I would buy one which has NOT been modified after its original manufacture but one was was made initially as a selective fire gun. Also, I would look for one which has some historical significance such as SMGs made from the end of WWI thru the end of WWII. They majority are made from solid steel and not the folded metal type like the STEN or M3 Grease Gun. There are many fine WWII SMGs which are in the price range of Uzis and by going with one of them. you are getting a much better weapon. Just my $0.02.
 

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If your buying for investment only I wouldn’t. If your buying as a hobby that will hold/gain money then i would. The market is at its peak. Not a good time to buy in. A couple of years ago It was in a lull and I bought everything I could find that I didn’t have. I’ve since sold a few I didn’t care for earlier this year. Some I broke even on. Some I made 25-200% on in just 2 years. As far as choosing an Uzi. My first one was such a pos that 4 smiths couldn’t get it to run correctly. My 2nd one is smooth as butter. I recommend a semi conversion as if it doesn’t run its just a simple tweak or parts swap. The receiver is a factory imi and in spec. Group guns are out of spec and warped. I’ve seen more group/vector guns not run than I have seen run well. But others will say that of semi conversions. Mines a Wilson and I’m a big believer that he did good conversions on all his guns. I own a few Wilson’s and friends do also. Not 1 bad word to say. The Uzi is one of the best subguns imo. Top 3 for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are many fine WWII SMGs which are in the price range of Uzis and by going with one of them. you are getting a much better weapon. Just my $0.02.
Thanks for your insight! I have also considered being patient, allocating the funds, and purchasing a Thompson. What are your thoughts?
 

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The Thompson is a good gun. A bit heavy but I've not had any problems with mine since I got it 40 years ago. I think my favorite SMG is the Beretta MP38/42. I got mine from the GI who brought it home and registered it in 1968 Amnesty (The $200 transfer fee was 4 times the price of the gun!) I bought in 1969 and has been a sweet shooting gun all these years.
 

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I bought my first SMG (a Sten MK II tube gun) in 2000 for $1600 and my second (an early Reising) in 2008 for $3900. At the time they were some of the cheapest Class III options available that had some WW2 provenance. I haven't kept up with the market and I bought them to shoot not necessarily as an investment but I'm betting they are worth more now than what I paid for them. I seldom shoot them anymore. It just feels like I'm burning up money everytime I pull the trigger.
 

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I bought my first SMG (a Sten MK II tube gun) in 2000 for $1600 and my second (an early Reising) in 2008 for $3900. At the time they were some of the cheapest Class III options available that had some WW2 provenance. I haven't kept up with the market and I bought them to shoot not necessarily as an investment but I'm betting they are worth more now than what I paid for them. I seldom shoot them anymore. It just feels like I'm burning up money everytime I pull the trigger.
To build off of that, if you're talking strictly investment, you would have to seriously control your shooting. I know if I had an uzi laying around I would drastically reduce my ROI in simply the sheer quantity of ammo I would have run through the thing.
 

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My 100% IMI Uzi Carbine B with full accessories and case are of great value.

So is my IB coded HK 91

So is my Valmet M76 folding stock

So is my Sig 553

So is my Steyr Aug

So is my IMI Galil

So is my 1965 Colt SP1
 

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No. Machine guns in general are terrible investments if you want to shoot them.

“More than what I paid for them” is a bad metric. Check your price point against inflation and against the same investment in $SPY or $VTI or any dividend paying blue chip stock for the same period. Then tell me you made a good investment. It’s all government invented scarcity.
 

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Thanks for your insight! I have also considered being patient, allocating the funds, and purchasing a Thompson. What are your thoughts?
You can't go wrong with a Sten. Tube guns are plentiful and parts are abundant as are mags. The cheap Sten days are over but I haven't seen a bad one.
 

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The Dow jones was at about 11,000 when I got in late 1999. Macs were selling at 7-$900. I bought a few. M14 $3600 S+W 76 $2200 and a whole pile of others. JLM and sons were selling uzi's 5 for $10,000 in the early 2000's Most all have done better than that stock market and I resell (on the rare occasion) for cash. No annual fee's or commissions, taxes, etc. I'll stick with the guns and math. My Colt Thompson on the other hand is a dog, but I knew that going in but was willing to pay just for the pleasure. Made a lot more money on the West Hurley gun I sold.
Inflation hits all asset classes the same if you're dealing in US dollars, so the adjustment is not relevant.
While M11/9 is nothing to look at but a cash cow, I have several others that to me are rare Picasso's in my eye.....and to some other people as well, thus the values are high. Shooting machine guns is a sought after "life experience". Buying and selling stocks brings no joy, which is why you see stock brokers jumping off buildings.
 

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The Dow jones was at about 11,000 when I got in late 1999. Macs were selling at 7-$900. I bought a few. M14 $3600 S+W 76 $2200 and a whole pile of others. JLM and sons were selling uzi's 5 for $10,000 in the early 2000's Most all have done better than that stock market and I resell (on the rare occasion) for cash. […]
I remember those days of Jim McCloud! 😁 I bought my M11/Nine in 1999 also. I paid Dan Shea $550 for it and a Coastal Guns suppressor. (Still have both.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The market is at its peak. Not a good time to buy in.
Does this include the largest influx of new gun owners that the USA has ever seen? I'm almost adamant that their value will skyrocket. Regardless, it's a purchase I'm interested in and to have fun with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Shooting machine guns is a sought after "life experience". Buying and selling stocks brings no joy, which is why you see stock brokers jumping off buildings.
:ROFLMAO:

I guess I came off as a staunch businessman. I'm very much interested in owning a MG for the fun factor. Even if the market crashes, I end up with a MG. Win - Win in my book. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You can't go wrong with a Sten. Tube guns are plentiful and parts are abundant as are mags. The cheap Sten days are over but I haven't seen a bad one.
The latest price for a Sten I have seen (local gun show) was $7k. It may be fun to shoot, no doubt. But I just can't get over their aesthetic (or lack thereof). If I'm already making such a large investment, I rather pay double and buy an UZI.🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I bought my first SMG (a Sten MK II tube gun) in 2000 for $1600 and my second (an early Reising) in 2008 for $3900. At the time they were some of the cheapest Class III options available that had some WW2 provenance. I haven't kept up with the market and I bought them to shoot not necessarily as an investment but I'm betting they are worth more now than what I paid for them. I seldom shoot them anymore. It just feels like I'm burning up money everytime I pull the trigger.
Couple that with the current absurd cost of ammo!
 

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FYI, Uzis are fairly easy to work on, and parts and magazines are currently both plentiful and cheap - something to consider when trying to run and maintain an irreplaceable +36 year old machine gun. Besides, they ain’t getting cheaper.
 
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Sten has been $6-7,000 for many years. While others have doubled in price in that same time. Low end subguns don’t seem to be going up much at all. I think you will be very happy with the choice of an Uzi. If you get one that runs :)

Look into mp40 and sterlings too. A sterling is similar price and a better shooting gun.
 
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