I have always like Lugers and other early German pistols, as well as Smith's and a few others. These were the basis of my "portfolio". I also was fortunate to be the recipient of a number of firearms from friends and relatives over the years. I was doubly fortunate in that most of these were in excellent condition and were very "collectable". So these weapons are the basis of my Firearm Portfolio:
|Sauer||38H||~1941||7.65 mm (.32 ACP)|
|Inland Division||M1 Carbine||1941*||.30 Carbine|
|Mauser Werke||Mod. 1895||Pre-War||7.63×25mm Mauser|
|Mauser Werke||Mod. 1895||Red 9||9mm|
|Smith and Wesson||Model 1950||1952||.45ACP|
|Smith and Wesson||Model 624||1985||.44 Special|
|Colt||Officers Model||1916*||.38 Special|
|DWM||P .08 Luger||1927||9mm|
|DWM||P .08 Luger||1916||9mm|
|Mauser Werke||P .08 Luger||1938*||9mm|
|Mauser Werke||P.08 Artillery||1917*||9mm|
|UBERTI||S&W #3||Modern||.44 Russian|
The asterisks indicate dates of manufacture that are either on the weapon or have been confirmed by a record search. All are in Excellent condition. The Mod. 1895's are virtually new. The Lugers have some holster wear but are very nice. The point is that any collector of these things would be happy to add any of the examples to his collection.
How has this portfolio performed? Better than my stocks, that's for sure. However, some of the values, while all have grown, have not increased as much as would have guessed. The High Power is only about 15% more than I paid though it is virtually new. The M1 went from (I am embarrassed to say) around $175 to around $1000 (I said "buy smart", didn't I?)
I bring this subject up because of a neat little piece published by our pals at the Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC):
Stocks, Bonds or Barrels by RIAC
It's a good read because if you are shooter and own firearms, you have already invested.
I commented on the piece but will repeat my thoughts here:
Interesting, and in support of what I have been saying for some time. The main thing (aside from the good caveats that you already mentioned) is condition, condition, condition. Buy one fabulous Python (or Luger or Broomhandle or Mauser Pocket Pistol) rather than 5 Fair Condition C&R .45s. The rate of increase for the good stuff will be jaw dropping, the other stuff will appreciate but it may take a lot more time.
I have a rule of thumb: if you buy a firearm intelligently (ie. used, good price etc) you will be, on average, at break even in 12-18 months. In 2-3 years you will show a healthy profit.
Finally, I would encourage people to not think of firearms as speculative investments. The AR boom has come and gone and AR's, unless collectable, are simply ugly tools whose value is fairly stable.
Finally, finally, the question always is "is it too late?". That is should one actually buy a Python at today's prices?. I think so, provided you can get something of a deal. Do your research and try to find one that is reasonably undervalued. Then DO NOT HESITATE: go for it and don't look back.
Another thing. If you start accumulating collectable firearms you have to think about storage. Rather than rattle on, perhaps our friends at RIAC could do a piece on that topic.
Thanks for good information guys/gals.