View Full Version : firearms blue book prices
I was at the library the other day and looked through the latest copy of the blue book. Now I realize why on-auction prices are so high and have no grounds in reality. I didn't spend much time looking, but most of the prices I saw in the book were too high. :eusa_wall:
Rick the Librarian
What is even worse than that are the gun sellers who have no idea how to determine what they have, and their WWII mixmaster M1903 is upgraded to a perfect $3000 rifle "because that is what Bluebook says it is".:banana100:
Marine A5 Sniper
Bluebook values seem ridiculously inflated to me. Is this purposeful? If not, why the nonsense?
Marine A5 Sniper
Bluebook values seem ridiculously inflated to me. Is this purposeful? If not, why the nonsense?
one of the guys that puts that book out used to post on the old Jouster, that was a few years ago.
after asking him were he gets the info.
i came to the idea...he,s clueless.
years ago the book was pretty close, but now, its way off base.
i wheel and deal the Gunshows here, and see whats selling, and whats not.
i watch the Auction sites...not the dreamer sites.
and see what sells and what sits and sits..
the average 1903 youll see at any givin show, will sell for 600.00 to 750.00
a rare rifle with history, likely will sell for top dollar, but not to the average guy looking for a shooter 03,
same thing for any of the US weapons..Carbines, Garands, ect.
they are all about the same.
only a well seasoned collector that knows that varation of rifle will lay out over a grand for a nice original 1903, not Joe shooter, that owns a couple AR,s a CMP Garand and a few hunting rifles he,s going to pass that high dollar 03 up, and snag up a nice 650.00 A3 everytime.
I think when most people look at the blue book prices they fail to read the fine print, the part about the the prices being for a firearm that is in original un overhauled condition and to deduct a certain percentage, usually 50% or more if it is not.
The Blue Book like all the rest of the price books is only a guide. A fellow want's to sell me a 99.9% Winchester M1917 and see's the book says $2500 for a 100% rifle and he want's $2K. That is not real in the collector market, $1K is, but he does not understand that is is not an uncommon rifle, only the condition is uncommon and that value is up to the buyer. I just saw a Union Switch 1911A1 with 40% finish and a price tag of $3,200 on it, may follow the book values but it ain't going to happen.
Having perused most of the "books" that purport to represent the current value of second-hand firearms, it appears to me that they all place the onus of actual value on the knowledge of the reader and his ability to establish condition. The raw numbers produced by a quick look do seem to be wildly optimistic. Like the clock in the stag bar, those values must be correct "somewhere". I have carefully inspected each page of the books I own, and I have never found a single dollar tucked between the pages. Value is established by transactions. When the seller and the buyer both mutter "YES" under their breath as they part, you know the value has been pegged. Regards, Clark
I just saw a Union Switch 1911A1 with 40% finish and a price tag of $3,200 on it, may follow the book values but it ain't going to happen.
Was the 40% price of $3200 actually in a Blue Book?
best blue book price comback..
guy offers me a Colt Gold cup, i take a look, good shape, some wear, not abused, figure i can sell it down the road if i dont like it for 1,000.00
offer the guy, 850.00 cash...
he has that i just kicked his dog look on his face, tells me im trying to rip him off!
heck i thought it was a fair price..
says the blue book value is 1500.00, hmmmm.
well, call the guy that wrote the book, and see what he offers..
he walked the rest of the show, then at the end of the day, came back, and asked if id give 1000.00 for the pistol..
no, i made what i thought was a fair offer based on what i see sell at other shows, that, and you pretty much called me a thief, so ill pass.
i just stood dumbfounded.
so i told him to have a nice day....
a couple months down the road, a local pawn shop i do some work for calls me, and asks if i want a nice Colt 1911, for 600.00 cash..
i go to the store,,and behold, its the same, gold cup, they took 500.00
loaned 350.00, the guy never made one interest payment, and let it go.
i still own the pistol, and love it..
the guy should have left the blue book at the store saved 50.00.
and took my offer of 850.00 with a smile.
Marine A5 Sniper
All books must sell and turn a profit or they disappear off the market. Who buys these books?
I understand the 30% or 60% reduction in price for condition, but it is the 100% price that baffles me. They seem way out of line, and I do mean "way". If I could sell my little collection for Bluebook prices discounted for condition, I would buy a ticket for Bermuda tomorrow.
Who buys it? My guess would be beginning collectors who don't have a clue about real world prices. Been there.
Started collecting about 1996. Bought the Blue Book and even brought it to the local show once. Learned that dealers just laughed when I tried to establish the value of something I was tryin' to buy or sell based on the book's info. I learned fast that I needed reference books and real world pricing based on research.
Now I chuckle when a seller pulls out an old copy of the book. About six years ago I bought an antique two inch Colt Lightning .38. All matching, almost all blue and case colored frame. Rare gun and even more rare in fine condition. I knew what it was worth from doing research. Brought it to the local show just to show it to a guy who deals in such arms, wasn't really sellin', just fishin'. First thing the guy said was he would like to own my revolver. Said he could if the price was right. I said twenty five hundred. He whistled and rolled his eyes. He says now wait let me show you something and pulls out a well worn copy of the book. Now I was smilin' and tellin' him that the prices in the book are crazy high or crazy low. He knows. Book had a price like twelve hundred or so. I paid fifteen and it was a good deal. Well he said he couldn't buy it for even two thousand. He was fishin' too. No deal, we parted friends and have been dealin' for years now and he never pulls the book out.
I later sold the revolver to LittleJohn's auctions for two thousand. Bet John sold it for three, or kept it himself.
Moral of the story is that if you wanna' collect firearms ya' need a good reference library and spend the time to find out what the things you want to buy or sell are really worth. The Blue Book and any other mass printed book with firearms pricing is just a crapshoot. Bought my last one in 1999.
Glad this topic came up. Am low on kindling for startin' the backyard fire pit:).
If ya' want a fine copy of the twentieth anniversary Blue Book we can talk. Think the Blue Book lists its value at seventy five but I'll take fifty:).
Death to misinformation,
Your story illustrates perfectly what the Blue Book can be good for. Chartin' a course for hard feelins' between an experienced buyer/seller and one not.
The book will never be mentioned in a deal between a buyer and seller when both have done their homework.
Blue Book values are averages based on prices from all over the U.S. Usually about 2 years out of date too.
No, what I meant was the 3.2K was 95%+ and he I guess thought his 40% was 95%. I am sure looking at the fact he sold nothing off his table of 20 guns that he will continue to be a "collector".
All price books are guides. For one thing, they are always outdated, since it takes a year to edit and print the book. For another, they are partly guesswork; in the absence of known sales, editors often just automatically add x dollars each year.
More importantly, even if the prices are right, they are retail prices. That is, they are what a buyer at a gun show or gun shop might expect to see on a price tag. If the buyer is a dealer or just buying the gun on speculation, those are the prices he wants to sell at, not what he will pay. Too many folks don't realize that and expect a dealer to "pay blue book." Not going to happen.
Also, prices can vary a lot from state to state, show to show, or even table to table. At a recent show I saw a Luger on one table for $2500; an identical gun on another table was $1500. (I didn't look inside either, but the maker, markings and condition were, as far as I could tell, identical.) So which is the "right" price?
Great story chuck. You need to have your own "sea stories" page like Dick. The compressor at Home Depot was my favorite. :evil6: :1948:
my Harbor Frieght commpressor story got even longer..
ill share it sometime...
Larry the Cable guy, works on compressors lol.,
My best, is I was at a gun show, a small one. There was a vendor with only half a table. Not much. But in his glass case was a 191A1. I ask to look at it. Turns out it is 1.63 million s/n range. The slide also matches the serial number. It has a real nice and a great finish. He tells me it is from Viet Nam era because of the parkerization finish. I tell him the serial number places the date of manufacture in 1944 to 45. He refuses to listen to me as I try and tell him the date of manufacture but to no avail. I ask him what he is asking for it. In a firm and slightly angry voice he tells me he will not take a penny less than $675.00. I broke my arm getting the money out and my leg getting out of there.
I still have it.
At one time the Blue Book took prices of what was sold by Gun Show Members/sellers. A friend used to fill out a questionnaire every year for one of the publications. That is why you see some things like military firearms increase in price when others seem to stay the same for decades. No one is selling those firearms, while others are the new fad to buy.
I tend to buy what I like when I have the money. It's getting to the point that I will have to start selling some firearms because I can no longer see the sights, thus can no longer enjoy them.
Ah to be young again
One of the big issues is the accessibility to the data. The internet is a great place to get price ranges. The book is easy to carry around. Not everywhere has access to the internet. But this is changing. The I phone and other internet access goodies are on the market. This will make the book a useless item. Just look at all of the news papers that have gone out of business or cut back printing because of the lack of circulations.
ALVIN LINDEN #1
Page 1... If he is the Seller, whatever he has is worth at least 75% more than the last one you saw, and that one was in better condition, than his!
Page 2... If you are the Seller, whatever you have, he doesn't need but he will give you 20% of what its' worth just because he "may" find a seller for it!
Bottom line value books are wishful thinking. Find someone who's had a bad weekend at a gun show, a bad year in a job, or a bad decade in a marriage and you will be able to cut the price QUOTED IN THE BOOK substantially! Go looking to buy a Dakota 76 "that day" in .270 with marblecaking in the wood and you will find the "SCREW BOOK" of VALUES will be right on the money. Turn that around as a seller... price them at "SCREW BOOK" prices and you will have to live with YOUR GUNS [and this is only if you are very lucky!] until you find someone who is leaving for Zambia next month and still doesn't have a .416, willing to pay your outrageous price [which won't seem like much, compared to the cost of the Safari!!!] or hold on to it and let the law of supply and demand take its' course and, as you pack it up for the umpteenth time a reasonable price or offer begins to look good! Either way it is to the patient buyer or seller that goes the spoils, and oh by the way, remember if you are going to deal in guns you cannot...I REPEAT...CANNOT PAY RETAIL OR ANYWHERE CLOSE TO IT AND SUCCEED. In doing so, it makes a resell at even a break even point almost impossible. Take these few simple rules for what they're offered for...advice, but I am 57 and have rarely lost money on investment firearm's and have had many hours of enjoyment that stocks or bonds could not offer. BEST OF LUCK ALVIN LINDEN #1 aka Jerry:hello:
We have a true 99% plus US&S 1911A1,still with coseline in it. We turned down $6000 for it then $7000 for it. if it was in 40% shape, mebbe,, mebbe it would drag $1400 to a guy badly wanting one for the collection.
By the way, got it from my brother-in-law years ago, he needed money to hire a lawyer to get custody of his youngest daughter, was proud of him then, proud of him now because of it too, toys come toys go, but the important things in life are accomplished.
OFC, Mo. Chapter
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