That first one is in nice condition, but it's not worth $8,000 with no box, papers, and especially no certificate.
I think the old saying, "the devil is in the details" applies here. This RM does not need a box papers and the certificate to be worth $8k. Mike, I'm not sure if you were implying that THIS example isn't worth it due to what its missing, or if you were implying that a RM in general is not worth $8k without the box papers and certificate.
So, whats the difference between the $5k approx that this one is worth (based on features and condition) and an actual $8k example? Try a 1/4 in. If this barrel was a 5.75in or a 6.25 in gun, both of which are rare, it would probably be a fair price despite the fact that it does not have the certificate, box, etc. Keep in mind, aside from the papers, the original sight adj tool aka SAT aka screwdriver is worth approx $500 today. The SAT for this gun is a standard pre war S&W SAT, but they're rare and sought after today. Reg certificates are rarely found with these. IMO, I'm not sure if the gun would be worth it even with the box papers and certificate, because it is still one of the most common barrel lengths for these, and it does not have the original grips. Although, someone would probably pay the money, because condition and it originality wise, this gun is great IMO. The original grips would SN to the gun, either style, magna or service grips. Factory wrap around targets did not exist before WWII. Original nickel would add significantly to the gun as well. Early examples were sometimes ordered with a factory grip adapter, which if it still had would be of interest. The gun also has a common sight option, and the gun lacks the optional "humpback" hammer. All of this can drastically alter the value, aside from box papers and registration certificate.
This gun does have two interesting things going for it, which are rarely found in RMs: no rework star with original finish (many RMs have been back, at least once) and it has IMO 95%+ of its original finish. Few RMs are in that high of a condition and original finish today. It has its original, yet common barrel length and no one changed the sights either. This much originality is great, putting this one towards the top of factory 6in examples BUT the gun is still a blued 6in example, with no appealing options and its of course without any accessories.
I actually spoke the seller about this gun, before he got the paper work on the gun. I think at the time he wanted $6k or $7k. Early this year I was in the market for a RM, and I liked the originality and condition of this one, but I couldn't pay such a premium for a basic pedestrian
RM, if there even is such a thing. RMs are in demand enough to where if he priced more appropriately, it would have been snapped up by now. Despite the times, and the common features, its nice and original, and some collector with deep pockets would have bought it by now, if the seller didn't add 20%+ just because its a RM.