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Old May 15, 2022, 06:39 PM   #15
FrankenMauser
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: In the valley above the plain
Posts: 12,947
You did well for a Cabela's sale. They typically pay pennies on the dollar.
I have never seen anyone come out so well with Cabela's.

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Modern shooters don't want old shotguns. And the few that do want one or two usually don't care to pay for special or rare variants.
The market has gotten soft, because there isn't much competition.
I recently bought 9 shotguns from a shop in Georgia, at a fixed price of $80 apiece. The owner told me he was no longer going to buy any older, common 12 or 20 ga shotguns, or any 16 ga, and just wanted the rack space. No one buys them in his area. And it isn't much different here. (At the edge of the Rockies.)

I picked up a pristine 1920 Winchester 12 from an auction a few weeks ago for $220. The only other bidder stopped at $200.

Even the guys that *are* interested in old shotguns often don't know much. If I put a Stevens 77, a Winchester 12, and a Meriden on a table, maybe 3 out of 100 "shotgun guys" would recognize more than the Winchester. Even then, at least one of them would say the Meriden was a Winchester.

There just isn't much interest in them any more.
If you pay any attention to the old European SxS shotguns, you'll see a slide there, too. The high end stuff is staying high. But the middle grades and brands, and all of the lower end stuff is dropping. Partly because modern shooters don't want them. Partly because some changes to gun laws and licensing in Europe have shifted interests in their domestic markets, resulting in a lot of the now less desirable guns being exported to the US.

My brother and I have been talking about this a lot recently, and two auctions came up that perfectly illustrated the point.
An auction in PA had a matched set of used but decent and mechanically sound mid-grade Holland and Holland extractor guns close today at $5,200. Well below expected values, especially based on sales 5-10 years ago; but still expensive enough to keep most potential buyers away.
In contrast, a nearly identical set, in even better condition, is in an auction in the UK that ends in about a week. Current bid is £800. No one expects it to exceed £1,300.
UK buyers don't want extractors any more, and simply won't pay for them.

I've been talking with some import/export guys and a couple of dealers that specialize in high end stuff. They all say the same thing: About 80% of the extractor guns and low- and mid-grade guns from desirable makers, that sell at auction in the UK, are being exported to US buyers. About 5% are going to Canada.

Interest has waned, collectors have shifted their focus, and the US (and Canadian) market is being impacted by laws and changing attitudes in the UK and EU.
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