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Old May 2, 2020, 12:40 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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Blue Book question

The most recent copy I have of Fjestad's Blue Book of Gun Values is 2013. His rating system runs 100%, 98%, 95%, 90%, 80%, 70%, and 60%. The other rating system that I'm more accustomed to seeing is Unfired, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.

Does anyone know how the two systems correlate?
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Old May 2, 2020, 03:21 PM   #2
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Mostly it goes by percentage (and condition) of the original finish.

The old NRA system used the terms Excellent, Very Good, Good, etc., and explains what percentage of finish is in each group.

The Blue Book is an excellent source for identifying guns and different models, but never was that good for prices/values, and especially so now, due to the Internet.

The books always lag a year or more behind the current market, and despite what some people think, every gun is not worth what the book says it is. Some are worth less, and a VERY few are worth more, and it depends on the LOCAL market, though with Internet its a bit less local than it once was.
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Old May 2, 2020, 05:52 PM   #3
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I'm not looking to buy or sell, but I am looking to establish approximate values for insurance purposes.
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Old May 2, 2020, 06:38 PM   #4
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The Blue-Book, is only a start.

My Blue-Book, is out of date but year to year, it makes little difference. In my opinion, the Blue-Book rating is more precise. As you may have noted, it goes into detail of how to translate the percentages. I past years, I have found various firearms that are "out-of-the Book". That means that although the percentage description is correct the pricing is not right or out of date. For insurance purposes, I use the Blue-Book, as a place to start. ……

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 3, 2020, 03:13 PM   #5
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Just don't go by Blue Book prices as the valid replacement cost.

Supply and demand still rule. And demand can be ...variable. Some guns barely change over a multi year period. Others can drastically change nearly overnight.

A somewhat scarce $800 gun, that is featured in a popular movie, can become a $1600 gun before the movie disc gets to Walmart....

As a baseline, the Blue Book is fine, but if you're paying insurance cost to replace the gun you need to know what that cost is, today, not 2-3 years ago, which might be drastically different.

In the mid 70s, you couldn't get (or replace) a S&W M29 at MSRP, thanks to Dirty Harry (1971). S&W's MSRP was still $283.50 (or so) but the wait time for a gun from the factory was 2+ years.

M29s sold for $450 in 76, if you could find someone who had one and was selling it.

in that example, what do you insure the gun for? What the book says (MSRP) or what it will actually bring, if sold?
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Old May 3, 2020, 11:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
in that example, what do you insure the gun for? What the book says (MSRP) or what it will actually bring, if sold?
How do you convince an insurance company that a gun is worth bunches more than what a recognized book says it's worth?

I went through this a couple of years ago with my Jeep. I was in an accident on a highway. Damage came to right around $4,000. Unfortunately the book value was also right around $4,000. In my case, it's a 2000 Cherokee, an extremely rare 5-speed, 4.0-liter (one of only two sold in all of New England in 2000), and it had only 45,000 miles on it. I showed them ads from dealers around the country for similar vehicles with more mileage that were selling for $10,000 but the insurance company was unswayed. The book rules.

I can't image if Fjestad says a Colt Series 70 is worth $1,850 that the fact someone paid $3,000 on Gunbroker last month is going to change the insurance payout.
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Old May 3, 2020, 11:52 PM   #7
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I'm not an insurance guy, so I don't know for certain, but my understanding is there are companies who will write a policy for what ever you want, the difference being what you pay in premiums if you want something that isn't one of their standard packages.

Example, I've got my Grandfather's Ithaca shotgun. Been in the family since 1909. Say book value is $600, if I wanted it covered for that, its standard policy and standard price. IF, because of its sentimental value, I want it covered for $100,000 and I pay them enough money, somebody will cover it at that value, but I'll pay a LOT more than standard.

Might not be, and probably won't be worthwhile cost/benefit wise, but one could do it.

Best thing I can think of, is that if you have something with a unique value NOT listed in the "standard" books, you get that documented six ways from Sunday, if you can, THEN go insurance shopping with that proof in hand and see what each different one offers.

IF you go to one company's agent and they tell you they can't / won't write the policy you want (without even talking price), then you say, "thank you, have a nice day" and look elsewhwere. If its the same company you insure other things with, you might suggest taking that business elsewhere, as well, as leverage. Might not help, but if it doesn't, you're no worse off, right?
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