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Old July 7, 2021, 11:07 PM   #1
baddarryl
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Value of S&W Box and Papers Going Forward

Hi Everyone. I am on the lookout for a SW Model 17. Presently looking at a 17-3 that is 98% clean with the box and a holster. Unsure of papers, tool etc. I am seeing the same models with all the candy for about $1500 +-. This one is $1100. I am wondering if a matching box with the correct goodies is really worth that much more. Since I am looking more at a semi collectors piece (I will shoot it) I am thinking it may be as I will pass it down. I am tempted to go that way, but am wondering if that would be stupid compared to the 17-3 that is local. Thanks.
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Old July 7, 2021, 11:33 PM   #2
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Obviously a box and papers firearm will be worth more than one that does not include said items. For your standard firearm this doesn’t add a huge premium. A Ruger LCP with box and papers isn’t that much more than without. For a more collectible items it can matter a great deal. For an original registered magnum it would be a huge deal. The firearm you’re asking about falls in between those two on the spectru

It’s hard to predict firearms value going forward. I don’t know how much all those goodies will be worth 40 years from now. Certainly one day they will be worth a great deal. Still, personally, I can say I would go with the firearm I can physically inspect with just a non matching box over the one that is nearly 40% more for papers and matching box that I can’t inspect before purchase. That’s just me, I couldn’t bring myself to do it so long as the local one looks pretty good.
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Old July 8, 2021, 03:43 AM   #3
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Well, collectable values can be difficult to predict and can change quickly. I always keep everything that comes with a gun, but honestly can't say having the stuff would motivate me to pay more for a used gun I was buying.
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Old July 8, 2021, 09:26 AM   #4
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My (and many other's) rule of thumb is the original box on a collectible S&W such as the Model 17 adds $100 to it's value. $1500 for a Model 17 is just plain crazy. You may be seeing them advertised at that price, but they're not selling at that price. Just MHO.

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Old July 8, 2021, 10:51 AM   #5
baddarryl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USSR View Post
My (and many other's) rule of thumb is the original box on a collectible S&W such as the Model 17 adds $100 to it's value. $1500 for a Model 17 is just plain crazy. You may be seeing them advertised at that price, but they're not selling at that price. Just MHO.

Don
Yes its just from a few looks on GB. I haven't really researched them a whole lot. The local one at $1100 has been sitting in the shop at least a year. Tends to make me believe it is too expensive as well. It's in very nice condition and they don't pop up every day which makes me curious why it hasn't moved. What would you guys say is a fair range for a very clean, but not perfect earlier 17-x? I want one. Thanks.
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Old July 8, 2021, 12:16 PM   #6
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The last 17 I bought a few months ago at a LGS went for $650 and I felt that was a tad high. No way I would go for those prices. They're good guns, but,IMO, they aren't THAT good to demand that price.
As to the box, the older the gun, the more valuable the box, tools, etc. become. I have seen boxes from the 30s and 40s go for 300 without the gun........
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Old July 8, 2021, 12:46 PM   #7
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It's worth it as a collector item.

Is a 17 worth that much? No way. Agreed FITASC.

I mean..how much can it appreciate? While not a -3, the 17 is in production as a Masterpiece which means anyone but a collector would reasonably just by new.
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Old July 8, 2021, 04:13 PM   #8
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Model 17’s exist in a group that I haven’t found a good name for yet, but this group includes the 28-2, the 39-2, Model 14 (especially the 14-3), all Model 10’s, Model 66 (especially the 66-2) and WHAT links all these particular ones together?

These guns were absolutely top-notch fantastic in the role for which they were intended… so much so that when they were new, people just bought and bought them and S&W made more and more and the market ate those up also.

Ultimately, I’m saying that collectible value certainly exists however that crazy and sometimes extremely powerful “collector” factor is held firmly in check simply by the massive production and ubiquitous nature of a gun so darn good that so darn many were made because the market kept buying them.

Short version? The Model 17 (especially the 17-3) is a fantastic revolver that (pre-2020) is worth more than it’s market price because there is far less collectible value tied to it. It’s less collectible because they made a zillion of them.

A solid Model 17, not mint but high condition, no box and before the dash-6 variant (where they changed halfway through dash-6 to full barrel underlug and combat stocks) was a $600-$700 gun. Before the market went $tupid.

If you want to find the most shooting value in a Model 17 and spend the least to do it, find a 17 in high condition with no box AND missing it’s original wood stocks. Many 17’s came with Magna stocks anyway, which are pretty awful in most people’s shooting hands. The 17’s with walnut or goncalo alves target stocks likely cost more and they should as those stocks are very usable and they have value all on their own whether on or off the revolver.
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Old July 8, 2021, 04:54 PM   #9
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It's a crazy world out there in collector land.
How crazy? Take a read at a couple old threads about boxes:

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...ht=counterfeit

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...ounterfeit+box
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Old July 8, 2021, 05:32 PM   #10
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Star Wars action figures. Everyone bought a million of them. Basically worthless because you can buy them brand new in box on ebay for the same price 20 years ago. The quantity of them on the market is unreal. They will never have value.

How the used market stays so high in guns...I mean I like that it is so unreasonablet because it probably keeps everyone safe to have a high entry cost to a weapon...outside of features and desired version, the difference between new used? Less than 2 boxes of ammo. Why not go brand new and have an actual warranty.

I would think revolvers wouldn't be something to consider investing in too much. Think how long the baby boomers will be around. Not that much longer. Probably hold almost all of the revolvers out there. Is there demand after they pass on? Not really from millennials like myself (generalizing, but accurate).

But to the OP, yes, if mint and with box, that's valuable to someone who is already buying higher than reasonable.
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Old July 8, 2021, 06:01 PM   #11
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The handful of NIB guns I've bought, I threw the box and paperwork away. I have too much junk anyway.

I suspect most buyers do the same thing, which is what makes the paraphernalia valuable to collectors.
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Old July 9, 2021, 07:36 PM   #12
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If I wasn't that much interested in collecting hard to find, exquisitely made, S&W .22 revolvers that I might be afraid of shooting and thereby reducing its value to collectors, I'd get the Model 617; a fine gun its self if not one that's "collectable" at the moment. Yep, that's what I'd do-and did.
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Old July 10, 2021, 05:23 PM   #13
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I bought a 98% 17-3 with TH, TT, unoriginal but very nice-fitting diamond magnas from the 1960's, no box, no papers. It shoots like a dream and is a joy just to hold; the craftsmanship is at another level.

I paid $700 about 6 years ago, maybe a little high for that time but I never regretted it for a minute. My search for a great .22 revolver was over. I would rate it at 97%+ condition even after several thousand rounds because it looks the same as the day I got it.
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Old July 13, 2021, 01:42 PM   #14
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Not enough info. I’ve got a couple S&Ws. With K-22 you get into 5 screw, 4 screw, 3 screw and then dropping pinned barrel, ect. $1000 is to much for hi condition shooter -3 and newer. NIB maybe. I have several with boxes and a couple NIB. To me Gun is collector grade or shooter. When the box don’t match and grips aren’t original it’s a minus to me. The only S&W I own without original grips is first brand new one I got in 1964. I bought target grips and Magnas are in the wind, m17 by the way.
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Old July 13, 2021, 05:06 PM   #15
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Better to have the papers & box than not for future valuation.
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Old July 13, 2021, 05:59 PM   #16
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I personally don’t give a rats backside about a cardboard box. It’s what is in the box that matters as I buy guns to shoot and nothing else. My 17-3 came in a cardboard box. Bought it from a friend for $265 in apparent NIB condition. I no longer have the box as it became oil stained but I really don’t care about that. It goes bang and hits where it’s aimed. My NIB 617 has its own plastic box, so does that matter?
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Old July 14, 2021, 02:33 AM   #17
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My NIB 617 has its own plastic box, so does that matter?
Just sayin’
In 20, 30, 40, 50 + years it might. Possibly even sooner. But, tis only money.

I never took care of the boxes or made any special attempt to preserve them, either, for decades. Then I see people who are collecting, and who pay more for the same thing if it has the (or a) proper box.

If resale value is ever on your list there are people who will pay more for a more complete package than they will for just the gun alone. The older and less common the gun gets, the more the box and papers and accessories are worth.

No matter if the gun is heavily used, the closer it is to the way it left the factory, the more a collector will pay. And, its also about rarity. The box and especially the manual and other paper and any tools frequently get separated from the gun and lost, so having those all together with the gun adds to the value because its rare.

One of my pistols, just having the original factory manual added $125 to the value and that was over 20 years ago, so i imagine its more than that, today.

Collectors are funny people, I know, I are one, about some things...
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Old July 14, 2021, 02:37 PM   #18
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Howdy

I can't tell you the number of times I have closed the deal on a used revolver, only to have the shop owner say, "I've got the box in the back".

In other words, the presence of a box was not advertised, and the fact that it was in the back room did not raise the price one single dollar.

Case in point: I stole this Model 14-3 a few years ago for $500. After the deal was arranged, the shop owner told me to wait while he got the box from out back.






Same story with this Model 27. Not advertised with the box, the box did not influence the price at all.






Three Screw Ruger Single Six with box and ammo. The extras did not influence the final price.






Flat Top Three Screw Ruger 357 Magnum Blackhawk with box and papers. Price not influenced by all the goodies.

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Old July 14, 2021, 03:29 PM   #19
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Those are gorgeous, Driftwood but while your evidence is real and tangible, it is also anecdotal.

If you ran two auctions on Gunbroker of otherwise equal guns, same seller, same effort in to description, the truth would bear out every single time.

Yes, for plenty of buyers, the presence of the box means little or nothing. I won’t argue with that. However, guns that include the original box, documentation and accessories do NOT sell for less because these items were included that bloat the sale and force the buyer to carry unwanted junk home along with the handgun he was chasing.

How much does box/goodies add? Depends greatly and would need to be assessed on a case by case basis of course. But while you show us a myriad of beautiful guns that you bought where the box absolutely did not affect the sale/price in any way, I will note that it appears that you didn’t throw away that extra stuff that isn’t a beautiful revolver.
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Old July 14, 2021, 03:45 PM   #20
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Two guns, identical in every regard as to type and condition, one with the original box and one without. I suspect 9 out of 10 guys would opt for the gun that comes with the box. No doubt in my mind that the box adds value. How much is debatable.

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Old July 14, 2021, 04:16 PM   #21
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I agree with Sevens and USSR. It doesn't matter how insignificant or ridiculous the worth of a box might be to some (or most) gun owners; it does matter to collectors and there's a good chance that throwing a box away is the same as throwing money away.
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Old July 14, 2021, 04:48 PM   #22
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If you went to buy a used car, would you look at if the owner had washed it before you came to look at it? A fella that keeps the finish in top shape is likely to have cared for the motor, too.

The fella that keeps his boxes is likely to take good care of his hardware.

That's not to say if you don't keep the box it's a sure sign of neglect, but having the box is a signal. It feels good to get a gun in the box, with the papers, just as if you bought it new.

If your goal is to use the heck out of that gun and never sell it, the box doesn't matter. It's a marketing tool and good thing to have when you ship the thing to the new owner. It's worth money, when it comes time to sell. An extra ten percent? Certainly more for an unfired collectable. (Guns is for shooting, not sitting in the safe! Go shoot it!)
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Old July 15, 2021, 08:27 AM   #23
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If you watch the handgun market on GunBroker long enough, you'll see that those advertised with boxes and papers sell for higher $$$ than those that don't.
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Old August 5, 2021, 07:38 AM   #24
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40 years ago the first thing I would do is toss the box .Lol
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Old August 5, 2021, 08:18 PM   #25
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How much does box/goodies add? Depends greatly and would need to be assessed on a case by case basis of course. But while you show us a myriad of beautiful guns that you bought where the box absolutely did not affect the sale/price in any way, I will note that it appears that you didn’t throw away that extra stuff that isn’t a beautiful revolver.
Of course I didn't throw away the boxes. I like original boxes, its part of being a collector. Here are a few boxes I have accumulated over the years.






I still have the boxes and all the goodies that came with my S&W Model 17-3 and Model 19-3 when I bought them brand-spanky new in 1975. So clearly way back then I liked boxes or I would have thrown them away. I paid $125 for each of those revolvers back in 1975. What would they be worth with the boxes today? No idea and I don't care.








I have bunches more boxes, those are just a few. No, I won't pay a lot for an old box.




This 2nd Gen Colt came with the box and all the goodies a couple of years ago. The box is a little bit beat up, but not too bad. Did I pay more because of the box? I kind of doubt it. I just checked Gun Broker, Colt prices are all over the place. I paid about the same amount for this SAA with the box that most are going for without any box. As a matter of fact, one clown is asking $375 just for that box alone. Good luck with that.

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