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Old August 2, 2017, 08:48 PM   #1
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I might have missed the C&R gravy train.

hello all,
I've been thinking about rounding out my collection as of late with either a 1903A3 to complete my American WWII collection or an arisaka type38 to round out my japanese collection but everywhere I look, where they are available, people are asking pretty steep amounts for them. all of the gunbroker auctions I have bid on for the arisaka have reserves set above what 3 years ago would have been considered exorbitant. locally when I asked a fellow selling his A3 for $800 if it was all manufacturer correct parts he basically called me a moron and said I would be lucky to find one for less than $1800...

... did I miss something or are people just being greedy right now?

also, are there any C&Rs besides mosins that are currently selling for "decent prices"
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
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Last edited by tahunua001; August 2, 2017 at 10:54 PM.
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Old August 3, 2017, 07:54 AM   #2
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I don't think I would pay $1800 for two 03A3s; I see nice ones in the $650 to $800 range all the time.
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Old August 4, 2017, 08:20 AM   #3
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No way to know.
Old war rifles have gone from scrap steel to diamonds in the last decade or so.

I have to laugh when I hear "they aren't making any more of them" as the reason prices keep going up. That was the case 50-60 years ago when countless thousands were bought and sporterized. Now, they're "priceless pieces of history"- and granted, some are.

Fact is, "collectors" now find them in vogue. My business/financial education also suggests to me that many are being bought as investments as anyone that needs to do something with their cash is searching for yields. Bloated stock market? Housing prices back to all time highs? Near (or at) zero interest from banks? Heck, rifles look like a good bet!

Only time will tell whether this is a bubble, or whether buyers keep sending prices higher. It won't stop, until the prices hit a point where buyers say "no mas".

The Mosins are a good point, as most know I specialize in them. Fewer for sale from distributors; my personal belief is that some may have "overpaid" for stock during the height of popularity- and now that prices have dropped (or at least stabilized at around $200 or so) they're holding them in the hopes prices go up again. The price stabilization is due to the lack of cheap surplus ammo which was a hot selling point for the rifle- as soon as that dried up, prices and demand were affected.

Until the 2007 collapse, it was "fact" that housing prices could never decline. Never had in the past, never would. No "bubble", there...

History repeats itself. Look out below.
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Old August 4, 2017, 10:51 AM   #4
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Supply and demand economics. As the population grows more people get into guns and there are less and less of these old guns to go around. Also the used market fluctuates on how much people are willing to pay.

A lot of people during the past handful of years saw all gun prices increase so they stocked up and sold at a higher price. Because people bought at a higher price they are still trying to sell it for profit. Since then, the "new" gun prices have decreased significantly because people are not buying so the manufacturers/wholesalers/distributors/ffl's have priced accordingly. Unfortunately the C&R's have taken there toll throughout the panic because they "were" lower priced. Now everyone expects to receive a higher dollar value for them and since this is mostly universal, it will be difficult to purchase at prices from even several years ago.

We all saw it originally with the Python, Woodsman, etc. They were highly sought after, so they were more expensive. Now you see it with the guns people didn't expect to, even to the point of doubling within a handful of years, M1 Garand, 1903, Mosin, SKS, ect. 8 years ago I saw all of these for half the "usual" asking price today.
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Old August 4, 2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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I think all milsurp rifles are too expensive. I understand some guys collect them and will pay to have a collection. From a function standpoint it's ludacris to spend $800 on a 100 year old piece of wood and metal.

When mosins were $69, sks $99, mausers $150, it made sense to me. Im a younger guy so maybe my perspective differs.
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Old August 6, 2017, 06:09 PM   #6
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As you get older, history takes on a whole new meaning.

So the demand has gone up and the prices with it.

They don't make those guns no more, plain and simple.

Never will again.

Its not just metal and wood, its a piece of history you are buying.
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Old August 8, 2017, 09:32 PM   #7
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well I just did my part to drive the value even higher... just won a bid for a type 38 Arisaka for almost double what I would have been willing to pay 4 years ago.. now I have a whole new bag of questions.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
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Old August 12, 2017, 01:24 PM   #8
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As I said, they "weren't making any more" 50 years ago; when the brave soldiers that used them paid a fraction of what the prices are now (even adjusted for inflation), sporterized them into hunting and target rifles they could use and it was NEVER considered "blasphemy" at the time.

I think it's ludicrous to consider every old military rifle made as some piece of history to be protected at any cost. Rare ones, of course. But pricing has gotten ridiculous.

While the true "collectibles" will always be so (and their values will continue to rise) ,the rest of the junk that's passed off as valuable today will sink like a rock. SMART buying/collecting is always a good investment. It's just that in these times, seems there is often total disregard for condition and rarity.

We'll see what happens to the prices of Turk and 1916 Spanish Mausers when the next recession hits.
JMHO, time will tell but my $ is betting that many will indeed drop back to "just wood and metal" prices.
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Old August 18, 2017, 06:29 AM   #9
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Collectors just now find them in vogue? For some of us milsurp rifles have always been in vogue. The fact is the average gunowner doesn't know much about milsurp rifles. The evidence is in the Remington and new England westinghouse mosin nagant chop jobs I find at the gun shows. So excuse me if I don't trust someones opinion on what is or isn't collectable. Lets face it, in general young people aren't collecting anything because they cant afford it.
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Old August 18, 2017, 12:46 PM   #10
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"...they "weren't making any more" 50 years ago..." No '03A3's made since 1944ish. That's 73 years ago. Ditto, I think, for Arisakas(none made since 1944 either). Whole thing is a supply and demand thing. The supply is low. The demand is high. Moreso for any W.W. II vintage rifle in decent condition. So if you want either in decent condition, ya gotta pay.
"...all manufacturer correct parts..." Most existing milsurps were made that way by somebody with too much time and money. Doing it does not increase the value as the thing will still be a rebuilt but not an arsenal rebuilt. Problem is the assorted nefarious types who do it and claim the thing is "original".
"...stabilized at around $200..." More like $300ish based on Gunbroker prices.
"...milsurp rifles have always been in vogue..." Yep. Commercial hunting rifles are all pretty much the same. Boring.
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Old August 19, 2017, 11:04 PM   #11
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Trying to build military weapon collections today will require a great deal of searching for nice non import marked copies and a great deal of moola to purchase them. My first Colt 1911 came from DCM for 15.00 delivered, CMP will most likely sell the pistols in storage ( when approved by Congress) for $1000 for the lowest grade and rising to astronomical levels for those that go to auction.
Even foreign weapons have just about run their course with the NATO bunch chopping surplus rather than selling to US importers and WWII supplies about exhausted. Weapons are still available through Gun Broker and others but cheap they will not be.
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Old August 19, 2017, 11:09 PM   #12
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My Nagant revolvers and my Mosin Nagant rifles have gone up over double and in some cases triple of what I paid for them 4-5 years ago. The ammo too. Name any stock that has gone up that much in the same period? I think the prices are crazy and I have been giving some thought to selling and cashing in, not that that is why I bought them. But sometimes the money just gets tempting with the prices of modern guns going down. Still up in the air as to what I am going to do.
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Old August 25, 2017, 08:31 PM   #13
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First things first.

C & R means, basically, any gun over 50 yrs old. Heck , pretty soon that will include those Remington Nylon 22's. There are tons of American made guns that are now C&R. Sure not every dealer will recognize your C&R license, however there are many that will.

On a side note, about 30 yrs ago I was looking at an old Ford tractor , might have been an 8N. It was about $400. Decided to pass, too much! Well, since then, locally there has been a group of doctors, dentists, lawyers, whatever, buying these old Ford's, paying a friend of mine to refurbish them and paying another friend to take them to a tractor show, so they can parade around with 'their' tractor... and they try to sell them for 4K to 5K. Hey, guys , it's still the same old 8N.
Same thing with guns.
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Old August 26, 2017, 08:40 AM   #14
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I dont think people are greedy. Its supply and demand. There are fewer surplus rifles now and the demand has sky rocketed.

The biggest cause of the increase in demand is the CMP Shooting Games. Every since 1996 when the Army's DCM was turned over to civilian Management, the program was expanded. The Army was limited to yearly Defense Budgets for their programs, the CMP wasn't (isnt) tied to the federal budget, funded instead by sales of surplus rifles and related equipment.

Instead of just matches using the current service rifles, the CMP went to Garand Matches, Springfields, other Military Rifle Matches, Carbines, etc.

This got more shooters involved and these shooters needed the old surplus rifles to compete.

Most when attending the CMP GSM Games dont just shoot one match, but all or most of them. I take a pickup full my self, shooting the Garand, Springfield, MIlitary (with a M1917 or US Krag), Carbine and Vintage Sniper Matches.

When I figure out scheduling better I'll add in some vintage Pistol Matches also.

I'm just one person. Thats a 5 rifle requirement. Think about the hundreds of shooters and the numbers going up every year.

So the numbers of available rifles is decreasing so prices will go up. They arnt going to go down. I bought my first Garand for $112.70, my last one in Dec for $630 last Dec. The lowest price I see now on the CMP Site is $750.

Wasnt long ago I bought a Mosin for the then common price of $99. Look at them now.

In the late 60s, the Springfield Trapdoors in this area (Eastern Wyoming/Western South Dakota) were a dime a dozen. When I moved back after 22 years in Alaska I had to pay $800 plus for a good quality Mode 1873 Trapdoor, more for the older 50-70 Version.

Moral of the story, dont wait, the prices wont go anywhere but up. But we can pretty much say the same thing about everything else.
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Old September 19, 2017, 09:17 AM   #15
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Turk Mausers are probably the best buy, followed by Yugos. American milsurps are outta sight and every time the CMP has anything there's a rush.
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