I collect guns, but I almost never trade or sell one. The only time I really did that was when I bid on a big lot of guns the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was auctioning off in Gainesville, Ga. I think it was in 1993. In those days, confiscated weapons weren't destroyed, they were sold to gun dealers or to the public by sealed bid. There would be a batch of guns, and you had to take them all, you couldn't cherry pick.
I saw this lot going on the block. There was a nice M-1 Garand, some Italian Single Action Army Clones, three Ruger Vaqueros , a Smith and Wesson Model 10 with brushed satin finish, some other vaguely desirable guns and then a scattering of Saturday night specials. I bid $3000, got the winning bid, and I still have all the guns except the low end ones, which I traded to the general store where I worked some weekends for a really nice Smith and Wesson revolver.
I did trade a gun to a Brit who lived down in Florida. I had a Randall M1911. Randall made the first ever stainless steel Model 1911 and this was one of them. They were only in business from June of 1983 to May of 1985. The company produced 24 different models, in different chamberings, so there were never many of the guns. Total production of all variants was about 9000 pieces.
I just picked up the Randall really cheap, because at the time they weren't all that big a deal, and what's more, there were rumors that the slides bound up sometimes because of the stainless steel. I don't know if that is true or not, but it made me wary of the pistol. This British fellow came in the store, and we were talking. I mentioned the Randall and he wanted to know if I would sell it. I said no, but I might trade for something nice. He said he had a new in the box Italian made Beretta 92 with the rare grayish finish, and he would trade that.
I told him that he was getting the dirty end of that stick, but he said he would be happy to do the deal. So we exchanged FFL's ( I should have perked up my ears when he had his dealers FFL on him) but he was happy and so was I.
I sent the gun to his dealer, and his dealer sent the Beretta to my store. Everybody was happy. It was only years later that I learned the Randalls had become super collectible and were now highly sought after. But like the old Mammy said " a deals a deal." Besides, I was interested in shooters, and didn't trust the Randall. He was a collector, and didn't care how it performed. So we both got what we wanted.
But I did learn that I am not a shrewd trader and had best hang on to whatever I get. Also, every time you read a gun magazine, there's an article that starts out " I once had a (insert gun name), but I (traded, sold, it got stolen) and I sure wish I hadn't now."
|Check out the "good people" in this kids drawing.|