With good deals on collectible guns seemingly dried up, we look into what, if anything, is out there that is still obtainable for the average collector.
To get some insight into that, we spoke with our own Mark Sims, our senior firearms buyer who spends time crisscrossing the country to find gems in the raw in the above video. While the days of $39 Mosins, $99 SKS rifles and $250 Colt Pythons are long gone, there are still deals to be had if you know where to look.
Below is more detail into what is still around at prices that you won’t have to get a second mortgage to obtain.
WWII-era Combat Handgun Designs
With Civil War-era revolvers and Great War period handguns taking up the top shelf in many collections, increasingly the focus is turning to the pistols of World War II. In the 1950s, surplus Lugers and Nambus were sold via mail-order in shootable condition for as little as $49. Today, while Lugers are still out there, by all means, they start well north of $1K.
However, without having to spend Luger money, budding collectors can still bring home a wartime Walther P-38 for a good deal less.
Alternatively, guns pressed into service like the Astra 300, FN 1922 and CZ E7 39 can be had for much less. Although older designs, martial revolvers like the M1895 Nagant are still often priced below $500.
The days of barrels and crates full of Mausers, Enfields and Springfield 1903s taking up floorspace at your LGS have faded away alongside the likes of black & white television and conservative Democrats. However, don’t let that scare you off such guns even at today’s prices alongside the more humble Mosin M91 variants as there are still some exceedingly good models out there that haven’t met with bubba’s Dremel tool and rattle can.
Old Smith & Wesson wheelguns made in the classic mid-20th Century format with pinned-and-recessed barrels and cylinders as well as deep bluing are readily available for those who are seeking them out. However, as the supply of these old roscoes grows shorter than the crowd of eager shoppers haunting gun shops looking for them, prices have been rising.
An often-overlooked area of gun collecting is in the first generation of firearms that incorporated polymer and synthetics in place of wood and steel along with futuristic styling to create what today are now classic designs. These “space-age” or “atomic” era guns were unlike any other firearm in the local sporting goods or hardware store at the time they hit the market and were often snapped up and given hard service.
This means that nice examples of guns like the supersonic-looking Whitney Wolverine, or polymer-stocked Remington Nylon 66 are sometimes hard to come by today– but when you do find those cherry examples, they are a solid bet for future collectibility.
These guns and nearly a hundred other hand-picked specimens are showcased in our Collector’s Corner, a dedicated space where we gather the most curious, interesting and rarest firearms in the Guns.com Vault for those looking for something special.