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View Full Version : How much should I offer for a custom series 70 Colt?


bin31z
08-07-2009, 9:31 AM
While waiting outside a gunsmith's shop, I met a very nice older gentlemen who was a big gun collector. He had a really funny story as to why he started collecting handguns. He lived next to a relative of the Shah of Iran at the time and the guy had a bunch of bodyguards and was constantly targeted by hitmen. Him and his wife became worried and that's when he bought his first handgun. Well, as time went on, he bought more and more. He has a huge collection now of S&W's mostly and some colts. Most he never fired. I went over to his house one day to check them out and he brought out 3 BEAUTIFUL colts. The first was a series 70 colt commander that he had customized back in the 80's. It had a beautiful mirror like bluing job on the slide and a nickel plated frame, checkered front strap and trigger job etc. Next was a series 70 government model in the same configuration, blued slide and nickel frame. 3rd was just a government model.

I asked him if he was willing to part with any of his guns and he said yes for the colt government with all the custom work. The problem with the gun was that back in the 80's he had some kind of weird "recoil reducing" full length guide rod system installed and couldn't get it apart. It also had a 2lb trigger pull. Both problems were fixed by Jim hoag, who installed a GI rod and got it to a normal trigger pull weight. The gentlemen said that he spent about 900 bucks and waited a year for all the work to be done on the pistol and includes the mirror bluing, nickel plating, accuracy work, trigger job, checkering, target sights and more. He never sold the gun because he thought he couldn't sell any firearms that were off roster, which the gun store told him. I assume that they meant that he couldn't sell any off roster handguns to the store because the store couldn't sell them to customers.

This gentlemen unfortunately has some sort of rare liver disease and now has had a transplant. As you know with these things, they don't last forever and he said he was glad he found someone that was also interested in firearms because his wife wouldn't know what to do with all these guns if he were to pass away. I believe he's not too picky about how much he wants for the gun but I don't want to be taking advantage of him. What do you guys think is a fair offer for a NIB series 70 Colt government with all that custom work?

Blue
08-07-2009, 9:34 AM
See if he'll take like $1200. If he paid $900 in work, I don't think that Colt costed more than a couple hundred bucks back in the 70's.

bin31z
08-07-2009, 9:38 AM
See if he'll take like $1200. If he paid $900 in work, I don't think that Colt costed more than a couple hundred bucks back in the 70's.

That's true, and I think that what he figured as well. He was looking at all his receipts and adding them up. But to be honest, those 300 dollar series 70 colts are selling for 1000+ nowadays.

Blue
08-07-2009, 9:43 AM
That's true, and I think that what he figured as well. He was looking at all his receipts and adding them up. But to be honest, those 300 dollar series 70 colts are selling for 1000+ nowadays.

Very true, BUT its just the same when you take an old Camaro and put $50k into it. You never get it back unless it's a Yenko or something super rare. The worst he can do is tell you no, and ask him if he's got a price in mind. He'll probably just be happy his wife won't be selling it to a gun buyback program after he takes a dirtnap.

walter
08-07-2009, 10:00 AM
offer him a 1000 bucks

cineski
08-07-2009, 10:19 AM
Be nice to old people. $1500.

paladin4415
08-07-2009, 10:31 AM
If you really like it, offer whatever it's worth to you. If you really like the gun, and don't buy it, you will kick yourself forever.

bin31z
08-07-2009, 12:45 PM
I'll start at 1200 bucks...we'll see how it goes. I'll post pics if I end up getting it.

jessegpresley
08-07-2009, 1:02 PM
I asked him if he was willing to part with any of his guns and he said yes for the colt government with all the custom work. The problem with the gun was that back in the 80's he had some kind of weird "recoil reducing" full length guide rod system installed and couldn't get it apart.

Bent paperclip. Same as a bull barreled 1911.

Sky_DiveR
08-07-2009, 1:49 PM
He'll probably just be happy his wife won't be selling it to a gun buyback program after he takes a dirtnap.

Can you imagine how many Target gift cards she'll get?

Seriously tho... Ask him how much he feels it's worth... if you feel it's worth that much, pay him and DROs it. If he asks you what you'll pay, tell him you wouldn't want to take advantage of him and again ask him how much he feels it's worth. Whatever he asks for would be what he feels its worth to put in his wifes' bank account.

Or as paladin posted, whatever you feel it's worth...

Just my $0.02

Mickey D
08-07-2009, 7:47 PM
Good luck. If you pass, let us know if it's available.

bin31z
08-07-2009, 8:05 PM
holy crap. He wants $1700 bucks!! I passed.

randy
08-08-2009, 1:28 AM
A 2 pound trigger isn't normal?

johnthomas
08-08-2009, 1:43 AM
1700 is crazy. My understanding with middle eastern folks is they love to barter, so bring a grand over and offer it to him. When he says yes, run him down to your ffl and do the deed.

jazman
08-08-2009, 5:38 AM
$1700 for a NIB series 70 with a ton of custom work done to it? If you like the gun pay it, doesn't sound like a bad price to me.

Colt
08-08-2009, 12:12 PM
If that's a Jim Hoag Colt, it's worth some bucks..

bin31z
08-08-2009, 1:46 PM
No, he had the work done at the autoshop in culver city. doesn't exist anymore.

BillCA
08-08-2009, 2:24 PM
I used to buy Colt 1911's in the mid-70's all the time.
$340 was the wholesale price. Retail price for most Series 70 Gov'ts was about $500-$525. Commanders were a little bit more.

Now, if you like a nickel frame with a blued slide and the add-ons then the gun is worth something to you as a piece of beauty as well as a gun.

If he had receipts for all the custom work on his gun and by whom it was done, offer him $1500 for the gun AND the receipts - so you can show the next buyer it wasn't done by Juan Gonzales budget plating services.

He's looking at having spent around $1400 or more -- in higher-value dollars from the 70's/80's -- and getting $1700 for it now is still a loss to him.

If this guy is in the bay area and has S&W's he'd like to sell, I'd certainly like to meet him. There are some holes in my collection too. ;)

bin31z
08-08-2009, 10:36 PM
He's down south. It is a beautiful gun, the nicest I've ever seen really and he does keep all receipts. However, I'm not at a point in my life where I can spend 1700 for eye candy. I need a 1911 that shoots for that kinda money. I doubt I could bring myself to shoot something like that, just too much of a collectible. I got a nice lead on a Les Baer.

Blue
08-08-2009, 10:49 PM
Hey man, as they say at the Harley stealership, "It's only money" :p

But I agree, I'd spend my $1700 on a badass shooter instead of a trophy.

jdberger
08-08-2009, 10:51 PM
Without seeing it, $1,700 seems reasonable.

Seriously tho... Ask him how much he feels it's worth... if you feel it's worth that much, pay him and DROs it. If he asks you what you'll pay, tell him you wouldn't want to take advantage of him and again ask him how much he feels it's worth. Whatever he asks for would be what he feels its worth to put in his wifes' bank account.

This is correct. This is how everyone walks away happy and no one feels that they were ripped off.