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HokeySon
03-18-2010, 6:54 PM
the thread below on the styer reminded me of a question I have had for a while and now I have a place to ask it of all of you ;)

Why is it that collectors want items that show their wear or are "unimproved?" It seems like in most areas other than weapons, restored items have more value than unrestored items that are showing wear (i.e. not in mint condition unrestored) -- provided of course that the restoration is done properly. So why is it that a collector would prefer a gun with some finish problems rather than an arsenal reblued gun? Just curious.

Edge
03-18-2010, 7:04 PM
Nostalgia.

Thefeeder
03-18-2010, 7:19 PM
the thread below on the styer reminded me of a question I have had for a while and now I have a place to ask it of all of you ;)

Why is it that collectors want items that show their wear or are "unimproved?" It seems like in most areas other than weapons, restored items have more value than unrestored items that are showing wear (i.e. not in mint condition unrestored) -- provided of course that the restoration is done properly. So why is it that a collector would prefer a gun with some finish problems rather than an arsenal reblued gun? Just curious.

I can not come up with one area of collecting that restored is valued more than original. Art, cars, coins, furniture, toys, guns..........

The universal formula:
Factory original minus condition equals value.

Every thing else is a minus.....how much, is open to debate.

Age adds a certain look to a piece that shows its age... even if the piece was well taken care of.....metal will tarnish, blueing will turn purple,then brown.

And for the record, collectors want unused original mint condition guns in the box .......the best you can get....We buy worn ones until we find a mint one, or the money runs dry, or you have to sell the house to buy it.

Bhobbs
03-18-2010, 7:27 PM
the thread below on the styer reminded me of a question I have had for a while and now I have a place to ask it of all of you ;)

Why is it that collectors want items that show their wear or are "unimproved?" It seems like in most areas other than weapons, restored items have more value than unrestored items that are showing wear (i.e. not in mint condition unrestored) -- provided of course that the restoration is done properly. So why is it that a collector would prefer a gun with some finish problems rather than an arsenal reblued gun? Just curious.

If you find an classic car with everything from the factory the day it was made and in good condition it will sell for more than a restored car. You will most likely lose money on restoring a car to original condition because it will cost more than most people will pay for it unless it is extremely rare or a clone of something rare.

rkt88edmo
03-18-2010, 7:33 PM
Original is original.

Fate
03-18-2010, 7:39 PM
Original is original.

And there you have it. ;)

HokeySon
03-18-2010, 7:42 PM
I can not come up with one area of collecting that restored is valued more than original. Art, cars, coins, furniture, toys, guns..........

The universal formula:
Factory original minus condition equals value.

Every thing else is a minus.....how much, is open to debate.

I guess maybe I didn't express what I was thinking very well. Maybe examples will help:

1) classic cadillac, solid body and original motor, but interior is just worn out -- replacing the interior with a period correct design would increase the value, I think. Or, the wheel wells are rusted out, fixing the rust properly will increase the value beyond what it is with the rusted fenders. It may not be worth as much as a mint car that never needed that work, but it will be worth more than it was before the fix.

2) WWII knife, rusty. Would be worth less if you take the steel wool to it right? But taking the rust off down to the metal would make it more like it was when it was new.

mls343
03-18-2010, 7:49 PM
+ 1 on original is original

Thefeeder
03-18-2010, 7:57 PM
I guess maybe I didn't express what I was thinking very well. Maybe examples will help:

1) classic cadillac, solid body and original motor, but interior is just worn out -- replacing the interior with a period correct design would increase the value, I think. Or, the wheel wells are rusted out, fixing the rust properly will increase the value beyond what it is with the rusted fenders. It may not be worth as much as a mint car that never needed that work, but it will be worth more than it was before the fix.

2) WWII knife, rusty. Would be worth less if you take the steel wool to it right? But taking the rust off down to the metal would make it more like it was when it was new.

#1 is correct, it will be worth more...but not as much as an original in the same condition. Will the repairs be worth it?
Thus the term..."Money Pit"

#2 is wrong....cleaning it to metal will remove all the collectability from the piece...you will have a Babba'ed knife from WW II valueble to you only

Rekrab
03-18-2010, 8:04 PM
I have to admit, I never understood the patina fetish gun collectors have. I was pretty excited when I found what appeared to be an unissued MN M44 with no rust, corrosion or patina to be seen.

Fate
03-18-2010, 8:29 PM
I was pretty excited when I found what appeared to be an unissued MN M44 with no rust, corrosion or patina to be seen.
Unless it was Polish, it's likely been refurbished at an Ukrainian arsenal.

Back to the OP. The difference between cars and guns is that nobody really cares who drove/owned that car. But the military gun was often carried and used by someone in combat. It's touching history. To hold a gun that someone once depended on to help them survive in the madness of war is far different than a car. That gun was loved or hated by its previous owner(s). They slept with it, ate with it, used it while probably being the most terrified they had ever been in their lives. It could have been at Iwo Jima, Normandy, Stalingrad or stuck on some backwater base in the Aleutian Islands and never shot at anything but targets. But it witnessed history and that history is there, amongst the loss of bluing, dented stock and frayed sling.

mievil
03-18-2010, 9:01 PM
And for the record, collectors want unused original mint condition guns in the box .......the best you can get....We buy worn ones until we find a mint one, or the money runs dry, or you have to sell the house to buy it.

It depends on the gun.

Example. I just bought a very beat up, used, abused, not cared for M44. Not as bad as most of the 53 Types I've seen, but it's pretty rough. Carvings in the stock, chewed, bluing is worn. The area it came from is known for all the abuse, and adds value in my opinion. I'd take a Russian M44 in mint, Chinese, Polish, whatever. But I really like this beat to crap one because.......well, it's beat to crap.

RipVanWinkle
03-18-2010, 9:10 PM
It's a wonderful popular delusion, that inaminate objects can harbor the spirits of those who once possessed them. The corollary to this is that by buying the objects yourself you can acquire the virtues of those who once possessed them. The "survivor car" is another variation on this theme that relies on the same fundamental delusion. This premise is, of course, always unstated.

This is the notion that would prompt someone to buy, for example, Jacqueline Kennedy's old underpants. Of course, there is no intrinsic value in her old underpants, and one would hardly want to acquire her"spirit" (whatever that might entail, but it would no doubt involve some episodes with Aristotle Onassis that are better left to the imagination).

Having acquired such an object, hopefully by having found it for sale by someone who doesn't realize the value it can command in the marketplace, your next task is to offer it for sale as rapidly as possible. You are now operating on the "Bigger Fool" theory, which states that however big a fool you were to have bought the thing in the first place, there is always a bigger fool who who is willing to pay even more than you did to acquire it.

At this point I cannot advise you further, since I do not subscribe to the "Ghost in The Machine" theory, and the "Bigger Fool" theory would require me to promote the "Ghost in The Machine" theory in order to get rid of some otherwise useless piece of junk that anyone should know better than to acquire in the first place. Nevertheless, there are many successful and thriving enterprises operating on just these principles, and you should pay close attention to them.


I hope this helps.

HokeySon
03-18-2010, 9:11 PM
Unless it was Polish, it's likely been refurbished at an Ukrainian arsenal.

Back to the OP. The difference between cars and guns is that nobody really cares who drove/owned that car. But the military gun was often carried and used by someone in combat. It's touching history. To hold a gun that someone once depended on to help them survive in the madness of war is far different than a car. That gun was loved or hated by its previous owner(s). They slept with it, ate with it, used it while probably being the most terrified they had ever been in their lives. It could have been at Iwo Jima, Normandy, Stalingrad or stuck on some backwater base in the Aleutian Islands and never shot at anything but targets. But it witnessed history and that history is there, amongst the loss of bluing, dented stock and frayed sling.

well, that makes sense. I understand that. thanks.

HokeySon
03-18-2010, 9:26 PM
It's a wonderful popular delusion, that inaminate objects can harbor the spirits of those who once possessed them. The corollary to this is that by buying the objects yourself you can acquire the virtues of those who once possessed them. The "survivor car" is another variation on this theme that relies on the same fundamental delusion. This premise is, of course, always unstated.

This is the notion that would prompt someone to buy, for example, Jacqueline Kennedy's old underpants. Of course, there is no intrinsic value in her old underpants, and one would hardly want to acquire her"spirit" (whatever that might entail, but it would no doubt involve some episodes with Aristotle Onassis that are better left to the imagination).

Having acquired such an object, hopefully by having found it for sale by someone who doesn't realize the value it can command in the marketplace, your next task is to offer it for sale as rapidly as possible. You are now operating on the "Bigger Fool" theory, which states that however big a fool you were to have bought the thing in the first place, there is always a bigger fool who who is willing to pay even more than you did to acquire it.

At this point I cannot advise you further, since I do not subscribe to the "Ghost in The Machine" theory, and the "Bigger Fool" theory would require me to promote the "Ghost in The Machine" theory in order to get rid of some otherwise useless piece of junk that anyone should know better than to acquire in the first place. Nevertheless, there are many successful and thriving enterprises operating on just these principles, and you should pay close attention to them.


I hope this helps.

yup. it does. thanks.

I think I fit into a corollary of the "bigger fool" theory: that is, a person who believes that they can make the sow's ear "project" into the silk purse even though the "project" has changed hands three times and each of the three prior owners could not accomplish the feat. I like the idea of trying to bring something back from the land of the dead.

I won't be trying that on any real collectable weapons though. If I happen upon something really collectible I will pass it along to someone that appreciates it for what it is --- and hopefully in a way that funds a few not so collectible "projects." I will play with those instead.

mievil
03-18-2010, 9:35 PM
It's a wonderful popular delusion, that inaminate objects can harbor the spirits of those who once possessed them. The corollary to this is that by buying the objects yourself you can acquire the virtues of those who once possessed them. The "survivor car" is another variation on this theme that relies on the same fundamental delusion. This premise is, of course, always unstated.


You do realize you are posting in the Curio and Relic forum, right? haha

Everything adding to the historical relevance and provenance of the weapon adds value. Be it a letter written by the war veteran who picked up the weapon off a battlefield, thereby wanting that "spirit" of the battle to accompany on his way home so he could tell stories about it to his grandchildren and friends and family. A troop tag under a butt plate. A pressure test gun from the factory. A blood pitted front end on an ex-assassin model handgun.

This is not to acquire any previous owner's virtues, but more to own a true piece of history. Sure, some people go right out to make a buck. But I know far more collectors (thus fulfilling the C&R portion of their license) who will own a vast collection of weapons for as long as they are financially able (or otherwise).

I get most of what you're saying, but it seems a rather concrete statement. I believe most of us lie more in the hording mentality in a strict sense of the definition than the "spirit" world thing.

Milsurp Collector
03-18-2010, 10:51 PM
Why is it that collectors want items that show their wear or are "unimproved?" It seems like in most areas other than weapons, restored items have more value than unrestored items that are showing wear (i.e. not in mint condition unrestored) -- provided of course that the restoration is done properly. So why is it that a collector would prefer a gun with some finish problems rather than an arsenal reblued gun? Just curious.

It isn't that collectors seek wear, they seek originality.

Original = real= genuine
Not original = fake = counterfeit

It's not that wear is sought after for its own sake, it's just that original items are often somewhat worn. A cherry-condition and original item is worth more than a slightly worn and original item, but both are worth more than a heavily worn original or a restored item, in general.

There is nothing wrong with stopping corrosion, because corrosion is destructive and rust is not an original finish. Same thing goes for rot, mold, or mildew, destructive and not original. But the method should be to remove the corrosion while preserving the original finish, not rebluing the whole thing.

Before

http://i625.photobucket.com/albums/tt337/milsurp_collector/JinsenType38/a5dc6862.jpg

After - rust arrested, original finish preserved

http://i625.photobucket.com/albums/tt337/milsurp_collector/JinsenType38/220f7c78.jpg

But rebluing a Luger or 1911 or K98k today that still has 60% or more original finish will cut its value in half. However, if there is little or no original finish left then there is really nothing to preserve, so nothing is lost with refinishing, especially if the refinish is done by an expert http://www.turnbullrestoration.com/

Farquaad
03-18-2010, 10:58 PM
But rebluing a Luger or 1911 or K98k today that still has 60% or more original finish will cut its value in half. However, if there is little or no original finish left then there is really nothing to preserve, so nothing is lost with refinishing, especially if the refinish is done by an expert http://www.turnbullrestoration.com/

I agree with the above but would add that the finished reblued piece will still only be worth 1/2 the value of a 60% piece.

Milsurp Collector
03-18-2010, 11:04 PM
I agree with the above but would add that the finished reblued piece will still only be worth 1/2 the value of a 60% piece.

Yeah, that's what I said. ;)


But rebluing a Luger or 1911 or K98k today that still has 60% or more original finish will cut its value in half.

Farquaad
03-18-2010, 11:16 PM
Yeah i guess it was, its late and that just prooves its time to go to bed :sleeping:

RipVanWinkle
03-18-2010, 11:23 PM
This is not to acquire any previous owner's virtues, but more to own a true piece of history. Sure, some people go right out to make a buck. But I know far more collectors (thus fulfilling the C&R portion of their license) who will own a vast collection of weapons for as long as they are financially able (or otherwise).

I understand this, and I know people like who fit that description. I was just trying to respond to HokeySon's basic question. Most of the responses to his post, if you re-read them, are framed in terms of monetary value. Why is "original" worth more money than "restored", etc. Really, they are not answering his question, but just restating what he already knows. He wanted to know why they were worth more, and that usually comes down to something like I described, or nostalgia as someone suggested, or an interest in history.

I guess I come from the era just after WW II when everybody would get old surplus Mausers and Springfields because they were a dime a dozen, were well built, and could be converted into a hunting rifle cheaply. There must have been many thousands that were modified that way, and I've owned a couple myself, but I ditched them as soon as I could afford to upgrade to something new. To me they are just rifles that served their purpose until something better came along, but I still have a couple of non-military guns from that era that I still use.

So i would say to HokeySon, if you want to do a project using some old military rifle "go for it". Back in the day there were some beautiful pieces done that way! It's your gun and you can make it into what you damned well please!

HokeySon
03-19-2010, 7:31 AM
So i would say to HokeySon, if you want to do a project using some old military rifle "go for it". Back in the day there were some beautiful pieces done that way! It's your gun and you can make it into what you damned well please!


Sort of did that. I want to try to restore something as a project. I picked up a Santa Fe 1903A3 that is really beat up. It is a copy/clone with not much (if any) collector value anyway and someone has monkeyed with it already. SO I am not damaging anything with real value, but I get to play with it to see if I can fix it up.

Thanks again for the responses.

bohoki
03-19-2010, 7:43 AM
you always have the option to refinish but you can un-refinish

Fate
03-19-2010, 1:42 PM
Before

http://i625.photobucket.com/albums/tt337/milsurp_collector/JinsenType38/a5dc6862.jpg

After - rust arrested, original finish preserved

http://i625.photobucket.com/albums/tt337/milsurp_collector/JinsenType38/220f7c78.jpg


Would be interested in hearing your process there. That's a nice save.

Milsurp Collector
03-19-2010, 2:52 PM
Would be interested in hearing your process there. That's a nice save.

Thanks.

Kroil (https://secure.concentric.com/kanolabs.com/kanopnlu.html#anchor173855) + bronze wool (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=7391/Product/BRONZE_WOOL) + elbow grease

More before and afters using the same method

http://i42.tinypic.com/34o3ho9.jpghttp://i39.tinypic.com/okbfns.jpg

http://i625.photobucket.com/albums/tt337/milsurp_collector/JinsenType38/f3ae79d4.jpghttp://i625.photobucket.com/albums/tt337/milsurp_collector/JinsenType38/698de705.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/50s9qa.jpghttp://i44.tinypic.com/5upw6x.jpg

RipVanWinkle
03-20-2010, 9:55 AM
Excellent work! Kept the battle scars but got rid of a lot of the neglect. I'm impressed!

finloq
03-20-2010, 5:55 PM
The problem with restoration is that it is such a slippery slope: "Now that I have cleaned it up, I can make it better!" Still looking for my classic '65 Mustang that some helpful Bubba has welded a whale tail to.