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  #1  
Old 05-04-2021, 9:42 AM
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Default Why are so many “custom/modified” pistols for sale for so expensive?

So I get it, I like tinkering on my pistols as well. I do not however think I’m going to get my investment back, and chalk up the lost funds on “entertainment” (lesson learned with motorcycles). I also don’t permanently modify the guns, and keep all the OEM parts for original configuration (for sale in the unknown distant future. A 20 year old Gen3 Glock moded out probably has less chance of a sale than an OEM one).

I’m not talking about butchered guns here. I’m talking about those with all the drop in bells and whistles slides, triggers, sights, optics, etc.…
Do people not enjoy actually shooting their investments? Why are so many for sale without OEM parts?

I think I know what’s going on. I think they throw all that crap on the gun, and it starts giving them problems. They’ve sold off the OEM parts to fund the project, and now they have a finicky gun with no line of retreat.

Take on the challenge. Get the thing working. Generally, good aftermarket parts will eventually work well, and you will notice the difference.

My best used part purchase was an “OEM” slide, but I went to use it, and it didn’t work. WTH…. I thought. Well, some internals were changed. I swapped them out, and wa-la it worked. Great score. It was aftermarket the safety plunger. Who would have thought such a slight change in profile would prevent the trigger from resetting.

And that’s the thing…………… Just work into it step by step. You learn so much. Each part interacts with another part, and each aspect of it changes, improves (makes worse), compromises other mechanical attributes of the firearm. Then it’s a balance of how far can you go to get the performance you want relative to the other aspects you might have to compromise on.

I spent more than a year getting the below configuration to run reliably, and now it’s fun as hell to shoot. All in, with the R&D I have into it I’m way past the cost it would have to just have ordered a comparable pistol build from a competent vendor. Now, if I built another one, and just go straight to my known working configuration I will only save a few hundred dollars. So really, it’s not about the cost savings for either path.


Even given the excess costs I have into it, I now know the whys of just about every aspect of what problems I might encounter, and how to solve them.

Let me circle back to my opening point. Why are there quite a few “modified” guns in the market place with the expectation of getting their investment back? Where are the OEM parts?

Did they want the “cool” pistol they see on builders’ websites, but decided they didn’t want to pay the prices? Did they peck away at making the cool looking pistol only to end up with something less than they thought they were getting?

I’d recommend, if you are not into actually tinkering, but want the cool looking pistol, you are probably better off just buying from a reputable builder. It will probably work fine with the recommended ammo. They more than likely worked out the kinks on their end.

Otherwise, don’t expect to actually save money getting to that cool looking range toy with reliable function. Even if you do know how to get directly from A to B, you are only going to save a few hundred dollars. So if it’s time you are not interested in spending on tinkering, then again you are better off buying from a builder.
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Old 05-04-2021, 9:54 AM
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It's just human nature and why I don't do many trades here. Most people are unreasonable and get emotionally invested in their guns and then they think their stuff is gold and mine is feces.

To me many modifications especially ceracote and stippling actually reduce the value of the gun. Let alone any personal stuff like initials or names. To me I'll pay 40-60% of normal value if has such mods.

I've explained to people it's like car modifications generally you're not going to get you money back out of them.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:03 AM
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I see this mostly in glocks and other polymer guns. Instead of it attracting me I run. Many don't know that adding all the bells and whistles actually make the gun unreliable.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:07 AM
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What amazes me all the customized Glocks that people think thye can get their money out of. People don't understand that the more customized anything is, a gun, a car etc..., The smaller the potential market is for that item because to sell it you have to find somebody that wants that exact set of modifications, creating a smaller not larger pool of potential buyers.

As far as I'm concerned the attractive features of the Glock is its simplicity and reliability and as soon as you start customizing it, both of those factors are lost.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:08 AM
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If the gun was supposed to have all those mods and have all those do hickies, it would have come with or at least some of them.

People get these ideas in their heads about a dream gun and of course after market sellers are more than happy to take your money.

So, after an oodle of money spent and time waiting for the gun to come back it is discovered that the gun (or the owner) does not shoot any better. Surprise!
Then it falls out of favor for the next build and gets listed for sale, at a high price to recover some of the loss.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by heidad01 View Post
If the gun was supposed to have all those mods and have all those do hickies, it would have come with or at least some of them.

People get these ideas in their heads about a dream gun and of course after market sellers are more than happy to take your money.

So, after an oodle of money spent and time waiting for the gun to come back it is discovered that the gun (or the owner) does not shoot any better. Surprise!
Then it falls out of favor for the next build and gets listed for sale, at a high price to recover some of the loss.
A lot of people try to use money to buy modifications thye think will make them better shooters in leu of actually spending the money on training and practice to develop marksmanship.

There's never a replacement for mastering the fundamentals of marksmanship.
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2021, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCEquestrian View Post
What amazes me all the customized Glocks that people think thye can get their money out of. People don't understand that the more customized anything is, a gun, a car etc..., The smaller the potential market is for that item because to sell it you have to find somebody that wants that exact set of modifications, creating a smaller not larger pool of potential buyers.

As far as I'm concerned the attractive features of the Glock is its simplicity and reliability and as soon as you start customizing it, both of those factors are lost.
People are doing this with Berettas as well. I've seen quite a few that have had parts swapped out with Vickers, Wilson Combat, etc. and then ask double what the stock gun costs new. I'm not talking about a gun that was sent to these companies and worked on, just a gun that's had parts swapped out.

I'm not a competitive shooter. I own firearms primarily for self defense. I really enjoy taking classes and it's just fun to learn how each firearm I won operates. I've had my Berettas stripped down to just the frame. I think it's important to know how to maintain and replace parts and have a good understanding and working knowledge of how each firearm you own works. This is why I've taken every firearm apart that I own pretty much before I even take it to the range.

I've done some simple, basic modifications on my handguns. I always started out shooting them stock in a class, and then determine what, if any upgrades I may want. usually it's simple, sights, an extended mag release, etc. On others like a Springfield Loaded Target 1911 9mm that one stayed completely stock after a class. Usually any modification I have made is easily reversible and I can go back to stock easily. I've done a bit on my Beretta M9A1 like a Langdon trigger job in a bag, which did make a night and day difference compared to stock. For the Glocks it was sights, vickers mag release and a Glock extended slide lock and done deal.

I just don't get how some think adding a few aftermarket parts commands the much higher price in the used market. Guys do this all the time in the used guitar market. They'll take a relatively common guitar, swap out the pickups, wiring harness, etc. with something aftermarket and think think they'll get double the asking price of a stock guitar.

Usually, whenever someone customizes something it's customized specifically to them and in my eyes that makes it less marketable because you may have just dramatically reduced the number of people interested in that item, making it harder to sell.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:46 AM
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Obviously people think they should get every penny they put in, out of the gun and them some. As I mentioned in another thread, and had a lot of commenters agree, most, non-factory mods actually devalue what I am willing to pay for a gun other than some quality optics or nights sights. Some mods like a stipple job not only devalue a gun, but actually cause me to lose ANY interest it buying it.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2021, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidad01 View Post
So, after an oodle of money spent and time waiting for the gun to come back it is discovered that the gun (or the owner) does not shoot any better. Surprise!
That said, competition shooters spend stupid amounts of money to get a firearm with features that make it easier to be accurate with.

As an example, my Pardini standard pistol is inherently no more accurate (or at least not much more accurate) than a Ruger Mark series or a Colt Woodsman; the grips, trigger, sights, and recoil dampening system make it easier to shoot consistently and accurately, albeit at a cost. $2600 vs $500-700 (retail non-CA prices.)
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  #10  
Old 05-04-2021, 11:18 AM
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Modify a gun with custom parts and or gunsmith work, expect to never recover
costs.
Bob
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:50 AM
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Spent their $$$$ on "pretty" and not "FUNCTION"! That's the difference.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2021, 11:56 AM
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The vast majority of guns I buy are used... I almost never buy ones that have been modified unless I’m buying them for a project to entertain myself.

If a gun goes pew every time, why eff with it? Clean it, oil it and shoot it.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2021, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceanbob View Post
Modify a gun with custom parts and or gunsmith work, expect to never recover
costs.
Bob

Exactly. This is true of the car world too. Cars command more money when stock, any thing that’s added on by an owner doesn’t mean it’s tasteful to someone else and should not add to the “value”. A modified gun should be no different.


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  #14  
Old 05-04-2021, 12:52 PM
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Default Why are so many “custom/modified” pistols for sale for so expensive?

A tastefully modded firearm with high end parts that are universally recognized as an improvement add a lot of value for a lot of people . Cajun Gunworks for CZ, Apex for M&P, LTT for Beretta, DWS - Jagerworks - Agency - Etc for Glock.

Now with that in mind a lot people think they’re gunsmiths and have zero understanding of the parts they install. Hack jobs diminish value.

The whole it doesn’t add value is kind of a FUDD mentality, most of which are shooters who can’t hit the broad side of a barn on anything other than a static range.

Are you going to go offer a guy with a fully built 550HP 69 Camaro the price of the stock one because he modded it? You’ll get laughed out of the parking lot.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:58 PM
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Some people have figured out that everything for sale has a buyer; cars, boats, motorcycles, houses, guns, you name it.

Then there are those who can't figure out what the others know. Someone puts up a Glock for sale at some crazy price because they sent it off to to have the slide given the circular saw treatment and 100 people try to analyze why they did it.

Do items left stock sell better? Sure. Does it matter to the person selling something customized for a higher price? No. Does it give others a need to figure it out? Absolutely.
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Old 05-04-2021, 2:00 PM
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What is that red thing on your gun in the picture? Is that a lock or is it part of the gun?
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Old 05-04-2021, 2:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiego619 View Post
What is that red thing on your gun in the picture? Is that a lock or is it part of the gun?

C-MORE red dot sight.
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Old 05-04-2021, 3:49 PM
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Where can I buy the C-More mount that you have used?
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Old 05-04-2021, 4:28 PM
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But I spent two whole days stippling my Glock with a soldering iron! That’s worth $200 alone. I am an expert stipplerator as I first practiced by stippling a shaved feral cat and, as everyone knows, if you can stipple a cat you can stipple anything.

My guess is that, during normal market conditions, prices asked for quality mods are usually more hopeful than anything. These days desperate buyers take what they can get.
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Old 05-04-2021, 4:56 PM
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I also think a lot of the inflated prices have to do with CoVID craziness. I see even stock Glocks advertised for far more than they are worth.

With that there are some mods I like. I personally prefer red dots on my pistols now so I would pay extra for that.

But other than that, I don’t see why you would take $500 Glock dump in $1k worth of parts to make a gun which may or may not work as well.

And my biggest pet peeve is Cerskoting. I was once offered a cerakoted pistol in trade that looked like something my 13 year old daughter had done.

I really wish people would stop the DIY refinishing.


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Old 05-04-2021, 5:27 PM
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I also don't really get why people ask crazy prices for a custom job handgun unless it was actually done by a name brand custom gun maker rather than by the owner.

One of the ways I've managed to avoid having reliability problems with "upgrades" is that I tend to do them one piece at a time, that way if issues come up I can most likely attribute it to the last part I installed, which has so far kept me from having lemons for handguns.

I've already accepted the fact that my Franken-AR's will never be able to sell for more than possibly a third the money I've put into them, but I consider the loss in value justifiable since I fully intend on keeping them and it means I can get everything I want on them the first time instead of buying a factory rifle and swapping parts out on it immediately afterwards.

As for my Gen 3 Glock, my mods have been very limited (tritium sights, Vickers mag release and slide catch, and a Grip Force adapter), arguably aren't anywhere near as crazy as some of the projects I've seen for a lot of Glocks, but it's fruitful enough changes that it's made shooting it as a wrong handed shooter significantly easier than before.
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiego619 View Post
What is that red thing on your gun in the picture? Is that a lock or is it part of the gun?
As mentioned a C-More optic

In my R&D period ejected cases were getting jammed between the slide and mount when top mounted, So I side mounted it and removed the obstruction over the ejection port. Now, I could have left it top mounted but I needed hotter loads to just power through bouncing off the optic mounting plate and then I lost my sweet spot load power.

So I just caved and invested in a side mount like so many pro shooters have already figured out. Imagine that.

I went c-more because it has the greatest optic surface area to control the red dot. So upon recoil the dot never leaves the lens, and I can bring the gun on target faster.

But like I said it took me over a year to iron out the kinks of load, spring weights, recoil control etc... but it weighs 15oz more than stock and shoots much softer.

Fun as hell
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:19 PM
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It’s so hard to generalize OP. It depends on so many factors like the specific parts, who did the work, and the rarity of the gun in the first place, and the fan base of the gun
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glockaroo View Post
Where can I buy the C-More mount that you have used?
Carver Customs

I went this route because there is no mod to the frame, the down side there is only one race holster option for this mount, it’s a good holster but the only choice

Also, all major components are carver and he did the California compensator weld and refinished it so it matched slide and comp,
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:29 PM
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Quote:
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It’s so hard to generalize OP. It depends on so many factors like the specific parts, who did the work, and the rarity of the gun in the first place, and the fan base of the gun
Don’t they enjoy shooting the modded guns??? All that bling and they sell it....

As a competitive shooter my guns are a means to an end, and that is trying to beat the next guy. I can’t put a price on that, but if you said a $5000 modification would 100% get me a national champion but I’d never get my investment back I’d still do it in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:35 PM
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I have a Gen 2 Glock 17 with an extended slide release. That is the extent of the modifications on all the Glocks and other handguns that I own. I am a firm believer in keeping it stock and reliable.
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy47 View Post
Don’t they enjoy shooting the modded guns??? All that bling and they sell it....

As a competitive shooter my guns are a means to an end, and that is trying to beat the next guy. I can’t put a price on that, but if you said a $5000 modification would 100% get me a national champion but I’d never get my investment back I’d still do it in a heartbeat.
I thought if you come through with a $10k SVI it’s automatic GM status

It’s not mutually exclusive. You can enjoy a gun a lot and still want to sell it to try something else
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:45 PM
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The "IKEA Effect" applies to everything, even guns - especially Glocks, ARs and 1911s.
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Old 05-04-2021, 9:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock3ralex View Post
A tastefully modded firearm with high end parts that are universally recognized as an improvement add a lot of value for a lot of people . Cajun Gunworks for CZ, Apex for M&P, LTT for Beretta, DWS - Jagerworks - Agency - Etc for Glock.

Now with that in mind a lot people think they’re gunsmiths and have zero understanding of the parts they install. Hack jobs diminish value.

The whole it doesn’t add value is kind of a FUDD mentality, most of which are shooters who can’t hit the broad side of a barn on anything other than a static range.

Are you going to go offer a guy with a fully built 550HP 69 Camaro the price of the stock one because he modded it? You’ll get laughed out of the parking lot.
A local "gunsmith" doing stippling and parts replacing and ceracote? I'm not interested unless given away.

An actual known gunsmith with well done modifications then maybe. I once bought a higher end Springfield Armory 1911 with some modifications done by the older Kings Gun Works for cheap because the seller didn't realize what they had and I did.
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Old 05-05-2021, 4:54 AM
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The mindset is sililar to that of people that modify the poo out of their vehicles and then think that it's worth high book plus the cost of their add-ons. In reality, something that has been modified is usually worth far less than the same vehicle in stock condition.

Same with guns, there was a poster here on Calguns that has a 1948 vintage Colt commercial model 1911 that his father used to shoot bullseye with back in the day. It has had a Bomar rib installed and the front and rear of the grip stippled. If it was in original condition it would be worth $2500 +. In it's current modified condition, it's worth a grand or less.

I personally don't buy anything, cars, trucks, motorcycles or firearms that have been modified.
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Old 05-05-2021, 5:22 AM
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Custom, BNIB, low round count, never fired, WIFE MAD and the rest are a clear headline for some people to move on to the next post.
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Old 05-05-2021, 6:30 AM
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I agree with a lot of the posts, and custom work certainly hurts collector value.

I do see some nice CZ’s with CGW or Ghost work on them or Sigs with Gray Guns products listed for cost. For high volume or local games, these are set up great and I’d certainly be fine with paying what the gun costs to get it there.

That said, I’ve seen some $500 Berettas with $200 worth of parts list for around $2,000. Same with the ubiquitous Cajun CZ SP01 that is all of a sudden worth 4x cost because someone dropped in a trigger kit.

I get the frustration, and it is certainly a buyer beware market these days.
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Old 05-05-2021, 7:23 AM
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Another one of these posts? How many is that, 120347293472?
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Old 05-05-2021, 8:38 AM
003 003 is offline
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Originally Posted by Like2fly View Post
Obviously people think they should get every penny they put in, out of the gun and them some. As I mentioned in another thread, and had a lot of commentators agree, most, non-factory mods actually devalue what I am willing to pay for a gun other than some quality optics or nights sights. Some mods like a stipple job not only devalue a gun, but actually cause me to lose ANY interest it buying it.

Well said, agree completely.
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by highpower View Post
.

I personally don't buy anything, cars, trucks, motorcycles or firearms that have been modified.
Going to your car analogy, a ruf 993 turbo will go for stupid money, or an integra R with a documented spoon sports b18c engine will fetch top dollar to collectors.

You might pass because it’s modded but others will elbow each other out of the way for the chance to throw money at the seller of top examples of cars with the right mods and documentation
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  #36  
Old 05-05-2021, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by naz View Post
Going to your car analogy, a ruf 993 turbo will go for stupid money, or an integra R with a documented spoon sports b18c engine will fetch top dollar to collectors.

You might pass because it’s modded but others will elbow each other out of the way for the chance to throw money at the seller of top examples of cars with the right mods and documentation
There will always be outliers, which people who just deal in absolutes don't want to acknowledge. Citing these outliers doesn't mean that it applies to everything, and the rare outliers are not the norm. I think most here are saying that on average those that ask crazy money for a common firearm with a bunch of extra crap swapped out or attached to it isn't going to get top dollar regardless what they perceive it to be worth. We're not talking about the outliers or rare, desirable models that already command higher than normal prices. And to add to that, we all have our own dealbreakers, no matter how good the deal may be that results in a no go. Fort me it's stippling on a Glock. Unless it's a really high quality, pro job there's no way I'm buying that Glock where it looks like someone was learning and rushed the job and it looks like crap.
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  #37  
Old 05-05-2021, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinnie Boombatz View Post
There will always be outliers, which people who just deal in absolutes don't want to acknowledge. Citing these outliers doesn't mean that it applies to everything, and the rare outliers are not the norm. I think most here are saying that on average those that ask crazy money for a common firearm with a bunch of extra crap swapped out or attached to it isn't going to get top dollar regardless what they perceive it to be worth. We're not talking about the outliers or rare, desirable models that already command higher than normal prices. And to add to that, we all have our own dealbreakers, no matter how good the deal may be that results in a no go. Fort me it's stippling on a Glock. Unless it's a really high quality, pro job there's no way I'm buying that Glock where it looks like someone was learning and rushed the job and it looks like crap.
This right here. Vinnie Boom Boom hit it.

Even so, as mentioned in the other posts, the pool of interested parties still shrinks than what it would be if it was stock. Simply replacing a slide stop and home stippling isn’t going to fetch a higher price.

I come across Gen4/5 Glocks which could fetch a premium but the moment there’s stippling, it loses my interest.

The analogy with cars is apples and oranges. The cars listed aren’t a dime a dozen whereas “custom” Glocks tend to saturate the market.
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Old 05-05-2021, 12:15 PM
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Stippling on Glocks reminds me of people cutting up their Hondas to put body kits on them.

It’s for “function”.
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Old 05-05-2021, 12:21 PM
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Why do people who are not mechanically inclined think they can drop a part in a gun and it's better all of a sudden? But in reality, they had no clue what they were doing besides a you tube video.

The keep it stock guys at least know their limitations and should just stay in their little safe space, sitting on a fence somewhere biting on their pillow.

It's pretty funny watching all of this.
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Old 05-05-2021, 2:34 PM
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An Integra Type R with a spoon B18C engine would get my money in a heartbeat. The mouth waters when I think of it.
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