I have owned guns since I was a child. My father handed me a .22 caliber rifle when I was very young and I never looked back. I’ve collected handguns, rifles, shotguns, and ammunition for over 20 years and I’ve come to one particular conclusion. Guns are a good investment, not a great investment, but a good one.
Something I should get out of the way, the biggest hurdles to investing in guns are the legal issues. Trading other items such as gold, silver, or jewels in the U.S. is simple. For the most part, you can trade with whomever you please, regardless of location or criminal history. Guns and ammo however, come with legal baggage. If you sell enough guns and make enough money, you fall under the category as a professional firearms merchant, and BATFE expects you to have a license to do business. While it is perfectly legal in most cases to buy and sell guns for personal use, study the regulations in your area carefully and follow them to the letter. You do not want to tangle with BATFE, those guys mean business.
Few things hold their value like a firearm. I’m not saying that every gun you buy is going to be worth tons more money in a few years, quite the opposite. Many of the off-the-shelf guns you buy will hold their value to a degree, and you can trade them in at a reduced value to your dealer or sell them to individual buyers for more. The good news is, as long as you aren’t hocking your guns for quick cash at a pawnshop, you will probably get back a decent percentage of the gun’s purchase price—and sometimes more! The key to investing in guns is timing and patience.
Many guns increase in value. Some gun traders speculate that when the Civilian Marksmanship Program runs out of M1 Garands, the value will increase drastically. The same situation occurred with the CMP Springfield 1908s.
As with any industry, the standard supply and demand rules apply. In times of high demand, like when the U.S. is approaching a presidential election (hint hint) or in times of a national crisis, the gun industry skyrockets with buyers willing to shell out big bucks for whatever firearms and ammunition they can get their hands on. There was a time in very recent history when a 50 round box of .380 cartridges went for around $70.00! When things calmed down, the industry returned to normal, and buyers sat and waited for a good deal again.
I almost never pass up a good deal on a gun, even if I already have the same model and have no use for another. I know I can hang on to it until the market goes back up. Even if you do not make money on the guns you sell, you will usually come close to breaking even. There are plenty of other things to spend your hard-earned dollars on that hold no value whatsoever. Clothes, shoes, electronics, and most vehicles depreciate over time—so there are worse places to put your money.
Should a major widespread prolonged disaster befall western civilization, guns will be quite valuable. Ammunition, food, medicine, tobacco, and alcohol will be the new forms of currency. I just can’t imagine anyone caring about paper money after civilization falls off the rails. One could make the foreboding argument that if you had guns and ammo, you could obtain anything you need to survive. Is this a good enough reason to set aside a large chunk of your income and fill every bit of storage space in your home with guns? Probably not, but it wouldn’t hurt to have the essentials, plus a little extra! If you buy guns at the right time, hang on to them until something crazy happens, you can make money. Unfortunately, for the gun investor, this doesn’t happen that often. Unless you pour countless dollars into your stockpile, you won’t get rich. Therefore, draining your portfolio and turning your entire nest egg into guns may not be the best way to retire somewhere that looks like a Corona commercial, but it is nice to have that little trump card laying around just in case!