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Collectable US production rifles

Alan RushingAlan Rushing Member Posts: 9,002 ✭✭
edited April 2011 in Ask the Experts
When recoil pads have been added. Does that destroy the collector value of a bolt action or other firearm? If the value is not destroyed ... how much of an affect might that make???

It seems that in general the collecter interest foes down if a scope has been put on a classic production bolt action or if the issue butt plate has been removed and a substitute or a recoil pad put on. (Not being hatchet jobs.)

I've noted that the old lever actions ... as close to out of the door from factory, it seems the better. I've seen folks swoon over the pre-64 Winchester model 70s that have not been altered or modified at all, by no one, never.

There are several models of rifles that I have been following. And many have not been stored without any handling or use ... if I found it, I'd probably not afford it. Many have been abused rather than used.

I realize the importance of quality photos for establishing a close or near value of a particular Make, Model, and actual individual Member, and of course the more photos, the better the evaluation that can be had. However: 1.) I'm window shopping and don't have photos. 2.) I'm not wanting to potentially stir up additional interest in this one, or my area of interest. (( You see, I'm "experienced", I got my interests burned historically by saying something at the wrong time ... and the race started then and there ... I couldn't even show!

But I did watch, and think: Alan, you did good, you found a good one OR Alan you did bad, and got the seller interest bids that would not have been, except for you saying too much at the wrong / right time!

The feedback gives me a better notion of potential negative impacts of changes made on Make and Model of potential collector value. Thanks.

Thanks, Alan


  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Depends on the quality of workmanship and what the original rifle was. Without quality photos it's very difficult to guestamate how much value has been lost.
  • kimikimi Member Posts: 44,741 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A simple change of a butt plate is considered a minor alteration and often times will not detract that much from the value of a collectible. The cost difference might be negligible, perhaps, the cost of an original butt plate, to include, the cost of removing the old one and replacing it with the new one would be fair.
    What's next?
  • 1KYDSTR1KYDSTR Member Posts: 2,361 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I feel the secret here is in the restorability. If no wood has been removed, and you could locatethe right butt=plate, then value is only marginally affected. If it's cut or in some other way defaced beyond repair, then value takes an enormous hit. I made a cottage industry out of buying sporterized Polish mausers as I got a bunch of complete WZ29 furniture from Springfield Sporters cheap, mated the actions to them and sold them as mismatched...made a ton of money off guns that most thought were unsaveable . So, I guess, the answere is yes AND no...largely depends on restorability in my view.
  • cussedemguncussedemgun Member Posts: 985 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Mr. Rushing,

    Your questions are rather vague & one can not put an exact dollar value on a "Hypothetical" gun.

    The best test is if you find an old original "well used" piece with a story to tell, do you look to refinish, restore, replace parts, & make a buck, or are you happy to have a piece of history. If the latter, you have caught the 'bug' you are now a (shudder) collector!

    There are only so many ORIGINAL pieces out there. Not everyone's taste is for "new in box" civil war relics. Everyone that has a favorite shooter will modify some feature for his convenience or taste. I have some pieces that have served previous owners & it shows. I don't buy for a liquid investment, I am supplying toys for my hobby. If I want something, I am spending MY money, & it gives me pleasure, what the blue book says it's worth just doesn't concern me.

    I compare my collecting hobby to the neighborhood poker game:
    I don't go there to make a killing, only to have fun.
    Entertainment costs money, you will not always profit.
    Spend some money & have fun, that's what you go for.

    A friend has a collection of 22 single shot rifles. He has a personal limit of 2 hours wage per gun (now about $50). Everone's taste is different, BOY! if only my pockets were deeper, SIGH!

  • GuvamintCheeseGuvamintCheese Member Posts: 38,932
    edited November -1
    I will answer the questions on Winchester 70's. Once the original plate has been removed it has little collector value to me. The 70's I collect all have original metal butt plates that were fitted at the factory. Winchesters metal butt plates all had a widows peak at the top so the only way to put a pad on was to cut the stock. Once the stock is cut, it can't be brought back to original.
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