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 Post subject: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:34 pm
Posts: 16
I have a theory you call me an idiot if you want, but i have been following L.C. Smith shotguns for quite a while. I think I am seeing a trend that the cost of these guns is on the decline. I think anyone will admit that this is a collector driven market. I have noticed that GB and GI pricing is on the decline and some guns that are listed with a starting bid that what would have been an easy sale price 5 years ago now sit with no bids for months, continually relisted. I have brought this up to some of my friends and they admit that the Parker, lefever, fox etc. market doesnt seem to be on the rise like it was. But they dont watch L.C. Smith. There were way more elsies made than the others combined probably. I am 62 and i have contended for years that this antique american shotgun market was not something guys my age ought to be investing. The old attage of "Its like hunting/shooting with a CD" no longer applies. At least to elsies. My thought is that guys that care about these fine old shotguns and are less than about 70 years old are few and far between. My contention is that there are thousands of these guns tied up in the hands of a few older guys collections and they are either dead or have quit buying and have started selling. The result is or will be a huge surplus of guns on the market and an almost total lack of demand. I would expect to see this first in elsies, and then progressing to the others.

The younger guys mostly dont care about antique side by side shotguns. Unfortunately for the same reasons these guns went out of production. There was less and less interest in SXSs after WWI and definately after WW2, and baby boomers the people with the money, are just not interested in these guns like thier dads and grandads were.




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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:38 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Posts: 184
GYRHED, You are correct in most of what you have said. There is no question that the demand for American classic side by side shotguns,especially the 12 gauges, is currently very weak. I recently read an article on this topic. It indicated there are bargains to be had on theses guns. However, it is not the baby boomer generation that is not interested in these guns. The baby boomer generation is children born from 1946 to 1964. That makes the youngest 56 years old and half that generation is 65 or older. Its the younger generations that have little interest in SxS shotguns. They mostly want O/Us, semi-autos or pumps. The article indicated that it was the baby boomer generation that pushed up the demand and prices for those classics in the 1990s and early 2000s. They were trying to recover the guns they remembered as kids that their grandfathers and fathers had. As a baby boomer, that was the time period I put together my modest collection of those guns. Now as that generation ages they or their relatives are selling those guns. As you correctly concluded, there is a decrease in prices due to the number of guns hitting the market and a lack of interest.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:47 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
doublesforever,

IMO it will probably take another 10 years to actually effect the over all double gun prices, sure the 12 gauge field grade L.C. Smith guns have come down in price, however not very much. If you want a graded L.C. Smith in 20 or 16 you will find they have actually risen in cost slightly. The .410 have increased in cost also.

I do agree that as time goes on we will see some of the field grade guns decrease in value, however many more owners are going to need to pass away before that actually happens. Having a small collection of good American classics and German Best guns myself I am looking to acquire a few at reasonable prices when I can. In fact I just acquired another pre 13 L.C. Smith 20 gauge with 28" barrels and DT, in real nice shape, of course I still Grouse and Woodcock hunt even at over 70 years old. Unfortunately many of my hunting buddies have passed away, their wives selling their treasured log cabins and some of the guns their children decided not to keep. It's a generational thing for sure.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:45 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4082
Location: Western Tampa, FL
I have a theory that the reduction in prices for LC Smith doubles may also have to do with the far greater numbers they produced VS Parker, Remington, Ithaca, Lefever et al. Unless I am totally mistaken, LC Smith out produced those other contemporaries by a good margin and therefore it stands to reason that they would experience the most immediate depreciation in value.

However, as Pine Creek/Dave said the high grade guns especially in smaller than 12 gauge sure don't seem to drop their prices. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time left to wait and see if they ever do! :(
I am still waiting for that pre 1913 Grade 4 or 5, 20 to go on sale for $1,000.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:35 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:11 am
Posts: 917
When the first question is " can I shoot steel out of it" is it any wonder ordinary 12 gauge American doubles are not hot sellers.
There is a different kind of buyer for the small bore higher grade gun.
However, there are a lot of grey hairs among the serious double gun fanciers.
The generational turnover may well see a general price drop.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:15 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Gentlemen,

Although the 12 gauge guns have come down in price just a little, all the sub gauge guns are still holding their prices pretty well. In fact most are still rising in cost, try to pick up a L.C. Smith 16 or 20 gauge in great shape for under $1000.00 some time. Especially a .410 or a 20 they will still cost you serious money.
It will take another 10 years before the prices start to level out, still a lot of us baby boomers who hunt with and collect American Classics and German Best double guns. Still not easy to find a fine gun in great shape for minimal money.

Got to admit many of the young hunters want guns they can shoot steel out of, however many of them are now also picking up American Classic double guns to Grouse and woodcock hunt with, they want to become part of the Grouse hunting tradition, as their Fathers and Grandfathers were.

Lots of them are also investing in AYA double guns, because they can shoot steel out of them. As long as there are Grouse hunters, the double gun market will remain decent.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

There are still American Classic double guns selling for big money, also many of these guns are passed down thru the family and are never sold.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:20 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Posts: 184
I mentioned here that I read a recent article concerning the decline in prices for most non high grade classic SxS shotguns. That article was in the May/June issue of Shooting Sportman Magazine. Today I received the latest issue of Pointing Dog Magazine. That issue has an article concerning the decline of upland bird hunters throughout the country. Another factor that contributes to the decline in interest in classic field grade SxS guns and the result decrease in prices.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:24 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Doublesforever,

I read the same article in the SSM, it is true that the number of upland hunters have decreased due to many of the hunters passing away, and it is effecting the sales of SXS Classic double guns in the 12 gauge range. I was not in total agreement with the SSM article and I just purchased a pre 13, L.C. Smith 20 gauge 00 gun recently. For a Classic American Side Lock it still went for over $1,000 and I purchased the gun from a good friend who owns a gun shop.

I would say the SSM article was only partly correct, what I have seen recently is the young men and ladies are becoming more gun savvy for sure, and when they purchase a good Classic American double gun they are trying to keep the cost down and still end up with a very good gun, in prime shape. So they get help making their purchase from an experienced double gun purchaser, like their Father, Grandfather or RGS mentor. Also many of these upland hunters are purchasing new AYA and other nice foreign made guns to start out with. This helps suppress the prices on the Classic double guns some what. Where the SSM article goes some what a stray is not advising the reader that the Classic American or German Best double gun prices in all the sub gauges, are still rising in cost. Granted the 12 gauge guns have dropped in cost just a little, mostly because there are so many of them on the market with the older upland hunters passing away.

As more of the upland hunters pass away, more Classic double guns will become available at less of a cost. This is definitely true.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

The original L.C. Smith 00, 20 gauge, the ultimate field grade type double gun for the upland hunter. Taken care of they last forever.
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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:36 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Posts: 184
Today I read another article that supports the premise that prices for older SxSs are declining. The article is in the recent issue of Double Gun Journal. The title says it all: The Times They Are A Changing. This article is about European guns. As with American guns, the article cites that prices for high grades remain expensive, but the price for decent more common guns are "going down". Again partly due to supply and demand as a reason for a "waning" interest in older SxSs. As in America, the younger generations are just not interested in these guns and more of them are hitting the market as the older generations or their relatives dispose of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:07 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:11 am
Posts: 917
There is a flooded market for common or low end guns in Europe, as laws restricting the number of guns an individual can hold come into effect. Not surprisingly, when owners are forced to divest guns, the lesser ones and the damaged ones go first.
Secondly, the advent of non- toxic shot requirements has made older guns less useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:04 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5142
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
No, you are not an idiot & yes, the fact that a lot more L.C. Smith were made, adversely affects their resale value. I have 20, 12s & a 10 ga. Elsey in various grades but none are real high grades. That doesn't matter to me as I am a hunter & not a collector. All Elseys were made to essentially the same quality standards. I need a 16 ga. so the drop in resale value doesn't bother me. My Merkel 147 sle cost over 14 times what I can get for a good field grade Elsey. I love the gun but it isn't better than an Elsey. You probably can shoot hard shot in some old guns. The biggest reason they advise against it is that most older guns are choked too tight. My 10 ga. Elsey is a rescue gun. I had Briley put steel compatible, extended choke tubes in it as part of the restoration. The steel is pretty hard in it's own right but most of the force from hard shot would be in the extended section of the tube. I have shot a little #6 Hevi Shot in it which is easier on the gun due to less velocity & small pellets than steel loads. I have a friend that has credibility in the firearms industry that was shooting factory Remington #4 Hevi Shot in his VHE Parker. I don't advise that! I don't intend to shoot any of the hard stuff in my older guns in the future. I have other guns for that!


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:00 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 4964
Location: WA/AK
The demand for shooter quality 12-gauges is certainly on the decline, though there are plenty of dealers out there asking collector item prices for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:15 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Reasearcher01,

I agree definitely your analysis is right on the money, especially as far as 12 field grade guns are concerned. I believe because there were so many made you will see this cost decline continue. However the higher graded guns have remained stable and in most cases are still increasing in cost. It all depends on the individual gun you are trying to purchase. If you want to acquire a Crown Grade or #5 L.C. Smith 12 gauge gun, you are still going to have to pay a pretty high price for purchasing one today. There just were not all that many of them made, compared to the field grade guns.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

Sure wish the price on the L.C. Smith Syracuse A2's would come down $24,900 is still a might high. What a gun, with 2 sets of barrels, Damascus & Nitro-steel both. Love to own that gun.

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Last edited by Pine Creek/Dave on Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:29 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:09 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5142
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
My mother was a pretty smart Gal. She told me when I was a child, "Keep something long enough & it will eventually come back in style." You even get to use them while you wait. IMHO, there are no finer guns to hunt with. You can still buy high grade SXSs overseas but they ain't cheap! I doubt that I will ever do it as I already have 3 pretty decent 3.5" SXS 10's (2 Berettas & a Uggy) but I have been toying with the idea of getting my standard 2 7/8", 10 ga. LC Smith retubed. It doesn't have any collector value as the previous owner screwed up the chokes & I had Briley put extended tubes in it. It shoots fine as it is!


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:37 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
geometric,

Go for it buddy, and have a great time shooting!

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:19 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
oyeme,

I just re-read that one post of yours, very funny a #5 gun for $1000.00. You and I will be a long time in heaven if that ever happens. It's like me wishing for a Syracuse A2 to come down under $10,000. I have a hunch God carries a #5 or A2 L.C. Smith gun, so he will never let those prices fall that low.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man


#5 L.C. Smith 1901 gun with Kraus Engraving of the likeness of his own English Setters. The gun became mine just recently.

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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:12 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:59 am
Posts: 213
Location: arizona
When you find a gun that you like and it's within your budget make an offer! The value is in what an actual sale price is. Over the last three years I have purchased a few pre-1900 sis's and a few graded target shooters from before WW1. Every gun was bought WELL BELOW dealers ask price!


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:27 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
mcneeley,

Man I definitely agree, most times the asking price will be posted a might high because the seller intends to bargain the actual price. No matter the grade of the gun always make an offer under the asking price.

Unless the asking price is marked firm, always make your own offer. All they can say is no.

Remember however most of these business/men dealing in quality guns know the going price of what they are trying to sell, most times they will only bargain so far.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:02 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5142
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
mcneeley5,
I have never been one to negotiate price but that would be a good skill for me to learn! I haven't been following the market closely but looking at GI last night, field grade Smiths seem to be holding pretty steady & high grade guns, particularly the smaller gauges, aren't getting any cheaper! The market is pretty well flooded with 12 ga, field grade Smiths. That can't help their bottom line! I think they are a bargain for somebody needing a field gun for hunting!


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 Post subject: Re: Amercican double's values on the decline?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:12 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
geometric,

What you say is true, however when dealing with L.C. Smith graded guns even the 12 gauge guns are holding their prices and the pre 13, 12 gauge guns are increasing in value depending on the grade of the gun. As an example the #5 gun in 12 gauge is definitely not becoming any less costly. In fact depending on the gauge of the #5 gun, the cost is still increasing almost every year. A 16 Gauge #5 gun sells for $15,000 and above. A 20 gauge #5 gun can be worth over $200,000, and their cost because only 21 of them were produced, will probably never decrease.

Even a good 00 or field Grade L.C. Smith 20 gauge can cost $3,000 depending on the gun. The average cost will be above $1,200 today.

Granted a Field grade 12 gauge gun that was made in great numbers and is still available for purchase today, is falling in cost, or just plain not selling. Simply because there are so many still available. The 12 gauge guns in pristine shape will go for more money.

So there are a lot of qualifiers when talking L.C. Smith double guns.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

Some 12 gauge guns are still costing big money.
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