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Posted by John on Saturday, 21 November 2015, at 1:20 a.m., in response to Re: auction, posted by Michael H. Collins on Friday, 20 November 2015, at 9:54 p.m.
Collector demographics are changing. Gun collectors are mostly geezers with almost no young collectors and few shooters.
You see more scooters and wheel chairs at gun shows than strollers for kids.
And tastes do change, both driven by costs, and by what people find interesting. Fewer people care about flints, trapdoors or Krags. But, more like Mosin Nagants, AR-15s and Glocks, as much for shooting fun as to hang on the wall. But, the percentages of people at any age point who care about guns is also going down significantly.
A large part of the diminished interest in any type of gun is driven by the political and media animosity towards guns and law abiding gun owners. We grew up with parents who were WW2 vets, many of whom "added to or started a gun collection" with loot from their service abroad. The three TV networks had loads of cowboy shows where good people with guns stopped bad men with guns. Many schools had shooting teams, and anyone who saved a few dollars could by a gun by mail, no questions asked.
Today kids who chew a pop tart into the shape of a gun are treated like a mass murderer, and the sight of anyone with a gun in a public place is likely to attract blue lights and sirens responding to panicked citizens' calls.
Traditionally popular collecting fields have become ever more expensive. A guy with a couple of kids and wife to support does not have a lot of loose cash for guns starting at about $1,000 and up for most collectible guns.
Ten years ago there might be 4-5 good gun auctions a year. Today there are that many each month, sometimes several each week, along with ongoing sales on auction web sites. What we are seeing is old a stream of collections being brought to the market as owners die, and mostly being redistributed to current collectors amassing ever greater collectors. At some point, the last gun collector will own most of them, but his heirs will likely be left in poverty.
Yeah, but it is still a lot of FUN!
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