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I have been shooting guns since the 60's and have noticed that there are phases where there are an abundance of guns, then they all disappear. For example, the Single shot Harrington and Richardson Shotguns were the norm 30 years ago, I have not seen one in many years, even at the gun stores. Harrington and Richardson .22 revolvers, Raven P-25 pistols in .25 ACP, Colt Mk. 3 revolvers, Thomson contenders, High Standard .22 RF pistols, etc. Granted the Raven and the H&R revolvers were junky, but they sold well.

The listed production figures in books showing tens of thousands of the models made over the last 100 years, and then try finding them in the guns stores. I can understand cars, you operate them everyday, expose them to the weather, etc. 15 million Ford Model T's were made, very rare to see one on the road now. But how many Winchester model 92's do you see in the woods, Smith and Wesson lemon squeezers, or Dan Wessons at the indoor range.

Many gun owners out there have around 2-3 guns on average, people like us, lots more. What happened to the rest?

Thanks.
 

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Guns are like anything else out there... they are a fad that comes and goes. There are very few guns that will last years and years and keep selling well.. that is because tastes change in guns, as well as features.

Take the S&W model 29 for example. If was first unveiled in 1956. And since then there have been the 29-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, it just kept changing.

Now we have the S&W model 629. Same base of a gun. A little more modern in design, safety, and function. So it did stick around, but it had to change to keep selling, keep up with the market.

Most manufacturers just come out with something new.

Now those new guns are going to be what you will see out there, and also what your buddies are going to be telling you about, cause they are easy to come by. Sure if you get an old .32HR you are gonna show it off, but they are hard to come by, because people who have them, have no reason to get rid of them, and they can only show them off so much...

I guess what I'm getting at is there are a **** of a lot of safe queens sitting around collecting dust. Gun collectors can also be shooters, but I would say for the most part... most of those old guns never see the light of day...

I also think that there are very large gun collectors out there that will pick up lots of guns for fairly cheap... so collections get bigger also...

But... if you do find a big dump with a whole bunch of old rusty firearms.. let me know ;D
 

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I've been buying guns from the same few gun stores and pawn shops for the last 40 years and just in the last 10 years seen the supply of used guns almost dissappear. The friends I have at the gun shops tell me people started to hang on to their guns when the Clintons were in office and now they don't pawn them because they have to pay for the back ground checks just to get their own guns back. Not near as many used guns available as in years gone buy, but some good ones still show up on occation.
 

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Another horrible thing that happens to some collectables are the radio and TV stations that offer prizes for guns turned in for disposal. One such station in Orlando a few years would have made a gun colllector sick. They had a Police gun expert describe some of the guns turned in by children and their parents or grand parentsl Dan Wesson commorative 44's, winchester 30/30 with (brass or gold) inlay(officers words) has anyone seen a brass inlayed gun? There was a Desert Eagle 50several shotguns one mentioned by name was a Browning. These were turned for high end shoes donated by a local shoe store with no questions. They didn't say if they were even going to check if the guns were stolen before destroying them. Their misguided theory is that this will get illegal guns off the street and out of the hands of children. Most of the people who were interviewed stated that the guns belonged to grandpa and he was dead so they were turning them in to keep them off the street. I hope at least some of the finer ones were saved by gun appreciating law officers if that was possible. This is an anual event and they haven't reduced the gun violence in Orlando by any degree, gee I wonder why....
 

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I've occasionally wondered myself where " all the used guns " are, particularly the Ruger Blackhawks and Supers. Consider for a moment how many have been made during the last 52 years or so.
Sure, collectors have grabbed up bunches of them, and I'm personally amazed at how many of them have been reworked by the top 20 or so revolver smiths in the country for those who want something special. I have 2 friends who are very well known in this country's circle of gun enthusiasts, who tell me that they each have somewhere between 700 and 800 handguns. Obviously, that's a lot, but it's still just a piddling number compared to all that have been made. It is definitely also the case that the average gun owner today owns many more guns than was the case 50 years ago.
Still, there have to be a lot of them residing in sock drawers somewhere. I suspect that many ( most) will continue to stay there since legal gun transfers have become more restrictive and controlled across the country. The casual owner may simply be unwilling to undergo what he / she may see as a "hassle" of selling " that old gun".
But that doesn't mean we should stop looking !!
 

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I notice it going in cycles here. In the spring, more used rifles seem to be available. Everyone trades in their hunting rifles for the latest & greatest handgun that's in style. In the fall, just the ooposite, the handguns become more plentiful and used rifles dry up. There does sem to be a fairly decent turn-over rate up this way though. Used guns often don't sit too long on the racks/shelves before being bought. Just luck of timing as to what's there when youre there.
In this same line of thought, fall is not a good time to expect great deals on hunting guns as the demand is there then. Same holds true for trade-in amounts as well. It's all a big cycle.
 

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I think the secret is what the gun scribes desire at any given time and what they write about?
 

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Chris said:
For example, the Single shot Harrington and Richardson Shotguns were the norm 30 years ago, I have not seen one in many years, even at the gun stores.



That was my 1st shotgun, my younger brother had one as his 1st shotgun too. They both came from pawn shops for $50-$75 each. I believe my dad just told me that my brother's is still sitting at my dad's house. I don't think my brother has shot it in 20 years.
 

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Do you think the gun buy backs have much of an impact?
When they advertise they are giving $75 per gun I am tempted to take some junk to them and pocket the profit.
I have not heard of any local buy backs recently but a few years ago they were common
 

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I have also often wondered where they all go. They are not consumable like cars, although I have seen a few that were due to misuse and poor storage. I have not seen one in the trash lately. They rarely wear out since they are generally not used very often. The manufacturers just keep putting them out, and they are not used up, so where are they? You would think that we would be tripping over them everywhere we turn.
 

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as far as buy backs i do know where they go. but as for the rest i think they just end up safe queens or people just arent selling them back due to the low price they might fetch.
 

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The radio promo in Orlando a few years ago brought in 300 guns, however many were junk, even pellet guns, as the promo didn't specify it had to be a powder shooter. Unfortunately several that they described on the air were valuable to collectors or anyone who appreciates a quality weapon. As I said the officer overseeing the exchange had specified a Desert Eagle, A dan Wesson comemorative, and a Browning before I shut it off. Oh, and they arrested a man who was paying the equivelent value of the shoes for specific guns. That made the local paper.
 

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You talk about gun buys. Have I got a good story for you. In Norfolk some goody goody group HCI or other was doing a gun buy back and offering a $50 grocery store gift certificate for each working fire arm turned in. Well my roommate had a scam going where he would buy broken audio or video equipment from pawn shops and .... well never mind it was legal and everybody made out. I knew this one shop was selling Raven 25's for $30 each out the door. So I withdrew $300 and went to the pawn shop and purchased 10. Promptly went to the buy back and handed them over. Since I purchased them legally and knew they were not used in any crimes as they were new, I was more than happy to hand over my drivers license. Three months later I had a knock at the door with an officer holding a paper bag with the 10 little auto's asking me to please sign here on a clipboard. Some court had stated that the buy back was not legal as there was not an FFL present and all property was to be returned to the previous owners if known. If your a pinko commi liberal hope you like that I made double my money off of your donation to HCI. So I took them back to the pawn shop in Newport News and sold all 10 back to the shop for $10 each still in the original boxes and the bag from the shop.
Did I mention I used the gift certificates to buy beer for a Rugby party that made me a little more.
I just love that story.
Some of the problems with the used market is that the little single shot guns sell for too little and the shop owners take most of the selling price as a sales commission or offer half to buy out right. If you had a gun that was worth $100 and you were going to get $30 to 40 for it you may just keep it. the same goes for pawning a guns. The shop owners have to do a lot of paperwork here in the DPRC (no not China, California) That they do not want to be bothered spending the time and the possible problems with inexpensive guns. Also you have Gun parts who buys them up to scrap them for parts so you can fix that one you found in Uncle bill closet.
I know I used to like buying old single shots for 25 to 35 bucks and use them as blanks to work on refinishing or other gunsmith projects.
 
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