Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-27-2010, 08:29 PM
Dave T Dave T is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 2,243
Likes: 350
Liked 1,124 Times in 358 Posts
Default What exactly is a "Collector"?

This question was brought to mind by a couple threads lately and my own not so clear understanding of what qualifies as being a "collector".

By most standards I see talked about here, real collectors go for the pristine guns, with little or no wear or signs of use and preferably with the original box and tools. Original paperwork seems to add to the value and desirability. Add to that guns of proven or historical provenance too.

There have been a couple of discussions about re-finishing, cutting barrels and otherwise altering guns and many seem to think this destroys the "collector value".

I've pretty well come to the conclusion I must not be a collector, maybe an accumulator or just an enthusiasts. I can't stand the idea of not shooting a gun so I avoid the pristine ones...can't afford them anyway, LOL. And recently I've decided, having a gun the way I want it rather than the way it was shipped from the factory is not a great sin, particularly since I'm not going to be chopping up, re-barreling or re-bluing any of those "as new in the box" examples anyway.

Not looking for an argument and not knocking anyone's approach to their gun hobby, just bringing up a subject I've been giving some thought to and wondering what others here have to say.

Dave
__________________
RSVN '69-'71
PCSD (Ret)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-27-2010, 08:48 PM
pharmer's Avatar
pharmer pharmer is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Santo las nubes, Florida
Posts: 4,267
Likes: 816
Liked 3,363 Times in 1,345 Posts
Default

Seems like collectors "specialize." I once saw 124 "variants" of the Browning P-35 and the guy who put them together said that wasn't all of them. Most I had never seen, can't imagine what rare P-35's look like. There's a guy around here has quite a few nice .44 magnums. Other end, I met a guy about 15 years ago that traded a substantial collection for 1 Colt SAA with provenance to a "legendary lawman." Had an entire display table around that 1 gun. Guess he qualifies too. Joe
__________________
Member"Other Half"01/20/2017
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-27-2010, 08:52 PM
DCWilson's Avatar
DCWilson DCWilson is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 12,919
Likes: 3,501
Liked 5,025 Times in 1,813 Posts
Default

I'm sure there is a lot of subjectivity to the answers any of us would offer, but I'm also sure there would be pretty universal agreement that unfired prewar old guns in the original boxes and with original accessories are collector pieces in the sense that they are investments whose value is expected to increase at a rate faster than the less perfect specimens of the same model.

Some models are so rare that they are "collectors" even if they have been shot -- and still are in the hands of some. I'm almost ready to say that any K-32 is a collector's item because there are so few out there, and any prewar K-32 is really a collector's item because major collectors are lined up to jump when one of the few dozen known examples becomes available. Similarly, almost any prewar Kit Gun is (to my mind) a collector piece regardless of its condition -- though of course, better condition makes a better collectible than lower condition.

The ones that are on the fence for me are things like unfired postwar non-model-marked N-frames. Yeah, they are nice and they are pretty, but there are more of those in the same or almost the same condition. Are they really collectibles. I guess the answer is that if I don't sell them off, they are collectibles to me.

Maybe that's the generalized answer: If I want something enough to pay somewhat more to get it than others would, it's a collectible; and it achieves the same status if I would prefer to hang on to it rather than sell it to fund another acquisition. I'd never dump a nice prewar Kit Gun to get an equally nice RM, for example. There are more RMs than there are Kit Guns, and I would have more opportunities in the future to score the big N-frame than I would another nice Kit Gun.
__________________
David Wilson
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:29 PM
Gun 4 Fun Gun 4 Fun is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,031
Likes: 1,061
Liked 680 Times in 326 Posts
Default

To me, if you are buying a gun to own and keep, rather than buying to sell in hopes of turning a profit, then you are "collecting" them, which makes you a "collector". It seems a little like infighting to me to say that only those who own the most rare or mint examples are "collectors".

The idea that a gun has to be rare or mint to be collectable is usually only found on boards like this one, and the many other gun boards on the net. When talking with fellow gun enthusiasts at the range, their idea of what constitutes a "collector" is very different from what you will find on the many gun boards, especially those that cater to one brand like S&W, Ruger, etc.. Many of them feel that if you own older guns (and/or) lots of them, that you are a collector, regardless of their vintage of monetary value.

I tend to fit into that class I guess, because I could care less about having the biggest collection of the rarest guns which simply sit idly by. Guns were meant to be shot, or else they wouldn't have a hole in the barrel, so I prefer to use them for what they were designed for. I simply get far more enjoyment from them in doing that. I also believe that you can shoot a fairly "collectable" gun without any remorse as long as you take care of it while at the range, and use proper cleaning techniques, especially if it was fired at some point prior to you buying it.

Last edited by Gun 4 Fun; 04-27-2010 at 09:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:36 PM
BigG-n-Tn's Avatar
BigG-n-Tn BigG-n-Tn is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 360
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

I'm just a "gatherer". "Collector" sounds like someone with much more money than me LOL. Seriously, collector is a relative term in my opinion. Some collect based on trends, standards, conditions and values whereas others determine their own criteria for their "collection" based on their own ideas of what appeals to them.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:41 PM
gunsmith11 gunsmith11 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Round Rock, TX
Posts: 829
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Gun 4 Fun
You are right on,,,they are made too be shot
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:46 PM
boykinlp's Avatar
boykinlp boykinlp is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,485
Likes: 1,267
Liked 2,267 Times in 810 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gun 4 Fun View Post
To me, if you are buying a gun to own and keep, rather than buying to sell in hopes of turning a profit, then you are "collecting" them, which makes you a "collector". It seems a little like infighting to me to say that only those who own the most rare or mint examples are "collectors".

The idea that a gun has to be rare or mint to be collectable is usually only found on boards like this one, and the many other gun boards on the net. When talking with fellow gun enthusiasts at the range, their idea of what constitutes a "collector" is very different from what you will find on the many gun boards, especially those that cater to one brand like S&W, Ruger, etc.. Many of them feel that if you own older guns (and/or) lots of them, that you are a collector, regardless of their vintage of monetary value.

I tend to fit into that class I guess, because I could care less about having the biggest collection of the rarest guns which simply sit idly by. Guns were meant to be shot, or else they wouldn't have a hole in the barrel, so I prefer to use them for what they were designed for. I simply get far more enjoyment from them in doing that. I also believe that you can shoot a fairly "collectable" gun without any remorse as long as you take care of it while at the range, and use proper cleaning techniques, especially if it was fired at some point prior to you buying it.
These are my feelings as well. I have "collected" many things....guns, prints, fishing equipment, and as a kid, I thought I collected coins. Very few of these collected items are pristine, some are very well used or downright junky. But, it is my "collection" and I am proud of it.
__________________
Each one, teach one
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:57 PM
armadillo's Avatar
armadillo armadillo is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 624
Likes: 341
Liked 279 Times in 100 Posts
Default

In addition to what has already been discussed - I think of a collection as having a "theme" or topic that it follows.
__________________
S & W, Win, Dallas, OH
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:02 PM
BigG-n-Tn's Avatar
BigG-n-Tn BigG-n-Tn is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 360
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by armadillo View Post
In addition to what has already been discussed - I think of a collection as having a "theme" or topic that it follows.
Then I must have several "collections" and they seem to be a montage of themes and topics that just ramble and wander on with no real rhyme or reason . Several "pods" of themetrical and topically varied items all to my liking.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:06 PM
bobelk99 bobelk99 is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Central KY
Posts: 1,679
Likes: 13
Liked 192 Times in 92 Posts
Default

If you have two guns, are proud of them, and want a third, then to me you are a collector.

I had a friend who was a Smith collector. He had every model and configuration he could find made since 1955. That is like a Model 10 in all 6 barrel lengths if there were 6.

I have a neighbor who is not wealthy. He has 4 guns, including 2 fine L. C. Smith shotguns. He is probably more proud of his collection than my friend was.

Only in America.
__________________
Incoming fire has right of way
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:10 PM
RKmesa's Avatar
RKmesa RKmesa is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AZ
Posts: 3,146
Likes: 5,104
Liked 9,499 Times in 1,209 Posts
Smile S&W Collector

I was told that you have to own at least one RM in order to be a "collector"....

Just kidding - I am an "enthusiast/hobbyist" who has a safe full of Smiths that I enjoy. I very much enjoy learning from other enthusiasts and sharing the small amount of knowledge that I have acquired.
__________________
Richard
Engraved S&W fan
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:32 PM
sjmjax's Avatar
sjmjax sjmjax is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 550
Likes: 10
Liked 45 Times in 28 Posts
Default

I tend to agree with Armadillo in that a "collector" acquires firearms primarily to fit a specific pattern, topic or theme. As opposed to an accumulator that makes more random selections based on what interests them at the time or has practical use.

There are infinite possible themes to pursue. For example, one of every variation of a particular model such as the P-35 collector mentioned. Military weapons used by all major combatants in a specific war is popular. And I suppose, NIB revolvers does constitute a theme.

I like to think I collect pre-war .32 caliber semi-auto pocket pistols. Mostly satisfied with finding one model of all major manufacturers of the era.

I accumulate S&W and Colt revolvers. Buying anything that interests me at the time and is reasonably priced.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:33 PM
tocohillsguy's Avatar
tocohillsguy tocohillsguy is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: metro Atlanta
Posts: 506
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 4 Posts
Default

I would like to focus my collection on only those that have an internal lock.....NOT.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:58 PM
GF's Avatar
GF GF is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 4,184
Likes: 1,768
Liked 2,911 Times in 811 Posts
Default

As usual, I'm the odd man in the bunch. I have a few S&W's and I shoot some and not others. I like to find a NIB (or nearly so) example of a revolver, maybe even a common one, and leave it that way. If I want to shoot that model I'll buy another one that's got some wear for a "shooter" and keep the first one new.

I like old coins. In their day they too were made to be spent. I don't lay down a Morgan dollar for a Coke.

I have a few Case knives with stag handles. They were made to skin a deer. I use a $15 knife I bought at Wal-Mart for that.

I think some people have an appreciation of a revolver for it's beauty, condition and the timeframe it represents. Either in the manufacturing of a bygone era or a time in our lives that we remember and want to hold a piece of it in hand. Lately, the guns I don't shoot I enjoy more than the ones I do.

I like to have different finishes, calibers and frame sizes of the best condition revolvers I can find, at the prices I can afford. I consider myself a collector, and I bet I have as much satisfaction cleaning a gun that's never been shot as much as one I'm cleaning because I've put a hundred rounds through it.

GF
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-27-2010, 11:57 PM
H. M. Pope's Avatar
H. M. Pope H. M. Pope is offline
Absent Comrade
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: At the Range
Posts: 261
Likes: 56
Liked 78 Times in 24 Posts
Default

IN A NUTSHELL: Collecting is usually a self-enriching cultural and social pastime, but it can become a self-destructive, anal-compulsive obsession.

In answering the question, "Why do you collect ?", many collectors would probably simply say, "Because it's fun." But there's always something behind what we find fun.

Collecting is more than just collecting. Its origins go way back. As a species, we have a deeply ingrained need to hoard to survive the next winter or the next siege, to safeguard the future. Some of us, like Noah for his ark, collect one of each type. Others collect many of a smaller number of types. Still others collect many of many types, amassing huge numbers of coins. Much about coin collecting is equally applicable in other fields of collecting.

In his 1985 book American Pewter, J. B. Kerfoot's mentioned that other animals also collect and suggested that the hobby of collecting is a "human superstructure raised upon the foundation of an instinct. In other words, that which, in the squirrel, is an inherited mechanism of self-entrenchment has become, in the collector, a subtle technique of self-expression, self-emphasis, and self-extension."

In his 2003 book Ancient Coin Collecting, Vol. 1, Wayne Sayles talked about coin collecting starting not as a hobby but instead "as a packrat mentality to accumulate anything useful.... Cave inhabitants were certainly accumulators if not collectors."

While it doesn't have to, and in the vast majority of cases it doesn't, collecting can become self-destructive, an anal-compulsive fastidiousness or an escapist obsession.

In an earlier article, in the February 1996 Celator titled "Is Coin Collecting a Form of Escapism?," Sayles wrote, "The danger arises when a collector loses complete touch with reality and allows the hobby to dictate all other aspects of one's life. Every dealer can name collectors who would spend the rent money to buy a coveted rarity ... who neglect their health, their families and their social responsibilities to satisfy their compulsion.... Much like drug addiction, alcoholism or gambling, chronically compulsive collecting can be devastating.... It is probably a manifestation of some disguised emotional problem." Sayles balanced this by talking about healthy collectors and healthy collecting.

In his 2001 documentary film Vinyl about record collecting, Alan Zweig profiled among others an extreme example of collecting pathology, a social recluse who refused to leave his record-lined apartment, where each time he used the bathroom it took him several minutes to relocate the records in front of the bathroom door. As with coin collectors and coins, the record collectors profiled in the film found many ways to appreciate records and regarded each as a small piece of history.

In 2006 a British accountant was sentenced to a one-year prison term for embezzling from his firm over a two-year period the equivalent of more than $120,000 to buy coins. He had previously maxed out numerous credit cards that he had obtained for the same purpose. He received the jail time despite paying back what he stole partly by selling off his coin collection.

The difference between being a passionate collector and a fixated eccentric depends in part on whether other, more important aspects of life are neglected. Does collecting enrich your life without impoverishing other aspects of it or the lives of those around you? Much also depends on how much control you have. Can you pass up a buy, or have you reached the point where you can't stop yourself?

The deeper motivation of some collectors may be to gain greater control, with their types and classifications, of a larger world that seems out of control. In his 2003 book To Have and to Hold: An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting, Philipp Blom described collecting as a "philosophical project" that attempts to "make sense of the multiplicity and chaos of the world, and perhaps even to find in it a hidden meaning."

There's unquestionably a psychological component to collecting. In his 1968 paper titled "The Psychoanalysis of the Numismatist," Jean Mazard wrote that coin collectors can get into trouble if they let themselves sink into egoism and isolation. He also provided balance by talking about how collectors become numismatists when "the joy of learning overtakes the [joy] of acquiring and possessing."

In his 1993 book Collecting: An Unruly Passion: Psychological Perspectives, Werner Muensterberger wrote that obsessive collecting derives from "depravation or loss or vulnerability and a subsequent longing for substitutes."

Freud believed that we go through psychosexual stages in our development and that if we don't progress healthfully through them, later psychological repercussions will ensue. In Freudian terms, perhaps the urge to collect, to acquire and hold, is sometimes anal-compulsive in nature and the urge to complete, to fill holes, is sometimes phallic because of incomplete development.

Jung believed that our behavior is influenced by archetypes, universal symbols deeply embedded in our collective unconsciousness. Collecting coins and completing sets no doubt have as their archetypal antecedents the hoarding needed for survival by early humankind.

We no longer need to squirrel away seeds and nuts. But having beautiful old Guns to pull out and admire when we feel like it can truly be a pleasurable thing.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-28-2010, 05:00 AM
Hammerdown's Avatar
Hammerdown Hammerdown is offline
Absent Comrade
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,569
Likes: 20
Liked 1,226 Times in 310 Posts
Lightbulb

Hi
To me collecting gun's is a Personal thing and the focus is set to each collector. Condition is everything and finding ones unfired or still like new is very hard today as so many are out there grabbing them up, because as we know most of the Cream is Long gone and all ready in serious collectors hands so it drives the prices sky High to a Point where a modest collector like myself can not add certain models, nor would not pay what the seller thinks his gun is worth.


Many years ago, I had started collecting Model number revolvers, but have moved all of them to now have Pre-Models and mostly 5 screw other than my 4 screw Model 48's which were never offered as Five screw models to begin with.The ones I have kept are 90% and above and that is what I look for when purchasing gun's to add to my collection, but it limits adding new ones as I said, The New In Box ones are very deep in older collectors hands.



One thing that has always frustrated me is the mention of refinishing that seems to offend serious collector's. I have seen many refinished in serious collectors hands, but they tend to live with it so long as the factory refinished them. I feel if a refinisher does a good enough job, any gun qualifies for a good pick whether or not it was the factory that did it, they are all still refinished, so why is it all right to the serious collectors if the factory did it ?



I have also seen Factory refinishing that is not of the best quality with weak roll mark's and stampings as the older stamp's and tooling for making these stamps and roll marks are long gone, yet it does not offend the serious collector so long as there is date code stamps on the gun, which seems silly to me as they are still refinished no matter who did them and not very eye appealing to me that way with weak stampings.



On the other end of that spectrum, you see those that feel low serial numbers make one more desirable. I agree they are "IF" they are of upper quality not "holster burned" and show high levels of wear to the high edges, which drives down the level of eye appeal, collectibility or over all price of what the gun should be worth to me. I was at a Louisville, Kentucky show a few years ago, and a Man had a Low serial number K-22. It was serial number K-311 if I remember correctly.




He felt it was worth a King's Ransom due to it's lower serial number but at Best it was around a 70% Gun, showing wear on the end of the sides of the barrel, high edges of the cylinder & frame, and had almost no bluing left on the extractor rod due to so much use. He had it priced at $1000.00 and was walking the floor showing it to anyone that would Listen to him trying to market it as a very low super collectible. I saw him leave later with it in hand as he headed to his car, so I guess other's felt the Lower condition was not desirable to add to their collections either...
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-28-2010, 07:28 AM
Andy Griffith's Avatar
Andy Griffith Andy Griffith is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Out for the duration
Posts: 4,873
Likes: 62
Liked 483 Times in 247 Posts
Default

The problem is, once someone defines another as a "collector," everyone wants to sell that person something "rare."

A collector/accumulator/investor can be the same person, but doesn't have to be. I personally hate labels- I just buy, keep and use what I like, regardless of monetary gain- however I would like to break even eventually.

The worst problem is that many times emotions get involved if a person is passionate about his hobby, and that's when sellers to "collectors" make a great deal of money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, and it helps the hobby in many ways- such as attracting attention to the hobby, makes pieces go up in value and more history and facts may come to light increasing interest . On the contrary, it can make pieces go down when items become overvalued and inflated through dishonest conduct of rouges, ruffians and just plain greedy people...what happened a few years ago in the high end Winchester market is an example.

As for an investment- whether it's guns/coins/stamps/plate glass or anything else- they will only increase in value if someone is willing to buy it for a greater price- regardless of scarcity or condition. (Not to be confused with intrinsic value and/or value of use to a buyer)
__________________
Lost it all in a boat accident

Last edited by Andy Griffith; 04-28-2010 at 07:36 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-28-2010, 08:10 AM
JSR III's Avatar
JSR III JSR III is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Massachusetts USA
Posts: 5,647
Likes: 1,470
Liked 2,898 Times in 1,333 Posts
Default

WOW, some very interesting answers. This subject has been debated on this and other forums for years. I call myself a collector and as my header shows, I am a life member of the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association.

I fell into a small gun collection when my grandfather passed. He had a few hunting guns and since my parents had no interest, they became mine when I left home. My dad had a couple of WW2 bring backs and his fathers gun when he owned a store, so he added those to my small collection when I left. I had shown an early interest in guns and shot on the NJ State Champion Smallbore Rifle Team in 1963 IIRC.

After moving to MA, I met a guy that was into guns, gun shows and S&W's in particular and that started me down the slippery slope. Initially I collected about anything that I could afford and at some point after a few years began to focus on S&W.

Although, I strive to purchase the best condition examples that I can find, many in my collection do not have boxes, tools etc., and have varying degrees of finish wear. I do have one that has provenance attached to a former S&W employee as well as one that was awarded as a trophy at a shoot held at the Springfield Revolver Club. Those I consider the lynch pins of my modest collection.

Although my collection has no real focus other than S&W now, I really do prefer 6" blued revolvers without model marks. I just find the quality of these older guns to be far superior to what they are building today. But I mean no offense to those that collect Scandium, Tandium or Candium guns. To each his own.

So all that said, I don't think that you can lump humans into any one category any more than you can lump collectors into one definition. There are more sub categories of "collector" than S&W has models. The main thing is that we are all firearm enthusiasts and we share in one of the greatest hobbies that there is. IMHO.
__________________
James Redfield
LM #497
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-28-2010, 08:11 AM
deadin's Avatar
deadin deadin is offline
US Veteran
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ocean Shores, WA, USA
Posts: 4,018
Likes: 68
Liked 1,714 Times in 697 Posts
Default

Quote:
By most standards I see talked about here, real collectors go for the pristine guns, with little or no wear or signs of use and preferably with the original box and tools. Original paperwork seems to add to the value and desirability. Add to that guns of proven or historical provenance too.
Tell me this isn't a "collection". Only a few meet the above criteria, none are unfired (by me) and most aren't even close to "pristine".



Now these may or may not be a "collection" but rather an "accumulation" as there isn't any real theme other than "Old Foreign Handguns" (Except one.)
__________________
Dean
SWCA #680
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-28-2010, 11:27 AM
H Richard's Avatar
H Richard H Richard is offline
US Veteran
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Central IL
Posts: 14,275
Likes: 5,110
Liked 6,145 Times in 2,963 Posts
Default

I refer to myself as an "accumulator" of Fine Old S&W's. I prefer pre-war and antique, but anything S&W will perk up my attention. I own very few "pristine" examples, and have only a few I have not fired, (including the antique's). Honest wear does not detract from honest value in my eye's. I always wonder who may have owned and used a particular S&W over the sometimes 100+ years it has been around. My "accumulation" dates range from 1867 to 1991. No, I own no "IL" guns, not because I despise the lock, but because the mystique of fine old guns is not there. I have small displays of some of my older guns in my office where I can see them daily, and appreciate the workmanship that went into them. In replacing a firing pin on a 1921 safety hammerless, I marvel at the precision fit quality that was all hand fitted. Like a fine Swiss watch.

I like to handle my guns; disassemble and clean and perhaps smooth up an action here or there. Very few of my guns would classify as "collector's".
__________________
H Richard
SWCA1967
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-28-2010, 01:18 PM
rburg rburg is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Kentucky, USA
Posts: 6,585
Likes: 1,622
Liked 3,999 Times in 1,510 Posts
Default

Who knows? And who's business is it other than the collector? But I can tell you that if you think your pile of guns isn't a collection, you're probably right.

Those who feel confident on imposing rules on us to define our collections are out of line. We do as we please, its in the Constitution. There are no set rules to define it, and those who attempt to do so are usually motivated by less than honorable motives.

Way back, 40 years ago I was getting married. My mother hated guns, and she hated my dad's guns, and mine. I was moving stuff out of the basement where Dad had graciously allowed us to store things, and from my room. One evening, out came the guns. My mother real disgustedly commented about me taking my gun collection. Worse, that maybe my new wife to be wouldn't allow them. Lucky for me, my future FIL was there helping. He commented that if she didn't allow them, maybe I wouldn't allow her to stay! It really shocked my mother. FIL was an NRA instructor, and he liked guns. Wife couldn't care less. She had to move all her sewing stuff. She was busy with her own things, too busy to try to impose her views on me. Oh, we're still married.

And the huge collection consisted of the family heirloom 45-70, my 22, and my 870. I could carry all my ammo in a single wood box. Things are different these days...

My mother was disgusted, so she felt freedom to characterize my guns as a collection, as if I'd dedicated my life up to that point in getting them. The reality is I've dedicated my life since then to the pursuit. I want to call my pile of S&Ws a collection, so they are. If that's OK with you, fine.
__________________
Dick Burg

Last edited by handejector; 05-01-2010 at 10:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-28-2010, 01:21 PM
Joe in SC Joe in SC is offline
US Veteran
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: up-state SC
Posts: 738
Likes: 112
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
Default

Good topic, one that I often ponder and toss around in my head.

I have thought that I am a collector. Then seeing what some members of this forum share with us I think that in the realm of gun collectors, I certainly do not qualify at that level.I suppose some museum collections are rivaled by our "top -level" collectors.

On the other hand you have to start somewhere. I know a hellofa lot of people who have, say, 10 guns or more, some new, some used, all well cared for, who consider themselves collectors. They don't participate in internet gun forums and could care less. In their mind they are gun collectors. They would probably tell me that I am trying to be elite or arrogant by dismissing them because all their guns aren't new or following a theme or overly expensive. They enjoy their guns just as much. They love to handle them, they enjoy showing them and many love to use their guns as the designer/maker intended.

I think it's just like everything else. No matter what you have in your collection there's always someone that can trump you with more guns, better and more pristine specimines and certainly rarer items. Does that make you a mere accumulator? I don't think so.

I think there is a wide range of, or many levels of gun collecting. From the guy or gal who has their grand daddy's gun or two all the way up to the world class collections of revolvers we see here.

So then, maybe you're a collector when you say you are and have a gun or two.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-28-2010, 01:22 PM
handejector's Avatar
handejector handejector is offline
Administrator
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 16,337
Likes: 1,235
Liked 15,259 Times in 3,268 Posts
Default

Entirely subjective thing.

If you think you are one, you probably are.
If you think you are not one, you probably aren't, but may well fit someone else's definition.

I have met people who proudly proclaimed to all that "I'm a gun collector!" because they bought every gun that seemed reasonably priced in every pawn shop or gun shop they could get to, often having little or no knowledge of any of their 'collection'.
Others focus on one brand or type while being extremely knowledgeable about one or more brands or types, and still don't consider themselves a collector.

Condition has little to do with being a collector, beyond seeking the best example possible among those available. If you collect Indian War guns, western lawmen SA's, Viet Nam captures, or police issued guns, you can tie up a fortune in a very impressive and historically significant collection that does not have a single high condition gun in it!

I do not even fit my own definition of 'collector'.
I have my fondnesses, and I've never met a Hand Ejector I didn't like, but focused I am not. I love them all.

I am simply an accumulector, or, if you prefer, a colleculator.
__________________
Regards,
Lee Jarrett
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-28-2010, 06:35 PM
29aholic's Avatar
29aholic 29aholic is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hermitage, MO
Posts: 5,125
Likes: 747
Liked 710 Times in 274 Posts
Default

I used to collect Colt SAA's but it got too expensive too quick. I have since overcome that addiction and dont see myself owning another one.
Obviously as my SN implies, I love the 44 magnum and have since my very first one. I have a pretty decent "collection" of them and keep adding to it. Of those, there are a few that are what I call "nice shooters" as they are somewhat less than pristine but have not been abused just show honest wear. I also have quite a bit of memorabilia on the 44.

I cant really say I am a S&W collector because I could care less about most models they make. I have no desire to own a 41 magnum even though the 57 and the 29 look identical. I would like to own a Registered Magnum but only if it had some REALLY cool provenance like being owned by a Texas Ranger or such. Something like that probably would not be pristine.
I do have several modified guns, one by me, and I love them because they are working guns modified with a specific purpose in mind.
I dont really mind refinished guns if they are done well, but wont usually buy one unless it's a model I want and cant afford an original. One of my guns, while not refinished, was sent back to the factory to have the barrel changed to a 6.5" from a 4" and is so marked and lettered.

Themes are a bitch. I onec thought of putting together a set of the K Target guns until I figured out finding a K32 that I could afford was going to be impossible and I REFUSE to give that much for a 32.
I also thought about trying to put together one of every model listed in the 1966 (my birth year) All Model Circular and shipped in 1966...impossible as there are several that had more or less been discontinued prior to that year but were still listed.
Sooner or later I will probably have all of the dash series in the 44 magnum up to a point, but will probably have to pay big bucks for a -1 unless I luck in to one.


I guess I am with Lee, I am an accumulector. I buy guns I like that I think are neat of all brands.
__________________
C M Brier CPA, CIA, CFE
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04-28-2010, 06:57 PM
Model520Fan Model520Fan is offline
US Veteran
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: MA
Posts: 4,726
Likes: 2,045
Liked 1,840 Times in 962 Posts
Default

Dave T,

Not sure exactly why you're asking, but it's a good question. After all the answers here, some of which were very good (for me), all of which were right for those who posted them, I'm still not sure exactly who is and who isn't a collector. That's OK.

I only buy guns that I can shoot. I mean it. That said, I do appreciate new-looking guns in the S&W boxes of my youth. I have a few guns which I try to preserve as well as possible, keeping in mind that even NIB S&W guns have been fired. But I don't own a gun I won't carry and use - that's what they are for.

I have no disagreement with those who won't fire certain guns. Some day I may see their guns, a bit of history preserved. I appreciate their effort and expense, and my good fortune in benefitting from it. But I won't do it.

If we were all the same, most of us would be unnecessary.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 04-28-2010, 07:08 PM
Dosgatos Dosgatos is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 796
Likes: 100
Liked 242 Times in 68 Posts
Default

Geez, I thought I had a problem owning 14 top-breaks and about 10 hand ejectors, but after seeing Deadin's post I realize that I'm reasonably sane....
__________________
Peter #2091
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 04-28-2010, 07:18 PM
dlbx2's Avatar
dlbx2 dlbx2 is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Danville, Virginia, USA
Posts: 1,157
Likes: 285
Liked 613 Times in 179 Posts
Default

I'm sort of new here, but I feel that a collector looks at whatever he is collecting as a piece of art, or of history. That is what brings him joy or satisfaction. Whereas, an "accumulator" looks at his items as tools, and the exercising of the function of the item is his joy or satisfaction. Again, this is from a new guy on the block. A fifty-six year old new guy with a few guns, but new at this anyway. By the way, I sure do enjoy the photos that you guys post. Beautiful guns and excellent photography!
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04-28-2010, 07:20 PM
gunslinger_h gunslinger_h is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: S.W. Louisiana
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

In my opinion, a collection of guns is two or more that make you happy. Shoot them and have fun. Hank.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04-28-2010, 08:38 PM
Dave T Dave T is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 2,243
Likes: 350
Liked 1,124 Times in 358 Posts
Default

Model520Fan,

I asked because I had been thinking about it and thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss. I sure didn't mean to offend anyone. Seems I offended rburg non-the-less. I don't know what he's so ticked off about so I'm not even sure what to apologize for. Hope he has a better day tomorrow.

Dave
__________________
RSVN '69-'71
PCSD (Ret)

Last edited by handejector; 04-28-2010 at 10:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 04-28-2010, 09:33 PM
RKmesa's Avatar
RKmesa RKmesa is offline
SWCA Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AZ
Posts: 3,146
Likes: 5,104
Liked 9,499 Times in 1,209 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rburg View Post
And the huge collection consisted of the family heirloom 45-70, my 22, and my 870. I could carry all my ammo in a single wood box. Things are different these days...
Dick:

I would certainly call you a collector... However, I do miss the days when you continually updated your gun count underneath your signature. Whenever my wife would complain that my collection was getting to large, I could point to your count on the forum and say "at least I'm not as bad as him" to which she would smile and say "....yet...."
__________________
Richard
Engraved S&W fan
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 04-28-2010, 10:03 PM
RABradbury RABradbury is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

To me a "serious" collector has a lot more money than I, but probably doesn't enjoy his "collection" any more than I do. I have the guns I have because I like them, shoot them, and enjoy shooting them either at the range, or for varmints. I gave up deer hunting - too many people out there who don't know what they are doing.
I would have to agree with the majority of the comments that say whatever you consider to be your collection is a collection - be it fancy or utilitarian.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 04-28-2010, 11:12 PM
model70hunter's Avatar
model70hunter model70hunter is offline
Member
What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"? What exactly is a "Collector"?  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sante Fe Trail, Kansas
Posts: 4,615
Likes: 11,319
Liked 5,079 Times in 2,072 Posts
Default

Part of this is as old as the hunter gatherer. The more you had the better your chance of survival. When young I was a deadly marble player and had gallons of marbles in the barn loft. I traded extra marbles for pocket knives and old baseball cards. Both in boxes in the barn loft. dad sold the farm and did not let us know. The new owner wouldn't let my brother and I get our stuff. Later I had a great knife collection, old Winchesters, Case, Remington and others. I took a beating when I sold it to buy land. I had a mixed collection of long guns, pre-64's, Parkers, AH Fox, Westly Richards and Cogswell and Harrison plus some Brownings. I ended up selling all 1 at a time in child custody battle and divorce. Yes I got the kids and yes they wanted to be with me, that part was worthwhile. I feel I am an accumulator as much as a collector. I swore I would never have another collection. Soon I was up to 10 really nice pre 64's and lost interest. When I see an A Grade Parker I remember the one I used to own. I do not have a desire to own another. I sold 2 70's and bought Kimber 7mm08's, I sold another and bought a couple of Smiths, I sold another today and bought a couple more Smiths. I find the handguns more rewarding to own and fun to shoot. I never went out and about on the farm without a hand gun. Full Circle? I will not own a Smith "collectable rare NIB type" as I like shooters and users. I could not be trusted with a NIB safe queen. I am picking up various types of Smith's. 45 LC, 3 in 357, 44 mag, 2 22 Masterpieces. The only model I see that has the lure to make me aquire multiple variations is the pesky 27 or perhaps some day a pre 27 in 5". But now my drive is to enjoy the guns I acquire and do not feel driven to own one of each. To each his or her own. To some folks being a collector may be owning one old family gun or one may feel the need to own all S&W's made in 1955. Either is the individuals perogative. Price nor condition determines ones status if one feels they are a collector. I've accumulated 6 or 7 Smith's in the last several months. Collection? Naw, accumulating is for me, besides making an excellent trade and coming out way ahead is as much fun as running the pot and taking everyones marbles.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
44 magnum, browning, coke bottle grips, colt, ejector, extractor, hammerless, hand ejector, kit gun, lock, military, model 10, nra, postwar, prewar, registered magnum, ruger, s&w, saa, scandium, sig arms, springfield, stag, universal, winchester

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTS: NIB S&W 4" 586-4 (SPF), Collector quality 6 1/2" 29-2 (SPF) bbtrout GUNS - For Sale or Trade 7 03-22-2011 11:06 AM
66-5 3" Is it a collector? rpm2010 S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 4 02-21-2011 04:30 PM
WTS: Collector grade 3 1/2" pre-27 w/box & tools - SPF bbtrout GUNS - For Sale or Trade 2 01-09-2011 09:42 PM
WTB S&W 500 8 3/8" or Bone Collector jrb_pro WANTED to Buy 1 10-20-2010 11:18 PM
Collector's Value of a "no dash" Smith Col Defender S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 6 02-07-2010 11:36 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:26 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)