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Old 07-16-2012, 04:23 PM
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Default New S&W machine engraved pistols... a good investment?

I am interested in purchasing two firearms for my two daughters (one is 5 and one is 15 months). These will not be shooters, but investments with the goal of having appreciated in value by the time they turn 18.

I was originally looking for an older smith or colt revolver in mint condition but am having a hard time finding a mint pistol for under $1000 and I feel these are in a bubble right now or have close to maxed out on value. I then noticed the new 640 machine engraved with wood presentation box. This gun does not have the lock, which I could see 20 years from now as a rarity for guns from this era possibly adding to the value.

At under $800 I envision this firearm at least bringing its original purchase price if not $1200-$1500 in new in box condition 20 years down the road. Is my reasoning right on this or am I missing something?
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:33 PM
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Put the $800 in stock instead.

I doubt the machine engraving will be worth much more than a plain NIB model. It's kind of a specialized thing.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:38 PM
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Dont want to put money in stock, I want to put it in guns. If I did I would find a stocks forum somewhere and ask them. As a matter of fact several financial investment websites and magazines are beginning to recommend firearms as a valid investment.

My question is what would be a good firearm to invest in.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:44 PM
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Older model that are hard to find. Registered magnums are good ones i believe. Engraving is subjective. Some like it some dont. Doesnt necessarily make a gun more valuable
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by P95loser View Post
Dont want to put money in stock, I want to put it in guns. If I did I would find a stocks forum somewhere and ask them. As a matter of fact several financial investment websites and magazines are beginning to recommend firearms as a valid investment.

My question is what would be a good firearm to invest in.
Welcome to the forum.

MichiganScott gave you pretty good advice vis-a-vis a more traditional investment structure; you might reconsider your position if you're interested in a likely better return. Either way, a simple "No, thanks" will do.

I don't know of any reputable financial advisors or publications that are suggesting firearms as suggested investments; "valid" perhaps, but not suggested, except maybe by preppers.

I don't think the 640 in question is a sound investment simply because it's a total gamble trying to guess which if any of the current crop of guns will have collector's value in years to come. Your logic holds in that it'll be a less common gun, so no matter what it is likely to fetch a little more than its pedestrian counterparts 20 years from now, but trying to determine what will be collector's items in 20 years? May as well look into a crystal ball.

There's a perverse but valid argument that if the lock slowly fades out, as it appears to be in at least some of the J-frames, the guns with the lock will be the collectibles: curios from a brief, abandoned experiment in S&W history (one can hope).

That is to say, collectibility can take strange, counterintuitive turns.

I think you'd be much better off looking to ones that have already established themselves as collectible; that's the best predictor of future collectibility. At minimum, this means pre-lock and pre-MIM; ideally back to the pinned barrel era, if possible (which it should be). If you can't find an NRA "perfect" with box, papers and tools out there for $800, you aren't looking hard enough.

Hit the gun shows; look at the classifieds here; peruse the online auction and vendor sites. They are definitely out there.

Since the gun will in effect just be sitting around collecting value, it almost doesn't matter what model it is; the condition and completeness of package will be what's most important.

Last edited by Hapworth; 07-16-2012 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:21 PM
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I do understand that a more traditional and main screen form of investments will probably yield a better return. This is not the only investment that I have made for them. I am looking to invest a little of their money while nurturing an appreciation for firearms and giving them a sense of ownership with an item of real physical value. This will not be there only guns as they will have shooters when they get older. At the very least I would think it would do better than sitting in a bank account.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:22 PM
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I do like the idea of an older model gun however my hopes on finding two identical firearms for both girls are slim unless I buy new or pay a premium.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:35 PM
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You will not find a sound investment in guns unless you get a deal on a NFA item. There are just too many made outside a few collectables you most likely wont get a good deal on unless you luck upon a fire sale. You could get lucky on a few sought after pre-locks and keep them pristine for 50 years... After this is all said and done, will the girls know how to cash in on their investment in the future? Buy them some Apple or Starbucks stock instead. Not nearly as glamorous but will be worth more in the long run.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:40 PM
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I would suggest that you buy yourself the engraved model and a single shot .22 Chipmunk rifle for the 5 y/o and get her to the range. Having raised two daughters, the window to get them involved is very narrow and she is probably in it already. Buy the younger one her own rifle when she is the same age.

Giving them something they can not touch will not nurture an appreciation for firearms nor give them a sense of ownership with an item of real value.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:06 PM
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I would suggest that you buy yourself the engraved model and a single shot .22 Chipmunk rifle for the 5 y/o and get her to the range. Having raised two daughters, the window to get them involved is very narrow and she is probably in it already. Buy the younger one her own rifle when she is the same age.

Giving them something they can not touch will not nurture an appreciation for firearms nor give them a sense of ownership with an item of real value.
^^^What he said^^^
All the time in our LGS, we see young people bringing in inherited firearms, their only question being "how much will you give me for this?"
They'd be better off with Facebook stock than some ready-made "collectible".
Franklin Mint, anyone?
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:10 PM
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If your dead set on investing in a gun I would go with one of the older Colt's...notice I said older. I would stay away from anything engraved. Look for NIB or LNIB with all the paper work tools or anything elese that it came with. Be warned it will not be cheap.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:13 PM
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Hello P95
I would do some time looking into Dan Wesson wheel guns. I think for the money you want to spend you may find something that will realize the growth in value you are looking for.
Very neat idea for your daughters! My hat is off to you.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:31 PM
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*Buy gold*.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
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I would suggest that you buy yourself the engraved model and a single shot .22 Chipmunk rifle for the 5 y/o and get her to the range. Having raised two daughters, the window to get them involved is very narrow and she is probably in it already. Buy the younger one her own rifle when she is the same age.

Giving them something they can not touch will not nurture an appreciation for firearms nor give them a sense of ownership with an item of real value.
Actually, the 5 year old (4 1/2) already has a cricket 22 youth rifle (pink synthetic w/ stainless barrel) that she has got to hold and fondle under my supervision. She cannot hold it well enough quite yet to shoot, but next spring we should be ready. She loves to look at my guns when I have the safe open and already knows "not to touch guns without mommy or daddy" and "don't point guns at people."

Like i said, my girls will be well versed in firearms but my intention was to get them a nice handgun that would be theirs to go along with their shooters, just a special gun they could take with them when they move out and if they choose to sell it they could make a little money.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:57 PM
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*Buy gold*.
I actually already sold my gold, I think the bubble is about to pop.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:49 PM
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How about a pair of 1911's? Colt, Les Baer, Wilson or some other established manufacture.
Re: firearms as investments. I wish that I had purchased some of those Steyr AUGs that were at the shows for less than $1000.00 20ish years ago. I know a few years ago they were over 5k. Or my first duty weapon. A 686 in the midnight black finish. I paid $175.00 NIB for it, last time I saw one it was over $750.00 and beat up bad. I paid $400.00 for a High Standard 10B shotgun and sold it for $1200.00 after a couple of years.
I have made too much money off buying firearms and flipping them for a profit after a year or two to believe they are not a sound investment.
Look at what happened with 696s and 940s. A few years ago these could be had for a song, now look at the prices they command even in well used form.
In my area I am seeing more and more of the Nightguard revolvers for $600-700.00 (mostly the 610) when a year ago they were 1k when you could find them. Before long I will find one closer to $500.00 and jump on it, sit on it and flip it for a profit.
Quality firearms go in cycles just like any other investment. By quality, by low and sell when you think it has peaked. It doesn't have to be exotic to gain in value. Plain 686s have been on the rise for a long time. Colt 1991A1s have about doubled in 10 years. Or even look at SKSs. A Russian SKS was around $85.00 15 years ago. Those same ones are pushing $500.00+ now.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:18 AM
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If you're looking for investments that can also be shooters I think your first purchase should be a K-22. You can get an older one or a M17, which is the same revolver, just a new name. Revolvers all got numbers in 1957. The K-22 is loads of fun and a good one to learn with. They are also very popular with collectors. An added advantage is they have almost no recoil and not much muzzle blast. Plus the fact .22 Long Rifle ammunition is cheap. Heck, you can shoot all afternoon for 10 bucks.
An engraved gun is valuable if it is by a famous engraver. Some people think it adds a great deal of value. Often that is not the case.
S&W revolvers have risen dramatically in value recently. I bought several in the mid to late '90s that are worth two or three times what I paid for them. None are in 100% condition, and I shoot and carry them. I bought them to use, and I enjoy doing so very much.
Get a few K-22s, then maybe a Military and Police .38 Special (M10). These are not hard to find, and are increasing in value. Then stay here on the Forum, and I'll bet you get a lot more ideas.
My congratulations to you in starting your kids out on the road to being safe gun owners. We need more parents like you.
Jim
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:07 AM
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I actually already sold my gold, I think the bubble is about to pop.
Maybe. But 220 years the closing annual gold price has only dropped a dozen times and most of that was in the Reagan/Bush I era.
Historical gold prices

At any rate it's a dice shoot (can't say **** shoot) and I am not an investment professional by any means. I should probably be quiet...
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:55 AM
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I sold two revolvers this year, that just got too valuable to use. One was a S&W 686 3" Custom Service. The other was a Colt Diamondback 22. I replaced them with a 9mm to shoot at the range (CZ75), a model 637 for EDC, and an old model 60, very clean, with the box, to collect. I don't know if it will up in value, but I always wanted one.

I used the rest of the money to buy old gold coins, near melt, but also with some collector value. Sold some of my gold coins with dings (ungradeable) or carbon spots, while gold was high.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:06 AM
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If you want investment grade S&W/ Colt revolvers, check out David Carroll or the Fugate Brothers websites.

Pay the price for stone mint condition and wait the time to see if your choice was a good one.

You'll have a lot of company as these strong dealers have many customers speculating on investment grade guns.

GF
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:47 AM
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Hard to tell from photographs but to my untrained eye the engraving almost looks laser etched. I know it's not but still it looks cheap and lacks the depth of old school hand engraving.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:05 AM
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Most guns aren't a big money making scheme,especially in the shallow end of the pool.The expensive rare stuff,the ultra stuff,the truly artful stuff,is where the potential may be,not regular production,or minimally enhanced by a machine products.
Add to that, a change in tastes/trends.Most of us here average 60 years old,I suspect.Do the youngsters fancy revolvers/old school stuff or are they buying black guns.My LGS says black guns.I'm still a little stunned that my minty 1969 Belgian Browning AV,a highly collectable gun I always believed for the last 43 years that I've had it, is in a bit of a dead zone.The guys that like this stuff,have aged,passed.Few buyers,more supply.Need I add that I think more and more people are anti-gun,and the interest is subject to increasing pressure,growing populations not wanting ranges near them?Not positives rom an investment standpoint to say the least.
Add to the equation,the transaction costs of selling a handgun.Yesterday,I sold another supposed "collectable." A brand new 34-2.Offered here,there,no interest at around 675-690 shipped,which frankly I thought was quite reasonable by any standard.By the time,I get done with next day shipping,the FFL,the GB fee,the fee to take it off of my PL,I net less than 600.Yes,I made a few dollars in the last dozen years of my ownership,but certainly no homerun,and I bought it very right when I did.I didn't have to sell it,but if I wanted a quick liquidation,that means wholesale to a dealer,and I would have lost money.If you want to leave something to a child,let it be something that is easily sold,such as gold or a stock.Don't saddle them with a selling headache.
As I've stated many times before,the real return in investment comes from the joy of ownership and shooting them,not from an investment return notion.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:31 AM
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I think guns are a little like baseball cards, the really old ones in nice condition will always be worth money. The new stuff, everybody puts it away and there is so much its never going to be worth what the old stuff is. Of course there's always going to be one that emerges as a terrific investment, good luck identifying that before it takes off.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:34 AM
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It's also a horrible lesson on proper investing. Read up on things like modern portfolio theory.

This is specualtion. It's the worst "investment" lesson possible!

It's also investing in one singular item with a very poor overall rate of return when one doesn't cherry pick the best results - another awful financial lesson.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:47 AM
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I think guns are a little like baseball cards, the really old ones in nice condition will always be worth money. The new stuff, everybody puts it away and there is so much its never going to be worth what the old stuff is. Of course there's always going to be one that emerges as a terrific investment, good luck identifying that before it takes off.
The OP has already said the great guns and gold are in a bubble.Right there,I'm on a different page with him.I might agree that both are pumped up a bit,but little reason why the pump won't keep running,so that takes away the pump theory.They're both perceived as pricey because we remember lower prices,but that doesn't make them expensive or overpriced now.
Baseball cards? Look at values ten years ago,and today.Same collector value thing with cards,cars,guns,etc.We long for memories of our youth,so the appeal is to our generation,so going forward,when most will be seen as just cardboard?.Kids born decades afer the sixties won't be turned on by a 1964 Topps Willie May card anymore than they're turned on by a '64 Impala SS.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:04 PM
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A lot of good ideas here already. I would recommend a model that is already showing considerable collector interest and is only going to get more interest - expensive - in the future. Say a mint P&R 629, or a nice 29-2, or a 29 Classic or Classic DX with box and tools, maybe a nice 696. Maybe some of the limited/low production special models like a 3 inch 29 or 629, the 3 inch blue and nickel Model 24, 27 or 29's or other Lou Horton models. Guns that you can still find but are starting to be higher value than when sold new. Put away mint, complete, near unfired pieces and watch them go up.

Bob
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:50 PM
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I'd just have fun with them and not over think the matter. My experience with picking guns that females will really like is very mixed. To do that successfully plus identifying the ones that will be blue chips is a tall order.

If they take to shooting they'll let you know what they want. And it'll probably not be what you in your wisdom would have picked. Around here it's usually something rather plebeian, often a stray puppy of a gun, worked over to their fancy, that suits them to a T. Thus it is that I have done up a slightly tired Glenfield .22 in desert camo, rehabbed a pitted GI .45 to a showpiece, and fitted up a set of faux pearls on a charcoal blued Uberti SA.

I have three lady shooters and to my knowledge none of them think of their guns in terms of future value. But they all enjoy shooting in their own way, which is good enough for us.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:48 PM
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When my two daughters were very young, I bought each of them a brand new model 63-3 with 4" barrel and put them in the safe. One is 23 now, the other 20.

I taught each of them to shoot a handgun by starting them out with the model 63's. I can't tell you how excited they were when, after shooting the revolver for the first time, I told each of them that the gun was actually theirs!

It was a struggle coming up with the $360 for those pre-lock 63's when the kids were younger. Now I wish I had bought 10 of them (or at least ONE for myself too!)

My suggestion is to find each of them a pre-lock 4" model 63 or model 34. I believe that ANY pre-lock S&W revolver will continue to appreciate in value, even it you shoot it.


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Old 07-17-2012, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
At under $800 I envision this firearm at least bringing its original purchase price if not $1200-$1500 in new in box condition 20 years down the road.
P95loser, that is a Terrible return over a 20 year time frame. As so many others have advised buy gold, a growth stock, or a small cap mutual fund. Handguns are a terrible investment, I ought know Iíve bought and sold enough of them over the years. But if you really want to play in the big bucks investment buy a pair of registered magnums, lock them in a climate controlled vault. Donít shoot them, and it would be best if they were never handled, then hope your girls donít sell them of 1/10 their value the minuet they get their hands on them.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:07 AM
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If you had bought $1,000 worth of S&W stock a year ago, it could have been sold today for over $4,000!
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:00 AM
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Gold and Silver are good investments...steel, in any form, not so much.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:14 AM
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Work the gun shows. I buy my boys a revolver each year for Christmas. It's the only time I enjoy Christmas shopping. Also every year I end up with 2 or 3 S & W's that I can't find a match for so it goes into my collection. We can all come up with models we feel would be a good investment. I like the model 43 thay are around and in your price range, but it is a model you have to search for now.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:28 AM
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It doesn't sound to me like you plan to finance their college fund with these guns, you're just looking to have a couple of nice guns for them. If that's the case, what difference does it make? You're not spending a lot of money in the grand scheme of things. Get what you want to give them, and don't worry about if they'll gain or lose. Either way it won't be much money.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:35 AM
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If $800 will not break your wallet, my recommendation is for you to put that into a 529 plan (education) or into your Roth IRA. Good luck, Sir.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:36 AM
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Have you though about finding birth year guns for each of your daughters?The guns tht mean the most to me were gifts from my father and grandfather while they were alive and could teach me to shoot with them. I have collected and profited from guns for over 40 years. Whether and how much any individual gun will appreciate is always probelematic.So, if your guess for investment value turns out to be overly optimistic, these guns will still havepersonal value to your daughters. My suggestion... buy each of them a quality, American made gun and take them to the range. Teach them to shoot and propertly care for the gun. That will have more value than all the gold in Ft.Knox.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:11 PM
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Now I'm leaning towards taking their money and putting it a 521 and adding a little every month. Then I will buy them each a ruger bearcat to start out with.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:31 PM
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Sounds good. And add to that Bearcat a Henry Frontier Model .22 lever action rifle. They make a terrific combo. Nothing's more fun.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:57 PM
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buy a couple big cal. guns for shooting,home defense,and carry.......then buy all the lnib older ,no-lock, p&r, smith 22 cal. you can find , they are gonna be the big winners down the road..........cheap and fun to shoot and maybe the only cal. gun the guberment will let you have. sigh!!
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:08 PM
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I just picked a random year...

Google stock in 2004 $85, today $593.
Apple stock in 2004 $35, today $614.
S&W Stock in 2004 $1.48, today $9.70
Gold in 2004 per oz $430, today $1,600.

And how would have buying 2 engraved revolvers in 2004 have fared today? You might get 100% to 150% of your money back.
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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present Thread, New S&W machine engraved pistols... a good investment? in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; I am interested in purchasing two firearms for my two daughters (one is 5 and one is 15 months). These ...
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