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The idea that Ithaca believes that a 1911 with their name on it is worth over $3000 strikes me as the epitome of wishful thinking, especially when a near new version of their military production is only valued at around $2000.

Of course some truly custom guns can go for far more today but 3K should get you a first class tackdriver with flawless cosmetics. I mentioned that customers griped when I charged $100 plus parts for accurizing their gun back in the 60s and I griped even more when Colt raised the price of a Government Model to over $100 but if we look at the value of today’s dollar maybe $1k isn’t so bad and regardless of who made it you can just about count on it working and shooting better than the old- unfixed- Colt.

But I’ve also noticed a change in how I perceive value- at least in guns and by far the most important thing has become whether or not it is going to be fun. I’ve long since had anything I might want or need to protect or feed myself should that be necessary. I’m certainly not opposed to making a profit should the opportunity fall into my lap but I rarely sell guns.

Sometimes I’ll buy one that can lead to a good story and I will rationalize the purchase by thinking of what I get paid for the story as a means of averaging down the cost of something I wanted anyhow but as I watch the prices of new guns continue to rise at a time when the economy is going in the other direction I get a lot more conscious of the worth or value of a product.

Y’all probably know that I like for stories to have a moral- and this one is true too.

Several years ago I moved out of the big city where I had lived and worked all my life to a more rural county. There are cows and horses; the corn is coming up and they just did the first cut of hay. Of course there are housing developments too but I still say I live in the country.

The day I was moving in I heard a machine gun shooting not too far away and took that as a good sign.

Down the road a bit is a produce stand that has good vegetables in season. It’s a little early for home grown tomatoes, but the ones he has are still way better than the supermarket.

He has a trailer that stays hooked up behind a tractor and he drives it down to the roadside every morning. For years tomatoes have been $1.50 a pound and you just put your money in a coffee can. I was absolutely shocked that the honor system worked out here because downtown an unattended dime was a goner.

Sadly he began to experience losses and one day saw a carload of kids swoop by a snag the can without stopping. So he built a new trailer with a roof and room for an easy chair and things are better. And when I stop by it’s like the country store of old where a few minutes of visiting keeps you up to date on the local news.

Well this spring a competitor opened a stand about a mile down the road. They built a nice shed put down some gravel for a parking lot and opened for business. I stopped in last week to see what they had. Tomatoes were $3.50 a pound.

The next day I stopped by the other one. The tomatoes sure looked the same and the price was still $1.50. Don’t see very many cars stopping at the new place.

They may have dropped the prices, but I don’t think I’ll be going back. So the moral of this story is that profit is fine but gouging is fatal.
 

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Charlie Petty said:
But I've also noticed a change in how I perceive value- at least in guns and by far the most important thing has become whether or not it is going to be fun.
That's kind of my philosophy in spending almost as much money to get a gun "fun to shoot" as I do on the gun itself.

If I like a particular pistol, but the trigger and sights make shooting it a torturous experience, I'm willing to pony up some green to purchase that fun factor, not to mention having made that gun a more effective tool.
 

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I'm amazed at the prices of some of the new guns on the market, although Ithaca's example is certainly an extreme.

Having come to point in my life where I have more disposable income than ever before, I find I am much pickier about what I buy. I too am looking for the fun gun. That doesn't mean I spend the money just because I can. I tend to go the cheap route.

Like when I got bit by the SAA bug. My first purchase was a used Bounty Hunter. It was cheap...and fun! I then bought a used Vaquero, and later traded them both in on a limited run Vaquero with factory gold engraving on the cylinder and faux ivory grips. Next, maybe a USFA?

My local gun shop had a Pedersoli 1874 Sharps in .45-70 (used) for almost a year. Love at first sight. But the price tag was almost a grand, and I just couldn't justify that. I waited it out, nobody bought it and I made an offer. They accepted and now I have it. Despite some problems with the my old eyes and the sights, I love this rifle. And it is very well made.

I browse gun stores as hobby (maybe an obsession?), and rarely see anything that sings to me. When I do, if I feel the price is reasonable...

I can't buy hamburger or a house now for what I could 35 years ago. Don't expect to pay the same for guns now as I did then. But there's a limit to what I'll spend on a given gun, no matter what the manufacturers or retailers think they're worth.

And they gotta be FUN!
 

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IrishCop said:
And they gotta be FUN!
PREACH IT, Brother! :thumbsup:

I find that my most fun guns--and the ones that get shot the most--are the ones that I've built up myself from bare frames, or resurrected from cheap (often nonfunctional) junkers, or cheap guns that I've modified myself (as cheaply as possibly) to make them feel or look or shoot the way I want. One good example is the .22 P.38 I built up from a bare WWII frame and an eBay conversion kit. It's nowhere near my most accurate .22 pistol, but I really, really enjoy shooting that thing.
 

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Snake, believe it or not, a P-38 (or more likely a P-1) is one of those guns I'd really like to have. Guess it's an old Man From U.N.C.L.E. jones or something. I've seen a few around here that hover around the $400 mark, but just can't quite bring myself to spring for one...yet.

The wartime P-38's are running around $700 and more, depending on condition. Don't think that's gonna happen at all. :ehsmile:

But get one I will. When the time is right. I'll holler at ya for maintenance and operating tips when I finally make the plunge.
 

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Irish, here's a post I made on the dedicated P.38 forum describing how I built up the .22 P.38:

http://forums.p38forum.com/forums/viewt ... 3cdd7bfe50

That forum is a great place for any information about any kind of P.38s. I learned about it from the recent 2-part Peter Kokalis story on P.38s in Shotgun News. It's mainly serious collectors but there seem to be plenty of guys there who know about all the technical/mechanical aspects too.
 

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Charlie Petty said:
The day I was moving in I heard a machine gun shooting not too far away and took that as a good sign.
You know, us gun-folk just view the world through a different set of glasses. Upon hearing such a report, the first thing that would come to mind is; "I really gotta get out and meet the neighbors"

I too have moved from the big city (since Sacramento has only slightly less population than the entire state of Arkansas, I think that qualifies as a big city), to a very rural area and it's a welcome change indeed. Although, I do find it annoying that I can't get anything and everything my heart desires in less than an hour. Oh the suffering we endure here in America.
 

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Snake45 said:
IrishCop said:
And they gotta be FUN!
PREACH IT, Brother! :thumbsup:

I find that my most fun guns--and the ones that get shot the most--are the ones that I've built up myself from bare frames, or resurrected from cheap (often nonfunctional) junkers, or cheap guns that I've modified myself (as cheaply as possibly) to make them feel or look or shoot the way I want. One good example is the .22 P.38 I built up from a bare WWII frame and an eBay conversion kit. It's nowhere near my most accurate .22 pistol, but I really, really enjoy shooting that thing.
Snake, that's just damn cool.

More and more, I'm appreciating FUN rimfires. I can't afford to buy factory .45ACP and I don't have much time (or desire) anymore for reloading. So .22's give me so much more enjoyable shooting time than anything else. For several years now (and I see nothing that's likely to change this) my 10 shot K-22 has been my #1 fun gun (as far as handguns go).

The P-38 just sounds like a hoot. I've also come to appreciate some of the less common rimfires. A friend has some of the old Beretta Jaguar's and those are just great little rimfires, but they've become horrendously expensive. Same friend just let me borrow his Llama .22 mini-1911 for the kids to test drive, and it has been a fun little pistol as well.

After picking up my Astra 3000 and finding it to be so much fun to shoot, I've recently learned that Astra made the model 4000 Falcon in .22lr (basically a model 3000 with exposed hammer); and I am in full lusting want. Unfortunately, finding a model 4000 in .22lr is probably as common as finding my model 3000; they're just not out there.

I've always been fond of the .22lr PPK/S and the little Erma RX-22.

Although functionally, there are much better and more cost effective .22 conversion units, I've always found the Colt Ace to have a pretty high fun factor. It's mostly the steel slide giving the same weight and the additional recoil.

Another real fun gun is the Erma M1. Now the one's I've shot didn't always work real well, but regardless, they were really fun little rifles. Again, they have become really spendy.

All those rimfires make for a huge fun factor. There aren't all that many centerfires that really blow my skirt up these days.
 

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I'm guilty of over researching guns VS value. Most people I have talked to have given bad reports on high dollar guns , and most have been satisfied with what they bought on a budget.
IMO some are just bad operaters, and some don't know what is good. There are some "great "under 400.00 pistols out there as well as some "good" revolvers. I just wonder why the revolvers are so damn high. And then there are the ARs ,,,,,,,,,
 

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2HOW said:
I'm guilty of over researching guns VS value. Most people I have talked to have given bad reports on high dollar guns , and most have been satisfied with what they bought on a budget.
IMO some are just bad operaters, and some don't know what is good. There are some "great "under 400.00 pistols out there as well as some "good" revolvers.
I own...well, let's just say "several" 1911s, and with just a couple exceptions, I built them all myself on '70s-'80s aftermarket Essex and Fed Ord frames; many of them have WWII era Ithaca and Rem-Rand slides. I doubt I have much if any over $200 ('80s money) in any of them. And most of them shoot just as well (reliably and accurately) as any new 1911 clone I read the reviews on in any of the present-day gun rags, many of them priced well into four figures. Now, some of those are prettier than my guns (and some of them aren't), but they don't seem to shoot much if any better than my parts-box refugees.

Here's one I rebuilt from an original 1926 Colt that had been welded up solid and used as a holstermaker's block/form. I don't ask any more performance out of a 1911 than this--and if I did, I doubt my eyes are good enough any more to get it.

 

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I wasn't a big fan of the Fed Ord frames, but I have always been and still am a huge fan of Essex. Not all that pretty, but they have it where you need it, and I've never had a single issue with an Essex. Just wish they made an aluminum frame.

As for the old surplus Rem-Rand and Ithaca slides, you just can't beat 'em. That's a good looking pats gun you have there.

Fed Ord Ranger frames are getting really hard to find anymore, but if I spotted one, I'd probably pick it up if it was reasonably priced. I have an 80% one in a box somewhere around the house...been there for about 20 years.
 

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Speaking of Erma .22’s, anyone know if the Erma .22 Luger’s (specifically the carbine) work? If they do, I’d be willing to even pay the $200.00 to SBR one and do a shoulder stock.
 

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Kevin Gibson said:
Speaking of Erma .22's, anyone know if the Erma .22 Luger's (specifically the carbine) work? If they do, I'd be willing to even pay the $200.00 to SBR one and do a shoulder stock.
There have been several threads on those things at RFC over the years. Most (all?) posters had bad luck with them--unreliable, and parts broke and/or wore out easily. At least one poster there told of throwing his into a lake out of frustration. Shame because I've wanted one for a long time, too--but not after reading so much bad about them.

The Stoeger .22 Lugers work much better, though some (including me) have had problems with those, too.

Parts are currently unavailable for either--never a good sign.

If I wanted a .22 "Luger-ish" carbine (enough to go the SBR expense), I'd build one up on a Ruger MK II or III---and try to remember to keep my face out of the way of the bolt. :wink:
 

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Snake45 said:
2HOW said:
I'm guilty of over researching guns VS value. Most people I have talked to have given bad reports on high dollar guns , and most have been satisfied with what they bought on a budget.
IMO some are just bad operaters, and some don't know what is good. There are some "great "under 400.00 pistols out there as well as some "good" revolvers.
I own...well, let's just say "several" 1911s, and with just a couple exceptions, I built them all myself on '70s-'80s aftermarket Essex and Fed Ord frames; many of them have WWII era Ithaca and Rem-Rand slides. I doubt I have much if any over $200 ('80s money) in any of them. And most of them shoot just as well (reliably and accurately) as any new 1911 clone I read the reviews on in any of the present-day gun rags, many of them priced well into four figures. Now, some of those are prettier than my guns (and some of them aren't), but they don't seem to shoot much if any better than my parts-box refugees.

Here's one I rebuilt from an original 1926 Colt that had been welded up solid and used as a holstermaker's block/form. I don't ask any more performance out of a 1911 than this--and if I did, I doubt my eyes are good enough any more to get it.

That looks surprisingly like a RIA, which looks like an original series model. I have a built 1911 . I f you take the 1911s out of the mix , you have a shallow pool to draw from as far as quality under 400.00 pistols. Hard to build anything with the quality of a 1911.
 

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My best value was one of Mitchell's Mausers P.38's, complete with fake Iron Cross, manual and really nice box for 200 bucks. It's actually one of my favorite shooters.

I bought a Vanguard at the same time for the same money, but it doesn't get shot nearly as much...

Gun show here tomorrow; I have zero expectations that I will chance across a similar deal.

But, hope springs eternal... 8)
 

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Reality is price and value is relevant to the owner/shooter. I wouldn't take a penny over 2000.00 for my 1911 but its worth 600.00. Also my little EDC is a 340.00 pistol , but worth its weight in gold to me.
 

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Know what you mean Charlie, I paid $745.00 for that Pro-Carry II and I couldn't build one that cheap. I still gotta get an Ambidextrous thumb-safety and grind and recontour the left side and get some decent stocks for it but, that's no big deal.

I had entertained thoughts of building another like the one that got stolen but, SS Essex Frames are almost $300.00 and God knows what another MkIV,Series 70 slide would run.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sometimes I think it is cheaper to buy a used gun and make it into what you want. If you add up the cost of every part it's scary.
 
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