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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just completed the restoration of a Model 80 (1960) and a Model Golden 39A (1967). Why do collectors value "untouched" over "restored"? IMHO, the oil stains on the stock and the light rust/pitting of the barrel are eyesores and require removal. The only advantage to a collector for a truly "original" rifle is a cheaper purchase price. WUWT????? I personally would value a restored rifle far above an "original" as long as the restorer stayed true to the original design and did not fancy it up. Opinions????
 
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Guns like cars are only original once so serious collectors want collectable guns in as close to the condition as they left the factory as possible, that's why a new in the box vintage gun will command a great deal more money than the same gun in 95-98% condition. Once a gun has been refinished most serious collectors will say its collector value is gone though it still has value as a shooter.
 

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What a collector really wants is as close to factory mint as possible.
What a plinker really wants is as close to the bullseye as possible.
What a hunter really wants is as close to minute of game as possible.

What a marlin fan wants is what catches his eye at the time without paying out the nose for it.

I have seen several restorations that have increased the value of the firearm over the purchase price plus the amount spent
On fixing it up. These are normally the rare guns that have demand. One marlin was a 336 219 zipper and the restoration was near prefect. I thought it was mint but when I picked it up I could still smell the new finish on the stock. Next time I saw the firearm he had waxed the wood to cut down the smell. He watched me smell it and waxed it the following weekend.
He was also not stating it as a restoration but he was also not saying it was not. I did not have the cash to buy it and he
Did sell it for what he was asking.

Taking a 350 dollar 39a and refinishing it to your standards is all fine. Taking a 336 219 zipper and cuting the barrel to 18 Inches and going to a straight stock does not add 700 to the end price. What is does
Is make a 2000 gun worth 400 with 700 dollars spent to do it.
 

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IMHO, if its a nice old gun with honest to goodness wear than I can see leaving it as is. If it's an eye sore and pitted/rusty/beat up bad, than I think restoration is a better option..!? I also believe if it's yours and you want it to shoot and Enjoy, than Do what YOU LIKE with it!! Let the next owner worry about collector's value or lack of..!?
It's All in the eyes of the beholder anyhow IMHO!!?

Good Luck. :tee:
BloodGroove4570
 

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I think Collector value starts with condition, age, rarity, then degree of restoration. Provenance can raise value of any gun. The rifle, if indeed true, in this link is an example of what collectors would want and would probably command a higher price than a 1953 that has been restored. http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/welcome-new-members/141902-hello-chi-town.html Another thing is if there were a lot of a particular gun made, dollar wise you may be ahead to look around for a better gun than restore one.
 

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I look at this way. There as many different levels of collecting Firearm as there are Firearms owners. The word "collector" just not apply to High End original Firearms. I for one collect the cheap ones that those High Class collectors would turn their noses up at. I also prefer to shoot everything I own. The so called High End collector al;ot of times has no interest in Firearms at all. They may never even shoot them or look at them again until it is time to resale them. Firearms are made to shoot in my opinion, and if it takes repairs to do that. I am all for it..

As someone said, if it looks like crap. By all means I see no harm in sprucing it up. The High Ender is never going to want it anyway..
 

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I guess the value of a restored gun would depend upon who was willing to pay for it. However, an unmolested gun 50 years old that is in like new condition without any restoration will continue to grow in value as collectors want the limited number of such guns. It is the rarity of the perfect example of the manufacturers work that generates the value. Collectors are generally collecting representative examples versus customized by whoevers. If you can document the restoration was done by the original manufacturer you may come close to unmolested prices. Doug Turnbull is doing just that with restored to better than factory Win 1886 rifles. I am sure he would be happy to perform several thousand dollars worth of work on your Model 336 - just don't expect there to be a vigorous market where you will get a return for your investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I value all your opinions. I don't disagree with a single one of them. Honestly, I never considered the "Collector Only" model who buys guns for their intrinsic value only as an original, close as possible to NIB. OK, once you've touched it, tinkered with it, "restored" it, or shot it, it loses value for them. I get it. But they are missing all the fun!!! What colors my perception is from watching Mecham's car auctions on TV. I want the rare, one-of-a-kind (few-of-a-kind:biggrin:) beautiful design that I can play with and caress while cleaning or shooting it. I want people to see me with it and ask "Where did you get that"!!!! "Oh, I just picked it up....." :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
 

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You are the opposite of a big time collector. They often have their rare expensive gun stored in a bank vault and only display them in special circumstances if ever. But that doesn't mean they lack other to shoot which are not collector quality guns. Further, even photos which are frequently taken by professionals for them are copy righted and copies are rarely given. I run into this frequently with those who own American Longrifles built by the early masters of these guns from 1770 to 1830 or there about. There are some though who are quite gracious and will help someone with a demonstrated interest in the guns for historical research, or to make copies etc. They have a concern with security which is reasonable much like owners of fine art worth great sums.
 

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I like them original, but if their Less then 50%condition, beat up, screws buggered wood over sanded then I see no problem restoring. This 1895 I have was junk, wood over sanded and the marlin S pistol grip changed to a cap, most of blue cleaned off and take down lever broke. So I got a friend to put a new wood on and restore it. I love it because a long time friend did for me
Gun Firearm Shotgun Trigger Revolver
Shotgun Musical instrument
 

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The actual number of guys that can "restore" a gun correctly, is akin to the number of guys that can safely weld on a gun part. Tractor and haybale welding guys are found on every other street, along next too a set of bluing tanks in the other corner of their shop, but the number of "gun welders" are generally about 3 in any given state.:biggrin:

If a restored gun ever does any thing but lower the value to a serious collector, I have not seen it, but if a novice collector finds one, and lacks the years in grade collecting, sure, they will pay a lot for a "restored" gun, but a serious collector simply will not.

One can "restore" a 66 Mustang, and find lots of interested buyers. One CANNOT "restore" any firearm that I have ever heard of or seen, Parkers, Wins, LC Smiths, it doesnt matter if they have been refinished or restored either one, all one will find are disparaging comments from the serious collectors.

Why that is? I am not totally sure, but thats the way the game is at present.
 
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I like them original, but if their Less then 50%condition, beat up, screws buggered wood over sanded then I see no problem restoring. This 1895 I have was junk, wood over sanded and the marlin S pistol grip changed to a cap, most of blue cleaned off and take down lever broke. So I got a friend to put a new wood on and restore it. I love it because a long time friend did for me
View attachment 99690 View attachment 99691
Totally agree with CJ. If a gun has reached certain depth of depravity, from being drug behind wagons or bounced down a cliff, or they have already been "refinished" (generally poorly) then have at it. One can rarely reduce the value further.
 
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Great topic!

A guy I know that bought a Winchester Model 94 30-30 brand new in 1956 was getting up there and didn't fire the rifle in ages. He had the receiver drilled and had a Weaver side mount and Scope put on the rifle not long after he bought it. He also removed the original butt plate and put a recoil pad on the stock. After all those years, the scope was beat up and the recoil pad looked out of place. There were a few scratches on the loading gate side of the receiver, but nothing too terrible.

When I negotiated a selling price with him, I told him that being he had drilled out the receiver and mounted a scope, any real collector's value was about dead. However, I wasn't all that interested in collecting a Pre 64 Winchester, but knowing the reputation of that rifle, I wanted to buy it so I had a good 30-30 to SHOOT! We were able to come to an agreement on a price for his rifle. I paid a little less for it than a collectors version of the same gun, and he didn't get quite what he has hoping to get for the rifle. However, we both walked away from the deal satisfied.

I have been using it as a range gun to practice and work on my lack of marksmanship after not firing a rifle in almost 30 years. I have also invested in a new scope and mount, and replaced the ugly recoil pad with a Winchester butt plate I bought on line. I have worked on the stock a bit, but I will not put it through a restoration. Its in pretty good shape and a little wax does wonders on a good quality stock. A little TLC goes a long way.

So I'm a Plinker that wants bulls-eyes. By the same token I know I have a quality firearm. If my shooting is off, I have no one to blame but myself. :(

Collecting original firearms of high value is for people with a lot more money than I will ever see. I will start to worry about it when I have time. Shooting is a lot more fun!



Cheers!


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There are a lot of collectors that shoot too, they just don't shoot their collector guns. I figure if you buy a gun it is yours to do with as you please no matter what the value or rarity. I don't always agree with what a person has done but that is life. Collecting can also be almost a complete immersion in a particular gun or brand to the point of almost the equivalent of a Doctorate in that field. I do not know enough about what is original to buy a "collector" gun. I do know enough people in the collector field to get advice from should I ever want to go that route. Have fun with your guns whether you take them out of the safe and go to the range to shoot of take them out to show friends we are all one family.
 
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You are the opposite of a big time collector. They often have their rare expensive gun stored in a bank vault and only display them in special circumstances if ever. But that doesn't mean they lack other to shoot which are not collector quality guns. Further, even photos which are frequently taken by professionals for them are copy righted and copies are rarely given. I run into this frequently with those who own American Longrifles built by the early masters of these guns from 1770 to 1830 or there about. There are some though who are quite gracious and will help someone with a demonstrated interest in the guns for historical research, or to make copies etc. They have a concern with security which is reasonable much like owners of fine art worth great sums.
I usually think of flint re-conversions done with Silar parts on an English lock as bad examples of "restoration".
 
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Being that this thread is about restoration or non restoration, I would like to add that when I brought a Winchester Model 94 to what I know to be a qualified Gun Smith that has a LGS for well over 40 years, he told me what he could do to my rifle if I was interested in restoration. He said he would take the stock off, remove the original finish on the gun and restore it to its original condition. He said he has a process that approximates the finishing method that Winchester used on their firearms back in the day. And being that the Pre-64 rifles where all Forged Steel, re-bluing would also look original. He said that he would need the rifle "for a few months"; adequate time was necessary to remove the old finish, treat and dry until the wood cured. Then the new finish could be applied. Adequate time for drying is necessary before touching the finished stock. Also, the re-blueing is not something that can be done over night either. He did not mention what restoration would cost.
I found the conversation facinating, because I believe that most of the real craftsmen are pushing daisies. :wavey:

However, I told him that the rifle had the Receiver drilled to mount a scope over 50 years ago and it was not something that I would invest money in a complete restoration anyway.

I do have another Winchester Model 94-Pre 64 that is original and is not in need of restoring. So I passed on the offer.


Cheers!


Mike T.
 

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Lots of guys can put a Winchester finish on a stock, varnish and oil hasnt changed over the decades, its the metal work where it fails to become an "authentic restoration". Depending on the age of Win, they had at one time, 3 different metal bluing processes on certain guns. And I am not counting case color as one of them.

Not many smiths are set up to do them, generally only the real specialty shops.
 
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