“Not Guaranteed to Increase in Value…”, a phrase made famous by endless infomercials hawking plates, coins, gold plated coins, and an amazing array of objects with famous people, places, and cute things imprinted on them. Usually the pitch includes the phrase “limited quantities” or “numbered series” to add sense of urgency and the implication of increasing value once the last object is sold.
One of the more common collectible commemorative objects are firearms, so let’s look at the investment value vs. cost of some commemoratives as potential investments.
The first specimen is a “Chuck Norris ™ Tribute Revolver,” offered by AmericaRemembers.com
They advertise it as “a working Single Action Revolver in caliber .45LC”. Who doesn’t love an Old West style .45 pistol? This one happens to be made by the Italian firm A. Uberti. This company makes fine guns, and they are owned by Beretta, so the quality control is excellent. Uberti revolvers are quite popular with the members of the Cowboy Action Shooting community.
But this Commemorative is NOT a Colt’s Single Action Army revolver.
Starting MSRP on A. Uberti’s base model Singe Action Cattleman Revolver is $479, and prices run up to about $1,200 for an engraved model. ( http://www.uberti.com/1873-single-action-cattleman-revolvers )
The Commemorative pistol is offered for “the current issue price of $1,995”. That’s a fancy price for a fancy pistol, but is it actually worth the money?
A genuine Colt’s Single Action Army revolver can be had for less than $2,000 if you shop a bit:
This 3rd Generation Colt sold for $1,195 in 2012.
This 3rd Generation Single Action Army Colt sold at auction for $1,750 on June 12, 2016.
The guns are in similar condition, and have almost identical features making them comparable for this examination. In four years the value increased about 30%.
Google the “value of commemorative firearms”, the results are somewhat disappointing. This really has nothing to do with the name or picture on the item, it is just the item itself. The guns with the highest value are genuine Colt’s or Winchester firearms regardless of the caliber or commemoration, so be a smart investor and “don’t settle for imitation”.