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I am looking at an early 1920s, Colt Army Special in .32/20. The gun is in vg mechanical condition, and I estimate the bluing in about a 70% range. The seller is stuck on $650.00 OTD. I am tempted, but I just don't have a good handle on a realistic value for the piece. My 2018 Standard Catalog shows that it would need to be in VG condition to meet that pricing level and I think it would come up a little short of VG. It would look good in my safe, but they get ugly quick when you find you paid too much. ;)

The seller has bottomed out on the price, he had it in the counter at $1,100.00 for a long time, which I think that it might have brought in gun seller heaven.

Opinions are appreciated, informed opinions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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$650 for a decent old Colt revolver is a decent price these days, $550 would be a steal of a deal.
 

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Before plunking down any money check on the mechanical condition of the Colt handgun. Is the crane sprung? Is the gun out of time? Has Bubba been at it. Has the gun been abused by shooting high velocity 32-20 cartridges.

Wonder how easy it would be find a competent gunsmith who would work on a pre-1927 double action Colt revolver? We had several gunsmiths here who are all deceased..These guys had fixed Colt's for us. I did not read about all this stuff in "Guns for Goat Ropers" :)
 

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I don’t know about the price, but I would be tempted for personal reasons...my dad had one years ago...memories.
 

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Trivia: I was talking to a friend who has two 32-20 Army Specials. The guns have all the marks on the barrel of a post 1927 Colt Official Police.The serial numbers were in the Official Police Range. No telling what you can run into out there. The barrels; have the 1926 patent date.
 

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I price used firearms as, damaged. Unless one can PROVE OTHERWISE. .. Past history.... What are repair costs, how available are repair parts? Just a couple things to consider..
 

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Given the pandemic and Biden Harris tax, that sounds about right. Prices are up due to both right now, and the panic buying, so it's a seller's market. And old Colts tend to sit these days, because they're not tacticool.

Here's the question. How bad do you, Chainfire, want it?

If you want it bad, but want toi try to get a better deal, let it sit another few months, or walk in with a stack of bills, fan them out, and wave them under his nose, and see if he bites. He doesn't, walk away. You have no idea how many revolvers I pick up, just because I don't fall in love with them, or because I am really good at playing poker. A simple handshake, sorry man, but I just can't justify spending that much, but here's my number, if you change your mind, and walking out the door, has knocked some serious cash off a price, even in this panic.

My Speed Six was siting at $425, when I first looked it over, and the seller turned down $350, cash, when I walked the first time. First call became $400, I stuck where I was. Next was $375, where I wanted to be, so I came back, and got it.

Same deal with my wife's Standard Arms Thunderstruck, both the one she bought, and the one she didn't know I bought, that she's getting on Friday (Her 50th.) Both were walk aways, and the red special edition 1.5 inch I got her, I didn't make it to the door, before the seller changed his mind, and dropped it to $300 OTD, from $385. Her 1.12 inch black one was at $379, both used, and she got it down to $250, after refusing three call back offers, from the guy.

So, if you have to have it, pay the agreed upon price, if you don't want to lose the chance at it. If you want it, and are willing to wait for another one, in better shape, pass on it, but try to let him stew on it a bit, and you might reach some middle ground.

But right now, thanks to one factor we could have controlled, and a few we can't, expect about a 10 to 15% mark up on any firearms you are looking for. especially with a lot of people using their stimulus to buy guns.

My own take on it, if you buy it now, hold on to it for 30 years or so, you could make a good deal of money on it. $1,100 is crackhead pricing, but $650 ain't bad, and it will go up in value. Myself, I'd draw my own line at $575, by the bluing, if the internals are good, but A, I don't need one, because B, I already have one, in better condition.

And don't bother asking, because I wouldn't sell it. I'm the 4th generation in my family to own it, and it's already spoken for, by the fifth. You'd have to fight my SIL and daughter, over that one. My great grandmother was the original owner.
 

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The Army Special is not a rare gun, Telling Chain if will be a good investment is a bit much. Collectables are judged on condition. Chain can make up his mind on the. He did not ride up on a turnip truck. If the gun has majority of the finish and is in good mechanical shape maybe. Good condition means tight, in time with no pits.To me, having to been to the mountain with old Colts, man is offering max money. I am biased. Can you tell?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Before plunking down any money check on the mechanical condition of the Colt handgun. Is the crane sprung? Is the gun out of time? Has Bubba been at it. Has the gun been abused by shooting high velocity 32-20 cartridges.

Wonder how easy it would be find a competent gunsmith who would work on a pre-1927 double action Colt revolver? We had several gunsmiths here who are all deceased..These guys had fixed Colt's for us. I did not read about all this stuff in "Guns for Goat Ropers" :)
All of our gun real smiths have died off as well. We are left with parts changers, and they aren't really good at that. I took a 1911 to our "best" gunsmith, a man who specializes in 1911s to lower the ejection port on one of my guns. When I got it back, it looked like he did the work with a Dremel tool and slathered on cold blue when he was done. I could have, and would have done the job better. I was pizzed to say the least....

I am going to go back to the store this morning (with my glasses this time) and give the piece a close examination. If I feel that it can pass as an 80% gun, I will buy it, if not, I will pass.
 

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No, not all the real gunsmiths are gone. There is more than one or two very near where I live. The gun is worth what you are willing to pay for it. Other people don't define the worth to another person unless that person is stupid.
 

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I had to get a 1917 Smith&Wesson repaired. It look like the crane was sprung. The gun was taken to our most favorite gunsmith. He told me that the crane was OK. The gun had been in a fight. He continued in those days the frames were not heat treated. A stong blow to the head would bend the frame. The gun picked up a week or so later repaired. Those guys are all gone from these parts. On more than one occasion he had started to de-burr a gun that had been brought in for repairs. He spoke of no pride in workmanship.

Some of the "parts changers" gunsmith work cannot be undone. The old guys that taught me reloading and other stuff. Those guys would shoot Colt revolvers for years with out any problems. The guns remained tight and in time. I have also seen, in the day, Colt Pythons that had been abused to the point of needing major repair.

Point has already be shared. Fooling with these things one needs to know about repairs and replacement parts. How would have ever guessed that a discontinued ordinary adjustable rear sight for a S&W revolver would cost more than a $100.00 .Nice to know beforehand.
 

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No, not all the real gunsmiths are gone. There is more than one or two very near where I live. The gun is worth what you are willing to pay for it. Other people don't define the worth to another person unless that person is stupid.
What question did OP ask? Your post is non-sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Given the pandemic and Biden Harris tax, that sounds about right. Prices are up due to both right now, and the panic buying, so it's a seller's market. And old Colts tend to sit these days, because they're not tacticool.

Here's the question. How bad do you, Chainfire, want it?

If you want it bad, but want toi try to get a better deal, let it sit another few months, or walk in with a stack of bills, fan them out, and wave them under his nose, and see if he bites. He doesn't, walk away. You have no idea how many revolvers I pick up, just because I don't fall in love with them, or because I am really good at playing poker. A simple handshake, sorry man, but I just can't justify spending that much, but here's my number, if you change your mind, and walking out the door, has knocked some serious cash off a price, even in this panic.

My Speed Six was siting at $425, when I first looked it over, and the seller turned down $350, cash, when I walked the first time. First call became $400, I stuck where I was. Next was $375, where I wanted to be, so I came back, and got it.

Same deal with my wife's Standard Arms Thunderstruck, both the one she bought, and the one she didn't know I bought, that she's getting on Friday (Her 50th.) Both were walk aways, and the red special edition 1.5 inch I got her, I didn't make it to the door, before the seller changed his mind, and dropped it to $300 OTD, from $385. Her 1.12 inch black one was at $379, both used, and she got it down to $250, after refusing three call back offers, from the guy.

So, if you have to have it, pay the agreed upon price, if you don't want to lose the chance at it. If you want it, and are willing to wait for another one, in better shape, pass on it, but try to let him stew on it a bit, and you might reach some middle ground.

But right now, thanks to one factor we could have controlled, and a few we can't, expect about a 10 to 15% mark up on any firearms you are looking for. especially with a lot of people using their stimulus to buy guns.

My own take on it, if you buy it now, hold on to it for 30 years or so, you could make a good deal of money on it. $1,100 is crackhead pricing, but $650 ain't bad, and it will go up in value. Myself, I'd draw my own line at $575, by the bluing, if the internals are good, but A, I don't need one, because B, I already have one, in better condition.

And don't bother asking, because I wouldn't sell it. I'm the 4th generation in my family to own it, and it's already spoken for, by the fifth. You'd have to fight my SIL and daughter, over that one. My great grandmother was the original owner.

How bad is a good question. I don't need any firearm, I have guns that I will not get around to shooting again. I never want to pay too much for a piece; guns, to me, need to do double duty; they need to be fun to own and shoot, and they have to have the potential of increasing in value. I want to buy this one at a premium price in the days of a gun panic. The truth is is that I have no handle on the value of the piece and I have lost trust in the regular "catalogs" of gun values. I will not have the option of waiting the guy out either. He is closing his pawn business as soon as he can get rid of the rest of his merchandise, the place is cleaned out. (looks like a week).

I really appreciate all of the comments, by everyone, on this thread. I think that the opinions expressed here will give me a more critical eye when I do the close examination. Thanks!
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to everyone for their input. I found it all helpful.

I went back to the store this morning, gave the gun a very close examination and came to the conclusion that it was not worth it, again the seller wouldn't budge. The bluing was nice, and it was original, but the barrel was an obvious replacement, not close to the same color as the rest of the gun. It was too much money for a shooter, especially for a shooter in a hard-to-find caliber. I think that an honest appraisal, with a replacement barrel, would have had it only in good condition, probably worth around $450.00 max. It would have needed to get into the excellent range to hit the $650.00 level.

As far as I am concerned, guns have three types of values. Shooter value, collector value or sentimental value. You never want to pay collector or sentimental value for a shooter.
 

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The Army Special is not a rare gun, Telling Chain if will be a good investment is a bit much. Collectables are judged on condition. Chain can make up his mind on the. He did not ride up on a turnip truck. If the gun has majority of the finish and is in good mechanical shape maybe. Good condition means tight, in time with no pits.To me, having to been to the mountain with old Colts, man if offering max money. I am biased. Can you tell?
Simply put, if he can buy it today, hold on to it for a while, and make a profit, it is an investment. Last I checked, gun values don't drop, and even 10% gained, is a return.

As I told him, if he's comfortable with the deal, and happy with it, that's what matters.
 

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Thanks to everyone for their input. I found it all helpful.

I went back to the store this morning, gave the gun a very close examination and came to the conclusion that it was not worth it, again the seller wouldn't budge. The bluing was nice, and it was original, but the barrel was an obvious replacement, not close to the same color as the rest of the gun. It was too much money for a shooter, especially for a shooter in a hard-to-find caliber. I think that an honest appraisal, with a replacement barrel, would have had it only in good condition, probably worth around $450.00 max. It would have needed to get into the excellent range to hit the $650.00 level.

As far as I am concerned, guns have three types of values. Shooter value, collector value or sentimental value. You never want to pay collector or sentimental value for a shooter.
Good call. That's why I wait, and give it a day, more often than not. Come back with a fresh set of eyes, then look it over again.

I run across them from time to time up here, usually private seller and a trade in from time to time.

If I see one, at a local shop in decent shape, I'll snap a few pics, and PM you with contact info. Don't see many in .32-20, but they do turn up, and when they do, they tend to sit. Most shops offer low trades or cash, to have some wiggle room on the price.
 

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Last year I picked up these 3 Colts at a gun show from a old guy walking around with them . 2 are 32 - 20 & the other is a DA 41 . They are around just wait for the prices to go back down .
3 Colts.JPG
 

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Last year I picked up these 3 Colts at a gun show from a old guy walking around with them . 2 are 32 - 20 & the other is a DA 41 . They are around just wait for the prices to go back down .
View attachment 240388
'Tis a shame folks want to make y'all criminals for such dangerous behavior.
 
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