Partial Liquidation

A Year and a Half Has Passed, and I'm Still Working On The Partial Liquidation...

The Update I Promised

Just a short recap, it was a health scare that started my thought process about what would my wife do about all of these old guns. In August of 2020 I wrote this article about the tax consequences of a partial liquidation of a gun collection. Then in September of 2020, I wrote an article about my plan to downsize my gun collection.

"My plan was to sell some, give some away and keep some."

And So It Was, I Gave Some Away...

9 Down - As I said in a previous article, I had guns stored in places that would likely not even be found for a very long time. When I began, I gathered those hidden gems and put them all in one place to evaluate. After gifting nine guns to family members I realized I had not made a dent in the numbers. Even after these were gone, it was still pretty clear that I had a long way to go in order to get to where I wanted to be.

Then I Sold Some...

16 Down - Starting with all of my snub-nose revolvers (except the two Colt Cobras from the 1970s), I sold them all on an online auction. On these guns I did not make any profit, but I didn't lose any money, unless you consider the time value of money. The whole experience was excruciating. I quickly realized that I did not want to liquidate the guns this way.

Consignment Option

26 Down - After talking with a good friend that had recently sold some of his collection through a professional seller, I decided to give that a try. I chose five long guns and five handguns that I knew would fetch $10,000 to $12,000. The seller charged 10% commission plus 3% for auction fees. If things went well, I thought I would net $10,000 after the selling expenses.

The Lot of Ten Guns sold for $10,396 and I received $9,022 after expenses. Two of the bunch brought more than I expected, two fetched considerably less that I anticipated and the remaining six all slightly under-performed my best-case expectations. In hindsight I realize that my $10,000 estimate was better than my hopeful $12,000 on the top side.

Whether I consign more guns or not, I don't know just yet. I do know that I much prefer consigning over doing it myself. Those people really earn their commission I must say. I started at the bottom of the collection with those ten guns and the next lot would average one and one-half to two times the average value per piece of the last bunch.

And as I said at the outset, there are guns I plan to keep...

Initially my goal was to reduce the collection to twenty-four guns, twelve handguns and twelve long guns. I'm not there yet and in fact, I'm beginning to question if I can do that at all. Reducing the long guns to six rifles and six shotguns is doable. But I don't see that happening with the handguns. But I will get the number under control and have them organized so that I don't have guns stashed in random hidden places, not to be discovered after I'm gone.

Author holding 1962 Colt .357
Some of these old guns are staying with me, like this old Colt.

Even the best laid plans have to be flexible. As I've gone along this journey of reducing the number of guns in my collection, I have made adjustments. For starters I should mention that in the last year and a half I have also acquired seven guns. I gave four of them away. Three of those are staying with me.

1.5 Years Progress = 30 Down and 3 Up, Net 27 Down

While the number of guns are going down, the average value is going up. Letting go of some of the old guns that had been around for so many years was difficult at first, but as the liquidation progressed, I actually felt a bit relieved as time went by. There was one gun in particular, that had been in my collection for more than thirty years and it rarely saw the light of day.

Gun Gear


Alpha Bravo Nathan


Alpha Bravo Lance


Alpha Bravo Sheppard


Not Part of the Collection, But...

There are a few guns that were never intended to be a part of my collection...

Flint River Armory .45 carbine
Flint River Armory CSA45 Carbine

"I preordered and prepaid $1,500 for that pistol caliber carbine 2 years ahead of production. By the time my friend and his company got the guns to market they were priced at $995. And in 2 short years later were out of business. "

Bond Arms .410 or .45 trail gun
$500 Bond Arms .410 or .45 (trail gun)

Often overlooked or neglected when I write about my guns, are a few that I never really considered collectible. But I have to count these when I'm taking inventory. I built a quarter-mile walking trail on my property and carry this little derringer often. This little gun was well worth the price. The quality is very good.

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