In The News This Week

A Headline this Week Referenced a Stockpile of Guns... Out of Curiosity I Wondered How Many Guns Constitute a Stockpile?

Many of the headlines we see online nowadays are "click bait." They are designed to entice us to click on them, only to either get us to subscribe in order to read the article or bombard the reader with advertisements. Well, I took the bait and clicked on this particular headline just to find out how many guns constituted a stockpile of guns. The answer? 10. Ten guns are considered a stockpile, at least by the writer of the news article.

How many firearms do you have in your home? What about ammunition, is there a definitive number to equate to a stockpile of ammunition? I don't know what that number is, but I feel like everyone should have a stockpile of ammunition, even if they don't have a stockpile of guns. Even if a person only had 1 rifle, 1 shotgun and a couple of handguns, they would have 400 to 2,000 rounds of ammo, right?

I've been blogging about this for 2 years now.

I'm age 62 and after a health scare, I began reducing the number of guns in my collection to a manageble number. When I had a health scare and started looking at what my wife would have to deal with if something happened to me, I started trying to downsize my gun collection. My first course of action was to basically sort the guns into three categories; those that I would keep, those I would give to family and friends, and those that I would sell. My 3 Categories quickly turned into several subgroups.

Case File on Gun Collection

Downsizing My Stockpile (Collection)

  • Group #1, the giveaway group, consisted of nine guns; one shotgun, three revolvers and five semiautomatic handguns. I will call these guns in Group #1 first quality, high grade guns. None of the Group #1 guns could be called Safe Queens though. With a Safe Queen, it’s more like the property owns you, rather than the other way around. After gifting nine guns to family, I identified the second group that I would sell.
  • Group #2 consisted of all my remaining snub nose revolvers, except two 1970s Nickel Cobras. Those two will always be with me, unless I eventually have to go to an assisted living facility. Selling online and shipping through my FFL turned out to be a little frustrating.
  • Group #3 - A Different Approach - Group #3 consisted of five long guns and five handguns, mostly from the lowest grade and value of the collection. I knew the ten guns would fetch a minimum of $10,000. Group #3 was consigned to a high volume online seller. In the end, they sold for $10,350 and I realized just over $9,000.
The Group #2 guns all resulted in no profit or loss.

Some of those had been in my collection for twenty years. Of course they all were a loss if you consider the time value of money. These were the least used or carried guns of the collection. In fact, three of them might have been considered Safe Queens. All of the Group #2 were listed on an online auction for ten days to two weeks with no reserve, then shipped through my FFL.

carry gun
Carry Gun

Some of the guns from Group #3 sold for more than expected and some sold for less than I expected. In the final analysis, I was okay with the outcome. Prior to the health issue though, I would not have been pleased. But at this stage in the process, the relief I was experiencing from the reduction in numbers outweighed my reluctance to let go of the guns.

carry gun
Carry Gun

My average cost in the Group #3 guns had been about $760 each, so I actually realized a profit on these. However, some of those guns had been in my collection for thirty years. I quickly realized that nothing in this downsizing process was going to come close to my luck twelve to fifteen years ago when I sold all of my Colt Pythons. I kept one Python, a 1962 nickel 4” barrel example.

31 Guns Gone in 16 Months!

At this point, I had to assess the remaining guns more carefully. In the beginning I had thought that I would be able to reduce the number of guns to 24. But now, I was having a hard time with that plan. During this sixteen month period I have acquired 4 additional guns. Two of those, I plan to keep. Two I planned to write about and then sell.

The thought crossed my mind to limit the keepers to only the Baby Boom Period (1946–1964) as the majority of the remaining guns fell in that category. The idea sounded good, but when I put it on paper, it did not look good at all. At last count, there are seventeen firearms outside my target years, and these seven which I actually use or have purposed.

My Attention Naturally Turned to the Keepers

Of the guns I would keep, they must include:

  • Self-Defense
  • Home Protection
  • Special Purpose

At a minimum I knew I was going to keep at least one rifle, two shotguns and five handguns. Whatever else I kept beyond that core group would be just for enjoyment. I've said before that I would like to reduce the numbers in my stockpile, arsenal or collection to only 24 firearms. Ignoring the 8 I just referenced, that means I could have 16 to display in my collection. Perhaps it is doable!

I'm in the process of segregating a dozen collectibles (3 of which are unfired examples that I could never bring myself to fire) to send to the consignment seller in the month of October. If this group does not bring $20,000, I will be sorely disappointed. The closer I get, the more confidence I have that I can reduce the number to my target. But no matter what, I'm going to be in the "stockpile" category for life.

two carry guns
Two Carry Guns

My favorite time of year is just around the corner. Taking my early 1960s Colt shotgun to the Turkey Shoot is always a lot of fun. We routinely have 300 to 400 Trick-or-Treaters at Halloween and my wife and I really enjoy making the time special for all of the children.

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