by B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll look at the modern guns that can be owned for very little money. You do this by selling one before buying the next. If you pick the right gun, you’ll end up spending just $30-50 to own the gun for as long as it’s yours. This only works with certain select models, so I will also discuss what happens with the others.
First, the sound buys
Yesterday, we looked at airguns that appreciate in value. Today, we’re looking at airguns that don’t lose much of their value, but may only appreciate as the cost of a similar new airgun increases. Let’s start with the TX200 Mk III. I paid $440 for mine several years ago, and the new price today is $548. That makes mine worth about $475 if I were to sell it. I won’t, though, so in another 10 years my $440 investment might grow to $600. That’s not really growth when you consider inflation, but at least I’m not losing too much money over the time I owned the gun. Just about any spring rifle from Air Arms will do well, though the TX200 will always lead the pack.
Another sound buy would be a quality PCP model positioned at the lowest rung of pricing for that particular brand. For Logun, that would be a Solo, but not an S-16s. For Daystate, it would be a Harrier X but not a Mk3. For Falcon, the FN-19 would be a good bet, while the Prairie Falcon would not. Don’t get me wrong – all these high-end guns are fine airguns, but what I am talking about is the ability to hold their prices. The costly guns have a poor history of doing it, while the inexpensive models seem to do much better.
Another sound buy is any 10-meter airgun that has lost all of it’s initial attractivness to the shooting crowd. The FWB 300 is a classic example. Once they retailed for $1,200. After many years off the new gun market, used guns could barely top $450. That was the right time to buy. Today, a good used 300 brings $550-600, and they’re now on the increase. The Anschutz 250 is in the same boat, along with the Diana 75 and the Diana 100. The El Gamo 126, however, is more suspect and less likely to command a good price.
Another sound investment, as long as the price is right, is any vintage air rifle that is perceived as a classic. A Blue Streak or Silver Streak with the rocker or thumb safety will hold a price of $100, while a new gun will drop below $100 after purchase. An FWB 124 will continue to be worth at least $350 for the deluxe and $300 for the Sport model in excellent condition.
Any gun that is in good supply will not hold its value like a similar gun in short supply. Hence, the HW77 doesn’t hold up like the TX200. The Beeman R1 doesn’t hold up like the Air Arms Pro Sport.
Older airguns that have had their technology seriously upgraded are likely to not hold much value. The AirForce Talon A-series guns made before the power adjustment wheels are an example. In fact, you can often get these for a real deal because their owners don’t like them anymore. Then, send the gun to AirForce, and they’ll upgrade it to a B model for $100. Sometimes that’s a very good investment, depending on what you have to pay for the original gun.
Condition is important
Location is key to real estate value; condition is key with used airguns. These are not collectible airguns, but any used gun in the best condition will sell first. Refinishing usually destroys any hope of maintaining close to original value. So do extensive modifications. Unless the person who did the modifications was Ivan Hancock, leave the mods off. The exception is when mods add actual value, such as upgrading a 12-gram CO2 rifle to bulk-fill.
There are some quick looks at airgun values and how you can use them. By buying the right guns, one at a time, you can keep your money rolling along. It’s almost like renting the guns.