So who’s buying these Snake guns in this expensive marketplace?
A lot of today’s male baby boomers are in their peak earning years or are starting to retire. What are they doing with their extra disposable income,
considering their 401k, retirement funds, and other investments are flush? Buying stuff they had (or wished they had) back when they were growing up in
their testosterone-filled years during the turbulent rock ‘n’ roll 60s and early 70s. This includes Mustangs, Camaros, Barracudas,
Cobras/Pythons/Diamondbacks, and probably some period rock ‘n’ roll and sports memorabilia as well.
But why are they buying this stuff now when it’s become so expensive? Because they can afford it, and these collectibles have actually taken on another
very important dimension. They’ve become relatively inexpensive time machines transporting the owners back to the vivid memories of their misspent youth,
including the nostalgic warmth of drive-ins with $1.50 cheeseburger/fries baskets and milkshakes, slim pretty girls without baggage and attitudes, great
hunting and shooting with families and friends, and the adrenaline rush of high school/college sporting events.
These Snake gun owners have a completely different buying profile than the AR-15 speculators between 2008-2012 who were buying a $750-$850 MSR make/model
AR-15 for $1,300 and putting it on their credit cards. This “herd of buffalo” was already spooked and running when the Obama administration took over in
2008, but the real stampede started after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. The herd kept running non-stop for over five years, and was driven by fear,
greed, and speculation, creating an unprecedented amount of demand for tactical firearms. Now the herd is worn out and resting, with many of them having
lost over 40% on their tactical “investments.”
This isn’t the makeup of today’s Snake bitten buyers, who are paying cash for their expensive purchases but seem to be more concerned about being able to
afford the price today rather than thinking about what the value could be tomorrow. In any collectible marketplace where there have been sizable increases
in value in a relatively short period of time, value sustainability is directly dependant on continued or increasing demand.
How long will this party last?
Since there’s plenty of supply on most Snake gun variations, demand will be the critical factor on whether these venomous revolvers can hold their toxicity
and values in the future. Personally, I think this seemingly endless keg will start showing signs of foaming shortly, and when it does, a second one won’t
be needed because most of the people will have had enough to drink already. When J. Paul Getty was asked how he accumulated his vast fortune, his answer
was, “Easy – I sold when everybody else was buying, and bought when everybody else was selling!”
When moving to Minneapolis in 1980, I got a job with Investment Rarities, one of America’s leading precious metals dealers. My first day at work was on
July 19th, and while walking into the large area of broker cubicles, it was already hectic and noisy at
, as all the phones were ringing non-stop. Most of the calls were from desperate people trying to buy gold and silver that had undergone a sharp spike in
price the past 12 months. That July, gold and silver ended up at $1,826 and $44.78, respectively. Less than two years later, prices (not values) had
plummeted to $762 and $13.87. 35 years later, these investors originally driven by market speculation and some fear, still show some signs of investment
scar tissue. After all, they lost almost 60% on gold and 70% on silver after only two years, and today, their precious metals are still in bracketed
numbers. Now they truly understand when getting caught up in the turmoil of a speculative marketplace, assessing the downside risk is a lot more important
than trying to catch an investment wave on the way up.
Having these historical facts in chart form (and perhaps rubbing your crystal ball vigorously), you can draw your own conclusions on whether Snake guns
will continue their blistering investment performance pace. It also might not be a bad idea to have an anti-venom snake kit nearby when getting close to
these seven deadly serpents.
Editor’s Note: NRA Life Member S.P. Fjestad is the author and publisher of the
Blue Book of Gun Values
with more than 1.7 million copies in circulation worldwide. Blue Book Publications, Inc. will be releasing a new Colt Snake Gun book in late September
Seven Serpents - the History of Colt’s Snake Guns
by Gurney Brown. Visit bluebookofgunvalues.com for more information, availability, and pricing.