Rifle Cost/Worth

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Europe brought up a rifle that she thought I ought to have, to enhance my African hunt. :grin:

It's an old 275 H&H, and is currently located in South Africa, and listed for sale on Guns International. If I looked at the right one, it's listed at a cool $25,000. :shock:

I enjoyed looking at the online photos. (y)

Rifles - I like nice rifles sure - but... economic reality kicks in and decrees that this retired small-town cop probably shouldn't buy a $25,000 rifle. Ya think? However it got me to thinking about what I've paid for various rifles I own and perhaps what they're worth today.

$3,000 - approx value for my custom 375 H&H Model 70 Winchester, built by Michael Scherz. I've had an offer of $2,500, but I'm in no hurry to sell. It is without a doubt, my finest rifle.

Nothing else I own even comes close to that value - as all the rest are production rifles, or with a few modifications. Some of these are what I paid for them, some are what I think they're worth now.

$1,500 - approximately what I've got into the Green Machine, Remington 700 .308 Win with the Krieger barrel etc. It's still awfully accurate, and I'll likely just keep it forever. Easy to shoot, and we've got nearly 25 years of history together.

$600 - is what I spent on my used 375 H&H Ruger Number One about ten years ago.
$900 - is what I spent on my used 7mm Rem Mag Ruger Number One about six months ago.

$800 or so is what I spent on my 30-06 Rem 700 CDL. I think I paid a bit much for it, but that rifle and I bonded as soon as I saw it on the rack in the store, and after all it's given me a freezer full of wonderful game meat. And a grizzly. So, that's pretty cool. Another rifle I'll likely keep forever.

$500 or so as I recall for my 25-06 Rem 700 CDL. They were brand new then. It's been hunted pretty hard and shows the marks of being carried in rough country. Another one I'll likely keep forever.

$250 is what I paid for my .22 cal Marlin 39A, quite a few years ago. Good Grief - look at the prices now for a nice old Marlin 39A! Goodness!

$540 was the price for my 45/70 Marlin 1895 just about a year and a half ago. I consider that a bargain even though it is a "Remlin."

$200 for my 30-30 Glenfield some years back.

So... Ya, I'm pretty much a production-rifle kind of guy. The Rem 700's have all been tweaked a bit with pillar bedding etc. They're my usual go-to hunting rifles.

I just don't have any real high-dollar rifles. But I've got good rifles.

So ya, I chuckled in good humor at the recommendation that I purchase a $25,000 Holland and Holland rifle. :grin: That's not going to happen. My Africa hunt should total about half that. My Jeep was less than $25k, and is the most expensive vehicle I've ever purchased.

Retired small town cop here. Ya, time to time I do a little side-work that helps pay for my shooting, hunting and fishing adventures, but reality is that I have a pretty limited "fun" budget.

I did appreciate the humor in Europe's suggestion - I think it was made in jest - but who knows?

Regards, Guy
very interesting comment Guy. I have a number of rifles/handguns that I feel are worth a lot more that I would be able to get for them. My Rem 700 in .338RUM has a MacMillan Stock and a 1.5X6 Zeiss Diavari Scope. The new price on that scope now is about 2500.00 but I got it at quite a discount. Total value probably in excess of $3000.00 but resale would kill me. A Remington 700 Titanium in 7-08 with a Leupold Vari-X 3 in 2.5X8 That rifle when discontinued sold for 2300.00. Resale? Maybe 1200.00. My model 39A I got for a steal at $375.00. That was with an original steel Redfield Peep sight. I would probably get my money back plus on that one. I have other ones but you get the picture.
I wanted to purchase a Winchester 70 Featherweight in 25:06 and a 2-7 Leupold scope for $500 some years back.
I didn’t have the cash but did have some baseball cards that I paid a penny a piece for when I was a kid.
Took them to a dealer and got $500 for 5 of them and purchased the rifle.
Figure it’s the best deal I ever made for a nickel.

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A rifle, or anything for that matter, is only worth what someone will actually pay for it.

Price some OOP books on Amazon for a good laugh. It has to be computer generated & someone forgot to put the decimal point in between dollars & cents, because a real person cant be that ignorant.
I have firearms that I purchased for good price and others I probably overpaid for.
Have paid some pretty prices to have my custom rifles built and some of them I know I'll never see the money back out of them if I were sell them. Paid almost $3000 for the rifle I am currently customizing! But I will have something unique that no one has as a production offering.

Being someone who is a lefty and likes cartridges that are less common also has its detriments if it ever comes to resale value. As mentioned above, someone else will have to desire and be looking for that particular combination.

At the end of the day, price becomes relevant only if you cannot afford to pay for it.
The value you are willing to pay for something you want comes not only in the investment in dollars, but the appreciation of the item, the joy and memories that it provides you through ownership, and the sentimental value that it gives to you, and hopefully to those that you bequeath or gift it to later in life.

Actually----I wasn't joking and sent several emails so as to assure that you would be able to have ammo available to use in the rifle while there and that the rifle itself was what it was advertised to be, plus a couple other issues.

I thought it would be very unique to have a rifle that was made by a reputable English firm, as well as the very unusual caliber, but a caliber that you could use when you returned home AND use on your safari while in Africa. I actually thought the story of the purchase, of the rifle, the manufacturer of the rifle, the caliber and the animals you took with it while in Africa would be a very cool story to share with folks.

Plus, a rifle like this that was manufactured in 1912 is not purchased, just to hunt with, or a least it would not have been for us. The 1965 Mustang my husband and I bought new and still have is worth a bit more now than it was when we bought it. My son has several rifles ( and shotguns ) that his father bought that are worth more now than what we paid of them. I have no idea what a couple of stamps and coins are worth now but I am sure it is more than we paid for them back in the 1950's--etc etc.

But all that aside, I hope you have a wonderful trip and take the fellow up on "culling" . Sight see, fish, hunt, ENJOY !

Cheyenne. The Cane Rat is delicious to some---but not all. Some can not get past the idea that is a "rat"
Well, I appreciate the thought - but it is truly something that I'd never buy - not because I don't like it - but because it is way out of my price range for a rifle. :)

Thanks, Guy
I've got a couple of expensive rifles... the Nosler Custom 280 Ackley, almost $5000 in that one when you include optics and mounts.

And another one I've kept quiet about... costs about $8 just to pull the trigger on it, but its got some serious reach.

Both are worth every penny to me...I'm not a rich man by any measure, but I do like having the best I can pay for of anything I choose to have.

Some have many less expensive toys... myself, I have just a few really nice toys.

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I don’t worry about what rifles cost. I’ve probably spent over 100k on guns, ammo, and accessories over the last 25 years. I consider it money well spent. I work hard, 80 hours a week for the last 17 years, I make a good living. I don’t drive flashy cars, I don’t drink or smoke. There are a lot of worse things I could blow my money on.

Whenever my wife complains about my gun addiction I just ask her “ would you rather I spent all that money on hookers and blow?”

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Thebear_78":1l69jsxt said:
I don’t worry about what rifles cost. I’ve probably spent over 100k on guns, ammo, and accessories over the last 25 years. I consider it money well spent. I work hard, 80 hours a week for the last 17 years, I make a good living. I don’t drive flashy cars, I don’t drink or smoke. There are a lot of worse things I could blow my money on.

Whenever my wife complains about my gun addiction I just ask her “ would you rather I spent all that money on hookers and blow?”

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Can I get the addresses for the hookers and blow?

I hear you about the working. 42 years in the factory here. Very rarely did I get a short 48 hour week. Six to seven twelve hour shifts a week wasn’t that uncommon. I’ve not got anything real fancy but I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied and entertained.

Now that I’m retired I sure enjoy having the free time.

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I don't have any super high dollar rifles, but I do my best to buy smartly, and have it in my head I could make money on every gun I got save for one. I got an 03 Springfield that I'd probably break even on if I sold it as is, and lose money if I replace the barrel.

Bout to find out in the next week or 2, I got one or 2 I'm gonna shuffle out of the lineup.
There are certainly people to whom cost is no concern. I took one of the guys from corporate from our company on a duck hunt. He wished to experience a real central MN hunt, not a guided, pampered country outing over a rice field as he was used to in TX and LA. Everybody else was afraid to take him. The first day he used one of my loaners, but after seeing some other hunters at the landing with higher end pieces he wanted to go on a shopping trip to Cabelas. He looked at the usual suspects, SBEs, Berettas, but couldn't fall in love with any of those. In the gun library, he spotted a classic Belgian A-5 with a long barrel, stunning inlaid engraving, and one of the most beautiful pieces of walnut I've ever seen on an automatic with silver, ivory and ebony inlay. It's a gun, even if I could justify buying it, I wouldn't take anywhere near a MN cattail slough. If I remember, the price tag was well north of 4K, and he picked up 4 boxes of Bismuth to feed it properly and cover from divers to geese to decoyed puddlers. He also picked up about $1500 worth of coats, boots and hats, and put a down payment on a big-water duck rig. All this without batting an eye. Apparently prairie waterfowling really struck a chord with him, and he wished to do it right now that he had to move to MN. The next day, we had a good shoot, limiting on ducks and taking a couple of random geese. It hurt me a little bit to see that classy piece crusted in mud, blood, dog slobber and sporting several fresh scratches from poling/pushing through 200 yards of cattails, but he had a great time on this adventure, and evidently wanted to do it in style. He thanked me sincerely for the experience, and has invited me on several hunts which ironically work wouldn't make time for.

Needless to say, I prefer function over form, favoring much more utilitarian pieces.
Just unloaded one that the more I thought about it, was just going to continue sitting in my gun cabinet. I don't mind acquiring a collection of nice guns, but I try to keep guns that will get used.

Picked it up around 8 mo's ago and made a reasonable $165 net profit on it. I try to get what I want but at prices I'm 99% sure can make a profit if wanting to, or needing to, unload them. Sometimes it takes an exercise in patience to accomplish that, but they usually show up sooner or later.
For me it is rather simple.
I do not travel aboard to hunt and wild boar is open all year. Law says 6,5 mm/2000 Joule @ 100 meters, so I no longer own something smaller (ok - a 22 rimfire. But everybody needs one of those).
Most hunting is done dusk or dawn, so most shots are within 200y.
I have a Tikka in 30-06 and a Savage in 6,5 Creedmoor. My girlfriend will get a 308.
With red stag being the upper limit, I do not need more and both rifles shoot sub moa.
No need here for custom made long range rifles or calibers.
An autoloader shotgun and an over-under for birds and small-game, a CZ 75, 357 revolver and a Ruger Mark II just because I can. Mostly for game hit by cars and for fun.
The rifles do their job and that is all I need...

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I don't regret the amounts I have spent on my two custom rifles but they were very expensive. If I would have know then what I know today I would have invested in a couple top end factory rifles and took a couple of more hunting trips :wink:.
I have trouble selling my rifles as they carry many memories (y).
I have started to pair down my collection and I am now just waiting to see what my grandchildren decide before I sell more.
I also will likely start the sell off my reloading supplies and I believe I have enough reloaded ammo to last my life time and rest of my families as well :mrgreen:.