Buying Used Guns: It ain’t how much it’s worth, it’s how bad people want it

In February, in order to escape the SHOT Show, I went with Keith McCafferty to the Las Vegas Gun and Knife Show, held at the Mandalay Bay exposition center. It’s a big show, and contains everything from the most horrendous junk to veritable treasures with everything in between. It also contained a prime lesson in the economics of used-gun pricing. To wit: It ain’t how much it’s worth, it’s how bad people want it.

The gun in question was a Winchester Model 97 Trench Gun, made for the U.S. Army in the early years of the 20th century. It was in absolutely pristine condition, and carried a price tag of $3,000. Three grand for an ugly military gun that probably cost the government $23.50 when it was new. Obviously, someone out there is strange for Model 97s, or trench guns, or is just strange, period.