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1921ac Unfired Value?


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#1 gandolf

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 11:56 PM

I am considering a 1921AC that appears to be completely new unfired condition. Honest, this one is a real show stopper. The owner bought it in the 60's and says he never fired it. The only two chinks in the armor are:

1. The furniture was replaced when he bought it in the '60's with a gorgeous set of custom made wood. He says he has the original wood as well. and

2. The Thompson directory for this serial number only has one note, apparently from a SGN ad run in 1994 that apparently referring to it being reblued.

If this is original blue, could it be worth the $30k asking price. If a perfect reblue job, how much does that depreciate its value?
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#2 P51Mstg

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 12:59 AM

I looked over both of those guns today. It was a reblue as far as I could tell. It makes me wonder why it would be in a SGN ad if the same guy had owned it for 40 years. (I looked them up in Gordon's book too). The wood was cheesey looking. He also said that the cases were from the 60's which just didn't look right. They didn't look old enough. The mags were military as were the drums. It had that buffed look below the serial number. I don't think it was because it was because it was because the owner was trying to make it look nice. Both the Thompsons were reblues, had other internals in them, etc.

I'd pass on them at the $30k asking.

What does rebluing do to the value of one? It can be originial ONCE. I'd say cut the value 30-50%. Guns are worth maybe $20k.

Mark H
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#3 Sig

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 01:42 PM

Where exactly is this ad for the TMSG(s)?
SGN? If in SGN does anyone have a scanner for those unable to acquire a SGN copy.
thanks
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#4 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 03:12 PM

gandolf,
There really is no such thing as a brand new unfired Colt 1921 TSMG. There are many examples of 1921/28 reblued with replacement wood that the seller says has been tucked away since the 1960's and is offered as "new". If it could be proved that there existed such a "new" Colt TSMG, then it would sell for over $50K.

P51 is right about how the value plummets when a Colt TSMG has been reblued. But scratches, nicks, pitting and such will always be present on the metal. Why would a fine example of an unfired, craddled TSMG need rebluing anyway? As the song says, "Walk Away Renee".

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#5 gandolf

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 05:23 PM

Thanks for the friendly advice. I did walk away and bought a shooter instead. Sig, it was at a gun show, not in SGN.

Sometime next year I would like to buy a Thompson that would be as close to 100% as possible for investment. Any suggestions on an honest dealer that specializes in top shelf Thompsons would be appreciated.
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#6 John Jr

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 10:23 PM

Just ask Aurthur, he knows where all the (overpriced) Colt Thompsons are. He is the master of (Colt) "Value".

QUOTE
There really is no such thing as a brand new unfired Colt 1921 TSMG.


Since Aurthur has personally inspected all 15,000 Colt Thompsons, this is how he knows this!

QUOTE
a "new" Colt TSMG, would sell for over $50K.


Refer to the first quote.

Colts bring between 15-25K. Those on the upper end are near perfect guns and have tons of accessories.

Consider a Savage 1928. They were built on the same machines as the Colts, just by different people 20 years later. Colt did not design the Thompson, they just build the gun.

An NFA weapon is always an investment. Thompson SMG's are the highest priced, most collectable SMGs out there. All of them. 30K is WAY ahead of the market, one day they will certainly be worth that, but not right now. An original refinished gun of any kind decreases the value.

You are better off with the shooter that you bought. You can't fire a 99% gun without the possibility of value loss. You can shoot yours and still sell it for more than you paid in less than a years time.

IMHO you should never buy a gun you can't shoot.

John Jr
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#7 Norm

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 11:05 PM

I agree that you should never buy a gun you wouldn't shoot. That is just my personal preference. If I had about $100,000 to burn, maybe I would stash a few 21AC's away without firing them.

I think the better way to go is to look for a "war baby" that has some history. These are hard to find also.

I think the only "unfired" Thompson (of any manufacturer) is going to be a West Hurley (maybe), and they are going fast, but who knows what's in "the attic" somewhere. dry.gif

I would just settle for any Thompson.

Just my $.02 worth.

Norm
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#8 philasteen

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 03:30 AM

Well to confound all the experts . . .

A Class 3 dealer and Thompson collector I know was offered a NIB Thompson 3 years. That's a NIB 1921AC Thompson. It was still in the original box which in turn was still in the box from a Chicago department store with the shipping info to the first buyer on it. The gun had never been fired and the box was in good condition.

The asking price in 1999 was $150,000. It was bought soon after by a different collector, probably never to be seen again.
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#9 gijive

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 08:23 AM

Philasteen,

With all due respect, your post certainly makes for a good story, but I frankly find it hard to believe. It sounds like the kind of story that would be passed along at a gun show. True, the original guns could have been shipped to certain retail outlets during the early sales in the 1920's, but it seems unlikely to me that a gun that was never taken out of the box would have been registered in the NFA registry after 1934. Therefore, if it wasn't registered it couldn't have been legally transferred in 1999. Of course, I am assuming certain facts here, but until I saw pictures of the gun or some documentation that it really existed, I don't think I would accept your story as gospel.

Most of those kinds of stories always have the same scenario, the guy passed on it, someone else got it and it will probably never be seen again. Pretty convenient way to explain any lack of documentation. I would have to think that the late J. Curtis Earl or Roger Cox would have written or heard about such a gun during their heyday as Thompson collectors and sellers thirty some years ago.
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#10 SecondAmend

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 10:20 AM

Urban legend or not, things like the "Midas Touch" Thompson asking and selling for at least $96,000 a few months ago will give rise to such stories.


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#11 gandolf

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 08:43 PM

For what it is worth, the guy called me back today and said he sold both 1921AC's, presumably, for $30k each. He also swore that neither had been reblued.

Regardless of condition, it appears that the bar on prices has been raised.
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#12 96lt1ss

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 10:00 PM

QUOTE
Since Aurthur has personally inspected all 15,000 Colt Thompsons, this is how he knows this!



What exactly does this mean ? unsure.gif
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#13 P51Mstg

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 10:06 PM

Those guns were 12615 and 6179, both were in Gordon' s serial number book as for sale in 1994 in Shotgun News (going from memory, 6179 said reblued and refinshed wood in the book). The owner told me he owned BOTH guns since the mid 60's. It just doesn't figure that BOTH were listed for sale. I tend to not believe him. He MAY have sold them. BUT I DOUBT they were for $30k each. They were not that nice.

Think about it for a minute, it makes sense. Gordon has nothing to gain, I do trust his book.

Mark H


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#14 gandolf

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 12:01 AM

The story gets better. He said he contested what was in the guide and they agreed to remove the comments in the next edition.

Very strange. Anyway, I am happy with my shooter.


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#15 John Jr

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 12:06 AM

This whole thing is starting to stink of.... well you know....


Jr

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#16 full auto 45

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 06:59 PM

These guns sound like the same ones at the SAR show and the Louisville show a few months ago. The owner is Jim Streeter? If so, you can buy them a hell of a lot cheaper then $30k. He only wanted $20k for them in Louisville. He also has alot of BS about the guns. I talked to him 2x at the Louisville show and he told me a couple different stories about the guns. He also had a very mixed up Colt 1928 with various parts attached. I don't remember all the detail but it was only a $8000 gun. Looked to me, and a editor of a popular mg magazine, to either be a made up reciever or a abortion that lived. This guy also was carrying the Colt around at Knob Creek last show with a "C" drum attached. I know some Thompson people are very eccentric, and know it alls, but this dude was in the top few. But he was pleasant to me. dry.gif
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#17 Sig

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 08:29 PM

Would loved to have seen this Jim Streeter walking around with a C drum attached at KCR!

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#18 full auto 45

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 08:31 PM

It was funny to see him swinging a 21 Colt around almost dragging the ground with the muzzle.
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#19 Waffen Und Bier

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 08:50 PM

Is that Jim Street out of Ohio about 55-60 years old?
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#20 full auto 45

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 10:01 PM

It is Street not Streeter. I was thinking of somebody else. I can't find his card I have but that is him. I was thinking more about 70+. Looked bad last time I talked to him.
My fault on the name thing. Now I'm 42 I can't remember shit any more! laugh.gif
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