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See The 2 Shot Mags And Pouch For 10k On Sturm?

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Just a few observations on a Saturday morning.


Hot collectible markets always have some similar dynamics. Once the prices start to rise because of demand a couple of things seem to happen. Usually the grading of the item, after a time, starts to become wider and sloppier. More items are graded higher because “mine” must be better than 95% or “excellent” or whatever happens to be just under “mint” condition. And to try to realize the higher price you have to say the grade is higher to start with. Then one or more new books come out over a period of time. Everyone gets a little smarter and decides more specifically what they would like to acquire. The prices after a time start to surge again. A few sales make the collectors’ news and rumor mills (boards now) and it starts to fan the flames. “I gotta have one. There won’t be any left. I shoulda bought one last year!” (The communications are more instantaneous now with the net so the spiral quickens its pace upward.) Other financial investment options may have softened so the word spreads that “you can’t miss with this new item because it has been going up forever.” New money, big money comes into the hobby that never would think of it before. The collectors grouse about ever rising prices. People buy over-graded items and don’t know it. But why not ? You can see the investment multiplying as we speak. No problem. We’ll sell next month at a higher price. Investors are buying the item. The prices continue to spiral. There is fraud and fakery. Everyone grouses. The repro market flourishes. There is more concern. Other items associated with the primary item start to go up. You have to be a part of it somehow. Some items start to, literally, come out of the woodwork. Items that have been sitting in collections for years or duplicates (Jeez, I’ve got 8, the prices are high, I should sell one) come onto the market. This is always a good thing because new variations of items help in strengthening the history. Prices still going up. And the hobby strains a little sometimes at being a hobby.


I guess I’ll stop there. See anything familiar? Not trying to be negative but the pattern felt similar to other collection fires that I’ve been through. The hunt is always part of the fun in collecting. The bonus with the TSMG is that you get a chance to play. Unless you have one of those unfired guns.


By the way, there is usually a correction to collectable run ups for many different reasons. We haven’t seen any thus far.


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Excellent post. I think this should be required reading for everyone that deals in any type of collectable. As to a correction, I think it is only a matter of time. What is unknown is what form it will take - but I believe a correction will occur sometime in the Thompson market. If I had the resources to invest 20K in a WWII Thompson and not be the least concerned if one day it may only be worth 4K because of a change in the law, then I would own one today. Same for the 14K West Hurley that could be worth only 2K, again with a slight change in the law. Colt Thompsons will always be at the top of the market but some of the recent prices are…well, just amazing. I do believe a correction will have an impact on Colt Thompsons, but maybe, just maybe, not to the degree as the WWII and West Hurley Thompsons. It really depends on what causes the correction.


Quick question Bill: Would you take 6K for your Thomas Fortune Ryan book? I think I may be able to trade it for the shot magazines and pouch http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forums/invboard1_1_2/upload/html/emoticons/biggrin.gif


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I read all the posts here with great interest having myself noted the ads for these same TSMG items.


All the comments on greed are quite interesting.

My belief is that the items will sell for what the market will bear, I will not get into a dicussion as to what I think the market will bear. I have found that debate to be way too much stress. You either believe it is worth it and buy it or you don't. I have certainly written many a check under that premise. If you don't like the price well then that's ok too. I choose not to trash someone and call them greedy if I don't like the price.


FWIW some here may have an inkling that I do my best to keep track of Pre-WWII era TSMG items. As I was reading the posts with more claims of greed it kinda seemed odd to me. As a frequent buyer of these items I was thinkng to myself it has been kinda a dry year in 2005, so to speak with the number of Pre-WWII TSMG items offered up for sale. Now I will never claim to have captured all items for sale but I do believe I do a reasonable job of recording most online posts for sale on the popular boards including this. I also frequently manage to get many items for sale not necessarily posted online.


Here are my observations for a year to date (YTD) period through the end of August, 2005 Vs 2004. It really supported my instinct.



August YTD Pre-WWII TSMG items


Parts and Accessories


Item count YTD 2005 124

Item count YTD 2004 187


Colt Thompson guns


Item count YTD 2005 29

Item count YTD 2004 45


What I am saying is that the items offered for sale seem to be getting fewer and far between at least compared to last year.


I am curious to know can you tell me who is offering any of these same items for less?



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I think I'll post a ad for my WH "C" drum NIB never fired for $5k and see what happens! "Gots the original box, hey it's got to be worth that. Never fired, I'll even put new axel grease on it for you." http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forums/invboard1_1_2/upload/html/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forums/invboard1_1_2/upload/html/emoticons/laugh.gif
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