Dear Auntie Gun Nut,
I've been telling my wife that my guns are a good investment. She says they don't appreciate fast enough. Who's right?
Few guns are going to outperform the market, but then few stock certificates will "make major" in IPSC, so it kind of balances out. There are three fairly volatile areas in the gun market where profits can be made right now, though:
1) Transferrable machine guns. Some of these things are appreciating fast enough that it's like having a part-time job sitting in your gun safe earning money. The appreciation curve is the flattest at the low and high ends, of course, with M-11's and Uzis still priced within entry-level reach, and with rarer beltfeds plateauing somewhat in the last couple of years.
2) Postwar, pre-'57 Smith and Wessons. S&W collecting has finally caught on with the masses, and the resulting explosion in pre-war Hand Ejector prices is eyewatering. This has stepped up interest in post-war 5-screw pre-model number guns tremendously. The days of the $100 M&P are in the rearview mirror for good, now.
3) American milsurps. With 1911, M1 Garand, and Springfield '03 pricing already high and climbing higher, look for prices on M1917's (both rifles and revolvers) and M1 Carbines to get sucked upwards in their wake turbulence. Between the sudden popularity of WWII with Hollywood, and the plethora of video games like Medal of Honor, expect to see the day of the $1000 M1 carbine sooner rather than later.
And that's the view from my side of the counter.