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Does modifying pistols increase or decrease their value?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by mr00jimbo, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. I don't know why but any time I see a heavily modified 1911 like a Colt or a Springfield, the work generally looks awful and sometimes mods to things like the feed ramp make me cringe.

    It seems to be the case that guns are set up to run right from the factory, most of the time.

    I have had a local 'smith modify my SP01 with some parts, including a competition hammer, extended firing pin spring, etc.
    The trigger pull is great on it now.
    But if whatever reason I wanted it to be stock, I have all the parts and could easily swap it back.

    But sometimes people modify guns permanently, including screwing with 1911 frame/slide fit and feed ramp and dremel work on stuff that ruins the gun. Also, swapping out stock parts and selling them off/losing them and having a gun made from random manufacturers. I seem to see this a lot in 1911 stuff.

    I can see legitimate custom shop work increasing the value of a gun, but amateur kitchen table smith jobs to me makes the gun seem less valueable, even if people swear up and down otherwise.

    Your thoughts?
  2. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    I hope it doesn't hurt the value, because I have customized most of mine. :cool: But then again, I don't plan on selling them either. :cool:

  3. The only way it adds IMHO, is IF the modification happens to be something I want, and would do for myself sooner or later. Even then, really it wouldn't add, it just wouldn't detract.
  4. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Far West, USA
    It depends on the type of modification and who does it. If its done by a professional gun smith, and you can prove it, yes it increases value.

    A bubba gun smith job reduces value.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  5. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    If you have a well known smith do the custom work, it can increase value.

    Otherwise, it generally hurts value.
  6. cysoto

    cysoto Gone Shooting!

    Jan 21, 2004
    Denver, CO
    It most often decreases its value.
  7. I lost my shirt selling a custom 1911 done by a well known IPSC Master shooter and renown gunsmith. The finished product didn't shoot any better than a Norinco I had at the time.I only shoot stock guns now.YMMV. tom.:embarassed:
  8. jakebrake

    jakebrake cracker

    Jan 11, 2011
    too close to philly
    it all too often reduced the value, and the owner isn't aware of that fact. when they try to sell it, it becomes one helluva rude awakening.

    some modifications (if done right) can increase a value. but i wouldn't engrave my 1911 hoping to increase the value.
  9. 45caldan


    Aug 27, 2007
    central Florida
  10. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    For instance, one of the "I shouldn't have let it get way" guns in my life was a highly customized S&W 58. It was perfectly done by a major well known company "Magna-port" but in it's caliber with a 3" barrel it was handloader's gun. Factory ammo t the time was all full throttle hunting ammo.

    I saw it sell 3 times at well less than a stock 58 would have brought. Now that I handload I would pay more for it than I did my stock 58. But it would still be a "niche" gun, within a "niche"
  11. -----
  12. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    I think of customizing a gun much like customizing a car.
    Generally it doesn't increase the value.
    And sometimes can actually decrease the value.
    Particularly if the gun cannot be returned to a stock condition.
  13. raven11


    Jan 27, 2009
    I remeber seeing a CZ-75B customized by CZ custom , trigger, hammer, sights and 4-5 magazines , he priced it at $850 and it went for months without selling I think he got tired of trying to sell it

    So unfortunitaly I do think custom guns for whatever reason bring less money
  14. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

    May 27, 1999
    Oh, USA
    If the average gun owner recognizes the name on the gun from having seen it on the cover of American Handgunner, maybe. Otherwise it is like a custom van, the value is reduced in most cases.
  15. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    Its all in WHO customizes it. In the case of most of yours, yes!:supergrin:
  16. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    My guess also is that the less well known the customizer, the more likely the value will deteriorate.
  17. I think it depends on whats being done, and whos doing it.

    Back in the late 60's, early 70's, if you wanted the latest and greatest in 1911's, and some others, you had to make some changes. Those guns tended to bring more, especially if done by the right people.

    These days, most of that type stuff comes in just about any flavor you want from the factory.

    Personally, I still prefer some of those early 70's guns over the new factory stuff. Never really had any of the function issues the new stuff always seems to have.
  18. RJ's Guns

    RJ's Guns

    Dec 25, 2010
    I agree with Brian.

    Not only does it make the firearm less valuable, I will not even purchase a customized firearm unless the work was done by a well known gunsmith.

    However I would like to purchase a Sig or H&K, for a good price, that has been customized (particularly with their comp trigger job) by Gray's Guns

  19. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

    Feb 9, 2005
    This. If you have something worked over by Yost, Christiansen, Vickers, etc., it adds immensely to the gun's value, for both the name recognition, and the fact that most of the great 'smiths have long backlogs.People are willing to pay a lot more up front to have a gun worked on by one of the legends now rather than later.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  20. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

    Jun 14, 2002
    In general, it hurts. Whether due to lower intrinsic value or because of decreased interest is mere semantics.