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Thread: Does modification of a polymer pistol increase the value?

  1. #11
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    This is the same question with anything else, like sports cars, Jeeps, watches, fashion. Homes may be the few place where custom upgrades are largely valued, though you can “overbuild” for the market. The average buyer of anything is a purist. He likes “factory.” He’s accepted the marketing. He’s told factory is important. “Restored” vehicles brings a certain warm feeling to the retro muscle car fan club.

    Yet an educated buyer knows what upgrades are worth. But most buyers are just looking at blue books.

    Danger Close and Agency Arms both sell modded glocks at a premium. And people buy a lot of them. But it comes with the warm fuzzy “factory” feeling and loads of marketing. And a buyer, again, is educated in what he’s getting: a basic general firearm that is “good enough.”

    Upgrades add value if done right because value is in the piece itself. Quality frame mods, slide mods, and night sights, IMO, are most valuable for duty use. A match barrel perhaps for certain goals. But finding the right buyer who understands the value is another story. Hence why upgrades usually don’t add much to a price tag for someone who wants to sell quickly without also spending hours educating potential buyers in what they are looking at. Then again, try selling a brand new Glock barrel takeoff for retail. People won’t pay it. It lacks the warm fuzzy. Would we say the Glock barrel isn’t worth a Glock barrel?

    I have a CZ in the EE case in point. When the right buyer comes along, he’ll see it’s a raging steal. He would pay more but I want a quicker sale. Hence my price is for the less informed purist willing to live a little.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledge View Post
    This is the same question with anything else, like sports cars, Jeeps, watches, fashion. Homes may be the few place where custom upgrades are largely valued, though you can “overbuild” for the market. The average buyer of anything is a purist. He likes “factory.” He’s accepted the marketing. He’s told factory is important. “Restored” vehicles brings a certain warm feeling to the retro muscle car fan club.

    Yet an educated buyer knows what upgrades are worth. But most buyers are just looking at blue books.

    Danger Close and Agency Arms both sell modded glocks at a premium. And people buy a lot of them. But it comes with the warm fuzzy “factory” feeling and loads of marketing. And a buyer, again, is educated in what he’s getting: a basic general firearm that is “good enough.”

    Upgrades add value if done right because value is in the piece itself. Quality frame mods, slide mods, and night sights, IMO, are most valuable for duty use. A match barrel perhaps for certain goals. But finding the right buyer who understands the value is another story. Hence why upgrades usually don’t add much to a price tag for someone who wants to sell quickly without also spending hours educating potential buyers in what they are looking at. Then again, try selling a brand new Glock barrel takeoff for retail. People won’t pay it. It lacks the warm fuzzy. Would we say the Glock barrel isn’t worth a Glock barrel?

    I have a CZ in the EE case in point. When the right buyer comes along, he’ll see it’s a raging steal. He would pay more but I want a quicker sale. Hence my price is for the less informed purist willing to live a little.
    Reason I like factory is because I don't trust "custom". I don't know who did it....chances are it's the owner, and I don't know their skill level. Many people overestimate their skills. I don't want to pay hundreds to find out I need to put hundreds into it because something somewhere doesn't work.

  3. #13
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    If you cross paths with someone wanting the modification then you might come out ok as the seller.

    I would be really surprised if a present day person with a wood burner/laser engraver/soldering iron is going to be viewed in the same light as an Armand Swenson a few decades down the road.

  4. #14
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    Does modification of a polymer pistol increase the value?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arik View Post
    Reason I like factory is because I don't trust "custom". I don't know who did it....chances are it's the owner, and I don't know their skill level. Many people overestimate their skills. I don't want to pay hundreds to find out I need to put hundreds into it because something somewhere doesn't work.
    Depends on the modification, but I get it. A frame modification by a solid company should be worry free. Same with slides. Internals are a different story. All depends if I KNOW what was done and know how to inspect it. Glocks are simple mechanisms where most of the aftermarket focuses.

    Even still, we all should know how to inspect our own FACTORY built firearms. Even factory firearms can have their issues and need their maintenance.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledge View Post
    Depends on the modification, but I get it. A frame modification by a solid company should be worry free. Same with slides. Internals are a different story. All depends if I KNOW what was done and know how to inspect it. Glocks are simple mechanisms where most of the aftermarket focuses.

    Even still, we all should know how to inspect our own FACTORY built firearms. Even factory firearms can have their issues and need their maintenance.
    True. But worse case factory provides a warranty. Not so from the Goober with a Dremel!

  6. #16
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    Does modification of a polymer pistol increase the value?

    Someone here has a quote that goes something like this - "Stippled Glock and worn panties have this in common - their value depends heavily on their previous owner"

    So it really depends. When I look for Glocks or list something for sale / trade, I state I want "unmolested Glocks", so no frames defiled by bubba and a soldering iron.
    - Rhino

  7. #17
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    Not so much. Kind of like diesel pickups, as soon as somebody slaps a tuner in it, who knows just what happened to the engine. Some are treated well, some blow up every part you can think of.

    I can't speak for Glocks or any of the other plastic guns. Since I started shooting 92's, I figured out real fast I could order a set of G10 grips, a lighter hammer spring, and a G conversion and have a much more shootable gun that I'd be more than happy to (and do now daily) carry. That doesn't add much, if anything, to the value of the gun, especially since I shoot it a bunch and carry it daily. Even if it was just an occasional shooter, one might be able to get the cost of the parts out of it, which still isn't a lot. To have a 92 built by Langdon Tactical or Wilson indeed does have the added value, as the work is very well known. Langdon sells their trigger job in a bag, though, or even most/all the individual components. This middle ground between essentially stock and a job done by Langdon/Wilson is where it would seem to get dicey. It's not hard to swap all said parts into the gun, but who's to say that Bubba didn't slap the wrong weight springs in it and it won't shoot worth a hoot. I'll wind up doing more to my M9 at some point as I'm highly intrigued by the 6 lb DA trigger that can be had on one, and I'm not worried about resale because it won't be worth much after I'm done with it anyway. If I have reliability issues, I have a back up 92 Compact that's good to go.

  8. #18
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    Its ironic that this thread pops up after spending a few hours today at a widows residence looking over her late husbands extensive handgun collection with a mutual non-shooting friend of ours. I was there to give her an unbiased opinion of what she had on her hands, there possibile values, how quick they will sell, etc. etc. I had no intention to buy anything, just there as a favor to my pal. Besides I promised the wife... With the exception of 6 handguns, each and every pistol and or revolver had some level of customization, some practical for its role others not so much. All the accessories for each gun were there but any "take off" parts from them were long gone. Taking into consideration the time frame the late owner was actively using his guns, he might have gotten back most, not all, of the value and money on his competition modded 1911, TZs, Paras and revolvers but that time came and went quickly. A LGS told her the exact same thing as mentioned here, paraphrasing it "these mods were all what you late husband liked and may not get the money he put into them or even a high value on the gun due to the mods, current time frame and whats popular." These were all traditional metal framed guns with 3 exceptions for pistols: HK USP 9C, Glock 20 Gen 3 10mm, and G23 Gen 3 .40S&W. The 3 unmodified revolvers were S&W 640, 66, and a 686 in .38/357. I made a fair offer for those six guns due to the simple fact that they were not messed with at all, barely looked like they had 100rnds through them, the revolvers were still NIB and they fit in to my" want to buy if good deal" list. The other 1911s, various revolvers, various pistols were all modified in some shape or form and one can easily tell by a quick glance. The work done to the guns was good but after looking through paperwork w/each gun there were no "name brand 'smiths" were involved in the work, sadly another negative point. The widow might be able to sell them in ones or twos but it will be a long time. The point here is unmodified used metal framed guns, depending on what brand caliber, etc will not fly off the LGS used shelf and damn sure a bubba messed with Glock or M&P etc will languish collecting dust even longer! Buyer and seller beware!!
    Last edited by GNXII; 10-14-19 at 22:06.

  9. #19
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    I dont think so, i for one would like to buy a factory guns so i can modify however i wan.. else the gun is Mod in a way that i want it. doesnt speak much for an sfter market value.

  10. #20
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    In my opinion, no it doesn’t. However, one man’ trash is another man’s treasure.

    If I want someone to hack up my gun, I’ll buy it new, decide what exactly I want and then send it out myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Business_Casual View Post
    I see a lot of ads of polymer pistols with asking prices above list for the stock pistol. I just don’t feel most of those mods increase the value. Night sights, yes. Stipple, undercut, no. Zev hack job on the slide? Hell no.

    Thoughts on the market?

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