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Joined: Jan 2008
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dmh Offline OP
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I'm looking at a pair of best quality British guns that are in superb condition with great barrels, etc. They have had a first class re-stock job by a respected stocker working independently, with well matched and laid out wood.

The recent discussion about effect on value of guns rebarrelled "by another" made me wonder how much re-stocking "by another" impacts the value of guns that are in all other respects outstanding.

I'd appreciate your opinions. I am a long time reader here and am always impressed by the collective knowledge of this group.

Dave

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Unless it was done by a BIG name....Mr. Trevalion, Mr. Hodgins....I feel it dramatically effects the value of a H&H or Purdey. The sales at Holt's etc, seem to prove the same.


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I agree with SKB. I recently sent a Holland 20b to Paul Hodgins to restock. He was a stocker at Holland and Holland and 'articled' with them. He does PERFECT work which is reflected in his cost. Still, my gun will most likely be discounted a little as a restock. The original was very short when I purchased the gun which was reflected in it's price, hence I felt financially justified to restock. Restocking undoubtedly depreciates a gun to an educated buyer, less so with quality work IMHO.


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How would anyone know they were restocked?
Pics?
Mike,

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If you remove locks or stock from the action on old guns the wood takes on a patina from aging and oils. The educated can generally tell even on old restocks. I look when I buy.


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Most best British guns and rifles were "made to measure", and some are so made as not to fit the next owner without a restock. Also, over time many great guns have been altered in ways that are objectionable to a new owner, and are then restocked.

If the restock job is done in the correct manner and style of the original maker, and the quality of work, and wood are of the same degree of quality as the original, a restock is not a detrement to value. What is dificult, is to recoup the present cost of best work and wood in the used gun market.

All the best,

Mal

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Short answer: yes it does diminish resale value.

But here's another question - Why are you buying the guns? If you want them to fit well and shoot well then resale value isn't the issue. Besides, you can always keep the old stocks and put them back if youwant to sell.

A friend of mine had two 21s restocked to fit him perfectly and people kept telling him that it reduced their resale value. Well, he shot them both for well over a decade and when he died the resale value didn't really matter.

If you want, amortize the decrease over the time you're going to enjoy the guns and it becomes trivial.

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Take two identical "best" guns, one that has been well restocked with standard dimensions and the other with an original stock with unshootable dimensions - which takes the bigger hit on value? Obviously this is a hypothetical question, but I think a lot of this depends on which buyers will be most attracted to the gun - collectors or shooters.

Gnonom's point about keeping the original stock is a good one - I was looking at a graded Fox recently that was in very good shape and appeared to have a lot of original condition - it also had about 6 feet of drop in the stock. The seller suggested that approach - the gun was too pricey to justify the restocking but I filed that suggestion away for another opportunity.


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Do the guns fit you? If so I do not get that worked up about it. Quality work was done and prime wood was used was it not? A small deduction might be in order but not a major one. I have seen restock jobs done by hacks whose work make the guns almost unsellable. It sounds like your guns were restocked in proper fashion by someone who is respected in the trade. Only thing better would be to have the maker do the work if you are a purist. But so much work is out sourced these days how do you know who does what?

Americans need to get over this obsession with unaltered, factory condition in British guns. There are a few like that but the vast majority have been altered or freshened up over the years. Worse a hundred years of use, even when mild, will make minor touch ups a practical matter. Not one of a seller trying to make a worn out gun appear to be a pristine one. I would never buy a car with 50K miles which had factory oil in it. Why not extend the same to a gun?

One other thing to consider is that that pair was most likely made for a gent who was about 5' 5"- 5" 7" if he was average size. If he was average, or worse shorter than average, the LOP and drop on the original stocks might have been well short of your needs. I have seen a Best pair sit unsold for years because the stocks were 12.5". No seller came along that could use them as is and few were willing to dump 10+K into restocking them. Sometimes original condition makes a gun almost unsellable in today's market.

You might have the stocks bent and extensions added. But consider that some of these guns have been bent by every owner to suit them. A pair near a hundred, might be on the fourth or fifth owner. That pair may have been bent multiple times already. How many bends can a stock take? How nice is a extension to look at? The stocks might have been at the end of their lifespans and had to be replaced. How would you feel if you bought the pair, had them bent again and had problems with them later. Then you would have to have them restocked over here. And the number of trained factory type stockers does not fill one hand over here.

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dmh Offline OP
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Thanks for the responses guys.

The guns in question are round actions. They were back in Scotland for the work some years ago - I don't know the name of the stocker, but the shaping is correct and the wood is nicely figured but appropriate for the age of the guns such that I don't think it would be obvious to most that they had been restocked. I believe one of the pair had had the stock cut and a decision was made to restock both to match rather than extend the one.

I would be buying the guns to use and to pass on to my son, but they are not cheap so I wanted to find out how the market might view this factor should a re-sale become necessary down the road.

I'd rather not subject the seller's wares to public dissection at this point, but if anyone would be willing to give me an opinion privately I could email some photos and would be most appreciative.

Thanks,
Dave

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