Why waste time listing a item if you do not sell it? Say it so all know what you have. This is my gun and I want X # of dollars for it. Many now list the reserve right in the description. You have a right to protect your investment, fine. List the gun and let people know what you will take for it.
Most people here have a rough dollar figure that they are willing to invest in a gun. If your reserve is within reason, and you state it in your ad, you should get more interest. A too high reserve will never sell a gun but one that is in the ball park will generate more interest and more potential bids. It is not like the bidding is going at such a fast pace that stating your asking price, which is your reserve in effect, that you are going to be discouraging people from bidding.
Many only look at guns with the highest number of bids anyway. Why look at 2500 guns when only 30 are getting any real interest. Many guns are being listed for the hundredth time? Sellers like MIkej99 and the torchman list the same guns for months and years with out selling them.
I bet more than a few guns never get a bid when they might if the reserve was known. If your gun has not been sold after a very few listing it never will. If the reserve is too high for a buyer he never will buy the gun. If it, the reserve, is within his price range then he will look closely at your gun and may bid on it. Since he already knows that any bid below your stated reserve is a waste of time his opening bid should be near or above your reserve. Hidden high reserves do noting to encourage sales.
Most auction sites are not anything like a real auction. Many are trolling for suckers. Some are decent sellers who just have no other way to reach very many potential buyers. Why not tell them what you want for a gun? You may be almost of the same mind but will never know it. And buyers can learn what the "reserve" market price is and may have to adjust upwards how much they need to spend.
Buy it now prices are often higher than the reserve. It gives the seller more than his reserve price in exchange for ending the auction early. And do you think that any buy it now price is less than a reserve? No, it is a instant take it or leave it price with the option of trying to buy it at auction if you still want it for less. I like buy it now prices.
I do not see what an advantage is to list with a low starting bid and a hidden high reserve. Gunbroker may sell a fifty doubles a week but almost two thousands never get a bid. Starting price too high, reserve too high, crappy photos, never because the starting price was too low of course. Relisted every week. Big deal. Anything to encourage a bid should help increase your chances for a sale.