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Resale Value - Factory 2011 vs. Custom?

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I am looking to be a nice 2011 Limited gun for the 2018 season in .40 S&W, and have considered either a factory-made gun like an STI or having a custom gun made by a local gunsmith that has a great reputation in my area. I have seen his guns, and they are just amazing.

 

Without getting into whether an STI is a quality gun or not, how would these two types of guns compare for resale value?

 

The reason I ask is because I built a "custom" AR-15 Frankengun a few years ago with all top-shelf components that is just AWESOME, but its resale value is nothing compared to a high end factory gun like a Daniels Defense, even though I probably spent more making the Frankengun.

 

Thanks in advance for any input!

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I would highly recommend considering a RIA ULTRA MATCH PRO 40

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You will lose money either way but like your frankengun I imagine that the loss on the custom 2011 would be more than the loss from a gun made by a well established manufacturer. Also hello from INGO!! 

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I am guessing this will be your first limited gun. My advice to you would be find a used STI Edge or other 2011 that meets your budget and needs. I bought and sold an STI Edge within 6 months and didn’t lose money. It was my first limited gun and I learned a lot about my preferences in a limited gun.

If you decide the Edge doesn’t work for you or you just want to upgrade, sell it and have your local smith build one to your preferences. Resale may not be as easy on that one, but you’ve got a gun built to your specs. Local sale may be best if others know of the builders reputation as well.


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21 hours ago, Tacoeaterboom said:

I don’t know much about the custom 2011s but I can tell you, I am having one hell of a time selling an STI DVC Steel Master...they tanked in value. 

 

The steel master was a wildly unpopular model... it was the reason they discontinued it. It was built for minor loads. 

 

From my viewpoint the model youre selling has a lot to do with resale. I also think a stock pistol is going to retain more value than a local gunsmith gun unless your selling it to a local that knows the smith. Now if you go with a big name, in demand, long wait time outfit like SVI you'll retain the value. 

 

Another member recommended buying a used Edge or similar. That's really your best bet to start limited. There are a bunch of great guns in the classifieds right now as outdoor shooting season ends for the northern states. A lot of people start new builds for the next season, decide they don't need a backup or quit shooting around now so there's great deals to be had. You won't loose much money at all when you go to resell as the original buyer took the depreciation hit then after you've shot it more you can better decide what you want on acustom build. 

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I would not buy a new, factory STI, let someone else work the bugs out!

 

If you shop well, and buy used, you can likely sell it for everything you have into it if you want to try something else.

Edited by kneelingatlas

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I have quite a few STI's and there haven't been bugs to work out other than extractor tensioning.  Buy STI with confidence. 

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I wouldnt buy custom as a first Limited gun. How can you even get custom without knowing enough about it to know what you like. Without a couple years under your belt with the platform the gun cant  be custom to anyone but the gunsmith.
Some folks like 6" guns, some 5, some sight trackers,  bushing barrel ? bull ? thick safety small, what mag release ? undercut trigger or not. A local smiths guns may be "Nice", doesnt mean it will be nice for you.
Sti frame may not even work for you and you may want to go Caspian.
Id look for a basically stock 5-6" gun used and run it a while and figure out what you like about it and dont like about it. Then either mod that one or start from scratch.

Edited by Joe4d

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Great responses so far, greatly appreciated.

 

I think looking for a used 2011 is probably a good investment and a smart way to go.

 

I am going to wait until after Christmas as my wife gets grouchy when I spend money on myself in December, plus I get my yearly bonus in mid-January.

 

In the mean time, I will keep searching the classifieds...

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I've had them all.....from stock STI to full Custom Infinity.  Do yourself a favor and look at CKARMS.  Performance without the price.

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1 hour ago, RangerTrace said:

I've had them all.....from stock STI to full Custom Infinity.  Do yourself a favor and look at CKARMS.  Performance without the price.

 

 

I agree.

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13 hours ago, Goodonpaper said:

Good to see you here bro!

 

Yeah, you got me going over here. Thanks!

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I got a used 2011 from the classifieds earlier this year. I would highly suggest going that route. 

 

The biggest drop in value is from first buyer to second buyer. After that, as long as the gun is well taken care of you're not likely to lose much if anything if you go to sell it. 

 

Of the two options you gave in the OP I'd suggest looking for a used Edge or Eagle. You can often find Dawson CRP Edges (basically tuned, no trigger work). Or Brazos tuned Edge which has trigger work done. Both can be found used for what a stock Edge goes for new. Those are the best options imo because they've been looked over already and theoretically you won't have to do anything but take it to the range or match.

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If you have a good local gunsmith that is highly regarded in building running guns in a timely fasion

I would take advantage of that. Also see if he will do repairs in a week or two max.

Most of us don't have that option and try to pick a well known gunsmith with good service but have to ship

guns back and forth.

Also depends on your skill level with minor repairs and if you have a back up gun.

But if you plan on being in the shooting sports for a while, I would build a good relationship with a good

local smith until something prevents that.

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Been trying to decide the same myself took the plunge and started buying parts and I have to tell ya ck arms makes some amazing stuff can't wait to finish the build

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Posted (edited)

If you’re just starting out, buying a used “premium” pistol isn’t a bad option if you do it smart.

 

In my experience w/ high dollar niche used guns at your average high-volume focused LGS that doesn’t stock many guns above $1500, is that the owner usually ditched them for a reason, especially if it’s not on consignment (which means the previous owner was willing to accept the gun store’s low ball offer needed for them to move it quickly). You can get lucky, as I’ve gotten lucky several times, but more often than not the gun has minor (& sometimes major) functional issues that need to be addressed. 

 

Those who have a well functioning, high dollar niche gun for sale; tend to sell them via other channels where they’re more likely to recoup what the gun is actually worth (which still isn’t the dealer cost they’re naively expecting). You can definitely still strike out in a private sale or used sale from a well established retailer of the high-dollar niche product; however my batting average via these routes is far better, w/ either no issues or minor issues that I can address myself for less than $100. Have only gotten a lemon once going this route, but sometimes I did have to slightly overpay to appease the owner & get the terms I wanted (such as meeting me at the range for a 100 rnd range session)

 

Another avenue I’ve worked is to trade in a high volume commodity gun they’ll quickly sell (like a Glock 19) you’re willing to take a bit of a loss on towards a high dollar one that’s been sitting on the shelf for over a year. In my experience, most gun stores are willing to get near their dealer cost on a new high dollar gun that hasn’t moved in a year, as well as give you a bit more in value for your gun if you trade it towards something else, rather than ask for a check. 

Edited by SPL15
Typos

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If you dont mind my asking, what sort of budget were you looking at? The reason I ask is that stock factory STIs seem to have really dropped in reliability and quality lately relative to their prices. 

 

You might keep an eye out for a used CK Arms as another option to the Dawson and Brazos tuned STIs I previously mentioned. 

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5 hours ago, KrymSIX said:

 

You might keep an eye out for a used CK Arms as another option to the Dawson and Brazos tuned STIs I previously mentioned. 

 

 

I think the CK Arms are often the best values in the premium brand used gun market.

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Thanks again everyone. I ended up buying a Triangle Shooting Sports (Bennie Hill) modified STI locally that had been gently used. Very nice gun, I love it, and as others have mentioned, I can probably sell it for about what I have into it if I keep it decent shape.

 

I have upgraded a few parts, and have my local gunsmith taking a look at it next week (he is also going to install a new ambi safety, the original owner had his ground down to a tiny nub, and I hate it, plus he is going to pin the safety).

 

I replaced the grip with the Extreme Shooters grip and Dawson magwell. The gunsmith will add and Ed Brown ambi safety and Ed Brown grip safety (and pin it):

 

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