There’s a lot of stuff going on in the firearms industry on the internet today. It’s a for sure sign of the changing times. Gunbroker is a web-page that lists auctions for firearms all across the country, and they’re one of my all time favorite internet projects in the industry. Let me tell you why.
Discontinued and Gone from Inventory.
Between occasionally having to part with a gun to keep the lights on and having a whole bunch of firearms passing through my hands as a writer and reviewer, there are definitely some guns that I truly wish I would have kept or, in the latter case, regret not paying the invoice and buying.
Like every industry that builds or makes products for a consumer market, not every make and model will remain in production indefinitely. Sure you have similar models, such as the M1911 or the AR-15. Just because you cannot find a Colt HBAR from 1991, doesn’t mean you cannot find a similar model.
However, some guns were unique, and now they are just gone. Sure they exist on planet Earth, but either the company went out of business or they discontinued that model forever. Case in point, the AMT Automag III in .30 Carbine. This is why I’m grateful for sites like Gunbroker.
Guns That I Truly Miss.
Probably twenty plus years ago, I reviewed the Arcadia Machine Tool (AMT) stainless steel, magnum autoloader and I loved it. That pistol fed and cycled every brand and style of .30 Carbine ammunition that I fed it. When my loaner period was up, rather than pay the invoice and keep it, I took it to the gun shop and my FFL guy sold it to one of his customers. At the time I did not have the few hundred dollars needed to keep it. I’ll pick one up again, someday. I told myself. Well, AMT went out of business and the Automag III has been out of production since 2001. The Automag III has since become “unobtantium” or as rare as unicorn horns.
Another gun that is long since out of production is the Taurus Raging Hornet, a .22 Hornet big, double-action revolver. Taurus released these wheelguns during the height of their .454 Casull Raging Bull wave. I reviewed a Raging Hornet and killed a couple of groundhogs in Ohio farm fields during the process. I really liked the gun, but alas, it went back to Taurus when my review period was complete. Now that I live in prairie dog country, I would really love to have that gun again.
Where can we find the solution to the constant problem of missing firearms?
The Solution to the Problem: Gunbroker.
The Automag III is not the only gun of which I regret selling or failing to purchase, but it is the number one regret in that regard. In the days of my youth, if you were desperate to replace a gun that you had sold, you drove all over the tri-county area, hitting up gun shops and/or you hit every gun show that came around.
In our modern age, the thought of driving all over the place, going from store to store seems ridiculous. While Gunbroker.com is not the only online firearms auction site, they are essentially the original and one of, if not, the largest. A few years after Gunbroker was in business I used their service to find a bone stock Remington M700 in .308 Winchester. They shipped that rifle directly to a custom rifle maker (FFL) who turned the good stock gun into an outstanding precision rifle capable of ½ MOA accuracy.
During the years that have followed, Gunbroker has grown exponentially. According to a “company fact sheet” from 2015, Gunbroker averages 750,000 gun listings on any given day and is responsible for $4 Billion in cumulative sales. You’ve come a long way baby! Thanks for everything you’ve done for our community.
Parting Shots on Gunbroker,
Some of the other guns that I sold out of financial necessity included my first Ruger 10/22, a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, and a Winchester Model 1200 Defender. None of those are particularly rare firearms and I was able to find replacements for each during a quick Gunbroker search.
The Raging Hornet is currently listed, but a bit rich for my blood. I guess I don’t want one that badly. Sadly, not one AMT Automag III could be found at the time of this writing. I’ll just have to keep looking. Eventually someone will post one up on Gunbroker.
Gunbroker.com has all the information you need to start buying or selling. They have a mobile app for your phone, naturally. Gunbroker has a “Watchlist” feature to allow you to monitor auctions that interest you. One feature that I could not find, but would like to see, is a “Wishlist” option that would notify your account as soon as a gun for which you are looking is listed.
Happy gun hunting.
Paul Markel is the founder and host of Student of the Gun radio and television. Mr. Markel has numerous books in print and has authored hundreds upon hundreds of articles for the outdoor and shooting sports industry.