BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Seeking more bang for the buck?Set aside your views on gun control or perceptions of survivalist arsenals. Those who collect and sell firearms, many of whom are white-collar and affluent, often have turned a profit from their hobby-cum-investment. For example, a small pistol that gangster John Dillinger was carrying, hidden in a sock, when he was arrested in Arizona (six months before he was fatally gunned down in Chicago in 1934) sold for $95,600 at an auction held by Heritage Auction Galleries, a Dallas-based auction house that is the nation's largest. The winning bid was more than double the pre-auction estimate of $35,000 to $45,000.
Lowe says cost often is not a concern for modern collectors, who have changed over the years. The wealthy have gotten into the collecting game, pushing up prices even more. As a result, the economic recession didn't derail sales of collectible firearms, even as art and wine prices dropped. Lowe's best auction ever was in 2008, at the worst of the downturn. "Collectors are more comfortable with tangible assets they can hold in their hand, with a track record," Lowe says. Even as values soar, some collectors find it hard to part with their treasured pieces, Lowe says, adding that it often takes the prospect of buying better, more expensive firearms to push them to do so. Still, Lowe urges new collectors to prepare and protect themselves before making a purchase. "My recommendation for collecting and investing in collectible firearms are the same as they would be in terms of investing in stock," he says. "Do all the research possible." --Written by Joe Mont in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joe Mont. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/josephmont. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.