I can’t collect handguns because I can’t afford it. You have to accept the difference between an organized collection of specimens of a particular make or model, and an accumulation of different handguns that fill specific needs in your shooting life or were priced right when you thought they were really neat. My limited little armory is in the latter category. I am fooling around with a particular category of gun collection, but for now I am more of a gun accumulator than a gun collector. I suspect that many readers are in similar situations, so may I suggest another form of gun-related collecting?
How about collecting gun books? I try to stay current with everything having to do with selecting and/or using fighting handguns. At this point in history, a lot of new stuff is coming out and you have to hustle to keep up. It was a lot more fun when I was scrambling to find the early classics like FitzGerald’s Shooting or Nichol’s Secrets of Double Action Shooting. There are still a few books from the early 1920s that I don’t have, but the search continues. A complete collection is always valuable and there is a tremendous amount of useful information in those faded and dusty pages.
Also, you can sort of define your own parameters for your collection. You could have a collection of Colt books, Colt automatic pistol books, Colt .45 auto pistol books, etc. There is an interesting array of books on combat shooting, competition shooting or even field shooting with handguns. Without even realizing I was doing it, I amassed a pretty decent collection of books on handloading ammunition. Much of this came from a lot of years of working in the business and constantly upgrading the mini-library over the loading bench. Have at it!