From our Go Figure Department comes word of record-setting sales in the most expensive custom pistols offered by legendary 1911 customizer Wilson Combat. “We’re back-ordered more than we’ve ever been,” founder Bill Wilson told the Insider. “It’s not our $2,000 guns that are selling, it’s our top-of-the-line $4,000 models like the Super Grade.”
It seems counter-intuitive that high-end custom handguns are in such high demand given the tempo of our economy, however, Wilson has a logical explanation. “Our customer base wants quality. Our typical customer might only buy one new gun a year, but when he does, he wants the very best,” the Arkansas-based entrepreneur said.
Bill added that the Wilson Combat custom line of AR rifles is also moving briskly. “We can’t keep up with those, either. It’s the same thing—our customer wants the best and is willing to pay for it.”
Fueling the desire to own high-quality guns might be caused by a demand for tangible investment instruments, which is pushing gold and silver to record highs. “People are scared,” Bill added. “They’ve seen their paper investments go to nothing while gold has risen. Guns are the same.”
Indeed, according to The S&A Digest—an investment newsletter—the stock of Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) has out-paced gold for three-month, six-month, one-year, three-year and five-year periods. Ruger stock is up over 130 percent so far in 2011, a greater rise than gold itself.
High-grade guns like Wilson Combat custom 1911s and ARs hold their value just like precious metals, collectible art or vintage automobiles—stuff has value, paper does not.