This month’s American Rifleman has a feature article on “special edition” rifles and pistols from a company called American Legacy Firearms, a company that clearly was founded on the principle that nobody ever went broke by underestimating the taste or intelligence of the average American consumer.
With spectacular unintended irony, American Rifleman’s Assistant Editor Joseph Kurtenbach quotes American Legacy founder Steve Faler’s alleged mantra: Lifeâ€™s too short to shoot an ugly gun.
It would be difficult to find any guns uglier in the history of world arms-making than these two utterly tasteless and totally garish “NRA special edition” models.
Supposedly collectible “commemorative model” firearms represent, in general, a kind of industry tax on the foolish and aethetically-impaired. Typically, they rapidly depreciate in value, occupying a special category of non-collectibility all their own. What makes an out-of-print gun collectible is historical significance and associations combined with rarity. Collectible value can be significantly increased as well by a weapon’s technical interest and beauty.
Taking a garden-variety, purchasable-anywhere-off-the-shelf gun, slapping on a load of bad mechanically-applied engraving and some hideous gold-plating creates an eyesore, not something anyone will ever down the road pay a premium to own.
Special editions numbered in the 5000s, of course, are special only in name and marketing approach and never will be rare.
Priced at nearly two grand a pop, even with a chunk of money being donated to NRA, these excrescences represent as lousy an investment as shares in one of Barack Obama’s green energy companies.
The NRA ought to exercise a little rationality and taste and should decline to participate in or promote this kind of crap. The only thing American Legacy and American Rifleman this month are right about is that life really is too short to be owning ugly guns.