I really dont consider a quality weapon a collectible. Weapons, like fine antiques and fine art, have a fairly predictable rate of appreciation ( I suppose even machine guns) The LAncaster and "Kentucky" rifles of the 18th century, (if they hadnt been converted to capocks) are worth more and more each year, despite recessions and tough times. .
To me," Collectibles" are chochkies, usually anything from, toys, baseball cards, sports memorabilia, Beany Baby and CAbbage PAtch dolls, Star Trek plastic toys, and commemorative plates and coins (non legal tender coins). The market for all this crap has tanked . It s6tarted with baseball cards. The collectors of baseball cards would have you believe that the market is still strong when its declined by one order of magnitude.
I do some antique "Picking" for several dealers and Im amazed at how the Depression glass people and the LLadro collectors are running around trying to unload their junk so they dont take a really big hit.
WVen high end stuff sometimes tanks because the stuff was previously "run up" by several notable collectors. This happened in the 1990's when Bill Csoby, Oprah, Barbara STreisand, and PAul Newmans wife were collecting "SHAKER" furniture. I had several shaker dovetailed and painted circular boxes, which I sold for about 500$ each. Yoday they are worth at auction, maybe 90$. Same thing with the great shaker fruniture pieces from the great sites like HAncock MA, Mt LEbanon NY, and a few others. These pieces were going for the hundreds of thousands. Only to crash by 10 times in the late 90's.
I collected out of love, joy, beauty, historical nostalgia and sentiment.
I was not aware that the criteria of collecting were so clearly defined.
I have in mind, guns, gold, silver n copper coins, going back to Early America
and back to the Roman Republic. I have sentimental value for a 1795 $10 Gold Piece -- the first year
of issue of any gold from the USA, in its highest denomination of issue. George Washington
picked up a feather and signed a statute authorizing Al Hamilton to mint that coin.
After gold was found in Sutter 's Mill, California in 1849,
a $20 Gold Piece was issued in 1850, so I acquired that.
Call me ideosyncratic, but when I was a law student,
reading common law cases of earlier centuries, early England,
I liked holding an ancient coin in my hand, like a link with the past,
wondering what it had gone thru.