Funny result of a gun "buyback"
From the Miami Herald:
World War II vet gets back rare Japanese rifle he sold for $75
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Days after World War II ended, American sailor Bruno Filippelli walked into a Tokyo shop and bought a Japanese army rifle and a saber for two packs of Chesterfield cigarettes.
Filippelli brought the gun home, where six decades later it was collecting dust in a closet. So last weekend, when the West Palm Beach police offered $75 Target gift cards to anyone who turned in a gun, Filippelli took it to the collection site.
That was almost a bad move.
An officer from another police department who is a gun collector saw a photo of the Arisaka Type 99 pressure test rifle in The Palm Beach Post and Filippelli soon learned the gun is a rarity worth thousands. He asked for it back, but the police originally said no. They planned to melt it down with
the other 450 firearms collected or give it to a museum.
[Story goes on to note that, after a lot of publicity, police finally gave the gun back] Fewer than 100 of the rifles were ever produced and maybe 50 are left, including about 20 in the United States, according to gun experts and dealers. The type of rifle was never used in the field. It was designed to
test the chamber pressure and bullet velocity for the Type 99 rifle, which Imperial Japanese forces widely used throughout World War II. .....
We had one of those buybacks here in Tucson years ago. It was WONDERFUL! Every gunny in town dragged out the broken guns he'd been unable to get rid of and got $50 each for them (probably $75 in modern terms). I took down a busted single-shot shotgun and pocketed a 100% profit. Rumor was that one major gunshop had their people rotating to different buy back sites, cleaning out their inventory of guns kept for cannibalizing, and netted several thousand.
Some collectors staked out the buyback sites, and if anyone came by with a decent, collectible gun, snapped it up for $100. Hey, that's twice what you'll get in there!
We later got the records and found that the city and county had wound up buying BB guns, parts of guns, etc. They'd also raked in a lot of the cheap guns that were made around 1890-1910, the "suicide specials" with brand names like Mars.