if we're talking like 20-30 years from now, of guns being made now, then I'd have to say any sort of the weird experimental/non-traditional guns we see now. Mosins will likely stop being a "buy and change" gun, as less and less are being found at good prices, and people will be less likely to defile them with archangle stocks and scope taps. Imported AKs also, since US companies are "almost" able to make good domestic production.
Good post topic OP. I like posts like these that make one think.
I'm going to agree with the others that say imported AK's.
I'd also guess that guns that use some caliber that is newer to us now but doesn't become as popular as people thought they would and they become more sought after years from now due to their future rarity (examples: .350 Legend, .224 Valkyrie, etc.)
I would say any rifle with a nice wood stock and good action; just seems like they aren't being made all that much anymore. It's hard for me to see any of the rifles with cheap laminate stock being that collectible, and it's hard for me to see any AR variant being collectible. There are just too many of the cheaper ones being made.
I try to pick up unique guns that were maybe only made for a short time and/or are in very limited supply.
Example: I snagged a Hudson H9 on a good deal before they went bankrupt. Also picked up a rare FDE Arsenal Strike One as it was the only one I had ever seen in the wild. I am thinking they might have some value years down the line.
Collectible guns are one of the hardest things to forecast. Sometimes it comes down to what guns were available that at the time nobody wanted so they didn't make that many. I remember years ago selling those S&W 696 .44 specials, we couldn't give them away for 450.00, now they are upwards of 1K for nice ones.
as I tell people who ask me that question, I always say "you can't manufacture collectable, I has to become collectable on it's own!", and that's the double edge sword!
for example, had colt known the walker dragoon would be worth 50-100 thousand dollars in todays market they would have made more than 1800, BUT had they made 180 thousand, they wouldn't be worth 50-100 thousand dollars!
another example, back in the 80's Winchester made limited editions for everything, john wayne, golden spike, Wyoming state, grandpa pooped the bed and just about everything else, but with a few exceptions they're worth shooting, but have no collector value (the john wayne and boy scout editions are kinda collectable).
I read a quote one time, and the person said, I wish the stock market had a return like guns did (something like that) and I thought to myself, no the stock market is like collecting guns, sometimes you do alright, and sometimes you take a !
because for everybody who bought a python for 250 bucks, or bought ground level Xerox stock, theres someone who bought hi point or stock in Enron!
Any quality firearm of limited production has potential to become an expensive collectors item. Being chambered in an uncommon or rare caliber often helps. The third factor, an increase in demand after production has ceased, is the hardest to predict factor though.
As a general rule, if I see a quality firearm that is being sold at liquidation prices due to an unpopular chambering or configuration, I start paying attention. A somewhat recent example of this is CZ 550s in the mannlicher stock. Five years ago they were easy to find. Three years ago a little judicious shopping and you could find one for below retail. Now, you're likely to pay at least 10-20% over original MSRP for even common calibers.