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View Full Version : What happened to wheelgun prices?


savasyn
10-25-2007, 2:02 AM
I'm primarily a semi-auto shooter, though I do have a couple of revolvers. I hadn't bought anything in many years but recently, the demon was awaken and the buying has begun again.
I am interested in a 4" Smith but when I looked at the prices, I was shocked to see that they had gone up so much since my last purchase(late '90s).

Mostly I want a 686+ (7 shot) 4" but it's like $650 or something like that. Whaaa?? All of the 686 models seemed to be extremely high. I think I got my 2" back in the day for like $400 at the most.

I would also love an S&W basic blue M19 4" but I haven't seen any in CA and I doubt these can be shipped in anymore due to our heroic and life-saving "safe handgun list".

Is this pure inflation or has all the legislation increased the price faster than it otherwise would have?

yellowsulphur
10-25-2007, 2:32 AM
I picked up a 686+ 6" for $550 about 1 1/2 years ago. Hopefully they haven't gone up $100 in that time.

aplinker
10-25-2007, 2:37 AM
They have.

Here's a decent deal, but on a 6", NIB

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=72434

maxicon
10-25-2007, 9:19 AM
What's happened is that the shooting world has rediscovered the revolver, and collectors have discovered S&Ws, especially blued ones (but the tide lifted the stainless boats as well).

For years, the semi-automatic ruled, and the masses didn't care much about revolvers. I bought a clean, smooth 586-1 for $350 not all that long ago, and Model 10s and 14/15s were dirt cheap for years - often well under $200.

Those days are gone, of course, and now beater Model 10s are going for $350-400. Any revolver that's got the eyes of the collectors (older blued N frames, for instance) are through the ceiling.

Semi-autos still outsell revolvers by a huge margin, but enough people have realized what fine shooters revolvers are that the demand is driving up the smaller pool of them.

savasyn
10-25-2007, 9:44 AM
They have.

Here's a decent deal, but on a 6", NIB

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=72434

If that were a 4" I would be buying it.

Man, I hate getting in as a little late in the trend. Perhaps waiting for the wave to die down and buy used or something.

mike100
10-25-2007, 4:40 PM
I recently bought a couple of nice early 80's smiths- I paid in the $475-$525 range for those..perhaps $50-$100 higher than what somebody who lives in a state without 'a list' would have paid, but there it is.

My 4" 686-6 I have was purchased new in 2003 for about $500 even if I recall. I do seem to remember considering a GP100 for $450 or there-abouts at the same time.

tatsuosan1964
10-25-2007, 8:00 PM
I am still kicking myself for this one. I bought a brand new S&W 686-6 in 1986 for $285. I sold it to my brother in law in 1991 for $200 to help fund a Sig
P228 :(. I have tried to buy it back several times as he never goes shooting but he doesn't want to part with it because my sister paid for it for him. I've tried to convince her that he should get rid of it and buy something else. She could care less if he sold it but he doesn't want to piss her off.

tankerman
10-25-2007, 8:16 PM
What's happened is that the shooting world has rediscovered the revolver, and collectors have discovered S&Ws, especially blued ones (but the tide lifted the stainless boats as well).

For years, the semi-automatic ruled, and the masses didn't care much about revolvers. I bought a clean, smooth 586-1 for $350 not all that long ago, and Model 10s and 14/15s were dirt cheap for years - often well under $200.

Those days are gone, of course, and now beater Model 10s are going for $350-400. Any revolver that's got the eyes of the collectors (older blued N frames, for instance) are through the ceiling.

Semi-autos still outsell revolvers by a huge margin, but enough people have realized what fine shooters revolvers are that the demand is driving up the smaller pool of them.

Don't kid yourself. All the best stuff started skyrocketing first, namely Colt and Winchester followed old Savages and Marlins (I am speaking of American firearms in general). Smith and Wesson were what was left. Now their prices are starting to move. S&W are nice solid revolvers almost vanilla in their reliability, but as far as collecting firearms goes up to a couple of years ago calling someone a S&W collector was a form of insult.

There are a couple of senior members that have kind of led the herd of youngsters around here into believing that Smith's are 'rare' and 'mystical'. Hysteria and misinformation drive the market.

Just remember, when looking at American firearms for investment there are only two horses to look for and they belong to Winchester and Colt.

COILSPRING
10-25-2007, 10:07 PM
Don't kid yourself. All the best stuff started skyrocketing first, namely Colt and Winchester followed old Savages and Marlins (I am speaking of American firearms in general). Smith and Wesson were what was left. Now their prices are starting to move. S&W are nice solid revolvers almost vanilla in their reliability, but as far as collecting firearms goes up to a couple of years ago calling someone a S&W collector was a form of insult.

There are a couple of senior members that have kind of led the herd of youngsters around here into believing that Smith's are 'rare' and 'mystical'. Hysteria and misinformation drive the market.

Here we go, here comes one of my favorite quotes! "I guess thats why some people skydive and some people scuba dive..." I love S&W's. I particularly love Model 27's. Great N frame with a checkered top strap. Early S&W's were wonderfully polished, great deep bluing. Well, some are rare. Mystical, well I will save such adjectives for describing cool classic European streetbikes... I believe S&W's appreciation is somewhat overdue. Especially older minty examples as there are fewer & fewer as years go by. Sure many were produced, but how many survive in mint shape after fifty years or so. Great shooters, pretty much all of 'em. How about the K-22 Masterpiece? (or any of the Masterpieces for that matter...) A classic that is an extremely fun shooter. I like modern classics, guns that function well and positively ooze character. Oh well, enjoy your Colts and try not to beat up the S&W guys too much... :rolleyes:

CALI-gula
10-25-2007, 10:23 PM
What happened?

The announcement that Colt was discontinuing its Colt Python (even though you can still get an "Elite" with a 6month wait). Until that announcement, people were trading in their New-In-Box Pythons for even trades (and in some cases, plus cash) for this new state-of-the-art gun called a Glock.

I recall a time in the late 1980's and early 1990's when people were asking $350 for their 1970's/1980's Pythons and happy to get it!!

However, just as interest in owning a genuine "Dirty Harry" gun (6" Model 29-2) but people with more vacant pockets bought Ruger Blackhawks, those interested in Pythons when they got hot, and not always finding them when money was in surplus, found that collecting other wheelguns was just as fun, so they would sway their attention to Smiths. Now I find it interesting that as some real unique Smiths have gotten harder to find, these same wheelgun aficionados are looking more closely at old flat-top Rugers.


One good turn deserved another.... it's trickle-down collecting.

One day, when H&K stops making the USP, and the Elites and Experts become ultra-collectible and hard to find(Pythons), certain discontinued SIGs will become hot in their place (Smiths) and then, when those become hard to get, certain discontinued Glocks will be hot to have (like the model 24) (Rugers).

Of course, people will say "No way" to that last paragraph, but similar people said the same of "the Luger" which was really ubiquitous in its day, so much so that nobody in that time ever thought it would be one of the most "collectible" guns of all time, surpassing event the collectibility of the guns that were collected in the time when the Luger was contemporary.


.

CALI-gula
10-25-2007, 10:44 PM
...Just remember, when looking at American firearms for investment there are only two horses to look for and they belong to Winchester and Colt.

As bragging rights yes; they are collectible and fun to have, but as investments? No. Not always good investments. They are already at huge prices and their appreciation over time beyond those huge prices is less in proportion to the purchase price, than the increase in value that can be found in more utilitarian guns from the mid-20th century that are NOT Colt and Winchester.

For example, you could buy a beautiful specimen of an early 1st generation Colt Single Action Army now at $9500 and you might be able to sell it at $11,000 a few years from now. That's IF you find a buyer willing to lay down that money for a gun like that, which is getting rarer.

However, come across the right Smith mid-century revolver, buy it for $1600, and you might be selling it at $4900 just a few years from now. MUCH better "investment". Ask me how I know... ;)

I think one of the wisest investments right now is actually mid-1980's screw-ball guns, that had weird designs and limited production numbers due to small manufacturing companies. After the rest of the nation latches onto California's ridiculous "loaded chamber inidcator/ detachable magazine /case fingerprinting" laws, you will see values on guns like Wildeys, LAR Grizzlies, Randalls, Seecamps, and Detonics skyrocket.

.

tankerman
10-26-2007, 12:23 PM
As bragging rights yes; they are collectible and fun to have, but as investments? No. Not always good investments. They are already at huge prices and their appreciation over time beyond those huge prices is less in proportion to the purchase price, than the increase in value that can be found in more utilitarian guns from the mid-20th century that are NOT Colt and Winchester.

For example, you could buy a beautiful specimen of an early 1st generation Colt Single Action Army now at $9500 and you might be able to sell it at $11,000 a few years from now. That's IF you find a buyer willing to lay down that money for a gun like that, which is getting rarer.

However, come across the right Smith mid-century revolver, buy it for $1600, and you might be selling it at $4900 just a few years from now. MUCH better "investment". Ask me how I know... ;)

I think one of the wisest investments right now is actually mid-1980's screw-ball guns, that had weird designs and limited production numbers due to small manufacturing companies. After the rest of the nation latches onto California's ridiculous "loaded chamber inidcator/ detachable magazine /case fingerprinting" laws, you will see values on guns like Wildeys, LAR Grizzlies, Randalls, Seecamps, and Detonics skyrocket.
.

I pretty much disagree with you on every point, Oh well.
The point that stands out most is the one where you say that buyers for the expensive Colt's are becoming rare. Well, if you think that using this Calguns board or Gunbroker as measuring stick then yes you are correct. Most serious collectors know that making serious investments over the internet is not good practice because eventually you will get burned. If you are looking for a more accurate form of measurement contact several reputable auction houses that specialize in firearms. You will quickly notice the price for Colt's continue upward and that there are buyers for every quality Colt, at steep prices. Serious collectors are on mailing lists of auction houses and from other reputable dealers.

packnrat
10-26-2007, 3:12 PM
now that guns must stamp in a number on all spent casings.

wheel guns will be used in most crimes....no spent casings on the street.:eek:


the law is now void of use.

chickenfried
10-26-2007, 3:17 PM
Some of us are shooters first and collectors second.:p

mike100
10-26-2007, 4:04 PM
interesting theories on collecting and possible future trends. People are coming back around to the craftsmanship and attention to finish that some wheelguns have that new ones do not. Certainly the allure of the blow molded tupperware gun is long gone. Sure, theyre good, but everybody knows that dishwasher safe guns are made without a lot of tlc and fitting.

I had overheard a conversation between an oldtimer and a younger shooter that went something like:

Old timer-->" We are having a revolver event next week at blah blah blah...",

young guy --> " I only have regular guns, can I still shoot?"

Old timer--> " I thought revolvers WERE regular guns."

I remember in the early 90's that advice I got from a gun shop was when looking for 38/357 average run-of-the-mill sixguns for ppt, to never pay more than $150. That was the shop maximum for trade at the time.

savasyn
10-26-2007, 4:08 PM
I just went a took another look at the 686-6+ 4" today and they really do want $679 for it. Ouch! I'd like one, but I not $700 much.
I also checked out the .44Spl Bulldog for $379. I'll be doing that as I don't have a .44Spl and I've wanted one of those for many years.

tankerman
10-26-2007, 9:38 PM
Some of us are shooters first and collectors second.:p

WTF does that have to do with anything?:nuts:

Oh, that's right I better tone it down before any outlandish semi-accusatory speculations are made.............again.

:winkiss: pucker up sweety.

dawson8r
10-26-2007, 9:50 PM
Hmmm. I had to evacuate my home the other day. Couldn't take all my guns so I drew the line at those that were worth $1K. Got me thinking about selling the guns I haven't shot lately. One is a stainless 686+6". Gotta check the blue book. Need to start paying off my black rifles!

sargenv
10-26-2007, 9:57 PM
It's funny, I had a NIB 6" 686+ that sat on the for sale forum here and elsewhere for a while, I finally sold it for $425 to a lucky Calgunner. Retail and the price that you sell it at are two completely different things unless it's special in some way.

mike452
10-26-2007, 10:26 PM
What are you talking about? The price for all the 686 models are still around $550 new online (gunbroker). Budsgun has what you want for $583 shipped. It's been like that for a few years.

Shop around...

CALI-gula
10-27-2007, 12:35 PM
I pretty much disagree with you on every point, Oh well.
The point that stands out most is the one where you say that buyers for the expensive Colt's are becoming rare. Well, if you think that using this Calguns board or Gunbroker as measuring stick then yes you are correct. Most serious collectors know that making serious investments over the internet is not good practice because eventually you will get burned. If you are looking for a more accurate form of measurement contact several reputable auction houses that specialize in firearms. You will quickly notice the price for Colt's continue upward and that there are buyers for every quality Colt, at steep prices. Serious collectors are on mailing lists of auction houses and from other reputable dealers.

HAH! I am at both ends of the collecting spectrum. I KNOW the amount difference and actual delta between purchase price and selling price of high-end guns at auction. You won't always see that posted in the auction catalog - it would not be good for business. True, there are guns in my collection I put on Calguns, then there are guns I put on Gunbroker, and then there are guns I have left to Bonhams & Butterfields among others (and NOT just my guns by the way). Just taking a gander of what I consider "utilitarian" or pedestrian that I have posted in the For Sale forum here on Calguns might give you an idea of the kind of fun things Calgunners have never seen from my repertoire, those that I reserve for auction houses. ;)

Yes, there are buyers at the auctions on the high-end guns (i.e. Colt SAAs, Winchester 1-of-1000s, guns of provenance, guns of the historically famous, again, ask me how I know ;) ). But the proportions of profit on the purchase is still less that the proportion of purchase to profit on a group of collectible utilitarian guns that cost much less in value and are more affordable to a larger mass of people.

I could not care less whether you agree with me or not. My bank account balance agrees with me just fine, and well knows the difference. :D

.

tankerman
10-27-2007, 2:37 PM
HAH! I am at both ends of the collecting spectrum. I KNOW the amount difference and actual delta between purchase price and selling price of high-end guns at auction. You won't always see that posted in the auction catalog - it would not be good for business. True, there are guns in my collection I put on Calguns, then there are guns I put on Gunbroker, and then there are guns I have left to Bonhams & Butterfields among others (and NOT just my guns by the way). Just taking a gander of what I consider "utilitarian" or pedestrian that I have posted in the For Sale forum here on Calguns might give you an idea of the kind of fun things Calgunners have never seen from my repertoire, those that I reserve for auction houses. ;)

Yes, there are buyers at the auctions on the high-end guns (i.e. Colt SAAs, Winchester 1-of-1000s, guns of provenance, guns of the historically famous, again, ask me how I know ;) ). But the proportions of profit on the purchase is still less that the proportion of purchase to profit on a group of collectible utilitarian guns that cost much less in value and are more affordable to a larger mass of people.

I could not care less whether you agree with me or not. My bank account balance agrees with me just fine, and well knows the difference. :D

.
Wow, I didn't realize Warren Buffet was a CG member.

Bragging about money shows class. I bet the rest of the board will be happy to know that you're filthy rich and proud

CALI-gula
10-27-2007, 2:58 PM
Wow, I didn't realize Warren Buffet was a CG member.

Bragging about money shows class. I bet the rest of the board will be happy to know that you're filthy rich and proud

Not bragging about money - money just is, but it is the fruit of hard work, ability, and talent, and therefore, I am bragging about my working hard, ability, and talent... and my collection, which is also the fruit of hard work, ability, and talent. Besides, I wonder what is wrong with filthy rich and proud? Do we live in a communistic state now, where one is not suppose to be rich and proud of it, especially when working hard got them there? I am PROUD to be filthy rich because I know how hard I worked to get here. Everyone else can suck bitter eggs and munch on their sour grapes. Communism blows.

Well, I guess afterall, this is California, so it may be bordering on that as such. But so you suggest I am to pander to communism or feel guilty because I have done well in life, begotten from hard work and polishing talent? I think this country needs a little more people being proud of the fact that they are doing well with their God-given talents to be successful, and it should be known. Instead, too many are honored for entitlement which made them rich, not hard work or true talent applied.

Anyway, I don't think there is anything wonderful about being poor, or broke, or having bad credit. It is not commendable or even heroic. It's not even meek to expound the ideological benefits of being considered poor or to take pride in being poor. Further, I think it's a sin to NOT work hard, and NOT to apply and do well with the talents God gave you.

Good luck to you and yours.

.

tankerman
10-27-2007, 3:53 PM
Not bragging about money - money just is, but it is the fruit of hard work, ability, and talent, and therefore, I am bragging about my working hard, ability, and talent... and my collection, which is also the fruit of hard work, ability, and talent. Besides, I wonder what is wrong with filthy rich and proud? Do we live in a communistic state now, where one is not suppose to be rich and proud of it, especially when working hard got them there? I am PROUD to be filthy rich because I know how hard I worked to get here. Everyone else can suck bitter eggs and munch on their sour grapes. Communism blows.

Well, I guess afterall, this is California, so it may be bordering on that as such. But so you suggest I am to pander to communism or feel guilty because I have done well in life, begotten from hard work and polishing talent? I think this country needs a little more people being proud of the fact that they are doing well with their God-given talents to be successful, and it should be known. Instead, too many are honored for entitlement which made them rich, not hard work or true talent applied.

Anyway, I don't think there is anything wonderful about being poor, or broke, or having bad credit. It is not commendable or even heroic. It's not even meek to expound the ideological benefits of being considered poor or to take pride in being poor. Further, I think it's a sin to NOT work hard, and NOT to apply and do well with the talents God gave you.

Good luck to you and yours.

.

Your reaching.....that's all.

You equate money with knowledge. That's a joke.

You make ridiculous communist references, whatever. Hell even drag in the state we live in.

You sure are talented...............at writing manifestos.
Quite zealous of you, keep up the hardwork King Midas

Mr. Beretta
10-27-2007, 4:19 PM
savasyn

Yes...For whatever reason, prices on older pre lock, pre mim, S&W revolvers have and will continue, to go up. Not only here in crazy CA. but accross the country. Some models more than others. My respectful suggestion is, if you find one you like, buy it. Cause as sure as you drawn your next breath, the price will higher a year from now. :eek:

Good Luck.

P.S........And if anybody is selling any of those "vanilla" S&W revolvers, especially 2". 2 1/2" or 3" K-Frames, please PM me. Thanks! :)