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  #1  
Old 08-09-2017, 4:22 PM
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Default What does it cost to manufacture a firearm?

I was debating with a friend on what it would cost to manufacture a pistol/firearm/handgun (or if you have specific information on a rifle, please share)? I thought I have read somewhere that the Glock pistol costs about $100 (please correct me if you have other information) to manufacture but now I can not find any information (maybe my Google Fu is lacking).

We were debating what a revolver costs to manufacture compared to a all metal gun (Beretta/1911 what ever) and I was thinking it was closer to $100 on average when he was thinking it was closer to $200 on average per gun.

I'm not interesting in cost of milling machines, research and development, marketing, overhead, employees, insurance or any other associated expense, just manufacturing/materials for the individual pistol.

Edit 1 for clarification: (thanks to George for pointing some flaws in my question) I meant to say, that I was not concerned with prototyping or expense of any specialized equipment used to make the firearm or what I would consider the sunk costs of a manufacturer, just what each finished firearm only. I was trying to make the question easier or more general to answer. Glock was the only example I could find something on to use as an example. I have a hard time believing that Sig/Smith&Wesson/Ruger spends $200 to build their basic 1911.
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Last edited by Gregchico; 08-09-2017 at 5:59 PM.. Reason: clear up question.
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Old 08-09-2017, 4:36 PM
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Not even, more in line at around $20-30 per Glock.

Especially in European countries like Czech, or Austria, the employees work like slaves, basically a sweat shop.

Armscor and RIA are even worse, essentially slave labor.

Last edited by Wallabing; 08-09-2017 at 4:38 PM..
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2017, 4:41 PM
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I have heard it was around $40 for glock. I have also heard this many times from many people. Although never found this info printed in as fact.
I have also heard that this price includes overhead designs cost of tooling and materials. So now this bares the question, how much does a gun shop pay for a Glock

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Old 08-09-2017, 4:50 PM
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$27. 94
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2017, 5:16 PM
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This Forbes article from 2003 states $75 for a Glock. Adjusting for inflation that is approx $100 today.

https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2003/0331/064.html

What about other popular guns like the Beretta 92, 1911 or any revolver.

I found that the M17 (the P320) had a government bid price of $207 each, but I can not find any manufacturing cost information on it.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with companies making a profit, this just was a gun shop conversation that I could not find answers for.
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Last edited by Gregchico; 08-09-2017 at 5:29 PM.. Reason: P320
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2017, 5:35 PM
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Way to many variables to consider. If you are asking only about Glock pistols I would say you are in the ball park. I'm in charge of sourcing in the US for our company so I have an idea of what certain items would run. I know you said you weren't concerned no with machine cost but things to consider are what TYPE of machines are used. Some are much more efficient than other in particular areas.. efficiency equals cost savings. There is a lot to it but unless you want a wall-o-text that's the basics.
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Old 08-09-2017, 5:41 PM
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Old 08-09-2017, 6:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregchico View Post
This Forbes article from 2003 states $75 for a Glock. Adjusting for inflation that is approx $100 today.

https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2003/0331/064.html

What about other popular guns like the Beretta 92, 1911 or any revolver.

I found that the M17 (the P320) had a government bid price of $207 each, but I can not find any manufacturing cost information on it.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with companies making a profit, this just was a gun shop conversation that I could not find answers for.
$100 is actually what I was thinking.

A company I used to work for would make a product for $5 and it sells in stores for $30. All the extra costs are engineering, marketing, distribution, etc. it's pretty well known that the actual manufacturing cost of a part is generally 1/4 to 1/10 the selling cost, depending on that it is.

Company I work for currently makes laboratory equipment for larger companies, its a contract manufacturer. It costs us $15k to make a certain assembly, sell it for $28k, our customer sells for upwards of $150k after they add their 'special sauce'.
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Old 08-09-2017, 8:13 PM
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It makes me sad to know that most of the things that I (and everyone) buy are made by underpaid workers in foreign countries. If the cost of manufacturing is a tenth of the product's price, why won't companies pay their workers a little more so that they don't have to live in poverty? Or, why can't we make more stuff here in the United States?
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Old 08-09-2017, 9:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starslinger View Post
It makes me sad to know that most of the things that I (and everyone) buy are made by underpaid workers in foreign countries. If the cost of manufacturing is a tenth of the product's price, why won't companies pay their workers a little more so that they don't have to live in poverty? Or, why can't we make more stuff here in the United States?
If it was made in the usa, minimum wage laws would make the guns $2000+ to cover everything
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Old 08-09-2017, 9:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallabing View Post
If it was made in the usa, minimum wage laws would make the guns $2000+ to cover everything
Dang, so that's why Ruger, Colt, S&W, Remington, Mossberg, DD, Aero, Stag, Doublestar, Spikes, BCM, Beretta, FNH, Henry, Hi-Point, Kahr, Kel-tec, PSA, etc. are unaffordable.
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Old 08-09-2017, 9:22 PM
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It probably cost 1 - 2 million, or 2 - 50k for a custom hand made gun or prototype.

Did you mean how much to produce 10,000 - 100,000? maybe 4 - 8 million.

Are you talking raw material costs plus time for a multi-million dollar manufacturing system? Yeah probably a hundred or so, only costs a few million to get the costs down.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:07 AM
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Way too many variables to even remotely answer the question accurately. Production cost is different than net cost. Even if it takes Glock $100 dollars to make one 17, it cost them millions in tooling and equipment (as previously mentioned) that could be included in the true cost of the guns. That being said, each company will make their firearms in different ways and often times 180 degrees different than another company. Some might make every single part in house while others might outsource everything and simply assemble the purchased components. Either way they choose, it's likely the cheapest way to manufacture it for them at their given production capacities. Stamped parts versus billet machined parts plays a huge roll in cost versus quality as well.

Heritage makes a single action revolver that retails for $150, while Ruger makes their Single Six at $650 retail. Similar looking, but very different qualities. It may cost Heritage $60 to make their offering, while Ruger could be $200 into theirs. Remember that at each step of the distribution and sales chain, there's profit that needs to be made which means Ruger is not seeing $450 profit per firearm, Ruger will sell to Lipseys or TALO or other large distributor, who then might sell to another smaller distributor, then to a gun store, then to you.
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  #14  
Old 08-10-2017, 11:01 AM
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I always use very rough numbers. 1/4 of the retail price is the cost of producing an item. Less on items with smaller margins in a competitive environment. The bean counters need very sharp pencils if you start cutting it closer than that. My company wouldn't spend any money unless you could show a 10:1 return on investment.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregchico View Post
I'm not interesting in cost of milling machines, research and development, marketing, overhead, employees, insurance or any other associated expense, just manufacturing/materials for the individual pistol.

Please, no offense intended, but this is one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

You want to know what it costs to manufacture a pistol, just the manufacturing and materials end of it but you don't want the cost of manufacturing included in the price?

You do understand a barrel without manufacturing is just a 1.500 inch diameter round bar of steel about five inches long, right?
A Polymer frame is just a 55 gallon barrel of base and another 55 gallon barrel of catalyst, right?

There is no such thing as "the sunk cost of the manufacturer," tooling, mills, lathes, R&D, insurance, employees, injection molds, injection mold machines, stamping dies, punch presses the list goes on and on, are all amortized over the projected life of the project/tooling and built into the final price of each firearm.

You can have raw materials costs or you can have manufactured costs without mark up for manufacturers/shareholder/retailer profit, but you can not have a cost somewhere in between.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:59 AM
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I think the LGS pay around 429 or 439 for a 9mm glock.
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