pre-WW2 retail prices for pistols & revolvers?


PDA






max popenker
July 19, 2005, 06:04 AM
hello

does anybody know the average retail prices for quality pistols and revolvers (such as Colt M1911/Gov't, Colt M1903 Pocket hammerless, Savage m1915, and Colt official Police, Police Positive, Dick Spec'l, S&W Military & Police...)

I'm interested in comparative prices (pistols vs. revolvers) in the 1920s and 1930s.

Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "pre-WW2 retail prices for pistols & revolvers?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Old Fuff
July 19, 2005, 11:02 AM
Max:

It will be a week or two before I can get the information you want, but I will get back to you. The time period you have in mind was during the Great Depression (1929-1940) which was world-wide. Handgun prices were low, as was the price on everything else. Generally, pistols cost slightly more then revolvers. I have some old price lists, and it seems to me that Colt's Government Model's suggested list price was around $36.00, while a .38 Special S&W Military & Police revolver was close to $24.00 - but these numbers are based on my feeble memory, so I will have to check and confirm them.

During World War Two (1944) The U.S. Government was buying Colt Pocket Model .380's for $27.50. At about the same time they purchased Colt Detective Special revolvers for $32.30. Smith & Wesson "Victory model/Military & Police revolvers were $20.20, but went up to $28.30 in 1945.

oweno
July 19, 2005, 02:19 PM
I've got the Johnson Smith catalog from 1928-1930. Here's a couple of prices:

25 Caliber Colt Automatic Pistol - $20

32 and 380 Caliber Colt Automatic Pistols $25 (Is this the Model 1908? I think so...readers help please?)

45 Caliber Government Model Automatic Pistol - $45

Colt Police Positive Revolver - $35

Colt Army Special Revolver - $40

Colt 22 Cal. 11 Shot Automatic Target Pistol - $39.50

Mossberg's Brownie - $5.75

Sedgley Baby - $6.50

and their el-cheapo copies of the top-break S&Ws, around 6 bucks.

What with the Depression and all, I doubt that these prices would go up much between 1930 and the start of WW-II.

Owen

countertop
July 19, 2005, 02:31 PM
My father in law paid $45 his Government Model 1911 in the late 1950s when he was first commissoned. He ordered it with some customized features from Col's - its Blued, not parkerized and came with two match barrells (one in it and a spare) as well as a shoulder holster.

He still carries it - and it will be my son's some day.

Checkman
July 19, 2005, 04:10 PM
You can enter the price from the year that the gun was made and then see what it is in 2005 dollars. The neat thing is the caculator will also compare the modern price to the historical price. In other words if the gun cost $100.00 in 1953 it will give you the current average price in 2005. It will then tell you that something that costs $100.00 today would have cost so much in 1953. Hopefully this link will work for you and what I just tried to explain will make sense.

http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/InflationCaculator.asp

Checkman
July 19, 2005, 04:12 PM
Okay that didn't work. Try this instead.

http://www.inflationdata.com

Better yet. Here is the historical inflation caculator.

http://www.westegg.com/inflation

Checkman
July 19, 2005, 04:27 PM
What with the Depression and all, I doubt that these prices would go up much between 1930 and the start of WW-II.

Owen

Well I went ahead and entered the prices from 1929 and then put in 1941 as the "modern" date.
According to the caculator what would have cost you $45.00 in 1929 would have cost you 36.90 in 1941. And what would have cost you $45.00 in 1941 would have cost you $54.87 in 1929!
Now that sounds great, but keep in mind that during the depression the economy experienced a very large amount of deflation. In other words the economy of the United States "shrunk". So I guess folks were earning less in 41 then they were in 29. :uhoh:

According to the caculator the 1929 $35.00 Colt Police Positive would have cost $28.70 in 1941. Very interesting. Goes to show how the value of money is a very relative thing.

If you really want a shock enter the 1941 prices and see how they compare to 2005.

Moonclip
July 19, 2005, 05:04 PM
In 1935 I think the top of the line new S&W 357mag registered revolver cost $60 which was a huge deal then, it was considered very expensive.

oweno
July 19, 2005, 05:34 PM
Interesting numbers, Checkman, thanx. I've also got a reprint of the 1902 Sears Roebuck catalog - a hoot to read and I looked up a couple of pieces.

Colt's Automatic Pistol - 38 cal - I think the forerunner of the 1911 - $18.50

Model 1899 S&W Military and Police (looks to be an exact early version of the Model 10) - 38 cal Long Colt ctg, $11.25

Colt's SAA - $13.20

Colt Bisley - $13.20

and just for the heck of it ...

Harrington & Richardson's Automatic Bayonette Revolver - Picture a top-break .32 with a knife blade stuck on the bottom of the barrell ... $4.65

..

btw, I was born during the Depression - when, as I child, I'd hear my parents talking about it they'd have the same look on their faces as when they talked about the Spanish Flu (1918). Bad times.

Owen

Jim Watson
July 19, 2005, 07:26 PM
I recall an American Handgunner centerfold of a NIB prewar Colt National Match .45. Including a price tag of $41.

mec
July 19, 2005, 07:43 PM
Shooters Bible, 1940
Colt Government Model $41.7 National Match- $50.
Colt Detective Special $31.75
Smith 38/44 Outdoorsman $45.00
357 Magnum $60
22/32 Kit gun $35
.38 Special M&P $33
H&R Sportsman and 999 Double action $24.95
Mauser Broomhandle 7.63 with ten and 20 round Magazines Model 712 $110

Checkman
July 20, 2005, 10:11 AM
Shooters Bible, 1940
Colt Government Model $41.7 National Match- $50.
Colt Detective Special $31.75
Smith 38/44 Outdoorsman $45.00
357 Magnum $60
22/32 Kit gun $35
.38 Special M&P $33
H&R Sportsman and 999 Double action $24.95
Mauser Broomhandle 7.63 with ten and 20 round Magazines Model 712 $110

Good grief. The Mauser Broomhandle cost $110.00 in 1940! That was alot of money. I ran the numbers through the caculator and in 2005 dollars it comes to over $1,400. That puts the Broomhandle......well it puts it way out of the reach of my checking account. Wow.

Old Fuff
July 20, 2005, 11:03 AM
Local dealer got in a Mauser Broomhandle in about 98% condition. Bore was original and perfect. Came with a matching (German) shoulder stock. It numbered out as an early post-WW-1 manufacture. In rural Arizona (not a whole lot of collectors around here) it took about 3 days to sell it for around $2,000.00 ... So apparently the 1940's cost was about right.

Checkman
July 20, 2005, 02:41 PM
I've had the pleasure of actually holding a couple C96 Mausers. One was a pre-WWI model and the other one was a "Bolo" Broomhandle Mauser manufactured in the late twenties. The pre -WWI piece was mechanically sound though the finish was a little rough and there was a crack in the grip. Not a surprise considering that the weapon was used by a local farmer for many decades to kill hogs. I'm not kidding.
Now the late twenties Bolo was a thing of beauty. I like those handguns, but I'm afraid that they're out of my range. Plus the two Mausers that I just described are in the possession of the State of Idaho's history museum. A couple of years ago the curator took me back into the vault and I got to see what wasn't on display. Oh what a place that was.
Boy I wish I had a C96 Mauser.

max popenker
July 21, 2005, 01:45 AM
>Mauser Broomhandle 7.63 with ten and 20 round Magazines Model 712 $110

One must remember that Mauser cataloged Model 712 was in fact the "Schnellfeuer System Westinger", that is, a selective-fire machine pistol based on C96. Not surprisingly it costed that much then.

c_yeager
July 21, 2005, 03:32 AM
In 1935 I think the top of the line new S&W 357mag registered revolver cost $60 which was a huge deal then, it was considered very expensive.

Indeed. Little bit of thread drift here, but consider how restrictive the $300 NFA tax would be in that economy.

thatguy
July 21, 2005, 11:19 AM
In 1915 S&W redesigned the .44 Hand Ejector to eliminate the third locking point and the shroud over the ejector rod. This reduced the retail price of the gun from $21 to $19. Now the 1st Model will sell for 3-5X what the 2nd Model brings. All for $2.

BigG
July 21, 2005, 01:09 PM
Elmer Keith probably did as much as anybody to make that Triple Lock a holy grail. Hardly a column went by without him extolling the virtues of the New Century Triple Lock 44 Special, as I recall. :D

geekWithA.45
July 21, 2005, 03:11 PM
The $200 1934 Tax Stamp, if adjusted for inflation, would cost $2854.86 Today.

mec
July 22, 2005, 07:49 PM
the only mauser I've shot was a 9mm with the big read 9 on one of the grips. All I can remember is that it worked.

If you enjoyed reading about "pre-WW2 retail prices for pistols & revolvers?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!