Rate of return - Investing in replica BP revolvers


July 7, 2008, 02:48 PM
Hi fellas (and gals). I just read a little article in my blue book of firearms about investing in replica BP revolvers. The guy made a compelling case for doing so. He stated that the appreciation in prices has nearly equaled that of their originals and of course, it has a lower barrier to entry due to the lower prices of the replicas.

I gotta tell ya, I love BP guns, all of them, but especially the C&B replica revolvers. I just can't get enough of them. So this of course is good news because I get a double wammy - the positives of building a collection - and the potential for some return on investment, should I choose to sell some of them in the future.

So, I would like to start a discussion, on how well these investments have paid off over the last 30, 40, or 50 years. What I am curious about is what some of you have paid for your replica revolvers. If you could list a few of the dates (approx year), the manufacturer, the revolver, and the price, we could at least get an idea of the kinds of returns that may be available for a long term investor/collector.

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July 7, 2008, 03:07 PM
I can't speak to the investment potential, but I have noticed that, in the last few months:

1. Replicas in general, and Ubertis in particular, have become difficult to find;

2. Prices have gone up.

Midway is out of stock on nearly all Ubertis, and the prices have gone up (in the last week) by 15%-20%. Even Cabela's is OOS on a lot of Piettas.

I also notice that Uberti's newer web site (ubertireplicas.com) is down with a domain registration issue.

I'd love a Navy London, but at this point I'm just glad I found some pistols last month at the 'old' prices.

July 7, 2008, 03:23 PM
One thing for sure I`ve noticed with the replicas ..just a few years ago I could find used ones in good shape for 75 bucks or less ...now 150.00 and up for the good used ones ..I`ve even seen some of what I`d call scrapers go for the 150.00 price ..range . Cabelas has about the cheapest price on new ones ..I can look back at my old Cabelas books and see the price has gone up 20 bucks a year on their Cap and ball revolvers ...about the same with DixieGunWorks.

July 7, 2008, 03:37 PM
This is a sucker's bet. The prices have gone up due to the weak dollar, not the desirability of the hardware. The European Central Bank is refusing to recognize inflation pressures at present, but once they do, as is inevitable, the dollar's fall will begin to turn around, and your investment is going to start falling without any appreciable increase in demand.

July 7, 2008, 04:16 PM
I am not particularly interested in what has happened the last few months or years. Bid-ask spreads (and low liquidity) what they are, chasing short term price changes is fruitless. FX changes will hopefully average out over the long haul (20+ years), so I am particularly interested in what y'all paid for your C&Bs back in the 60s and 70s.

I appreciate the input and I also realize that prices have gone up in the last few months. In fact, my Cabelas catalog I received has prices 10-20% lower than those on the web site. Ugh! :banghead: This, however, is not my most pressing interest here. You see, should the dollar come back, you are right, prices will decline some, but if you bought your C&B in 1968 for $28, then the decline from $320 to $305 probably won't bother you a whole lot, nor will your overall return be impacted much.

Anyone buy any C&Bs back in the 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s? Hopefully, the increases in price have exceeded inflation producing at least a modest real return. I was hoping that some of you had seen some outstanding gains. [Fingers crossed]

July 7, 2008, 04:20 PM
I just had a thought. Maybe I should check out some old blue books of BP at the library. Hmmm. That might be a bit more scientific. If I do it, I will definitely post the results.

July 7, 2008, 04:31 PM
> The prices have gone up due to the weak dollar,
> not the desirability of the hardware.

I agree. All European commodities have gone up in price as a result of the Euro's increased value over the Dollar.

IMO, it would not be a wise idea to invest in blackpowder firearms, originals or repros, as a growth instrument for your money. Consider guns recreational expenses, and if you happen to make a few bucks when selling, consider it luck.

July 7, 2008, 04:38 PM
Ruger Old Army prices have certainly gone up since they discontinued it. I own three of them so I am happy with what I have and plan on keeping them forever!

July 7, 2008, 04:54 PM
They're inflation-targeters though, according to Sanderson, so they might be surprisingly hard-headed about recognizing those pressures.

July 7, 2008, 05:28 PM
Going back to the guns made in the 60`s , 70`s even some 80`s ..they were cheaper in price , under 100 bucks ...but fit and finish and soft steel make them worth less than what they should be today ..These guns today made by Uberti and Pietta are of much higher quaility ..It would be hard to say what they`ll be worth in the same time span as the guns of the 60`s ..Even with the falling dollar ..the more expencive Uberti guns are a good deal for the dollar , considering a gal. of gas is 4 bucks ...I was paying 19 cents a gal in the 60`s ...and gas hasn`t gotten any better .

July 7, 2008, 05:38 PM
Mykeal is dead right. Repros are NOT an investment. After all, the Italians can crank out plenty more. Any price increase you are seeing is purely a matter of the exchange rates.

That being said, REAL antiques are heading in one direction. UP. Fast. Because they can't make more original guns.

July 7, 2008, 05:53 PM
Only problem with originals ..I once collected original classic cars and trucks ...Took them to shows won nice trophys ...Put them up for sale ..everyone wanted them ..no one had the money to buy ...when I did finally sell my collection ..did I come out ahead ..I wish .

July 7, 2008, 06:41 PM
There are only two kinds of gun to buy, if you're looking to invest. Seecamp .380s, and machine guns.

Anything else is a crapshoot.

July 7, 2008, 06:50 PM
I have bought and sold some blackpowder guns over the years they were the hardest guns for me to sell and prices were low compared to new prices. My flintlock is a custom made gun and it cost from 800 to 1000 new I picked it up for 300 bucks. I wouldn't call any repros an investment unless you can get them for 25% of their sale price.

July 7, 2008, 08:38 PM
im not into the business to buy and sell guns. i dont know if there are many of here. Most of us buy them to keep and shoot. i for one am one of them. So i could care less on how much i can get for it. or what its worth. i shop around for the best price on when i purchase them. timing is everything. but im not buying them to sell them. im buying them to shoot them.

July 7, 2008, 09:31 PM
I use to restore Antique pocket and wrist watches, nobody wanted to pay what they were worth restored.
I have yet to make a profit on any guns traded for or bought.Now I just keep and shoot them with that in mind. The internet is a big advantage for buyers and disadvantage for sellers. Anybody anywhere can get a good idea what something is worth, with that said in my opinion is Blue Book over inflates the prices. Where I live you can't give away a Black Powder Rifle or revolver.What something is worth and what somebody will pay for it are two different things.
Keep shooting .. PeashooterJoe.

July 7, 2008, 10:59 PM
What something is worth and what somebody will pay for it are two different things.
Well, yes...what something is worth is what someone is willing to sell it for AND someone else is willing to pay for it. If you don't have both, then it is worthless. Value is an estimate of worth, and value is what the Blue Books provide. It's only a guide; actual prices can and do vary considerably in either direction.

July 8, 2008, 05:28 AM
"Investing in replica BP Revolvers"?...... a good investments, yea I"m sure of it, my great great great grand children I'm sure will get good price for mine.

July 8, 2008, 06:21 AM
You might and I stress might be able to sell them years from now for atleast what you paid for, if they are unfired, NIB. But where is the fun in that? Besides you would make more money if you just invested that money in an IRA or CD, heck even a savings account over 20years would be a better investment.

July 8, 2008, 06:29 AM
"Investing in replica BP Revolvers"?...... a good investments, yea I"m sure of it, my great great great grand children I'm sure will get good price for mine.

Your not very convincing almost scrutinizing:scrutiny: I suppose a stamp or penny collect would be more promising?:neener:
Oh well at least I know my Gun Collection will be appreciated by my Son Younger_Smokin_Gun. That alone is priceless to me.
I may have in BP Revs alone well if they were sold a couple pricey items, and all shooters. I am an investor of fun and pleasure. I collect C&B Revs that I have gotten on the Auctions are some of the best deals, most fun, and the addictive feeling of wanting more, and to bid again...LoL! And ontop of all that, I get to shoot Black Powder behind a ball out of them 6times with out reloading. Because I am a shootist I depend highly on my Kitchen Table Gunsmith skills to fine tune my Revs and keep them fuctional and accurate...Remington 1858 NMA and 1861 Beals don't take up too much time, so I can devote my time to the pretty but finicky Colts:neener:
I'd say the pleasure I get from all that is a very good investment:cool:


July 8, 2008, 08:52 AM
I have a Pietta sold by cabelas , I paid 69.99 for a steel frame navy 1851 in march of 1991. The brass frame sold for ten dollars less, 59.99. They are good guns, good steel. not sure of any "soft steel" I keep hearing about. This gun has been fired and used a bunch. Looks like new. Over the years I have bought a few of Piettas and kept them in boxes, not sure if they are a good investment, but the most I paid for any one of them was 100 dollars. just for spares I suppose. Just my two cents.


July 8, 2008, 09:06 AM
I paid 20 bucks for a new 51 navy at KMART back in 1978 .. I think it was a blue light special . lol
Where is it now ?? it left the darkside and walked into the light , years ago !

July 8, 2008, 09:38 AM
Very bad idea to invest in replica's.
They are not worth much at the present, and that won't change.
Only good investment are, preferably untouched, originals. Like said before, they can't make anymore of them. When you have a whole collection antiques, hang on to them. Prices are rising. It's a shame they have become too expensive to buy... for me anyway.
If you don't want to invest but just have fun, tháts what replica's are for and they suit my wallet a lot better.


July 8, 2008, 11:47 AM
Went to the archives for some prices.
1981 prices are first, then in parentheses () are prices adjusted for inflation from 1981 to 2007, and in brackets [] are the current catalog prices where available.

From the 1982 Navy Arms catalog:

Page 10, Arms of the Confederate States:
Item A: 1862 Leech & Rigdon .36 revolver, $125.00 ($281.71)
Item B: Reb Model 1860 .36 or .44 revolver, $87.75 ($197.76)
Item C: Army 1860 Sheriff’s Model .36 or .44 revolver, $87.75 ($197.76)
Item D: Spiller & Burr .36 revolver, $100.00 ($225.37) [$196.00]

Page 12, Revolvers of the Union States:
Item A: 1851 Navy .36 revolver, $113.00 ($254.67) [$279.00]
Item B: 1851 Navy Civilian Model .36 revolver, $118.00 ($265.94)
Item C: 1861 Navy .36 revolver, $135.00 ($304.25)
Item D: 1861 Navy .36 revolver, blued backstrap, $135.00 ($304.25)
Item E: 1861 Navy .36 revolver, fluted cylinder, $135.00 ($304.25)
Item F: 1861 Navy Sheriff .36 revolver, $135.00 ($304.25)
Item G: 1860 Army, .44 revolver, $125.00 ($281.71) [$293.00]
Item H: 1860 Army, .44 revolver, fluted cylinder, $125.00 ($281.71)
Item I: 1860 Army Sheriff .44 revolver, $125.00 ($281.71)
Item J: 1862 Police .36 revolver, $125.00 ($281.71) [$293.00]
Item L: Rogers & Spencer .44 revolver, $160.00 ($360.59) [$363.00]
Item M: 1858 Remington Army .36 & .44 revolver, $130.00 ($292.98) [$294.00]
Item N: 1858 Remington Army .44 revolver, nickel finish, $145.00 ($326.79)
Item O: 1858 Remington Army .44 revolver, stainless steel finish, $200.00 ($450.74) [$380.00]
Item P: 1847 Colt Walker .44 revolver, $185.00 ($416.94) [$375.00]

From 1983 CVA catalog:
1851 Colt Navy .36 revolver, brass frame, $97.95 ($220.75)
1861 Colt Navy .36 revolver, steel frame, $155.95 ($351.47)
1858 Remington Army .44 revolver, $163.95 ($369.49)
1860 Colt Army .44 revolver, $157.95 ($355.97)

I also have a 1982 Dixie Gun Works catalog – if anyone wants to know the price of a specific item let me know.

So, in inflation adjusted terms, you'd lose your shirt. You'd have been better off putting your money under the mattress. For example, an 1851 Navy from Navy Arms would have cost $113.00 in 1981 but you'd have to sell it for $254.67 just to have kept up with inflation; a brand new gun from Navy Arms cost $279.00, but you'd be competing against $225 from S&S Firearms.

Not a good bet.

July 8, 2008, 12:14 PM

You know ... I'd never have thought to buy these for "investment" purposes. I buy them because I like to shoot them, and even just owning them is fun.
Their value going up? I don't think so ... anyway, I'm not selling mine ....:neener:

July 8, 2008, 02:04 PM
Like Smokingun said ..we are cashing in on our investment every time we take one out to the range .
It doesn`t take much space to collect these fine shooting pieces , they don`t eat much , require just a little care and cleaning ..and I can`t think of anything that would be this much fun to collect ..I know my younger folks can`t see it ...but heck at most of our age ..and I don`t mean to say everyone here is old ..but this is a great hobby for the golden years ..sometimes it keeps me going in mind and body ...So yep it`s a good investment . Heck I get down right excited when the Brown Truck pulls in the drive way , with another box for ME ! LOL

July 8, 2008, 05:37 PM
Scalper - did you get the data you were looking for? What's your reading of those numbers?

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