How much do YOU think they should cost?


January 15, 2003, 02:35 PM
Handgun prices, from what I'm told, have gone up in recent years. In my area they seem to be especially high; you'll be looking at $500-$530 or so for a Springfield Mil-Spec, $549-$612 for a Glock (depending on model), $429 for a stainless Ruger (and that's at Gander Mountain, they're usually cheaper) and so on.

But what do you think, given your experience, would be a "fair" price for a given gun? Or, to put it another way, how much do you think it's worth for a major brand handgun?

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January 15, 2003, 02:55 PM
It depends on the gun of course but I allways thought that a Mil-Spec .45 auto should be much cheaper than they are.

A lot of factors go into what a company charges for a gun and if they can get $600.00 for a plain Jane Mil-Spec then who am I to argue?

I just think that 1911 clones should be cheaper because they have zero R&D invested and even the machinery has been around forever.

January 15, 2003, 03:56 PM
Your pricing is about what I see here in SoCal. Every once in a while, something will go down in price, but for the most part, I'm guessing all the legislation, new internal safeties and liability insurance rates have something to do w/ the costs as well.

January 15, 2003, 04:02 PM
Most handguns seem to be fairly reasonably priced nowadays. I think new prices on most of the popular plastic guns, Rugers, CZs, and Beretta's are all within reason. On the other hand, $675+ for a SIG P226 is pushing it, and that's a bargain price ($750 is more typical). The H&K USP is similarly poorly priced. Colt's entire product line seems to be priced by the insane, $1000 for a new Python or $600 for a bare-bones 1991A1 is ridiculous.

However, I'd be more apt to put the blame on retailers. The typical price for a CZ-75B seems to be about $350, but one local shop sells them for much more, around $450. Another local shop has preposterous prices almost across the board, $850 for a new SIG classic, $900 for a USP, $700 for a Beretta 92. With a little shopping, you can find most guns for a "fair" price, with the exceptions I listed above.

But, being an economist, I have to agree with firestar and say that the "fair" price is what you'll pay, even if it makes the rest of us go :what:

January 15, 2003, 05:10 PM
Well, as much as I like Browning HPs, the new one's at the store now run from $610 to $680. That's getting a tad high I think, even for an exceptionally well made metal gun.

I only paid $579 last year.


January 15, 2003, 05:50 PM
I still don't get why a good handgun is more expensive than a good rifle (in general). The $700 you'd spend on a mid-range 1911 can get you a Remington Sendero or a nice AR15 with a lot more machining, barrel steel and overall materials put into their manufacture.

I guess handguns will keep going up in price as long as there are those who would target them first to take away from law-abiding citizens.

January 15, 2003, 05:53 PM
Also -- the Benelli Nova -- a semi-plastic shotgun -- was designed so that they would reduce costs with higher volumes. The plastic handguns seem to have gone UP in price quite substantially over the past few years.

Jason Demond
January 15, 2003, 06:44 PM
My local dealer has a NIB Glock 21 for $700.00 and a NIB Kimber Custom Classic II for $900.00.

Sean Smith
January 15, 2003, 09:50 PM
Wierd, prices where I'm at seem pretty good... $350 for a Ruger or CZ, $500 or so for a Glock and $570 for a new Colt in basic blue.


January 15, 2003, 11:00 PM
Glocks and mil-spec 1911s should cost $300 NIB.
Everything could stand to be at least $100 cheaper.

January 16, 2003, 12:13 AM
I an quite convinced that I'm enjoying all $550 I put into my USP two years ago. :D

Fact is, I can sell it for almost twice that amount, and be totally overjoyed! :D:D:D

January 16, 2003, 01:46 AM
Prices should be based, in part, on the difficulty of manufacture. A 1911 takes a bunch of machining steps that even modern steel guns avoid. An investment cast alloy frame can be cheaper, but still requires machining and finishing. A plastic frame can be produced for less than the cost of 4" GIJoe ($3-no painting required).

Given that, here is my pricelist:

Sig 210, Wilson 1911, etc. $1800
P7, P88 $1100
Nice 1911, Hi-Power, blued CZ97 $700
Sig classic, basic CZ75, S&W DA autos $550
USP, P99 $400
Glock, Sigma, Steyr M $250

If only you got what you paid for.

January 16, 2003, 02:00 AM
Please, let's not rehash a recent thread on the reasons why small/medium Gunshops should be allowed to gouge us. Example: A friend has an FFL so he lets me see his "wholesale"
flyers....I know the dealer's cost, so, when I see a couple Rugers and S&W 9mm's going for about $100.00 more at two local Gunshops than about nine months ago...well, I'll go with my FFL friend and opt for the pre-owned over a new one to save $200.00-300.00. I'm not into haggling, so when I see an inflated price, I walk.

P.S. When I mentioned that one guy's $12.00/box price for 9mm Blazer about was double what they get at Wal-Mart, he says "You're full of it".....I doubt that he's been out of his store since the Trans Am was a big seller. :neener:

January 16, 2003, 04:13 AM
whatever the market will bear. I can always shop around to find the best price and if enough people think a price is too high it will be lowered. Isn't the free market wonderful.

January 16, 2003, 08:28 AM
What I would like to see is a 20% drop in the price of mid range handguns. To me, that would be a fair price for most models.
I paid $730 in February 2002 for my Kimber Custom Target II. Since then, in this area, it seems the same model has gone UP 10% in less than a year. If this trend keeps up I'll make a profit on the gun:scrutiny:

This subject came up a while ago on another forum. I went back and dug up my response from that thread.

...there is the 10% that manufacturers must add to their opperating expense.
"The 11% government excise tax on long guns and ammunition paid by manufacturers in 1998 generated $126,620,000 for the federal treasury. The 10% excise tax on handguns in 1998 generated another $35,528,000. [Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms 1998 Annual Manufacturers Excise Tax Report.] In 1998, the total sales on long guns, handguns, and ammunition amounted to approximately $2.1 billion, with rifles and shotguns accounting for $852,819,800, handguns $497,392,000 and ammunition $758,56,600."

Then you have the liability insurance premiums paid by the gun makers because, as we know, the gun manufacturer is entirely responsible for the misuse of their product. :rolleyes: :fire:


El Tejon
January 16, 2003, 08:47 AM
As high as possible.

January 16, 2003, 09:17 AM
Imagine, folks trying to make a profit.

The horror! :eek:


January 16, 2003, 11:04 AM
From what I know about gunshops, and distributors, the profit is thin. But Glock especially must be making money hand over fist. They just don't cost anything to make or assemble.

January 16, 2003, 11:09 AM
How much do YOU think they should cost?

My personal preference would be 25-75 cents for handguns and around $1.25 for long guns.

However, I think they should cost whatever the seller decides to sell them for. If no one buys them because they are too expensive, that's his problem.

January 16, 2003, 12:13 PM
I have shopped for guns all over the midwest(MN, WI, IA) I have only found three dealers that I am willing to spend my money with. IMHO all the other dealers are trying to make too much per gun. I have been buying allot through the mail. I found a FFL who is willing to do the transfer paperwork for only $10 !!!!!! I have been buying allot from CDNN Investments ( They have some of the best prices you will ever find!!! I bought a Steyr M40 for $299 and Steyr S40 for only $399!! My next purchase is going to be a Springfield Micro Compact, they want $549. They only charge $9.99 for the first gun and $5 for the second. They are good guys there.

Shop around, and don't be afraid to talk the dealer down. Gun buying is just like buying a car. You have to look out for yourself.

January 16, 2003, 04:08 PM
I think your job pays too much. You should make $10/hr less. Come on, it costs you almost nothing to go to work.....really only the price of gas. The rest of your pay you greedily pocket!

January 16, 2003, 05:03 PM
Relative to products that need the same type of manufacturing I think there should not be any handguns that costs over $300.00


Lawn mowers: Lots of steps taken to produce...a gasoline engine, blade, carb, deck, etc.

They only cost a hundred bucks.

Now, how can it be more expensive to make a glock?

But, we will pay what they ask as long as we want the product. As far as profits being thin on firearms, that may be true for the end retailer, but not the manufacture in most cases.

January 16, 2003, 09:20 PM
but not the manufacture in most cases.

Especially for Glocks, USPs, and other poly guns that are very inexpensive to make.

But, like others have said, as long as we're willing to pay that much, that much is what we'll pay.

The individual gun shops usually don't make much of a profit on guns, though.

January 16, 2003, 09:49 PM
1911's and Glocks should be about $250
700 BDL's about $350
M1A's about $500 to $600

Seen in a magazine where supressors used to be $5 bucks over the counter in hardware stores!:what:

January 17, 2003, 01:40 PM
1. The price of a good is dependent on it's cost of production.
This is false. The price of a good is determined by the interaction of the producer's willingness to sell and the consumer's willingness to buy, these being known as "supply" and "demand" respectively. Cost of production is a significant determining factor of supply, but certainly not the only one. It's also important to realize that "cost of production" and "cost of manufacture" are NOT the same thing. A compact disc costs about $1 to fabricate, but sells for about $17. A copy of Adobe Photoshop costs a similarly small sum to produce, maybe $10 accounting for the box and manual, but sells for $600. A fountain soda costs about $.10 for the cup and maybe $.05 for the soda, but sells for about $1.00. However, all these things are earning the retailer a profit of about 5%.

Before a good is manufactured it must be designed. Once a good is produced it must be packaged, distributed, promoted, warrantied, etc. Then the gov't takes their share (55% of gross profits in the US). When all is said and done the manufacturers aren't making all that much, even on guns that are inexpensive to make. If there is a manufacturer making an above average profit, others will notice and enter their market, bringing down profits and eliminating that supranormal profit. That so many manufacturers have begun using "plastic" frames indicates that Glock may have been making a killing, but with so many competitors now it's not likely that's the case today.

There are other misconceptions at work here but this is the big one.

January 17, 2003, 03:27 PM
I don't think anyone misunderstood how capitalism works. The post contained the word "should" and that's how it was responded too.

Based on your comments, a Glock "should" be the most expensive handgun around, due to it's ridiculous popularity. But the market does keep it at a price that is comparable to other guns the public feels are equivalent.

In the end, the price is almost totally perception. Prices too low come up to meet it and too high cause the product's death. But if prices were "fair", meaning every company was equally profitable, some would be lower and some higher. But the public hasn't figured out that a plastic gun isn't a good value because their value system has little to do with materials and labor.

January 17, 2003, 07:20 PM
Do glossy blued CZ97Bs really cost $700.00?

What about used guns..with custom work??

If i was to sell mine (maybe, if someone was dead serious) i'd ask $700 because that is what i have into it.

CZ97B glossy blued. SA ONLY champion trigger. MMC adjustable
night sights. Hakan custom grips. Also, the new bushing

My gun has only one box of FMJ thru it. Used for a CZF test
report. I never shoot it., because i prefer my 10mm's power.
So i have a one-of-a-kind CZ97B-SA that sits idle.

I guess the price would be ok for someone needing a SA
Only CZ in .45 caliber, and knows just how much the custom
work would cost.

The is a difference is paying for what is offered. and paying for
what you need or desire in a firearm, of which price is no

January 17, 2003, 11:00 PM
I don't think anyone misunderstood how capitalism works.
If that were the case, we would live in a very different world :D
Seriously though, many posts in this thread said that brand X handgun should sell for $Y because it costs $Z to produce. There are plenty of reasons for arguing that something should sell for another price, but this isn't one of them.

Based on your comments, a Glock "should" be the most expensive handgun around, due to it's ridiculous popularity. But the market does keep it at a price that is comparable to other guns the public feels are equivalent.
Um, no. The operative concept isn't "popularity" it's "willingness to pay". Coca-cola sure is popular, but you can get a 12-pack for $3. Fords sure are popular, but a new Ranger costs $11,000. The difference is in what we're willing to pay for a can of Coke versus a pickup truck.

New Glocks sell for about $500-$600 because that's the most profitable price point for them, at least in the estimation of Glock/it's distributors/it's retailers. They would sell more at $300 and fewer at $1000, but the total would be less. To someone willing to lay out a grand, $500 seems like a fantastic deal. To someone only willing to part with three Benjamins, forget it. This is called "subjective valuation", which is probably what we should have been talking about all along: "what is your subjective value of handgun ABC?" rather than "what should handgun ABC cost?"

Mark IV Series 80
January 18, 2003, 12:10 AM
still don't get why a good handgun is more expensive than a good rifle (in general).....I would say that approximately 35% of the price that the handgun manufacturers receive for their products goes to lawyers and other legal expenses.

It's very expensive to fight all of these lawsuits, and local governments seem to have an unlimited supply of lawyers and money to bring these lawsuits.

We saw what happens when a manufacturer caves in under the pressure of lawsuits...... So it would appear that the only way to stay in business is to charge enough per handgun to cover these legal costs.

Ala Dan
January 20, 2003, 01:02 AM
Greeting's All,

Boy, is this a loaded question or what? One must take
into consideration, there are a LOT of variables that must
enter into this picture! I guess I'm kind'a like lots of other
folk's; as I don't mind paying a "fair market" price for a
QUALITY piece; but OTOH, I don't expect to get
ripped off either.

As an example, I think a current fair market price for a
NIB SIG-Sauer P220A in .45 ACP with standard sight's
and blued finish should be in the neighborhood of
approximately $549.00. Likewise, the H&K USP
should follow suit.

To paraphrase WalMart's Ad- "We're rolling back prices
everyday". If this is true, then how come some items
aren't free?:neener: :uhoh:

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

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