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Sticker Shock

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Dienekes, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Dienekes

    Dienekes Well-Known Member

    Speaking strictly for myself, the prices for decent handguns are getting up to where they're easy to walk away from these days. No doubt I'm a little spoiled, having bought my first Ruger .22 for $25 used in 1959; but Ruger's 2003 catalogue now lists it for $289. Best price in the area is $219 which is not too bad; but the same store has a new M10 Smith for, as I recall, about $450.

    A guy used to be able to pick up a new toy periodically and either make a keeper out of it or eventually trade it off; but either way it wasn't quite a budget killer. Now I find myself wondering how the average guy with the average responsibilities and bills does this anymore.

    It'll be interesting to see if this plays out, as it's still quite possible to live happily ever after with one or two well chosen guns. (Subversive thought for the day.)
  2. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Seems like all of the metal quality guns are getting more and more expensive while the combat tupperware is getting cheaper and cheaper.
  3. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    Adjusting for inflation from 1959 to present, your $25 used Ruger would cost roughly $190 today. Sounds about right to me. But I do agree that prices are rising faster than can be accounted for by inflation. Reasons: legal issues, better and more costly materials, taxes, etc. Reason they shouldn't be rising as fast: sloppy workmanship.

    I hope you kept that old Ruger for your collection. IIRC, that is the first year of production for it (or was it 1958?).
  4. sm

    sm member

    Mal H, I'd have to agreee: Inflation adjustment,litigation, and taxes.
    You don't have to be older to see this in many goods and services.
    However,firearms do hold their value-appreciate if you will, much better than some items one could spend money on today.

    $250 spent on a good used revolver or $500 on a hand held electronic gadget. In 5 years the revolver will appreciate and still function...the gadget...well
  5. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    Good [reverse] analogy on guns vs electronics. Electronics to me are throw-aways. If it breaks, they're so cheap today you just go get another one which will, in most cases, be better and even cheaper than the one you had. Certainly not true for guns.

    Think how much a good, relatively cheap, TV from today would cost in 1959, even if the technology existed then to build one from existing components. Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Anybody else buy one of the new HP calculators when they first came out? Same thing today would cost a buck fifty.

    Another reason to add to the guns-are-getting-more-expensive list: supply and demand. Lot fewer manufacturers today.
  6. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    I've been told, by contacts at both Glock and Smith & Wesson, that between 20% and 25% of the manufacturer's cost price for a firearm is legal insurance and litigation costs. Ghastly thought, isn't it? :banghead:
  7. Glockorama

    Glockorama Well-Known Member

    I thought the Ruger MK1 came out in 1949. Am I mistaken? :confused:
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    I have problems with big sticker prices too. I'm shocked to see handguns at $700. I've paid $1k, but that was for a customized Bob Chow with ivory grips. Generally I prefer used guns as the shock isn't so great.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Well-Known Member

    Things may cost more, but the rise is generally offset by increased income.

    I can remember when Cokes were a dime and you could send a family of five to the picture show for under $10 - popcorn and all. I can also remember my parents talking about someone with a $5000-per-year salary like it was a sin to make that much money.

    It's like Paul Harvey said - "It may cost more dollars to live, but those dollars are much easier to make."

  10. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    How much were you getting an hour back in '59?
  11. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    Sticker shock is why it usually takes me months to decide on a new gun...sometimes a used gun will be bought on impulse for the relative savings, but still takes some manipulating of the budget.
  12. GW45

    GW45 Well-Known Member

    Working at the gun counter - I have seen the prices go up - on all makes and models. Sig went up about $70 here....H&K are said to be going up soon.

    Also the more popular the gun or company gets - the more they charge - that's just the way it is.

    Look at Kimber - they weren't $750 a 1911 when they first came out.....

    As the years past they will continue to go up with inflation and the cost of living.......almost hate to see what my grand kids are going to pay for one.......
  13. cdbeaver

    cdbeaver Well-Known Member

    Ruger introduction

    Mal H: I purchased my first automatic pistol (a Ruger standard model with fixed sights) in either 1949 or 1950. If I recall correctly, it had a three-digit serial number and retailed for $37.50. My new-in-box gun cost me $30. It was called, at the time, a Sturm-Ruger.

    And no, dang it, I didn't keep it. But I just recently gave away the box it came in.
  14. Dave R

    Dave R Well-Known Member

    Seom thoughts on how to deal with sticker shock:

    1) Buy used.

    2) Buy clones (where appropriate, Beretta vs. Taurus, Bersa vs. Walther PPK, etc.)

    3) Buy a Makarov.
  15. PlayTheAces

    PlayTheAces Well-Known Member

    As others have mentioned, I think it's all relative. The price of a new car is probably 10 to 12 times what it was in '59, and real estate has probably gone up even more.

    Insurance back then probably only covered manufacturer defects. Now we have to add today's victim mentality into the equation as well. Somebody accidently shoots themself today and it can't possibly be their own fault. We'll have to sue the manufacturer. Welcome to the 21st Century!
  16. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier Well-Known Member

    Buying used is cool ,But in the Prk some people ask high prices on some of the guns not on the approved list ,Scalpers market.:)
  17. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    Glockorama and cdbeaver - Yes! 1949. Oh how the years are starting to blur. But what's a decade here or there among friends? ;)

    Actually when I said that about 1959, something didn't sound right about it at that time because I bought my first Mk I in 1964 and it didn't seem like it was a fairly new model then.
  18. txgolfer45

    txgolfer45 Well-Known Member

    "Seems like all of the metal quality guns are getting more and more expensive while the combat tupperware is getting cheaper and cheaper."

    Seems like all guns are getting more expensive.

    BTW, I like my "quality" combat tupperware!!!

  19. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Well-Known Member

    Waaaaayyyy back when LED watches first came out, my brother bought one of the first. For $500. It didn't have a calculator, or GPS system, or even an address book...it was just a watch. Black plastic with red LED's.

    About that same time I bought a slightly-used S&W 586 for around $225.

    Care to guess which is worth more now?
  20. hansolo

    hansolo Member In Memoriam

    The "Good Old Days"

    Ahhh, the WayBack machine!

    I just transported back to 1973...I am 25 years of age. The first digital alarm clocks are not LED, but, rather, the numbers are halved horizontilly, and the top half flips over the bottom...my brand new Harley Davidson Electraglide is about $2,800.00 OTD,
    My Dad bought a Cougar XR7 a few years ago with a 390 V8 for about $4,500.00.
    I buy a used, engraved Ruger Bearcat for about $40.00.

    I wanna go back to this time...oh, I forgot, I earn $5.00/Hr.


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