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Why are shotguns cheaper than rifles?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Alec, Aug 17, 2011.

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  1. Alec

    Alec Member

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    I'm curious as to why second-hand shotguns can be had for often hundreds less than second-hand rifles of similar vintage. Is it the lack of machining required to rifle the barrels? I can't imagine a typical bolt-action rifle having more parts than a pump or bolt-action shotgun.

    I recently picked up a near-mint late-80's Mossberg 500 for $150; I couldn't even dream of finding a 23 year old centerfire rifle for any less than $300 because I would immediately realize I was dreaming and wake up.
     
  2. retDAC

    retDAC Member

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    Broadly speaking, I think shotguns are cheaper to make because the rounds have less pressure, the barrels don't have to be rifled, and a bead sight is about as cheap as it gets.
     
  3. Armed012002

    Armed012002 Member

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    Well, for one, a new Mossberg 500 is around $350.

    So $150 is about right for used Mossberg.

    Mossbergs are made to be inexpensive working man guns.

    Rugers are similar in that regard. Old used Ruger rifles can be had for very modest prices.
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I guess it depends on the shotguns in question - I can point you towards second hand shotguns that cost well over $100,000.

    If you are talking about bottom of the barrel guns like Mossbergs, they, as mentioned, don't sell for a lot new to begin with. Take a look at used high-quality rifles from Hartmann and Weiss or similar and they hold their value and used prices are up there with comparable high dollar shotguns

    It's all relative - make sure you are comparing equal quality levels in your comparison
     
  5. PT92

    PT92 Member

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    I'm a shotgun guy at heart to say the least--my view is that I can use a slug if the need arises to address a 100 yard shot thereby [arguably negating the need for a rifle] but the Mossberg 500 of which I am a proud owner of along with the Remington 870 line is not in the same realm as say the higher priced semi-autos from Remington, Benelli, Beretta, Browning etc... Those high-end shotguns will certainly be in the elite ballpark of similarly configured rifles and thus considerably more expensive.

    That being said, I am one who believes that price is in no way the single most important variable when considering a weapon. Personally speaking, two recent examples come to mind.

    1) I was researching semi-auto tactical shoguns and I fell in love with the Benelli M4--but when you consider its $1k+ Price absent an extended magazine which comes standard on both the Remington 1100-1187 models as well as the AK Saiga 12 both of which can be had for <$800, case closed on the purchasing of the beloved Benelli M4 (same principles apply to hunting shotguns).

    2) When researching a new rifle/carbine in a pistol caliber, I really liked the Beretta Storm C4 series but they start at around $900. I decided on both a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in 9mm as well as a Hi-Point .45 carbine both of which will complement my pistols of the same calibers--I basically acquired two fine carbines for the price of a Beretta Storm.

    Long story short, shotguns depending on the model are not always cheaper than their respective rifle counterparts.

    Good luck with your futrue purchases and as always, these are solely my opinions.

    -Cheers
     
  6. straightshooter9

    straightshooter9 Member

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    That's a good question.
    The ironic thing about "costs" when it comes to weapons is that they are ALL made to do the same thing! Granted, some may do it better, although, I don't know how.

    Just like "washing machines", they ONLY do one thing.........guns are to get the projectile to hit the target, washing machines only go 'round 'n 'round (and back and forth), I don't care how many "selections" you have on the dashboard!

    That's the reason I'm about to buy a $200.00 shotgun as opposed to a $1,000.00 shotgun. The poor bastard on the receiving end could care less what he is shot with, both will serve their purpose!

    You "hunters" may have a different view, which is fine, but I'm not a hunter, I don care for it.

    Good Luck with whatever you get and be safe!
     
  7. Roan

    Roan Member

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    If you want to get right down to it, all matter is made of electrons, neutrons, and protons. Therefore, a fancy jet should cost the same as a pile of dirt. Clearly, this isn't the case.

    More expensive firearms may well have different 'stuff' than more inexpensive variants. Higher grade steel or aluminum, for example, which costs more because it is more expensive to fabricate. More intricate and finely fitted parts cost more. Different heating and cooling treatments can change how the metal reacts to machining and fitting, treatments that themselves cost money.

    Engineers spend weeks or months to solve minor problems or develop new ideas, engineers which must either be paid for this work or who must recoop the costs, time, and effort of this work. Licensing and bureaucracy fees must be covered. In some cases, espcially with non-US manufacturers, bribes must be paid. A thousand other factors come into play.

    This isn't some grand conspiracy of manufacturers to rob you of money by selling you the same stuff for lots more money. This is how capitalism works. Better solutions usually cost more money and any soldier can tell you the perils of going with the cheapest solution. Sure, someone shot with a cheap shotgun is just as injured as someone shot with an expensive version. However, there are hundreds of other, complex and interwoven aspects of shooting.
     
  8. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    In addition to be cheaper to manufacture...

    Accuracy...shotguns don't need to be able to shoot moa.

    for example there are bolt action rifled barreled shotguns (Tar-Hunt for example) out there that are very accurate and they do cost about the same as a equivalent rifle.
     
  9. csa77

    csa77 Member

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    it depends on the type and make of the shotgun. generaly a pump shotguns is cheap, but there are a lot of O/U's that even used will sell for thousands.
     
  10. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    That's so untrue, that it is sort of silly. Pawnshops are chocked full of rejected hunting rifles. Some of those shops have less than $100 in the gun and you should be able to get it for a song.

    I bought a brand new .270 Win for under $200 and use it often in elk hunts. I also have shotguns that cost four and five times this. My brother has an old Mossberg 30-06, just like this one (current price $75). He got it used, and I know his didn't cost $300. Good shooter too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  11. Finprof

    Finprof Member

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    You can buy any number of Marlin 336s or post-64 Winchester 94s for under $300.
     
  12. natman

    natman Member

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    Inexpensive shotguns are cheaper to make than inexpensive rifles because they work with far lower pressures and don't require a precision rifled barrel.
     
  13. c-bag

    c-bag Member

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    I don't know where the OP is located, but I see that you are from Colorado; I think you need to step back and realize there can be a strong geographic variation in the price and availability of different types of firearms. For instance, in large areas of the midwest and east coast pretty much all the hunting is done with shotguns, .22s, muzzleloaders and pistol-caliber weapons (& archery), so those are the guns bought by casual hunters who later sell their guns for whatever reason.

    On the other hand, people in my area who own full-power centerfire rifles are mostly dedicated precision shooters, hunters who go out of state, or general enthusiasts who want a "big boomer". These folks are generally going to pony up for nicer, more expensive guns, keep them longer and sell them less often, all of which means higher prices on the secondhand market.
     
  14. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    No, not really. That used to be the case, but not so much these days. That 30-06 I linked to can be purchased from anywhere in the country at the same price it sells for on Tuesday. It is just as available to you in Indiana as it is to me here. If it sells for $130, the price won't change if the winning bidder happens to be in Connecticut. There's no variation whatsoever to its availability or its price, whether you buy it or I do.

    I was responding to the OP's notion that such a firearm at such a price is unrealistic. That's untrue. If the pawn shops in Alec's area aren't drowning in these types of rifles, there's certainly no shortage of them elsewhere. Many are just as available and just as affordable, no matter where you might live. Unless he's outside the USA, that 30-06 really isn't any less available to him than one sitting in the rack of his local pawnshop.
     
  15. c-bag

    c-bag Member

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    I didn't look at your online auction link, and I'll give you that I could order it if I wanted. However, for those of us who are not willing to do the online buying thing, we are still limited to what's locally available in our area. I regularly peruse the local Ad Pages, which always has a couple pages of guns in it, and I seldom if ever see any centerfire rifle other than an old bolt-action milsurp or an SKS for less than $300 and the vast majority of the rifles in the $300-$500 range will be .30-30 lever-actions or single-shot Handi-rifles.

    Like I said above though, your example about cheap serviceable guns online is entirely true, and a very good idea for anyone looking for a basic rifle. However, online gun buying is far from a universal practice (so far); so for those who don't do it local prices are still a factor.
     
  16. SeekHer

    SeekHer Member

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    Have to disagree with you in part...Look at the Westley Richards or Holland and Holland sites and compare used Royal grades bought 10 years ago to a gun purchased today...Now you're paying $150,000+ (same as you did then) and used it's $50,000 to $60,000...60% to 70% reduction is not a good return on your investment.

    It applies to Hartmann & Weiss, Peter Hofer, Merkel, Krieghoff, Blaser, Phillipp Ollendorff, Johan Fanzoj, FAMARS, Perazzi etc., etc, etc.
     
  17. lizziedog1

    lizziedog1 Member

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    I've always wondered why handguns cost more than long guns. More material is used to make a rifle than a pistol. It also seems that it would take more to cut rifling in a 22 inch barrel than a four inch one. Yet, handguns seem to cost more.

    As far as shotguns go, here is my theory. Most of the shotguns on the used market seem to be the ones that were cheaper to begin with. Someone buys a cheap Mossberg, tries it a few rounds, and sells it.

    On the other hand, the serious shotgunners that use serious shotguns with serious price tags probably hold on to their guns longer. Thus, you don't see them on the used gun rack very often.

    Just my theory.
     
  18. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    $217 for a Mossberg 500 (either 12 or 20 gauge) at the WalMart right by my house, and it's not on sale. I stopped to browse the shotgun selection while picking up a few things yesterday. I figured it was a typo or something, so I asked the guy at the counter. That's the right price, and after handling it in the store, I gotta say that 500 felt just as solid as the one my dad got me when I was 15.

    Also, in response to some of the comments of mint-condition rifles for cheap at pawn shops... apparently I need to start visiting pawn shops.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  19. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    A quick search through Arms List for Indiana showed a nice selection in the $300 range...most will haggle as well. I know the pawn shops in Lafayette has some great deals as well.
     
  20. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Less steel and aluminum used in shotgun production.
    Producing a quality rifled barrel is not a cheap process and adds to the cost.
    As for shotguns always being cheaper,,,
    See which of these will realize more money on the used gun market,
    A Browning Superposed in 20 guage or a Ruger Number 1A in .270,,,
    Both in excellent condition with boxes and all goodies included.
     
  21. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    Supply and demand.
    Starting from the top these cost me:
    CIMG0278.gif

    $600 Model 12 surplused from Washington State Patrol
    $250 Remington 870 Surplused from California Highway Patrol
    $705 Steven WWII 620 Gunbroker
    $250 High Standard 18-7 Surplused from Montana State Prison
    $250 Model 37 Local Gun Shop
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  22. judgebill

    judgebill Member

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    Shotgun vs. Rifle and pricing

    What drives up the cost of manufacturing a gun, rifle, pistol or shotgun, is the cost of production. Then there is the cost of advertising and other marketing factors (like having a good write-up produced). Used guns are pretty much driven by the original volume of the model made and perceived desirability. For example, the Winchester 97 pump with the visible hammer will sell for 10 times what it sold for in the early 1900s when it was first made...but that's because of the perceive "need" for a combat shotgun. Browning made some stunning over/under shotguns back in the 40s and 50s. They sold then for less than $1000 with fancy wood, fancy engraving, fancy checkering and today they cost well over $1000 (much over). None of these guns shoot better than say a Remington 870,nor does the 870 shoot any better than they shoot. So what it comes down to is what you would like to have versus what you can afford to have with a factor thrown in for what everybody else is willing to pay. You can get a fancy used shotgun for tens of thousands of dollars and it will satisfy the owner no more than the guy who saves his pennies for a couple years and buys a used and battered 870. Just some thoughts.
     
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