Why have lever action rifles in particular seen such a price increase?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hokkmike, Sep 3, 2022.

  1. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Bought a .45LC 1894 Marlin Cowboy Limited two years ago for $900-ish. Excellent condition.

    I have seen the same rile sale now for as much as $1,600.

    What is going on with lever action rifles and the rising values?
     
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  2. uuolf

    uuolf Member

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    Wow... I need to look around I guess... A friend of a friend wants to trade straight up an almost new Marlin 444s with it's box, papers and accessories for my Anderson home built 5.56 16"... Going right now to call him again... I can do the Anderson home built thing for under $400 with the labor day sales going on... Thanks for the tip... Or maybe it's a complaint...lol... ***Foot note*** just checked GB and found 0 Marlin 444s for less than $900 in like new condition (some as high as $1600 completed) (completed or listed) I don't take GB as the law and gospel but I use it as a guage with other info... I wonder if the increases are supply chain trouble or that it takes much more to manufacture them. Or that the massive amount of easier to make plastic guns being processed the last few years... IMHO it's probably a combination all of the above... A perfect storm if you will.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2022
  3. ATCDoktor

    ATCDoktor Member

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    With respect to the increase in Marlin levergun prices, when Remington (who manufactured Marlins) went bankrupt and was parted out and sold off, Marlins were no longer being manufactured.

    The fact that they were no longer being manufactured coupled with "perceived" scarcity of the older ones (because individuals weren't selling them) drove the prices through the roof.

    Since the sell off of all Remington's assets, Ruger bought the Marlin name and all the tooling and has begun manufacturing the model 1895 chambered in 45/70 (in a couple of versions) with a stainless finish and has stated that other models, calibers, finishes (but not all) will be built in the future; all will most probably have an MSRP of over $1000 (double what I could get a new Remington built Marlin 1895 pre covid).

    Edited to add:

    I bought this Marlin 336Y with 16” barrel and laminated stock from my LGS 3 months before Remington closed its doors.
    338E3908-ABF6-4234-8728-BE610EC5F15F.jpg

    It sat in the store for almost a year with no takers and when they finally marked it down to $300 I bought it.

    Back then everything had to be 6.5 something or it wasn’t gonna get sold.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2022
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  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I don't know for sure, but the ones seeing the most increase in value are the older Marlins and Winchesters. Buying either new is a crapshot and availability is spotty. The new versions from Henry, Rossi, and others just don't do anything for me.

    But from my perspective I'm glad to see it. I had a bunch of them that I bought used over the years. I paid $150-$400 for them. About 2 years ago when stores were having trouble getting inventory I sold 3 and got roughly 3X what I paid for them. A few months ago I sold 3 more and got 5X to 6X what I paid for them.
     
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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  6. jag1954

    jag1954 Member

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    My Henrys suit me just fine and I've seen their prices jump recently. Hnery brothers.jpg
     
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  7. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    They're just not being made much anymore. Marlin was out of production for a while and new Winchester lever guns are priced as a very expensive novelty. Henrys have never been that cheap. You can still get Mossbergs and Rossis for relatively cheap.

    Wish I'd have bought more when prices were more reasonable. My Marlin 336 I paid $165 for about 10-ish years ago. About 15 years ago I paid a little less than $200 for a Winchester 94AE that I gave to my brother as a Christmas gift. Both have increased in price far more than normal inflation would allow for.
     
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  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Why have lever action rifles in particular seen such a price increase?

    Because they are so freaky awesome and cowboyish.

    I have a.
    .30-30 Marlin 336W,
    .38/.357 Legacy Sports Puma (really a polished Rossi R92),
    .22 s,l,lr (JM) Marlin Golden 39A Mountie, and
    .177 (BB) Daisy Red Rider (I bought an eyepatch at the pharmacy to go with it).
     
  9. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Winchester 92s/clones have been hens' teeth recently as well.
    Just more machine time making them, perhaps.
    Moon
     
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  10. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    Because Marlin was out of production for several years while Ruger got the manufacturing back on line and still not completely. And Winchester is made somewhere else when available at all. And some folks (like me) do not like Henry. And because there are not enough old, worn out, busted rifles to fulfill the current need. And because lever guns are as American as apple pie. There is no mystery at all.

    3C
     
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  11. czhen

    czhen Member

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    Because they are fun, they can suite you in all the caliber needed from plinking to hunting. SASS ready to challenge your local neighbors in cowboy attires. Lastly, there is nothing more American than a lever action rifle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
  12. Doug444

    Doug444 Member

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    Um, not to mention I don't recall a lever gun has been included in any of the anti's attempts to ban anything (except in Australia - go figure) despite the recent predilection to "tacti-cool" them. Keep that up and watch them be the next "evil rifle".
     
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  13. joseywales76

    joseywales76 Member

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    People are traveling more and more with lever action rifles over the evil black rifles and such,,,,,,, thinking the Leo will hassle them less if pulled over and searched ect.


    Demand is higher than normal, this to will pass.
     
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  14. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

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    I want to say levers are still legal in Australia.

    For awhile Diane Feinstein's annual AWB bill had levers with threaded barrels listed as banned items
     
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  15. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Even the Henry lever centerfires retail at or above $1,000 now.
     
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  16. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Less supply means higher prices. Winchester and Rossi don't make nearly the same number of lever actions as Marlin did during any year of production. And Henry has been the "gucci" of lever actions for awhile.
     
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  17. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Gucci to me would mean their flamboyant silver and nickel receivers - or extensive use of brass. (sparkle in the looks)
     
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  18. Jeff olson

    Jeff olson Member

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    I just sold my 444s for $1800. No box, but mint, never shot. If people are willing to throw money around I'll gladly accept it. I think I paid $550 for that rifle.
     
  19. hk45shootist

    hk45shootist Member

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    Couldn't agree more. Save me some typing.
     
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  20. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    New Winchesters are not all that expensive in perspective, a new '94 carbine is $1300 MSRP, typically less in the store (if you can find one). When it came out in 1890s a Winchester '94 was 1-2 week's wages, if you had a decent job. And the new Winchesters are very well-made.
     
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  21. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Some historical prices.

    Winchester 1873, $22.50 in 1890. Today by inflation $756, by relative income worth $4,243.
    Winchester 1894, $23 in 1895. Today by inflation $837, by relative income worth $4,434.
    Marlin Model 36, $27.95 in 1936. Today by inflation $597, by relative income worth $1,635.
    Winchester 71, $97.50 in 1948. Today by inflation $1,200, by relative income worth $2,334.
    Marlin 336, $68.95 in 1955. Today by inflation $763, by relative income worth $1,133.
    Winchester 1894, $84.95 in 1966. Today by inflation $775, by relative income worth $922.
     
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  22. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    Ugly accessories aside, they're the next best way to send bullets downrange at a high rate. They'll be on the list eventually, but not as quickly as the semi-auto/detachable magazine varieties.
    I'm not convinced it has anything to do with Marlin, Winchester, Henry etc. Those old pump action Remingtons are getting up there too.
     
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  23. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    Levers are fun, and they have an unparalleled mystique as the “American” rifle, so there will always be a certain demand. There is a resurgence of interest in old school blued-steel-and-wood guns, much like revolvers, and a levergun pairs well with a revolver. Due to the vicissitudes of business, American lever production has wound down over the years and it was only a matter of time before they stopped being “grandpa’s cheap 2nd hand deer gun.” That got helped along massively by the perfect storm of Covid + presidential election + ban fears. Almost everyone casually into guns who didn’t have one, decided now was a great time to scoop up a Marlin or Winchester lever action. Not finding any of those, Rossi, Uberti, Chiappa, Henry, etc. would do. And levers aren’t the easiest thing to make quickly or scale up production, so supply is just now beginning to catch up to demand.
     
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  24. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Bought gasoline or diesel fuel lately?

    The day Joe Biden was inaugurated,
    I paid $1.67/gal for unleaded 87octane regular. Today it was $3.34gal. Exactly double, but down from $4.57gal at peak.


    It’s not that the guns have gotten expensive, it’s that the currency has lost value.
     
  25. Cowhide Cliff

    Cowhide Cliff Member

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    Just like so many things today, probably a lot of it is price gouging in the market because of supply and demand. Italy got hit particularly hard with covid and they supply so much of the lever action rifle market.
     
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