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Why is demand so strong for excellent revolvers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bushmaster1313, Apr 9, 2011.

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  1. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    There are a lot of excellent Smith & Wesson and Colt revolvers out there, but the demand is strong so prices are high.

    Any insight as to why demand is so strong?

    In particular, the good condition Colts and Smiths from the 40's and 50's seem to go for more than the good Model 12, Model 27 and Model 31 shotguns from the same era.

    How come?

    P.S. I got an excellent condition High Standard 18-7 for $265. 27-2's are at least $500.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  2. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    Because revolvers work. What you are seeing is the baby boomers growing up and coming into more disposable income and they want the guns they couldn't afford when raising a family. The classic revolvers are the ones they saw when they were young and they are what those grown up kids want now.
     
  3. SPW1

    SPW1 Member

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    Yes, all those reasons + a lot of people don't care for the locks on new smiths driving up the prices on the older ones a bit. Old smiths are still generally less than new smiths though.
     
  4. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    But why so much demand for nice revolvers compared to nice shotguns?

    My guess is that it is easier to shoot a revolver, more places to shoot and less wear on the shoulder.

    Of course, the fancy shotguns are through the roof.
     
  5. shotgunjoel

    shotgunjoel Member

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    Because revolvers are way cooler than some old shotgun. That, and the fact that the revolvers probably cost more originally to begin with.
     
  6. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Because people like you and I keep buying them.
     
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Demand is pretty steady for Smith & Wesson and Colt revolvers. Folks don't like the trigger locks and buy the pre-lock Smiths often at premium prices. Also, many feel the older revolvers are better made than the current manufacture. Folks are collecting the older revolvers. Hence prices keep going up. Ultimately, the moderating force on Smiths in general is the price on current manufactured revolvers. But you can't get that wonderful deep high polish blued guns these days as new guns. I have not looked at any of the Smith Classics however to compare the bluing.

    As far as shotguns go, most people don't buy a lot of shotguns but they may buy more than a few handguns. Demand is less.
     
  8. wideym

    wideym Member

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    More people will want a revolver for self defence at home than an old shotgun.
     
  9. toivo

    toivo Member

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    I think another factor is that there are lots and lots of good new shotguns on the market, but you can't say the same for revolvers. For new revolvers, there's Ruger, S&W, and what else? Not a lot. With shotguns, you have Remington, Mossberg, Browning, Benelli, Beretta, Winchester, and that's just the big ones.
     
  10. rondog

    rondog Member

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    You just can't beat the coolness of high-quality wheelguns made by craftsmen in by-gone eras. Back when people cared about what they turned out. I wish I could buy my old Model 19's back, I still grieve over selling them.
     
  11. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    There are no more DA Colt revolvers, point one. That earns any of them a rarity point. When they were good, they were very very good, and when they were bad they were horrid. They were always interesting. They went out of business for a reason, but since it is past tense, let us say only that they were legendary, once.

    The good Colts are the best sixguns ever made. They weren't all good.

    As to Smiths, I don't need a keyhole in the side. I (many moons before the key thing) always traveled with a Smith revolver and a sturdy padlock. When I was away from the gun the lock went around the top strap. The average criminal will destroy the gun when he tries to break the padlock. That's two problems solved in one. 1. He can't sell it and 2. He can't hurt anyone with it.

    Some guns were destroyed, some were used up and some are still in sock drawers, I suppose. "They don't make 'em like they used to" is a cliche', but did you ever pause to wonder about that? Isn't a cliche' when everyone says so?
     
  12. wcavasos

    wcavasos Member

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    Unfortunately I feel like there is alot of truth to this statement. However, If S&W wanted to hire me as an assembly line inspector I would make sure that everything that i had a chance to get my eye on would be something that I would be proud to own. If I worked for Ruger I would try my hand at haveing there board of directors or whatever you call their surpervision there remove the warning stamp they put on there barrels. Thats my personal take on this subject. But yes I would say older revolvers are more authentic and classy, maybe slightly better quality as well.
     
  13. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Odd how some old firearm makers are relocating out of trade union territory. Just sayin'.
     
  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I gave a short flip answer last night. It was late and I was tired, but now I'll comment on why people like me keep buying them, and no doubt driving up pricess. As least why I think so.

    When I was a young man, with no money, and a copy of the Shooters Bible, I used to droll over that book. I mean every page of it. Especially the Smith & Wesson section. Those of black and white pictures were enough to make me wish I had one of everything.

    "Combat Magnum", "Combat Masterpiece", "Highway Patrolman" "THE 357 Magnum", "Military and Police"...Let me tell you, Smith & Wesson knew how to name a gun Those names invoke an image that just sticks with you...or at least with me. Those were what handguns were supposed to look like.

    Well, I came along about the time that revolvers were starting to fall out of favor. My first handgun was a Model 19 "Combat Magnum." But, IPSC was the big game in town, everyone HAD to have a "45 automatic"...and some kind of "wundter nine". So that old fashioned revolver went on the trade block. The race for the semi-auto was on.''

    These days, if I'm not an old man, I'm getting close to being one. I'm too old and fat to run around climbing over walls, and throwing myself on the ground. I'm too old and lazy to chase brass all over hells half acre. While semi-auto's are useful, I've got a few myself, they just aren't revolvers. "G-19" just doesn't have the same ring to it, that "Combat Masterpiece" or "Highway Patrolman" does.

    I don't really know how well new revolvers are made. I've never really looked at a new one. Not that I necessarly think there's anything wrong with them, I've never looked to see. The guns I want are the ones I used to see in that dog-eared old Shooters Bible. They're like old friends to me. I suspect they are to a lot of people. The fact that they are still perfectly acceptable as weapons is doesn't hurt either.

    Probably one of these days, my boys will open my gun safe and think..."What in the world did he want with all these old guns?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  15. Flint Ridge

    Flint Ridge Member

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    Cajun Bass is right on here, I think.

    Folks could afford one back then, maybe. Now we afford several over time.
     
  16. sixguns4fighting

    sixguns4fighting Member

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    Perhaps most gunowners these days are not hunters?
     
  17. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    It's temporary. This generation's nostalgic inclinations are fueled not only by dad/grandad's revolvers, but also the old western TV shows that were prevalent at an impressionable age. Additionally, the jamamatic stigma associated with auto-loaders is being overcome by truly more reliable pistols, today's cops/robbers TV, and the trend toward more home invasions with multiple intruders that increasingly leave those with 6-shooters under-gunned.
     
  18. sixguns4fighting

    sixguns4fighting Member

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    Real world: If you must fight a gang, a shotgun is better than a Glock.

    The revolver is adequate for civilian self defense needs. If you need more firepower, get a shotgun or carbine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  19. ritepath

    ritepath Member

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    Shotguns have a collectors market but nothing like the following revolvers have....12 & 31's are great guns to own and collect but they take up room where collecting revolvers is easy.
     
  20. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. Speaking only for myself, I do not own and use handguns solely for self-defense. I enjoy shooting them because despite the concentration required, I find it relaxing. Having done this for over forty years, much has been with various autoloaders, but quite a lot has been with the double-action revolver (usually S&W) as well. Where it was no issue decades passed, I do find not having to retrieve fired cases a plus.

    With respect to self-protection, I use both semiautomatics and DA-revolvers. My constant companion is an S&W Model 642. I tried other firearms and for me, this handgun genre just works best for near 24/7 carry. One firearm that is on constant "house duty" is an old pinned S&W Model 10. It is certainly not "tactical", has the usual 6-shot, low-capacity ammunition payload, and has been converted to DAO use. Can it keep up with the Hi Power, Glock 17, SIG-Sauer P226, et al, with respect to number of shots fired between loadings? The answer is obvious. At the same time, I believe that we "solve our problem(s)" with the first few shots or we run out of time to do so. If the revolver's relatively low number of available shots is an issue for you, there are many, many really fine semiautomatics available. Most quality DA-revolvers worked reliably as homemade sin, but "six for sure" just isn't and wasn't a "universal truth" of some sort. The DA-revolver could (and did malfuction)...just not often in my experience.

    The older S&W's may indeed have a nostalgic appeal to many of us. Even though it is not nearly so durable, a polished blue revolver is just a handsome thing to my eyes and having been taught to shoot DA by some fine shots and competitors in my early years, the S&W continues to just feel "right" to me.

    For me then, I reckon the answer(s) can be written in different way(s), but once the distilling is done on each, they boil down to, "I just like them."

    Of course, my problem with handguns is that I like them all!

    Best.
     
  21. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Because the savvy shooters out there want the revolvers that were built to win fights not avoid product liability lawsuits.
     
  22. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    amongst 'real serious' scattergun folk, old pricey models are oft sought after too
    but for joe-average, a good, functional, reliable shotgun is pretty easy to come by at a modest price

    there really are not a whole lot of "top tier" revolver makers competing out there anymore, like used to be (when Colt was Colt, when Dan Wesson was Dan Wesson, S&W was S&W, H&R, etc.) the market now consists of a number of low volume niche players, plus very few big volume players who mainly market by "price point"
    S&W
    Ruger
    Taurus/Rossi
    pretty much in that order, by price point

    the MBAs-R-Us at most of the big name players all went after the military and LEO markets, and that is an autoloader market
    and the average-joe civilian revolver market was left to "leftovers"


    S&W prices are nothing to fall in love with these days, and their ILS and MIM features turn a lot of people off. So if you want yesteryear quality at a lower price point, and don't like features like lock & MIM, you look for old Colts, old S&Ws, old Dan Wessons, even older vintage select model Taurii.

    Demand drives price.
    Blame it on gunbroker (good deals getting harder to find because all the pawn shops check gunbroker and mark 'em up at "asking' prices so found)
    That and the fact that the population has tripled in my own lifetime.

    Simpler than all that for me... k-frames best fit my hand (that and the old Ruger "Sixes")
    They don't make 'em anymore, and too many people have caught on to what great shooters those guns were. "Police trade-ins" used to be common, getting scarcer every year. The S&W New "Classic" may or may not be a great gun; I don't care, I ain't dropping a thousand bucks to find out for myself.

    pity they don't make the '57 Chevy anymore either, but it is what it is
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  23. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    I just looked in my 1973 Gun Digest to confirm this. Good shotgun has always been relatively higher than the price of a good handgun. S & W Highway Patrolman (Model 28) $118.00---Remington 870 Wingmaster $154.95. Colt Gov't Model, Mk IV, Series 70 $134.95---Remington 1100 $229.95. If you go to the double shotguns (SS or O/U) they are several times higher. These are Mfg Sug Retail prices.
    After being away from guns for several years, the thing that impressed me most when I got interested again was the current price of handguns in relation to rifles and shotguns.
     
  24. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I simply like revolvers. I bought my first revolver back when semi-autos were just becoming all the rage. Even though I have carried a semi as a work gun for nearly 2 decades, I still prefer a revolver for off-duty carry and just general shooting.....This old girl saw 200 rounds just last week. Even at 48 years old and starting to show her age, she's still a looker to me.:)
     

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  25. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    The reason for my demand of old revolvers is very simple.

    New revolvers are getting worse every year.
     
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