Monday, June 30, 2008

My, how times change...

I remember that when I first got into the gun biz back in the early '90s, $500 would buy about as nice a GI Colt M1911A1 as you'd care to actually shoot. You could spend more on WWI guns or scarcer variants, but a standard Colt or Remington Rand wasn't a terribly expensive proposition.

Not anymore. Yikes.

Colt M1911A1 in 95% condition per the 23rd Edition of Fjestad's Blue Book (2002): $625
Colt M1911A1 in 95% condition per the 29th Edition of Fjestad's Blue Book (2008): $2,700

I have to wonder how much, if any, of this is "bubble". Fads change, even among blue-chip collector guns like Colts and Smiths. I'd like to think that the military 1911 market will cool off a little bit at least in the future. But I'm not holding my breath...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember the early 1990s. You could get those norinco 1911s for about $220, and they were actually nice.

Of course, an SKS could be had for $59.95 or you could get a three pack for $150.

-SayUncle

RedneckInNY said...

I've got money down on a Kimber 1911 chambered in 10mm for about $1100. Hope to be paying it down before September so I can go shoot it before hunting season starts.

Tam said...

Well, all prices have gone up with inflation, but I'm not talking about Norincos and Kimbers...

I'm talking about the prices on actual military WWII Colts, which are (to a large extent) independent of labor rates, fuel costs, and steel prices.

WWI and WWII U.S. military weapons in general have generally just gone completely off the chain:

95% IBM M1 carbine in 2002: $525, in 2008:$1325
95% M1903A3 rifle in 2002: $395, in 2008: $700
95% Springfield M1 Garand, all matching, non-rework, no import marks, WWII date in 2002: $1,080, in 2008: $3,600

jimbob86 said...

Well, it's not like they are making any more of them...

...as opposed to dollars, which the .gov is printing up and handing out by the bushel........

Steve Skubinna said...

The CMP prices for the M1 Carbine are still about what you have listed above, Tam. One could argue, however, that buying a milsurp directly from CMP is outside of the gun dealer's market, and I'd agree. And of course somebody's going to pop in and remind us of the prices they went for immediately postwar.

On the other hand, my 1911A1 is a Parkerized Springfield Armory GI model, which is as close I will probably ever get to having an actual ex-military one. I would not object to one at all, but don't feel like paying the current prices.

Anonymous said...

IMHO its not a bubble , and you wont see prices go down . Back when i bought a 60% or so singer off a drunk for 150 bucks and thought i gave too much . Of course it was quickly sold at a reasonable markup . Unless and until a " forgotten stock " of surplus 1911s is found somewhere in the world ( and even those would bear importers marks ) the price is not likely to drop a c note .

farmdad

Tam said...

One thing to remember with the CMP M1 carbines is that they are not 95% guns.

The prices I listed from the Blue Book are for 95%, all-matching, non-rearsenaled, carbines w/no bayonet lug and the original "L" flip rear sight.

Steve Skubinna said...

Ah, good point. I read 95% and thought "finish." Both my CMP Carbines have been 100% there.

I wonder what's going to happen to CMP when the last milsurp rifle passes through their program. We won't be seeing M14s, let alone M16s from them.

Rob K said...

So write your congresscritter and maybe we can get M14s, M16s, and M4s from them.

Don't despair; fight.

Joseph said...

On my limited income, I have just about given up on US milsurps. I just can't afford 1,000 or better. Hell, I think that Colt and Smith are off the boards too, with current prices. Part of this is the retail market; I see prices from AIM, for example, that are quite affordable, but have never seen anywhere near those prices in retail.

Note to gun makers: You will sell a lot more pistols at $750 than you will at 1k.

Kevin said...

Tam, I have my father-in-law's 1917 manufactured 1911 (no dash nuthin') that's in pretty damned good shape, considering it's 91 years old. I'm going to take some hi-rez photos of it (S/N obscured) and send them to Xavier for a value estimate. Could I/should I copy you as well? I'm very curious to know what the thing is worth.

Tam said...

I'd be happy to lend my meagre skillz to the cause.

Brigid said...

I saw a .22 Browning semi auto with some fancy engraving and other unique details for $15,700.

Anonymous said...

Hell, I'm about done seeing brand new guns at the $1,200 mark. I don't know what these people think we're made of. We have to buy gas, but if they keep making these things out of solid gold it'll slow their profits some.

Anonymous said...

I wandered into a gunstore just today and noticed a new Fjestad's.

I inherited my father's 1952 vintage Model 70 Super Grade in .220 Swift. About 85% to 90%, at least. Sheesh! Up about 50%!

But it's still 1/2 MOA with ammo he loaded in 1975, so I guess I'll just keep on prairie-doggin'.

It's a usin'-gun, not a safe-queen...

Art

Tam said...

Oh, Fjestad's is still a bit soft here and there. I'll buy every 3.5" S&W Model 27 in 98% condition you can find me for $450...

...and turn around and darn near double my money.