Friday, April 18, 2014

Speaking of a vanished time...

Before S&W had a "Model 27", it was just called the ".357 Magnum". When it debuted, it was a special order piece that cost sixty dollars at a time when Smith's next most expensive firearm sold for $45 to your mailbox.

To put that in perspective, a nice Ford 40A Deluxe coupe would have only been $535, if you just paid sticker and didn't haggle.
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16 comments:

Paul said...

A ford is still 535 dollars. the current difference is decades of 3% inflation on a fiat dollar.

PhilaBOR said...

I don't see a big luxury sedan at ford.com. Let's use the Lincoln Navigator at $65k and Nighthawk Custom Richard Heine at $3,450.00. The Nighthawk is a bargain! I need to get one!

staghounds said...

What a lovely review idea!

And eighty years later, nine nice registered magnums and the 40a coupe still have a fairly equivalent value.

Unlike $535.

mikee said...

With a 1930's average income of $1500, for urban folk, taking 25% for housing and 25% for food leaves $750 for all other expenditures.

I could have bought myself a custom .357 Magnum and a Ford with the savings from a year or three of iron-willed fiscal discipline had I been around back then.

Instead I have a GP-100 and a 12 year old Chevy pickup. I need to reassess priorities.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"A ford is still 535 dollars. the current difference is decades of 3% inflation on a fiat dollar."

I hate to break it to you, but you couldn't even get close to a new Ford with today's equivalent of $535 in 1934 dollars (which works out to $9,445), much less an equivalent luxury sedan. The lowest MSRP listed on Ford's website is $13,200, and that's for last year's model of Fiesta, before adding any options.

Rob Reed said...

A 1921 Colt Thompson cost $225 when a Model T cost $400.

That really puts that 1934 NFA tax in perspective when you realize it Damn near doubled the price of what was already a pricey gun.

Many things weren't really cheaper than. They just needed fewer actual physical pieces of paper to have the same (or less) buying power than most people have now.

Rob (Trebor)

Rob (Trebor)

Robert Fowler said...

Anonymous mikee said...
Instead I have a GP-100 and a 12 year old Chevy pickup. I need to reassess priorities.

I'd feel for you except I have a Security Six and 33 year old Chevy pickup.

I saw a 39 S&W at the last gun show for 500 bucks. I've been lusting after one of those for years. It's hell to be poor. I guess I should have kept my model 19 and 659.

tailwind said...

Rob Reed: "... 1934 NFA tax in perspective ..."

Good point. The intent of the NFA tax at the time was to make legal ownership of NFA firearms prohibitively expensive, since Congress knew that they couldn't make them illegal outright on account of the Second Amendment. So, the Commerce clause and Federal taxing authority was used instead.

Take, for example, Jack Miller's shotgun. It was probably a $10 gun which, when sawed off, required a $200 tax stamp AND registration.

What logically thinking bootlegger is going to pay such a tax and register his gun? None.

If Miller had been able to present his case to the Supreme Court, we might not have the current nightmare of gun laws we have today.

armedlaughing said...

Had a 5", made in 1937 (I think) for a few years.
A beautiful tack driver!

gfa

Bubblehead Les. said...

And last year I spent $400 on a good used 1961 made Model 27.

Which is currently guarding my Nephew's Wife and Child while he is stationed in the VolksRepublik of Kalifornia.

Which will probably be passed on to his Son, having lasted longer than most Fords made to date.

Kristophr said...

Pretty damned cheap price on that Ford:

$535 in silver dollars is ( at .7234 OZ per dollar ) 387 ounces, or ...

$8514 ( 2014 ) dollars.

Methinks that the total American socialism/fascism burden is very very very adversely effecting the retail price today.

Paul said...

Use gold for the standard. At that time it was 35 dollars an ounce. Right now it is about 1,600 per ounce. Lessee, 535/35*1600 is 24,457.14. Seems to hold up for me.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that you can compare the cost of a 1934 Ford with a 2014 Ford. Think of all the advanced features that are in the modern car that didn't exist in 1934. Here's a partial list - lap and shoulder belts, safety glass, hydraulic disc brakes with computerized anti-lock brake systems, airbags, power windows, power assist steering and brakes, independent front and rear suspension, an audio system that is also a phone system

The oldest car I've ever driven is a '47 Chevrolet in 1983 and the difference between my dad's new LeMans was amazing. Everything on the '47 was manual, the clutch effort was like standing on one foot, the steering was very stiff while trying to park, the suspension was horrible, the noise was incredible and the vacuum operated windshield wipers were useless at highway speed.

If you were to fire a 1934 S&W and then fire a new one, you probably wouldn't notice the difference, it is essentially the same product with minor tweaks.

Al_in_Ottawa

Kristophr said...

Paul: Your figure may be better.

There is a lot of manipulation going on in the silver market right now. I suspect JP Morgan has way more outstanding paper than their SLV market ( The Hunt Bros old stash ) can cover.

Noah D said...

Huh. Could have sworn the .357 didn't come out until post-war. Then again, of wheelguns I'm rather ignorant.

mikee said...

Robert Fowler: I regularly complain that everyone has better guns than me at the range; now you have one-upped me on both guns AND mah truck.

I shall slink off and bother no more with false humility, I have been out-humilitated.