Monday, May 18, 2020

It's baaack!

After an annoyingly long hiatus, The Arms Room has a fresh Sunday Smith post up.

Smith & Wesson collecting, before the late 1990s or so, was pretty much confined to 19th Century revolvers, as well as some of the rarer or more exotic prewar 20th century pieces; Triple Locks, Registered Magnums, Bekearts and the like.

That's because for most of the 20th Century, collecting Smith revolvers would have been like collecting Toyota Camrys...or Glocks.

Then the abrupt collapse of the service revolver flooded the secondhand gun market with dirt cheap Model 10's and 13's and 15's and 586's. Not long after this happened, Colt's (who had only nominally been a player anyway by this point) exited the revolver business entirely; Colt's prices had already been high, but that sent the price curve on Prancing Ponies asymptotic.

As a result, during the decade on either side of the turn of the Millennium, Smith & Wesson revolvers were the Poor Person's Gun Collection. For the price of a new Glock, you could pick up three or four various ex-police K-frames.

This isn't the case anymore. With more money chasing fewer guns, I've been priced right out of the Hand Ejector market. Even fairly pedestrian Model 15s and Model 19s are bringing more than I paid for a 3" Lew Horton Model 629 back in 2002...double what I paid for it, in some cases.

But! Smith & Wesson autos are still underpriced for what they are, and there's a bewildering variety of them, which is the sort of thing that appeals to collectors. Other than the single stack 10mm guns, prices are still very reasonable for what they are. I think this is the next frontier in Smith collecting for the collector of limited means...