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Why are Colt SAAs so expensive?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Sling Blade, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Sling Blade

    Sling Blade Yamhill County Well-Known Member

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    This is something I always wondered about, even way back when I was getting into guns: Colt single action army revolvers (Peacemakers) have always been way expensive. Given that Colt has been producing these guns in pretty much the same format since 1873 or threabouts and must have sold a jillion of them, why do they cost so much? It's not like they are trying to recoup design or tooling expenses after all these years. Do these weapons take a lot of hand work to produce, or what?

    Thank in advance for any enlightenment!
     
  2. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Supply and demand. In theory you are correct in thinking about the sheer number of them out there but the reality is there are not as many as you think. They were never a 'high production' number gun, even at the height of manufacture. Not like Glock for example. Technically, comparing pure numbers available (when you see the amount of used ones on the market) a Glock should only be selling for about 50-60% of new but that is not the case. Now factor the one Colt SA against all those Glocks, as well as the desirability of a Colt SA and that should answer your question. Purely on numbers, probably more people would like to own a Colt SA than a Glock (or any other similar class gun for that matter) when you place the available amount of each against the amount of people who want them. Lets say out of a 100 gun owners 30 want to own a Colt but there are maybe three available. Out of the same 100 maybe 50 want a Glock and there are probably 100 available.
     
  3. Sling Blade

    Sling Blade Yamhill County Well-Known Member

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    That was a really great answer to something that has been puzzling me since I was first able to buy guns. Thanks so much for clearly laying it out!
     
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    It isn't that the gun has gone up in price but the value of your money has gone down. When Colt quit makeing the SAA in the 80s the price of a new gun was $450
     
  5. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    Quality and performance. Which is why you could go out and buy a mercedez benz for $60k or buy a kia for $6k. The same way you could buy a colt $1k+ or a reproduction for $300-500
     
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  6. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I seem to remember that Colt used to use "If its not a Colt, its a copy." in their advertisements. A lot of it is paying for name brand. Now, they only make them in their custom shop so it is basically a custom handgun.
     
  7. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Even then that was expensive for a new gun considering a S & W could be had for about half that. I bought a new M19 S & W in 1981 for $219.00.
     
  8. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    In addition to RV's well-expressed supply and demand, also to be considered is what I would call "romantic or nostalgic allure" of the Colt's Peacemaker. For persons interested in firearms (or even for those not interested in firearms, but interested in American history), the Colt's Peacemaker is centrally iconic, and the very essence of the Old West: a region, a belief system, and a way of life.

    I'm not sure any firearm of ANY historical significance to America can compare in this regard (even in relation to their OWN time period).
     
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  9. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    You've always paid a premium for the prancing pony. The Colt SSA is probably the most recognized fire arm in the country and appeals to more than just gun folks.
     
  10. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    And, in real dollars, a buyer probably paid more for it when it was first sold, than now. Advertisements from the "Cowboy Era" convey a price of $17-$20 for a new Peacemaker.

    Considering a good cowboy employed by a top-line outfit might be paid "a dollar a day and found", a Colt's would set him back 2/3 of a month's pay.

    I think a new Colt's now might not cost 2/3 of a month's salary for a skilled blue-collar worker employed by a strong company. Get one while they're a bargain!
     
  11. DEADTIME

    DEADTIME Coeur D alene Active Member

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    The people who buy them are the reason they are so exspensive. The SAA is no more special than any other 6 gun, it costs no more to make and they don't use unobtainium alloy in them. The secret is the purchaser they are marketing towards, he's in his 50s and 60s and has disposable income. He watched John Wayne flicks, he remembers the lone ranger and to him it's the coolest gun ever made.

    Colt could sell the gun for 600 bucks, at 1000 they make a nice profit, at 1300 they are swimming in cash. As long as the demanders will pay more than the real value that's what it will go for.


    These collectors often never actually shoot the weapon it's nothing more than an investment that becomes a safe queen. These are the same folks who have ruined the muscle car hobby, stupid rich, and seeking to be the cool kid on the block but some could give a crap less what gun is in their safe its an investment, it could be a painting, a gold coin or a car hidden in the garage it's just money.
     
  12. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    You are paying so much for the Colt name, what about Kimber? I asked the guy behind the counter once if there was much difference between the Ruger 1911 and the Kimber 1911. He said about $500.00 and one says Kimber on the side. I am sure that is not all that is different. I also ask once if the most expensive 1911 ever had a problem with stove pipes and jams. They said of course they do, so you are not paying all that extra for a perfect gun, there is no such thing. You may pay for a gun that will be around for your great grandchildren, but will they appreciate it? I have decided to go with quantity rather than perfection. I can buy more guns that way. Although I did recently buy a Colt New Agent .45 that I carried for awhile. Do not like carrying that much money around in a holster.
     
  13. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    Why are Glocks so expensive? The originals cost less than 150 bucks. At least with a colt SAA you get something akin to functional art, the Glock is about as pretty as aunt Thelma's wart.
     
  14. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    What was a $20 gold piece worth back then? Now?
     
  15. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    :thumbup::laugh:
     
  16. LimaCharlie

    LimaCharlie Oregon Member

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    If people carried Rugers back in the late 1800s, the price points would be reversed now.
     
  17. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    But the reality is the value of Colt SAAs has not dropped as it has with muscle cars, or many other things for that matter. Take antiques for example such as standard Early Americana items. The market for these things is disappearing. The last generational group that drove the market is aging out and there is no one taking their place except for those who collect items that have some provenance attached to them. I believe the same thing is happening in the world of muscle cars. Otherwise why are they worth half of what they were a few years ago?
     
  18. KKG

    KKG Western Washington Member

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    Well, for one thing the Glock Factory has set a "Factory Wholesale Price" for all their guns and has stated that if they catch a "Distributor" selling their guns for anything less then that "Distributor" will no longer be getting any Glocks from the Factory! Also, the Factory had to redesign the magazines for sales in the US. The "Non-dropfree Magazine" was designed for a purpose and most of the rest of the World(Their Military Customers) has retained this feature and Glocks are a bit cheaper in other Countries than they are here. But the US Civilian Market is just worth too much money to not have made the change, but Glock was also NOT going to pay for the change our of their pockets. KKG
     
  19. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    '67 Ford Fairlane 500 289: Daily driver for 20 years, still drive it to Flathead lake in the summer, around town and to work quite often.
    '71 Toyota Landcruiser: Goes to Montana to chase goats in October, Brown's Camp four wheeling regularly.
    Ace Powell and Charlie Russell bronzes, Gary Swanson and Ken Sowell art in my modest living room, enjoyed each and every day.
    Peacemakers? Bisley 32-20 is my regular horse gun (caliber partner to my Winchester '92 on the trails). It IS the coolest gun ever made, even if I'd never seen John Wayne or the Lone Ranger.

    The shoe almost fit, Deadtime, so I tried it on. Way too tight. Stupid rich? Well, I eat a helluva lot of venison because I can't afford beef. Don't have a dime in the bank in savings. My newest pair of jeans is 4 years old (and that is my finest pair of pants).

    Wait: Stupid rich in friends and family. Guilty as charged.:thumbup:
     
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  20. revjen45

    revjen45 Snohomish County Well-Known Member

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    For the same reason old Harleys are expensive. They don't perform better than Saki Suckers or last longer, but they sound KEWL and look pretty much the same as they did in the 40s. Old guys who want the Kewl Factor and have the $ will pay the tab. Yes, I have a '79 Ironhead with Stage 2 S&S motor and more performance stuff than I have time for. I like old S&Ws for the same reason Spitpatch likes the SAA in .32-20. In fact I totally agree to the Kewl Factor of that sidearm. Like the H-D enthusuasts say "If you have to ask you wouldn't understand."