High prices of gun parts

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oldarmy

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I used to build at least a couple of guns a year
Was never a highly skilled builder but they always functioned and where pleasing to the eye
The high cost of parts has pretty much stopped me from building
When u can't buy parts for less the $600 or $ 700
Not counting the hours it takes to assemble one
Now have decided to go back to the preflint era
Can make my own lock and furniture out of bar stock steel
Only thing I need to buy is the barrel and a stock blank
If anything is going to ruin our great sport and traditions it's going to be the outragious prices for parts
Imho
 

rich pierce

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I bought a bunch of parts here and there for years when I could afford it so am blessed with parts for about 8 guns in my shop. I agree, laying it all out at once is painful.
 

Commodore Swab

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Its more painful when someone wants you to build them something and you tell them how much the parts are going to be and how long it will take to get them
 

Eutycus

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Parts and components of any kind, not just guns, will never be cheap again as long as there is a cry for a higher minimum wage.
 

Kansas Jake

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I doubt minimum wages have much to do with the price of our gun parts. Most machinists make much more than minimum wage. Do you want to work for minimum wage? I'm retired now, but minimum wage may be okay for someone slinging hamburgers at the fast food place when they are just joining the workforce, but not many other places. Now I'm off the soap box.

It is hard to think see all the cost in our gun parts when you can buy a black rifle kit for about half. Still in this day and age those things sell in much higher numbers than what we build. A lot of it comes down to low numbers and limited market with few venders.

I can also relate to Oldarmy. I have limited skill and buying a bunch of parts to learn to build a gun when it costs $600 or more is an expensive way to learn, especially when I end up with a $500 gun.
 

poker

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Its a free world so to speak, and if someone doesn’t like the price of something, they are certainly welcome to create their own version. I cringe at laying out that much too, but looking at the time and materials, let alone knowledge, to make a barrel and a lock for roughly $200 each, I think reaching in my wallet to be a much better choice. In fact with each piece required, right down to the pins and screws, I make the same decision. Certainly some look at it differently and make their own parts. I do admire those as they are true craftsmen.
 

Phil Coffins

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Nothing is cheap. You can get a low dollar kit and gussy it up with hours of work and modest skills then have a $300 rifle. You see them here often, and if that's what you want it will shoot. For the fellow that wants something better the price is more money or a lot more effort. Working for myself the cost of a barrel is much less then time it would take to build the tools and rifle a tube. I'm sure I could do it but a week of minimum wage work would be easier. Being an old guy I remember taking the wife out for surf and turf with a cocktail for $20 but those days are gone.
 

Stophel

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Like Dave said, people don't want to work for free (many gunsmiths pretty much do that anyway...I've done it quite a bit, and won't do it anymore...).

The raw cost of brass has brought one of the biggest jumps in prices. Nothing that the manufacturers or gunsmiths can do about that. A sand cast brass triggerguard that cost less than ten bucks 20 years ago is about 18 bucks today. Investment cast brass triggerguards have jumped from $20 to $35+.... actually, now that I look at it, that really ain't all that bad considering.

Locks have almost doubled in that same 20 years. Rifle barrels have gone up 50+ dollars.. but again, 20 years was a long time ago.

Basically, all this is kinda like people complaining that gas is no longer 27¢, Coke was better in glass bottles, and why don't doctors make house calls anymore?..... Well, wake up and smell the coffee. Where have you been? Prices have been going up on EVERYTHING other than cheap plastic junk from China for all this time now, why would gun parts prices be different?

I'm probably poorer than anyone else here, and I don't see the price of gun parts to be the problem. Availability is. There are lots of buttplates and triggerguards and things that used to be available that simply aren't anymore... at any price. We have a MUCH better selection of rifle barrels today, but not so much for hardware. Oh, you may be able to find what you need, more or less, but it is not so easy anymore.

Oh, and I used to have to spend $600 on parts to make a rifle 20 years ago too...
 
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Dphar1950

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I used to build at least a couple of guns a year
Was never a highly skilled builder but they always functioned and where pleasing to the eye
The high cost of parts has pretty much stopped me from building
When u can't buy parts for less the $600 or $ 700
Not counting the hours it takes to assemble one
Now have decided to go back to the preflint era
Can make my own lock and furniture out of bar stock steel
Only thing I need to buy is the barrel and a stock blank
If anything is going to ruin our great sport and traditions it's going to be the outragious prices for parts
Imho
Its impossible to pay 1960s-80s prices for things. The person making them has to make a living too. I have a 1 1/4" by 44" 45 caliber ML barrel that cost 425 about 6 years ago. 50 bucks for a shirt? Prtty common, some are more. What is full retail on Levis 501s now? A 12 ounce Pepsi used to be a dime (or even a nickle). Now how much are they?
 

oldarmy

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I'm not talking 60's or 70's
I'm talking 2009 when I started building
Could by a decent set of parts for $350
U can't build a decent long gun now for twice that
An AR15 can be built for under $400
How do we expect our sport to survive !
Saw a rifle I build in 2011 on track of the wolf. They didn't like it at the time
Now it sold for $1100
Rotfl
 

oldarmy

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I used to buy parts from Jack Garner at tvm in 2009.
Siler lock, barrel and furniture
For that
You can call him up if you want
 

QuinnTheEskimo

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It’s certainly true that you can build an AR for $400 but not much of one and most AR parts are just punched out sheet metal. A great AR will probably cost 4 or 5X that. You can also buy an inexpensive Traditions kit for under $400.
 

Commodore Swab

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Indian built pieces have flooded the market and have been cheap for a long time. A pistol used to be $275, no it wasn't a great pistol but with a little time and effort it could be made into a decent blank firing piece for a renactor. This lasted for years until in the past say 5 years when India started to raise their prices on everything. The same exact pistol is now on sale for 425 regular 475. About the same time most of the parts and everything jumped, they had not moved in decades and it is this price jump that I believe you are all questioning. With an increase in parts the increase in built guns will be going up across the board. I was lucky enough to get my expensive parts set ($2100 for parts) before the price jumped. I have a blunderbuss I am building that I machined out of a solid bronze (not brass) shaft and at 2.5" I think the replacement cost of the bronze (no machining) is over $1000. So yes while parts have gone up materials have as well.
 

sawyer04

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You can also buy an inexpensive Traditions kit for under $400.
Last year I assembled a traditions kit for a young lady and it worked, but I wasn't satisfied with the lock. By the time I had installed a lock and trigger mechanics I had over 700 smacks in the kit build. Just saying.
Are the items needed any more expensive than back in the day? I like to run a forge and shape iron and yes, have contemplated making a lock from scratch. Just didn't pencil out between time and loss of wages in the shop.
If you accumulate parts over a time I suppose it would be possible to assemble a gun a little on the less expensive side.
I look at this a different way. When necessary tools turn from a necessity to more or less play things, parts go up in value because of demand for nostalgia, and good quality parts cost more money for anything. The free market will take care of prices. Too expensive, don't buy.
 

Flintandsteel

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Yep, everyone wants a $500 gun. Let's be realistic. How much did you spend on groceries last week? How much did you earn last month.
These prices are all relative. It's an old argument. It'll be the same in another 10 years.
By the way, I've been doing this for 25 years, and you could NEVER by parts to build a gun for $325.
 
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