Dave, absolutely on point. I once was able to spend a day with Lynton MacKenzie, a masters-master ml restorer/ builder. She showed me many lock and parts from times long gone by. The workmanship was incredible. I wondered at the man hours put into those items and how much it would cost to have one made these days. And, we must keep in mind, the traditional (style) ml market today is quite small compared with almost any other product sold in the U.S. To stay in business a manufacturer must charge for his product.Hi,
High prices, really? Do you expect the lock and barrel makers to work for indentured servant wages? Their prices are as low as they can go and still be viable. Of course, you can always buy from India.
I got a deal for you. I will send you all of the parts to make a gun and you can build one for me. Since you hate outrageous prices so much I am sure that you be happy to be paid $100 for the service. I want exceptional quality and I am a very picky customer. Of course for that $100 I will expect it to be fully carved and engraved.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
I built my first build about 1978. An L&R lock for $65, a barrel about the same from Green River rifle works, stock blank was $15, about the same for milling barrel channel and ramrod hole, I had dove tails milled and they were around $15 each. Triggers from Long were pretty cheap, I don’t recall what all the furniture ran. .... but I made a buck sixty five an hour and saved for eight months.Back in 1975 a rifle could be built for less than 300 dollars, but good wages was 5 bucks an hour, mostly 2 to 3 bucks an hour.
Actually you're quite mistaken.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.
May I add, a fine looking hunting rifleIf you are unfortunately afflicted with the gun building addiction this is not a cheap hobby but it's still a lot cheaper than a bass boat, a Harley Davidson or a beach house. I just finished a SMR. I bought the lock, barrel and a piece of wood and made everything else, I got about $400 in it.
Stopped making MLs about 7 years ago. Put away a lot of parts and pieces before that. I swear prices went nuts since then. I don't even hardly look at parts or factory guns anymore cause of the price.It’s not that hard to make a rifle for $350.00. Lock and barrel are all you really need to buy. I make the rest of the parts from scrap metal. The stock blank can be bought at a local sawmill for under $50.00. I made a nice matchlock for less than $100.00 in purchased steel for the barrel. I traded my help in the sawmill for the wood and made all the other parts.
when I started making muzzleloaders almost 50 years ago, we made as many parts as we could.
I started building MLers in 1975 and thought the prices for parts were reasonable and finished up my last build in 2019 and thought the prices of parts were again reasonable...I've sold all my builds except my personal hunting guns and the prices I get for my sold guns now is 3 times higher than in 1975.Back in 1975 a rifle could be built for less than 300 dollars, but good wages was 5 bucks an hour, mostly 2 to 3 bucks an hour.
You must be thinking of AK47 type rifles. I can't think of a single part of an AR15 that's punched out sheet metal with the exception of the magazine. I believe the real issue is supply & demand. An AR15 barrel can be had for 50 bucks if you shop around and don't care about who made it but they make 10,000 at a time.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.