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Increased Prices of Replica Percussion Revolvers

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36 Cal.
Feb 17, 2007
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I have been conducting some research into the price increases that we have all seen in the past couple of years. A lot of this is due to the weakness of the dollar against the Euro. This could be temporary depending on how the government reshapes itself in the next couple of years. I have communicated with many people in both the collecting and shooting fraternities and many are putting off acquiring new revolvers thinking the prices will go back down. However, in talking with the importers of Pietta and Uberti percussion revolvers this is definitely not going to happen. If you check out the Web Sites of the major importers you will find the disclosure, “Prices may change without notice”. All have informed me that they have already been notified by the manufacturers that there will be a definite increase in prices of these revolvers in 2011. Also, more and more the manufacturers are requiring CASH from the importers rather than credit. This means they can only order in small quantities for resale. Many have discontinued offering percussion revolvers because of this. Uberti was absorbed by Beretta and as a result the delivery of percussion revolvers has become totally unreliable. I have been told that an order placed now may not even be filled until October of 2011, with a possible increase in quoted prices. This is also true of Pietta. Cabela’s is probably the largest retailer of Pietta revolvers and many are on back order. One reason for the low Sale prices that you see Cabela’s offer is an attempt to turn the inventory fast in order to maintain a high volume of new orders from Pietta and maintain a contracted price.

Another very important point is the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Manufacturers and importers both sense that this also may cause a resurgence of interest in reenacting thus an increase in the sales of replica percussion revolvers.

The collector value of replica black powder revolvers is most definitely causing prices to increase. One of the most outstanding examples of this is the in depth research done by Wolf Niederastroth into the Centennial 1860 Army manufactured in Belgium by Centaure. This was the first mass produced replica 1860 Army that came into existence with the efforts of William B. Edwards. The prices of these revolvers were pretty much the same as their Italian counterparts through the years. With the information uncovered by Wolf the collectability of these revolvers dramatically increased as did their prices.

In short it is suggested that the prices of new replica black powder revolvers is not ever going to drop to the levels of two years ago. Indeed, right now the prices of rare markings on older revolvers are probably as low as they will ever be. As the number of collectors increase, so will the prices. As more information is uncovered the number of collectors increase.

Do you think the price of gasoline will ever be $1.25 a gallon the same as when a replica black powder percussion revolver was $69?
Sad but true, I want to collect one or two more revolvers but at the rate they are going up in price it may be a long time before I get one. Either that or I'll just buy single shot pistols or cartridge guns as those prices seem to have stablized. Black powder revolvers used to be one of the best bargains in the shooting world but no longer.

I got my Pietta 1851 for $180 plus shipping at Cabelas months ago.

I guess I'm back to looking for cheap used ones at gun shows. Nothing wrong with that.
bprevolver said:
I have been conducting some research into the price increases that we have all seen in the past couple of years.


In short it is suggested that the prices of new replica black powder revolvers is not ever going to drop to the levels of two years ago.
Does this really require research?

Nothing is going to drop in price. Welcome to reality.
The gun shows around here hardly ever have any Black-powder guns what so ever. The last one I went to I saw 2 pistol's an old very well used Ruger Old Army and another well used Reproduction Lyman 1858 New Army. Both were priced at ridiculous price's. I Myself hit the pawn shops. I have Three pawn shops that I check every Saturday and I told the owners if they pick up any Black-powder guns.Just to give me a call if they want a quick turn around on them. That I will take them off their hands. I have a set price I will pay and that way they know what they can make if the seller takes what they offer or if they have any that were pawned and were not picked up. I have picked up a couple of good items this year. A lot of Pawn shops wont mess with Black powder guns but if they know they have a buyer then they will deal some with you. Cash talks Gun shows I have wrote them off when it comes to black powder guns.
That's disturbing news...There are a couple more I'd like to own; mainly, a 2nd Dragoon and possibly a Walker. But if prices go up any more than they are, you can chalk that up.
I guess it all depends upon disposable income. I shoot with folks that have very expensive guns. Some even have $2K- $3K IPSC race guns, with magazines that run over $100.00 each (and they have 5-7 mags).

My advise is to do what folks used to do prior to credit cards, that is use a lay-away plan if available at the STORE that you deal with.

$500.00 for a bottom of the line auto centerfire still buys quite a lot of black powder revolver these days :idunno: .

smokin .50 said:
$500.00 for a bottom of the line auto centerfire still buys quite a lot of black powder revolver these days :idunno: .

You got that right! I have never understood how the C&B revolvers could sell for half the price of a centerfire single action revolver. There is obviously much more machining involved in making a percussion revolver. And even a very cheap C&B will often outshoot a high dollar centerfire.
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The first one I ever got was an $85 rusted and pitted 1974 ASM made Colt 1851. At the same show, there was a new unfired .44 1851, brass frame for $120. Another guy had a brass framed New Model Army for $80, hinting he would go as low as $60. Other than that, that was it for the largest gun show on the east coast.
I think that you & I are on the same page!

It never ceases to amaze me how CHEAP some firearms enthusiasts really are! I can't tell you how many times I've read threads about how little one has paid for something of value--never mind whether it works or not, or is warrantied. The mail-order craze of warehouse suppliers has taken-over the good common sense of dealing with a reliable retailer that will make-good on a lemon. Even the customers are being cut-throat over a lousy $10.00 or free shipping being thrown-in to lure them away from another competitor. An example of this is the thread on Lyman GPR problems, and how none exist at the STORE that I bought my Trade Rifle at.

I don't mind getting-in on a sale from time-to-time, but I don't base who I deal with solely on price alone, because the old adage, "You get what you pay for" really means something in black powder mail-order!

My disposalable income got disposed of in the last government induced recession. Everyone where I worked had to take a pay cut. So 10 buck to me is quite a sum when I order a pistol. And Yep I will fight to get the price lowered down even if it's 5 bucks. 5 bucks can buy a tin of caps. 5 dollars here 5 dollars there it all adds up. I didn't pay off my house 10 years after I bought it by throwing my funds away. If I can get the price down on a pistol or rifle or even anything I will. It don't hurt to ask especially if it's something they have had sitting in the display case for a year or more.
I waited for 2 years to buy my latest BP pistol from Cabela's.
the cost has been for $350 for the last couple of years and last month I got it for $230. 1851 .36 cal Colt.
. 07:30 oct 19


that's some really fascinating inside info.. i was looking at the price situation strictly from the demand/customer side: as incomes become unstable and unemployment increased, fewer units were sold, thus retail was forced to resort to 'sale' prices just to keep inventory moving.. so the trend was lower rather than higher until they started to see some life return to the economy.. (e.g. cabela had lots of brass framed .44's for under $150 earlier this year.)

we might be on the same page if the supply side/mfg is going into defense mode - cutting production to decrease inventory and downsizing at the same time.. the exchange rate aspect only muddies the water all the more and works against the u.s.a. consumer since the bulk of production is overseas.

the good news is twofold: some collectors will panic and try to offload their 'least' valuable items just to be sure they can cover the mortgage, and eventually (unfortunatly, it seems to be several years from now) the economy will turn around and we'll start on the next bubble that should pull us along until it bursts (economic history has a way of repeating the same mistakes once every generation) and we all fall down... again.

for now, i see retail prices rising or dropping in pace with the economy in general in the short run (1 year time).. no need to panic, today anyway.. it may be that large retail is already seeing greener pastures and is just positioning to take advantage of that when it finally reaches the consumer.

also, keep in mind that this is a recreational sport per the bean counters which means it will be hit harder than, say, necessities like food, clothing, shelter.. if we got a boost like the "cash for clunkers" that the auto industry got, we'd be in black powder heaven...

that's the problem with economics - there's never a clear picture from any angle.. guess we'll just have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

~daniel~ :hatsoff:

ps. a little recent data

continuing unemp. claims for:
(4-Wk Moving Avg)

Oct 2....Sep 25...Sep 18....Sep 11

(*more of a saw-tooth pattern than clearly up or down)
Gents, in the news forums has been that by international agreements the currencies of the major nations of the world are actively being devalued in preparation for soon rolling everyone up into a digitalized "bancor" or whatever we will call it. Now it is no longer a matter of how many dollars to the euro. Everything just costs more because we are all in a race to the bottom devaluing our currencies somewhat like when we came out of the bubble inspired binge of the roaring twenties. But this time we got the IMF stating up front what is actually being done.
In other words, if you gotta have something for this hobby, may as well grab it.
As alluded to in this thread:

the prices could jump due to supply/demand if this movie does well at the box office; being a Coen Bros. flick, it could possibly draw in a large crowd never exposed to the Walker horse pistol who might want to try it...just because...causing prices to rise and availability to drop. If a Walker is in your future, I'd suggest buying one before the movie hits the box office.
People are funny sometimes. We'll probably see half of them, unfired or once-fired, on the market in a couple years... :idunno:
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[/quote]Nothing is going to drop in price. Welcome to reality.[/quote]

I was in a pawn shop the other day and the guy had a Pietta .44 1851 BRASS frame. Price? $275. You gotta be kidding me. Cabelas was usually the cheapest, but now Im not so sure anymore.
. oct 25 / 00:30

that price is absurd...! cabela has increased the price for a brand new .44 brass 'confederate' 1851 navy from $129 to $149 - that pawn broker is gouging bigtime..

in the big picture, the numbers for the economy are - flat out - not good.. since roughly june 2010, almost every indicator i watch is either sliding sideways or ticking down.. personally i think we are going to need another stimulous to keep from sliding down in employment, consumer buying and housing.. unless those three are solidly up for 3-6 months, prices will have to slide down soon as well.

and that's good news for xmas holiday prices (watch for big cuts in late november/early december)..

:hatsoff: ~d~
Damn. My local pawnshop had a CVA 1851 brass .44 for $180 two years ago. They only managed to sell it about six months ago for $100 or so. It wasn't in that great condition. There was rust. Of course, this is also the pawnshop that has loaded muzzleloaders on the shelf because they don't even know how to check, nor do they know how to fire one.
:oops:🙃 Just see this thread is over 12 years old after noticing Bad Karma's post. Thought skimming through the comments that those prices seem a bit low for 2023. Paid $71 for my first capper back in 1972. Powder was around $2.50 a pound, caps $1.00 per tin (100). 😁
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