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gunman42782

Hunter
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Jan 4, 2004
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I know everything costs more, especially since Brandon got in, but even before then this was happening: Expensive .22 revolvers. What I mean is, when I was a young lad, lo those many years ago, .22s where always less expensive than the same gun in centerfire. For example, a Single Six was not near as expensive as a Blackhawk, nor was a DA Smith .22 near as expensive as it's centerfire counterpart. I know that there are "cheap" .22s, ie the Wrangler and Heritage, but they look and feel cheap to me. And for a inexpensive .22 DA revolver, forget it. I don't guess they exist anymore. Last time my local dealer had a GP or SP in .22 they were just as expensive as the centerfire version. Now I know there is just as much metal in the comparable guns, but dang it, there was just as much metal in them when I was younger too! And they were always less money. I been hankering for a nice .22 DA revolver, either Colt, Smith, or Ruger, but dang if I want to spend $600 up to almost a thousand bucks! I just can't see it. Just my rant for today.
 

Snake45

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For example, a Single Six was not near as expensive as a Blackhawk, nor was a DA Smith .22 near as expensive as it's centerfire counterpart.
The Single Six and Blackhawk are completely different guns, so no price comparison can be made. IIRC the Colt Diamondback always cost as much in .22 as it did in .38, and the Smith M17 and M18 were only a couple dollars, if that, cheaper than the Models 14 and 15.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
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Yes, the Single Six and Blackhawk are different sized guns, but if you go to buy one new today they are almost the same price. And I don't know what suggested retail on the other guns you mentioned where back in the day, but any gun shop I walked in always would have the .22 priced way less.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
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Maybe the Smith .22s you're thinking of were the J-framed Kit Guns. Yes, those would have been priced lower than the larger K-22.
 
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I'm thinking labor and distribution costs are the same and small materials differences are insignificant in total costs.
I seem to remember that "like" guns were very close in price for rimfires and centerfires.
As for today maybe the companies are getting higher margins on the rimfires just because they can.
 

noahmercy

Single-Sixer
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Jun 13, 2015
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Sheridan, WY
Jest fer giggles, I broke out my 1970 Gun Digest and looked at some of the domestic revolvers. [Disclaimer: these are MSRP price comparisons.] The S&W 22LR "Kit Gun" was actually more expensive than their small frame 32 and 38 offerings, but the K22 and a couple other revolvers were 11 or 12 bucks less than their centerfire counterparts. Unless you wanted a 22 mag...that was 23 bucks more than a K38 Masterpiece! Single Six Convertible was a little over $22 less than a 357 or 41 Mag Blackhawk. The Colt Diamondback, Officers Model Match, and Cobra cost the same regardless of chambering. BUT, Iver Johnson and Harrington & Richardson made some rimfires that were far less expensive than the other companies...like half the money.

Today, Taurus makes some "lower priced" DA 22s, but if I was given one, I'd trade it on something decent. The four I've had dealings with were hot garbage. I'd love to try a Charter Arms Pathfinder with 4.2" barrel and adjustable sights. At a $400 street price, it might be just the ticket, but I think the LCRx is about the best value for a modern DA revolver. They are still more expensive than any of my other revolvers, but I haven't bought one in about 18 years, soooo...yeah.
 
Joined
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I don’t have access to my volumes of Gun Digest, my my memory matches up pretty well with Noah’s post.

Fixed sight centerfire revolvers in non-magnum calibers were cheaper than the rimfires offered by the same makers. Not that it mattered, because I couldn’t afford anything better than a second hand High Standard Sentinel.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
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Greenville, SC: USA
About 10 or more years ago I wanted a Smith and Wesson 22 revolver... can't even remember the model number now (maybe 17?) but even back then they were running around $500 and that was way too steep for me back then.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
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KY
Maybe it was just in my area. Where I lived we didn't have a gun shop, but had 3 pawn shops that sold guns. And maybe it's my not as clear brain these days.
 

Snake45

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I'm thinking labor and distribution costs are the same and small materials differences are insignificant in total costs.
According to a brand-new publication, MSRP of the current S&W Model 63 (J-frame, stainless steel) is $840 and the Model 617 (K-frame, stainless steel) is $893.
 

gunzo

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
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Kentucky
The Single 6 & Blackhawk price difference as far as manufacturers suggested retail price is still about the same percentage as it's always been, when comparing apples & apples. Remember the S6 generally comes only as a convertible, so looking at the price of a BH convertible we see an approx. 20% increase.

What has changed is the market, volatile to say the least.

Reminds me of how it was after the gun control act of 1968. I didn't start the hobby until '74, but handgun prices were crazy. Most, if not all were selling for above retail. Colt & Smith, especially popular...& scarce models selling for 50% above retail.

Then as now, politics among other things changed the market. Manufacturing & their pricing remained he same.
 

Snake45

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I didn't start the hobby until '74, but handgun prices were crazy. Most, if not all were selling for above retail. Colt & Smith, especially popular...& scarce models selling for 50% above retail.
I started about '72, I remember those days. Popular movies and TV shows had a lot to do with some of the high prices in those days. For example, my folks got me a Smith M29 (.44 Magnum) for my 21st birthday and college graduation in 1975. MSRP was $256. I found out some time later that they'd paid $400 for it. It's my most prized possession.
 

Paul B

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Dec 4, 1999
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Tucson, AZ
From the 1959 Stoeger catalog. Smith & Wesson K22, K32 and K38 masterpieces revolvers, $76.00 blued models only. I guess in 1959 they were all the same price, at least from Stoegers.
Paul B.
 

sharpblade7777

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
398
Location
north carolina
According to a brand-new publication, MSRP of the current S&W Model 63 (J-frame, stainless steel) is $840 and the Model 617 (K-frame, stainless steel) is $893.
But the 63 sure is a nice revolver.
20220929_041214.jpg
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,229
My observations were that .22 rifles were always cheaper than center fire rifles, but .22 revolvers were always the same costs as the center fire revolvers.
 

louiethelump

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
1,913
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Webster, Florida
I think you have to consider ammo costs today as well, at least in your local shop where they set their own prices, but also through the supply chain. As we all know the suggested retail has little to do with actual sale price. Some do not know that your local shop does not buy direct from the manufacturer but from a Distributor who buys, marks up, and resells to the local dealer who buys, marks up, and sells to you. There is great difference in prices of the same guns at different distributors. RSR for example has a great inventory but higher prices. You dealer may buy ONLY from RSR for convenience sake. He is paying more so you will pay more from him.

This is where ammo price comes in. Center fire ammo (not everyone reloads) is running plus or minus $1 a round. .22 LR as low as 20 cents a round. This makes .22 guns more desirable and drives that Single Six price up compared to the Blackhawk convertible and makes them closer to the same price. Your dealer demands more from you for the .22 because if you turn it down, the guy right behind you (figuratively) will pay it.

Your dealer, being the customer of the distributor, is also being squeezed on price because of the same “if you don’t pay it the next guy will” pricing that takes place at both levels.

Just my opinion but it is based on a lot of years fooling with guns. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Rich/WIS

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
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15
Location
Corbin, KY
The more common centerfire hunting ammo around here are closer to $2 a round. Rimfire varies from 7 Cents (Fed Auto Match at Walmart) and up. Shotshells vary but at least $10 a box for hunting loads,
 

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