Gun Prices 1980 & Now

Gun Prices 1980 & Now

This is a discussion on Gun Prices 1980 & Now within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; On a thread bashing Ruger's quality on a Ruger board , I posted the following...thought some might be interested in prices of guns, 1980 compared ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array bsms's Avatar
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    Gun Prices 1980 & Now

    On a thread bashing Ruger's quality on a Ruger board, I posted the following...thought some might be interested in prices of guns, 1980 compared to now. Pulled the prices from from a google books online Gun Digest for 1980...

    "I guess my point is that Ruger & S&W ARE responding to market forces, and doing it well. My Model 60 with MIM parts shoots great! Smooth light trigger pull in DA, clean crisp break in SA. Everything is tight. The trigger and lockup are better than my Model 28 had when I bought it in 1979. If that is lowering the quality, then I hope they continue lowering it more!

    Prices seem pretty good to me.

    Gun Digest from 1980 lists the following prices - in 1980 dollars:

    S&W Model 60, 2 1/8 inch barrel: $541
    S&W Model 629: $768
    Ruger SP101: $495
    Dan Wesson 357: $551
    Ruger GP100 stainless: $555

    30 years later, in 2010 dollars, I paid just over $700 for a new Ruger Alaskan 44 mag...don't remember the exact price. I paid just over $600 for the Model 60LS. And remember - in 1980, there was no Internet. You could haunt the gun shops for months hoping they got the gun you wanted in...made it tough to bargain on popular models. I suspect the 629 would have gone for more than list in 1980!

    We basically pay the same price in 2010 as many of these guns were selling for in 1980. Based on inflation, the SP101 should have cost $1272 in 2009 (as far as the inflation calculator went). So go buy a Ruger SP101 for $480, and then budget yourself for nearly $800 of custom work - because that is what you would be spending if Ruger just kept cranking them out and adjusting prices for average inflation.

    I think we owe the gun manufacturers a LOT of respect!"

    I bought & sold a number of guns in the late 70s/early 80s, then went without shooting until this year (apart from military shooting). I've been in a 30 year time warp for gun buying...so while I gather prices have risen dramatically in the last couple of years, it is worth remembering how good we have it now.

    And in 1980, if I wanted to what-if defensive scenarios, I couldn't go online and do so. It was just me & my friends BSing over a beer. I lived in a small town in Utah...there was one book store, so good luck finding out much info on guns!

    I think this is the golden age of shooting. Commercial ammo has never been better. Gun prices are well below what one should expect, and there is a ton of information and upgrades available thru the Internet. This old fart has met the future, and thinks it is great!


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    MSRP isn't what they sold for,I bought a NIB S&W 29 4" SS for 425.00 in the early 80's
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  3. #3
    Member Array bsms's Avatar
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    In the 79-81 time frame, I didn't even SEE a S&W 44 for sale in a gun shop. Maybe I could have asked about ordering one...maybe it was different in other parts of the country or more populous places.

    FWIW, $425 in 1982 would be $932 in 2009 using average inflation. Bud's has various 629s for about $750 right now...add $25 for FFL transfer.

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    I agree. It is a great time to shoot now.

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    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    Will someone please tell my wife how cheap guns are today? She doesn't believe me. I have a gut feeling that before long we will see gun control through taxation. I need to buy right now!

    Oh, in 1980 I was only 10 years old.....
    "Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.

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    The gp100 and gp101 could not have been listed for sale in a 1980 gun digest. They did not hit the market until 1985.

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    I just wish ammo was at 1980 prices

  8. #8
    Member Array bsms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stovebolt View Post
    The gp100 and gp101 could not have been listed for sale in a 1980 gun digest. They did not hit the market until 1985.
    Good point. Misread google books. My bad!

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I loved the 80's. Heck...I loved the 70's...the 90's...the 00's. The 80's were the best though....I think.
    MSRP is always higher than what you normally pay retail. But you're right, I think that gun prices for the most part haven't followed the trend of inflation on the average. There are plenty of exceptions though...the most sought after, destined to be banned evil assault rifles and shotguns. Then there are those that are not manufactured any more, hard to find, and rare. But after all, this is America........we are a nation built on firearms......hunting.....the shooting sports, and that ranks only second on the list of our basic ideals. This country was won and freed from tyranny with firearms. They are who we are, what we've done, what we need to do, and where we need to keep going to keep this nation and ourselves safe and sound. The price should remain the same.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    The SP101 started in 1989 ; )
    H/D
    A Native Floridian = RARE


    IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
    H/D

  11. #11
    Member Array bsms's Avatar
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    In a futile attempt to redeem myself, I've looked for prices of guns in the past...haven't found a lot.

    A fellow said in 1993 he paid this for Berettas: 92F 9MM Blue 489.95 / 92F 9MM Stainless 599.95

    Another fellow said he paid $280 in 1988 for a Model 60.

    Another bought a S&W 66 Stainless for $325 in 1990, and a Model 41 for $585 in 1993.

    I do remember selling a Marlin 30-30 lightly used for $125 around 1979. I think my P90 was pushing $450 at Wal-Mart in the early 90s...unless my wife was exaggerating the price of her gift for my birthday!

    So while I COMPLETELY messed up my price list (sorry! ), I still maintain the gun manufacturers have held prices down quite well.

  12. #12
    kpw
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    VIP Member Array kpw's Avatar
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    I was 13 in 1980. I have no idea what guns were going for then. In '85, I believe I paid $319 for a new SS Redhawk. In '88, I paid $309 for a new S&W 3" Md. 66. In '91, I paid $409 for a new G22 and I believe $349 for a blued GP100. Except for the Glock, I'd have to pay more for a decent used sample of any of them.
    "In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." -
    -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

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