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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just getting into guns really good in the 'Fifties, and while prices were low, I mean really low, my income was, too. But I managed to go through some Colts at the time.

I bought my first gun of my own in 1954, a Colt New Service .45 Colt, by mail order, for the princely sum of $34.95 for "select condition." My gun was an ex-Royal Canadian Mounted Police revolver that had originally been .455 Eley. I think I responded to an ad in Popular Mechanics or some similar publication, there being few gun magazines in that day.

I remember seeing on ad for a .45 ACP M1917, barrel cut to 2 1/2" and with a Williams Shorty ramp and gold bead front sight.

Thompson submachine gun barrels were plentiful then, and some dealers had these fitted to the M1917, some even installing the Cutts Compensator.

A few were made up, at greater expense, with custom front sights and either a Micro or FDL Wondersight added and sold as "target guns."

British Webleys were dirt cheap. One holster maker offer a buscadero rig for $19.95, which included a ".45 revolver," the revolver being a Webley. These webleys could be had either as .455s or cut to accept half moon clips and thus a .45 ACP.

The Webley Royal Irish Constabulary was sold for around $9.95. Ammo? No worry, these usually were sleeved, barrel and cylinder, to fire .25-20 Winchester cartridges. A .25-20 pocket revolver?

One of the biggest of these dealers was Ye Olde Hunters Lodge, of Alexandria, Virginia. This firm, I believe, went on to become Interarms. They usually had the centerfold spread in early gun magazines, advertising surplus guns and parts. There was even a section entitled "Guns for under $10."

In those days the most expensive revolver, new, was the Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum, later to become the Model 27, which listed for $110. This was eclipsed by the introduction of the Colt Python at $125.


Well, I just took a trip down Memory Lane, hope ya'll didn't mind.

Bob Wright
 

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Popular Mechanics was a kid's candy store back in the fifties and early sixties, as I recall. Any manner of neat stuff was available via mail order that today require a FFL or other restrictive license to purchase or have mailed to ones doorstep. The best I did was an ant farm but boy O boy was it a neat setup and kept me enthralled watching those industrious workers dig their tunnels and dens. Major flashback. My granddad ordered stuff with every new copy.
 

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Yeah, same time period my older brother bought a 1903 Springfield and a 1911 from DCM for a total of $25.
 

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.......One of the biggest of these dealers was Ye Olde Hunters Lodge, of Alexandria, Virginia. This firm, I believe, went on to become Interarms. They usually had the centerfold spread in early gun magazines, advertising surplus guns and parts. There was even a section entitled "Guns for under $10."........

Bob Wright
I have fond memories of drooling over the old Hunter's Lodge offerings. They are still alive and well and dredging up old military stuff. Here's a link Hunters Lodge Corporation
 

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In 1954 I bought a 1920 Model T Ford Coupe for $50, and a M1841 Harpers Ferry Musket for $20, and then in 1957 bought a minty London M1851 Colt from Bannerman & Sons in NYC for $35.00. The day I got out of the US Navy in 1958, I found a Burnside Carbine for $20 in a NYC Antique Store. Later that day, Bannerman's sold me two unopened cartons of shells for a total of $15. Shot off the shells as soon as I got home to Florida.
 

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Yup! I remember working for 75 cents/hour and then landed a job with a whopping $45.00/week salary. I also remember drooling over the magazine ads for $20-30.00 mail order 1911s, New Service revolvers, and all kinds of other shootin' irons I could not afford....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
While it's true that wages and prices have escalated today, the fact is that used gun prices were about one-fourth the price of a new gun. So, assuming a new gun today would sell for $600, the same used gun would be $150! That doesn't happen today. Used gun prices are very near new gun prices.

Bob Wright
 
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