Colt Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading on another forum the prices of Smith revolvers around the 1939 period, and I was curious how the prices compared with the Colts.

I'm interested in the DS, the Police Positive, and the Official Police mainly, but any prices for others are thoroughly welcomed. 1911s even!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,648 Posts
Don't know about the 30's & 40's, but the MSRP on the NEW Colt Python for 1956 was $125. 6 inch barrel & high polish Blue only.

The Detective special MSRP was $64.60 for Blue & $71.05 for Nickel.

Police Positive & official Police for 1956 was the same pricing as the DS for Blue & nickel.

The Government model .45 auto was priced at $74.50 Blued & $82.00 Nickeled.

The Colt .22 conversion unit was a mere $40.00.

the Colt revolver hammer shroud factory installed was $3.50

In early 60's Pythons went skyhigh, here's a pic from the early 60's shooters bible...



Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

FYI: the Stevens Model 15 .22 bolt action single shot rifle was $13.85 in 1956
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In 1939, you could buy a Registered Magnum for $60. 17 years later, you can't buy a DS!

Talk about inflation!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
For a good comparison: what does a new Python Elite cost nowadays?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
Strange, they are still being advertised on colts website through the costum shop.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,695 Posts
The only price list I have at home as I write is an extra January 1931 PL 11 list. The Detective Special listed for $28.50. The most expensive Colt of all was the New Service Target at $50.00, while the next most expensive was the Officers Model at $40.75. The Camp Perry also cost $40.75. The least expensive revolver was the Pocket Positive at $26.50. The Bankers Special and Police Positive were only $.50 more at $27.00 each. The Single Action Army cost $34.00.

The Government Model and Super .38 listed for $36.75 each. The Ace was the highest priced automatic at $40.75. The Pocket Model .25 was the least expensive of any Colt at $17.00. The Woodsman cost $32.00.

According to a CPI conversion site I found (I am not sure it was the same one I found when posting on the Smith price comparison discussion), to convert 1931 prices to 2005 prices, divide the 1931 prices by .078. That means the NST would cost $641.03 today, which sounds low to me. That $60.00 Registered Magnum would cost $769.23 today, which is not far off of what the premium Smith revolvers list for today.

It is easy to be impressed by the old prices, but inflation has to be factored in. In the 1930s, no one had any money and I suspect it was a lot harder to buy a gun in 1931 than now, even if the adjusted prices are the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wonderful information. Do you have any around the '38 to '42 period? I'm really curious to see if the Colts were generally a little more expensive.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,304 Posts
From Stoeger "The Shooter's Bible" 1943 Ed .

Written at the bottom of each page :

"Production Limited Due To Defense Work" .

Government Model .45 $41.75
National Match or Super Match .45 with adj sights $50.25
Service Model Ace .22 $60
Pocket Model .32 or .380 $24.25
Pocket Model .25 $20.75
Woodsman Match Target .22 $41.75
Official Police .22 /.32-20 /.38 $33.25
Police Positive Special .32-20 / .38 $31.75
Detective Special .38 $31.75
Police Positive .32 NP / .38NP $30.75
Banker's Special .22 / .38 $30.75
Pocket Positive .32NP $28.75
New Service all calibers $37.75
SAA all calibers $37.75
OM Target & OM Target HB .22 / .32 / .38 $41.75
PP Target .22 / .32 $36.25
Camp Perry $41.75
NS Target 44 Spl / 45 Colt / 45 acp $52.75
Shooting Master .38 / .357 / 45 Colt / 45 acp $52.75

Engraved guns are spl order and take several weeks to finish .
Grade C $45
Grade B $25
grade A $15

Colt Pearl & Ivory Stocks
[I abreviated some of the grip info]
Carved Pearl on a med/large $22.50
Carved Ivory $19.50

This book is a wealth of historical info ! Has all the specs . It has prices on just about any 1943 firearms and related items . /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Mitch; Wonder how many of these guns could ACTUALLY be bought-or were "in stock" in 1943?? My birth year!

"Civilan sales" had about dried up,and about the only "non war" models Colt was assembling were O.Polices and D.S.'s,for plant guards,local/state cops,etc. Situation was even worse up the river at Springfield,as S&W was selling ONLY "Victory" models to civilian P.D.s,guards etc. BOTH factories had to go through the DSC to do this.

Read some great stories how ammo for civilans was scarce,and that .22 brass was used to make jackets for the .22 varmit calibers during the war by handloaders.

Prices in 1930's are "artificially low" due to great depression(compare them with late 20's) and those right after war were artificially high,due to inflation after the war,and the great,pent up demands. Course,wasn't just for guns eithers,but cars,appliances etc.

Probably even tougher than guns for civilians to buy during the war,were heavy duty trucks,and new fire engines. If truckers had a definate need they could get them,but not until 1944,and same with local fire departments. In the latter case,the war time engines lacked nearly all chrome plating,as it was an essential metal for war. There was a 1945 Mack at my neighborhood station as a kid,and the lack of chrome,bugged the crews so much,that they had parts plated,as city wouldn't pay for the frills.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,304 Posts
They weren't shy about the disclaimer .

At the bottom of each Colt page reads :
"Production Limited Due To Defense Work" .

At the bottom of each S&W page reads :
"Production Temporarily Stopped Due To Defense Work"

Strange thing is that no other maker has the disclaimer . Not Winchester , Savage , etc . Even though they were making war materials as well .
Strange . /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,304 Posts
Our 1943 copy is an original . I also found an old commemorative reprint of the 1939 catalog .

The price inrease between 1939 & 1943 was almost the same on every model .
Only $0.25 . /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

They still listed Luger's in 1939 .
Standard 4" bbl was $100 . The 8" "Artillery" was $125 .

Also the Mauser select fire M712 . It was advertised as "The Perfect Police Anti-Bandit Gun With 20 Shot Magazines"
These would be Class 3 only . $110
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
To add to everyone's reply:
Colt's January 1, 1940 price list/catalog -

OP - $33.00
PP - $30.50
DS - $31.50

The most expensive gun listed is the Service Model Ace @$60.00!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Guy and Judge
Thanks so much for those eye-watering prices. When will somebody perfect a 'wayback machine'?
Don
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,304 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
Guy and Judge
Thanks so much for those eye-watering prices. When will somebody perfect a 'wayback machine'?
Don

[/ QUOTE ]

My pleasure .

The cost for engraving is what caught my eye . Think of the rarity and present day value of those . On average the "C" coverage about doubled your cost . But the increase in value based on rarity today would probably be 4 or more times the value of a non-engraved gun in the same condition today ... not sure if that came out right ? /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,695 Posts
BW, I will have to check my price lists on the most expensive. As I recall, the most expensive Pre-War Colt was the Shooting Master at about $2.50 more than the NST, and the National Match. I would suspect the Service Ace was a bit higher than the Ace because of the extra parts required for the floating chamber. I will have to check.

As a point of interest, the Shooters Bible always has the prior year's models and prices since it is published in the summer before the next years models and prices are released.

While both Colt and Smith had the supply declaimer, I suspect that the other makers had no guns either, but just did not mention that fact in catalogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
Judge:
Shooting Master and NS Target - $52.50 in the 01/01/40 catalog. The least expensive was the Model N .25 @ $20.50. Also noted, "the .38 caliber (OP) can now be furnished with a 2-inch barrel." Just in time for OSS duty during the war. Wish I had a scanner, as Colt did a good job of promotion, e.g. " There is nothing finer than a Colt ".
B.W.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
As I recall, Wilson said that the pricing on Colts has always been approximately one week's pay for an accountant type person. That analogy seems to hold generally true today as well. I'm sure folks in the 20's and 30's thought the price of Colts or Smiths a bit high relative to income.

I really enjoy going through the old Shooter's Bibles for all the sporting goods. Reminds me a lot of looking at the old Herter's catalogs. Everything that Herter's made and sold was the BEST. I love the marketing!
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top