What’s Up With Imported Rifle Prices?

   11.14.17

What’s Up With Imported Rifle Prices?

Why are imported rifles so expensive, when imported handguns are priced similarly to the domestic handgun market?

While reading through The Firearm Blog, I came across an article talking about a Zenith Firearms 922r Compliant Z43P Rifle. (922r refers to how many domestically-made parts imported firearms must have.) The Zenith Firearms Z43P is an H&K clone chambered in 5.56mm, is imported, and has seven parts that are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $1,874-$1,999.

Wait, what?

Did someone forget to tell Zenith the U.S. gun market is flooded?

AR-15 prices are at an all-time low, the market is flooded, gun sales are in the gutter, and Zenith wants to import a rifle with a suggested retail price around $1,900?

Some people may say, “Kevin, the┬áZ43P is not an AR-15.” That is very true. However, it is still chambered in 5.56mm. Put it on a shelf at the local gun store next to S&W M&P, Bushmaster, Windham, and Colt, and see how many of those Zenith Z43P rifles sell.

A price check at Bud Gun Shops shows a Colt 6920 for $852.00, and that includes free shipping.

Take your pick:

  • Three S&W M&P 15 SPORT II AR-15s for $1,903.44 + tax.
  • Two Colt 6920s for $1,704 + tax.
  • One Zenith Z43P for $1,900 + tax.

The $200 difference between the Colt and Zenith would buy some accessories and ammunition. Most people would say, “Buy three S&W M&Ps for the same price as a single Zenith Z43P.”

Sure enough, someone is going to say, “Kevin, that is just one example.”

Okay then:

  • IWI TAVOR X95 BULLPUP – $1,801.47.
  • IWI TSG16 TAVOR SAR – $1,801.47.
  • GALIL ACE – $1,699.00.

The Z43P and other designs may appeal to certain collectors, and people with money to burn. However, for the average everyday consumer, it boils down to price and quality.

If product A costs $5, and product B costs $10, then product B better be at least twice as good as product A. With that in mind, are the TAVOR, Galil, and the Z43P twice as accurate or twice as reliable as other 5.56mm rifles on the market? Will those imports be three times more accurate and three times more reliable than a S&W M&P?

The main question I have, if Glock can compete price-wise in the domestic handgun market, why can’t rifle companies compete? If a Glock 19 were to cost twice as much as a Ruger, chances are not too many people would buy the Glock. Would people still buy Glocks? Sure they would. But one thing that makes Glock so popular is its price:quality ratio.

So why are imported rifles so expensive, while imported handguns are priced accordingly to the market?

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