The Relative Cost of Firearms


The Relative Cost of Firearms

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications


Here is a perfect debate topic for this fall’s campfires. Why do guns cost so much and are they really worth the prices charged? I’ll bet right up front this subject will be a highly inflated opinionated course of conversation. After all, what one person is willing to pay for something may be way off the budget allowance for another. Really these are just a matter of personal choices and individual convictions to own what they want, often regardless of the cost.

We see this every day. You can buy and drive a basic auto, a Chevrolet or a Ford, Toyota, Nissan or whatever. In that same product line are upgraded models with more features, more luxuries at a higher sticker cost. You buy what you can afford or what you desire. The same is the case for firearms, a basic hunting rifle, or a custom job, a low end personal defense pistol or a custom shop gun like a Wilson or a Les Bauer. It’s the personal value you place in the product.

Years and years ago I remember complaining to a furniture sales person about the costs of couches. He was quick to point out the relative expense of everything we buy. Cheap is cheap and quality costs more. Would you expect a $200 couch to wear or last as long as a noted brand costing $2000? What if these were the same costs of a pistol for concealed carry?

In a recent post about a Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum, 8-shot revolver that was being reviewed, some of the feedback was that the gun cost way too much. Sure it is an expensive handgun at about $1000, but it is a relative thing. Will a $200 used .357 perform just as well? It might. But it might not over the long haul. That’s the value judgment every gun buyer determines for themselves. I like well made, quality guns over inferior models. I’ll save up and buy the best. My dad always said, “Son, it only costs a little more to go first class.”

If you open up one of the gun collector magazines to see what prized guns like a Parker shotgun are selling for these days at auction, you would be shocked. One recently sold at James D. Julia Auctions for $253,000. A plain Jane Henry rifle went for $92,000. Certainly, these are rare, collector guns, but a Browning X-Bolt hunting rifle can go over $1000 at retail without a scope, rings or mounts. It’s a relative thing.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 420233295

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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