Category Archive 'American Rifleman'

20 Aug 2015

Colt DA Revolver Prices Going Through the Roof

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ColtPython
Colt Python

S.P. Fjestad, the author and publisher of the Blue Book Of Gun Values, now in its 36th edition, in this month’s American Rifleman, discusses the current frenzy on the part of dealers and collectors to snap up out-of-print, post-WWII Colt Double-Action revolvers which is driving prices higher and higher to out-of-sight levels.

If they get any hotter, they’ll be on fire!” is the way one Colt collector put it after being asked what he thought about the current Colt “snake-gun” marketplace. Colt’s family of seven deadly serpents include the Python, Diamondback, Cobra, Anaconda, King Cobra, Boa and Viper. There haven’t been too many “lottery winners” during the last several years regarding major trademark collectible firearms, but Colt’s snake guns continue to pack potent venom for anyone who ventures too close to their poisonous attraction. …

Mint, original, 1950s standard-production Pythons with 6″ barrels, high polish, Royal bluing and matching-number boxes and paperwork that had an original $125 manufacturer’s suggested retail price are now selling in excess of $18,000.

Read the whole thing.

Fjestad fears that the party is going to come to an ugly end before very long, when the current tulip-craze for post-WWII Colt Double Action Revolvers exhausts itself as supplies emerge to satisfy all real existing demand. I think he’s right, and I even have personal difficulty in identifying with the enthusiasm of this group of collectors.

I once handled a Python, admired its rich blue finish, and its smooth Swiss-watch action. The price was reasonable back then, but I already owned a .357. My preference had always been for Smith & Wessons rather than Colts, and I thought it was kind of Mickey Mouse that Colt had a special production line to produce pistols that operated as nicely as the typical S&W.

What killed the deal for me was that vent rib. I knew perfectly well that a ventilated rib on a 6″ revolver served no practical purpose whatsoever, and I decided that I’d be embarrassed to appear in public carrying a revolver with a useless vent barrel. People would think I was the kind of dumbass who didn’t know any better and thought a vent barrel was cool. I just couldn’t bring myself to own one. I guess all that proves that theories can cost a fellow a whole lot of money.

30 May 2012

Inadvertent Self-Contradiction Department

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This month’s American Rifleman has a feature article on “special edition” rifles and pistols from a company called American Legacy Firearms, a company that clearly was founded on the principle that nobody ever went broke by underestimating the taste or intelligence of the average American consumer.

With spectacular unintended irony, American Rifleman’s Assistant Editor Joseph Kurtenbach quotes American Legacy founder Steve Faler’s alleged mantra: Life’s too short to shoot an ugly gun.

It would be difficult to find any guns uglier in the history of world arms-making than these two utterly tasteless and totally garish “NRA special edition” models.

Supposedly collectible “commemorative model” firearms represent, in general, a kind of industry tax on the foolish and aethetically-impaired. Typically, they rapidly depreciate in value, occupying a special category of non-collectibility all their own. What makes an out-of-print gun collectible is historical significance and associations combined with rarity. Collectible value can be significantly increased as well by a weapon’s technical interest and beauty.

Taking a garden-variety, purchasable-anywhere-off-the-shelf gun, slapping on a load of bad mechanically-applied engraving and some hideous gold-plating creates an eyesore, not something anyone will ever down the road pay a premium to own.

Special editions numbered in the 5000s, of course, are special only in name and marketing approach and never will be rare.

Priced at nearly two grand a pop, even with a chunk of money being donated to NRA, these excrescences represent as lousy an investment as shares in one of Barack Obama’s green energy companies.

The NRA ought to exercise a little rationality and taste and should decline to participate in or promote this kind of crap. The only thing American Legacy and American Rifleman this month are right about is that life really is too short to be owning ugly guns.


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