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Old 07-01-2018, 01:31 PM
rct269 rct269 is offline
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Default A BLAST FROM THE PAST

I have just received my copy of S&W's 1941 catalog (a reprint from Cornell Publications)---and it IS a blast from the past!

The bad news is there are no prices shown.

Can anybody tell me the retail price of a 22/40 at the time---also the distributor price (perhaps from a letter or a copy of an invoice from SWHF)?

Many thanks!

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:50 PM
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Ralph, I have the same catalog, which I got about 10 years ago thinking I would attempt to collect one of everything in the catalog (birth year). After I saw what was all available that year I decided I may not ever make it. Several too expensive now.

I did get an M&P, a 1917, both 38 and 32 Regulation Police, 32 Hand ejector (both 3 1/4" and 2"), A Safety Hammerless 2", K22 Masterpiece, 22/32 Target.

The ones I really wanted are the 1926 .44 Target, and the Regulation Police Target, and of course the .32 Target. The few opportunities I had on any of these I couldn't afford the price at the time.
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:58 PM
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Well, I count myself fortunate to have all the targets. Were I to be buying them today, I'd find myself being severely beaten about the head and ears with a large, heavy object wielded by the Boss Lady!!

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:22 PM
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How about a genuine 1941 Price List? Well I don't have one, BUT have a genuine electronic copy. It's a little fuzzy, but one can make out models and prices. Here is where it gets interesting - I also have a 1931 Catalog price sheet and a K22 Outdoorsman was listed for $37.25, compared to a K22 Masterpiece 22/40 that is listed for $29.09. Guess partially due to the Great Depression?
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:44 PM
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"OH The Lady Boss"! A formidable universal force. Glad you acquired them when you did.
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:56 PM
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ALRIGHT!!! These are distributor prices---which is exactly what I wanted!

And the reason I wanted it was to see if I could figure out how/why Messrs Smith and Wesson (and then presumably just Wesson by himself) became the richest men in Massachusetts. And the answer is no secret----buy low, sell high!!

I have a 22/40 given to an individual by S&W----with grip adapter attached. The cost of this gift was charged to S&W's Advertising Account---and I have a copy of the invoice--compliments of the SWHF. (And if you're not a member of SWHF, you need to be.) It makes sense to assume the charge made was the cost to manufacture the gun and the grip adapter---and maybe the shipping cost. The shipping costs I've seen from that era suggest it was maybe $0.35, so we'll let that slide.

The cost charged to S&W's Advertising Account was $14.55. The cost (of the gun) on this price list is $29.09 (+F.E.T.). The cost of the grip adapter on this price list is $2.00. (At this point I'm ashamed to tell you I paid $500 for my last grip adapter----but what the hell!!)

So now you know how D.B. came to be wallowing in cash---buy low---sell high---it's the American way!!

Ralph Tremaine

By the by, and perhaps needless to say, the 22/40 was made/given away/invoiced in 1940. The price list is 1941. That's close enough to perfect for me!

Last edited by rct269; 07-01-2018 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:28 PM
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The funny part in the price sheets above is that the 22 masterpiece retail price is the same as the police price, $29.09 according the Gary.

While the 44 police price compared to the retail price has about the same mark up as the W&K mark up below.

I have a few data points from Roy's letters that might help somewhat by doing some interpolation because but they all pertain to the "44 Hand Ejector Model of 1926 – 44 HE 3rd Model". However, in later catalogs

In 1928 two were shipped to Wolf and Klar at $21.90 each.
In 1930 W&K listed the same gun in their catalog at $40 retail.
In 1941 a 3rd model 44 Target was shipped to J. Marshall & Sons for $26.80.

Some interpolation:

In 1949 the 22 Masterpiece was $65, the 44 was $77, about a 16% price differential.

If dealer price for a 44 in 1941 was $26.80, a 22 Masterpiece dealer cost was likely also about 16% less; about $22.50.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rct269 View Post
I have just received my copy of S&W's 1941 catalog (a reprint from Cornell Publications)---and it IS a blast from the past!

The bad news is there are no prices shown.

Can anybody tell me the retail price of a 22/40 at the time---also the distributor price (perhaps from a letter or a copy of an invoice from SWHF)?

Many thanks!

Ralph Tremaine
The 1944 (first) edition of Gun Digest, which provides pre-war gun offerings and prices as no new guns were available to most civilians at that time, shows the K-22 Masterpiece (22/40) with a $40.00 retail price. The 1926 Model .44 is priced at $37.50. Those are probably the last pre-war retail prices. $40 in 1941 represented about a week's pay for most common folk.

Last edited by DWalt; 07-04-2018 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:47 PM
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So the "police price" on the square-butt M&P in June 1941 was printed as 24.00 (?) and then hand-written in as 27.60, in nice commercial finish and with checked stocks.

My M&P from Jan. 1942 in full utility-ugly with smooth stocks, shipment of 100 to the DSC at 23.79 each, wasn't exactly sold to the Feds at a bargain price
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