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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 05-17-2020, 10:20 AM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
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Default Have Registered Magnum prices flatlined?

That is, with regards to actual sale or hammer prices.

For awhile they seemed to increase about a grand every year or two, 2k, then 3k, then 4 and 5k.

For the last year or two, it seems they have, for the most part, plateaued in the 5 to under 6k or 7k maximum range. Add about $1000 if it has a box.

I'm referring to most sales, involving a nearly pristine example, lightly fired, with maybe a light turn line and minor wear at the end of the barrel. And sales outside GunBroker, where results are often due to shill bidding or perhaps due to a housebound individual bidding on it like it's the last one in the world.

It also could be purely psychological. A grand or two isn't much money anymore, 5 grand can seem like a significant amount of money, even today.

Your observations?

Also, what good is a thread such as this one without the obligatory Registered Magnum photographs?
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:41 AM
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I think the prices of RMs and NRMs are pretty flat for the past 12 months or so... as are virtually all pre war N frames that aren't in the stratospheric condition. The $5K guns with their $1K boxes continue to be listed on GB for $11-15K without selling. I think the shooter grade guns are holding their own. I also feel that it is the 95% guns marketed as 99% guns that used to sell in the low 5 figures have taken the biggest hit. JMHO realizing that I only own shooter grade pre war magnus.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:47 AM
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Not sure what world your living in but $1000 and $2000 is still real money in mine and I don't even think about buying $5000 dollar ones . I wish all of them would Flatline to the point that average people could afford them again . Happens with almost all collectables , my bamboo rods are worth about half of what they were worth ten years ago.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:31 PM
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I see so few for sale that I really can't tell what the price direction for RMs/NRMs might be. I've bought the only one of each I've seen for sale locally. Would happily pay $5k for another original one in good condition and more with box/papers and if there was interesting provenance. Will they flatline or drop in price over time? Quite likely at some point but I don't really care. Hope my son hangs on to the nice stuff but that won't be a concern to me at that point.

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Old 05-17-2020, 02:38 PM
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I think a good test will be seeing what the next really nice 3.5” sells for, box or no box. I look at mine as long term investments. Some I am in for good money, some I paid too much, but the “collection” is a pretty good place to park some money.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:56 PM
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the “collection” is a pretty good place to park some money.
Gun owner demographics are changing. I wouldn't count on big dollar collectors in the future bunch.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:25 PM
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Would the gun market survive if it wasn't for people whose only interest in them is as investments? I know all of us that like them for their intended purpose would love it if they had no investment quality. I've backed off a number of auctions when the price of the piece was only driven higher because the piece was "collector" quality and someone with more money than sense was willing to invest as much money as he deemed necessary to win to add to his investment profile. I've been following a certain dealer that has been selling off a private collection of excellent pieces that obviously were never used by the collector for anything but an investment. Drool worthy specimens indeed and frankly if I were as well heeled as the collector I would have done the same thing, guns are easier to collect than Duesenbergs and much more appreciated than a gold coin collection or art by friends and family. I've rarely been over to someone's house and enjoyed an evening looking at their stamp collection or Waterford crystal. Show me a fine old firearm and minutes turn into hours.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:40 PM
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Gun owner demographics are changing. I wouldn't count on big dollar collectors in the future bunch.
Trying to pay for a house in a market where many places a quarter of a million dollars is "cheap" and in some places double or triple that can't buy you anything at all will certainly stifle spare money to put down on big dollar guns.

Not that the desire isn't there. Most of the people my age and younger I know that are into guns would absolutely love to own some of these fine high dollar guns, but they don't even consider the possibility due to financial constraints.

Myself, I've only ever actually purchased a single big dollar gun, and that was likely to be the only one I buy of that type, probably in my life at this point. With the kiddo and school debt (funny how I never went to college and still ended up with school debt ) big ticket guns just aren't in the cards.


Thing is though. I think S&Ws are in a really good position to at least hold their value, even though the astronomical price tags on things like Model 3s and Registered Magnums may suffer a bit in the coming decades. The rest of the S&Ws are just really great guns, there are a lot of them to get people into collecting them, and the SWCA and SWHF are amazing. As younger collectors catch onto this I find they are seriously hooked.

In my opinion the Colt and especially Winchester market is going to crash really hard as the boomer generation sadly moseys on into that big black and white cowboy show in the sky. The prices on the Winchesters and especially Colt SAAs have been seriously inflated by the major transfer of wealth from younger to older folks through the sale of houses and property. In both cases you can also get perfectly good replicas, which while they don't have the same mystique as the originals, only cost you 10% of what an original will.

S&Ws don't have this problem. No one is going to produce a replica model 10, and even if they did they couldn't make it anywhere near as good as an old M&P or Pre-10.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:04 PM
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Back when they were new, $60 was a unsubstantial price.
If you want to have/shoot nostalgia, buy one. It does the same thing my 1959 HP does, But, I like pre-39s. Same as a 1979 39-2.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:39 AM
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I have a really nice Registered Magnum I am thinking of selling. Building a house and could use the money. Plus it is actually too nice of a piece for me.

I had it on the forum a few years back. I had to rejoin since I lost my user name and passwords and it was under my old work email. I will dig it out and post some pics.

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Old 05-19-2020, 08:07 AM
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not to get off subject,but I often see pre Model 27s priced lower than 27-2s,in the same condition.Never figured it out
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:20 AM
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Dunno. Can't afford them so I don't pay much attention. I'm sure selling prices go up and down somewhat but over the long run I would expect them to continue an upward curve. It's always supply and demand and they haven't made any new ones since 1939.

Economic conditions may affect prices. The economy is totally in the toilet right now with 33 million people suddenly out of work and many businesses closed or going under. Discretionary spending may take a hit as people have less cash for toys. Times like this are good times to buy...if you have the money.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:30 AM
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Would the gun market survive if it wasn't for people whose only interest in them is as investments? I know all of us that like them for their intended purpose would love it if they had no investment quality. I've backed off a number of auctions when the price of the piece was only driven higher because the piece was "collector" quality and someone with more money than sense was willing to invest as much money as he deemed necessary to win to add to his investment profile. I've been following a certain dealer that has been selling off a private collection of excellent pieces that obviously were never used by the collector for anything but an investment. Drool worthy specimens indeed and frankly if I were as well heeled as the collector I would have done the same thing, guns are easier to collect than Duesenbergs and much more appreciated than a gold coin collection or art by friends and family. I've rarely been over to someone's house and enjoyed an evening looking at their stamp collection or Waterford crystal. Show me a fine old firearm and minutes turn into hours.
Hold on here!! Waterford crystal would make excellent targets
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:34 AM
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Dunno. Can't afford them so I don't pay much attention. I'm sure selling prices go up sown somewhat but over the long run I would expect them to continue an upward curve. It's always supply and demand and they haven't made any new ones since 1939.

Economic conditions may affect prices. The economy is totally in the toilet right now with 33 million people suddenly out of work and many businesses closed or going under. Discretionary spending may take a hit as people have less cash for toys. Times like this are good times to buy...if you have the money.
The economic impact of what is going on now has not really hit home yet. It is going to get much worse. Guns and muscle cars will be avaailable at fire sale prices. Anything that is primarily a blue collar toy
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:46 AM
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"Anything that is primarily a blue collar toy."
The December Crossroads show in Phoenix will certainly be interesting. I have noticed an uptick of common AR's and AK's, plastic handguns,and accessories in the local classifieds. I can tell you that the local residential real estate market is quite active. People are buying homes and inventory is tight.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:23 AM
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To understand more about markets and pricing, one needs to look at both micro conditions AND macro conditions. ( Short-term and long-term can be substituted for micro and macro.)

The conditions pointed out in this thread are micro events, which is primarily a change of demographics of the current group of collectors. A lot of big-time buyers ( with a lot of money to spend ) have died, and the next generation does not yet have the discretionary money to spend on guns - they have to deal with young kids, and paying off education bills, just to mention two characteristics. As it has in the past, this will change.

A secondary consideration, and the reason why high-condition gun prices are not falling, is that there is only a fixed number of these guns in existence. They are not making the old ones any more.

The macro events are what will drive prices, and to a small extent, has already started. Does anyone seriously believe that the US specifically, and all major countries generally, can continue to endlessly print all the money that they want, without serious consequences? At some point, we are going to wake up one morning, and find a catastrophic economic/financial event has occurred in the monetary world. It will be the end of the money-printing era, and there will be a massive reset of prices and valuations. Inflation will have reared its ugly head. Then we will understand why significant collectible are important.

Regards, Mike Priwer

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Old 05-19-2020, 11:41 AM
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As many others have said, the firearm world has been changing for quite some time. Admittedly, I do not have, and simply cannot afford a registered magnum. I do have what I think is a solid theory about future firearm ownership; that being S&W revolver prices will drop with demand. It's undoubtedly a generational thing, once the generation that appreciates registered magnums the most passes away, there will be less demand. To a young man's untrained eye, a registered magnum looks like the gun that he inherited from his pawpaw and traded in a few weeks back on a Glock.

Us "younger" fellas that appreciate registered mags and triple locks are much fewer and further between than older generations.

*I've actually been going around spouting this theory without much physical evidence aside from anecdotal observations, but that's about to change*
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:42 AM
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At some point, we are going to wake up one morning, and find a catastrophic economic/financial event has occurred in the monetary world. It will be the end of the money-printing era, and there will be a massive reset of prices and valuations. Inflation will have reared its ugly head. Then we will understand why significant collectible are important.

Regards, Mike Priwer
Pretty much agree, all the money printing has to have ramifications although I don't think we know what form that will take. Historically inflation, but deflationary pressures have been countering that over the past few years and certainly with the arrival of the C-19 pandemic. If we resolve the virus soon (vaccines/treatments) and we get back to normal relatively quickly, inflation is likely to result given the extra trillions dumped in to the system.

It remains to be seen though whether old guns will benefit from that inflation. Over the next 20 years we're going to lose many of those who appreciate S&W and other firearms; likely myself included. Will the next generations have the same appreciation of collectible firearms, my observations suggest they will not.

Folks are still going to want collectibles, and they will appreciate, but will they be the same ones we love? A relevant example is antique cars of the same period as many of our guns, those from the '20s/'30s use to be hot, now not so much. I'll keep my guns for the satisfaction and pleasure I get from them but for investments I'll stick with stocks and real estate; maybe a little more gold given the increasing possibility of inflation.

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Old 05-19-2020, 12:09 PM
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As many others have said, the firearm world has been changing for quite some time. Admittedly, I do not have, and simply cannot afford a registered magnum. I do have what I think is a solid theory about future firearm ownership; that being S&W revolver prices will drop with demand. It's undoubtedly a generational thing, once the generation that appreciates registered magnums the most passes away, there will be less demand. To a young man's untrained eye, a registered magnum looks like the gun that he inherited from his pawpaw and traded in a few weeks back on a Glock.

Us "younger" fellas that appreciate registered mags and triple locks are much fewer and further between than older generations.

*I've actually been going around spouting this theory without much physical evidence aside from anecdotal observations, but that's about to change*
I think as a long term trend, the above will come true. For "ultra high end" items e.g. Tiffany top breaks and the like, there will always be buyers as the folks who buy those are, often as not, investors as opposed to collectors.

For the rest of us, I expect prices to decline as time goes on based on the premise of fixed supply, shrinking market.

I think the next decade will be telling unless the younger folks discover the joy of revolvers.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:52 PM
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As many others have said, the firearm world has been changing for quite some time. Admittedly, I do not have, and simply cannot afford a registered magnum. I do have what I think is a solid theory about future firearm ownership; that being S&W revolver prices will drop with demand. It's undoubtedly a generational thing, once the generation that appreciates registered magnums the most passes away, there will be less demand. To a young man's untrained eye, a registered magnum looks like the gun that he inherited from his pawpaw and traded in a few weeks back on a Glock.

Us "younger" fellas that appreciate registered mags and triple locks are much fewer and further between than older generations.

*I've actually been going around spouting this theory without much physical evidence aside from anecdotal observations, but that's about to change*
I've applied this theory to the automotive world, for years now, also.

I've seen the craze for certain decades of classic cars boom and bust. My own father was in a bidding war for his very original 1931 Model A Deluxe Roadster. It was the hottest ticket for a while. Now, the guys that knew those cars, in their youth, are leaving us and thus, the demand is waning. Some of the younger generation can appreciate the finer points of the classics but, fewer and fewer are.

RM's are bound to do the same thing.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:30 PM
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I've bought many revolvers over the recent years.

Many sellers are heirs to dads guns and they don't want them.

I buy them and when I sell the buyers are mostly pushing their 7th decade of living...

See the trend? I do..
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:48 PM
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Yep, someday we’re all gonna die with some nice guns going somewhere.
That’s more than a trend, more like a fact of life.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:26 PM
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They are like land...... they're not making any more!!!!!!

Only about 5500 were ever made...... half are probably already lost to history 2700 ( with a few more slipping away every year).......... two thirds of the remainder are "Shooter Grade" 1800 ..... three quarters of those left are are "nice" 693 ......... leaving about 230 "minty" guns.



IMO there will always be a market for those last 230 guns and the nice 690 guns....... at least keeping pace with inflation.

Story of my RM.

Walked into a local gun store about 15 years ago...... looked around and was about to leave when the owner said "There's a Smith over here you might be interested in"

Walk over and look N-frame 6+" barrel ..... not my thing ..... but to be polite I asked to see it......... looking it over I see the RM xxxx. Something "tingles" but I hand it back.

In the store on consignment. Wife's having a baby and Granddad's old gun has to go!!!!!!

Come home and look in my SCS&W3rd........."OH S---!!!!!"

Back at 10am ..... and paid the full asking price.......$325. About the same as a 6" 28 was bringing back then vs. the going price back then of $3000-4000

The sky is not the limit..... but there will always be a market for 1000 nice or better RMs...... short of TEOTWAWKI....... and even then they will be in demand as a great self defense weapon that doesn't need a magazine!!!!

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Old 05-19-2020, 05:11 PM
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Y'know what the real problem is? Not enough geezerly collectors are doing this with the young'uns:



How can anyone expect the next generation to grow to love classic firearms if they never experience them?

I think a lot of the collecting community is digging their own graves in that regard.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:23 PM
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I'm still waiting for that older customer of my wife that knows that I am into firearms to ask "Would your husband be interested in looking at an old revolver my husband kept in his sock drawer?" I am positive the sock drawer Registered Magnum is out there somewhere, it should have a shorter barrel....4 inch would be perfect, although a 5 inch is probably a better balance.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:49 PM
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Interesting discussion. In the 50s & 60s I bought all the RMs I came across in small gun shows and gun stores. Usually at market prices for the day ($500 - $1200 range ) Got up to around two dozen, or so. Then later a couple friends of mine , with deep pockets, decided to do the same and they dominated the market for 20 yrs. and bought most of mine ( Gary Cooper's & Jimmy Stewarts"s RMs included ) Those friends are now gone to the Great Gun Show and their collections went to auction a couple yrs ago. Most of the RMs went for high dollars. If the auction for them was today, they would bring 1/2 of what they did. Why? Collector interest has shifted . Just like antique cars. I have one 99% RM left, for old times sake, and I've promised it to a friend of mine when I'm gone. Ed
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:59 PM
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About 30 years ago I was kind of a 'semi-collector' of the old Government Issued M1911's. I had a chance to purchase a nice Singer for $1000, but didn't have the funds at that time. Since then, the prices of Singers has increased EVERY year, and continues to do so. Same thing with the US&S guns, and other high-end collectables. Now the prices are so high that you rarely see one for sale.

I think the same thing will happen with the higher end S&W's, cuz usually history repeats itself.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
They are like land...... they're not making any more

IMO there will always be a market for those last 230 guns and the nice 690 guns....... at least keeping pace with inflation
You first comment is absolutely correct, and maybe as a real estate investor I'm slightly bias, but I do believe land to be so much better of an investment than a registered magnum they aren't even in the same league.

I also agree with your second comment. There will ALWAYS be a market for around at least 1,000 of the best registered magnums left, but the more time that passes, the smaller that particular market gets.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:35 PM
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"geezerly" collectors? Am I geezerly? I have heard grumpy.
Learned a new word! best.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:04 PM
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If current trends continue, the U S population is projected to be 438 million in 2050. Assuming all 5500 Registered Magnum revolvers still exist, 438 million divided by 5500 is just under 80,000. Of course 100% of production would not be extant. So, in order for these to remain popular and account for all production out there, this means only about 1 out of 80,000 or 100,000 individuals would have to have an above average interest to account for all still in existence. Of course, some folks will own more than 1, or many, further diluting the ratio. If we cannot round up a population base of about 1 in 100,000 folks having an interest in these in a mere 30 years we are in for bleak times indeed.
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:37 AM
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The other side of the coin.......................... the internet allows both sellers and buyers to reach a much broader marketplace.

When I started accumulating guns... it was by luck of what I found in 3 or 4 local gun shops........ later as I traveled around Pa. visiting clients I had a hit list of about 30 or so local gun shops I'd visit several times a year...............

Today with forums like this and other internet sales and auction sites I can reach out to the whole country or even internationally.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:43 AM
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I think there is the age trends. The Reg Magnum is still "modern" enough that it could be put into service for anyone if needed. The guns that are and will be slowly fading away are the top breaks and tip ups. Those of us that are of such an age that we grew up coveting these are going away. We are not being replaced. Very few young people (under 50) have interests in these. Rare as some are, they don't bring any where near what they used to and will continue to drop except for the exotic examples.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:02 AM
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Great thread and I have been saying this to anyone that asked and would listen. In the era of plastic guns, there are new shooters but few collectors. If it ain’t a black gun, then nobody wants them. Just look at military weapons that sold at K-Mart standing in a plastic trash can beside the sporting goods checkout. There were an unlimited amount of these things and everyone that bought them in the 60’s & 70’s made a good profit when they tired of them. Now, these collectors are either gone or have no interest in those era guns. A RM is a little different breed but I doubt many younger collectors know much or anything about them and really don't care to learn.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:35 PM
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If current trends continue, the U S population is projected to be 438 million in 2050. Assuming all 5500 Registered Magnum revolvers still exist, 438 million divided by 5500 is just under 80,000. Of course 100% of production would not be extant. So, in order for these to remain popular and account for all production out there, this means only about 1 out of 80,000 or 100,000 individuals would have to have an above average interest to account for all still in existence. Of course, some folks will own more than 1, or many, further diluting the ratio. If we cannot round up a population base of about 1 in 100,000 folks having an interest in these in a mere 30 years we are in for bleak times indeed.
Ian, you're missing the second half of the analysis. Of those 1/100k, how many of those will have both sufficient desire and the disposable income to afford a 5 figure price for a single gun?

Time will tell, but I'm not overly optimistic. But heck, I don't buy guns for investments anyway.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:52 PM
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Y'know what the real problem is? Not enough geezerly collectors are doing this with the young'uns:



....

Is that a Target Ladysmith the young fella is shooting?
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:02 PM
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Is that a Target Ladysmith the young fella is shooting?
Yep. Good eye!

Guess who's now hooked on M frames?
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:41 PM
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Any idea why Sig has reduced their 1911 lineup by 2/3rds and the few models left look like they jumped out of a video game? I am not going to want to try to educate the kids my kids hang out with about what a RM is. They won't even look up from their snapchat.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:57 PM
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... I am not going to want to try to educate the kids my kids hang out with about what a RM is.They won't even look up from their snapchat ...
QED

Worth the effort though, some may surprise you.
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