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Old July 10, 2014, 12:04 PM   #1
Skans
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Swiss M1882's have dried up???

You used to be able to find Swiss M1882's for sale in the $400-$600 range. Now, I can hardly find any, and when I do it seems that the prices are closer to $800+. I have one, but I like to look for good deals on other variations. These guns didn't seem to have much interest - did something change?

Someone has an M1878 listed on gunbroker for $2750 - come on, I can find a decent Colt SAA 45 1st gen for about that price, probably less. I know the M1878's are harder to find, but these prices are messing up my ability to have a collection of obsolete 19th century Swiss revolvers. There just can't be that much demand for these?

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Old July 10, 2014, 01:07 PM   #2
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Dried up? Bulk surplus "dried up" around 50 years ago. Today, those guns (and other European military revolvers of the period) are collectors items and as you note, prices on good ones are going up. Both the Swiss and Swedish revolvers are increasing in price, mainly because both countries were neutral in two world wars and their weapons are usually seen in excellent condition.

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Old July 11, 2014, 12:11 PM   #3
gyvel
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I don't think Swiss 1882s ever showed up here as surplus anyway. The Swiss kept them into at least the 70s. I bought one from a local collector a few years back for about $250.00 and I, too, have noticed that they have become "pricey."

Quote:
There just can't be that much demand for these?
Apparently, there is.
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Old July 11, 2014, 01:12 PM   #4
kilimanjaro
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How many of these are even in the US?
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Old July 11, 2014, 02:14 PM   #5
James K
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I don't know how many came in but they were definitely military surplus and fairly common before GCA '68 cut off imports of all military surplus. They came in at the same time as the first importation of Swiss rifles. I don't know how many there were; they were technically obsolete in Swiss service at that time, being two generations (SIG 210 and Luger) back, but some were reportedly still in service.

I have seen none imported in recent years, and assume the Swiss sold them all off at that time.

They are rather typical of the small caliber revolver (compared with the 10-12mm in earlier use) adopted in that time frame. Others were the Russian Nagant, the Austrian Rast-Gasser 8mm, the Swedish Nagant, the U.S. Colt .38, the Japanese 9mm, and the French 8mm. Of the major powers, only Germany and Britain bypassed that phase - the Germans going directly from large bore to auto pistol, and the British retaining their .455 revolver through two world wars.

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Old July 11, 2014, 02:57 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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Well, the British retained the .455 for the same reason we "retained" 1917s.
Because they had them. The OFFICIAL sidearm was the Enfield .38. Supplemented by Webley and Smith & Wesson .38s. And Inglis 9mms.
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Old July 11, 2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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The last time the importation tide came in, it was when Ronald Reagan was elected. Our gun ban friends in Congress had managed to keep old military surplus rifles out of the country since the 1968 Gun Ban act. Since President Reagan our Congressional gun ban friends have been limiting supply, basically through the ITAR, and old guns outside of the US are only worth their weight in scrap metal, as we are the biggest, and perhaps only, country whose citizens have a right to firearms.

It will take a confluence of events before the Executive Branch is as gun friendly as it was under President Reagan. Till then, the tide is out.
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Old July 11, 2014, 06:51 PM   #8
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Sorry, but the first milsurp "importation tide" began in the 1950's, from c. 1954 to 1968. GCA '68, which was partly a result of the JFK assassination (1968) with a milsurp rifle, stopped importation of any firearm that had ever been used by any military until the 1980's when the law was amended to allow importation of milsurps that fell into the C&R category.

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Old July 11, 2014, 07:30 PM   #9
Jim Watson
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Right.
I didn't have the wherewithall to take advantage of it, but the early 1960s were the Golden Years of surplus firearms. The Old Western Scrounger had amazing variety and Barnum & Bailey grade advertising language.

I had some old American Rifleman magazines. The 1950s were the era of second hand guns that would be amazing finds today, but before the florid advertisements of the late pre-GCA days.
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Old July 11, 2014, 08:23 PM   #10
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I doubt we can ever see those days again unless the NFA is repealed. The guns in use by armies today are almost all selective fire. The Lee-Enfields, Mausers, Arisakas, Schmidt-Rubins, Mannlichers, all the great old rifles of another age are just not available in quantity today. And even if there is a "milsurp" market in the future, military establishments are smaller; we will probably never again see million-man armies marching across Europe. Not even the Russians are able or willing to field those huge masses of troops any more, though maybe the Chinese or some "army with a nation" like North Korea could.

But as long as we can own guns without the kind of restrictions some fanatics would impose, good original specimens of those guns that brought $10 or $20 in the 1950's and 1960's will continue to increase in value.

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Old August 5, 2014, 10:22 PM   #11
gyvel
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What I would love to find without having to sell a kidney is a 1929 Swiss. I have an 1882, complete with the original owner's plastic tag under the grip.
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Old August 6, 2014, 08:15 AM   #12
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Skan, these are for you.
All are virtually mint and none have import marks of any kind.





Note the "A" in front of the serial number. It's original Swiss Army issue and among the first 200 ever made. Still minty with an absolutely mint bore, ala Hawkeye Pro Borescope. The holster is also the original issue to this pistol.
This is a Neuhausen.



This is the last year that the Swiss Luger was made, 1949. It has a failure to function percentage of 0 and is acknowledged as the finest of the Lugers ever made. It's a 7.65, of course.

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Old August 6, 2014, 05:01 PM   #13
Skans
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zfk55, What a nice collection of fine Swiss machinery!! That M1878 is spectacular, not to mention the P210. Thanks for sharing.
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Old August 6, 2014, 06:38 PM   #14
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So that's where they all went...
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Old August 7, 2014, 07:51 AM   #15
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Thanks, Skans.
barnbwt, I've been deeply involved with Swiss Firearms since I bought my first 1911sr Long Rifle in 1956 from a hardware store for $12.95 including a box of 7.5x55 ammo. From there it just grew.

I'm retired now, but fortunately for me my Son developed the same interests and has taken over both the armoury and management of Swiss Products. I'm hoping that my Grandson keeps on with the interest he's shown in his own firearms for the past two years. He's 7 now and a pretty passable shot with his new Henry Youth .22 LE I gave him for Christmas.
This is Julian learning the basic shooting profiles this spring with the old, original Chipmunk his Aunt got for Christmas in 1975 and was passed on to his Dad in 1986 .



P
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