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Old April 4, 2009, 04:48 PM   #1
CaptainCrossman
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holy pistols batman, today's gunshow was loaded with DEALS

well I just got back from the gunshow today, scored a NEW IN BOX- UNFIRED Uberti 1960 Army Richards First conversion- for only $400 plus tax- the cylinder pin was not even pushed all the way in, just like they are in the gun stores after being factory assembled.

this is the one w/rear sight on the conversion breech ring- what a NICE gun

no longer available new from vendors- this was part of a collection- a few handling scratches/nicks, but otherwise a mint gun- looks like the cylinder was hardly spun but a few times, wasn't even scratched

the place was LOADED with BP cap/ball pistols in the $125-200 range, with steel frames, a Uberti for $200 unfired, another Euroarms w/holster unfired for- get this- $125 !!

gun dealers are getting OFF the ginned up prices, and the prices are coming down- finally.

now the kicker- the place was LOADED with vintage Colt 1860's BP cap/ball guns- the "real deal"- in the $600-1800 price range- NO KIDDING !

very nice working 1860 Armys- 1 for only $1000 w/changed barrel, another for $1800 all numbers matching, several pocket 5-shot pistols $600-700 each

It's obvious places like gunbroker and guns america online are way overpriced, a big gun show is the place to go for a deal.

I may go back tomorrow, and see if I can get that Uberti Navy for $150. There was another 1860 Army vintage 1970's for $270, and a really nice 1950-60's vintage Italian made Colt Dragoon- for $370.

I'm starting to really believe, the best BP cap/ball guns were made decades ago, and those are the ones to seek out/buy. Pics to follow of the 1860 Richards 1st Conversion
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Old April 4, 2009, 05:50 PM   #2
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Well maybe the best were made in the last 20 years? Some early ones apparently were made not so historically accurate. Some brands then as now used alot of freedom and hand work to make guns of varying accuracy to reality and quality of fit and finish. I figure you might just be in the right place at the right time. Lot of folks maybe thinking of what they can sell trade off or dispose of for fast cash or to get more modern stuff that is getting expensive or hard to get. Lot of the buyers probably do not want to mess with BP stuff at all. I see that sometimes, a surplus dealer is happy to show off his mil. guns and milsurps. Some guy trades him a musket original or replica, ditto any BP thing. Unless he perceives that something is a valuable antique that he can profit from, I don't suppose alot of BP stuff is even in his blue books so he just tries to sell the BP stuff off for enough money to get rid of it. Guy might not budge on the price of a nice Garand or Springfield might have something like a Hatfield rifle or a Italian replica or etc. and you can twist his arm till the price is a steal compared to new retail on the type nowadays. Then by the next show all that stuff might dry up.
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Old April 4, 2009, 07:45 PM   #3
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Looks like you're doing the smartest thing a gunowner can do....buy stuff that others aren't.

Let the others fight over the ARs and AKs with hefty price tags. I'm perfectly happy snagging up milsurps and contemplating BP guns myself with its soft market...
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Old April 4, 2009, 07:48 PM   #4
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Where was the show?

Captain,

Where was the show? I went to one today in Norfolk, VA and missed all of that stuff.
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Old April 4, 2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
I'm starting to really believe, the best BP cap/ball guns were made decades ago
Not so. There were good and bad, some very good, some very bad. Even Uberti's 30 years ago were a crap shoot.
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Old April 5, 2009, 03:51 AM   #6
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Think I must have been at a different show

Hawg,

The best deal I saw at the show here in Norfolk today was an Uberti 1860 Army in .44 for 255.00. This was from a dealer, new in the box. Steel frame and blued back strap.

There were other new pistols available but they were overpriced and all brass frames.

Different vendor had an 1851 in .44 that he wanted 265.00 for. He said it was new. It had HEAVY rust in the chambers. I am 59 years old and I can honestly say I have never called any man a liar. I came very close today.
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Old April 5, 2009, 04:01 AM   #7
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Doc if you want to see some ridiculous prices check Pietta's on gunbroker.
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Old April 5, 2009, 05:30 AM   #8
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What really impressed me was the number of real 1860's vintage Colt BP-C/B guns there. There was actually collector grade vintage Colt pocket models for only 2X what a repro pocket would go for. I never got to even touch a vintage Colt Pocket pistol or 1860 Army until yesterday, and I must have handled and cycled at least 8 of them while there. They were out on tables amongst the cheaper guns, not even under glass ! To my surprise, the vendors were saying "you can cock it, and spin the cylinder, go ahead"- usually they are anal about even touching or handling a vintage Colt- let alone cycling it. There was a vintage 1860 Army there, without one scratch or nick in it, only a faded finish, all numbers matching- for $2000. It was tight as a drum, no play in wedge/cylinder at all. Worked like a new gun.

Also (2) battlefield pickups, 1860 Army guns from the Gettysburg battlefield, one complete with family documentation/papers when the officer bought it, in the holster, and was obtained from the family decades later- a folder full of documentation and letters verifying it was the real mccoy- that one was salty at $4900.

How 'bout a vintage Ivers Johnson-brand Spiller & Burr Confederate pattern, steel frame- unfired- for only $100 ? Yep, it was there, and I left it on the table- it was beckoning to me- because it was such a smokin' deal compared to some of this crap being sold new today by importers, for 2x-3x that price.

One vintage real Colt 1860 Army, $1200 asking- I checked it over, noticed the barrel had been changed to one with different serial #- so he immediately dropped to $1000- and I had the feeling he would take $800 just to see it gone. I left it on the table too. The new Piettas just pale in comparison to that real vintage Colt stuff- the newer repros looked like a plastic painted gun when placed side by side against a real Colt.

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; April 5, 2009 at 05:37 AM.
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Old April 5, 2009, 06:09 AM   #9
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historically accurate ???

The older Dragoon and 1860 Army repros I saw at the show, were superior quality to the newer repros- that was obvious just by handling them/inspection. The bluing and lettering were far superior, the actions more precision/tighter. Zero cylinder play, perfect timing, ultra smooth when cocked- and historically accurate. These came from old collections that were "bought out" by gun/curio/antique dealers- then taken to show for resale.

Historical accuracy is a real issue with me- when I see an 1860 Army frame/cylinder with round barrel chambered in 36 cal and called "Navy", it's just a slap in the face to Civil War era, USA history, and Colt heritage- and that's just what some companies are selling today as new. I can see having a mix/match if a used gun was broken and no other parts were available to fix it, but these repros cost $250-400 range or more, they should be "right" when made new. I'm seeing a disregard for historical accuracy now more than ever, with new repro guns.

Last week a gun shop owner gave me a free Traditions Firearms catalog- checking the BP C/B section, there are many historically incorrect guns.

One "1851 Navy" has a stepped 1860 army frame, rebated 1860 army cylinder, and here's the real kicker- it's chambered in 44 Army caliber. The only thing they got right was the octagon barrel shape. Yet this is their steel frame blued "Navy". What's up with that ?

Another "movie gun" they sell is the "Josie Wales Navy"- it has the correct 1851 Navy frame, but has an Army rebated cylinder, and Army pattern barrel. This "Navy" is chambered in 44. (again). The description says it's supposed to be a copy of the gun Josie finds in the wreckage of his burned down house. If you watch the movie, that gun appears to be an 1860 Army 44 cartridge conversion Colt- not a C/B gun at all.

One more- their "new" 1860 Antiqued Army- it has an 1851 Navy frame, an 1851 Navy cylinder, chambered in 44, yet in the price list is described as the "1861 antiqued". So which is it ? Either way it's incorrect. It "looks" more like an 1861 Navy, but is chambered in 44 Army.

All I can figure is, something is lost in the marketing committees and sales dept. when they decide what to make, and how to name the guns.

Why not just say "this is an Navy pattern chambered in 44", or "this is an 1860 Army frame/cylinder w/1851 barrel, chambered in 44" ? They should just be up front and honest about what it really is- not invent new names for it.

The funny part is, it's getting more difficult to find real "replicas" of the Civil War era, that are historically accurate. You have to be careful, otherwise you get a "mutt" rather than a "purebred".
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Old April 5, 2009, 06:33 AM   #10
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Yup!

Hawg,

You said, "if you want to see some ridiculous prices check Pietta's on gunbroker."

And I heartily agree. In just the short time I have been watching Gunbroker and Auctionarms (probably about a year) I imagine that I have seen price creep just like on eBay.

I am gratified to watch many of the overpriced pistols go unpurchased. I am similarly gratified to see the overpriced pistols at the gun shows sitting on the tables with people checking them out, seeing the price and then walking off.

If I can buy a new one for a cheaper price than the opening price for a used one, I have to assume there must be something special about the piece that I don't have the sophistocation to detect. And if someone else buys it, then I have to assume they think it is worth the price. OR, they are just not familiar with the value of the weapon.
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Old April 5, 2009, 06:34 AM   #11
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Captain Crossman

Where was the show you attended?
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Old April 5, 2009, 06:59 AM   #12
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Historical accuracy

When I was first interested in Cap and Ball revolvers, (circa 75 to 80) there was available an 1851 pattern Colt replica in either .44 or .36 which had what is now refered to (and perhaps what was even then refered to) as a notched trigger guard, like was found on the early Dragoons and on the 1849 Baby Dragoon. It was sold in kit form or as a built up pistol as the "Navy Squareback." I bought one of these pistol kits for about fifty bucks at that time. The squareback version cost a little extra, not because it cost any more to manufacture, but because the market would pay it.

The pistol appears not to have a historical prototype at least not a Colt manufactured prototype. Also the term, "Squareback" seems to have gone out of vogue.
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Old April 6, 2009, 06:46 AM   #13
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Doc- the show was in the Poconos region of Pa., USA- near the town of Wilkes-Barre, at a place called Split Rock Lodge.

We went back yesterday for one more run through. Cowboy action ammo in 44 special was $2 less per 50/box than Midway USA online, and no shipping to pay.

I picked up an 1887 Winchester lever action shotgun, and aimed it at the ceiling, the vendor walked right over and knocked $250 off the price, without me even saying a word- it went from $1250 to $1000.

In the past, all they would budge was $25 at best. Something happened.

Remember that Colt 1860 Army revolver, that went from $1200 to $1000 yesterday ? I looked at it again, he dropped the price to $850, without me saying a word.

The vendors were actually chewing down their OWN prices. All you had to do was look at a gun, touch it, then stand there and listen, and not say a word. Down goes the price, and they ask you for offers. Talk about being in the driver's seat.

I predict a good shooting antique will be as affordable as a new repro gun, or only slightly more. And they are real USA made Colts from the 1870's. I had a notion to offer $600 for the vintage 1860 Army just for kicks- but left it on the table.

Wait and see how cheap stuff is going to get, the economy is a bit more wounded than we are being led to believe. Personally, I had been getting a bit annoyed with the ginned up old gun prices at past gun shows- the pricing was downright insulting, like a slap in the face. I'm glad they are coming down to sane levels.

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; April 6, 2009 at 06:57 AM.
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Old April 6, 2009, 09:50 AM   #14
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Cap'n

Thanks for the info.

Yes, I am familiar with Split Rock Lodge but that ended when I left PA to join the Navy in 1969. Haven't been back since but just to visit.

As I said in my previous post I was severly dissappointed in the show here (Norfolk, VA). Now you have to understand that I went on Saturday about 1:00 pm and I know that the prices come down as the show draws to a close.

There was very little in the way of black powder stuff. But here is a synopsis.

1858 Remington from Euroarms. Steel frame. Heavy rust inside the chambers and barrel. Action and lockup were tight. The cylinder appeared to have been cleaned with something caustic that ruined the bluing. Starting price was 150.00 He came down to 125.00. I told him I was interested but not at that price, and he ended the conversation.

1851 pattern Colt Pietta in .44. Brass frame. Same pistol Cabela's is selling for 149.99. Exterior of the pistol was pristine. This is the guy who told me the pistol was new with a box and papers. Chambers all had very heavy rust as did the barrel. He started at 265.00. I did not even go any further. I knew he was lying about it being new.

Another guy had three rifles which were essentially junk. Bore shot, missing parts, broken stock. He had a hundred dollar price tag on the one which was in the worst condition. Told me to make an offer but I am not in the market for a rifle so I would not have taken it home even if it was free.

1860 Colt heavily inlaid in gold fill. This was a pretty pistol with a presentation case, flask, mold and such. It was very nice and was new but it was one I would never shoot. (Too nice). He wanted 375.00.

Taylors was there with a great selection of Ubertis. Since the only thing I am presently looking for is an 1860, I spoke to them about a steel frame new in box. They can down to 255.00 but I let it go. I should have gone back on Sunday to see if the price got any better. But my honeydo list took presidence. I didn't even get out to go shooting.
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Old April 6, 2009, 10:19 AM   #15
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Sounds like an amazing show! I too, have been surprised by the prices I've seen for original Colt cartridge conversions, even on the auction sites. I've seen really nice 1860 Type I's and Type II's with ivory grips go for $1500. I'd sure love to have a few!
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Old April 6, 2009, 10:35 AM   #16
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Ah, that explains why Taylor's had few black powder guns in their showroom when I stopped there Friday morning.
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Old April 6, 2009, 10:55 AM   #17
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Before the home computer days ...it was real hard for me to go to a gunshow and try to remember what a good price for a gun should be ............not anymore ...we have an edge ..
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Old April 6, 2009, 04:01 PM   #18
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...

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Old April 6, 2009, 04:13 PM   #19
sundance44s
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Heck I`m trying to hold onto my money right now for a Buffalo hunt in a few weeks ..........and now all these good deals keep comming my way ...I need to turn my computer off and hide .
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Old April 6, 2009, 04:22 PM   #20
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I'm about to do the same Sundance... :O(
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Old April 6, 2009, 07:18 PM   #21
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yep, the internet will put a dent in your wallet, and fill up your gun cabinet mighty quick- it's like having a gunstore and a gunshow in your living room 24/7 that's always open



Doc- you did the right thing- none of those guns were anything special. Those prices were ginned up, they are fishing. Let them take the guns home again. You can always get a nice used 1860 or 1851 steel frame, they are too common.

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; April 6, 2009 at 07:25 PM.
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