Price Guides

MM23 image by H. Hardin

Price Guides last updated: 4Q23

Where do the prices come from?

Price data comes from many different sources. A significant portion is from brick and mortar auctions in the US. Another component is sold items from online auctions. Still another is dealer and private sales from usually reliable sources. Then there’s a component of asking price from valued dealer websites and table prices from gun shows throughout the country.

The debate over asking/selling price is legendary and continuous. The usefulness of the MGPG charts is they show an average within a high/low range of values and the historical trends in value. As the number of observations (samples, months) increase, the average and trend become more useful, so popular models like MACS, Uzis, M16s are well represented in value while a M240B may not be. Next is the condition/price debate and that also is built into the high/low window around the average. But, condition variations on a $500 hunk of steel selling for $20,000 may be less significant than on a $450 handgun. We wouldn’t be the first to say that you’re buying the paper (NFRTR registration) and the gun comes with it. C&R guns can be priced differently when historic originality and condition are important, but being 50 years old does not count as history. This debate will rage ad-nauseum and self-proclaimed experts will always be around to offer assistance.

Finally, there are some sellers that excessively overprice and their items appear month-to-month until either the market catches up to them or they lower their price. This ragged economy makes dealing somewhat possible, so being persistent by holding to your purchase price could land a good deal. But there are only about 600-700 automatic weapons available for sale in the US at any given time, so significant price dealing is difficult. Recent activity has returned us to the old days when an item’s asking price increases month-to-month when it doesn’t sell. A classic supply constrained market.

Our favorite example of price logic appeared on an Internet board this century. When a poster asked what was the best price to ask for a M11 in 9mm, someone replied, “$2,500 will get it sold now, $3,000 might get it sold sometime and $3,500 will let everyone know you own it.” In 2023 that would have to be updated to $8,500, $10,000 and $14,000. YMMV

Price Guides last updated 4Q23


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