Market Trends: 20th Century Colt Handguns Surging in Value


Colt handgun, 1911A1Jack LewisCowan’s Auctions, Cincinnati, Ohio

As a firearms expert for Cowan's Auctions, Jack Lewis has seen plenty. But recent trends in Colts even have the firearms veteran a bit stumped.

“For the first time in my life, I’ve seen Colt handguns made between 1900 and 1960 selling for as much as Colts made between 1880 and 1900,” he said. “I never thought I’d see that!”

As with any collectible, rare Colts in excellent condition bring top dollar. But Lewis is selling Rock Island General Officers Pistol .45’s, made between 1972 and 1983, for $5,000 to $6,000.

Just a couple years ago, such examples were fetched much more humble prices. Most of those handguns sold for $2,500 to $4,000.

Other examples from recent Cowan’s Auctions:  A Colt MK IV Series 70 Government Model Semi-Auto Pistol , for $1,035; a Colt Model 1917 Double-Action Revolver, $2,300;  and, a Colt 1903 Pocket Model .38 Semi-Auto Pistol in Box, that sold for $6,900.

Not all handgun prices are on the upswing, though. Prices for German p-38’s and Lugers are down, the market for them somewhat flooded.

Editor's note, this brief originally appeared in the January 13, 2014 edition of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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