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A $500 vs. $5000 Gun: Does Price Matter?

The range of prices on goods and services can vary wildly. Sometimes things cost more because they are made with better quality materials, but other times it’s just a more luxury brand name that you’re paying for. 

For example, a “Hermes Kelly” handbag starts at around $10,000. Is it really better than a Coach bag made with the same kind of leather for $300? Probably not. Or what about cars? In looking at the price differences between high-end cars, like Mercedes or Rolls Royce, and other cars such as Toyota or Honda, all of these cars basically run the same and will get you from point A to point B. So are the higher-priced cars worth the extra money? It’s more about status and prestige than anything else. 

That brings us to firearm prices. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a $500 gun and a $5,000 one? If you collect and own expensive guns, you could probably come up with a litany of reasons as to why the higher-priced guns are so worth it. Let’s compare the prices of an M1911 pistol, a single action handgun, that can either be very inexpensive ($500) — or can be found for the price of a used car ($5,000). 

The Popularity of the M1911 

The M1911 has been around for a long time. It was designed in 1911 by John Browning and updated in 1924. It has been used by the US military as a standard sidearm until 1985. The gun was a part of combat in wars like Vietnam and World War II. 

The design hasn’t changed much over the years, but the popularity of the 1911 went through the roof at the end of the 20th century, so more gun manufacturers started making more affordable models to sell. 

Upgrades That Add to the Cost 

Of course, when you customize any type of gun, it’s going to be more expensive. That also includes enhancements such as gold inlays, any type of engraving, and even more expensive materials with ivory in the grip. That drives the price of the gun up, so that you are purchasing a valuable collector’s piece instead of just a weapon that you want for home defense. 

Better Technology 

Older or more basic 1911s don’t have some of the technology that newer ones do. On a more expensive model, you may find that the interface and operation are more seamless. The sights are big and easy to see when they are less so on less expensive versions. The trigger pull on a more expensive model will be smooth. The grip will be easier to hold if your hands get sweaty because the pattern is etched in a more detailed way. The fit will feel better, and the only way you’ll be able to tell is by holding a cheap version and a more expensive one in the same shopping trip to compare. 

Issues With Maintenance

All guns need to be maintained properly with the right service and cleaning. Inexpensive guns can be more of a hassle, breaking down more often and requiring extra work to get them running properly. 

Even with all of these reasons on why a $5,000 M1911 is a great gun, a cheaper one will still get the job done when maintained correctly. Buying a high-quality handgun is an investment, so maybe it’s best to start off in the mid-price range of $1500, and go up from there based on what you like using and can afford. The takeaway here is that there is an M1911 in all different price ranges that you’ll be comfortable with spending your hard-earned money on.


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2 Responses

  1. Has the entire government ( in this land of the FREE ) gone entirely NUTS ???????

  2. The Colt 1911, .45 cal is a beautiful had gun. I fired 100s of rnds thru a Gold Cup model in the mid 60s. It had a sweet trigger pull and cupped reassuringly into your hands on recoil (always shot two-handed), wish I could justify owning one today, but it would not be practical for home defense in a suburban neighborhood and I don’t get to the range often enough because of the ammunition shortage.

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