How much was a gun in the Old West?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

In the Old West, the price of guns varied depending on the type and quality of the firearm. Let’s take a detailed look at the different types of guns and their respective prices during that time.

1. Single-shot, muzzle-loading rifle: These rifles were the most common and affordable option in the Old West. They were manually loaded by pouring gunpowder down the barrel and then inserting a bullet. These rifles were reliable but had a slow rate of fire. A used single-shot, muzzle-loading rifle would typically cost around $8. These rifles provided a basic level of firepower and were suitable for hunting and self-defense.

2. Sharps Repeating Rifle: The Sharps Repeating Rifle was a more advanced and expensive option. It was a seven-shot rifle, meaning it could fire seven rounds without needing to reload. This feature made it highly desirable in combat situations. However, the price reflected its superior design and functionality. A brand new Sharps Repeating Rifle would set you back around $50, making it a significant investment for most people in the Old West.

3. Breach-loading shotgun: Shotguns were popular for their versatility and effectiveness at close range. In the Old West, breach-loading shotguns were the preferred choice due to their ease of reloading. These shotguns featured a hinged mechanism that allowed the barrel to be opened, making it simpler to load and unload rounds. The convenience and power of a breach-loading shotgun came at a higher cost than other firearms. You could expect to pay around $60 for a breach-loading shotgun during that time.

4. Colt .45 Single Action Army Revolver: Often referred to as “the gun that won the west,” the Colt .45 Single Action Army Revolver was a legendary firearm. It became synonymous with the Old West, commonly used by lawmen, outlaws, and cowboys alike. Its reliability, power, and ease of use made it a popular choice. However, the Colt .45 was not cheap. A brand new Colt .45 Single Action Army Revolver would cost you a considerable amount, typically around $20 to $25 during that era.

It’s important to note that these prices are approximate and can vary based on factors such as location, demand, and the condition of the firearm. Additionally, the prices mentioned here are based on historical records and may not reflect the current value of these firearms.

Guns in the Old West varied in price depending on the type and quality of the firearm. From the affordable single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles to the more expensive and advanced Sharps Repeating Rifles, the cost of guns ranged from $8 to $50. Furthermore, breach-loading shotguns were priced higher at around $60, while the iconic Colt .45 Single Action Army Revolver would set you back around $20 to $25. Owning a gun during that time was a significant investment that often depended on an individual’s financial means and personal needs for self-defense or hunting purposes.