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If you were interested in purchasing one of these replica guns, what do you think a fair asking price would be?
$100-$200
23%
 23%  [ 3 ]
$200-$300
38%
 38%  [ 5 ]
$300-$400
23%
 23%  [ 3 ]
$400-$500
15%
 15%  [ 2 ]
Over $500
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 13

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Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: What would be a reasonable price for my custom handgonnes?         Reply with quote

Although it has been completed for awhile now, I finally got to fire off my custom made medieval gonne this past weekend atleast 14 times. It performed flawlessly and I managed to find the right powder load for a safe yet impressive blank load.

I have now been debating making these on a very limited basis since they take a long time to produce (due to me hand forming and sanding the stock) but don't know what a good asking price is. The only medieval gonnes I have seen for sale are the ones on a pole (like at http://www.handgonnes.com) and theirs are quite simple and start around $100.

My potential future customers would be able to choose the type of wood (cherry, oak, walnut, etc) as well as the type of stain. All gonne barrels would be the same. 12 inches long with a 7 inch bore. They will be .50 caliber. It is based off a couple models that can be seen in one of the attached pictures. A video of me firing it this past weekend can be seen at http://www.mercierarmory.com/MikesGun.wmv

The retaining straps as seen around the barrel are 16 gauge steel and although they do hold the barrel down, they are more for decoration. There are two hidden pins that go through the stock and thread into the barrel for added strength.

I suppose I could also offer kits with a rough formed stock and the barrel pre drilled, but I don't know yet. I guess it's an idea.



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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In theory the pricing structure should go something like this:

Price of materials + price of consumable (sandpaper, bits etc.) + facilities cost + wage for you = price of the gonne. Asking what the market wants to pay or thinks is "fair" is definitely a losing proposition, since the market is ALWAYS going to think something is too expensive. (Think some of the past company X sword threads, and yet somehow despite the angst company X somehow manages to stay in business.)

TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
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Allan Senefelder
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Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Russ said. The consumer would always like it for as little as possible ( i'd like a $1 new car, 1 cent gas and a whole lot of other stuff) wheather its milk or a car but that doesn't mean the maker can stay in business at what the consumer would like to pay so you need to come up with a figure that reflects what you need to make to stay in business making them. From that point forward the market will determine if theres enough demand for what you make to support you being in business marking it.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael...

Your work is very nice. Obviously you know what you are doing and have an eye for it.

I agree with Russ' formula for determining an asking price. However, I have known quite a few craftsmen turning out guns who never got the payment they deserved for their work and most had to settle for a lot less. As Russ and Allen commented, the bottom line is that the consumer never wants to pay you what your labor is worth. All that being said, you are going to have to determine what you think you can live with in the way of returns for your labor and stick with it as long as you can sell your work at that price. Asking the consumer will not get you an honest answer in most cases. You will need to research some other suppliers of this sort of firearm, and there are not many, to figure out what is reasonable. You mentioned handgonnes.com, which I have visited many times. Their entry level pieces are very inexpensive for what you get. Then you have the components available from The Rifle Shoppe. Their barrels start at $150 for a simple handgonne and you have to add the pole and linstock if you want one. There are others and fortunately most seem to have web sites.

One thing to look into is whether or not you are faced with paying Federal excise taxes on any complete guns you sell. The late John Bivins, a gunstocker extrodinaire, who built and sold a number of Pennsylvania long rifles during the bi-centennial, fought a long battle with the Feds over whether or not he, as a custom builder, was required to pay the taxes levied under the Robinson-Pittman act. My memory of all this has faded, but it seems to me that he lost the case. Also keep product liability in mind. Once the gun leaves your hands anything can happen. And, you are the first person the injured party is going to think of when their friends advise them to get a lawyer. I am not trying to scare you, just advise you of potential problems.

I hope you will decide to produce these guns. Yours looks great and I believe there is a market. Why, I would pay up to $50 for one of those things!

Good luck.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also agree with Russ. Calculate how much the materials cost for you and then add a certain amount of "markup"--between five and thirty per cent--to cover the costs for your labor and give you a decent profit margin. Believe it or not, this is precisely how large companies calculate the desired prices for their products!

(And they determine the right price by trial and error. Nobody gets it right the first time around.)

Going back to the topic, I certainly wouldn't feel like I'm wasting my money if I have to spend around $500 on your examples, especially if you can include a handy manual sheet or booklet with them, describing the basic methods of loading and firing as well as the correct sizes for the powder charge and ball.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 10:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice work!

For something that simple...well, how much does it cost to make the barrel first off? I'd imagine that's the most costly bit. Wood should be the cheaper part.

Find out how much everything costs you, then mark it up by 15%.

M.

PS: Can you make a matchlock?

This space for rent or lease.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Thu 31 May, 2007 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Michael...


One thing to look into is whether or not you are faced with paying Federal excise taxes on any complete guns you sell. The late John Bivins, a gunstocker extrodinaire, who built and sold a number of Pennsylvania long rifles during the bi-centennial, fought a long battle with the Feds over whether or not he, as a custom builder, was required to pay the taxes levied under the Robinson-Pittman act. My memory of all this has faded, but it seems to me that he lost the case. Also keep product liability in mind. Once the gun leaves your hands anything can happen. And, you are the first person the injured party is going to think of when their friends advise them to get a lawyer. I am not trying to scare you, just advise you of potential problems.



I did a little research after I wrote the above statement. The excise tax battle was lost by John Bivins, but later the tax was eliminated for custom gunsmiths. However, before you start production, and just to be on the safe side, I would check with the tax authorities to be sure.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Thu 31 May, 2007 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

interesting. thanks a lot for the information.

Mike
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