Why Are Revolvers So Expensive? The Real Reason

When you move your eyes from the semiautomatic weapons and plan on buying a revolver for the first time, we won’t be surprised if you get a big shock looking at the price. 

So, why are revolvers so expensive? The main reason here is the mechanism and elements used in building the weapon. Revolvers are manufactured from expensive elements like steel, or a combination of steel and aluminum. That’s why the complicated build and expensive material make the cost go up. 

But that’s not all that we have found. Keep on digging to explore more! 

Why Are Revolvers So Expensive? 10 Surprising Reasons 

Even if there are thousands of other weapons, there is something unique about revolvers. These handguns give off the perfect impression of classic charm.

But why do revolvers come at a heftier price compared to their counterparts? Here are some big reasons:

1. The Craftsmanship 

Revolvers require heavy craftsmanship to build. The design is complicated, and accumulating every component in such a small area takes precision and quite a bit of labor. 

Moreover, there are several other things that need to be considered while building a revolver, like the precision of the cylinder, barrel, and internal mechanisms. That takes a toll on the cost. 

2. Labor Costs 

Due to the increased work of fitting the necessary elements into a small space, the labor is more complicated. This requires expert handling, while expert gunsmiths need to spend a lot of time creating one gun. 

3. Specialized Equipment

The manufacturers require specific tools and machinery to create revolvers. These tools are specialized for producing high-quality revolvers, so they come at an expensive cost. As a result, this increases the final expense.

4. Specific Parts

Revolvers have unique components like the cylinder, extractor, and crane assembly. These components are specific and need to be built quite precisely. That’s why they are more expensive than usual semi-automatic weapons. 

5. Use Of Expensive Materials

The construction of a revolver requires the use of premium materials like steel, titanium, or even aluminum. Some may be built with a combination of steel and aluminum to enhance quality and durability. These materials are very costly, which increases the overall price range of the revolver. 

6. Aesthetic Appeal 

Many gun enthusiasts love revolvers because of their looks. The small and classic vibe of revolvers never goes out of style. So, to create such a vibe, they need to spend extra hours on the design, which increases the cost. 

7. Extensive Customization Options 

Revolvers have a lot of room for customization, unlike other weapons. People who love to customize weapons of their choice choose revolvers to embed their personal essence. Thus, it costs more to add personalization.

8. Brand Reputation

Most of the brands that produce revolvers have a good history in the industry. As a result, their brand reputation also plays a big role in raising the price. 

9. Vintage Collection 

Some revolvers come in limited editions and as historical supplies. So, enthusiasts look for those and pay a high price for them because of their rarity. 

10. Limited Production

This is another prime reason why revolvers are more expensive. They are quite hard to get compared to semi-automatic pistols. Due to the limited production and demand, the price automatically goes up. 

Top 3 Most Expensive Revolver Models Ever Made 

Although most revolvers cost quite a bit, there are some models that stand out more. These premium ones will blow your mind with their service and high cost. Here are the top 3 of them:

1. Smith & Wesson Model 320 Revolving Rifle 

Produced by Smith & Wesson, this gun has been one of the most expensive revolvers since the late 19th century.

It was given its name because of the.32 caliber cartridge. The new cartridge is more reliable than the old ones. 

This is one of Smith & Wesson’s rarest production weapons. The 320 revolving rifle is named this way because it contains the features of both a revolver and a rifle. It can hold five rounds and has a detachable shoulder stock. 

Cost: Around $100,000.

2. Colt Python 

The Colt Python is another expensive handgun chambered using the .357 Magnum cartridge. It is built on the super reliable Colt’s large I-frame. The main reason behind its cost is the high demand and accuracy.

The smooth trigger pull, along with the tight cylinder lock-up blows the minds of enthusiasts. This vintage gun is a desire for all, and now that it turned out to be vintage, the cost has risen to the cylinder. 

Now, these guns are often only sold at auction, like one from the Elite series that sold for around $18,000 in a 2020 auction.

Cost: Around $1,874.57 for new and $1,399.04 used, more for the ones that are on auctions. 

3. Ulysses S. Grant’s Cased Remington New Model Army Revolvers

This gun is too precious for the historical significance that it holds. Gun enthusiasts love to collect it due to its Civil War significance.

Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, was known to have used this revolver during the war. 

The prominent historical factors play a big role in determining the price of this revolver.

So, a cased set can cost from several hundred thousand dollars to over a million dollars, depending on the specific details and market conditions.

Cost: Around $5,170,000

is Buying Expensive Revolvers Worth It?

Honestly, it mostly depends on your preference. You can’t dig too much into something when it’s an interest. But buying expensive revolvers won’t be such a good idea if you are a beginner.

Undoubtedly, the rarity and historical significance of some of the revolvers say that you shouldn’t mind the price.

However, if you are not a collector, those might not be things that you should spend too much money on. 

However, rare revolvers, limited editions, deserve the price that they ask for. Also, if you need something for your self-defense, getting an expensive revolver will be a good idea due to its extensive precision. 

3 Comparable Alternatives to Expensive Revolvers (Source 1,2,3,4)

Expensive revolvers are not for everyone. So, if you need a reliable alternative to the expensive ones, here are a few that might catch your attention:

1. Ruger GP100 

If you are a beginner who’s looking for something that provides both strength and performance, this is the right pick for you.

The solid construction, smooth trigger pull, and ability to handle a wide range of calibers in just-in-point. The GP100 is often praised for its value.

This is a.357 magnum revolver, which weighs quite a lot, but that shouldn’t be a problem because you will barely even notice the recoil difference. 

2. Smith & Wesson Model 686

This one is a good, inexpensive choice for both beginners and enthusiasts from Smith & Wesson.

The stainless steel frame gives a classic vibe and includes 357 magnums. It has a synthetic grip and a smooth double-action trigger. 

This model is known for its accuracy and dependability. As a result, whether you are getting the revolver for hunting or personal defense, this can work both ways.

But if your intention is to hunt only, this might be a bit more expensive than the prior choice, although it offers better functionalities. 

3. Charter Arms Bulldog

The Bulldog is another double-action revolver with 5-shots. This revolver has a historical prevalence, as it was manufactured in 1973. You will get it in.44 Special and.357 Magnum cartridges. 

The best thing about this revolver is that it is affordable, reliable, and compact at the same time. The stainless steel frame gives it a robust look and protection from corrosion. 

You will get a good grip on it. The best purpose for using this gun is for self-defense because it might be a little too much for hunting. 


Now that you have almost all the details about expensive revolvers, let’s find out more about the historical masterpieces and why they are so demandable! 

When did revolvers get so expensive?

Most revolvers have seen an increase in price after being taken off the market. The rarity made them vintage, and those hard-to-get pieces became lucrative for collectors. Besides, some old models that have been used in wars are automatically highly valued due to their historical significance.

Why are revolvers still used?

The reliability and simplicity of revolvers can never go out of style. Besides, they are great for self-defense purposes. You can easily carry them anywhere.

Why is a revolver more expensive than a pistol?

The mechanism of revolvers is more complicated than that of pistols. The complex mechanism and hard labor increase the cost. 

Is a revolver good for hunting?

Yes, revolvers can be a good choice for hunting because some of them have powerful calibers, such as.44 Magnum or.357 Magnum, to give sufficient stopping power for hunting.

Is a revolver good for self-defense?

Yes, you can easily carry a revolver anywhere, and they have quite good reliability. The accuracy and consistency make them perfect for self-defense purposes. 

Final Words

The exact reason revolvers are so expensive is mainly their construction and rarity. If you are searching for an expensive revolver, make sure that you have the right purpose. Otherwise, it might be a waste of money for some.