People are usually surprised by the price of miniatures. But only those who weren’t interested in mini firearms before. For instance, a copy of a threefold reduced Colt can cost $3500 or even more. The majority of people exclaims: “Why so expensive? Even the real one is cheaper!” But it is the same as to look at a marble statue in The Louvre and say: “Why should I go to Paris when there is a similar stone woman in our local park?”
As it is known, every product has its customer. Usually, tiny copies of rifles, machine guns, and pistols are bought for a present. In such cases, the budget of several hundred dollars is provided. But there is another category of clients: enthusiasts and collectors. Why are these people ready to pay such an extraordinary price for some rare model? The answer is hidden in parameters which form the price of the firearm. Let’s look closely at different types of miniature firearms.
Generally speaking, these firearms are not guns’ miniatures in a full sense of the word. On the other hand, they are easily accessible. It means that you can find a mock-up of “Luger Parabellum” handgun for sale price that is only $120. These models are not able to fire and just represent the appearance of their prototypes.
Mock-ups are usually made of cheap materials which can be easily molded and processed: plastic, rubber, and wood, alloys of light metals (brass, nickel and zinc). They can only impress you with an appearance on the presentation picture: upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that you are holding a toy in your hands. The only difference – this toy has higher quality.
Functioning copies of pistols
Unlike the aforementioned, real mini firearms also replicate inner mechanism of originals and are produced from the same materials, with the same technologies. They can fire not only blanks and rockets, but live ammunition of an appropriate caliber. How can you measure the quality of such thing?
The core rule could be formulated like this: the closer to the original – the better. Especially if it is a small-scale copy: 1:4, 1:5 and so on. Although, such a tiny models rarely repeat the mechanism with all accuracy. Nolens volens it has to be simplified and reproduced only in the outline that is enough to function.
Material is the second indicator. Ideally, a copy should be made of the same materials (weapon steel, wood). There are also silver, gold, diamonds, ivory and mother of pearls used in VIP-versions.
The third moment – technologies. They should be as close as possible to the technologies that were used in original’s production. Even if you reconstruct an ancient musket or a flintlock pistol. By the way, many people are interested in miniature firearms from the historical point of view, as it allows tracking the evolution of war’s tactics and technologies for centuries.
Mini firearms makers can be divided into two main categories due to the technologies they use: manufacturers and craftsmen. Manufacturers strive to automate their work to the maximum while craftsmen work on every masterpiece manually. The first category pursues commercial purposes: they separate every project into parts, delegate tasks and use wage labor. They offer serial products for sale that are well enough, but the variety is limited by few standard models. Their price is usually lower than the price of original things, made by one master from the beginning to the end with the application of manual tuning. Because of the master puts much more creativity and energy into his job. Unlike serial manufacturers, such a craftsman can construct practically any variant according to individual customer’s preferences. That is why the second category masters confidently occupy their part of the market although they have less productivity. Unique pieces come out of their hands; usually, they are custom made. This activity is closer to the art than to handicraft or business. By the way, works of such masters are quite often bought by state museums.
And, finally, let’s call such a criterion as an execution level: the accuracy of shapes and proportions, the quality of finishing, adjustment. There are no trifles here. Any mechanic can carve a few details of the metal. But to polish, to assemble and to adjust them so that they form the exact double of the required weapon model – this is an art that is only accessible to the chosen ones. Everyone knows the alphabet and can write, but not everyone can write poetry. That’s why there are very few masters who are capable of creating truly worthwhile miniature pistols for sale. They enjoy the deserved respect and fame, which only grows over the years. And so does the cost of their work.
What else influences the sale price of miniature firearms?
As we see, even on this specific market nobody cancelled the concept of famous brand. The leaders are in every market niche: both among serial models and theauthor works. But the most highly valued are unique instances which can be found nowhere else. For instance, nominal samples which were presented to a famous person as a gift or experimental models that were not repeated. Models that were withdrawn from production and have limited release are also highly ranked by collectors. For example, a small pistol “Kolibri,” which was produced for sale in only one thousand of copies in Austria of the 20th century, can now be bought for $3800.
And this is far beyond limitation: there are mini firearms, which price is counted by tens thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is the precedent with a great French master named Michelle Lefaivre who is known as the best craftsman among modern world masters. His works are masterpieces, but to collectors’ regret, it is impossible to buy them. The master deals with this matter not for commercial purposes, but for the soul – a rare case of pure service to art. Lefaivre does not care how many hours he spends on creating a masterpiece and whether this work will pay off: he is interested in achieving the highest possible quality. You may say he is a perfectionist in the best sense of the word. Working on one pistol often takes him a year, two years or even more. Is there any wonder that when one day the master agreed to sell something from his creations, he wasn’t modest in setting a price? And at the same time, by his own admission, he regretted the lost masterpiece more than rejoiced at the money.
Basically, this is a separate theme: the exclusive products of famous masters, made by hand. They are evaluated by the principle of museum exhibits – especially if were made in the past centuries. Such a thing can’t be mixed up with anything: experienced experts guess the manner of one or the other master even without picking up the product, just by photo. The fact is that such artifacts are so complicated in production that it is practically impossible to copy them identically without having the appropriate talent and dedicating years of your life to this business. And the person who has dedicated himself to this art, most likely, will not produce fakes, even if they are sold well. He will be interested in glorifying his own name, creating something that reflects his personality. Moreover, sometimes it takes even more time and efforts to fit someone’s well-known standards than to engage in creativity without borders. Therefore, it is much more tempting to design your own model with its own distinctive features, its advantages and particularity. And then you will have the right to put price tags with lump sums on your own (not someone’s) pieces of art. Even if it will take a few years for experiments and advertisement.
The smaller the scale – the higher the price?
Not always. Such a correlation exists, but the direct dependence is different: the more complex the miniature mechanism is – the more efforts and, therefore, the more hours of work will be required. This determines the final price. For example, the “Colt SA” revolver, made by the famous Canadian master David Kucer, costs $3750, and Thompson’s submachine gun is already $9000. Although all other parameters are equal (including the scale of 1:3), the cost is three times higher. It is because the master will spend 200 hours on a revolver, and more than 400 on a submachine gun. And this is his personal time because most tasks cannot be delegated to apprentices. It demands his trained hands, verified movements, and an experienced eye.
If we talk about simpler mechanisms, then we should pay attention to size/quality ratio. The smaller the dimensions of the working gun – providing that it retains all its properties and is made at a high level – the more a buyer is willing to pay for it. Here is an example with the Swiss miniature “SwissMiniGun”: despite the fact that this copy of Colt Python revolver refers to serial products, its sale price starts at $6700, and the upper level can exceed $60 000. It is because there are no manufacturers that produce miniature pistols for sale, which make such a small six-charged revolvers with such quality characteristics – and it is confirmed by the Guinness World Records book. But, of course, not every enthusiast can afford such an acquisition.
Want to buy a functioning miniature pistol at a good price?
You have this opportunity in our online-store. We do not compete with “SwissMiniGun” in the fight for the official title of the smallest pistol in the world – it is difficult to compare “Derringer” with “Colt” because they are too different in type and internal mechanism. But if you just take the ruler and measure them, it will become obvious which one is the leader regarding miniatures.
As for functionality and quality – they are excellent. We will only mention several unique materials that were used in the manufacture of the gun: gold and mammoth bone. Most of the parts are made of gold, even fastening screws. The only exception is steel springs, which are used in watches and are also ordered from Switzerland. The combination of professional jeweler’s and watchmaker’s skills allowed us to achieve the stunning effect for such small dimensions: the shot power is enough to pierce the metal! However, it’s better to see once.
OUR PISTOL IN USE
The cost of this small masterpiece is $1200. This model has the most profitable price/quality ratio comparing to other miniatures of such class. If you are interested in details about this handgun or ready to make an order, you can do it here.