No, you can't go back in time, but you can buy as many old Model As and old 39s as you'd like; they made millions of both...2.2 million 39s since 1922. No, you can't buy them for $10, but you can't buy a house for $8,000, or Apple stock for 1980 prices either. The purists will never be happy with a reproduction/reintroduction, anyway, especially one marked "Ruger," but they represent only a very small number of potential buyers.
So, who wants a brand-new 39A, and how much will they be willing to pay? That's the question Ruger faces. If a new 39A costs $1000, how many will just go buy a vintage rifle? How important is buying new with a factory warranty to you?
If it happens, it happens, but, no matter what happens, the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth will continue.
Seems like a tempest in a teapot to me.
Agreed. On the other hand when you have a couple million older rifles to compete with, it helps if they are high priced on the used market.
There‘s always the question of how much someone will pay for a new lever action .22 LR. I have a couple BL-22s, three 9422s, an uncheckered XTR, a Trapper, and a Legacy, and a Marlin 39A. They pretty well cover the higher quality options.
The BL-22s is still in production and while it has never been inexpensive, prices are not crazy either. A brand new Grade 1 BL-22 can be had for $700-$750. The Grade 2 BL-22s are a couple hundred more. Prices for a Grade 1 in used excellent condition are in the $500-$550 range.
Those new BL-22s still sell well as $700-750. Personally, I never quite understood why folks who buy Henrys for $400 don’t just spend a little more and get a much better quality BL-22. But those $500 used BL-22s are not always available in a gun shop.
The 9422s I‘ve owned 3-10 years have all greatly appreciated. $700-$750 would get a excellent condition 9422 XTR with no box 10 years ago, and the going rate for them doubled since then.
They are priced high enough now that I’m glad I bought mine when I did. I don’t think I would pay $1500 for even a new lever action of comparable quality to a 9422. Ironically back when I bought my 9422 XTR people told me I paid way too much at $700 for what they felt was a $450 gun.
I recently bought a 1946 Marlin 39A (Ballard rifling, factory drilled and tapped tang, no safety and no rebounding hammer). It is an older reblue and thus a $500-$600 rifle. That compares $1000-$1200 for a rifle from the same era in similar condition. There are a surprisingly large percentage of reblued Marlin 39s and 39As out there and ai think that speaks to their value as shooters rather than just solely collectors. over the last few years I have passed on a few excellent condition 39As and I only regret not buying one of them (priced at $995 a few years ago).
I bought this 39A so as a shooter so the reblue doesn’t bother me. I intended from the start to put a vintage Marbles tang sight on it, so I was looking for an older 39A with the D&Td tang.
So…my thoughts are that Ruger is going to have to price them competitively with the BL-22 and keep the price in the $750-800 range. Once they start getting much over that and into the $1000 range, they will be competing with a lot of nice vintage 39As.