Don't back the truck up to load it just yet.

27 December 2019   |   by Greg   |   Blog
Guns in 2020 - A Presidential Election Year

Gun and ammunition sales dropped a lot after President Trump was elected. The buying frenzy we experienced while Obama was in office is gone. For now. Let me share some real stats with you...

According to the FBI, background checks for gun purchases dropped from 2.5 million in January 2016 under Obama to 2 million in January 2017 when Trump was coming into office.

A monthly sales drop of 500,000, a half-million guns is a big deal. I recall the month Obama was first elected in November 2008, those same FBI background checks for gun purchases more than doubled! Really. They went from 1.2 million in October to 2.6 million in November of that year.

The Inverse Relationship

Some find it odd that there is an inverse relationship between gun sales and the political persuasion of the president. Makes perfect sense to me. I look for Trump to be re-elected in the coming year and the market for collectible firearms to be somewhat more of a buyer's market. So don't back the truck up to load it just yet.

FBI background checks for gun sales may not be the best barometer, but it is the easiest obtainable information to gauge what the market is doing. On this past Black Friday, the FBI ran 202,465 checks in one day alone. And I've read that 2019 may be on track to equal or possibly exceed the record setting 27.5 million FBI background checks conducted in 2016.

Breaking News for 2020!

Colt has announced they are bringing the Python back in 2020. It will be available in 4.25" (new) and 6". It will be priced at $1,499.

"The 2020 Python features modern stainless steel alloys and a re-designed rear sight."

In addition, Colt says "Thirty percent more steel beneath the rear adjustable target sight gives you a stronger revolver and more robust shooting experience. A recessed target crown, user-interchangeable front sight, and Walnut grip with the iconic Colt medallion make this a gun you’ll want to shoot AND show off. The Python is chambered in .357 Magnum and also accommodates .38 Special cartridges."

6" 2020 Colt Python Specifications

  • Barrel Description: 1:14 LH, 6 Groove
  • Barrel Length: 6 in.
  • Capacity: 6 rds.
  • Finish: Semi-Bright
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Grips: Walnut Target Stocks
  • Height: 5.5 in.
  • Width: 1.55 in.
  • Overall Length: 11.5 in.
  • Weight: 46 oz.

Market Factors other than Politics

There are many factors aside from who our president is, that drive the market in collectible firearms. First of all, the market for new guns affects the market for old guns. Secondly, with each year that passes we lose more and more of us older guys and younger generation coming along is a whole different story.

The economy, political unrest, racial tensions, and crime are factors. Law-breakers, like thieves, murderers and drug addicts all have an influence on things. But, the politicians make our laws, and there always seems to be a good supply of politicians that think outlawing guns should be their number one priority.

What lies ahead in 2020?

Our economy has been improving at a rapid pace under President Trump. If he is re-elected, I think we check those two items off the list: a president in favor of our Second Amendment and a good economy. Many sources attribute the recent uptick in gun sales and the record Black Friday sales to the Democratic presidential primary race.

A presidential election year can destabilize a lot of markets, especially nonessential goods. People often develop a wait and see attitude. They worry about the future. A good example is a lot of the people who did not like Trump, predicted that the stock market would crash if he was elected. Fear tactics are always used in politics.

One more time! Even the remote chance of a Democrat winning the White House in 2020 may cause that old inverse relationship to kick in. I know American Outdoor (the company that owns Smith & Wesson) increased its revenue estimate for their fiscal year that ends in April 2020 by $50 million.

It's likely that anyone reading this would have as good a guess about the future as me. So if you enjoy buying, selling or trading old guns, just be prepared to go either way. And do the opposite of what the majority is doing.

A Final Word

The pendulum swings. Read my short article about The Obama Years. Will I be more of a buyer than seller in 2020? If I were basing my answer to that question only on the office of the president, I would say buyer. The thing is, all of these other factors are playing a bigger role than ever and we may see prices remain high and go higher.

I often say, if you look closely you will find that most things in life have a good side and a bad side. Although Presidential Election Years tend to drive gun prices up, which is bad if you are a buyer, here's the good news. You will usually see guns come to market that are not routinely available.

If you are in a gun related business and did not make money in the Obama years, change professions now!

2019 - A Look Back

New Zealand implemented a ban and buy back program on military style assault rifles after 51 people were gunned down at a mosque. I've read that they collected 47,000 firearms. An accounting firm hired by the government estimated that there were 50,000 to 170,000 of the banned guns in the country.

Just in case you thought I was joking about the Python coming back in 2020, here's the link

How will the 2020 Python Affect Prices?

The big question on every Python collector's mind right now is, "What is this going to do to the prices?" The older Pythons are going from $3,000 to $7,500 and now a buyer can get a new one for $1,500. Much will depend on the reputation developed by the new model once it's out and gets a lot of exposure.

When Colt decided to re-release the Detective Special some time back, they made so many changes to it that it was not the same gun. It appears they are not going to make that mistake with the Python. And when Colt decided to release a Re-Issue Series of the 1903, they licensed the production to US Armament Corp. There won't be any subbing the Python out I'm sure.

4.25" 2020 Colt Python Specifications

  • Barrel Description: 1:14 LH, 6 Groove
  • Barrel Length: 4.25 in.
  • Capacity: 6 rds.
  • Finish: Semi-Bright
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Grips: Walnut Target Stocks
  • Height: 5.5 in.
  • Width: 1.55 in.
  • Overall Length: 9.75 in.
  • Weight: 42 oz.

The link above shows the 6" version of the 2020 Python. Here is a link to the new 2020 Colt Python 4.25" version

When I first learned of the return of the Python, I initially thought I would purchase both a 4.25" and 6" gun as soon as possible. Then the more I learned about the new gun the more my enthusiasm waned. In fact, I lost all interest. To the point that I decided I would not buy a new Python at all, not even when they came out with a 3" version.


My MOS when I served in the United States Army was 76Y. For you non-military readers, the Military Occupational Specialty of 76 Yankee means that I was a Unit Armorer. While on REFORGER 85, I trained with German Paratroopers and qualified as "Expert" with the German G-3 rifle, the Israeli Uzi 9mm sub-machinegun and the 9mm handgun.