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Remembered Today:

Lewis Gun. Price?


trenchtrotter
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New on the net with a Militaria dealer from the NW of England is a de ac Lewis with loaded drum magazine plus post war carry handle. Only £8950. Have they really gone up that much?

TT

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Assuming he is a dealer with some common, he will price it within a price he thinks he can sell it for. Asking the earth and not selling an item is just dumb, and takes up shelf space. He probably knows there is the chance of a punter out there who will buy it at that price. Or he is willing to be haggled down a bit and still sell at a handsome profit. If you don't like the price go find and buy a cheaper one, is what he will think if not say.

There are rumoured to still be several hundred tucked away on the Sub-Continent, if they come out they will go to the States, and we will get the dross, - such is the way of such things.

G

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One at Arundel Militaria for less than half that price, seems very steep to me.

Doug

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My mate paid £1500 for his Lewis and at the time it seemed a lot, he's laughing now. I also remember when the WW1 Vickers appeared from Australia a few years back, £550, I bought a WW2 version for £425., sold it in a moment of madness and regretted it ever since....

Baz

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Dont be surprised if this sells. I know the dealer and he won't lower his price. I have to say it looks to be in excellent condition. A lottery present!

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I genuinely wish him luck. My Lewis at £2250 seems a bargin now and my L series 1916 Vickers on WW1 tripod also appears to have been a bargin.

I don't see 9K but would have thought 4k as a good price?

Maybe I'm losing sight of pricing now?

TT

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That chap strikes me as always being optimistically priced, yet he does seem to sell his stuff. Personally, I would have thought it's worth around half that, perhaps slightly less.

And as I've said before, the Carrying Handle - despite often being billed as a WWI accessory - first appears in the List of Changes (Para A. 956) on October 1st 1920, and I personally have yet to see any (photographic) evidence that it was used in the war.

Cheers,

GT.

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Although in X year's time, £8,950 will probably seem like a bargain. So it goes...

(Assuming no future legislative unpleasantness causes a deact price crash)

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And as I've said before, the Carrying Handle - despite often being billed as a WWI accessory - first appears in the List of Changes (Para A. 956) on October 1st 1920, and I personally have yet to see any (photographic) evidence that it was used in the war.

Whilst I agree in this case there appears to be a distinct lack of evidence of these handles being in use during the war itself, I feel I should point out that dates in general in the LoC as to when kit was actually in use from have to be taken with a pinch of salt, as sometimes they can be a precursor to new items actually appearing, or officially approving an item having been in service for some time. The classic Vickers gun example being one of the wallets carried in the leather spare parts case - officially adopted in 1927, but actually in use from at least 1918, so almost a decade of non-LoC recorded use.

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Whilst I agree in this case there appears to be a distinct lack of evidence of these handles being in use during the war itself, I feel I should point out that dates in general in the LoC as to when kit was actually in use from have to be taken with a pinch of salt, as sometimes they can be a precursor to new items actually appearing, or officially approving an item having been in service for some time. The classic Vickers gun example being one of the wallets carried in the leather spare parts case - officially adopted in 1927, but actually in use from at least 1918, so almost a decade of non-LoC recorded use.

Absolutely: I agree entirely Andrew that the LoCs sometimes lagged behind the real-life introduction of kit, which is why I qualify it with the request for proofs in this case - so that spurious claims can't be made for these items on a delayed listing basis.

Cheers,

GT.

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My mate paid £1500 for his Lewis and at the time it seemed a lot, he's laughing now. I also remember when the WW1 Vickers appeared from Australia a few years back, £550, I bought a WW2 version for £425., sold it in a moment of madness and regretted it ever since....

Baz

Hi Baz,

Sorry to say this but a few years back was 1990. It was 1988/1989 that the Australian government cleared out war reserves of lots of stuff including the 600 Vickers, with most going to the UK and hitting the market in 1990. The policy changed not long after that with everything being burned. Then with the "Port Arthur Massacre" in 1996, everything went totally crazy here and the Government will no longer sell the knife from the knife-fork-spoon field set as it might be used as a weapon. Nanny state gone mad.

Cheers

RT

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Amazing how time flies and prices go up! I bought a1910 pattern Russian Maxim a couple of years back for £425 and already I'm getting offers- I won't be parting with that one..

Baz

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  • 1 month later...

Just caught up with this thread.

Lewis prices seem vary from country to country. I've seen UK deactivated examples with transit box's and associated spares sell for UK3500.00 to 4000.00 over the past few years. More recently, James D Julia in the USA, sold a live example for about US$16000.00. Obviously, as stocks deplete, prices start to go up to meat demand. Here in NZ, we're still very fortunate to be able to own live firearms, providing you have met the licence requirements needed to own such firearms. Lewis guns are a scarce and desirable item to own in NZ with virtually all of our military stocks having been destroyed ( along with many other tasty collectable firearms ) and dumped out to sea in the mid 1960's. As a result, there are no NZ marked Lewis guns in private ownership and even our National Army Museum has had to borrow an example from a private collection. Most examples in private ownership are ex Nepalese & Pakistani Army, imported into NZ in the early 1980's and a few, more recently, over the past 6 or 7 years. Increased pressure was placed on local collections when Sir Peter Jackson began to start buying Lewis guns for his WW1 collection and museum.

Since 2003, I have seen 4 examples come up for sale at various auctions around the country and know of another 2 that have changed hands privately. In that 11 year period, prices have gone from NZ4500.00 to a massive NZ35000.00 ( about UK17000.00 ). As much as I'd like to have one in my collection, there is no way I could justify that amount on a LMG UNLESS it had impeccable NZ provenance from actions during WW1 or 2 ( it would just about need a VC, DSO & MC pinned on the side of it ! ).

Mike

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Van Gogh's first painting sale made 400 francs.

Inflation.

The key thing about de-acts is that a) they ain't making them any more B) there are more collectors worldwide than ever c) The rarer de-acts will shoot up in price.

My gunsmith says that the most undervalued de-act is the Bren Gun and they should make the same price as a German marked MG 34. Supplies of Brens in stock has now pretty well run out so with no more coming onto the market the price will inevitably rise.

Variation in laws worldwide also affect de-acts. A British de-act machine gun is still regarded as a live firearm in the USA because the receiver has not been cut into three parts. This could lead to an interesting export trade!

John

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My gunsmith says that the most undervalued de-act is the Bren Gun and they should make the same price as a German marked MG 34. Supplies of Brens in stock has now pretty well run out so with no more coming onto the market the price will inevitably rise.

I certainly have to agree with you John, Bren guns have always been great value for money.

I still miss the days of £85 for an SMLE or No4

*sign*

Baz

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When I started rifle shooting in the 1980's I remember adverts for live firing Brens set up for single shot only. for £125.00 a gun. My gunsmith tells me he used to buy SMLE's by the pallet at £10 a rifle. Those were the days.

John

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Hi

Jc militeria has a very impressive example at £8950.Ive posted the details.

EXTREMELY RARE, Fully Ordnance Marked, WW1 British BSA M1914 .303 Lewis Automatic Machine Gun With Original Drum Pan Magazine, Inert Rounds & Bipod. Sn 10858 10858

The .303 calibre Lewis gun (or Lewis automatic machine gun) is a World War I period light machine gun that was widely used by the British Military. It was first used in combat in World War I, and continued in service with a number of armed forces through to the end of the Korean War. This is an extremely rare, excellent clean WW1 .303 Lewis Light Machine Gun. The weapon was manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms Co for Arms Automatiques Lewis Belgium and is crisply stamped accordingly (illustrated). It is also marked 'Lewis Auto Gun 1914 pat' together with number '34409'. The frame is also ordnance stamped and has matching number '34409E'. It is complete with original bipod, carry handle, ladder rear sight, winged fore sight and removeable drum pan magazine which is fully loaded with inert .303. calibre rounds. The underside of the drum is crisply marked '303 MK VI 7 VII' together with 'E' inspection mark and number '7907'. The weapon retains most of its original finish & cocks strips and dry fires as it should. These impressive weapons are extremely rare and this is a fine original example worthy of a museum or serious collectors display. The price includes UK delivery and deactivation certificate. Sn 10858

£8950

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Also WWA (world wide arms) have later models but cheaper but are not shown on their web site,but are shown on their Mail catalogue.

Regards

Nick

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You have to be careful with web traders in antiques and militaria.

Many of these traders put items up at silly prices in the hope there are people with more money than sense or people who simply do not know that other traders are selling the same things at half the price.

I know one website where the dealer has many 'Death Plaques' all for £300 each no matter what the history, regiment etc. Not many have sold over the years but some have.

Caveat Emptor !

John

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Nick see the thread starter. That is the one I was referring to.

TT

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Ah yes I see what you mean now sorry TT !

Jc militara are as a rule a bit pricey compared with other dealers and I personal haven't bough anything from him yet. He is quite good I think, as is this forum,for information / history ect.

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  • 2 years later...

Needs to have the new EU deactivation certificate, if not you cant transfer ownership in any shape or form (inc gift).

 

Consult a dealer about the best way to get it deactivated (further) to the new spec and get a new certificate whereupon it can be freely transferred and sold.

Edited by ServiceRumDiluted
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