Price comparisons (though mostly U.S. makers) here, and a bit about the 1890 tariff and subsequent Panic of 1893. The McKinley Tariff of 1890 set the average ad valorem tariff rate for imports into the United States at 48.4%. “Sporting, breech-loading double-barrel shotguns” had a 35% ad valorem PLUS an import duty of $1.50 if priced less than $6; $4 if $6-$12; and $6 if priced greater than $12. The tariff contributed to the “Panic of 1893” with 500 bank closures, the bankruptcy of over 15,000 businesses, and the failures of the Philadelphia and Reading, Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroads. An estimated 18% of the workforce was unemployed at the Panic's peak, especially in the west and in farm states as the price of wheat and cotton fell. A series of strikes followed in 1894, the worse being the Bituminous Coal Miners’ and Pullman strikes. The U.S. economy, and U.S. gunmakers, did not begin to recover until 1896.https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1OTND2bQH0vhlbCf7c2sN8H1vzmT7xagUSXhewGB03SE
In 1895 Will Park, Gun Editor for Sporting Life
began publishing a series of editorials encouraging the purchase of American guns, shells, and powder.
See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dfg2hmx7_311kp75d7hd http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/SportingLife/1895/VOL_24_NO_21/SL2421013.pdf
Feb. 16, 1895 Sporting Life
(Spelling is as written
During the past three years on visits to such sporting clubs as Larchmont, Carteret, Tuxedo and Riverton, we have noted the peculiar fact that out of 20 or 30 guns on the grounds at one time there will possibly be one gun of American manufacture. All the others are "Crown Grade Grenier's," "Premier Quality Scott's," "Purdy's" and other foreign makes.
The remarkable state of affairs, which is not creditable to American manufacturers, would indicate that there is something lacking on their part. We know that men with "hobbies" are willing to spend much money to gratify their "hobby;" but we are not willing to concede, if only from a patriotic sense, that American manufacturers are unable to satisfy their countrymen's "hobby" in guns.
April 6, 1895http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/SportingLife/1895/VOL_25_NO_02/SL2502014.pdf
Some Facts About the Retail Gun Trade - The Mania For Foreign-Made Guns
Parker Bros., of Meridan, Conn., are producing a Special high grade pigeon gun which is certainly equal to an imported gun in every way, and best of all, the shooting quality is not lacking.
The Hunter Arms Co., of Fulton, N. Y., also make a special gun which is finely finished, perfectly balanced and contains the best workmanship.
The Lefever Arms Co., of Syracuse are also catering to this better class of trade, and have already filled many orders for guns costing $300 to $400 which were equal in material, finish design of engraving and general workmanship to any foreign gun costing much more money.
By the First DuPont Grand Smokeless Championship Handicap Live-bird Tournament October 1895 the most used gun was of U.S. makehttp://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/SportingLife/1895/VOL_26_NO_06/SL2606012.pdf
Fred Gilbert (L.C. Smith) and Charles “Hayward” Macalester (Purdey) tied at 25; Gilbert won the shoot-off 5/5 to 4/5. Charles Wagner (Parker), E.B. Coe (Smith), Capt. John L. Brewer (Greener), and A.H. King (Scott Monte Carlo) tied at 24; Wagner won the shoot-off taking 3rd place.
Guns: Smith – 13, Parker – 8, Greener – 11, Lefever – 6, Francotte – 4, Scott & Remington – 3 each, Francotte – 2, Colt, Grant, Boss & Purdey – 1 each