Why We Don’t Do Old Guns

There is invariably a flood of questions asking “what my gun is worth,” asking for history, value, etc. That cannot possibly be done accurately over the internet without gun in hand anymore than you can tell me what my car, lawnmower, or camcorder is worth-- or, its personal history. However, there are several reputable resources readily available.

Blue Book of Gun Values,” “Standard Catalog of Firearms” by Ned Schwing, and “Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values” are all good references. They are all opinions and guides, and cannot possibly take into consideration geographic conditions or current market considerations. In fact, Blue Book / Ned Schwing / Flayderman's rarely agree. As soon as they go to print, they are already obsolete-- things keep changing, printed copy does not.

As much as we would like to help, you really need to do your own research. A look at the “closed auctions” at Auction Arms or Gunbroker will give you a general idea what range things are selling at. Contacting the manufacturer, if possible, will quickly equip you with an owner’s manual and operating instructions. Beyond that, support your local dealer—a good pro shop can give you a rough idea as to values and what the demand in your area may or may not be.

Like anything else, anything is only truly worth what someone will pay you for it. An appraisal is just an opinion, not an offer to buy. I suppose jewelers know that better than anyone?

Copyright 2006 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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