Is your gun a collectible?
Here are a number of points which factor-in when determining the collectability of a firearm:
- Desirability/ Aesthetics
Is your firearm a nice looking piece? If it has great eye-appeal than you have overcome the first hurdle. People generally collect weapons that appeal to them and have a nice aesthetic quality. This is not to say that a nice rare old ugly piece will not be sought after, it is more of a general statement regarding what the majority of collectors look for.
Condition is King! The collector of guns now has at their disposal a very sophisticated system of grading. This has helped to standardize the marketplace and level the playing field. Since grading remains a subjective art, there will always be differences in opinion as to the actual grade of an individual weapon. Having said this, the grading system has evolved to the point that there should not be too much difference from collector to collector and from dealer to dealer. Click here to see a fantastic gun grading system brought to you by Blue Book Publications Inc.
Most firearms have been catalogued and priced in various guides available to the layman. Even a quick search on the internet can give you a pretty good idea what the going rate of any particular weapon is. Price should always be looked at in relation to other factors. We like to always tie price to value. Just as we all have different values, so do we all have different price thresholds. Seasoned collectors all agree that paying a little more for that nicer piece may hurt the pocketbook at the time but years down the road you will be happy you did. To find out how we determine the value of a gun click here
Many collectors specialize according to manufacturer. The appeal and recognition of large name makers is usually much broader than the smaller, and usually defunct, companies. The companies Winchester, Colt, Parker, Remington, etc. have made their mark in history and proven their reliability and longevity. Therefore firearms bearing the trademarks of a reputable firm will almost always have a larger collector base than a lesser known maker.
We have a little saying “Not every old gun is rare and not every rare gun is old”. If your gun is indeed rare, it will be of interest to someone, somewhere. The trouble is, often that someone is just as hard to find as the gun itself! Don’t mistake rarity for desirability. Rarity is but one factor to take into account when determining the value. Some collectors will only collect weapons that are MIB (mint in box) condition and are not so interested in the rarity. Other collectors would do anything to have a rare gun in their collection, no matter what the condition. Believe it or not, great original condition of an old gun is usually what is rare and not necessarily the gun itself.
One thing we have noted throughout the years of doing appraisals is that if a gun can be tied to an historic person or event, the value of that firearm will escalate tremendously. This is no easy task however. Irrefutable proof must be provided and not just a letter from grandpa saying that he got this from a friend as payment for a debt and the friend was related to Geronimo and the friend swore it was a present from Geronimo to him. What you will need to provide is a myriad of supporting documentation. If you are able to prove that your weapon is tied to someone important, or an important event and this proof is accepted by the top dealers and collectors, then you have a great chance of getting a nice premium at one of the top auction houses. Of course the more historic and important the person or event is, the better your chances of a big score!
- Special Order Features
Firearms fall into a special category when it comes to special features. Just about every gun manufacturer has numerous options available to the buyer. From engraving, wood carving, checkering to special finishes, sights and everything in-between, there are literally hundreds of features in the firearm world. And to top it all off, not all of these special features were done at the factory. Many were after-market options.
All of these features must be taken into account when determining the collectability and value of your weapon. What is desirable to one collector may not necessarily intrigue another.
- Market and Economic Factors
In North America we usually talk about values of firearms in relation to the U.S. marketplace, however even within the U.S the values of a particular gun will be quite different from region to region. This is particularly true when going to gun shows. Dealers notice higher demands for certain types of weapons in different states. The ability to post your gun for sale on the internet has rapidly removed the distance barriers which are so typical to gun shows. Although there is no replacement for being able to see and touch the weapon you are considering purchasing, most reputable internet dealers offer a full refund if not fully satisfied. When the economy is booming people generally have excess income to spend on their hobbies and passions. When the economy slows, so does the number of buyers. Hence the market usually responds with lower prices. To the person who has the disposable income available, this is the best time to buy. It’s supply and demand in it’s purest form.
See what we need in order to provide a valuation on your gun.
To get your gun valued just click here
Read some tips from a gun appraiser