The term ‘antique’ or ‘collectible’ is generally ascribed to a firearm that was designed and manufactured prior to the beginning of the 20th century. Although the exact definition of what constitutes an ‘antique firearm’ varies, it can be divided into two basic types - muzzle loading and cartridge firing. Such pieces are highly sought by collectors and shooters, and we come across some very unique and collectable firearms at Metro Pawn & Gun.
Collecting grades differ between modern firearms and antiques due to their age. A well-built gun will typically be passed on from generation to generation, and can tell us volumes about the history and technology of the time in which it was built. Some collectible firearms are owned for the expressed purpose of display without the intent to shoot them, while others may be safely fired after thorough inspection. Many variables go into ascertaining the ‘value’ or ‘condition’ of a firearm. For example a modern firearm retaining 90% of its finish may be deemed in "Very Good" condition, yet an antique firearm can be classified as the same with having only 80% of its finish.
By the very definition of antiquity, there is an associated level of scarcity which is also a determining factor in the value of such firearms. An 85 year old pre-WWII rifle may seem unique and uncommon, but may have been produced in the millions with many surviving examples still in circulation, and thus not be worth very much. On the other hand, a rare Colt revolver from the late 60s that was produced in very small quantities may be worth 10 times as much as the pre-WWII rifle.
Given their scarcity, the prices of antique firearms have been steadily on the rise, some having tripled or quadrupled in value in recent years. At Metro Pawn & Gun, we have many resources at our disposal for determining prices - gun shows, auctions, websites such as www.gunbroker.com, or references such as "The Blue Book of Used Gun Values." Having provenance (a record of ownership used as a guide to authenticity or quality) can greatly improve prices, making the three main criteria for value rarity, condition, and provenance.
If you have an old, possibly collectible firearm we would be happy to evaluate it and arrive at a mutually acceptable offer. We might also have that unique item that you have been looking for. Either way, Metro Pawn & Gun should be your first destination when collectible firearms are on the radar!
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