When collecting antique guns, one of the major issues that you'll encounter is how to detect a fake. Detecting a fake antique gun can be a challenge, as they tend to be fairly rare, and thus there's often very little to compare them to. For the most part, you'll have to rely upon the condition of materials themselves and the build of the gun.
Inconsistent Aging of Materials
If the metal parts of a gun have clearly aged but the wooden parts have not, it's likely that the gun has been artificially aged to look older. Antique guns will have aged consistently throughout the entirety of the gun's body -- unless parts have been replaced. And, if parts have been replaced, the gun is likely to be either worth less than an actual antique or possibly not worth anything at all.
Removed Marks and Engravings
In order to prematurely age a gun, many sellers will remove the gun's maker's mark by filing it down. Once it's been removed, they may replace it with their own engraving, in order to make it seem more authentic. A gun that doesn't have a maker's mark is far more likely to be an inauthentic gun.
Family History as Provenance
Many fake antiques are sold as guns that have a family history and thus don't have any other paperwork to prove that they are an antique. Though family history can create a unique provenance, it has to be backed up with documentation -- such as old family photos which show the weapon itself. Buyers -- especially new buyers -- are almost always better off selecting guns that have paperwork to prove their value.
The Firing Mechanism Doesn't Work Or Is Incomplete
Finally, one of the easiest ways to determine whether a gun is a replica or an actual historical weapon is to examine the firing mechanism. Many replicas are not sold as working guns, so though their firing mechanism may appear to be authentic at first glance, they don't actually work.
If you're worried that your antique gun might be a fake, it's best to consult with a professional. Fake historical guns are a very large market, as replicas are often accidentally sold as true antiques. At Metro Pawn and Gun, we can help you determine whether or not your gun is the real deal.
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