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Collectible Firearms

Classic Firearms

Firearms referred to as antique or collectible generally include any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system manufactured in or prior to 1898. Such pieces are highly sought by collectors and shooters, and we come across some very interesting antique firearms at Metro Pawn & Gun.

Collecting grades differ between modern firearms and antiques due to their age. A well-built and well taken care of gun that is passed on from generation to generation 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 of antique firearms:

Condition

For example, a modern firearm retaining 90% of its finish may be deemed in "very good" condition, yet an antique firearm can be classified analogously with having only 80% of its finish. In general, an antique firearm will be considered most valuable in its original condition. Refinishing, restoring or modifying it can often destroy the very essence of what makes it an antique. So if you find that tarnished old LeMat Civil War revolver from grandpa's estate, leave it just like it is!

Scarcity

Scarcity is also a determining factor in the value of old firearms. While the 1880s Martini-Henry Rifle may seem like a rare gun, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 were produced with many surviving examples still in circulation, thus reducing its overall value. On the other hand, a Colt Walker revolver from the American West, whose production run did not exceed 1,100 units, is worth exponentially more than virtually anything else from this period.

Depending on their scarcity, the prices of antique firearms have been steadily on the rise in recent years. At Metro Pawn & Gun, we have many resources at our disposal for determining prices—gun shows, auctions, websites such as gunbroker.com, or references such as "The Blue Book of Used Gun Values."

Provenance

Having provenance, a record of ownership used as a guide to certify authenticity or historical significance, can greatly improve appraisals as well. Being able to substantiate that an otherwise common Marlin Model 89 was used by Annie Oakley with a period photo and/or other validation could be the difference between an unexceptional transaction and one of significant import. This makes condition, scarcity and provenance the three primary attributes we look at when evaluating old firearms.

Other Collectors Firearms

Whether or not certain guns are actually classified as antique by definition, there are many that are considered collectible. Imagine owning an original MP 40 (Maschinenpistole 40)—a submachine gun developed in Germany and used extensively by the Axis powers during the Second World War. Finding one can be next to impossible, and although it is not technically an antique, it is considered a prize among collectors with deep pockets.

Another highly desirable gun is the US M1 Garand, which was the standard service rifle of the American Infantry during the same world conflict—a historic carbine our fathers and grandfathers may have used during their service to this nation. Although not as rare as the German MP40, finding one in pristine condition is a dream for many firearm connoisseurs.

Russia’s Mosin-Nagant was a bolt-action rifle developed from 1882 to 1891 that saw service by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations. Fortunately for collectors, hobby shooters, and history buffs, the Mosin-Nagant can still be acquired in the surplus markets with relative ease and without a second mortgage.

The list of iconic firearms is sizeable and steeped in history. An old Colt .22 revolver in its original box, with the original sale sticker is still on it that reads “Dayton’s $78.50.” You can be sure it’s worth a lot more than $78.50 today! Firearms, just like coins and cars, are highly sought after by collectors all over the country.

The Firearms Hobby

At Metro Pawn & Gun, we enjoy all firearms, new and old. If you are into history, be sure to inquire about any unique firearms you may be looking to add to your collection. We have the ability to procure many brands and models of firearms, but you never know what comes into our shop! If you have an old, possibly collectible firearm we would be happy to look at it and make a fair offer. This is where we actually see some of the most interesting pieces—something that may have been sitting in a closet for decades, and whose owner may have decided to part with it for various reasons.

We accommodate clients ranging from collectors to enthusiasts to casual shooters, and our knowledgeable staff will assist you in selecting the right firearm for your collection. Give us a call and visit Metro Pawn & Gun to buy, pawn or sell guns of every imaginable type. We are your one stop gun shop in Minneapolis, MN.