A Guide to Buying Antique Firearms

Antique firearms is a niche collecting space that’s growing more popular. These guns increase in value as they age, and many are worth a considerable amount of money. Whether you’re interested in collecting as a hobby or to make some money, knowing how the business works is important. If you’re determining whether an antique gun you found in Mill Valley, CA is worth it, check out this guide to this growing field.

Types of antique guns

Antique guns are usually divided into two types: muzzleloaders and cartridge-firing. Muzzleloaders have projectiles and include a propellant charge, which is loaded from the open end of the barrel. Collectors don’t pick these weapons up to fire them. Instead, they’re usually collected for historic value and to put on display.

Cartridge-firing guns have ammunition packing and cased primer that is designed to fit in the firing chamber. Collectors more often pick these guns up for shooting.

Guns are further separated into other categories. Handguns are divided into pistols and revolvers, while long guns are divided into rifles and shotguns. These firearms are made from materials like steel, aluminum and polymer.

The values of antique guns

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a dedicated collector, you’ll need to begin doing research to find out how much these antique firearms are worth. There are a range of factors that go into determining the value of each gun. Let’s go through the basic factors that play into determining an antique gun’s value:

  • Condition: It doesn’t matter if the gun is particularly rare if it’s in poor condition. Even if it’s in mint condition, the gun should still be functional and/or include all original parts. Some antique guns may show their age from honest wear, but you still want a piece that includes original parts and is safe to use.
  • Provenance: This is related to any historical association the firearm might have—for example, if it was owned by a historical figure or used at an armory. Determining provenance may require some research or the opinion of an expert.
  • Rarity: Some makes and models of antique firearms are harder to come by. Consequently, these tend to be some of the more expensive items. Guns that show off early technological innovations may also fetch a higher price. Some buyers may be willing to overlook other defects or issues with the gun’s condition if it’s a rarer piece.

Need help determining whether an antique gun is worth purchasing? For more than 25 years, Collectible Coins & Jewelry in Mill Valley, CA has been providing quality services to the San Francisco Bay Area. We’re the experts on antique firearms and the leader for precious metals in Northern California. We offer the highest prices and pay cash or check on the spot. Whether you come in to buy or sell, our priority is to make you feel comfortable and provide a level of service that is genuine, courteous and discreet. Contact us right now or stop by our shop to find great deals!

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