Buying and selling antique firearms can almost be a hobby within a hobby. Things like historical importance, individual craftsmanship, and extreme scarcity are things that only antique firearms can bring to your collection. But even with all of those differences, there are quite a few ways that an antique firearm is treated the same as a new gun would be. Below are a couple examples of things to remember when bringing in an antique firearm to your local pawnshop.

-Condition Is Still Relevant

Though it’s to be expected that an antique firearm will (most likely) have a bit of wear and tear, the value of the firearm will still depend on the condition it’s in when you bring it in to sell. For example, while a mid-19th century rifle with a missing trigger might still have great value, one with a period-appropriate replacement might have even more, and one with all of its original parts would definitely sell for the most. If you’re a collector yourself, it should be easy to appreciate this–wouldn’t you want the most complete, most pristine possible specimen yourself?

 

-History Is Still Important (Though Different)

Knowing the history of a firearm of any sort can be important, but with antique guns it becomes important in a much bigger way. With a modern firearm, history serves a very small purpose: the buyer just wants to know the previous owners, and where the gun has been. But with an antique firearm, its history can potentially make the gun more valuable. An antique gun has a chance of being owned by a famous historical figure, or being part of a historic event, which is something that you want to know, as it will greatly increase the value of the piece. It is not uncommon for a pawn shop to speak to an antiques dealer to have antique firearms appraised, as with any other antique. What’s more worthy for your collection? A civil war pistol that was made at the end of the war but never left the factory? Or a civil war pistol that saw combat, and was found on the battlefield?

Collecting antique firearms can be an exciting and uniquely interesting way to experience history. But it’s important to remember that antique firearms are still firearms, and so they are still subject to the best practices of buying and selling guns.

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