Old Gun Values – How to Determine What Your Old Gun Is Worth

If you have recently acquired an old gun, or are simply wondering what your old gun is worth, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss how to assess old gun values and provide some tips on where to find old gun values. So whether you are a collector, enthusiast, hunter, or gun merchant, this article will help you find the information you need to determine the value of your gun.

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However, the one thing to always remember when selling a gun is that your gun is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. And to complicate things further not only do gun values vary significantly but so do market conditions.

Be aware of current events such as changing gun laws. A ban on a certain type of weapon or accessory can push prices through the roof.

One example was the tragic events that unfolded in October of 2017 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The incident not only sent shockwaves throughout the country but also impacted gun values. This was because, in the aftermath of the shooting, many people rushed to buy guns in fear that new legislation would restrict gun ownership and purchasing.

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Unfortunately, there is no easy way to determine old gun values, so you are going to need to do some research. Gun values can vary significantly depending on many factors, so you need to be aware of what these factors are. It’s only once you know what you have along with what is currently going on in the world that you will be able to determine old gun values.

What Factors Influence Old Gun Values

Several factors need to be considered when determining old gun values including:


The most important factor when determining the value of your gun is its type or category. Guns are typically grouped into categories such as military, vintage, old collectible guns, antique handguns and rifles, modern pistols, shotguns, and so on and each category will have a different value based on things like its rarity and demand.

For example, a modern pistol will be worth more than a shotgun, while a vintage rifle may be worth more than an old shotgun.

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The action of a gun refers to how the gun is loaded and fired, and can also impact its value. Common types of action include single action, double action, break action, slide action, bolt action, and lever.


The condition of your gun is also important when determining its value. Differences in condition can dramatically impact a gun’s value, with guns that are in pristine condition typically fetching much higher prices than those that show signs of wear and tear.

To assess the condition of your gun, you can use the NRA Condition Standards. This system rates guns as New, Excellent, Very Good, Good, or Fair. Each rating has a specific definition that you can find in the Blue Book of Gun Values which we will talk about in a moment.

Also, keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to try and improve your gun’s appearance. Although keeping your gun clean is fine, almost any type of refinishing will lower your old gun’s value.

For example, many guns will develop a bluish-colored patina that is actually very desirable and often increases the value of the gun. Do not try and correct this!

There is a percentage system that assesses how much of the original finish remains on the gun from 0 to 100 percent and any type of refinishing usually results in a lower number.


Wood is the most common material used for gunstocks, with different types of wood providing different levels of strength and quality. Some of the more common woods used for gunstocks include walnut, maple, myrtle, birch, and mesquite.

When making stocks from solid wood, one must take into account the natural properties and variability of woods. The grain of the wood determines the strength, and the grain should flow through the stock horizontally.

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The finish of a gun refers to the type of coating that is applied to the metal parts of the gun. The most common finishes include bluing, browning, and parkerizing. Although these finishes do wear over time, they provide an extra layer of protection to your gun’s metal components, and as stated before, the more finish the more value your gun will have.


Another important factor in assessing a gun’s value is its age. Generally speaking, the older the gun is, the more valuable it will be. This is because old guns are often considered collectibles or even antiques, and are therefore more coveted by gun enthusiasts. We will talk about what makes a gun antique in a minute.


The manufacturer of your gun can also impact its value. Some gun manufacturers are more well-known than others, and therefore their guns tend to hold their value better. For example, Browning and Winchester are highly respected brands with firearms that are renowned for their quality and value.

Where To Find Values

Reference Books

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The Blue Book of Gun Values is the authority on estimating old gun values. Updated and published every year, it provides values for almost any type of gun, including old guns, antique guns, and modern firearms. Whether you are looking to sell your old gun or simply wish to assess its value, the Blue Book of Gun Values is an invaluable resource. With ratings based on condition and other considerations, you can use this book to get a realistic estimate of your gun’s worth.

Flayderman’s Guide to American Arms is another useful resource for old gun values. This guide covers all types of American firearms, from old collectible guns to modern pistols and rifles.

The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson is the ultimate guide to guns manufactured by Smith & Wesson. This comprehensive reference book provides is the go-to resource for gun enthusiasts looking to learn more about old and modern firearms from this renowned manufacturer.

The Standard Catalog of Firearms by Schwing is another comprehensive reference guide that covers specifications and prices for over 25,000 firearms. In its 11th edition, this guide is the go-to resource for gun enthusiasts looking to learn more about old and modern firearms.

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Online Resources

In addition to reference books, many online resources can be used to research old gun values.

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Gunbroker.com and Gunauction.com are two of the most popular online resources for researching gun values. Both sites offer detailed listings of old and modern firearms, listed by age, condition, and estimated value.

With comprehensive listings and user-friendly interfaces, these sites are a great way to get a realistic estimate of your gun’s worth.

Gun Digest is an online resource that covers all things guns, from news and reviews to prices and values. In addition to its comprehensive database of old and modern firearms, Gun Digest also offers a valuable price guide that can be used to estimate the value of your gun.

Old vs. Antique Firearms?

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There is a lot of confusion between old and antique firearms, but there is a big difference. Old guns are firearms manufactured in or before 1898 that use a rudimentary ignition system or ammunition that is no longer produced commercially.

Although old firearms can be valuable, they are not considered antiques. Antique firearms are much more valuable, as they are much more sought after by collectors.

If you’re not sure whether your firearm is old or antique, the best way to find out is to consult a professional appraiser. They will be able to give you an accurate estimate of your gun’s value.

Old Gun Appraisal

If after researching the information that we have listed you still don’t feel confident or would like the opinion of a professional, we suggest seeking out the help of a professional appraiser.

Professional appraisers have the knowledge and experience to accurately appraise a gun’s value. whether it is old, antique, or even modern. They will be able to look at all the factors that influence a gun’s worth.

When seeking out a professional appraiser, be sure to choose one that is reputable and has experience appraising old guns. This will ensure that you get an accurate appraisal.

A professional appraisal will usually cost a few hundred dollars, but it is worth the investment if you are actively looking to sell your old gun.


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If you are unfamiliar with firearms, it can be difficult to determine the value of an old gun. You are going to have to do a lot of research as many factors can impact a gun’s value, including age, condition, and manufacturer just to name a few. We have included several resources above, that will give you a good start on getting an idea of your old gun’s worth.

If you are unfamiliar with firearms, it can be difficult to determine the value of an old gun. You are going to have to do a lot of research as many factors can impact a gun’s value, including age, condition, and manufacturer just to name a few. We have included several resources above, that will give you a good start on getting an idea of your old gun’s worth.

However, the best way to get an accurate estimate of your old gun’s value is to consult a professional appraiser or gun dealer. With their expertise, you can get a professional and realistic idea of what your gun is worth.

Here at Kwaks Trading Post, we have a team of experts who are happy to help you with whatever you need! Not only do sell guns, but we also buy old guns as well and will be glad to work with you to make sure that you get a fair price. So, if you are in the market to either buy or sell old guns, be sure to stop by Kwaks Trading Post!

Contact us today to get started!


Are older guns worth anything?

Older guns can be worth a lot of money, depending on the make and model. Some old guns, like antique firearms, can be worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. However, most old guns are only worth a few hundred dollars at most.

At what age is a gun considered an antique?

A gun is considered antique if it was manufactured in or before 1898.