Most people don’t give them much thought, but antique firearms are a little gem for certain collectors. Of course, guns from the 1700s and 1800s are very valuable items, especially if they are in working condition. Either way, collectors vie for older weapons all the time. Buying an antique gun isn’t that difficult, but there are plenty of things to keep in mind when doing so. Unfortunately, collectors will have to deal with counterfeits or non-working weapons when they seek out the rarest of them all. Here are some tips for buying antique firearms though.
1. Attempt to verify the authenticity of the firearm.
Antique firearms are extremely valuable, so it shouldn’t be surprising that some people try to pass off fakes as the real thing. Therefore, you should always try to verify that the weapon you are about to buy is a genuine antique. There are plenty of gunsmiths and dealers around the country that can tell the difference between a real and fake weapon with a quick glance. It’s a good idea to take the weapon to someone that can verify it’s legitimacy before you buy anything.
2. Check wooden parts for signs of rotting.
Many firearms from over 100 years ago were created using wooden stocks or other wooden segments. Obviously, a firearm that wasn’t properly maintained over the years could potentially suffer from rotting or another similar issue. You should inspect any and all firearms with wooden parts for signs of rot before you make a purchase. An inspection only takes a minute or two and could save you the hassle of owning a rotting weapon.
3. Avoid buying mostly recreated weapons.
As older firearms age and break down, it becomes necessary to replace old parts with newer ones. You shouldn’t buy weapons that have had so many parts replaced that it is almost like a brand new weapon. For an authentic firearm, you should be looking for something that is at least 90% of the original weapon. It’s pointless to buy a weapon that has been fixed so many times over the years that it isn’t even an antique anymore.
4. Don’t pay much attention to non-working antique firearms.
Some collectors look for weapons that no longer work specifically so that they can fix them up. However, most collectors should seek out weapons that are still in working condition. It’s too much work for the average collector to take the time and money to actually fix a broken firearm. Plus, the risk of breaking the weapon beyond repair is too great, so it isn’t worth it to look for non-working antique firearms. You are better off just going with guns in working condition.
5. Buy weapons from someone who owns a collection.
It’s a smart idea to stick with actual collectors of firearms. Buying from these types of individuals usually ensures that the weapons were properly taken care of over the years and are authentic. Without a doubt, you can trust a collector with multiple guns more than you can trust some random person with an old firearm. That isn’t always the case, but it’s a good rule of thumb to deal mostly with actual firearms collectors.
Antique firearms are great collectibles!
Sure, baseball cards and sports memorabilia might be more popular collector’s items, but that doesn’t mean that antique firearms are a bust. Hundreds of people collect such weapons. Of course, these weapons are a part of history in one way or another and some of them are exceptionally valuable. Collecting old guns is a great hobby that takes a lot of time and effort to find the perfectly preserved weapon. Some people might spend years searching for the right firearm from whatever era in the past. Either way, it’s a great hobby!
For more information, visit Antique Firearms Defined.