A variety of guns.
If you’re thinking about selling your antique flintlock or Desert Storm firearm, knowing the price will help you tell if a dealer is trying to rip you off, or if the gun’s actually worth less than you thought. A professional appraiser can do the job for you, but if you’re willing to take the time and do your research, you can make the appraisal yourself and negotiate the sale with confidence.
1. Identify your gun as precisely as possible. Note whether it’s a rifle, shotgun, revolver or automatic; whether it’s single-shot, double-barrel, bolt-action or pump-action; the caliber and barrel length; the make and the model; and any markings on it. With this information you can ask dealers or fellow gun buffs to identify it, or use one of the many paperback gun guides available.
2. Determine the condition of the gun. Armchairgunshow.com says there are two standard approaches. The percentage system is based on the amount of the original finish remaining on the gun, while the National Rifle Association standards rates guns from “new” or “excellent” down to “fair” or “poor.” Gun appraisal guidebooks will explain the standards for each condition.
3. Calculate the value based on the model and the condition. Appraisal guidebooks and gun websites will help, or you can visit gun shows and ask other enthusiasts, or see what local dealers are selling similar models for. Gun dealer Paul Lowe says that if you ask a dealer, ask at least three of them to weed out anyone trying to lowball the price in hopes of buying your gun cheaply.