Collectors of antique guns are often avid historians with more interest in the historical relevance of the items than their power or ability to kill. Of all the antiques you could collect, you could not find anything with anymore historical relevance than firearms. That is why they are so fun and exciting to collect.
Researching antique guns
- If you are interested in collecting antique guns or think you may have one that could be worth something at an auction, you must start by doing your research.
- You cannot understand the real importance and value of one particular gun if don't understand the history behind the gun, and all antique guns have history!
- The first thing you need to read up on is general gun history. Learn about how the first guns were created and how they have evolved to the firearms that we know today.
This overview of the development of firearms will go a long way when it comes to identifying true antiques from those that are just a little old. Old does not necessarily mean antique.
How old do antique guns have to be?
In general, most collectors today consider guns made before the 20th century to be the true antiques. Anything created in the current century is not an antique, regardless of how old you think it looks.
Don't be surprised if you find yourself becoming quite interested in antique guns of a particular time period of style. This is how most collectors begin. They love the historical relevance and soon have a growing collection.
The best way to gain a true understanding of antique guns is to look at them firsthand. Prior to making any purchases or determining whether the gun you have is a genuine antique it helps to visit museums to see what real antique firearms look like. This gives you some help identifying features and markings that can help you identify the real value of a specific gun.
Buying and selling antique guns
So, where do you go when you are ready to buy antique guns, or want to sell one? Your best bet is looking for local auctions. If you are lucky enough to find an auction house in your area, or within travelling distance, then find out whether they have any specialist auctions coming up that involve antique guns.
An alternative is to look for online auctions and websites where you can look at and purchase real antique items, including a lot of guns. These sites give a much wider selection and many are updated on a daily basis. This makes it easy for you to bid within your budget and find guns that fit the time period that you are interested in exploring or collecting.
Just be careful of bidding wars which can easily break your budget on firearms that are not worth the war to begin with. Just because others are ferociously bidding up a storm over a gun doesn't mean it is highly valuable and you should jump in as well. That particular gun may have special meaning to someone or there may be rookie bidders who do not know the real value of the antique gun. There is also the problem that you aren't able to see or examine the gun prior to bidding.
You have to know the value of things on your own and then stick within your reasonable budget when you do want to bid on something. This is how you start your collection in a smart way that is fun and exciting with few disappointments.
Boningtons' militaria auctions are a good place to investigate antique guns.