Gun collecting is a popular hobby that involves acquiring, displaying, and preserving firearms of historical, artistic, or other value. Gun collectors may focus on a particular type of firearm, such as antique firearms or modern firearms, or they may collect guns from a specific time period or geographic region. Building a gun collection can be a rewarding and educational pursuit, but it also requires careful planning and research.
What Are the Different Types of Collectible Firearms?
There are two main categories of collectible firearms: antique guns and modern guns.
Antique firearms are defined as guns that were made at least 100 years ago. Examples of antique firearms include muskets, flintlock rifles, and percussion revolvers. Antique firearms are often sought after by collectors due to their historical significance and rarity. Factors that can affect the value of an antique firearm include condition, rarity, desirability, historical significance, and age.
Popular Antique Firearms
- Flintlock pistols: Flintlock pistols were some of the first types of handguns and were used in the 18th and 19th centuries. They are highly sought after by collectors due to their historical significance and rarity.
- Percussion cap rifles: Percussion cap rifles were a type of long gun that were used in the mid-19th century and are considered to be a piece of American history. They are highly sought after by collectors for their craftsmanship and beauty.
- Black powder muzzleloaders: Black powder muzzleloaders were the most common type of firearm used in the 18th and 19th centuries. They are highly sought after by collectors due to their historical significance and rarity.
- Winchester Model 1873: The Winchester Model 1873 is a lever-action rifle that was produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in the late 19th century, and is considered by many to be a piece of American history.
- Colt Single Action Army: The Colt Single Action Army revolver is also known as the “Peacemaker” and was produced by the Colt’s Manufacturing Company in the late 19th century, and is highly sought after by collectors.
- M1 Garand*: The M1 Garand is a semi-automatic rifle that was used by the US military during World War II, and is now highly sought after by collectors. *Technically the M1 Garand was first made in 1932, so it isn’t quite 100 years old yet, but the M1 Garand is considered as antique firearms by some collectors. Others consider it as a modern firearm, and the classification is a matter of perspective and the definition of the era that is considered as antique. But in 10 years that debate goes away when it reaches full antique status at 100 years old in 2032.
Modern firearms, on the other hand, are guns that were made within the past 100 years. Examples of modern firearms include semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Modern firearms may be collectible due to their rarity, historical significance, or other factors such as design or craftsmanship.
Popular Modern Firearms
- AR-15: AR-15’s are semi-automatic rifles that have become popular among collectors due to their versatility and customization options.
- Glock: Gocks are a type of handgun that is known for its reliability and simplicity. It is popular among collectors due to its widespread use by law enforcement and military.
- Sig Sauer: Sig Sauer is a brand of handgun that is known for its craftsmanship and accuracy. It is popular among collectors due to its widespread use by law enforcement and military.
- Remington Model 700: The Remington Model 700 is a type of bolt-action rifle that is known for its accuracy and reliability. It is popular among collectors due to its widespread use by hunters and marksmen.
- AK-47: The AK-47 is a iconic rifle that was designed by the Soviet Union and is now widely used around the world. It’s also a popular gun among collectors.
- M1911: The M1911 is a classic American handgun that was widely used during the 20th century, and is still popular today among collectors.
- Smith & Wesson Model 29: The Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver is famous for being the gun that Dirty Harry used in the movies.
How Do You Grade and Value Collectible Firearms?
Grading and valuing collectible firearms is an important aspect of gun collecting. There are several factors that can affect the value of a collectible firearm, including condition, rarity, desirability, historical significance, and age. To accurately grade and value a collectible firearm, collectors may use professional appraisal services, online pricing guides, books, and other reference materials.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Focus for Your Gun Collection?
When choosing a focus for a gun collection, collectors have many options to consider. Some collectors may choose to specialize in a particular type of firearm, such as antique revolvers or modern rifles. Others may collect firearms from a specific time period or geographic region, or they may focus on a particular maker or brand. Some collectors may build a collection of firearms with a specific purpose, such as hunting, self-defense, or competition. When selecting a focus for a gun collection, it’s important to consider your personal interests and preferences, as well as the market value and availability of different types of firearms.
How Do You Build and Maintain a Gun Collection?
Building and maintaining a gun collection requires careful planning and research. To acquire new items for a collection, collectors may attend gun shows and auctions, network with other collectors and dealers, and educate themselves about the types of firearms they are interested in. To preserve and care for a collection, it’s important to follow proper storage and handling techniques, as well as regularly clean and maintain firearms. Collectors should also consider insuring and documenting their collection to protect against loss or damage.
What Are the Ethical Considerations of Gun Collecting?
Ethical considerations are also an important aspect of gun collecting. Collectors should follow all laws and regulations related to the acquisition, ownership, and transfer of firearms. They should also ensure that the firearms they acquire are sourced ethically, without contributing to illegal activity or violence. As gun owners, collectors have a responsibility to handle and use firearms safely and responsibly.
Final Thoughts on Collecting Guns
Gun collecting is a fascinating and rewarding hobby that involves acquiring, displaying, and preserving firearms of historical, artistic, or other value. By understanding the different types of collectible firearms, grading and valuing collectible firearms, and choosing a focus for a gun collection, collectors can build and maintain a collection that is both meaningful and valuable. Ethical considerations, such as following laws and regulations and sourcing firearms ethically, are also important in gun collecting. With careful planning and research, collectors can enjoy the rich history and diversity of firearms as they build and maintain their collections.