Good guns never go cheap. But hopefully, your spending will not flush down in the toilet. When you no longer use or need any hunting gun, you can still sell them and get some money back. That time, the very first question coming across your mind is “What is my gun worth?”
This article is to answer your question. To be more specific, I will shed light on how to estimate the trade-in value of a gun, even a broken gun.
Why Does Someone Want to Get Rid of A Gun?
The actual question is when to sell your gun. If you are in two minds but find yourself in these situations, it is time to get rid of your weapons. Better to make some money rather than nothing.
- You figure out that your gun is unable or unsafe to fire. It is time to pass that gun over someone who has the knowledge to fix them.
- Your broken gun is not worth fixing. To tell the truth, taking the gun to a gunsmith is not always economical than buying a new one since the repair is complicated.
- You have inherited a considerable gun collection. Guns are valuable assets. For example, your grandfather gave you his collection. What a memory, but you are not a gun enthusiast. Let alone, gun ownership requires legal responsibilities and safety precaution. Be realistic, you can sell them.
- Your wife wishes a gun-free household. You love hunting. But, the sake of your family is number one. In that case, I do agree with your decision, and I recommend some tips for the best prices.
What Are Factors Affecting Your Guns’ Value?
You end up deciding to sell off your weapon. Then, pay attention here.
Though the gun prices are fluctuating almost all the time, several fixed factors are going into and determining how much your guns are worth.
It is the highest rule when owning a gun. Hence, people should never purchase a non-branded gun. A cheap deal might cost your life, your family life, and the innocent’s life. So obviously, people are willing to buy and pay more if your gun is made by a brand name.
It is also natural that some brands are more popular than others. That is why their guns are more desirable. In other words, they might be paid more. For instance, firearms by Winchester or Browning usually remain their value relatively thanks to their fame on the high-quality and lightweight weapon.
Model Number or Name
Even being made by the same brand, two different guns have different prices. Sometimes, one holds a higher value than others - like chalk and cheese because of its advanced features. Take Winchester Model 1911 and Model 94 for example. The earlier has a poor reputation of flaw design that used to cause danger and harm while shooting is often cheaper than the later.
To sum up, a model number will tell you a lot about the gun’s caliber, frame size, or type of action. If the gun does not have a model number, it has a model name instead. In some cases, both the number and the name are required to identify a gun as there might be a shared name for various guns, generally under the same series.
Another factor needed to answer your question “What is my gun worth?” is the caliber. It refers to the internal diameter of the gun barrel or tube. Simply, the caliber determines the size of the bullets used.
So, why I mention the gun caliber when estimating your old gun’s value?
It is because the higher the caliber is, the fewer shots the gun takes to stop power - the advancement of a threat. Thinking of my most-sold guns, the .22 caliber for long rifles is the most common.
If your gun also supports this mass-produce caliber, it might get sold quickly - but not necessary at a high price.
Condition and Accessories
The most important to estimate how much your guns get valued is its condition. Condition sounds a bit general, right?
Thank goodness, there are several reasonable industry standards to follow. For example, NRA Modern Gun Descriptions taken from the Blue Book of Gun Values
New: the gun remains as current products from the factory. It is also not on sale at any retail store.
- Perfect: the gun might be already sold at the retail, but every respect is new.
- Excellent: You can use the gun once or twice, but there is no noticeable marring of metal or wood.
- Very good: The gun works properly neither wearing any visible marks on working surfaces nor pitting.
- Good: Ensure that your gun has no broken part and all functions do well in safe working condition. Minor wear on surfaces is acceptable.
- Fair: The guns still work well but the surfaces are worn, and the buyer might have to fix or replace some minor parts.
To take away:
What condition is your weapon? Honestly, a poor-condition rifle is not safe enough to fire, so it becomes much less valuable. But you should not lie about your gun condition since it might place your buyer at risk.
Demand and Supply on the Market
Goods are valued by the market demand and supply. Your gun is made from a trustworthy brand, and it is in good condition, but why the price is so low?
It might because there are so many same guns available. And other people price them so cheap. This situation frequently happens on online marketplaces. Hence, whenever you want to buy an old gun, research the market first.
Do not sell your gun in a hurry. There are various places to showcase the weapon for a more attractive price.
Where to Sell Your Old Guns?
After determining your gun’s real value, it is time to find potential buyers. You can get full values as wish, or lower, or even higher - depending on where you show off your guns.
Here are some places with pros and cons:
This is the least hassle way to sell your weapon, but the price is also the worst. For their own profit, they will try to lower your expected rate. You hardly become the winner in such deal.
My advice is:
- To know your gun the best, including its age and rarity
- To estimate its value as precisely as possible
- To unload your weapon before stepping in the shop and sell accessories separately
- To be confident when negotiating
Selling on Consignment Through a Gun Store
Taking a gun for a consignment sale means paying a security interest. If you must sell the gun quickly for an emergent case, it will be likely that you get a little price. You might only make fifty cents off one hundred dollars. Better have 50% than giving up your gun with nothing back.
I only recommend this way when you need a large amount in a short time.
Posting on Local Newspaper
First, make sure that selling your old guns is legal.
Then, prepare a realistic and informative description of your guns.
Potential buyers might reach you out via phone or email. At that time, be ready for private negotiation. You can get your expected juice as long as your guns are as promised and your voice is persuadable enough.
You might wait quite a time for a buyer to show up. Sometimes, your waiting becomes in vain.
I usually called e-commerce websites as marketplaces - do not ensure if this term is exact.
This channel saves time and effort to reach out to your buyers. There are hundreds of ones who are willing to buy your guns in a blink.
But, the price is competitive. “Super competitive!”
Before selling on these sites, please research your competitors first. If many same guns with similar conditions are available and the price is much lower than your expectation, find another way as I suggested above.
Can You Answer “What Is My Gun Worth?” Already?
I have given some thoughts on how to estimate the value of your guns. Hope that this sharing is helpful so that you can sell off your weapon at the best price.
If you find the post is helpful, do not hesitate to share it with other people. In case you have any question or you cannot price your gun, leave a comment below. I am willing to help you out as soon as possible.
I recommend you should read my Scopes & Sights resource here if you are intending buy one!