Antique guns are fun to shop for and collect, but how do you know that the purchases you
make for your collection are legitimate? You don’t want to waste money on a gun that is not an actual antique and you don’t want to pay more than the item is worth. Here are some tips to help you out:
Know Your Stuff
If you are going to start collecting anything that is antique you have to do your research and know about the historical timeframes that are important in the antiquing world. For instance, antique guns are typically considered to be those made prior to the 20th century. Anything made after that is too recent to be considered a true antique at this time.
Start by delving into the general history of guns and you will then find particular eras of time that catch your interest. Most collectors begin their antique gun collection because they are interested in the historical relevance of the guns they collect. This is likely your motivation as well, so study up on the history so you know what the guns you come to look at are all about.
This research will also help you determine whether particular guns are legitimate antiques or not.
Take a Peek
Prior to purchasing any antique guns try to visit museums or other locations where you can look at actual antique guns from different periods of time. Start studying up on trademarks and other features that help identify unique guns from different time periods. This will again help you determine when you are looking at an antique gun and when you are looking at something that is more recent but in poor condition.
Remember, being old in appearance does not make a gun an antique!
Watch Online Auctions
It can be fun to go to live auctions when you know that there will be antique guns on the market, if you are lucky enough to find a local auction or one within travelling distance. If not, you can also get some good deals if you watch for online auctions that include antique guns. There are even websites that list auction items on a daily basis so you can constantly be on the watch for those that would be great additions to your collection. Just be aware that you are unable to see the guns before bidding in these cases, so be extra careful.
Don’t Go to War
Bidding wars are common when it comes to antique guns for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a collector will really need a specific gun to complete a collection and will be willing to bid the price up far beyond what it may actually be worth. At other times beginner collectors may think the gun is worth a lot more than it actually is.
Don’t fall into a bidding war assuming that something is of value because others are in a heated war over it. Know your stuff and keep to the guns that really interest you. This will help you make sound purchases that you do not regret later on.
Know Your Budget
When shopping for any type of antique you have to know what you are willing and able to pay for the item at hand. Always know what your budget is and ensure that you are not enticed to go over. Knowing the value of the antique guns you are interested in will help you stay within your limits.