GG19-FrontMatter.fm Page 11 Tuesday, September 9, 2008 5:14 PM
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Standard Catalog of Firearms owes much of its
success to many noteworthy contributors, past and
Jim Schlender, noted outdoors writer and editor of
Turkey & Turkey Hunting Magazine, for his work on
assembling new shotgun data.
Fred Baumann for his painstaking compilation of our
“Value Tracker” sidebars.
Joseph M. Cornell, editor of Standard Catalog of
Winchester Firearms and proprietor of Accredited
Appraisal Services (303-455-1717) for his insights on Colt
and Winchester pricing as well as “sleepers.”
Tom Caceci of Blacksburg, VA, for his insights on
blackpowder revolvers and humane cattle killers.
Jim Stark of Gilbert, SC, for his invaluable review of
Remington’s “Nylon 66” family of rimfire rifles.
LCDR James Dodd, USN (ret.), for his contributions on
Scout rifles and the recent goings-on at Remington.
David Rachwal of Hilliard, OH, for his expertise
concerning the elusive MBA Gyrojet.
Robert Hausmann of Barre, VT (www.swissguncollectors.com), for his insights on SIGARMS and
Swedish weapons in general.
Orvel Reichert is a collector of World War II-era semiautomatic pistols, especially the P38, and has been an
invaluable help in sorting out a sometimes-confusing array
of pistol variations. He can be reached at P. O. Box 67,
Vader, WA 98593, 360-245-3492, email address:
Bailey Brower, Jr. should be recognized for his
knowledgeable input on Remington and Savage auto
pistols. Bailey can be reached at P.O. Box 111, Madison,
David Moore of William Larkin Moore & Co. provided
expert information on B. Rizzine, Garbi, F. Rizzine, Piotti,
and Lebeau Courally. He can be reached at 8340 E.
Raintree Dr. Suite B-7, Scottsdale, AZ, 85260. Phone 480951- 8913.
The editor would like to acknowledge the kind permision
of Mrs. Gereldene Brophy, wife of the late Col. William
S. Brophy, to use her late husband’s photos from his
outstanding book, Marlin Firearms.
John Dougan, Ruger expert, who supplied us with
information on the Great Western Arms Co.
Dave Banducci is extremely knowledgelable on
Browning High-Power bolt action rifles in all grades. He is
a great source for pricing and variations on these complex
rifles. He can be reached at 720-272-9914.
Burt O’Neill is an experienced collector of Browning “P”
Grades and helped with that pricing. He can be reached at
Thanks to Smith & Wesson expert Roy Jinks, of Smith
& Wesson, who wrote the introduction to that section in this
Bud Bugni of Sutter Creek, CA (209-267-5402) for his
expertise on the Winchester Model 42.
C.W. Slagle, of Scottsdale, Arizona, for his expertise in
A special thanks to Simeon Stoddard, former curator
of the Cody Firearms Museum, for his research and
contribution on the M-1 Garand rifle.
A special thanks to all the manufacturers and importers
who supplied us with information on, and photographs of,
Thanks to the Lew Horton Distributing Company for
its valuable information on Colt Custom Shop products and
Smith & Wesson Performance Center products.
Thanks to Jerry Cummings of Manawa, Wisconsin,
and William “Pete” Harvey of Falmouth, Massachusetts,
who contributed photos and research information.
Many thanks to Harold Hamilton of Hershey,
Pennsylvania, for his invaluable assistance with Hamilton
Michael McIntosh gave generously of his expert
knowledge of A.H. Fox Company and its guns.
Ed Buehlman, a longtime firearms dealer, shared his
knowledge of Colt New Frontier models. He can be
reached at 847-381-2276.
Special appreciation to Joe McBride of McBride’s Guns
in Austin, Texas, for his expert assistance.
Walter C. Snyder is the “Chronicler of the Ithaca Gun
Company” and has devoted a great deal of time and effort
to making the Ithaca section the most comprehensive of
any price guide on the market.
Tom Turpin is a big help with his invaluable knowledge
of F.W. Heym Company and its product line, as well as
other European rifles and shotguns.
Horst Held of Midlothian, Texas, provided us with
information on interesting and seldom seen antique semiautomatic pistols.
Ted Willems and Bruce Wolberg of Gun List have
been most helpful with information and locating hard-tofind firearms.
We also want to thank the members of the Ruger
Collectors’ Association for their invaluable input.
And a big thank-you to Summer Sellers of Goshen,
Indiana, for providing such excellent transcriptions of a few
of my previously-published pieces. Thanks, Summer!
Thanks to all the readers who have taken the time to
contact the editor with corrections, omissions and
GG19-FrontMatter.fm Page 12 Tuesday, September 9, 2008 5:14 PM
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Thanks to the Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI 53233; and the Buffalo Bill
Historical Center, Cody Firearms Museum, P.O. Box 1000, Cody, WY 82414, for supplying us with
photographs. We also wish to thank the Remington Arms Company for its kind assistance in providing us
with photos of out-of-production Remington firearms.
Many thanks to the following who loaned us their firearms to photograph for this book:
Thomas W. Radcliffe
Thomas F. Swearengen
Chip Johnson of Direct Firearms, St. Joseph, MO
C. Roy Jones of C. Roy’s Gunsmithing, Kaiser, MO
Mike and Wanda Moutray of Mike’s Gun Sales, Grant
Will Parsons of Parsons Gun Shop
Joe Lech of Ironwork Armco, Raytown, MO
Guns of the World, Kansas City, MO
J.M. Stanley of Stan’s Gun Shop, Joplin, MO
H.L. Hoeflicker of HLH Enterprises, Shawnee Mission,
William H. Lehman of B & B Guns, Brighton, CO
James D. McKenzie and Samuel Baum of Kentucky
Rifle, Union City, PA
Dean Parr of Dean’s Gun Shop, St. Joseph, MO
E.K. Tryon of Philadelphia, PA
Bob’s Gun Rack of Lee’s Summit, MO
Ken Waughtal of Merriam, KS
Armond Beetch of Quapaw, OK
Eric M. Larson
Jim Taylor of Mt. Vernon, MO
C. Hadley Smith
Walter C. Snyder
Ithaca Gun Company
Gary Gelson Photography of Boise, ID
Paul Goodwin Creative Services
The following abbreviations are used throughout this edition to identify auction houses that have contributed real-life
pricing data to the “Value Tracker” sidebars:
Amos: Amoskeag Auction Company, Inc., 250
JCD: J.C. Devine, Inc., PO Box 413, 20 South Street,
Commercial Street #3011, Manchester, NH 03101;
Milford, NH 03055; www.jcdevine.com
Julia: James D. Julia, Inc., PO Box 830, Fairfield, ME
B&B: Bonhams & Butterfields, 220 San Bruno Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94103; www.bonhams.com
LJA: Little John’s Auction Service, 1740 W. La Venta Ave.,
GMA: Greg Martin Auctions, 660 Third Street, Suite 100,
Orange, CA 92868; www.littlejohnsauctionservice.com
San Francisco, CA 94107; www.gmartin-auctions.com
RIA: Rock Island Auction Co.; 4507 49th Avenue, Moline,
IL, 61265-7578; www.rockislandauction.com
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Stevens single shot rifles and
29 Ridgeview Dr.
Dry Ridge, KY 41035
Belgium Browning shotguns
Winchester pre-64 shotguns
8928 Spring Branch Drive
Houston, TX 77080
237 Groveland Dr.
Howell, MI 48843
Bailey Brower, Jr.
Remington & Savage auto
P.O. Box 111
Madison, NJ 07940
Modern military firearms
P.O. Box 173
Alvaton, KY 42122
Winchester Model 21 shotguns
150 Greenwood Avenue
Hector, MN 55342
Winchester Model 42s
P.O. Box 762
Sutter Creek, CA 95685
Humane Killers, BP Revolvers
1405 Westover Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24060
53 Old Quarry Road
Westfield, MA 01085
J.P. Sauer pistols
406 Pine Bluff Dr.
Chattanooga, TN 37412
Winchester and Colt
3402 West Wendover Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27407
Joseph Cornell, Ph.D., A.M.A.
Colt single-action revolvers
Accredited Master Appraiser
2655 West 39th Avenue
Denver, CO 80211
Winchester lever actions
250 Commercial Street,
Manchester, NH 03101
PO Box 1768648
San Diego, CA 92177
Pieces of History, LLC
Ruger & Great Western
2000 Saul Kleinfeld Dr. #110
El Paso, TX 79936
1770 West State Street
Boise, ID 83702
L.C. Smith shotguns
128 Pearson Lane
Rochester, NY 14612
P.O. Box 480
Barre, Vermont 05641
Colt Model 1911 & 1911A1
288 Randall Road
Berlin, MA 01503
Colt New Service, Browning
958 Cougar Creek Road
Oakland, OR 97462
Richard M. Kumor Sr.
c/o Ricky’s Gun Room
WWII era military firearms
P.O. Box 286
Chicopee, MA 01021
P.O. Box 5497
Takoma Park, MD 20913
2322 Viking Cr. N.W.
Rochester, MN 55901
First National Gun Banque
Perazzi, Fabbri, Famars
P.O. Box 60719
Colorado Springs, CO 80960
Modern Colts, Winchester,
30th at North Lamar
Austin, TX 78705
Luger and Mauser pistols
Pre-World War I pistols
P.O. Box 72
Lincoln, CA 95648
Seville & El Dorado revolvers
633 Long Run Road
McKeesport, PA 15132
Savage Model 99, early Savage
20 Polo Lane
Westbury, NY 11590
Stevens, Savage Fox B, Davis
528 Central Ave.
Naples, FL 34106
Belgian Browning shotguns
1573 Camp Linden Rd.
West Chester, PA 19382
PO Box 932
Hilliard, OH 43026
3615 Anderson Road
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Colt Woodsman pistols
P.O. Box 97104
Lakewood, WA 98497
World War II-era semi-automatic
P.O. Box 67
Vader, WA 98593
Dean “Winchester Man”
Pre-1964 Winchesters & Colt
101 Orchard Hill Road
Gallipolis, OH 45631
2225 SW 73rd Terrace
Gainesville, FL 32607
Winchester Model 1890/1906
25100 S.W. Big Fir Rd.
West Linn, OR 97068
and Webley pistols
P.O. Box 406
Glenview, IL 60025
847-724-8816 • 827-657-6500;
Merkel shotguns and rifles
13818 Fiddlers Point Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32225
Remington “Nylon 66”-type
667 Windy Road
Gilbert, SC 29054
BRNO and Mauser sporting
P.O. Box 882
Bensenville, IL 60106
Smith & Wesson
P.O. Box 15351
Lenexa, KS 66285
225 South Valley Rd.
Southern Pines, NC 28387
Dewing’s Fly& Gunshop
123 Datura St.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
World War I & II Weapons
17732 West 67th Street
Shawnee, KS 66217
Winchester Model 70 & Model
Plainfield, NH 03781
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Welcome to the 19th edition of Standard Catalog of Firearms.
This latest and most comprehensive edition contains new
features I hope you find useful.
Compiled by Fred Baumann, our “Value Tracker” sidebars
establish historical pricing trends for a variety of collectible
firearms. Prices in the “Value Tracker” listings are taken from
firearms auction firms that publish printed catalogs as well as
printed lists of the prices realized. Descriptive commentary
displayed in quotation marks is taken from the original auction
description (e.g., “Fine”). Where no general description of
condition appears in the auction catalog, one is composed by us
to summarize the overall condition of the firearm to the best of our
ability based on the description given, shown without quotation
marks (e.g., about F-VF). Significant flaws are identified
wherever possible, though not every minor flaw may be
mentioned. As a rule, the “Value Tracker” records only prices for
individual firearms that are in good working order or can be easily
made so. Exceptionally valuable firearms (such as presentationcased guns, multi-barrel sets, or lavishly engraved examples) –
as well as non-functional firearms (so-called “parts guns”) – are
deliberately excluded from the listings to avoid skewing the
analysis of values up or down.
Throughout this edition, you will see certain models
identified as “sleepers”: models that are undergoing, or
are likely to undergo, an upward shift in value. These
entries are identified by the icon shown at the right. In
today’s volatile market, however, nothing is certain, so we can
make no guarantees as to the future appreciation of any model.
We have also expanded our perspective to take into account
the growing effect of the internet in establishing collectible
firearms pricing. As far as we can tell, internet websites, local gun
shops and traditional auction houses can exist quite well side-byside, and the overall effect of the internet has been to expand the
hobby dramatically. We can all profit from its existence: buyers,
sellers and window-shoppers alike.
We’ve also included a few brief feature pieces dealing with
specific guns or collecting trends. We hope you enjoy them.
These pieces are part of our recent emphasis on what might be
called “second-tier” collectibles, an emphasis we plan to
May your collecting always remain safe and enjoyable. Happy
In the opinion of the editor, all grading systems are
subjective. It is our task to offer the collector and dealer a
measurement that most closely reflects a general
consensus on condition. The system we present seems to
come closest to describing a firearm in universal terms. We
strongly recommend that the reader acquaint himself with
this grading system before attempting to determine the
correct price for a particular firearm’s condition.
Remember, in most cases condition determines price.
NIB—New in Box
This category can sometimes be misleading. It means that the
firearm is in its original factory carton with all of the appropriate
papers. It also means the firearm is new; that it has not been fired
and has no wear. This classification brings a substantial premium
for both the collector and shooter.
Collector quality firearms in this condition are highly desirable.
The firearm must be in at least 98 percent condition with respect
to blue wear, stock or grip finish, and bore. The firearm must also
be in 100 percent original factory condition without refinishing,
repair, alterations or additions of any kind. Sights must be factory
original as well. This grading classification includes both modern
and antique (manufactured prior to 1898) firearms.
considered desirable. Modern firearms must retain at least 80
percent metal and wood finish, but may display evidence of old
refinishing. Small repairs, alterations, or non-factory additions are
sometimes encountered in this class. Factory replacement parts
are permitted. The overall working condition of the firearm must
be good as well as safe. The bore may exhibit wear or some
corrosion, especially in antique arms. Antique firearms may be
included in this category if their metal and wood finish is at least
50 percent original factory finish.
Firearms in this category should be in satisfactory working
order and safe to shoot. The overall metal and wood finish on the
modern firearm must be at least 30 percent and antique firearms
must have at least some original finish or old re-finish remaining.
Repairs, alterations, nonfactory additions, and recent refinishing
would all place a firearm in this classification. However, the
modern firearm must be in working condition, while the antique
firearm may not function. In either case the firearm must be
considered safe to fire if in a working state.
Firearms in this category are also sought after both by the
collector and shooter. Modern firearms must be in working order
and retain approximately 92 percent original metal and wood
finish. It must be 100 percent factory original, but may have some
small repairs, alterations, or non-factory additions. No refinishing
is permitted in this category. Antique firearms must have 80
percent original finish with no repairs.
Neither collectors nor shooters are likely to exhibit much
interest in firearms in this condition. Modern firearms are likely
to retain little metal or wood finish. Pitting and rust will be seen
in firearms in this category. Modern firearms may not be in
working order and may not be safe to shoot. Repairs and
refinishing would be necessary to restore the firearm to safe
working order. Antique firearms will have no finish and will not
function. In the case of modern firearms their principal value lies
in spare parts. On the other hand, antique firearms in this
condition may be used as “wall hangers” or as an example of an
extremely rare variation or have some kind of historical
Pricing Sample Format
Modern firearms in this category may not be considered to be
as collectable as the previous grades, but antique firearms are
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The prices given in this book reflect RETAIL values. This is
important. You will generally not realize full retail value if you
trade a gun in on another or sell it to a dealer. In this situation,
your trade-in gun will be valued at wholesale, which is generally
substantially below retail value.
Unfortunately for shooters and collectors, there is no central
clearinghouse for firearms prices. The prices given in this book
are designed as a guide, not as a quote. This is an important
distinction because prices for firearms vary with the time of the
year, with geographical location, and sometimes for no apparent
reason. For example, interest in firearms is at its lowest point in
the summer. People are not as interested in shooting and
collecting at this time of the year as they are in playing golf or
taking a vacation. Therefore, prices are depressed slightly and
guns that may sell quickly during the hunting season or the winter
months may not sell well at all during this time of year.
Geographical location also plays an important part in pricing.
Political pundits are often heard to say that all politics is local.
Well, the same can be said, in many ways, for the price of
firearms. For instance, a Winchester Model 70 in a .264 caliber
will bring a higher price in the Western states than along the
Eastern seaboard. Smaller gauges and calibers seem to be more
popular along both coasts and mid-sections of the United States
than in the more open western sections of the country.
It is not practical to list prices in this book with regard to time
of year or location. What is given is a reasonable price based on
sales at gun shows, auction houses, Gun List prices, and
information obtained from knowledgeable collectors and dealers.
In certain cases there will be no price indicated under a particular
condition but rather the notation “N/A” or the symbol “—.” This
indicates that there is no known price available for that gun in that
condition or the sales for that particular model are so few that a
reliable price cannot be given. This will usually be encountered
only with very rare guns, with newly introduced firearms, or more
likely with antique firearms in those conditions most likely to be
encountered. Most antique firearms will be seen in the good, fair
and poor categories.
As noted above, throughout this edition you will see
certain models identified as “sleepers”: models that
are undergoing, or are likely to undergo, an upward
shift in value. These entries are identified by the icon
shown at the right. In today’s volatile market, however,
nothing is certain, so we can make no guarantees as
to the future appreciation of any model.
Note that the prices in this book are a GENERAL GUIDE as to
what a willing buyer and willing seller might agree on. So how is
the reader to use this book? Standard Catalog of Firearms can
be used as an identification guide and as a source of starting
prices for a planned firearms transaction. If you start by valuing a
given firearm according to the values shown in this book, you will
not be too far off the mark.
In the final analysis, a firearm is worth only what someone is
willing to pay for it. New trends arise quickly, and there are many
excellent bargains to be found in today’s market. With patience
and good judgment – and with this book under your arm – you,
too, can find them.
As stated in the pricing section, this publication offers a general
guide to prices. There are many factors that may affect the value
of a firearm. We have attempted to be as comprehensive as
possible, but we cannot cover all possible factors that may
influence the worth of any given firearm. Some of these
circumstances will be discussed so that the shooter and collector
will have a better idea of how certain factors may affect prices.
Firearms have been admired and coveted, not only for their
usefulness, but also for their grace and beauty. Since the
beginning of the 19th century, firearms makers have adorned
their guns with engraving, fine woods, or special order features
that set their products apart from the rest. There is no feasible
way to give the collector every possible variation of the firearms
presented in this book. However, in a general way, certain
special factors will significantly influence the price of a firearm.
Perhaps the most recognizable special feature collectors
agree affects the price of a firearm is engraving. The artistry,
beauty, and intricate nature of engraving draw all collectors
toward it. But, firearms engraving is a field unto itself requiring
years of experience to determine proper chronological methods
and the ability to identify the engraver in question. Factory
engraving generally brings more of a premium than after-market
engraving. To be able to determine factory work is a difficult task,
full of pitfalls. In some cases, factories like Colt and Winchester
may have records to verify original factory engraving work.
Whereas other manufacturers such as Parker, Remington, or
Savage may not have these records. Whenever a firearm
purchase is to be made with respect to an engraved gun, it is in
the collector’s best interest to secure an expert opinion and/or a
factory letter prior to the purchase. Engraved firearms are
expensive. A mistake could cost the collector thousands of
dollars; proceed with caution.
The 18th century was also a time when pistols and rifles were
purchased by or given to historically important individuals.
Firearms have also been an important part of significant historical
events such as the Battle of the Little Bighorn or the Battle of Bull
Run or some other meaningful event in our nation’s history. Many
of these firearms are in museums where the public can enjoy, see
and appreciate them. Others are in private collections that
seldom, if ever, are offered for sale. If the collector should ever
encounter one of these historically important firearms, it cannot
be stressed strongly enough to secure an expert determination
as to authenticity. Museum curators are perhaps the best source
of information for these types of firearms. As with engraved guns,
historical firearms are usually expensive, and without
documentation their value is questionable.
Special features and variations are also a desirable part of
firearms collecting. As with engraving, special order guns can
bring a considerable premium. The Colt factory has excellent
records regarding its firearms and will provide the collector with a
letter of authenticity. Winchester records are not as
comprehensive, but rifles made prior to 1908 may have
GG19-Intro.fm Page 18 Tuesday, September 9, 2008 4:48 PM
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documentation. Other firearm manufacturers either do not have
records or do not provide the collector with documentation. This
leaves the collector in a difficult position. Special order sights,
stocks, barrel lengths, calibers, and so forth must be judged on
their own merits. As with other factors, an expert should be
consulted prior to purchase. Sometimes this can be difficult.
Experienced collectors, researchers, and museums will generally
provide the kind of information a collector needs before
purchasing a special order or unique firearm.
Perhaps the best advice is for the collector to take his time.
Do not be in a hurry, and do not allow yourself to be rushed into
making a decision. Learn as much as possible about the
firearms you are interested in collecting or shooting. Try to keep
current with prices through Gun List and this publication. Go to
gun shows, not just to buy or sell, but to observe and learn. It is
also helpful to join a firearms club or association. These groups
have older, experienced collectors who are glad to help the
beginner or veteran. Firearms collecting is a rewarding hobby.
Firearms are part of our nation’s history and represent an
opportunity to learn more about their role in that American
experience. If done skillfully, firearms collecting can be a
profitable hobby as well.
GG19-Intro.fm Page 19 Tuesday, September 9, 2008 4:48 PM
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A RICH MAN’S GAME?
BY DAN SHIDELER
By the time this edition of Standard Catalog of Firearms goes to
press, we’ll all be paying well over four bucks a gallon for gas – and
nearly the same for a gallon of milk. Natural gas and electricity prices
are inching up steadily, and basic cable is going through the roof. Come
to think of it, the roof needs fixing, too.
In my family, we’ve had to cut back substantially. We’ve canceled
our summer trip to the Rockies, choosing instead to explore the scenic
beauty of rural Elkhart County, Indiana. This doesn’t sound so bad until
you consider that we already live in rural Elkhart County, Indiana.
I don’t wish to call down a jinx on all of us, but it sometimes appears
to me that our economy is staggering uncertainly toward recession. Yet
most gun prices continue to climb steadily, along with everything
except our household income. Where is this leading the gun collecting
I wish I knew. As editor of this book, I am necessarily interested in
the future of the gun hobby. And as far as I can tell – although I hope
I’m wrong – it seems to me that there’s a 80/20 rule at work here: 80
percent of the collectible guns end up in the hands of the 20 percent of
the population who can afford them. And this isn’t good for the longterm health of the hobby.
Let me qualify that. I bear absolutely no ill will to those who are so
well-heeled that they can afford even the priciest collectible guns. (My
own mother had such hopes for me before I went bad.) That’s free
enterprise and capitalism at work, and I’m a big believer in both. But it
does seem to me that the beginning gun collector is necessarily shut out
of many areas, and that’s a shame.
THE COLLECTING IMPULSE
First, let me explain what I mean by “collector.” The true collector
is driven by an urge to organize, to categorize, to catalogue. This
impulse to nail down every variation of a given subject is what drove
the great Golden Age of Collecting in the 1950s. Those were the glory
days of stamp collecting, coin collecting, and gun collecting. Fueled by
a relatively inexpensive influx of post-war European collectibles –
either properly imported or “liberated” – the beginning collector was in
clover. Those were the days when kids would patiently snap coins into
bound volumes, or spend hours sliding stamps into small glassine
envelopes. Far more than merely a time-killing hobby, these activities
taught and reinforced the crucial intellectual skills of differentiation and
Such intellectual activities are on the decline today, if not actually
deadsville. I don’t notice legions of young collectors patiently sorting
stamps, coins or guns – in fact, as far as I can tell, most of the good folks
who engage in such pastimes are, shall we say, getting a little long in the
tooth, as am I. Publications dealing with stamp and coin collecting seem
to be on the decline, and if not actually on the decline, then they’re at
least suffering from a dearth of fresh blood.
Collecting per se is an intellectual pursuit. It involves discipline,
patience and insatiable curiosity. We can be thankful that the collecting
mentality is alive and well among such groups as the legendary Ohio
Gun Collectors Association, for it is these associations that provide the
scholarship that allows us to know so much about the guns that pass
through our hands.
I might go out on a limb and say that, with the advent of the internet,
the majority of the players in today’s collectible gun hobby aren’t
collectors at all, but opportunistic acquirers. These are the people who
do not specialize in any one area, but acquire guns either to trade them
or sell them at a profit. For these folks, collecting, sorting and
categorizing aren’t the big driving factors: the hope of a fast turnaround
And there’s nothing wrong with that, by gum! In fact, the
opportunistic acquirers are (mostly) the nice people who buy this book.
A serious Winchester collector certainly doesn’t need little old me to
tell him what his guns are worth, but the fellow who stumbles across a
High Standard Sentinel Deluxe or a Great Western Derringer at his
neighborhood gun shop might want to know more about it in hopes that
a) it might prove to be an interesting find for which he has some use, or
b) it might be something he can turn for a fast buck or trade for
something even more interesting.
This is definitely where the hobby is heading: we are approaching a
point where the nice stuff – the really choice stuff – passes from one
serious collector to another, and the remainder of the circulating
collectible firearms get snapped up by the opportunistic acquirers. This
is not universally true, but it’s truer than not.
(I might take a moment at this point and tell you that in setting the
values in this book, I do not rely overmuch on value estimates supplied
by collectors associations. I strive to assign real-world values to the
models included in this book, and that isn’t always as simple as it seems.
Collectors tend to value the items in their collections according to what
they think they should be worth, whereas I try to assign the values in this
book based upon what most people are willing to pay for them. There’s
So, with the top-end collectors spending top dollar, and with the
opportunistic acquirers constantly on the lookout for easily-liquidated
inventory, what is the beginning collector with limited discretionary
income to do? Where can he possibly start?
The answer is simple: he must start where the market isn’t.
To be truly collectible, a gun (or an inkwell, or a doll, or just about
anything else) must have a few important characteristics:
• It must have intrinsic physical or intellectual value. This is why
no one bothers to collect driveway gravel.
• It must exist in sufficient variation to warrant classification or
categorization, yet these variations must be ultimately finite.
• It must be attainable and affordable, according to the individual
This last point is where the novice firearms collector hits his or her
first snag. At a time when even a modest collectible firearm may cost a
couple of hundred dollars, “affordable” is a relative term.
But let’s say that a beginning gun collector has squirreled away
several hundred dollars. Can he start a decent collection with such
limited resources? Sure he can – if he goes where the market isn’t.
I spend quite a lot of time in the field, attending gun shows, paying
visits to my local dealers, attending gun and estate auctions, and
monitoring internet auctions. Based on what I’ve seen in the past few
years, a beginning gun collector with a limited budget would be welladvised to consider the following half-dozen classes of collectible
firearms. (There are hundreds more, but these are to me among the most
With but few exceptions, Mossberg .22s haven’t caught on as
collectibles. Yet a casual scan of the Mossberg section of this book
reveals that Mossberg .22s meet each of the three criteria mentioned
above. In fact, Mossberg .22s exist in such wonderful profusion that the
beginning collector might wish to concentrate on a single type of rifle –
the bolt action, say, or the semi-auto. Here in the midwest, most of the
great old Mossbergs of the ‘50s and ‘60s can be had for less (sometimes
much less) than $150 apiece, usually in surpris