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Blue Booking an Old Relic

Blue Book of Gun Values

You know that rifle that’s been sitting in the corner of your closet for decades? Every wonder exactly how much that thing is worth? With the gun market being what it is right now, it may be time to dust off some of those old firearms and see how they perform with a sale tag tied on. The Blue Book of Gun Values is a tool virtually everyone in the industry uses for pricing just about every type of firearm. If you are buying or selling even one gun—you absolutely need this reference. Blue Book of Gun Values When my grandfather passed, he left a dozen or so guns behind to pass around to the grandkids. He had an eclectic collection of fascinating relics from the gun world. An M1 Carbine lined the shelf, along with a Belgian made Browning SA-22. That Browning was worth a nice sum, but it held a sentimental value that outweighed any monetary price. However, there was one gun my grandfather wanted us to sell. He inherited it from his stepfather with whom he never had a solid relationship. It had been sitting in the corner of his gun closet since long before my father was even born. He said he never bothered shooting it. He thought it could fetch a few hundred bucks and we should split the money among the grandkids.

Winchester 1886
Winchester 1886

When the time came, we took the gun out and my jaw dropped to the floor. It was a Winchester Model 1886 chambered in .50 Express (.50-110). It was in good condition, especially considering the age. After some research, we found that Winchester manufactured the gun in 1900. Aside from a few nicks and scratches, it looked incredible. I seemed to be mechanically perfect. I’m no antique firearms collector, but I knew that gun was worth more than what my grandfather thought. I dragged out a copy of the Blue Book of Gun Values, flipped to the Winchester 1886 section, and grinned from ear to ear. This gun wasn’t worth hundreds—it was worth thousands. According to the book, it was worth somewhere in the range of $6,000–$9,000 depending on its official condition.

Such is the case with so many old guns that resurface after a century in a closet. People pass on and leave their prize collections to relatives who may or may not know their values. Some guns are sold to pay bills or fund a college tuition. Others fall into that hands of the neglectful and end up turning into rust. I’m betting that if more people knew the monetary value of their firearms, they’d be less likely to just let them sit. I wonder how many people let their guns go for small sums of money, never knowing they let a real gem slip through their fingers. Investing a small amount could have helped so many earn thousands for their collections.

Why doesn’t everyone just check an auction site and see what guns are going for? This tends to be an inaccurate way to guesstimate value. You’re seeing what one person paid for the gun—on the internet. Neither party may have really known the value and both parties may have overlooked small features that can drastically affect the sale price. Also, private sellers tend to overestimate value on gun auction sites. Do you really think your base model Mossberg 500 is worth $700? The Blue Book of Gun Values sets the bar where it belongs, squarely on the actual value of the gun. You get the most current value available, and these guys do what it takes to make their information right. Industry experts spend countless hours updating their information, and they do it with unparalleled accuracy. I really don’t trust any other resource.

In case you don’t want to lug around a paper book, the Blue Book of Gun Values is available via online subscription, or CD-ROM. They offer the most convenient way to access the most important information, right at your fingertips. Virtually every gun seller has this reference behind the counter, and you need one too! Blue Book of Gun Values

Have you ever used the Blue Book of Gun Values to learn what your firearm is worth? Tell us in the comment section.

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