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Antique firearms for sale

Antique firearms for sale. An antique firearm is a term to describe a firearm that was designed and manufactured prior to the beginning of the 20th century. Although the exact definition of what constitutes an “antique firearm” varies between countries, the advent of smokeless powder or the start of the Boer War are often used as cut-off dates.[1] Antique firearms are usually collected because of their historical interest and/or their monetary value.

Antique firearms

Antique firearms can be divided into two basic types: muzzleloading and cartridge firing.

Muzzleloading antique firearms are not generally owned with the intent of firing them (although original muzzleloaders can be safely fired, after having them thoroughly inspected), but instead are usually owned as display pieces or for their historic value.

Cartridge-firing antique firearms are more commonly encountered as shooting pieces, but most antiques made from the 1860s through the 1880s were made with relatively mild steel and were designed to use black powder. They were limited to low bullet velocities and had heavily arcing “rainbow” bullet trajectories. However, advances in steel metallurgy and the advent of mass-produced smokeless powder in the early 1890s gave cartridge rifles of this new era much higher velocities and much flatter trajectories than their predecessors. These advances, typified by cartridges such as 8mm Lebel ( 1886 ), 7×57mm Mauser.303 British, and 7.62×54mmR made many smokeless powder rifles manufactured in the 1890s quite capable of accurate shooting at long distances.

Many antique smokeless powder cartridge firearms from the 1890s can still compete satisfactorily in target shooting events alongside their modern counterparts.[2] British shotguns made between 1861 and 1890 represent some of the finest examples of custom gunmaking from Europe.

Given their scarcity, the prices of antique firearms have steadily risen. Some highly desired brands such as Colt and Winchester Repeating Arms Company have tripled or quadrupled in value in recent years. Current prices are best monitored by comparing prices at gun shows, auctions, websites, and by checking references such as “The Blue Book of Used Gun Values.” Collectors also find gun auction catalogs, along with their accompanying “prices realized” sheets, particularly useful. Some auction houses, such as James D.Julia, publish photos, descriptions, and realized prices on their websites. Having provenance can greatly improve prices. The three main criteria for value are: rarity, condition, and provenance.