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Starting A Gun Collection: Tips And Tricks You Need To Know First!

Thursday, February 7th, 2019
gun and antique firearm collection and auction tips

It can be exciting but hard to start a gun collection because there are so many choices available to you. You have to decide if you want to collect antique guns, modern guns, or both. No matter your choice, there’s a large number of options to choose from for your collection. There is also a lot of information available. In fact, just searching one specific gun can lead you to a wealth of information on that particular firearm. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you start your gun collection.

Do your research

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of adding a new firearm to your gun collection. Even people that have been collecting for a while can sometimes end up ignoring red flags. For example, checking the serial number on a gun can take just a moment. You can find out if a gun was owned by someone famous or if they died before the gun was made. Taking a moment to research can help prevent you from purchasing an item that has issues as well.

Check the condition of the gun

Condition is another tricky area that can catch new buyers off guard. There are several conditions that you can expect to see with firearms. For instance, you can buy guns that are considered shooters. These are functional and safe to fire. They typically can have some replacement parts and maintenance done to them to keep them in good shape. Guns in this condition aren’t museum pieces that look pristine. But, as long as they don’t show signs of abuse, you know that they’ve been properly maintained. That being said, you also have the choice to look for firearms that have the right look without being able to shoot them. These types of guns are ones that you’ll want to display.

Understand provenance and reproduction pieces

Two areas that can trip up new gun collectors are provenance and reproductions. It is important to understand what these terms mean before you start collecting.


This term refers to the history or place of origin of an item. Buying a gun with provenance means you can get an authentic piece, often for a good deal. But, not only can guns be faked, so can their paperwork. That’s where your research can come into play. For instance, Jesse James’ mother made money after her son’s death by buying used guns and selling them with a note that they were guns used by her son. An inexperienced buyer who isn’t aware of this dark side of provenance may make a mistake in overpaying for a gun.


Reproductions are another issue in that can be a problem. Research can be vital here because it can let you know if a particular gun has been reproduced. Some sellers will take a reproduction gun made in Italy, remove the Italian marks, and add in some original parts from the real thing. Then, they’ll give the gun an antique look. These people will go far to try to fool a buyer. Careful research on what an authentic antique gun should look like can help you when buying.

Turn to reputable sellers

Some sellers are more trustworthy than others. Going through a reputable auction house or dealer can help steer you towards a better grade of firearm. Someone who doesn’t care about their reputation is more willing to sell reproductions and fakes. They are only interested in the money they can make now. A reputable seller, on the other hand, wants you to be happy with a purchase, come back again, and give referrals to your friends.

Tips for bidding at gun auctions

Going to your first gun auction is exciting, but there are a few things that you can do to make it a great experience.

  • Take an opportunity to see what is being auctioned beforehand and learn as much as you can. This will allow you to look at what you may want and research it to see how much you should bid.
  • It can be easy to get caught up in the moment, so be aware of the current bid at all times.
  • It can be helpful to let other, more experienced bidders make opening bids. If the initial bid isn’t accepted, the auctioneer may start at a lower amount to entice more bidders. Waiting to bid can help you save money.
  • You’ll want to bring along some packing materials to safely transport the items you win. Not every gun auction has cases or bags, and not every gun will come with one.

Firearms for sale at auction in Texas

Are you thinking about starting a gun collection or adding to yours? Contact the professionals at High Plains Auctioneers today. You can reach us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email to learn more about Bidding or Selling at our auctions. Check Out our upcoming auctions to see what we will have available!