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The History And Rarity Of Antique Guns

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

According to regulations put in place in 1968, an antique gun is any firearm produced before December 31, 1898. These rifles that are over 100 years-old are sought after for their historical significance more than their performance. To understand why, you will need to look closely at early design and operation. Then, look at the benefits of owning antique guns and where to find them.

Early design and operation of antique guns

The history of firearms begins in the Middle Ages when the Chinese invented gunpowder. The first ammunition for a handgun was designed to fit a muzzle-loader rifle, like the blunderbuss in the 17th century. These loose pellets are the basis for the shotgun shells we use today. The mechanics were advanced for the time, but the accuracy left a lot to be desired. These firearms lost popularity with the general public during the 19th century, in favor of the breech-loading models. The general public may have seen the value of this feature, but the military was slow to adapt to it.

In 1860, an American inventor, Christopher Spencer, changed military history in a single meeting with President Abraham Lincoln. Spencer’s rifle with 7 individual powder charges impressed the President so much that it became the ideal weapon used in the Civil War.

The Union troops were equipped with these new breech-loading firearms by the thousands. Yet, the guns didn’t quite offer the expected improvement in performance. The powder from the individual charges produced a great deal of smoke, making it difficult for a shooter to see a target. Through the American Revolution, which brought better accuracy with the Kentucky Rifle, the flaws in Spencer’s design were corrected. Breech-loading firearms have dominated the market ever since.

Benefits of owning antique guns

There is a mixture of both tangible and intangible benefits. For history buffs and firearm enthusiasts, there is something said about owning a piece of history. Antique firearms offer fewer Federal gun laws relating to registration and private ownership. There is also an ever-increasing value of these firearms.

State and Federal gun laws may differ slightly, but most lawmakers use the standard definition of “firearm” as the basis for their CCW laws. If the cut-off date is applicable, you may be able to carry an antique firearm without a permit. Check local gun laws and find out.

The bottom line is that people are willing to pay more for privacy. So, pre-1899 firearms already bring in a high premium that increases with each passing year.

Be careful when you buy antique guns. Frequently, a weapon that’s called an antique really isn’t one. Untrustworthy sellers will alter weapons to make them appear aged to drive-up the price on antique firearm enthusiasts. These early firearms sell for widely ranging prices that depend on the gun’s condition and time of manufacture. Educate yourself and look for marks of authenticity that are not easy to duplicate cosmetically.

Where to find antique guns

Antique firearms are rare, but invest in the right resources and the search pays off. High Plains Auctioneers could have that antique gun you are looking for. For more information, call High Plains Auctioneers today at (806) 244-6776. You can also connect with us via email by clicking on Contact Us. Check out our website to view our upcoming auctions.