Antique rifle appraisers
March 20, 2014 6:14 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of an antique gun, specifically rifle, dealer in southeastern Mass.? I have googled and can find none in southeast ma. but I'm sure there must be a few out there. I've called several gun shops and none of them know of any people that are qualified appraisers. Any help would certainly be appreciated. Thanks.
posted by maursam to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
Which gun shops have you asked? I would try contacting Holliston Firearms and/or American Firearms School. If you know the area, there's also a place on Route 1 in Foxborough, south of the stadium and just north of the Mobil station.

Four Seasons has a resources page on its website, listing various people in the field around Massachusetts. That's worth a look, too.
posted by cribcage at 6:59 PM on March 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you want to wait until June, the annual conference / show for the New England Antique Arms Society is in Sturbridge, the weekend of June 20. They say specifically on their website that you can bring in items to have them appraised by members (and, presumably, sell them if you wish). You could probably get several estimates there at one time.

Assuming that the premise of your question is that you have an antique rifle in your possession that you want to have appraised, there is some homework that I would recommend you do first before just taking it into a store. Although a reputable dealer should give you a fair appraisal, there are a lot of horror stories about people who take dad/grandpa/whoever's "old gun" into a store and end up selling it for pennies on the hundred-dollar-bill. (Or, people who bring in old clunkers with an exaggerated idea of their worth and are disappointed. Or worse, who take an old gun and "clean it up" and destroy it.) The National Firearms Museum has a good introductory page. Depending on the gun, there are some books which are basically like "Kelly Blue Books" are for cars, and can provide basic value estimates. Flayderman's might be the place to look if it's an American gun; there are others if it's European. (Definitely would go to a library for the books since they tend to run about $30-50 each and you'll probably only use them once.)

Anyway, if you at least get a ballpark figure from one of the books you can walk into a store and play dumb and at least have some confidence as to whether or not they're playing straight with you.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:59 AM on March 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses. Holliston Firearms does not have an appraiser. On the Four Seasons site I couldn't find a link for anything like appraisers at all. I contacted Antique Firearms in Hanson and the man's wife answered and told me that he passed 2 years ago. I was given a name of a man that has retired in Middleboro but have yet connected with him. I also contacted Flint Firearms in Freetown as I was told that there was an appraiser there but when I called they told me the person I was asking about knew a lot about old rifles but was not an appraiser. The "Blue Book" of firearms has a span from $4000 - above $90,000. I contacted an appraiser on line through the "Blue Book of Guns, Firearms Appraisals" and was told the price was from $2450 to above $100,000, depending on condition. I have an 1878 parker rifle that has seen better days but also has several ornate sketchings in several places. I would have to bring it to an appraiser to actually have it looked at. Thank you for the info of the annual show in Sturbridge. I'll check them out on line but that seems like where I should take the rifle to be looked at. I also contacted 2 shops in Plymouth to see if anyone there knew an antique appraiser but they did not. I'm going to Plympton tomorrow because I know that several gun enthusiasts meet there and maybe one of them will know about someone. Again, thanks for the responses. If I find someone before June I'll post it as I'm sure I'm not the only one out here that would like to hook up with an appraiser or two
posted by maursam at 9:09 PM on March 21, 2014

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