Selling Antique Guns

Converted by a gunsmith in Montana Territory c. 1870s.  Standard Sharps Civil War cavalry issue carbine altered to a classic style “Buffalo Rifle” by A. B. Charpie of Helena, Montana Territory, whose name and markings appear on the heavyweight 24-inch octagon barrel; caliber 50 centerfire; overall weight 11-1/2 lbs.  Illustrated here with a Sheffield, England-made Bowie knife of the same era made for and bearing the markings of the well-known Denver, Colorado gunsmith and arms merchant John P. Lower & Son; also leather cartridge belts bearing brass buckles sold by Lower and the equally noted Denver gunsmiths and arms dealers Carlos Gove & Sons. (As illustrated in The Peacemakers; Arms and Adventure in the American West, with author’s permission)

Converted by a gunsmith in Montana Territory c. 1870s. Standard Sharps Civil War cavalry issue carbine altered to a classic style “Buffalo Rifle” by A. B. Charpie of Helena, Montana Territory, whose name and markings appear on the heavyweight 24-inch octagon barrel; caliber 50 centerfire; overall weight 11-1/2 lbs. Illustrated here with a Sheffield, England-made Bowie knife of the same era made for and bearing the markings of the well-known Denver, Colorado gunsmith and arms merchant John P. Lower & Son; also leather cartridge belts bearing brass buckles sold by Lower and the equally noted Denver gunsmiths and arms dealers Carlos Gove & Sons. (As illustrated in The Peacemakers; Arms and Adventure in the American West, with author’s permission)

Advertising in Gun Publications

The sales option requiring the greatest amount of time, but reaching the widest possible audience, is advertising the gun in one or more of the collecting periodicals. These are widely circulated throughout the United States and abroad, and present the collector with the very best chance of finding the ultimate specialized buyer most actively seeking that particular piece. Bear in mind that a considerable time lapse exists in mail order selling, from placing the advertisement to the date of publication and circulation; normally a minimum of two months. The collector must be prepared to service and answer all inquiries as well as to give full cash refund should the piece be returned by the buyer if not found up to specifications.

Not a few wellknown dealers active today started off by dabbling in part-time mail order. A cautionary note must be made with regard to buying and selling firearms of all types — especially through the mail: One must be familiar with the text of the Federal Firearms Act of 1968, which regulates interstate trade in firearms, and to be equally familiar with local and state firearms ordinances — decidedly a mixed bag! In the most general terms, guns made prior to December, 1898 are free of regulations under the Federal Act, but they do not conflict with or cancel any existing state or local laws in effect in one’s area.

The laws are readily available and their finer points can be checked with local gun clubs and organizations conversant with firearms regulations.

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