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hacker51
March 25, 2007, 11:14 PM
I have aquired three old guns in the past few months.
1. Colt 1902 Sporter 38 ACP which has no bluing left on the outside and some on the trigger, when you take off the slide from the reciever it has plenty of original bluing on the inside and the riflings are great and the lettering is really great. I was wondering if I should have it reconditioned or leave it alone and it shoots great.

2. Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer 38 ACP which has about 96% bluing left and shoots great.

3. Winchester 1892 Takedown 32WCF which I do know was manufactured in 1926. Gun has plenty of blueing left on the barrel and case coloring on the hammer and lever but bluing is faint on the reciever mint bore and riflings. I was also thinking about having it reconditioned as well.

Could you help me in valuing these and your opinion on having two of these reconditioned.

Thank You

BillCA
March 26, 2007, 02:15 AM
If these were acquired through an estate or from a relative, they had good taste in firearms. If you purchased them yourself then you probably already know they're valuable collectors pieces.

Generally speaking, you'll only reduce the value of a gun if you have it refinished. Reconditioning -- that is a gunsmith carefully inspecting, measuring and correcting any defects with proper parts but not necessarily refinishing -- takes time and considerable funds for older guns like these.

For example... Your Colt 1920 Sporting model in .38 ACP has a 6-inch barrel, blue finish, fixed sights, checkered hard rubber grips, no safety, a high spur or round hammer. These were made 1902-08. Even in 60% condition it's worth about $900 and if your gun is in very good shape except for the finish, it might be in the $1,700+ range for a collector. If the hard rubber grips are in good shape, they can fetch several hundred bucks themselves. One of these guns, lightly used can be worth $3000 - $4,500. Do NOT refinish the gun!

Your Colt 1903 Pocket model .38 ACP should have a 3 3/4" or 4 1/2" barrel with a blue finish, checkered black hard rubber grips. These were made 1903-1929. If your gun really is 95% or better, an approximate value would be in the neighborhood of $1,250 and up. If you have the early round hammer add about $375 and add another $250 if you have the original box. (amounts are only estimates based on 95% condition). You might want to rethink shooting that gun much, as correct parts are probably very scarce!

The Winchester rifle market is a law unto itself, but suffice it to say that your 1892 .32-20 WCF takedown rifle sounds like 80% or better which puts it in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $2500 (more if you have a deluxe pistol grip checkered stock).

Protect the finish on your firearms with a quality gun oil and by keeping them in a low-moisture environment (I also recommend using some form of vapor-corrosion-inhibitor paper). I would not refinish any of these guns because it would only devalue them to collectors.