View Full Version : pair of colt ightnings

November 11, 2009, 08:10 PM
i have a 1896 and 1906 colt ightnings in never been fired condition absolutly perfict condition.what im looking for is a realistic value for the pair.the owner wants 10000 for them and im not sure what they are worth

November 11, 2009, 09:01 PM
I don't have any current issue of the BLUE BOOK OF GUN VALUES around here anymore, but that sounds just a little steep to me. Not way way high but a few thousand high? Then again that is unseen. Top grade antique Colts might reasonably be the area where a professional appraiser would give you a good value of them. Good luck. Owners are likely to misinterpret scanty information and try to maximise what they think they will bring, and someone looking at them poker faced thinking of getting ahold of them for themselves, will lowball the value. Top grade guns often are sold thru one of the serious gun and militaria auction houses. The millionares go to those places looking to add to their collections.

James K
November 11, 2009, 09:28 PM
Assuming you know exactly what you are looking at, $10k wouldn't be unreasonable for two perfect, unfired, Lightning Colts. But that would be at the upper edge of the retail price and there would be no leeway if you want to sell them. If you can buy and hang on for a few years, you should do OK even allowing for inflation.

One good point is that you can sell the guns separately if you want, since they are not a matched pair or consecutive numbers.

(FWIW, note that one is an antique; the other is a modern firearm and applicable laws apply.)


November 12, 2009, 09:14 PM
OK, well I am not an antique Colt expert, I did own a Thunderer once, but when you are talking dropping five figures on antique guns, it does strike me kinda odd to shop the idea around on forums like this? I mean that is into serious areas of collecting that most of us cannot afford to even consider. With that much money on the line, I would expect someone to have a clue, I guess is what I am saying. Asking advice on some old gun that is maybe 500$ is one matter, but if I am gonna drop that kinda cash I am not going to go on the net and ask Joe X what I should do. Something seems strange here. In any case I think he has some time to ponder and research, I don't see them flying off the shelf overnight at that kind of price. They are not super scarce guns either, at least in somewhat less than mint unfired condition.

James K
November 12, 2009, 11:58 PM
I am not sure I understand. Why not ask here? No one here or anywhere else can claim total expertise, but I think some of us do know about guns costing over $500. The OP is free to take or disregard any advice given.

Further, our advice costs a lot less than an appraisal by one of the high priced experts. If the OP doesn't know what he is looking at or can't fully trust the seller, then I recommend he obtain an appraisal service (advertised in collector magazines) and pay accordingly before dropping a fair amount of money.

Actually, ten grand is no longer big bucks in the gun collecting area, especially with antique Colts. Lugers of a make and quality I once turned down at $50 are bringing $2000; a SAA that once would have sold for $250 will now bring $3000 and up. True, the Model 1877 is not in the Paterson category and never will be, but they are a highly desireable early DA Colt and few are seen in unfired condition. Most I have seen, due to the delicate mechanism, are non-functional and there are almost no gunsmiths who are willing and knowledgeable enough to work on them, even assuming parts are available.

So, no, I don't think it is odd that the OP asked here about those guns, and I hope I have given him good advice.