4 Important Factors That Affect A Used Gun’s Value

There are a number of reasons that lead firearm owners to consider trading in a used firearm.  Perhaps a particular gun hasn’t found the use for several years that it once did. Maybe a young hunter has outgrown a youth model and is ready for a full-length stock.  Perhaps a western hunt is planned and that spare whitetail rifle could be used as a trade in to make a larger caliber firearm more affordable. Or maybe it’s time to cash in on a collection of firearms that was inherited from a family member.

Whatever the reason may be, all gun owners know that trading in or liquidating a firearm isn’t always the easiest decision. That is part of the reason why we’ve set out to make our used firearm program as clear and concise as possible. We always seek to offer a fair appraisal and clear explanation about gun values. We also help advise customers in order to ensure that their next firearm is the make and model that will meet their needs and be suitable for the intended purposes.

There are many factors that affect the trade in value of a firearm. In this article we will discuss 4 important factors that affect a gun’s value, as well as detail some of the advantages of trading in or “trading up” a firearm with Kinsey’s Outdoors.

4 Important Factors That Affect A Used Gun’s Value:

  1. Condition: The first thing that is taken into consideration when you are trading in a firearm is the gun’s condition.  The condition of the stock and the barrel are very important and have a big impact on the gun’s resale value.


Is the finish on the stock worn or scratched?  Does it show evidence of moisture damage?  Is the checkering or stippling still intact, or does it show significant signs of wear from use or long-time storage in a gun rack?  Does the barrel exhibit signs of rust or pitting? What is the condition of the rifling? Does the throat of the barrel show signs of erosion?  Some calibers are more susceptible to this than others.


Other considerations are how intact the firearm is overall, and are all the parts and pieces present?  Trigger mechanisms, front and rear sights, magazines, and any other original pieces to the firearm are all important during the gun’s appraisal.


Likewise, modifications can impact the value of the firearm.  Has a wooden stock been painted?  Has a shotgun been drilled and tapped, aftermarket, for mounting a scope?


Original condition is optimal, especially for collectors, so these factors weigh heavily on the final appraisal of your gun.


2. Brand & Model, Rarity, and Market Demand: Ok, so we’re packing four factors into one, here.  But since they are all somewhat related, it’s good to discuss them together.


Essentially all firearm manufacturers offer gun calibers in multiple model numbers.  Just like you can buy various trim levels of the same type of sedan, some models from a given manufacturer will have extra bells and whistles which make their retail value higher and help them to maintain a higher trade-in value.


Fluted barrels, fluted bolts, higher quality wood stocks, decorative etching, adjustable triggers and higher quality components, etc., are things that are often included in higher end firearms that are foregone on cheaper models of the same caliber of gun produced by the same manufacturer.


Additionally, resale value is not the same from brand to brand.  Certain brands that have stood the test of time, and are known for their reliable quality, may have a higher resale value than others.  At its root, that comes down to the demand for that manufacturer’s firearms.


Likewise, overall demand factors into a firearms resale value as well.  Less popular calibers, or those that are less common and more difficult to find ammunition for, don’t retain their value as well.


The reality is that there are some great calibers that just never caught on like others have, and so hunters and gun enthusiasts don’t come looking for that type of gun specifically- at least not as often.


Having a firearm of a less popular, or less common caliber, isn’t the same as having a rare or old firearm that is in demand from collectors, so the differentiation between the two should be drawn.


A rare or antique firearm, (even from a manufacturer that has gone out of business and isn’t making firearms anymore), that is highly collectible, will often have a higher resale value than its contemporary counterparts of the same caliber and thus a higher trade in value. Especially when the firearm is still complete and in pristine condition.


3. Optics: Optics do depreciate, but having a quality scope and scope rings on a hunting rifle can increase its trade in value.


The same as with firearms, there are varying levels of quality when it comes to optics, and certain brands add more value to a firearm than others. The mere presence of a scope on a rifle is only part of the conversation.


The brand, quality, and specs of the optics will all factor into how much value it adds to the firearm.  You don’t have to include the optics with the trade in or cash in of your firearm.  If you are looking to trade up to a new firearm or a used firearm of a different caliber, your quality optics can be easily transferred and bore-sighted on your new firearm.


However, if you are looking to upgrade optics by choosing a scope with a larger aperture or different variation, it’s good to consider trading in the scope with the firearm it is attached to.


4. Cashing In vs. Trading In: If you are looking to trade in or “trade up”, as we like to call it, you can get a little more bang for your buck (pun intended).

The trade in offering we provide you with, once your firearm is appraised, can be effectively blended into the sale of a new firearm.  The difference isn’t monumental, but trading in and buying from the same dealer in a one-stop-shop transaction is almost always the best way to maximize the amount of value from your used firearm.

Unfortunately, due to the complexity of a used gun appraisal, we don’t offer over the phone appraisals. However, you can call us to schedule an in person appraisal at our retail location. It’s also important to note that we do travel to you to do in person appraisals, especially if you have a large gun collection that you’re looking to sell, trade in, or trade up.

If you have any additional questions in regards to the value of your used firearm, or if you’re looking to schedule a used gun appraisal – feel free to call us at (717) 653-5524 or email us at contact@kinseysoutdoors.com.

For more great products and content related to the great outdoors and the shooting sports, be sure to visit Kinsey’s Outdoors online store at shop.kinseysoutdoors.com. Also, be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date on the latest product offerings, sales, promotions, and contests and giveaways.

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