What is my 1911 Pistol Worth?
Why do Gun Owners Like 1911 Pistols?
Designed by famed firearms inventor John M. Browning, the 1911 is quite possibly the most iconic pistol ever produced. Production as well as adoption by the United States military began in 1911. So successful was the 1911 that despite the adoption of the M9 in the 1980s and recently the the Sig Sauer M17, modern versions of the 1911 are still being used by the Marine Corps and special forces units. In all, more than 2.7 million units of the pistol were produced for the military and millions more by dozens of manufacturers for civilian use. Known for reliability and an outstanding trigger, the 1911 is a pleasure to shoot and depending on the make and model, it can be a coveted collectors item.
The popularity of the 1911 has led dozens of manufacturers to create their own versions of the revered pistol. These reproductions and copies vary greatly in value and quality. From budget minded manufacturers such as Citadel or Taurus or high end 1911s such as Nighthawk or Wilson Combat, the 1911 has a diverse production with enthusiasts of all capabilities in mind. Naturally, the used market reflects the value of this diverse production.
How to Determine the Value of my 1911 Pistol?
A major factor in determining value for any firearm comes from the condition of the gun. If it is in mint condition with little finish wear from handling, the gun can retain a good portion of its retail value. If more usage is apparent and the gun has scuffs, dents or scratches on the slide or polymer lower, the value will lower with each imperfection. Same goes with the metal parts, the more scratches and faded bluing finish that becomes present on the gun from handling and usage can greatly diminish its value. The takeaway is that as the condition of the firearm worsens, the less it will be worth when re-sold.
Another factor that contributes to a re-sale value is the historical relevance of 1911 models. Besides Colt, Remington-Rand, Ithaca, Union Switch and Signal also produced 1911s for the military. These more rare versions do well in the used market. However, one must consider the condition of historical pieces when appraising their value. Historical 1911s with the original finish and accessories are more valuable in the used market. We’ve also found that historical 1911s that have aftermarket slides, sights or other parts tend to lose value drastically.
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