What is my AK-47 Worth?
The AK type of firearms are one of the most recognizable firearms ever produced. Often stereotyped in the West as the “bad guy gun,” they also are recognized as a symbol of freedom fighters. So legendary is the AK they have been symbolized on the flags of East Timor, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Mozambique. The design is continuously upgraded ensuring their continued use in military and police forces. Their prevalent use by civilians for defensive and sporting purposes make them highly desirable. In addition to practical use, they are featured in numerous films and other media as well as mentioned often in other forms of pop culture. In addition to their most common caliber, 7.62x39mm, more modern offerings are often chambered in 5.45x39mm and 5.56x45mm.
The AK types of firearms have a diverse production with dozens of manufacturers producing multiple variants in multiple calibers in dozens of nations. Most former COMBLOC nations have produced the AK and continue to do so today. Besides the stock OEM rifles, modifications to AKs can also increase or decrease value. Popular modifications include trigger kits, hand guards, bolt-carrier groups and muzzle devices among others. There are a multitude of manufacturers making parts for AKs.
One factor that affects the value of an AK is its age. “Pre-ban” AKs tend to be much more valuable than newer comparable models. “Pre-ban” refers to the Federal Assault Weapons Ban signed in 1994. This ban only affected firearms manufactured after its signing date and the ban expired in 2004. This ban affected AKs made by Norinco and Poly Tech for example. Pre-ban AKs made by these companies are especially valuable and do well on the used market.
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 what accessories come with the gun. Depending on the amount of magazines, their capacity and if it comes with all original packaging/case and accessories, the re-sale value can increase from 10 – 20 percent depending on the specific model.
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