What is My Smith & Wesson Revolver Worth?
Possibly the most successful line of firearms ever produced, Smith & Wesson revolvers are known for their diversity and reliability. Established in 1856, Smith & Wesson revolvers soon gained popularity during the American Civil War as soldiers from both sides privately purchased them for defense purposes. Smith & Wesson revolvers are also iconic in pop culture with their use by famed fictional characters such as “Dirty Harry” and Robert de Niro’s character in “Taxi Driver.” Despite the ever growing use of semi-automatic pistols in police, military and personal protection roles, Smith & Wesson has carved a niche that will ensure its enduring popularity as collector items and defense firearms in the future.
From the small J-Frame to the large X-frame revolver, the production variants of Smith & Wesson revolvers are diverse and have many practical applications. The value of these diverse models vary greatly depending on the caliber they fire and their rarity. Smith & Wesson revolvers are popular candidates for engraving. The value of engraved revolvers vary depending on the engraver or who sponsored the engraving. Amateur engravings often decrease the value of firearms while professional engravers often provide certificates along with the engraving. Another factor in determining the value of Smith & Wesson revolvers is the finish. Nickel finished revolvers are more valuable than standard blued or stainless models in the pre-owned 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 are accessories that come with the gun. Please note that as a collectors piece, the value of Smith & Wesson revolvers are greater if they retain the original finish. Another nuance is whether all the parts of the firearm are original.
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