Valuation question

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by deadin, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2006
    Here’s a challenge for evaluation……
    My question is “How are values arrived at when the condition of a gun isn’t actually in any of the books?”

    My example is the Springfield M1875 Officers Model I recently acquired. This rifle could be described as follows:

    Overall, the rifle is solid but shows signs of heavy usage. The stock has no cracks and only a few gouges. However the checkering shows considerable wear, especially on the forestock where there are only faint indications that it existed. The pistol grip has most of the checkering worn away on one side. The butt plate has the some rust/pitting showing, but only is a few spots. The bore also follows this theme in that it is pretty much shot out with only a hint of rifling in places. The bore also has some pitting. The exterior finish shows heavy patina on exposed parts of the barrel, but no pitting. The bottom of the barrel under the stock is nicely blued. The receiver shows good case colors on the protected areas and a little along with patina elsewhere. The engraving on the breech and tang is strong. The high arch breechblock is showing speckling with clear engraving as does the tang. The lock is in excellent condition and shows no rust or pitting. All in all, a heavily used, but cared for and honest rifle.( I would like to know just how much game, etc. the gun has taken in its lifetime.)

    The condition guides describe the following “conditions”:
    VERY GOOD – all original parts; none to 30% original finish; original metal surfaces smooth with all edges sharp; clear lettering, numerals and design on metal; wood slightly scratched or bruised; bore disregarded for collectors firearms.
    GOOD – some minor replacement parts; metal smoothly rusted or lightly pitted in places; cleaned or reblued; principal lettering, numerals and design on metal legible; wood refinished, scratched, bruised or minor cracks repaired; in good working order.

    I believe this rifle would qualify as Very Good except for the fact that it does not have “all original parts”, but rather has some "minor"(?) replacement parts in the front Beech’s Globe sight, the Tang sight and the Ramrod. These parts are reproductions of the originals.

    Several of the various “Price Guides” show the following:
    Flayderman (9th Edition 2007) .. VG-$10,000 Exc. $35,000
    Blue Book (25th Edition 2004…) 98% $35,000 60% $10,000
    Springfield Trapdoor Collectors Forum (current) VG - $19,000 – Exc $30,000
    (I’ve never cared for the “%” system of the BB as it seems to put everything strictly on finish without taking anything else into account.)

    So, where should a “Good” condition fall in the above ranges??
    Here are a few pictures…….
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I often use the Blue Book for valuation, but for general guidance, the NRA conditiion descriptions are hard to beat. Those, as you likely know, are given in the front of the Blue Book, though he doesn't use them. When using them, good practice is to say "NRA Modern Excellent" or "NRA Antique Very Good." It seems to me your rifle falls into the "NRA Antique Good" category.

    So how do you determine value? Essentially, the value of anything is whatever someone will give for it; I would make a WAG on that rifle as about $12,000, but will be happy to be corrected by someone more conversant with current prices.

    I have a couple of suggestions. I would stain the ramrod to make it darker and closer to the appearance of the originals, and the same with the front sight. I don't think that is fakery as long as you are up front that the parts are repros.


  3. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2006
    I've been meaning to put a light stain on the ramrod.... It really isn't supposed to be too dark, just not "unfinished". The originals look like they were just rubbed down with several coats of linseed oil.
    As for the front sight, the gold is correct. The originals were equipped with a Beech's Globe which had a gold plated finish. This one was made by Axtell in Montana. (The darn thing cost me $140.:eek:)
    I made the tang sight so all I have in it is a lot of hours. (Got the drawings and measurements from one of the premier experts on 1875 OMs, so it's pretty close to an original, but wouldn't fool anyone who knew what they were looking at.
    I haven't been trying to sell it, would just like some estimate of what it's worth. I had a local offer me $5,000 before any of the parts were replaced. Told him I didn't think so.;):D
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