Collecting Firearms: NRA Antique Condition Descriptions

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posted on January 3, 2021
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Why do many Americans collect firearms? There are a wide variety of reasons: Firearms are historically interesting, hold their value well when properly maintained, and can be passed down as family heirlooms for many generations. There are many factors that affect a gun's value, but here are the ways the NRA describes antique firearms and their conditions.

Factory New
All original parts; 100 percent original finish; in perfect condition in every respect, inside and out.

Excellent
All original parts; over 80 percent original finish; sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal and wood; unmarred wood; good bore.

Fine 
All original parts; over 30 percent original finish; sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal and wood; minor marks in wood; fine bore.

Very Good
All original parts; none to 30 percent 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 collector 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.

Fair 
Some major parts replaced; minor replacement parts may be required; metal rusted, may be lightly pitted all over, vigorously cleaned or reblued; rounded edges of metal and wood; principal lettering, numerals and design on metal partly obliterated; wood scratched, bruised, cracked or repaired where broken; in fair working order or can be easily repaired and placed in working order.

Poor
Major and minor parts replaced; major replacement parts required and extensive restoration needed; metal deeply pitted; principal lettering, numerals and design obliterated; wood badly scratched, bruised, cracked or broken; mechanically inoperative, generally undesirable as a collector's firearm.

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