Selling A Gun? Get Ready To Lose Money…Probably

selling a gun

Guns are a durable good, and like plenty of other durable goods, there is a second-hand market that you can sell your gun to should you decide it’s time to move on. However, if selling your gun, prepare to lose money on it.

Despite the fact that they’ll last decades with care, guns tend to lose value over the long run and never really regain it, except for certain models. Your best hope, therefore, is a fair price and a quick sale.

Selling Used Guns Is A Little Like Selling A Used Car

For the person doing the selling, selling a used gun is kind of like selling a used car. In fact, the two compare pretty well in certain ways. Obviously not in price, function and so on, but the principles of selling a used car and a used gun are pretty similar.

You’re going to lose money on a car in almost all cases, period. Yes, yes, depreciation is different by the model (the more expensive the car, the worse it depreciates) and so on, but you will receive less for the asset than you paid for it, except in special circumstances. Cars, from a financial perspective, are losers.

Guns are much the same. Once you drive them off the lot (i.e., buy them and shoot them) they are worth less than what you paid for them and in perpetuity. Heck, even new-in-box guns that are a few years old aren’t worth as much as they were when brand-new.

Used Guns Only Increase In Value If They’re Valuable

As a general rule, both cars and guns will never be worth much over the long run unless they happen to be valuable, to begin with.

Read More: Trading Up: How To Make Your Gun Trade-In Worth It

For instance, the classic cars that go for astounding amounts of money tend to be rare and desirable, to begin with. A 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible, for instance, is very rare (only thirteen were made; only seven were sold domestically) and as such commands a seven-figure price tag. Ditto the Ferrari 250 GT California. By contrast, no one gives a darn about a Chevy Vega.

Guns are much the same.

A Remington 870, even in pristine condition, is worth about as much as your shirt, unless someone famous owned it. By contrast, Heckler and Koch P7 pistols command prices upward of $4,000 for some examples despite being in production for almost 30 years. A Holland and Holland sidelock double rifle will cost you darn near house money.

Both of the aforementioned expensive guns are desirable and relatively rare. The P7, while enjoying a long production run, is a unique pistol and wasn’t imported in high numbers to the United States. An H&H express rifle…is a bespoke firearm. It’s the gun equivalent of a Rolls-Royce. In fact, a new one costs about the same, and as it happens, there’s even a Holland and Holland-edition Range Rover. It’ll run you about $250,000 and includes a gun case in the cargo area (or as the Brits say the “boot”), but you have to buy the guns separately.

A Glock 19, on the other hand…you probably get the idea.

Read More: Tips and Tricks for Buying Used Guns

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for Alien Gear Holsters, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. He also contributes a bi-weekly column for Daily Caller. In his free time, Sam enjoys camping, hunting and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.
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You’re right, thankfully. I bought a NIB Ruger M77 Hawkeye, stainless/wood from a guy who never fired it, let alone loaded it, for $400. I found a Tikka T3 Lite .270 stainless/synthetic for $275, nearly new. Picked up a Ruger SP-101 3″ .357mag for $275. Great guns in fantastic condition and for awesome prices.


Most of the sheepdogs won’t buy used CCW Badges. So if you don’t need no stinkin badge, don’t count on any of the sheepdogs to buy it from you.


Isn’t the Chevy Vega the one with the center console that will hold a Glock?


And if you don’t smoke you can use the ashtray to hold your CCW Badge.


Why would anyone sell a firearm? Be like selling the wife and kids. Never sold a firearm. Wore a few out but never sold one.


Sold an out of the box defective Remington Shotgun, the lack of knowledge that it had only 1 extractor cost me $200.


Would anyone like to sell me an OSS Liberator FP-1 pistol for its original price?

Yes guns can and do appreciate. And in the above mentioned case, quite greatly.


It’s not retained value, it’s the cut for the shop reselling yours.

Zebra Dun

I deal with gun shops for trade or sell to pawn shops better to sell to those than sell to a person who can’t possess a gun and get accused of selling guns to crooks.


I call a lot of BS! If you bought a Ruger 10/22, a very common gun, back in 1982, you might have paid $80. Even a pawn shop pays more than that now. I agree, in the short run, you lose value, just like a new car does when you drive it off the lot. If you keep even a common gun long enough, just normal, yearly price increases on new products makes that used gun worth more if you keep it long enough. The person that buys and sells new guns quickly, I agree, will lose money. Do your homework before you buy. Don’t be that “loser”!!