Gun Prices Are Very Complex
How much is a gun worth? Of course, that is a loaded question. It might be easy enough to figure out how much the original customer would have paid for a gun, but that .458 socom ammo does not necessarily tell you how much it is worth today. Gun prices are very complex, and in fact it is impossible to set an absolute standard or price chart that all collectors could follow. Part of the adventure of trading guns is finding good deals and trying to make some extra, and the more information you have about the subject, the better you will play the game.
The objective factors that affect the price of a gun are things like the number of pieces manufactured; the physical condition of the individual gun; and recent prices brought by similar guns in the recent past. You can find out this information yourself, but it is often a tedious process and the data is difficult for the average person to process in a meaningful way. A much easier method is to use the gun Blue Book, which is compiled by experts and takes all these complexities into account. You can simply look up your gun’s manufacturer and model, identify the condition of your gun, and find a ballpark amount that will give you a basis from which to start. You will probably end up paying a little more or (hopefully) a little less than the Blue Book value, but a fair price will not be far off.
Simply put, if an ancestor of yours used a certain type of gun during the Civil War, you will probably be willing to pay more than the Blue Book value for that particular gun if you get the chance to buy it. Gun prices depend on the personal preferences of buyers and sellers, and there is no way to quantify those in a price list. You should not necessarily feel cheated if you find that you paid an unusually large amount for a gun; if that piece is special to you, then it is worth more to you in financial terms as well.