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How to Know the Right Value of a Firearm as a Buyer before an Auction

Every year, the number one firearms auction house in the world, Rock Island Auction Company, holds three different kinds of auctions. High condition and rare collectibles are brought up the Premiere Auctions held three times a year in the summer, fall and winter. They are usually crowded with hundreds of buyers who are keen about the historically important items. The second type are the Regional Auctions, held twice a year. These auctions have more mid-range and everyday collector items. The last type is the Online Only auctions held many times a year. Buyers bid through RIAC’s website for the firearms they want.

RIAC has made millions of sales in auction events and it is the most popular auction company among firearms enthusiasts. The company prides itself at getting sellers the best price for their items, while buyers genuinely appreciate RIAC getting them the best items their money can buy.


If you are looking to buy firearms at an auction, you need to develop some understanding of your own regarding items you would like to bid on.

Research your desired item – Firearms auctions usually offer collectible guns which are a bit more pricy because of their historical importance and condition. Certain firearms have great value due to their famous past owners, use in war, and scarcity of production. Through research, you can determine the average selling price of the particular gun you want to bid on. Keep in mind, however, that a firearm that sold for a certain price a while ago may go for more or less depending on the amount of interest in it during the current auction. Be sure to check out the item in person or look through many different pictures of the item so you know exactly what condition the item is in. You want to be sure you have an understanding of the exact item you are bidding on before you start naming prices.


Know what information is key about the item – The key points to know here are the make, model, and ATF category (antique, C&R, modern) of your firearm. If you are planning to use the firearm, you should ascertain if it is safe to fire and verify the caliber with a gunsmith. Read the details to make sure it is a firearm you want to purchase. In addition, get proper information about its measurements. The length of the barrel, its calibers, and markings all help determine the average cost of an item. At many auction houses, the catalog will be available online prior to the auction. At Rock Island Auction Company, the catalog is available for over a month prior to the sale so buyers can get more information about the items they want to bid on.

Assess the condition – Here, you may require the Percentage System check or NRA Condition Standards check to properly examine the condition of an item. You should know the details which can prove the firearm authentic or not. Also, any damage can drastically reduce the price and appeal of an item so check prior to bidding. All reputable firearm auction house tend to list the condition of an item according to a universal scale and the state-specific information about the condition so bidders can get an idea of what they are buying. To keep your firearm in good shape after you buy, do not clean it by yourself. Improper cleaning can potentially damage your gun which reduces the price of your firearm.


Putting a certain value on firearms is not an easy task. One auction could have a model of a gun for twice as much as it went for at another auction. Doing a bit of research and creating a bidding strategy will help you get the best price on the firearm you’ve been eyeing.

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