How Much Is My Civil War Gun Worth?

Great question, I’ve been purchasing Civil War weapons for some time now and I’m always asked “how much is my civil war gun, knife, sword worth?” Well it seems these days many of us have an unrealistic impression as to what our CW items are worth.

Let me explain. First we need to differentiate between Union and Confederate pieces. Confederate pieces will always seek higher value then Union pieces unless the Union piece has provenance or was carried by someone of historical significance. Many newbie Civil War collectors want to buy a long rifle, carbine or maybe a sword to start their collection. So they go on the internet or to the next antique gun show and they buy the first gun or sword they see not understanding its true value.

Then you have the owner of Civil War weapons who may have inherited Civil War items from a relative or purchased a couple pieces a few years back, they over paid for the gun or sword and now they not only want to get their money back but they want to make 50% premium, sorry but it doesn’t work like that.

It’s my opinion that the best way of understanding value of Civil War weapons is to do your research. There are many reference books that have been published over the past 10 years that are an absolute must for all CW collectors. These books are written by the experts in the industry and many have 100’s of high quality photos that always come in handy, I will mention a few of these books at the end of this post.

So back to value, there are many unscrupulous people out there that will take advantage of buyers of CW items if you don’t do your homework. When I first started collecting CW guns and swords I would buy the first item that came along only to see the same item at the next gun show for a fraction of the price and in better condition. This happened a few times before the light went off in my head. I started becoming more disciplined, I purchased all the research books I could to make me a better consumer.

I would recommend to all reading this post “DO NOT BUY CIVIL WAR GUNS OR SWORDS FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS” you have no recourse if the item doesn’t meet your expectations. It’s tricky when you purchase a gun/sword from an auction because of the percentage the auction house adds on after the auction is closed, and that amount is usually 15 to 20% on top of the winning bid.

You’re better off buying your CW items from the major dealers in the industry. I found that you can generally negoicate price with the prominate CW dealers and they usually have a 3 to 7 day buy back if you’re not happy with the piece. They want you to keep coming back so they’re going to treat you like a client rather than someone they won’t see again.

Many of the dealers have large inventories, since there always buying large collections of weapons and they need to turn over there inventory, so there willing to sell items at fair market value (sometimes even below) especially Union pieces. Let’s face it the Union made millions of weapons during the CW and there’s no shortage of those pieces. On the other hand the Confederate weapons that are a horse of another color. All Confederate weapons are considered rare, some more than others but never the less all Southern weapons are rare.

I’ve gotten to know some of the major Civil War dealers over the past few years and I can generally buy items well below market value because I pay my bills and I keep coming back time after time. Most of the weapons I buy these days are Confederate. I’ve purchased a number of Bowie Knives, Pikes, Carbines, Long Rifles and just about anything else that whistles Dixie. I have a nice collection of Richmond Virginia Long Rifles, short rifles and carbines and I didn’t pay more than $6500.00 for any of them, well below market value and yes I bought them from dealers, one of the big mistakes I made is I bought an 1863 Richmond Carbine from an online auction for $4600.00 only to receive it and find the barrel had been cut down. I had no recourse in returning the Richmond to the online auction so I ate the loss. That was a big loss to eat. DO NOT BUY FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS!!!!!!

So again I ask what is my Civil War weapon worth? I guess what someone is willing to pay for it.

If you have a Civil War weapon that you want to sell or just want to understand its value I can help. Email me at genx1969@yahoo.com and I will get back to you ASAP. If I can’t help you I may know someone who can.

If you have any Confederate weapons that you want to sell, I am always interested.

Gene West
civilwararsenal@yahoo.com

Reference books;
1.Confederate Bowie Knifes, By Jack Melton, Josh Phillips, John Sexton
2.Collecting the Confederacy, By Shannon Pritchard
3.Civil War Collectibles, By Russell E. Lewis
4.Civil War Firearms, By John F. Graf
5.Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms, By Norm Flayderman
6.The Civil War Collector’s Price Guide, By Stephen Sylvia

92 thoughts on “How Much Is My Civil War Gun Worth?

  1. I have a 1862 Richmond rifle that my great Uncle brought back from Gettysburg shortly after the battle. It is in very good condition and my uncle used it for deer hunting during muzzleloader season occasionally. He had it for over fifty years and left it to me when he passed on. Just curious as to what it is really worth…

  2. I have a 1865 B.Buell 50 cal shotgun.with a damaged hammer.What is it worth and where can I find any info. Regarding same. Thank you

  3. have a 1862 TOWER .577 cal Rough shape
    has crown to left of hammer 1862 to right of hammer all on RS. sideplate
    left side plate Upside down graphis 25 graphic 25 np
    missing center brass screw Left side
    missing center barrel band
    trying to determine VALUE
    712-322-4782

  4. Hello, we have a Civil War Rifle we would like to have an estimate of value on (we would like to sell it), however, we have taken it to multiple places and no one can value it because they are not familiar with it and cannot find the manufacturer in their reference books. It is a Belgium manufacturer (P.J. Malherbe), the make is a Saxon (confirmed) and is either an 1851 or 1856). According to the limited research we have done, it seems to be a pretty rare item. The few people who have looked at it have confirmed that it is in very good condition and all of the parts are original. To make matters even better, it looks to be that the serial # is 5 and we have the original ramrod (also numbered with the 5). Is this an item you are familiar with and can give us an estimate of value on? If so, I can send detailed pictures.

    Thank you, so much!!

    Kat

    • Kay, please provide photos of rifle, lock plate, and any markings on the stock and barrel. Please use high resolution photos if possible. If I can’t help you I will put you in touch with someone who can.
      Sincerely, Gene West

  5. And here is the last half. We appreciate the help. We have had this gun in our family forever and just recently decided to get it valued to see if it was worth selling….we never though it would be this hard to get a value on it! Lol! We took it to 3 gun shops in Reno, NV and no one could tell us anything, so we are keeping are fingers crossed this time!

    Kat

    • Kat, https://www.collegehillarsenal.com/shop/product.php?productid=574
      If you go to the link above you will learn a bit about the weapon you have. It is a Saxon 1851 – 1857, P.J. Malherbe & Cie .58 caliber rifle. It was imported from Belgium at the beginning of the war and apparently issued to troops from Illinois.
      As for the value, I’m not familiar enough with this weapon to give you a honest valuation. But Tim Prince from College Hill Arsenal would be the one to do so. He is the leading expert for American Civil War Imports. Send him an email about your rifle and I’m certain he will help, he would also be the dealer who could sell it for best price.

      Hope this helps, good luck with the rifle, Gene

  6. I was reading the info on your website and wondering if might be able to help me. I have a civil war rifle which my grandfather found on a construction site over fifty years ago under the foundation of an old building which was being demolished in Newark NJ where I believe soldiers where stationed. I did some research of the area to connect the rifle to soldiers occupying that area. The rifle is in the condition youigjt expect after being buried Al those years, but appears in tact except a piece of trigger guard missing. It has a date on it of 1848 I believe and a I believe a soldier’s name on it. If you can help I can email you a picture of it. Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you. Alex

  7. Hello,

    I have a 3 band Spencer rifle, Spencer made. The strange thing is, it is in 56-46 and has a Springfield marked barrel. I know the 56-46 was a Springfield invention for the carbine. It has a wide cartridge guide, and the breech block has holes in it. It also has a Lane extractor. I have seen photos of a prototype carbine that has this cartridge guide. But I can’t find anything for a three band rifle. But if you wanted to test a carbine with the cartridge, why not a rifle.

    The rifle has a 3/4 stamped on the butt. I first thought some type of rack number. I pulled the fore wood to check the witness mark, and found a 3 stamped on the barrel and front of the action. So is this number 3 of 4 ??

    Is it a prototype or a trials rifle. I can supply more info if required.

  8. Hi, I found you online and I’m not sure if you still do this but I thought I would take a chance. My dad gave me this and said it was from civil war and I have no idea what the name is and how much it is worth. Wondering if you could help me out. Thank you

  9. Hi Gene,

    My question is I have a revolver with virtually zero markings on it, or at least I cant find any. I am an amateur for sure. Can you help me with this old gun!?

    Thank you,
    Michael

    • Michael, revolvers are really not my expertise but my gut tells me it’s an Italian import with some age to it…..many Italian imports don’t have serial numbers and it my be that at one time or another someone removed the made in “Italy” stamping……sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

      Regards, Gene

  10. I have a Walter Waston Fayetteville NC 3 band 1861 lock Musket . I will sell open for offers. Will send pics if interested. Richard

  11. Hello Sir,

    To start with I only have one civil war era gun, it is a Frank Wesson two trigger carbine. That is about all I know about this gun. I have googled and also read what I could find about these rifles. I thought it might be an early prototype or something. The serial number is 16, it is found on the barrel also on the receiver and the bottom of the trigger guard. The carbine does not have the slotted link to prevent opening too far and no ejector. The breech is not split for the hammer firing pin, where the firing pin would be there is a nipple and the hammer looks like it belongs on a percussion gun. I would like to know some history or what the gun may have been used for. I attached some pics hoping it would help. I would also be willing to ship the gun to someone to ID it.

    Thanks For any help,
    Frank Wilson

  12. I found your name on the internet. The rifle in these pictures has been in my family for years. I’ve had it now for several years and was wondering if you can give me any background information on it and perhaps tell be an estimated value of its worth.

    Thanks,
    Don Barker

  13. Hello,
    I recently was given an old Civil War era musket rifle, and what appears to be a horn carved powder flask. I don’t know much about them, but it appears to be the same as this one:
    http://www.historicalarms.com/civil-war-long-arms-rifles-muskets-carbines-for-sale/civil-war-springfield-rifle-musket-in-the-black-and-identified.html

    “1864” is engraved, as well as “WM Muir & Co. Windsor Locks. CT.” On the top of the butt place “US” is engraved as well.
    I will attach several photos. What would you estimate the value at? Would you be interested in purchasing it?

    Email me back with any further questions at Krismuhly@gmail.com
    Thanks

    • Kris, unfortunately you muzzle loader isn’t in very good condition, however if it’s a complete weapon with all its parts and no repairs to the stock it’s worth about $850 at best…..below is an attachment from the “Flaydermans Guide to Antique American Firearms” which is the best guide for understanding values.
      You can see for yourself what full retail value would be ($850.00) if gun is in good condition. It’s my opinion based on your photos your weapon is in less then good condition……but that’s just my opinion.
      Hope this helps you understand value. I wouldn’t have an interest in buying your Musket.

      Regards, Gene West

  14. Good evening Eugene,
    I’ve enjoyed looking at your site and all the information you’re sharing on CS rifles and muskets.

    I have in my possession a very early Virginia rifle. That was altered for Confederate use. It’s a Virginia Manufactory Rifle Type 2, dated 1821, that was one of roughly 250-360 altered by Merrill of Baltimore (whom was much more famous for his Merrill carbines than conversions) in early 1861 when Richmond was trying to convert flintlocks to percussion before the war kicked off. Most were issued from June through November of 1861 to Virginia units, which can be identified.

    The lock mechanism work along with the patch box/spring, and the barrel still has rifling present in .45 or .46 caliber. I can’t remember which one offhand. I have only heard of one other of this type of alteration sell (Thayer Americana bought in 2005 and then sold in 2007 at Little John’s Auction House), and another example appears on page 487-490 in Madaus and Murphy’s CS Rifles and Muskets. The Virginia Historical Society does not contain one in their immense collection of Virginia Manufactory, which is pretty surprising in all the years that Giles Cromwell spent researching and collecting Virginia Manufactory.

    Anyhow, I am looking to sell the rifle, and was wondering if you’d be interested in the piece before i went through James Julia this Monday.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  15. Mr. West:

    I read your article in and wondered if you can assist us.

    The local historian has eight rifled muskets which appear to have been manufactured during the Civil War. The collection is housed in our public library and the village administration wishes to insure them for the appropriate amount.

    I noted that you added a bibliography to your article, but those books are not immediately available!

    This is the inventory of the eight rifled muskets in the Hamilton Museum:

    One US “Whitney-ville” rifled musket, bore is 0.685/0.69, s/n 5723, dated 1863.
    Accompanied by a single-hook leather sling and cutlass-like bayonet.
    Percussion cap ignition and 1,000 yard marksman’s or sniper’s sight.

    Seven each rifled muskets, bored 0.69/0.70, percussion cap ignition. All have sniper’s sights, marked to 800 meters maximum and there are five triangular bayonets, some with scabbards.

    One is marked so:
    On the right side lock plate: A & CH. DE LONEUX
    LIEGE E
    Left side of barrel is marked, including Belgian proof mark: Within an oval, the letters: L G
    ELG stands for “Epreuve de Liege” or proof of Liege. Perhaps the star is a crown? *

    The first Belgium proof mark was ELG in oval (no crown)
    which came out around 1810.

    One is marked so:
    On the right side lock plate, in script: M.re R.le
    de St Etienne

    This is the abbreviation for the French arsenal at Saint Etienne: Manufacture de Armes de St. Etienne. This arsenal was active from about the time of our Revolutionary War until the present day.

    Left side of barrel is marked, including the Belgian proof mark.

    Two are marked on the right side lock plate: TANNER & CIE and bear the proof mark.

    Three have no visible identification marks, except for the proof mark and a crowned CD on the top strap of the butt plate and an illegible stamp on the barrel flat.
    As an interested Navy veteran of Vietnam, they have asked me to help. If necessary, I can provide images of the weapons, but I do not have them at present. Any assistance you can provide — even a poke in the correct direction! — would be a great help.

    Thank you.

    John
    LCdr, CEC, USNR-Ret

    and

    Adjutant, Lloyd V. Evans Post 375
    The American Legion

    • John, if you could provide quality images (photos) of the weapons in question I will do my best to help with all questions you may have. Which state and city are you in?

  16. Thank you, Gene!

    We are in Hamilton, New York. I found my photos, but I think I had better take some again. These are of the one Whitney-ville rifled musket.

    • John , please see the attachment I’ve enclosed to better understand value of weapon. It was unclear whether you have a Whitney 1861 Navy Percussion Rifle or a Whitney US Contract 1861 Rifle Musket……so I’ve enclosed information on both.
      If yours looks like the photo then you have the Navy Rifle, however if yours has 3 barrel bands then it’s the Contract Rifle……..
      Of course condition is everything when it comes to value and you haven’t provided enough images for me to understand it’s condition…..at the bottom of each attachment you will see values based on condition. Hope this helps.

      Regards, Gene

  17. Have a old 36 Cal Navy Made Powder Pistol .Have mold to make bullets ,caps,and tools and case…Don’t know much about it…I believe it was made in1845.I have pics.Thanks…I would like to sell.

  18. Hello I am sending you some pictures of what I believe are a rifle from the Civil War it’s a musket tune it’s stamped see you Chapman also has the number 14 on it and that is stamped in 2 places was wondering if you could help me out with that as far as is it something worth anything any help would be greatly appreciated thank you for any help.
    Sandy

  19. Ugly, worn, damaged.Lock functions perfectly.Slight barrel bend.Barrel full length.Missing ramrod and two barrel bands.
    Mre Rle De Mutzig engraved on lock.other proofs and cartouches on various parts.All original except for the very old bailing wire repair.
    Acquired in a trade.Reputed to have come from a barn stairwell in Baton Rouge, La before demolition.Any Interest?I’m asking $300 + shipping

    • Kesha, unfortunately I wouldn’t be interested in the revolver………a lot of the information that is quoted about its Confederate history (provenance) is hearsay……these days I only purchase weapons with factual provenance…….sorry.

      Regards, Gene West

      • Thank you for looking at the gun. We do have copies of articles that were written from this man and also copies of his discharge papers from Moseby but nothing more than that. Can you tell me if you agree with the appraisal?

        • I don’t have a negative opinion of the appraisal, I can say Mr. XXXXX OF XXXXX XXXXXX is highly respected and I trust him…….the problem I see with your revolver is that you cannot absolutely prove it was carried by the Confederate soldier…….it’s hearsay and I don’t purchase weapons for that price on word of mouth……..to risky of an opportunity……hope you understand.

          Regards, Gene West

  20. I have a Spencer 1860 also noticed 1865 is model no. it is in pretty good shape to be that old I would sell it if I could get a decent price for it no.16414 . I also have a us springfield 1873 what kind of prices you think

    • Drake, unfortunately the image you provided is not so clear……I would need more photos…..some close up some not of the weapon……if you could provide better images of the weapon I will do my best in helping with estimation…..

      Regards, Gene West

  21. Hello, we meaning, my wife & I would like to sell this piece. I will attach photo and back of frame. Only problem is I have never been able to open it up to look at the pistol from all angles…please let us know anything that might be helpful to us. Thank you,

    John & Melanie Malfe

  22. Good morning, Gene,

    I came across your website at civilwararsenal.com thanks to a google search to determine the value of a civil war rifle given to me by my grandfather. I wondered if you could help?

    I’ve included some pictures, but here are the details imprinted on the rifle:

    • Ballards Patent, Nov. 5 1861
    • Kentucky
    • Ball & Williams, Worcester Mass.
    • Merwin & Bray Agts, New York

    The number “8158” is imprinted twice; once on the barrel, and another time a couple centimeters over near the hammer.

    My grandfather had attached a note indicating he thought it was a .44 or .45 caliber with about a 7/16 bore—I have no idea how accurate that is. The rifle itself is in good condition; a small crack in the stock and some small nicks and scrapes.

    Would you be able to help me understand the approx. value of this rifle? Or point me towards other resources that might help?

    My best,
    Matt

    • Good morning Matt, I’ve included images out below of some books of the details you’ve asked for…..seems you have a Ballard Rifle that was issued to Kentucky Militia, I can’t really tell by the photo you sent but I think your serial number range makes it a 44 rimfire delivered to the state of Kentucky April 5th 1864, 30″ barrel with short Carbine type forestock. Serial # range 7100-8500.

      Hope this helps. Regards, Gene West

  23. Dear Mr West,

    I have my great grandfather’s muzzle loading percussion cap rifle and would like to sell it, but cannot find any manufacturer’s information on it. The only engraving is a hand engraved number on one of the brass stock plates. I know that he had it in 1870, but don’t know if it was new or old at that time. He lived in Georgia, just a few miles south of Chattanooga, Tn.

    I also have the complete leather shot bag with bullet mold , caps, patches and lead for bullets. I have molded bullets and fired it myself, but 70+ years ago.The barrel is octagonal and I am guessing that it is approximately 40 caliber. The ramrod is a hand made replacement and I suspect the stock is also. The barrel is 42” long and the rifle weighs just over ten pounds.

    My question is: Do you think it has enough value to justify the effort of selling it?

    Thank you so much for your help,

    Larry
    scoggins15@me.com

  24. Good evening, Gene,

    This is WONDERFUL information—THANK YOU for taking the time to research and respond…it’s greatly appreciated!

    So it appears this particular rifle would be worth between $850-2500. What steps would you recommend I take for selling it?

    Merry Christmas—and thank you again!
    Matt

    • Well that’s a good question Matt……hmmmmmmm
      Probably the best way to sell it is at http://www.gunbroker.com , this would allow you to set the price and have people bid on it……or you and do a penny auction guaranteeing the weapon will sell…..if you did the penny auction the weapon will sell what Peale are willing to pay….whatever that price may be..
      It’s not in the best condition so I would think it would sell for Between $600 and $1000, just a guess on my part.
      Another option is http://www.lodgewoodmfg.com, they sold weapons for me in the past…..they take the weapon on consignment and attempt to sell it at your asking price….there a husband and wife run small business and there very honest……they have many reenactors and collectors that browse there website daily….

      Hope this helps, Merry Christmas and best regards, Gene

  25. Just looking for some information on a Harpers Ferry flintlock rifle I possess, including any idea of its history and value. Please let me know if you can help!
    Merry Christmas!

    • Frank, it’s hard to tell with just images, especially since the markings on the Lock Plate appear gone with age but I think what you have is a ” Model 1816 Flintlock Musket Type ll, a.k.a. National Armory Brown. Below see the attachment for more details. Hope this helps.
      Regards, Gene West

  26. Gene,

    I have a Springfield model 1884 trap door with bayonet in excellent condition. If I send you pictures will you give me a value of the rifle.

    Thanks.

    Bill

  27. Good evening sir,

    I would like to see if you know about the gun I was given by my grandmother.

    I believe it’s a Colt from 1864 ish? I can send pics.

    Thank you
    Eric

      • Eric, what you have is Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver……production ran from 1850 thru 1873 with about 340,000 of them made in total…..as you can see from the attachment I’ve included at the bottom of the page Colt was up to serial # 280,000 by the end f the Civil War. I can’t tell by your photos if the cylinder is 5 or 6 shot and I can’t tell how long your barrel is…..but you can measure it and with the information below you should be able to figure everything else out.

        Hope this helps, Gene

  28. Hello Gene, i found you blog online with your email. I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me your expert opinion on this “Civil War used” flintlock pistol. Especially how much it might be valued at it it was actually used in the Civil War.

    Thank you kindly for your time.

    Scott

    • Scott, you will need to provide more accurate images of the weapon in question, especially of any markings that may appear on it……I highly doubt this weapon was used during the War Between The States. By 1861 most flintlock weapons were considered obsolete, I not suggesting that some were not used in the very early stages of the war, particularly in the South……but it’s unlikely that your weapon was unless there’s provenance to prove so.
      All that said it may still be very collectible. I’m not certain if it’s American or European…..markers marks and proof marks will determine that……so provide more photos and I will do my best to help with any and all questions you have.

      Regards, Gene

      Sent from my iPad

      On Jan 2, 2018, at 3:46 AM, Scott Burn wrote:

      Hello Gene, i found you blog online with your email. I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me your expert opinion on this “Civil War used” flintlock pistol. Especially how much it might be valued at it it was actually used in the Civil War.

      Thank you kindly for your time.

      Scott

  29. I have a Butterfield which I do not know the value one and I was looking to sell it’s not in bad condition but it is missing a few pieces

    • Philip, your revolver is rare…..rather then me explain the details I’ve included an attachment below with the details…..you must take into account that your revolver is missing some parts.
      Regards Gene West

  30. thank you for your quick response I kind of figured that it’d be hard to give a price since it is missing the front sight lower retainer piece that holds the lever in place underneath the front of the barrel it has a broken hand that rotates the cylinder the trigger action does work I most likely thought it would be something for display 0r for someone who is interested in needed parts all the serial numbers match except for the cylinder my number is 471 and the cylinder is 551. It took me awhile to find close up pictures of the pieces that are missing and broken but I have gotten them and I’m having an old gunsmith make then for me I’m not a real collector of Civil War antiques and if you know anybody that may be interested in the antique repair or unrepaired forward him my email please I’m not looking to make a killing on it just fair to everyone and thanks again for your help if you need any pics I have close-ups of it broken down

  31. Hi Gene,
    I have a musket that belonged to my father. It was on his fireplace for years in North Carolina. It was passed down through the family, I am sure, as he had descendants that served in the Confederate army. It has a powder horn attached. I am researching the worth. If I email a picture to you, could you help?

  32. Dear Mr. West,

    I am requesting an estimate for a Civil War era double barrell musket. It was given to me by my grandfather, John Daniel Jones b.1907 – d. 1966 in Edgecombe County, NC. It belonged to his great grandfather Calvin Jones b. 1828- d.1896. The story in the family is that it belonged to one of his brothers who may have served in the Edgecombe Guards. I researched this and found that there were an Andrew Jones and an Edwin Jones listed as soldiers in the unit. The guards did serve some time with Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. If you examine the photos you will find that the stock is fractured. The story being that having exhausted both barrells the soldier wielded it as a club and broke the stock on an opposing soldier in hand to hand combat.I could not find the name of a gunmaker anywhere on the piece, although there is decorative engraving. Please see the photos attached

    Your time and attention to this matter is very much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    ER Jones

    • It’s hard to put a value on the Shotgun you have, most collectors want provenance on the weapons they purchase especially if there paying large sums of money. Your weapon comes with verbal provenance which is not as credible as other types of provenance.
      Shotguns were used by many troops in the “War of Rebellion” especially Confederate Calvary. The shotguns that collectors desire are ones that have bayonet lugs on the side of the barrel near the muzzle. There would be no reason for a hunter to have a bayonet attached to there shotgun so it’s assumed by all collectors that shotguns with a lug on the barrel would be ones used for the purpose of war.
      So with all that said, your weapon is worth what someone is willing to pay……for a quick reference there is about 4 shotguns being offered at http://www.gunbrokers.com from the period of the Civil War, there all being offered between $600 to $2000 and there’s no bids on them……I’m certain if they had bayonet lugs on them the bids would be coming fast and furious.
      I know I didn’t really answer your question and I’m sorry for that, but sometimes it’s not as easy as it may appear. I hope you understand.

      With Kind Regards, Gene West

  33. Gene,

    Thank you very much for your reply. I believe your assessment to be on the money. I will have to do more research on the Edgecombe Guards which was part of the 1st Regiment North Carolina infantry which fought in The Battle of Bethel (Va) 10 June 1861. I wish I could find a photo of Andrew or Edwin Jones with their firearms then I would really have the real thing! I wonder if such a thing exists. Also, curious as to who could have manufactured this piece, and why they would not have stamped their company name on it. It’s a real mystery.
    Thanks for your insight, very insightful and interesting.

    Kind regards,

    Earl

  34. I have this rifle. All original..great shape..five gunsmith s all said they would fire this weapon now. Because it’s in great condition. It has the original wood rod.it has a the long barrel scope and it still sites in. It is a very heavy gun. I have done some research. I know it’s one of a bout 70 some guns made way back in 1860s(?).all info would be appreciated. Plus the value from private collect toons to museum s. Thank you John

    • John, please provide quality images of the weapon…….Lock Plate, barrel, scope, stock and any markings and I will do my best in helping with any information you require.
      Regards, Gene West

  35. Hi I researched appraisers online and found you. I inherited two rifles from my late husband. I want to get an appraisal.

    I have attached photos. I don’t know if that will help

    • Amy, the one weapon serial #11967 is a Burnside Carbine, I believe it to be the 5th Model or the Standard model. These were sold to the US Government during the “War Between The States”. Approximately 43,000 of them were purchased making them pretty common…..it’s value is between $1000 – 1200 based on its condition, which looks to be in “Good Condition”…..Values are rated Good, Fine and Excellent…..obviously if it were in better condition it would be worth more.
      The other weapon you have is a Flintlock which is pre Civil War and a bit out of my wheel house but I will research and get back to you on my findings.

      Kind Regards, Gene

  36. Hi Gene,

    I found your informative article online. Thank you! I have two Civil War rifles and one pistol that my father collected.

    Any chance you can give me your perspective on the value if I sent you some photos? I was going to include them in
    an estate sale, but I do not know what they are worth.

    We live in VA, so Civil War memorabilia is somewhat popular here…

    Thanks so much in advance!!

    Best,

    Cristina

    • Christina,
      The revolver you have is a Colt, “Standard Round Cylinder Army” you only show one side of the revolver in the images you provided so I can’t tell if there’s a U.S. Government cartouche on the grip. This would increase the value of the weapon a bit. If no cartouche exist it would be considered a “Civilian Model Round Cylinder Army”. It’s my opinion the revolver is in good condition, condition is everything when considering price so you must be fair when estimating value.

      The Savage musket you own is in Very good condition, I would estimate its value in the range of $1500 -$2000.
      Below find attachment to help better understand values….both weapons are nice CW pieces.

      Regards, Gene West

  37. Below are pictures and a list of guns. There is one missing from the list and that is a Colt Navy (Round Barrell 1861) 36 Cal. 6 shot #1357. Any information and value would be great.

    Ben

    • Ben,
      Not certain where to start…….the collection of pistols you have is extensive…..it’s extremely hard to tell with just photos and the number of pistols in your collection. I would need hours if not days possibly weeks to research.
      The one pistol that caught my eye is the Lemat, which is a Southern Import during the War Between the States, it’s a very nice piece.
      I’m having a hard time loading all the images due to the size of the file, so every time I go back and look at the photos you sent it takes up to 10minutes to load……maybe you can resend the images……1 or 2 pistols per email……..

      Aside from values what other information are you looking for?

      Are you looking to sell any or all the collection?

      Best Regards, Gene West

  38. Hello!

    I have a pistol from the Civil War that was awarded to someone of significance at the time. I cannot seem to figure out who the individual was. My main question is how much could this revolver be worth? Im pretty sure its a Smith and Wesson Model 1, 2nd issue.

    Thanks!

    David

    • David,
      I found information on Major Alexander McDonald Lyon, see below attachment.
      I believe your model revolver is a “Smith & Wesson No. 1 Second Issue Revolver”, however you didn’t provide a complete profile image of it for me examine….but based on what I do see I believe my opinion is correct.
      Normally these revolvers wouldn’t be worth much but yours has provenance associated with it. Unfortunately Major Lyon was not a significant player during the “War Between The States”……for instance if it were a revolver carried by a Union officer who was involved in major campaigns, battles or killed in action it could be worth $5000 +, but because Major Lyon was only a Paymaster and probably never fired a shoot in anger and was behind the lines most if not all the time it hurts the value of the weapon…….I’d say it’s worth between $2000-3000. If it were Confederate it could be worth $10,000+.
      He was from Erie Pennsylvania…….some collectors might be more willing to pay up for the revolver if they collect Union weapons from Pennsylvania, more specifically from the Erie area…….I hope I answered all you questions, if you have others feel free to ask.

      Kind Regards, Gene

  39. I read your article online from several years back and didn’t know if you would still offer information. I’m cleaning out my grandfather’s house and I’ve heard stories that his dad road in the Calvary in the Civil War. I just found this gun and I’m curious to know more information about it. Anything you can provide would be appreciated.

    • Brian,
      What you have is a late model Civil War Carbine, kinda rare based on the number manufactured and purchased throughout the war. Even though it’s a late war issue, it’s a early serial number (236)…….so it would have been one of the first Ballard’s issued.
      It appears to be in pretty good shape.
      Below is some information that you e requested.

      Kind Regards, Gene

  40. To whom it may concern,

    I have read your online post about the value of Civil War Guns and thought I’d contact you.

    My name is Lee Tighe and I live in Virginia Beach Virginia. I have an 1855 Colt 6 shot revolving percussion rifle I’m interested in selling and would like to know you are interested in obtaining it or preserving it. Additionally, I have three civil War pictures that are unidentified and wonder if you have the means to identify them.

    I have been speaking with several parties who are interested in the gun/rifle. The gun was owned by Civil War Colonel James Duff, who commanded 33rd Regiment, Texas Cavalry (Duff’s Partisan Rangers), and affiliated with Arizona Rangers, Company A. His history is quite colorful if not brutal. Even though it appears to almost be commonplace during the Civil War. He was part of the confederates surrender when the war ended.

    Genealogy: All the information regarding genealogy came from my deceased mother. Before her death, she informed me that Colonel James Duff’s grandson or great grandson gave the gun to my grandfather. It has been in my family as long as I can remember.

    A friend who does civil war reenactments looked up its value in Flayderman’s guide manual that specializes in Civil War & Antique Guns (You are probably familiar with publication). As of about 5 years ago it said in perfect/fine condition, which it’s not, value would be around $11,000.. The serial number of the rife 947 is very legible and in four areas of the rifle. Additional markings are faded and difficult to read.

    I was told it was in very good condition for its age. After doing some research, it appears the government purchased the first 1000 rifles. I understand there were only about 4000 of the 1855 Percussion rifles made. As I’m sure you are aware, I’m trying to get the highest price for the rifle. I have a gunsmith who wants to restore it to bring the highest value. However, I prefer not to do that at this time. It looks like most of the rifle is original.

    Please let me know if you’re interested in purchasing this gun. If not, maybe you could forward this email to someone who is. Feel free to contact me anytime. My direct number is, Xxx xxx xxxx

    Regards,

    Lee

  41. Hi, Are you interested in any of these?

    Please let me know if you are or if there is any value in the collection.

    Thank you,

    Harrison

    • Harrison,
      Unfortunately I wouldn’t be interested in your collection of weapons. These days I only buy military grade weapons and even though some of the weapons you have are from the time of the “War Of independence” they are not weapons that were made for the military.
      Sorry I couldn’t help, maybe you should try http://www.gunbroker.com …….best of luck.

      Regards, Gene West

  42. Evening …I have a civil war rifle and I’m wondering it’s value and where I might find someone who may enjoy it more then myself.

  43. Dear Gene,

    I would like to sell my Sharps Carbine. I’d say it’s in fair condition. Any thoughts on it’s value and where I might sell it, are much appreciated.

    Kindly Yours,

    Steve

  44. Hello,

    Gene I have another weapon I was wanting your opinion on if you don’t care. I have a W. Richards percussion shotgun with a stamp that says Wells Fargo and a engraving that says guard and San Fran. I was wondering what you thought they weapon may be worth ? Thank you very much for your time!!

    • David, it’s not exactly my expertise, but I did do a google search and found many similar shotguns. Some were priced as low as $475 some were $4000……..I don’t believe your weapon to have much value unless there’s provenance that a historically famed officer of the law carried it.
      I’m sure there are collectors that only collect Wells Fargo or Law officer weapons they would probably have a better idea of its value. See the attachment below it may be helpful.

      Kind Regards, Gene West

  45. Hi Gene West,

    After a quick google search I came across your website. I have two civil war rifles and am trying to ascertain what they might be worth. I haven’t decided if I want to sell one or both of them, I attached a couple photos here, let me know if you are interested. I have more photos too. One was shortened, the other I do not believe was and is a double barrel. Trigger mechanisms work.

    • Peter,
      Below I’ve included an attachment that better describes the weapon you own. It’s not a Civil War weapon, but a “Half Stock Kentucky Rifle” classified as a sporting or target rifle. It’s value depends on the quality of craftsmanship.
      Hope this helps, Regards Gene West

  46. Dear Mr. West,

    My name is William Black. I ran across your name when conducting a Google search. I’m trying to find in formation on a Civil War rifle. A fellow sport shooter fires this quite often at the range, he’s asking about where to find information on his rifle.

    He specifically wants to know, if possible, which units in the Union Amy had his rifle in their inventory.

    Saxonian Kingdom, Model 1850, caliber 14.64, manufactured Malherbe/Liege. Sold to the Union Army in 1862. The marks on the rifle read 3/194. I would be happy to send photos if you like. I appreciate your help, and remain,

    Sincerely,

    William
    CWO-3, USMC (Ret)

    • William,
      Sorry I didn’t respond earlier but I was out of town and didn’t have the means of communicating.
      You’d have to send quality images of the weapon, any and all markings on the lockplate, barrel, butt plate, stock, cartouches and any other markings only then can possibly help.

      Kind Regards, Gene West

  47. Good Afternoon Gene,

    I found your email address in an older article online. I’m hoping it’s still a good email.

    I have built a small collection surrounding a civil war pistol I acquired several years ago. I privately purchased an 1858 Eli Whitney Navy Revolver that turned out to have some history. The pistol has the name “J.S.G Gay” and “Winchester KY” etched in several places on the pistol. The pistol is in good condition and the cylinder engravings are still faintly visible. The pistol is a Second Model, Second Type with matching serial numbers, 2255. The pistol is also operable. (photos attached)

    After much research, I learned that this individual was Jonathan Stamper Gardner Gay (1831-1874) of Winchester Kentucky. Gay was a Confederate Captain in the 8th Kentucky Calvary and was part of Morgan’s raid into Ohio. This is where Captain Gay was captured and held as a prisoner of war until the end of the war. After his death he was buried in the Winchester cemetery.

    In my research I was able to find copies of his muster roll, POW record, oath of allegiance he took upon release at the end of the war and a copy of a requisition he completed while at some point serving as a quartermaster. (photos attached) I also confirmed his POW status through the organization, Friends and Descendants of Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison. (photo attached) During my research I also met author Dan Williams who included my pistol in his book “The Whitney Navy Revolver 1857-1866”. (photos attached)

    In 2017, during a random search to find more information, I acquired an original 1895 Kentucky Confederate Veterans Association Almanac, from a book dealer in Connecticut, which contains a photo and detailed bio of Captain Gay. The amazing thing is that this book had belonged to Captain Gays granddaughter, Margaret Cooper Gay, with her name and presentation on the flyleaf. (photos attached) I also have a reproduction of this book so as to not damage the original.

    In closing, what do you believe this small collection of items should be valued at? I realize that Confederate items do fetch a premium to the right collector and I have seen what similar items sell for, I just want to get an idea in case I do decide to sell.

    Thank you in advance.

    James

    • James,
      I apologize for not responding sooner but I was out of town and didn’t have the means of communicating.
      The revolver you own has incredible history and you’ve done a wonderful job amassing its provenance. Unfortunately I’m not able to help with valuation, I would be misleading you and I don’t want to do that.
      I however can recommend others that can give you fair market valuation and may be willing to sell it for you if you’d like.

      1. Jay Teague of http://historicantiquearms.com/ is located in Kentucky and may be the best dealer to understand value since he knows everything Kentucky.
      2. Matt Hagans of http://www.museuminvestments.com/ is located in Kentucky as well, he can probably help as well.

      I’ve done business with both of these dealers and I highly recommend there expertise.

      Good luck, hope I was able to help and let me know how you make out.

      Regards, Gene West

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *