Low Serial numbers


Guy de Loimbard
January 28, 2006, 08:34 PM
How low does a serial number have to be before it starts to add value to a gun? Would a really low serial number make a difference now or someday, on a gun that is currently still being produced?

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Father Knows Best
January 28, 2006, 08:41 PM
Only if the gun ultimately turns out to have some special value to collectors. The vast majority of firearms currently being produced will never have any real collector value.

I happen to own a pair of Hartford Armory type 1875s with consecutive, two-digit serial numbers (below 50, in fact). I've been told by the President of the company that they are the lowest serial numbers sold to the general public (the only ones with lower numbers are in the hands of company insiders).

Will they be worth a lot someday? Probably not. If Hartford Armory ultimately proves to be a successful company, and collectors want their products for some reason, then perhaps they will be. The odds are not good, though.

Baba Louie
January 28, 2006, 08:42 PM
Depends on which gun, condition (pristine), value initially and scarcity. Box, tools and paperwork... and the real clencher... Does anyone collect it/them?

But as a rule, lower numbers will be good... in a hundred years or so.

Car Knocker
January 28, 2006, 10:27 PM
Another way to look at is that it's the low-number guns that tend to have the problems - the model is just being introduced and the bugs aren't quite worked out of the production line.

January 28, 2006, 10:32 PM
Depends a lot on the gun/gun line itself.

If it is something no one wants then it is worth nothing. If it is something everyone wants then it is worth something. Serial numbers though can play a role for identification. Special models, when it was made if there was signifigance to manufcturing dates (such as pre and post '64 Winchesters), etc. But unless the serial number itself shows something of other signifigance the serial number itself doesn't mean much unless perhaps the serial number is one or something on a popular model maybe.

January 28, 2006, 10:33 PM

On the other hand, you didn't want to be around me for a coupla weeks after I found out my dad sold the model 12 Winchester with 4 digits in the S/N.


January 29, 2006, 10:56 AM
That in the olden days, serial numbers were assigned almost randomly, and sometimes re-used.

Case in point: a good friend recently inherited an L.C. Smith shotgun (A-1 grade) w/ serial # 787---even though only 739 were ever made. Furthermore, this one was made during the LAST year of production, but guns from prior years have HIGHER serial numbers. This because L.C. Smith used 4 and 5 digit numbers prior to 1898 (when this gun was made) but then "started over", for some models in 1898....And for some arcane reason, they started over with #560!

Guy de Loimbard
January 29, 2006, 03:11 PM
Maybe it will be worth something someday. Even if not, I know when I have kids that they won't mind me passing it down to them. But for now I'm holding onto it, I don't think I'll ever see anything this low again.

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