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Gun Collecting: Antique, Inert, Deactivated or Blank Firing?

Gun Collecting: Antique, Inert, Deactivated or Blank Firing?
By Tom Metcalf-Jackson 11 months ago 679 Views No comments

Collecting guns is one of those sublime hobbies with sufficient breadth and depth to keep a person occupied for a lifetime. Even those of us which have been around guns and collecting in some capacity for many years still always discover some new example to be acquired, or some other blank in history to be filled.

Each of us has our own particular area of interest, and I find that each area of firearm development contains it’s own fascination, and if you have not yet found an area to pique your particular interest, then do not despair, and consider the following options. Remember, no license is required to own anything listed here in this article, and we can delivery everything right to your door.


Antique collecting

The appreciation of antique arms, either for their history, aesthetic or function is a fantastic hobby. The satisfaction gained from acquiring objects of such history and workmanship, for those of us who are students of history and engineering, ranks among the joy as can be found in antique clocks, and classic cars. It is a testament to the skill of early gunmakers that their arms are often still as beautiful and functional as they were when they were made, often centuries ago.

You may choose to collect a particular kind of antique arm, be that examples from a particular maker, as many do with the ‘big names’ such as Purdey, Rigby or Egg. You may also find an interest in a particular era, such as early revolving pistols, like transitional revolvers or pepperboxes. Or you may simply just enjoy collecting antique arms for the joy of owning something from a particular historical period, such as a Rourke’s Drift era Martini Henry.

Collecting antique arms can be expensive of course, but I’ve always considered hobbies to be a diversion from the drudgery of regular spending, and would much rather spend my money on something I enjoy. The careful buyer may also see a return on their investment, as the price of antique arms consistently increases, and there is some argument to suggest that over time, it is better than money in the bank. Collecting antique guns isn’t always as expensive as you might think anyway, we often list true antique arms for less than the price of a reproduction, so be sure to always check our website for our latest stock.

To view our range of antique arms of all kinds, click here




Inert Guns

Inert guns are often overlooked by collectors, and needlessly so. Inert guns, such as the Brown Bess, or Baker rifle, allow the collector to acquire a piece of history at a fraction of the price of the real deal. Whilst it is unlikely they saw service at Trafalgar or Waterloo, inert guns offer the collector an opportunity to own an identical replica, so can get closer to the experiences of the period.

Whilst inert guns cannot be fired (though we also sell live firing versions for those with Shotgun Certificates), they are the same weight, handling and function as the originals. Our range of inert guns is coped from period examples, and corresponds to the original in every respect. The locks still function, and can still be made to spark, offering the collector the ability to handle and use the gun, without the worry of damage that you may have with a 200 plus year old antique.

Inert guns also make excellent display pieces, again without the same risk or damage as with an antique. Few things look better above a chimney than ‘sundry villainous old guns’, and our inert guns grace the stand of arms collections of even the grandest houses in the country.

To view our range of inert guns, click here, and for more information,







Deactivated guns

Deactivated guns differ from inert guns in that they are items that have formerly been working firearms, but have been deactivated to render them incapable of use. Since the 1980s, deactivated guns have been a popular choice for collectors of firearms and militaria, as it offers an opportunity to own the genuine article without a license, which may otherwise be impossible to acquire. Deactivated guns are generally of more modern construction than any other category herein, therefore may appeal to a collector more interested in modern military history, though can likewise form part of a larger collection of items from across the ages. Deactivated guns need not be more modern weapons however, we also stock a large range of deactivated (reproduction) black powder revolvers, which may likewise appeal to collectors of antiques. For example, if you have a large collection of antique Colt revolvers, you may find that a deactivated Colt Walker will fill the gap in your collection nicely, without having to spend the tens of thousands to acquire the real one. It is also not only modern ‘military’ arms that can be deactivated, we also stock an excellent range of deactivated shotguns, perfect for display.

For collectors of any flavour, deactivated guns are every bit the genuine article, and are without doubt items that have ‘seen’ history. It is a shame that such items have had to be deactivated, though this does not materially detract from their historical significance, merely their functionality. Many people also choose to collect deactivated guns as an investment, and prices do seem to have been steadily increasing in recent years. This is however a double edged sword, as recent changes have meant a lot of older style deactivated guns require re-deactivating to the current standard before sale, and this is something buyers should be aware of. At Henry Krank & Co, you can buy safe in the knowledge that all our wide range of deactivated guns are of current specification and come with a certificate of deactivation from the Birmingham Proof House

For more information on our range of deactivated guns, click here, and to view our full range,





Blank Firing Guns

When people consider blank firing guns today, they consider them to be ghastly modern creations, painted orange or blue. This (Violent Crime Reduction Act S38) regulation applies only to ‘modern’ guns, rather than guns that are of an antique design. Our blank firing guns, being replicas of guns produced in Civil War era United States, are therefore exempt, and offer collectors a fantastic opportunity to own a functionally identical pistol to those that would have been used 150 plus years ago. With examples true to the originals, and more highly decorated styles, our range of blank firing guns offers a fantastic opportunity to start a unique collection, or to supplement a collection of antique arms, or to suit any other period collection or re-enactment display. We have been selling blank firing pistols for over 30 years, and we are confident you will not find a better range of reproduction ‘Old West’ revolvers anywhere.

To view our full range of blank firing pistols, click here




All our product ranges in this article can be ordered and owned without a license, and we offer next day delivery on any item listed here, straight to your door, for only £4. To order, please either order online on our website, telephone 0113 2569163/2565167 or email sales@henrykrank.com

For more information, please see our other blogs below:

Luxury Antique Duelling Pistols

What is an Inert Gun?

The Law on Deactivated Guns

How to clean a Blank Firing Revolver

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