In the UK, we have some of the strictest firearms laws in the world, but that doesn't mean that your interest is completely denied. Collecting antique guns is a fantastic hobby, and one of the most popular areas of interest to do with guns in the UK. The collecting of antique guns is a not a new hobby, armouries have existed as long as firearms themselves. The lavish guns produced for kings, popes and rulers the world over were a display of their power and wealth, and were undoubtedly vastly expensive at the time. Many of these guns, seeing little real use, still exist, and the history now associated with them has kept their value and made them subjects of study in the intervening centuries. You can view our growing collection of over 500 antiques here.

Collecting antique guns doesn't have to be only the best owned by the most famous, more often the interest and value is in the item itself, and it's intrinsic scarcity. People collect antique guns for many different reasons, from investment to interest in a particular maker or artistic style. Here's some things you might not have considered about collecting antique guns.

What is considered an antique?

Section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1967 exempts all antique firearms from licensing requirements, meaning any gun made before 1919 and having an obsolete ignition system is an antique, and also a small number of guns chambered in obsolete calibres.

This means things like flintlocks and muskets are exempt, but also more modern guns, like the Martini Henry.

It's cheaper than you think

Just like with any hobby, everyone's got to start somewhere. There's much more to antique guns than £10,000 duelling pistols. A basic percussion boot pistol, for example, will set you back less than £300, and antique pinfire revolvers can in some cases even be found for less than £100. Naturally, you've to do your research still to make sure you're getting value for money, but over time you can build up an impressive collection for not much money if you're careful.

You don't need a licence.

Antique guns hold a special place in the law, they are specifically exempt from any firearms licensing. This is because the law does not classify them as guns, rather as curiosities and collectables, in the same way as an antique piece of furniture. This doesn't mean you can use them, not that you would, but you can buy them freely as collectable antique items.

What antique guns can I own?

That depends entirely on what your preference is. For military enthusiasts, there's guns like the Martini Henry, Snider, the Brown Bess musket, amongst countless others.

If you prefer sporting guns or duellers, then there's plenty to choose from dozens of makers, countries, styles and ages.

How much will my antique guns be worth?

This is a question that comes up often, but there's no right answer. As with anything, prices vary vastly depending on the item, condition and history. Generally, antique guns appreciate in value more than inflation, so a savvy buyer can turn a small amount of money into much more. With rates on savings at it's lowest ever, there's probably never been a better time to invest in antiques.

How can I buy antique guns?

All our antique guns are available to buy on our website. We understand buying online or over the telephone isn't quite the same as having the item in your hands, therefore, as with all our antiques, we offer a no quibble returns policy if for whatever reason you're unhappy with your purchase, simply return the item for a full refund. All our antiques can be shipped straight to your door.

Can I have antique guns delivered to my house?

Yes! Order online or over the telephone, and we can send it direct to your door.

We have a fantastic range of antique guns available, to suit all tastes and budgets. To view all our antiques on our website, click here.

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