Iconic Guns in Movies

Directors give guns roles just as they would famous actors. Movies have featured firearms from the beginning. The public’s reaction to weapons in movies have often caused sales to skyrocket, making the guns more popular than they might have been otherwise. Film critics and gun experts argue over the most iconic guns in popular culture, including movies. This list details some of the most iconic weapons on the silver screen.

Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

Smith & Wesson Model 29

Clint Eastwood gave the S&W Model 29 its screen debut when he played San Francisco detective “Dirty” Harry Callahan in the 1971 movie “Dirty Harry.” The movie was the first in a series in which Eastwood carried a Model 29 44 Magnum. S&W built the Model 29 in 1955 and released it on the market in 1956. Remington produced the first ammunition, using a 240-grain bullet with a muzzle energy of nearly 1,200 feet per second.

Although there was a more powerful gun on the market, Callahan called the Model 29 “the most powerful handgun in the world.” Smith & Wesson enjoyed great success with its Model 29 as the movie became an instant classic.  Director John Milius owns one of the original Model 29s. It is on display in the Hollywood Guns display at the William B. Ruger Gallery.

James Bond's iconic gun

Walther PPK

James Bond 007 uses a lot of weapons and is known for his guns. Many weapons have been used throughout the fictional legend’s movie career but the most iconic is the 7.65mm Walther PPK. The Walther PPK is the handgun that James Bond used in the original Ian Fleming novels. The Walther PPK described in Dr. No, Bond’s first film, was actually a PP (“police pistol”), a larger model than the PPK. Bond changed models when he used a 9mm Walther P99 in Tomorrow Never Dies, however, he went back to using a PPK in Spectre.

Sylvester Stallone in Expendables

The 1911

This gun wins the day in many movies from westerns to modern day classics. Although it’s over 100 years old, aficionados and collectors love the 1911. It plays a great role in every movie it has appeared in, including a stylized version in “Supernatural,” and as the enforcer used by Jeff Bridges in the “The Big Lebowski.”

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Beretta 92

The sleek Italian-made Beretta 92 shows up well on screen. Many movie heroes have used the flashy 9mm including Mel Gibson in “Lethal Weapon” and Bruce Willis as John McClane in the “Die Hard” series.

John Wayne in Peacemaker

Colt Single Action Army

No western would be complete without an appearance by the Colt Single Action Army – AKA the Colt Peacemaker.  Marshals and villains carried this gun, and it was stowed behind many bars. Wyatt Earp carried a Colt SAA, although it wasn’t the gun he used at the OK Corral. The guns are still used in Cowboy Action Shooting.

The Next Icons

Moviemakers continue to use a wide variety of weapons in their movies – real and fictitious. Along with the Desert Eagle and many ARs, guns will always play a part on the big screen and in popular culture.

Collectors List of Best Places to Buy Antique Guns

Antique Revolver

Collectors are always looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They want the rarest of the rare, the one gun that they can’t live without. We’ve all heard the story about that Picasso in the attic. Does that happen with guns? The answer: it just might.

The Search

When you’re looking for the ultimate collectible, anything can happen. The best deals can pop up in the unlikeliest places. Unless you are a seasoned collector, be sure about the items you buy. Not everyone is out to cheat you, but know the basics. Knowing what’s authentic can save tens of thousands of dollars. Newbie collectors should be educated. Know which maker’s marks are pertinent to your weapon. Examine the provenance. Check to see if there have been modifications. If buying from a private seller, know state and federal laws. No one wants to buy a gun only to turn it over to law enforcement. Investing time in research can be the difference between going home with a Mercedes or a Yugo.

Auctions

Places to Buy

Fellow Collectors

Gun collectors have their own community. Becoming a serious collector is made easier if you can find that community. Developing relationships within the group can be extremely beneficial. You can gain knowledge and get rare opportunities to buy guns before they go on the open market. Good friendships can form over common interests, but don’t be foolhardy. Even if you’re about to realize your lifelong dream of becoming the next Sgt. York, don’t buy that vintage Colt 1911 without an appraisal or before checking the provenance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Live Auctions

A tried and true way to buy collectibles is to attend a live auction. Each auction publishes a catalogue available to the public. It allows you to be able to browse the offerings beforehand. Each listing gives info on items for sale and makes it easier to decide what to buy. Reputable companies like Christie’s have been holding specialty auctions for more than a hundred years. Rare items may be easier to find, but can cost you. Auctions may be more expensive than buying privately, depending on the item being sold and the amount of interest. Don’t get caught up in auction fever and spend more than your bank account allows.

You may examine the merchandise if you attend the auction. That’s when knowledge is most important. If you have any questions, ask. There are sure to be experts everywhere that will help out.

Firearms auctions are usually advertised nationwide. Catalogues may be posted on the internet, giving you time to peruse before the event. If unable to attend the auction in person, you can bid as an absentee buyer. You may also be able to bid through an online service. An absentee bidder must have complete faith in the auctioneer, the process and the gun’s value. Due diligence can determine the reputation of the auctioneer and auction house before bidding.

Specialty Dealers

Looking for one specific item? A reputable specialty dealer may be your best bet. It also saves time if you don’t want to traverse gun shows or spend hours at auctions. A good dealer will have access to items gun shops may not. They also tend to be at the top of the list when a vintage piece or collection goes up for sale. Choose dealers with experience and a longstanding reputation. They tend to have the best connections and aren’t willing to risk their business by hoodwinking a potential customer.

Online

Buying online can be a blessing or a curse. Experienced collectors have been buying online for years. Some find it the easiest way to track down hard to find gems or rare collectibles. Buyers should be savvy to state and federal laws regarding the sale and purchase of firearms. A boon to the industry is that eBay prohibits the sale of firearms. That policy made way for several top sites to create their mark – GunsAmerica.com, GunAuction.com, and GunBroker.com to name a few.

Sadly, there are more disreputable dealers that reputable ones. Before buying, have direct contact with the gun owner. Do not work through a third party. Check references and ratings. Know the seller’s return policy and check out their ratings and references before laying down any money.

Online classified sites may offer opportunities to buy weapons. Seasoned collectors tend to avoid them or proceed with extreme caution.

Gun Shows

Collector shows aren’t as common as commercial shows, but they do exist. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals. You can see what other collectors and sellers have to offer. Chances are that you’ll get to see things you’ve never imagined. While you may not be able to buy, you’ll likely go home with a very long wish list.

Yard Sales

Yard sales often offer more than baby strollers and chipped dishes. People saddled with a garage full of boxes often put them out for sale. High end locations may offer valuable surprises.

Storage Lockers

Think buying a storage locker is a sure way to find treasure? Think again. Chances are you’ll end up with a pile of junk. Also, guns found in a storage locker must be turned over to authorities. Save your money and your time.

Estate Sales

Estate sales can be gold mines. Check published listings of items to be sold. Listings aren’t often too specific, but rare gems can be found. Stay until the end and  you could walk away a winner.

No matter which path you choose, be smart. Learn to do your own appraisals to save time, money and heartache. If that’s not an option, develop a relationship with an antique rifle appraiser. You’ll always have someone that can be trusted to steer you in the right direction.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Gun Collecting

So, you want to start gun collecting. You’ve outgrown your rock collection and stamps don’t excite you, so guns seem to be a good choice. There are many types of collectors out there, from the marksman to the history buff. Each with their own tastes and budgets. No matter what the reason, gun collecting is a noble and interesting way to increase your knowledge, make a few dollars, and decorate your man (or woman) cave.

Some experts will tell you to start with the basics such as a .22 LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 30-06, and the like but it comes down to your taste and if you are collecting the guns to use, sell or display. Following are some of the types of collectors you’re likely to run across at your local gun show.

Heirloom

Gun collecting often starts with a gun inherited from a family member or perhaps a first hunting rifle. Heirloom guns may also include antiques purchased by the collector or specialty sport shooting models. Typically, these guns are kept for private use or for show although some, if valuable, may sold. Top choices for heirloom guns may include models that are antique or rare such as the Colt 1911 or nearly anything manufactured between 1900-1930.

Military/Historical

Military and history enthusiasts are often rabid about their collections and know their guns down to the finest detail and the name of the artist that incorporated the scroll work. These people are serious collectors. As with any kind of collection, it’s important to verify the history and provenance of the weapon as it directly affects the gun’s value. Whether it’s an antique dueling pistol or military surplus from Desert Storm, know your maker’s marks and get proof of authenticity before laying down your money.

Eclectic

Much to the chagrin of the hard-core collector, some people just like guns and collect them with no discernible rhyme or reason. It may make them more difficult to categorize, but no less valid. Eclectic gun owners tend to start with a gun they have owned and build upon that collection. Usually with something that is handed down or bought second hand. Although the owner of the eclectic gun collection is less likely to sell his collection, it is still important to know the history and use of each piece, if only for personal reference.

Investment

Guns make great investments. They aren’t based on the daily market and rarely does the value significantly decrease. Perhaps more than any other category, condition is key when collecting for investment purposes. As a rule of thumb, the older and more unique a gun is, the more it will be worth if it is well preserved, not refinished, and, of course, authentic. The worst guns for investments tend to be modern weapons such as the AR and AK-platform guns. Want to make the most money? Collect a particular style or guns from a specific manufacturer, e.g., Smith & Wesson to get the biggest bang for your buck.

 

Feds to Release Surplus M1911s

Plans are finally falling into place for the government release of surplus M1911s. On December 5, 2017, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), the non-profit organization that holds control over responsibility selling surplus military firearms and surplus ammunition, released information regarding how it will handle the handguns.

Thousands of Surplus M1911s

Per the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, the US Army is to release 8,000 to 10,000 surplus M1911s to CMP for resale in both 2018 and 2019. If all goes well, the organization may receive up to 100,000 M1911s throughout the following years.

CMP states it needs at least 150 days to price and evaluate the pistols, which includes inspecting, grading, test-firing, and cataloging the guns.

Eligibility to Purchase M1911s

CMP also released the eligibility requirements for civilians to purchase these authentic military guns. To be considered, you must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Join a CMP-affiliated club or association
  • Demonstrate marksmanship activity, via concealed carry permit, military record, or participation in a shooting competition

Beyond these eligibility requirements, two NICS background checks need completed, the first at the time of purchase and the second upon receiving the M1911 at your local licensed gun dealer. Unlike other military firearms, the surplus M1911s are only available via mail order and must be received through a local gun broker.

Sales of Surplus M1911s

Once sales open, CMP will begin to accept applications for purchase, along with all requested documents. After the organization receives 10,000 requests, CMP will put the information into a random number generator and, in the order randomly determined, give applicants the option to buy one of the M1911s available based on their prices and grade.

Due to the expected demand, CMP is regulating sales to one M1911 per person, per year. Although not officially announced, the marketing manager of CMP North, Steve Cooper, told Sarasota Herald-Tribune that they anticipate most shootable guns ranging from $800 to $1,000.

Value to the Collector

 

the surplus M1911 .45ACP pistols that the government is releasing have been in storage since the 1980s when they were replaced with the Beretta 92F, but they’re must older than those thirty-some years. Most government contracts for the production of M1911s ended by 1945, which makes many of these pistols more than military-grade handguns, it makes them collectable antiques.

Although these guns haven’t been categorized yet, many of the M1911s used by the Army were manufactured by:

The Fascinating World of Antique Gun and Ammunition Collectors

There are endless reasons as to why you may have an interest in gun collecting, as you may have inherited a gun collection or developed an interest. Certainly antique firearms and ammunition collections are an investment but there are other motivations such as personal preference that captured your curiosity and imagination. Historic associations, artistic features and mechanical ingenuity are other factors which may have inspired you to start or continue with a collection.

Different Approaches to Gun Collecting

First of all you need to establish what you need from your gun collection. There are different approaches in gun collecting, you need to choose which one you want to pursue. Are you in need of a shooting battery and intend to become a serious hunter or competitive shooter? You may have purchased a gun for personal reasons and after that decided to obtain another. Before you realize it, you need a safe to store your weapons. However, you might simply be interested in the historical fascination of antique guns. It might even be a combination of both as many individuals have a serious fascination with fire arms.

Antique American arms for example have unlimited collectors potential and possibilities. The best approach in starting a collection is assembling an arms library and doing your research thoroughly. Visiting museums featuring specialized collections, dealers specializing in arms, gun shows, and visits to gun collector’s shows and homes are a good starting point for prospective collectors.

Attend Gun Shows

You will experience an unforgettable and fascinating opportunity at guns shows offering thousands of antique guns with accessories, literature, ammunition and parts. Gun shows also have the advantage of opening doors to other dealers and collectors as passionate about guns as you are. A great starting point is joining the National Rifle Association. They have regular publications of The American Rifleman with outstanding articles pertaining to gun collectors. Numerous magazines and online gun collectors website cover modern weapons available as well as collectors’ firearms.

The collecting of guns in America has risen to phenomenal heights after World War II. It is a fact that gun collecting is one of the fastest growing collecting pursuits. Prior to the war guns were on the lower end of collectors scale when compared to stamps, coins, rare books, art, etc. At that point only the very early Colts were somewhat of a center piece in a collector’s collection. Although not yet the highest collectors’ item compared to other collection fields in still steadily rise faster than other collections.