OUR GRADING SYSTEMlogo-opt

It is not practical to compare the condition of a firearm produced a hundred years ago with that of a modern gun, therefore to make accurate description of the condition of a gun we divide firearms into 3 categories:
Antique Firearms – firearms produced before 1900;
Vintage Firearms – firearms produced between 1900 and 1965;
Modern Firearms – firearms produced after 1965.

For antique firearms we use the NRA grading system, for vintage and modern firearms we use our own comprehensive grading system.

 

ANTIQUE FIREARMS

Excellent Condition. All original parts; over 80% original finish; sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal and wood; unmarred wood; fine bore.
Fine. All original parts; over 30% original finish; sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal and wood; minor marks in wood; good bore.
Very Good. All original parts; none to 30% original finish; original metal surfaces smooth with all edges sharp; clear lettering, numerals and design on metal; wood slightly scratched or bruised.
Good. Some minor replacement parts; metal smoothly rusted or lightly pitted in places, cleaned or re-blued; principal letters, numerals and design on metal legible; wood refinished, scratched bruised or minor cracks repaired; in good working order.
Fair. Some major parts replaced; minor replacement parts may be required; metal rusted, may be lightly pitted all over, vigorously cleaned or re-blued; rounded edges of metal and wood; principal lettering, numerals and design on metal partly obliterated; wood scratched, bruised, cracked or repaired where broken; in fair working order or can be easily repaired and placed in working order.
Poor. Major and minor parts replaced; major replacement parts required and extensive restoration needed; metal deeply pitted; principal lettering, numerals and design obliterated, wood badly scratched, bruised, cracked or broken; mechanically inoperative; generally undesirable as a collector’s firearm.
Note. According to NRA grading system an antique gun with a rating of “very good” or less is not graded on its bore.

 

VINTAGE FIREARMS

Excellent Condition
External metal surfaces (frame, receiver, barrel, slide, cylinder): only negligible defects are permitted; at least 90% of metal finish for blued and parkerized guns and 95% for nickel/chrome plated guns must remain.
Grips, stock (this will generally refer to the condition of external wooden and plastic parts): Only very light handling marks are permitted, no wear, no chips or cracks are allowed; checkering must be very well defined.
Bore: only very light wear (not noticeable with naked eye inspection) is permitted; bore must be shiny with sharp rifling.
Internal mechanisms/parts must be free of corrosion.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be very well defined.
Gun must be in working order.

Very Good
External metal surfaces: negligible defects are permitted; few light pits are acceptable if they do not form a pattern; few tiny specks of light surface corrosion are permitted; at least 70% of finish for blued and parkerized guns and 80% for nickel/chrome plated guns must remain; patina is acceptable.

Grips, stock: light wear, light handling marks are permitted, no chips or cracks are allowed; checkering must be well defined.

Bore: light wear is permitted; light pitting in places is acceptable, pitting all over the bore is not allowed. Bore must be shiny with well defined rifling.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be very well defined.
Gun must be in working order.
Note. Firearm in this category may have small, insignificant parts with defects not described above if the part can be easily replaced without affecting the value of the gun. Example 1. A rifle may have rusted butt plate which can be easily replaced. However if the butt plate has matching serial number it cannot be replaced without affecting the value of the gun. Example 2. A pistol may have corroded magazine which can be easily replaced. However if the magazine has matching serial number it cannot be replaced without affecting the value of the pistol. In any case these mentioned defects must not affect the functionality of the gun. All such defects will be noted in the description of a firearm.

Good
External metal surfaces: light pitting in places is acceptable; small spots of surface corrosion are permitted; some finish will remain in sheltered areas; grey/brown patina can be formed on most of the metal surfaces.
Grips, stock: moderate wear, handling marks are permitted; maximum 2 short hairline cracks on handgun grips or 2 small cracks in long gun stock are allowed; small chips on edges only are allowed.
Bore: light wear is permitted; light pitting all over is acceptable. Bore must have well defined rifling.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be well defined
Gun must be in working order.

Fair
External metal surfaces: light pitting all over and moderate pitting in places is acceptable; some surface corrosion is permitted; original finish may be completely missing; grey/brown patina can be formed on most of the metal surfaces.
Grips of handguns may be heavily worn and dented. Small chips and cracks are allowed. Big cracks, big missing pieces are not acceptable. Wooden stock of long guns may have dents, small cracks and chips. Big cracks, chips and missing pieces are not allowed.
Bore: moderate wear is permitted; moderate pitting all over is acceptable; rifling must be present.

Internal mechanisms may have corrosion if this corrosion does not affect the functionality of the gun.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be legible.
Firearm must be in working order.

Everything else will downgrade a firearm into Poor Condition. A firearm in poor condition may not be in working order or may be unsafe to shoot.

 

MODERN FIREARMS

As New

To qualify for this condition a gun must be free of any defects apart from minor blemishes which can be found on any brand new firearm. The gun must be unfired (apart from test shots fired by the manufacturer) in original factory box with all original unused accessories and manual.

Excellent Condition
External metal surfaces (frame, receiver, barrel, slide, cylinder): only negligible defects are permitted; at least 98% of finish must remain.
Grips, stock (this will generally refer to the condition of external wooden and plastic parts): only very light handling marks are permitted, no wear, no chips or cracks are allowed; checkering must be very well defined.
Bore: no noticeable wear is permitted. Bore must be shiny with sharp rifling.

Internal mechanisms/parts must be free of corrosion.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be very well defined
Gun must be in working order.
Generally a firearm in this category will be close to brand new condition. However evidence of light usage can be present (cylinder drag marks, marks showing that a magazine has been inserted and removed, evidence that the gun has been fired etc.).

Very Good
External metal surfaces: negligible defects are permitted; at least 90% of original finish must be present (95% for nickel/chrome plated guns).
Grips, stock: light wear, light handling marks are permitted, no chips or cracks are allowed; checkering must be well defined.
Bore: light wear is permitted; only few light pits are acceptable if they do not form a pattern. Bore must be shiny with well defined rifling.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be very well defined
Gun must be in working order.

Good
External metal surfaces: light pitting in places is acceptable; small spots of surface corrosion are permitted; at least 70% of finish must remain (80% for nickel/chrome plated guns).
Grips, stock: moderate wear, handling marks are permitted; maximum 2 short hairline cracks on handgun grips or 2 small cracks in long gun stock are allowed; small chips on edges only are allowed.
Bore: light wear is permitted; light pitting all over is acceptable. Bore must have well defined rifling.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be well defined.
Gun must be in working order.

Fair
External metal surfaces: light pitting all over and moderate pitting in places is acceptable; some surface corrosion is permitted; at least 50% of riginal finish must be present (60% for nickel/chrome plated guns).
Grips of handguns may be heavily worn with dents. Small chips and cracks are allowed. Big cracks, big missing pieces are not acceptable. Wooden stock of long guns may have dents, small cracks and chips. Big cracks, chips and missing pieces are not allowed.
Bore: moderate wear is permitted; moderate pitting all over is acceptable; rifling must be present.

Internal mechanisms may have corrosion if this corrosion does not affect the functionality of the gun.
Lettering, numerals, proof marks must be legible.
Firearm must be in working order.

Everything else will downgrade a firearm into Poor Condition. A firearm in poor condition may not be in working order or may be unsafe to shoot.

Note. If a firearm has non original parts, missing parts, parts with non matching serial numbers it will be noted in the description of the firearm. If a gun has been refinished it will be noted in the description.

 

DEFINITION OF DEFECTS
Negligible defects.
Few pits with depth of less than 0.01 mm if they do not form a pattern. Very few short hairline scratches without noticeable depth will be considered negligible. Few dents and nicks on wooden parts less than 1 mm deep. Maximum 2 nicks on metal less than 0.1 mm deep.
Pitting on external surfaces.
Light pitting – pitting less than 0.01 mm deep.
Moderate pitting – pitting with depth from 0.01 mm to 0.05 mm.
Bore pitting.
Light pitting – pitting can be seen with naked eye but unlikely to affect the performance of the gun.
Moderate pitting – pitting may affect performance of the gun to some degree but will not affect the safety.