One of the fastest increasing markets is in quality air rifles from the 80s and 90s. Do you have one of the ones listed below?
Shooting Times recently received a letter from a reader saying: “I found my 25-year old air rifle in my shed and want to dispose of it. If I try to break it up, can I put it in the skip?”.
Contributor Graham Downing advised him not to put the air rifle in a skip or take it to the dump. Instead he should take it to the police or a registered firearms dealer for disposal and, “while doing so, check with them to see if it has any value. You never know, you might be surprised.”
Very good advice, because one of the fastest increasing markets is in quality air rifles from the 1980s and 90s.
It’s something that is being noticed in auction houses and in the second-hand air rifle market.
Many people who grew up with these guns are now at that time of life when they look back. Nostalgia is a powerful thing and men, in particular, often try and re-capture their youth. Maybe they had one of these guns in their teens, or more likely they desperately wanted one and could not afford it, always settling for second best.
Whatever the reason, if you had the foresight to keep one of these guns below in tip-top condition, preferably with its manufacturers carton, you could now be sat on a small goldmine.
At a Holt’s Auctioneers’ sale a while back, a rare John Whiscombe JW50 fetched an astonishing £3,300. Which proves that the scarce in great condition is what people want.
Possibly even more remarkable was the four boxed BSA air rifles from the late 70s to early 80s pictured here. With a low estimate of £480 they smashed this to bring £870 plus premium. Not a life changing amount, but when you consider each of the air rifles involved had a sale price of between £49 to £63 in 1981, that’s impressive.
Could your old air rifle be worth £££s?
If you have any of the below you could be surprised by its value.
Air rifles in demand
- Weihrauch HW35Es (especially Norman May “Vixen” custom examples)
- Square stocked HW80s,
- Feinwerkbau 124 and 127 Sports
- Early Original 50s and 45s
- BSA Airsporters and Mercurys (especially S models)
- Sterling HR81 and 83s
- BSF S54 and 55s
- All walnut stocked Webley & Scott models.
This article was originally published in Sporting Gun in 2018 and has been updated.