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?


Quality air rifles from last decades of 20th century

A strange phenomenon is now occurring in the auction houses and on the secondary market. One of the fastest increasing markets is in quality air rifles from the 1980s and 90s. A lot of it has to do with disposable incomes.

Many people of my age who grew up with these guns are now at that time of life where they finally have a bit of money spare. 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 Holt’s Auctioneers’ sale in March, a rare John Whiscombe JW50 fetched an astonishing £3,300. While a little late strictly speaking for this article, it does prove that the scarce in great condition is what people want.

Cash in

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, I don’t think that is bad at all.

I certainly suggest that anyone who has any of the following in great condition may be surprised by its current 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.