You never know what kind of interesting and valuable collectible guns are lurking in your closet or in some old trunk in the attic. Sometimes it pays to dust off these oddballs and list them for sale in an online gun auction.
A good friend of mine, Phillip Peterson, is a licensed gun dealer who sells quite regularly through Gunbroker. Phillip, who goes by the username “neatguns,” specializes in vintage, oddball and military guns and accessories.
Last week, Phillip listed a “Vintage Sheridan Silver Streak Pellet Rifle 20cal” with a starting bid of $99. The description read, “Sheridan Products Inc. Silver Streak multiple pump forearm pneumatic pellet rifle caliber .20 / 5mm. There is no serial number. Early production version with hold down safety, slab side stock and knurled sight adjustment knobs. Mfg 1949-52. Excellent condition. No notable damage or wear. The forearm has a crack visible from the back but the factory pins should keep it from cracking through. Mechanism is functional and it shoots OK. Original instruction book included.”
Kinda cool, I thought. If no one bids on it, I'll go a hundred bucks.
Well, the auction closed last night — at $405.56! That just shows how ignorant I am about vintage airguns. I had no idea an early Silver Streak could go so high, especially one in less-than-pristine condition. Oh well! Just another lesson in my ongoing education, I guess. Now I'll be keeping my eye open for similar models of similar vintage at the antique shows and garage sales. (I've already checked my closets.)
Phillip sells a great many guns every year, which incidentally is how he arrives at the values he lists in Standard Catalog of Military Firearms, of which he's the editor.
Unlike some price guides that contain values by “experts” seeking primarily to pump up their own collections, Phillip's book assigns values strictly on the basis of real-world, street-price trends. Phillip is scrupulously honest, even though his diet consists mostly of Mountain Dew and Ding Dongs.