Robert Kyle—Chesapeake Market Place and Auction House, St. Leonard, Md.
Located 50 miles from Washington, D.C., in Southern Maryland, Chesapeake firearms auctions are heavily influenced by the local hunting scene. As Robert Kyle, house firearms specialist, explains, “Because the region prohibits the use of rifles for deer hunting, sportsmen must use shotguns with slugs or black powder arms for deer. Shotguns are strong in this region because they can be used for both deer and waterfowl. Goose and duck hunting is a long-time Chesapeake Bay tradition and a good side-by-side or over-and-under always attracts bidders.”
At recent auctions for example, Chesapeake sold a J.P. Saur drilling, 16-gauge made in 1901, for $1,210, a Browning Citori Lightning 12-gauge, for $1,265 and a Ruger Red Label 20-gauge O/U at $880.
New and used handguns have remained steady and strong sellers due to their home protection use. However, strict gun control laws enacted here in October 2013 made buying them more expensive. New state handgun laws now require first-time handgun buyers to get finger printed, take a handgun qualification class and pay a registration fee. These charges can add $250 to a new handgunner’s first purchase.
Still, the auction house recently sold a Ruger Blackhawk New Model .357 for $440 and an AMT Automag II .22 stainless steel at $632, as well as a slew of handguns that went for under $200.
Prices for antique guns can meet blue book value, depending on the piece and who's bidding. “In general, though, our clientele prefers guns that shoot and they can use. So reproduction antique guns that function always attract attention.”
Recent examples: Navy Arms M-1851 dragoon, $155; Colt Walker reproduction, $192.50; Cimarron M-1873 Winchester, 38-40, $550; Navy Arms Charleville musket, $440; CVA M-1860 Colt in box, $130; and Lyman M-1851 Navy, $121.
Editor's Note: This brief originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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