Ok, so here is the deal.
My dad called me a while back and told me he had met a woman selling some old handguns, and wanted to know if I was interested. One of them was a ruger blackhawk in .357 mag. I told him I wanted it, but never seeing it, told him to offer her $250.00. He bought it, I picked it up, done deal.
When I picked it up I was displeased to say the least (at first)
The gun I picked up was not a ruger blackhawk, but in fact was a new in box US Arms Ablilene.
At first I was pissed at my dad, but let that go, and started examining the gun.
She is new in box, with all papers, etc. She has never been fired, and even came with three complete boxes of .357 mag in the box.
I have done some searching and found the following.
US Arms was bought up by Mossberg and is no more
The 357 abilene was sought after by reloaders because it is really a 44mag chambered in 357 mag making it a very strong 357, thus enabiling hot loads.
She was made in Ruverhead NY, according to her markings.
Her sn is 10-0028xx
She is in 100% condtion, and damn I reaaaaally want to shoot her, but fear I will ruin any value she has if any.
Here are some pics.
Any ideas on value? I won't own a gun I can't shoot, so should I shoot her and just keep her as a beater 357, or smoke her and buy a blackhawk.
We know how sellers on gunbroker are pretty notorious for overpricing stuff, but if the auction below is anything close to what the gun is worth, I'd sell it, double my money, and go get what you want.
No sense in ruining the value of an unfired gun when it's not even what you really want.
While that looks like her, the box is very different. My guess is that is one of the newer mossberg offerings, whereas mine seems to be older style packaging. All cardboard, no foam. I can find a date nowhere, however it seems to me that if it was made in the 80's by mossberg, it would have some mention of mossberg somewhere.
That leads me to believe it is one of the original manufacture ones. Back when it was just a small company in new york. I could be wrong.
Would this add to the value at all?
ETA. I confirmed it. That one says "US ARMS DIV A.I.G INC NO HAVEN CT USA"
Mine says " US ARMS RIVERHEAD NY"
So mine was made by the original company.
Does this make it worth more....or much less.
Seems to me that for collector value, earlier made and by the original company makes it more valuable, not less. As little as you paid for it I would put it in the safe and save up for a Ruger Blackhawk.
Inquire about it over at singleactions.com , they'll be able to tell you all about it.