How much is your 49er worth?
This page provides a method of estimating the value of a '49 designed by William M. Shumate. It was presented in the Spring 2004 edition of "The Rampant Colt" (Official magazine of the Colt Collectors Association Inc.). It is re-produced here with the kind permission of Mr Shumate:

 

 

"We've been collecting Colt percussion pistols for over 40 years and we've been asked to appraise those firearms more than a few times. As a result, we have developed and used an "appraisal grid" and several associates have asked us to share it with them.

So, here it is - despite the controversy we know this subject causes - and despite the inevitable expectation that very few knowledgeable collectors will agree with every one of our estimates, we'll still take the risk.

We've chosen the 1849 Model Colt percussion pistol to use as our example for three reasons: 1) More 49ers were produced by Colt than any other percussion pistol. 2) Every active Colt percussion collector likely owns at least one (or even several!) and 3) Every auction house report and source book which makes price estimates includes it.

To determine the current estimated market value of your 49er, simply find the description of your pistol in every one of the seven categories below and then just add them up for a total price.

For instance, an average condition 49er often found at gun shows with some blue and minor silver plate, in five shot configuration with a four inch barrel and all matching numbers, with only 15% of the scene remaining, with a New York address and fair grips would estimate at $500.

 
by William M. Shumate, Eden Prairie, Minnesota"

Note - this calculator ONLY applies to Pocket '49s - NOT Baby Dragoon or Wells Fargo models)

Click on the tick boxes below to accumulate your gun's value in the Total Values box, bottom right. Click on the "Clear Form and Start Over" button to reset the tick boxes at any time. All prices are in US Dollars.

CATEGORY ONE - Finish
A Pistol has been reblued $
0
B Trigger guard and backstrap replated $
0
C No blue or silver, but no rust or pits (overall grey) $
50
D Some blue and some silver (10-20%) $
100
E More blue and silver (30-40%) $
200
F Lots of blue and silver (50-60%) $
250
G Most of the blue and most of the silver (80-95%) $
300
H All of the blue and all of the silver $
650
I Some case hardening visible $
100
J Lots of case hardening visible $
500
K Engraving: Needs Special Appraisal    
 
CATEGORY TWO - Cylinder Scene
A None Remains
$
0
B 10-15% remains
$
50
C 15-25% remains
$
150
D 25-50% clearly visible
$
200
E 50-75% clearly visible
$
300
F 100% all there and clearly visible
$
400
 
CATEGORY THREE - Serial Numbers
A Numbers do not match
$
0
B All numbers match
$
200
CATEGORY FOUR - Factory "Hits"
A New York address, clear hit $
50
B Hartford address, clear hit $
200
C London address, clear hit $
300
D "Colts Patent" clear on the frame $
100
E "31 Cal " clear on the trigger guard $
100
 
CATEGORY FIVE - Barrel Length and Shots
A 5 or 6 shots $
0
B 4 or 5 inch barrel length $
0
C 3 or 6 inch barrel length $
100
 
CATEGORY SIX - Grips
A Grips have been refinished $
0
B Fair condition with evident wear $
0
C Hardly any wear $
100
D No wear at all $
300
E Ivory or other material; Needs Special Appraisal
 
CATEGORY SEVEN - "Almost Perfect"
A Additional premium for near perfect condition $
1000

Total Value ..................................................

$