"Hey, how much is my gun worth?"Below are two Remington 51 .380ACP pistols, both of which could honestly be described by a non-collector over the phone to the poor gun store clerk as "Well, it's in pretty good shape..."
"Do you have it with you?"
And they both are. They're both all there; the grip panels are intact and all the markings are clearly legible; their bores are both good and both function and still possess their original magazines...
Variant I and a Variant II (it has the Remington logo on the frame and the .380 marking on the chamber, but it still has the old 9-serration slide) which dates it to 1921. While it's all there mechanically, the finish is worn to a dull gray patina in most places and there's evidence of previous pitting on the slide... Let's call it 40%, which puts book at $225.
You can see why one of my least favorite phone calls was the ol' "How much is my gun worth?" (There was always an awkward silence as I fought back the urge to say "Hold it up to the phone where I can see it better.")