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How to Find the Value of My Classic Red Ryder BB Gun

by Austin Cross

The Red Ryder is a "radio cowboy" from the golden-days of radio. The Red Ryder was revered for his skill with a Winchester rifle. Because it is not particularly practical to sell real weapons to children, toy makers instead produced cap guns and BB guns. Red Ryder BB guns have been produced since the late 1930s, and values are based on their age as well as their condition.

Examine your rifle. Pay close attention to how many chips or dents are in the rifle. Make sure the barrel is straight, and if possible, test the rifle to see if it functions. Toys that still work are more valuable.

Search for any packaging. Toys that come new-in-box or with a box frequently fetch more.

Call a local hobby or antique store to see if it purchases or appraises toys.

Bring your gun to a professional. She will determine when it was made and give you a collector's opinion on its condition.

Purchase a recent toy-collecting book. Compare what you see in the book with what the professional said to help you determine the value for yourself.

Items you will need

  • Red Ryder rifle

Tips

  • Don't sell your gun to a store if you want top-dollar. Stores will frequently pay you less than it's worth.
  • Toy value varies from year to year. Your toy might have been more valuable last year than this year. Don't be afraid to wait for the best offer.

Warning

  • BB guns are no longer considered "toys." Keep them out of reach of children.

About the Author

Austin Cross began writing professionally in 2007, with work appearing on the websites for KAPU Radio and CBS Radio. He specializes in restoration of vintage studio electronics including microphones, radios, tape players and record players. Cross received his Bachelor of Arts in music theory and composition from Azusa Pacific University.