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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there all,

Many times, the question of condition or grade comes up when assessing a potential purchase of a firearm. So, I have taken the liberty of copying and posting the following from the NRA Grading System as a reference for modern and antique firearms:


NEW: Not previously sold at retail, in same condition as current factory production.

PERFECT: In New condition in every respect. (Jim's note - in my experience, many collectors & dealers use "As New" to describe this condition).

EXCELLENT: New condition, used but little, no noticeable marring of wood or metal, bluing perfect, (except at muzzle or sharp edges).

VERY GOOD: In perfect working condition, no appreciable wear on working surfaces, no corrosion or pitting, only minor surface dents or scratches.

GOOD: In safe working condition, minor wear on working surfaces, no broken parts, no corrosion or pitting that will interfere with proper functioning.

FAIR: In safe working condition but well worn, perhaps requiring replacement of minor parts or adjustments which should be indicated in advertisement, no rust, but may have corrosion pits which do not render article unsafe or inoperable.


FACTORY NEW: All original parts; 100% original finish; in perfect condition in every respect, inside and out.

EXCELLENT: All original parts; over 80% original finish; sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal and wood; unmarred wood; fine bore.

FINE: All original parts; over 30% original finish; sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal and wood; minor marks in wood; good bore.

VERY GOOD: All original parts; none to 30% original finish; original metal surfaces smooth with all edges sharp; clear lettering, numerals and design on metal; wood slightly scratched or

bruised; bore disregarded for collectors firearms.

GOOD: Some minor replacement parts; metal smoothly rusted or lightly pitted in places, cleaned or re-blued; principal letters, numerals and design on metal legible; wood refinished, scratched bruised or minor cracks repaired; in good working order.

FAIR: Some major parts replaced; minor replacement parts may be required; metal rusted, may be lightly pitted all over, vigorously cleaned or re-blued; rounded edges of metal and wood; principal lettering, numerals and design on metal partly obliterated; wood scratched, bruised, cracked or repaired where broken; in fair working order or can be easily repaired and placed in working order.

POOR: Major and minor parts replaced; major replacement parts required and extensive restoration needed; metal deeply pitted; principal lettering, numerals and design obliterated, wood badly scratched, bruised, cracked or broken; mechanically inoperative; generally undesirable as a collector's firearm.
I will sticky this thread and add other "grading systems" as a "ready reference" for those comtemplating purchasing/trading a used firearm.


I just wish sellers would USE this systim! Nothing makes me madder then to read a ad like-
.41 Colt mod. 1877 EXL COND. MINTY case colors, 90% nickel!!! (not working)

Now maybe I'm too pickey. But how the hell can something be in exl. cond. if it don't work?

And that is for sure not meeting the NRA standerd for exl. cond.
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