heritage firearm appraisals

Heritage Estate Services and Firearms Appraisals, LLC is a division of Ultimate Defense Firing Range & Training Center. Heritage is a full-service estate consulting, firearm appraisal, and brokerage service. Our primary focus is on the highly specialized area of firearms and firearms-related items.  We conduct appraisals of any size collection, from individual firearms up to large estates.  Our areas of expertise include antique firearms, handguns, hunting rifles, shotguns, military arms, sporting arms as well as NFA Title II National Firearms Act weapons (i.e., machine guns and suppressors).

Heritage is currently one of the largest full-service firearms consulting, appraisal, and brokerage establishments in the St. Louis Metro area, and we have the ability to extend our services anywhere in the United States. The appraisal staff members of Heritage have an unmatched knowledge of firearms, and we maintain an extensive library of firearms-related resources that gives us the ability to stay current on valuations. Through our unparalleled professionalism, integrity and commitment to confidentiality, Heritage has grown exponentially and we have now expanded beyond doing business with individual clients to contracting with attorney firms, insurance agencies as well as auction houses.

Fair Market Value Approach

This is the most common approach to appraise items, and is typically used for IRS, estate tax and donation purposes.  Heritage defines fair market value as the gross price that an item would sell for on the open market in a transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller, with neither being required to act, with reasonable timing and with both parties having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.

This value includes all fees and sales commissions. It is important to recognize that this is a gross figure, which is usually 25% to 30% higher than the amount that would ultimately be received by the client. This market value suggests an “orderly event”, one that allows for proper announcement and time for preparation and marketing of the event.

Fair market value is therefore the price of the item submitted, which in Heritage’s opinion could be achieved if the item were to be sold on the open market after appropriate marketing on the day the Valuation is given. This also assumes that the sale would be made through an accredited auction utilizing a reputable auctioneer. The Valuation does not take into account any sale expenses, commissions or taxes that might apply on a sale of the item.


What is included in an appraisal?

Heritage provides a detailed appraisal document (either electronic or hardcopy) for each appraised item. The document includes specifics for the item that identify it, including make, model, caliber, serial number, condition and all other relevant information. We also provide photographic documentation for each item. For appraisals of more than one item, an additional summary valuation will be supplied. Appraisals are notarized with the appraiser’s signature and can be submitted with the appraiser’s affidavit for legal purposes.

How does Heritage determine value?

Heritage uses 3 industry accepted formulas, market cash value, replacement value and liquidation value, all of which are explained below.

Marketable Cash Value

This is fair market value but net of all expenses. This value includes all fees, costs and sales commissions and addresses the marketability of questionable items. As the value so derived represents the actual proceeds that will be paid to the seller after the sale, which in some cases can be 25% to 30% less than the sale price, this method is most often used in equitable distribution as well as divorce settlements.

Replacement Value

This value is typically used for casualty insurance purposes and is the cost to replace an item with one of similar and like quality, age and provenance, purchased in the most similar and appropriate marketplace to the original within a specific and limited amount of time.  Replacement value is generally the highest valuation assigned to personal property and is used in cases of loss or theft.

Liquidation Value

This method is used for the immediate sale of an item after a distribution or during bankruptcy proceedings.  Liquidation value is the sales revenue achieved within an immediate and specified period of time and is the lowest valuation assigned.

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Heritage has several brokerage options to assist you if you are looking to sell a single firearm or an entire collection. Heritage does not require an appraisal to sell your firearms and will assist you in establishing fair market value.  

Option 1 – Cash Offer

Heritage maintains substantial capital resources to give us the ability to purchase either a portion of or your entire firearms collection. Payment is immediate and Heritage will issue documentation showing that we have taken possession of firearms and have entered the items into our Federal Firearms Acquisition and Disposition Book in compliance with ATF guidelines.

Option 2 – consignment

The consignment option assigns Heritage the ability to sell your items on your behalf by utilizing our extensive network of buyers, contacts, retail store and internet sales resources. We typically sell items relatively quickly, but depending upon rarity or condition, the sale of some items or collections can take an extended period of time to complete. Heritage retains 19% of the sale price as a seller’s fee and the rest is paid out typically within 7 to 10 days after the sale of each item. As part of the consignment process, Heritage will issue documentation showing we have taken possession of firearms and have entered the items into our Federal Firearms Acquisition and Disposition Book in compliance with ATF guidelines.

Option 3 – Public auction

Heritage maintains a close relationship with several major auction companies in the area who will host an extensively advertised auction where firearms and accessories are sold at no reserve to the highest bidder. Heritage will handle all the logistics of arranging facility location, transport, preparation, security, staffing and compliance of estate items for a 25% fee. Full payout of the auction occurs within 7 to 10 days after the auction. As part of the process, Heritage will issue documentation showing we have taken possession of firearms and have entered the items into our Federal Firearms Acquisition and Disposition Book in compliance with ATF guidelines.   

*Legal Transference of Firearms
All firearms transactions have the potential for requiring proper filing and coordination of firearms transaction forms and obtaining necessary federal and state approvals.  Heritage Estate Services and Firearms Appraisals, LLC maintains a Federal Firearm License as well as a Class 3 Special Occupational Tax that gives us the ability to handle standard firearms as well as Title II NFA items like machine guns, short barreled firearms, silencers and special items classified as “any other weapons”.  Heritage operates under FFL Guard’s Law Plus Guidelines to make sure we are 100% in compliance with all the intricacies of the transference process. What this means for you is that Heritage assumes all responsibility for firearms transference activities. Heritage services include the determination of all regulatory requirements, preparation and proper completion of all federal and state firearms transaction forms as well as certification of all documentation and receipts showing transference.
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