Old Rare Ammo Information needed

I have some unusual ammo, and I am trying to get fair price info, not retail, but fair. 25 rounds of WRA BP .320 S&W revolving rifle. 2 boxes of 35 S&W Auto, one sealed. one box of Remington 44-40 High Speed 160gr Mushroom bullet, one box Western .41 Short centerfire, one 2 piece box of .38 Long Rimfire, one sealed 2 piece box of .32 Long smokeless, 2 piece boxes of .32 & .38 Rimfire Shot, 2 boxes of .32 Colt New Police, a partial box of .44 Webley. Any information would be appreciated.

Pics would be very helpful in assessing age and condition.

Everything is in original boxes. Normal light handling wear. but boxes are complete. All ammo in VG+ condition.

Sorry, but without photos we can not do much more than guess. For shooters, the style of a box, marking variations and subtle differences in condition do not matter. However, to the collector world, even seemingly unimportant details can make a big difference.

Also, I have learned from bad experiences that one person’s perfect condition may not be the same as another person’s expectations.

If it is too much trouble to post photos, then you probably will not find anyone willing to take the time to help. With photos, you may find out more than you ever imagined about the items. But, if it is just “what are they worth” then list them on GunBroker.com with no reserve and you will know the fair market value at the end of the auction.

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Tough question I guess.

You are absolutely right that it’s a tough question. Most of us hesitate to make value judgements on one box or a few cartridges. Doing it for a collection is another thing altogether. There are simply too many factors to take into consideration. It’s not that we don’t want to help, believe me.


I would have thought that cartridge collectors would have seen enough of this ammo for sale or sold that they would have a general ideal of its value.

Here is what I would expect to see these priced at if found at a gun show for a retail buyer. This assumes that each box is FULL with the original ammo. A partial box will probably bring about half these prices. Guys who are more ammo collectors than gun collectors probably have different thoughts, but here is a start:

.41 Colt short CENTERfire- $75 for the box
.38 short rimfire SHOT UMC- very uncommon load, but not many people care that much. $50-75 each.
.32 S&W Long- $45-65
.35 S&W Auto- $40 for the nice one, $25 for the ratty one.
.38 Long rimfire REM-UMC- $55-65
.44-40- shooting ammo $35
.32 Colt New Police- Winchester or Remington- shooting ammo- $35-40 each.

Dealers normally buy at about 2/3 of expected retail.
GunBroker.com is a good place to sell.

(NOTE- I am not interested in buying any of this.)

The problem is that most older ammo which looks very vintage / collectible, is only collectible to two groups of people; cartridge collectors, and rare gun collectors. The gun collectors who are serious will typically want a mint condition box to set along side their collectible gun of same caliber (usually civil war or immediate post-war era stuff). These gun collectors will pay what we cartridge collectors usually feel are absurd amounts, going well over $1000 or $2000 in many cases for a box of rare cartridges. Some will pay for a low quality box, but not much beyond $50 a box in most cases.

As for cartridge collectors, the overwhelming majority of typically collected American boxed ammo, although rare to most people, is common to most cartridge collectors. Cartridge collectors, after a few years of collecting will find themselves going after rare box variations, or experimental cartridge variants which are a different scale of rarity in the cartridge collector world. And then there is the issue of certain boxed ammo having many variations which only collectors of that particular brand, type, caliber, or era would be aware of. So to have a “2-piece box of .32 long smokeless” is potentially describing around 100 different variations of brand, box style, load type, and year of manufacture. The price estimates on things like this would tend towards the common shooting ammo which was most common back when this ammo was made, but will not account for rare box / cartridge variations which would only be discerned with photos.

Matt- He did provide a link for photos