July 14, 2022
By Joe Kurtenbach
Even experts need experts, and for the decade-plus I’ve been working in firearms media – and several years before – I’ve relied on the Blue Book of Gun Values to research model designations and variations, confirm manufacturing dates and, of course, compare prices for guns both common and obscure. Now in its 43rd Edition, the Blue Book of Gun Values continues to be my go-to reference, and a should be a required source book for anyone working in the field.
The Blue Book of Gun Values has been in circulation since 1980, and Blue Book Publications was founded by historian, enthusiast, collector and conservationist Steve Fjestad in 1988. Genuinely “one of the good guys,” our community sadly lost Steve in 2019. Although his presence and camaraderie are missed, I know Steve would be proud of the work carried on by his company and in particular his nephew Zachary R. Fjestad, now president and publisher, and chief editor Lisa Beuning. Their dedication to the Gun Values brand is evidenced by the fact that the 43rd Edition is the largest and most comprehensive to date.
All in, the 43rd Edition features nearly 2,000 manufacturers and trademarks, close to 30,000 specific firearm models, and more than 180,000 values. These include up-to-date pricing for new, current production, discontinued and historical revolvers, pistols, rifles and shotguns. Keeping up with the times, there is also a new index dedicated just to AR-15 manufacturers. Because of the rapid growth of black rifle makers in the industry, as well as the boutique and dynamic nature of many such operations, Blue Book has opted to provide a full company name listing in print while curating additional information, including values and images, online. Access to the detailed listings is available with an online subscription to the Blue Book of AR-15s & Variations (starting at $3.95). Please note, though, that this change does not apply to larger manufacturers such as Springfield Armory or Smith & Wesson who produce AR-15s in addition to other firearm platforms.
Other sections within the book’s 2,528 pages include: a how-to guide for using the Blue Book of Gun Values; labelled illustrations describing the anatomy handguns, rifles and shotguns; a 64-page explanation, with color photos, dedicated to firearms grading; as well as in-depth descriptions and discussions of proof marks, serial numbers and more.
The Blue Book of Gun Values in paperback format carries an MSRP of $60, but discounts, bundled packages, digital delivery and online subscriptions are also available. For more information and pricing about this highly recommended resource, visit bluebookofgunvalues.com.
Enjoy articles like this?
Subscribe to the magazine.
Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine