‘Pawn Stars’: Rare Small Pistol Packed a Big Price

by Courtney Blackann
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

It’s always exciting watching Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” negotiate a deal. Sometimes people bring in absolute treasures worth thousands of dollars – without even knowing it. Other times customers demand high dollar for little more than junk. Luckily, history buff Rick Harrison is always open to negotiations, which is the most fun part. During a Season 8 episode, Harrison got especially excited about a rare pistol.

The gun dates back to the 1800s. A true Derringer, the guns were especially popular for protection when a threat of danger was nearby. Coined by Henry Deringer, the small handgun was very useful because of its small size. Because the inventor never patented the weapon, the term “Derringer” gun became widely used for any small handgun. Additionally, the misspelling of the tool (the added ‘r’ in Derringer) was adopted after the Lincoln assassination (when the gun gained worldwide notoriety).

According to Harrison, the original weapons are quite rare. During an encounter on “Pawn Stars” a man claims to have purchased the piece at an estate sale. His goal was to sell the weapon and take his family on a cruise.

However, after examining the unique gun, Harrison deemed it to be manufactured after the 1850s, though it an authentic Derringer. This still lowers the overall value, Harrison said.

After the history of the weapon was explained, the man still wanted to sell the old treasure for $5,000. Harrison scoffs at this price, noting the gun is missing several important pieces. He counters with $600. The man comes back with the (still hefty) price of $4,000.

While Harrison noted he understands the gun is quite a gem, he couldn’t offer the man anymore than $850. Not surprisingly, the man decides to walk – tucking his prized possession back in his pocket and shaking Harrison’s hands.

This situation is just another day at the office for the experts of “Pawn Stars.” And because Harrison has been in the business for decades, he’s not offended when someone decides not to accept an offer.

“Pawn Stars” Rick Harrison Offers Advice to Future Sellers

While it may not seem like it, there are plenty of things you have in your home that will be worth decent amounts of cash in the future, Harrison said.

Here’s everything you should know about what to save, instead of chucking out.

“I always ask people, ‘What was really super cool when you were 16 years old?’ That’s what’s going to be worth money when you’re 50 years old,” Harrison said. “Those GI Joes I played with when I was a kid — I wish I still had them and they were in their original boxes. Those comic books I had when I was a kid? I wish I had them now.”

From trading cards, collectible figurines or anything categorically “popular,” Harrison said to keep tabs on those items. And keep them somewhere safe – just in case.