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The Real Reason Pawn Stars Bought An Antique Pistol That Doesn't Work

While many people tune in to Pawn Stars to see the eclectic array of weird antiques that come into the shop, the reason viewers have been invested in the series for over a decade now involves watching Rick Harrison and the rest of the staff wheel and deal, trying to get items for the best price possible. However, buying items is only half the battle. They then have to sell the item, turning a profit in the process, and that's where things can go off the wheels very quickly. 

Sometimes they genuinely have to buy antiques they have no interest in due to a weird rule they have to follow, and other times, they think they've hit the jackpot when the opposite proves to be the case. The most noteworthy example of this is when Corey Harrison purchased a vintage Evel Knievel pinball machine that wasn't worth as much as he initially thought, and he had to collect quarters as a punishment. There's a lot of risk involved in the pawn business, especially if you don't know precisely what it is you're looking at. 

No doubt plenty of viewers were yelling at Rick when he purchased an antique pistol with some missing components on a season 6 episode of the series because at first, it seemed like he wouldn't be able to get his money back. When you look carefully, you'll notice there's a big reason that likely went through Rick's mind when it came to putting down an offer. 

On Pawn Stars, guns sell

On the episode in question, a woman named Deann comes into the shop looking to sell an old flintlock pistol, which looks pretty neat but is pretty dinged up. Rick gets an expert to come to the shop to appraise the item, and he says it's not really worth restoring since a pristine version of this gun would probably net between $700 and $1,000. Ultimately, Rick gives the woman $600 to acquire the gun, and that's where viewers may start scratching their heads.

Before accepting the offer, Rick talks to Corey about how well guns tend to do at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. They've purchased numerous guns over the years, and they've seemingly never had an issue getting a good deal on them, such as the instance where they purchased an old shotgun that sold for nearly $9,000 more than they paid for it. Purchasing antique guns is a popular hobby in the United States, as evidenced by the fact there are over 120 gun collection clubs throughout the country (via The Guardian). Nevada on its own, where the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is located, is one of the most heavily armed states in the nation with over 54,000 registered firearms being owned across the population based on data from 2015 (via CBS News). 

That's a huge market for Rick Harrison and the gang to take advantage of, so even though the appraiser wasn't too thrilled with the gun, the crew clearly knew something he didn't. We couldn't find any information about whether the shop ever sold the gun and if so, for how much, but ultimately, it seems like it was a good deal for everyone. The woman received $600, and the pawn shop crew wound up with a unique pistol that may not work but comes with a cool history.