In the 'good old days', factory engraving was the trump card. THESE days, I'm not so sure.
Most of the current artists don't work for the gun manufacturers, so lots of the aftermarket work is the best quality there is.
Don some of the greatest engravers were not factory engravers.Just to name a few, Frank e hendricks...Howard v grant...Alvin a white...Winston g churchill.. and my wife Barbra r pierce. As to value I've guns that my wife engraved for me that I sold for large sums of money, It depends on who engraves your gun.
I've always liked engraved guns. Factory or done by an engraver after the gun left the manufacturer. These were all engraved by Michael Gouse ( www.mtart.com ) with 75% coverage American Scroll:
Jeff Flannery of Union, Kentucky engraved my Ruger Single Six:
Factory Colt 150th Anniversary Engraved Sampler from 1986:
I'm a fan of engraving. Factory is awesome but hard to afford for a guy like me. I really like Gouse's work and my wallet really likes his prices! My Ruger Blackhawk .44 Special is currently in Gouse's hands right now. I can't wait to get it back! Patience, patience...patience....
Steve's excellent photographs illustrate how tasteful custom engraving can really add a touch of class to a personal firearm. I share his thoughts on pricey factory engraving, too!
I have a few examples of both custom and factory engraving - and this is strictly my opinion... For investment, having a factory letter indicating that a firearm was "factory" engraved is superior to having a firearm that was engraved after it left the factory - even if the work was done by a "name" artist.
JMO, but favorite firearms should be engraved and embellished to the taste of their owners - particularly ones you shoot a lot and plan to hang onto forever. Why not have a couple engraved with your own favorite designs and scrolls - and then handle and carry and shoot them regularly? A tastefully engraved firearm that is worn and well-cared-for is an object of beauty - much more so than a pristine safe queen!
In the past, crude "pawn shop" engraving would detract from the value of a firearm - but now I see those things with high prices at gun shows, particularly the Wolf & Klar scratching with the zig-zag tool! So what do I know?
I recognize the stunning beauty of these guns and love to see the owners showing them off and being proud to own them.
Engraving just doesn't do it for me though. It never has. I don't really know how to explain it other than to say that I like the graceful lines and aesthetics of many types of guns just as they are, without all the scratches. :shock: