Appealing a NICS Refusal...Old Guns

How do you appeal when you've been turned down for a firearm?

Field & Stream Online Editors

Q: I was denied the purchase of a gun and was never given a form to appeal. What do I do now? I've never been convicted of a crime. I love to hunt and don't understand.--W.L.

A: Evidently, sometimes people aren't cleared to buy a firearm because of identity mixups. If you appeal, you may have to submit fingerprints, which will be checked through the criminal system.

You can request the reasons for your denial, or challenge it, by writing to:

Federal Bureau of Investigation

NICS Operations Center

Appeal Services Unit, Module A

P.O. Box 4278

Clarksburg, WV 26302-9902

Include the NICS Transaction Number (NTN), available from the holder of the Federal Firearms License where you tried to buy the firearm.

Q: I'm looking for information on a Remington Model 11 shotgun that was manufactured in 1947. I've been told such a variety of values for this shotgun I'm totally confused. No one seems to understand when I tell them the whole barrel recoils when the gun is discharged. They actually argue with me!--D.B.

A: How much a firearm is worth depends an awful lot on condition, and sometimes upon special factory additions, such as fancy wood, engraving, etc. According to New Schwing's Standard Catalog of Firearms, a standard-grade Remington Model 11 is worth about $300 in excellent (almost new) condition, about half that if it still works okay but has lost much finish. The "riot gun" model is worth a little more, and special engraved models can be worth over $2,000, depending on grade and condition.

The people you've been talking to are ignorant. The Remington Model 11 is built on the same Browning patent as the famed Browning Auto-5. Both are what is termed recoil-operated, featuring a spring-loaded barrel that recoils back into the action upon firing, activating the mechanism to eject the empty shell and pick up a loaded round.

Many other shotguns work on variations of the same system, including the lightweight Franchis, but most of today's autoloaders are gas-operated, using some of the gas produced by gunpowder to work the action. These have stationary barrels, and are the shotguns most hunters use today--the reason the people you've asked don't know about recoil-operated guns like your Remington.

You have a fine old shotgun. If it has any sort of engraving, you might want to have it appraised by a competent gun shop. I can recommend Capital Sports & Western in Helena, Montana (406-443-2978).