SHERIDAN — A local couple utilized their time while recovering from COVID-19 productively, earning certifications for their local firearm business.
John and Kathy Lundberg both contracted a harsh form of COVID-19 this month. In spite of not-so-ideal side effects, the two set to work obtaining a certificate in gun appraising. At least 40 hours of training videos, plus added hours of book reading and test taking resulted in John Lundberg receiving his certification. His wife, who watched all the videos, continues to study to receive her certification through the American Gunsmithing Institute.
“It was really fascinating to learn about how to discern the quality of the gun, the background of a gun,” Kathy Lundberg said.
“And learning what providence can do for values of guns,” her husband finished. “With the right providence, you can take a gun that may be an $800 gun with the right providence could turn it into a $15,000 gun.”
Providence of a gun is its history and record of use. For instance, if one can track a gun back to a user like Annie Oakley, he said, the providence, or value, increases substantially. If one can document them with original factory records and prove purchases by significant members of history, value increases. John Lundberg has a gun he traced back to 1911, which values at far more than a newer model.
“Our library increased because the recommendations of books, I mean we have a huge collection of books now that we can find different guns,” Kathy Lundberg said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
In addition to books, John Lundberg has always subscribed to the Blue Book of Gun Values website that helps track worth of guns, similar to the Kelly Blue Book for car values.
The couple adds the certification to a multitude of other skills on their utility belts, including certifications for National Rifle Association instruction, where they teach gun owners how to properly care for and safely use a gun. Kathy Lundberg specializes in classes for women and both work to equip aspiring gun owners with the proper fit at their business, Big Horn Trading. They bring 19 years of experience and seven in Sheridan to the table and now add another that may prove an asset to more than just their pocketbook.
While charging for the service is a perk, John Lundberg is eager to increase his ability to serve the community while also finding out the true value of an antique firearm. The certification increases validity in the court systems when he has been asked to place value on firearms or collections in multiple types of cases.
“It allows us to help lawyers with estates and families with divorces, bankruptcies, things like that,” he said. “If they need to know the values of specific guns, we can help them out with that and provide that with a professional form and a certification number with my name as an appraiser and it gives it some legitimacy in court proceedings.”
Most of all, his wife said, the process is fun. It keeps them researching for the next great firearm find.
“It makes things fun and interesting when you can say the history of something,” John Lundberg said.