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Commemorative and collectible handguns are unique in the world of firearms. Handguns manufactured and sold as collectibles from the outset are rarely collectible in the traditional sense of the word, wherein historical significance, rarity, quality, and age influence monetary value. Commemorative handguns are generally created in limited editions to honor historical events, special celebrations, specific organizations, state centennials, and local communities.
Most collectible firearms appeal more to brand loyalty, personal interests, and sentimental attachments than to the tangible worth in terms of hard currency. In the case of specially-made handguns, value is very subjective and open to interpretation and profound influence. Depending on the handgun in question, commemorative and collectible pieces can have great appeal to collectors and enthusiasts, particularly if they are considered to be significant in some way or connected to a prominent individual or cause.
Notable examples of this genre of handguns are the factory-engraved stainless E-series Model 1911 Smith & Wesson created to recognized 100 years of semi-automatic handgun production, Colt's Home State Tribute Government model .45-caliber pistol in a glass-topped wooden case, and the George Washington Harpers Ferry commemorative flintlock pistol issued by the American Historical Foundation.
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