I most vehemently recommend that you do not attempt to take it apart. Break it down maybe, but do not let a tool touch that gun. Odds of you having the proper screwdriver are miniscule, and the odds of you having the proper skills to disassemble it without marring something are less than that. Note how the screw slots are all aligned, just to start with. DO NOT LAY A TOOL ON THAT GUN!
Definitely contact someone with some references and do not send it to anyone. Take it, but don't leave it. Get better pictures, even if it means taking to a professional photographer, and send those to anyone you are considering as an appraiser. If they are still interested and want you to ship it to them, be sure to insure it.
This thing is a family heirloom first, and a lot of money second. Don't get in a hurry to do anything with it. Proceed slowly and cautiously. Things have a way of getting lost sometimes and you definitely don't want that to happen. If Moose is suggesting Christies or Sotheby's, this is a world class collector item and therefore very tempting to all kinds of folks.
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Last edited by DaTeacha; 08-02-2011 at 03:11 PM.