If it was something I might be able to retire off of, I'd probably refrain from shooting it. But here is a .410 Model 42 on Rock Island Auction Co.'s site that is in excellent condition (97%), and is somewhat rare (based on it's serial number) . . . and it's only estimated to bring between $1,600 and $2,500. If it were mine, I'd likely shoot it.
If the gun is in "near mint" - (I agree with Randy that "mint" is basically NIB_ to me near mint is exceptional condition but has been fired. If the gun has been fired I see no problem shooting it a little more and cleaning it properly after--- that should not have any impact on value.
You will have to consider if you are holding it because of an expected value increase or holding it as an "investment". If that is your primary reason for having it _ I advise you not to shoot it. If on the other hand, you have it because you either always wanted one, have family memories of one (maybe your dad or uncle had one long ago) and your intent is to not part with it other than to pass it down -- then by all means take care of it but shoot and enjoy it.
I have had several 42's and regret selling them but the ones I have had, had no direct sentimental attachment (not owned by my dad or uncle) - so when I was offered, well lets just say, I was made an offer I did not refuse-- I sold them probably 25 years ago.
:yeah: If I could honestly say it’s NIB unfired I wouldn’t shoot it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have a problem with shooting it while being careful to maintain its condition as much as possible. I’ve picked up several collectible ones at pawn shops that after getting them home and inspecting them, I was convinced they hadn’t been fired since leaving the factory. I could never sell them as unfired since I couldn’t be sure so I went ahead and enjoyed them. Every gun is fired with a proof load before leaving the factory. According to where they are in the finishing process there may be fouling visible from that.
Thanks guys I appreciate the input. I’m a firm believer in there’s no point in buying a gun if you’re not going to use it, but also didn’t want to impact the value of the gun. I have no attachment to it and everything has a price. I also probably need to do a little homework on my value classifications. Thanks again for all the help, if there’s anyone knowledgeable around Hattiesburg I’d love a second opinion.