Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Best of Theme Guns: Joker #1

Joked themed guns remain popular, so much so that I had to break this category into more than one post as well.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Some of the most Valuable Guns in the World

This is not meant to be a list of the most expensive guns in history, just a collection of stories and pictures of guns that either sold for a considerable amount of money or would sell for a paltry sum if they came onto the market. In no particular order:

This is the actual gun used by Harrison Ford in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, it is a Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector MkII in .455 Webley (odd choice) that was modified for blanks.

Side note: Fans of the film may remember that Belloq took his gun and the golden idol from him in the Peruvian jungle, when he packs his bags for Egypt he has the gun again, or maybe it's a different gun of the same model?

Back in 1893 America was to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering the new world. It was a different time then; people still saw Columbus as the brave explorer that he was.
An exposition, aka World's Fair, was to be held in Chicago that year and many companies wanted to show off their goods and services.
Smith & Wesson was on their own at this time, no longer using the Rollin White patent to have exclusive rights to the modern revolver, they now had to compete on an even playing field.
S&W had one of their New Model #3 Target Revolvers engraved by Gustave Young and added a set of mother of pearl grip panels.

The gun was originally supposed to be shipped to competition shooter Oscar Olson, the delivery was delayed until after the Exposition closed on October 30th. 
The gun was sold at auction for $94,000 in 2022.

In 2014 this Colt 45 revolver with provenance proving it was once owned by old west lawman Wyatt Earp sold for $225,000. Despite what some might say, it is not the gun used by Earp in the Shootout at the OK Corral.

This Colt produced model of 1877 brass "bulldog" Gatling Gun is an interesting unit. Chambered in .45-70 it was made of brass with five steel barrels. I am curious as to why only 5, you would think the gun could have been made with more, but I am sure there is a good reason.

The Gatling Gun with its accoutrements was sold in 2021 at the Rock Island Auction for $345,000.

The 1860 Henry rifle was the gun that Winchester on the map so to speak, it was an improvement on the Jennings/Hunt designs. Patented and introduced in 1860. There were 14,000 model of 1860 Henrys built and all but a few of them (200-275) had brass receivers.
This particular gun was made in 1862 and purchased that same year by a Kentucky man for $42. There was some speculation that the rifle served in the Civil War, but there is no proof, based on its exceptional condition I would wager the gun was purchased after he enlisted, specifically to be left behind for his wife and children to use for home protection.
The gun sold at auction in 2013 for $603,750.

This cased Colt Walker is known as the Danish Sea Captain Walker. Purchased in 1847 by Danish Captain Neils Hanson, the gun came with a bill of sale signed by Samuel Colt himself. 
The gun went back to Denmark, where it was in the Captain's private collection and was passed down. During the Nazi occupation in WWII the gun was buried to protect it from confiscation. After the war it was dug up and was still in pristine condition.
At some point the gun made its way back to the US and it was sold at auction on April 13th 2018 for $1.6 Million.


When the topic of "most expensive gun" comes up, people often will think of the infamous "Million Dollar Luger". If you have never heard of this, let me briefly explain.

At the turn of the century (1900) the U.S. Military was investigating new options for a military sidearm. They had purchased some Luger pistols from Germany as well as many domestically built guns.
Then in 1906 the U.S. Army announced a trial would be held to pick the next sidearm. There was one stipulation, the pistol had to be 45 caliber.
Only three of the six guns submitted were actually tested, the Colt pistol that would become the 1911, the Savage (model of 1907) and the Luger, built by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken or DWM for short. BTW translated it simply means German rifle and ammunitions factory.
There were two of these 45 ACP Lugers produced, one has disappeared, no one knows the whereabouts of it, the other has been in private collections and has come up for sale a couple of times. In 1989 it sold for $1 million, thus the nickname, in 2010 it sold for just shy of $500K. It is shown above, serial #2, (serial #1 is still MIA).

This collection of Napoleons guns and a sword sold at auction in 2021 for an astounding $2.85 Million. Each of the items is ornately engraved and gold plated. All of the guns are flint lock as that was the standard of Napoleon's time (1769-1821). Included in the auction was his sword and scabbard, one musket, two pistols and two pocket pistols.

See more here.

This Ruger M77 rifle with a Mannlicher style stock (Ruger calls it the "International model") in 243 Winchester would normally not gather much attention at an auction. 

This rifle, however, did get a lot of attention was it was once owned by deposed Iraqi dictator Sadam Husein. It is believed the rifle was acquired by the Saudi Royal Family and offered to Sadam as a gift. 

Sadam would often shoot the rifle in the air during parades, using blank cartridges I am sure.

The rifle was expected to get some traction with buyers due to its documented history, which included CIA procurement and disposal paperwork. The estimate was between $7K and $15K, but it sold for much more than that, the hammer dropped at $48,875 in the 2013 Rock Island Auction.

Butch Cassidy's 45 Colt, turned in during an attempt at amnesty in 1899, was sold at auction in 2012 for $175,000.

This Colt model of 1910 pistol is extremely rare. Only 12 were built for the military trials, this one is serial #7. While the model of 1910 didn't fair all that well at the trials, it was a step toward the model that did get adopted and served the US military for 75 years (and still serves today, to some extent). Any pre-WWI M1911 garners attention at auction, so you can imagine the buzz this one amassed.

It sold at auction in 2021 for $149,500.

The Cosmos Meteorite Grip 1911 from Cabot Guns

A pair of these finely crafted 1911s, with grips made from the 4.5 billion-year-old Gibeon meteorite that landed in sub-Saharan Africa in prehistoric times, were displayed at the 2016 SHOT show in Las Vegas.

Cabot had purchased a 77-pound chunk of the meteorite, enough to build more grips or perhaps some guns. 
They did just that, they shaped two 1911 pistols from that cosmic metal, they call them the "Big Bang Set" alluding to the age of the meteorite. The guns are estimated to be worth in excess of $1M.

Click here to see more.

The 1911 pistols above, were not the only guns crafted from the Gibeon Meteorite. Loveless Performance crafted a single action, percussion revolver, built from a chunk of the same meteorite. They call it the "Space Cowboy". No word on what this might be worth, see more here.