Massive gun auction being held by RIA

The Rock Island Auction Company are holding a massive auction next week (April 25, 26 & 27). Thousands of guns are being auctioned from some prestigious collections. All the guns can be viewed online and it makes for interesting reading.

Here are a few interesting firearms I came across:


German WW I Mauser Model 1918 Tankgewehr 18 Anti-Tank Rifle

This is a nice example of a rare and desirable German massive, single shot, bolt action, 13 mm anti-tank rifle. Known as “Elefant-Buechse” (elephant rifle) by the German Army. The Tankgewehr 18 (T-Gewehr) was an up-scaled, single-shot version of the Model 98 infantry rifle equipped with a bipod and pistol grip. The T-Gewehr could penetrate the armor of any Allied tank used during WWI. Some 15,800 T-Gewehr rifles were manufactured in 1918. Most were destroyed after the war because no one brought them home as war trophies (probably because of it’s size). The massive 39 inch barrel has a fixed, inverted “V” front sight and tangent rear sight graduated to 500 meters. The receiver is marked with the Mauser Banner and dated “1918”.

Estimated Price: $5,500 – $8,500

Lot #: 334


Czechoslovakian Model ZH29

This is a rare example of a Czech Model ZH29 semi-automatic rifle with distinctive, finned, cast, aluminum handguard, European walnut stock, forearm and detachable magazine. The Model ZH29 was one of the first successful military semi-automatic rifles. Introduced in 1929, it was purchased in limited quantities by Ethiopia and Thailand. In 1929, a ZH29 chambered for the .276 Pedersen cartridge was tested by the U.S. Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground as a possible semi-automatic replacement for the Model 1903 Rifle. The ZH29 features a milled steel receiver with a tangent rear sight graduated to 1600 meters.

Estimated Price: $12,000 – $15,000

Lot #: 453

The first impressions I get looking at the rifle is not the distinctive aluminum handguard, but that the bolt carrier looks like it was installed on its side.


Morrill, Mosman and Blair Elgin Cutlass Pistol with Scabbard

An extremely rare example of an Elgin Cutlass Pistol made by Henry Morrill, Silas Mosman and Charles Blair in 1837-38. The Elgin Cutlass Pistol was patented by George Elgin of Macon, Georgia, in 1837. The unique design combined a box-lock percussion pistol with a Bowie type knife. The Elgin Cutlass Pistols were equipped with a distinctive, form-fitted, black leather scabbard with a metal throat. The U.S. Navy contracted for 150 Elgin Cutlass Pistols to arm the Wilkes South Seas Exploring Expedition in 1837. The Wilkes Expedition pistols were made by Cyrus B. Allen and N.P. Ames manufactured the blades. Apparently spurred by the Navy order, the firm of Morrill, Mossman and Blair was established to manufacture Elgin Cutlass Pistols in August 1837. Silas Mosman previously worked as an engraver for N.P. Ames and subsequently returned to work for that firm in July, 1838. In contrast to the Navy cutlass pistols manufactured by N.P. Ames and Cyrus Allen; Morrill, Mosman and Blair manufactured both the pistol and the Bowie blade. This pistol has a round, four inch, .34 caliber rifled barrel with brass front sight blade.

Estimated Price: $18,000 – $25,000

Lot #: 3001

Hat Tip: Ammoland

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • das

    beautiful weapons

  • “gunner”

    its not quite correct to say “none” of the mauser “elephant rifles” were not brought back as souveniers. back when i was cub scout age i saw one in the cellar of a friend’s house on staten island. i was told then that it was “non-functional”, lacking some parts, but my memory, even at age 73 is clear. it was the same rifle as in your posted pic, so while they may be rare as hen’s teeth there are, or were, at least a few brought back.

  • K.D.

    Find the auction amazing, and see a few items I would love to have.
    The ZH 29 is an interesting weapon…..

  • Nice weapons, but too expensive for the common man.

  • Valhalla

    Bottom one reminds of the KA-BAR pistol bayonet… wonder where they got the idea…

  • “gunner”

    given the time period i’d guess it was inspired by jim bowie’s knife, as suggested in the text, but i’ve no idea who decided to combine the knife and pistol as a boarding party weapon. i haven’t been around quite that long.

  • V.I.P.

    Many people said that anti-tank rifles are so unsuccessful. For example, the Mauser model 1918 is already outdated when it entered service. World War 1 tanks had a better chance of breaking down than being destroyed with an anti-tank rifle! I know it sounds kinda dumb but technology isn’t easy.

  • “gunner”

    that tickled an old memory of a mention in chipchase-dowell’s book “the webley story” of a bayonet for the mkIV .455 webley revolver during the ww1 period, though i’ve seen no mention in historical records of it being actually issued or used. google does turn up mentions of it, here’s one as an example, though with no illustrations. i’ll have to hunt up my copy of chipchase-dowell’s book, i seem to remember a photo of the bayonet fitted on a revolver in it.

  • “gunner”

    and yet another “pistol bayonet”, this from ka-bar, it seems some ideas just never go away…