Beware of Fake Guns on Auction Websites UPDATED

toyGun

I have removed the article published here. Our policy is only to post unique content. I was not aware that this article had been distributed to a number of bloggers at the same time.

You readers also made it clear you did not like the underlying message of the article. My reason for posting this was to educate people to be careful what they buy, not to attack any one company.

Fake vintage guns are not different to artwork and antiques, fakes abound. Be careful.



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.


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  • Simonsays

    Great post, these scams should be published and the unreliable auction houses should be exposed.

    • John

      Yeah, good thing this site has published the Julia’s rebuttal where they show that RIA is actually the unreliable auction house…oh wait.

  • Zachary marrs

    I saw this pissing match on TTAG, I was hoping it wouldn’t come here.

    • USMC03Vet

      I wasn’t going to say anything because RIA is heavily into Forgotten Weapons and TFB promoting of Ian’s new whatever he’s doing video series. I’m glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t want this type of shens showing up here.

    • There won’t be a pissing match here. At least not for long. I’d like to think we won’t do that.
      His intent was to just point out how easy it is to get taken on a fake gun paperwork or not.

      • Zachary marrs

        Too late.

        Both houses have sold fake stuff.

        JDJ has posted a reply over at ttag, where it accuse RIAC of much of the same.

        Just contact JDJ and ask for their rebuttal, and bury this.

  • echelon

    First TTAG, now TFB? Why are you guys getting into auction house cat fights?

    And for the record, if you are also going to print RIA’s side of the story then you should also print Julia’s side as well, as TTAG has done. It’s the right thing to do ethically, from a journalistic standpoint.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/10/daniel-zimmerman/julias-response-rock-island-auctions-gross-misrepresentations/

    • Zachary marrs

      The ethical thing to do would have been to stay out of it

  • Beeblebrox

    “It’s Mickey Mouse, mate. Spurious. Not Genuine. And it’s worth fuck-all.”

    • Sam Schifo

      What a great movie.

      • USMC03Vet

        Hell yeah it is. Snatch is my favorite movie.

  • AndyT

    I thought TFB avoided this kind of crap?

    • We do which is why Steve deleted it after finding out it was misrepresented as a unique post just sent to us not the entire planet.

  • you cant spell art without AR

    I’m surprise the Chinese have not got in to this?

    • USMC03Vet

      They have. RIA was just recently in the business of auctioning off cheap Chinese street pieces claiming it was something of value.

      The plot thickens…..

      • John

        Do you mean the mystery guns from the pre-WW2 days when there was an arms embargo on China?

  • RonCatdaddy

    And never mind the postal service and LE will do NOTHING, I mean NOTHING, if a seller does not even DELIVER a gun to a buyer!! I bought one via Gunbroker, paid with a US Postal Money Order, and the creep would not deliver! The USPS, ATF, and other LE would do NOTHING about it!! They said the fella must commit MORE crime for him to be pursued!! Ya believe that!!??!! And then to top that off, when I tried warning other buyers about the thief on Gunbrokers forum, they booted ME off!! I KNOW this sounds like Twilight Zone material…..but it is ALL true, and I have the documentation!!

    • simon

      That does suck. Am I right that there is some fraud protection through credit cards or Paypal?

    • Did you try the Postmaster General? Since they used the US Postal service it my be Mail Fraud…..

  • Kip Hackman

    I am VERY surprised and disappointed in you Steve. You post this utter BS from RIA and don’t even bother to read & post James Julia’s rebuttal to these baseless allegations. I will be contacting James Julia, as they are local to me, and will inform him you have reposted this hit piece without even including his rebuttal. Farago is a tool who deals in fake drama, and I thought TFB was not like that. I thought wrong, and am extremely disappointed in your decision. Your readers deserve better.

    • simon

      What rebuttal is going to make those ridiculous claims about the guns’ provenance less absurd?

      • Kip Hackman

        The one posted, written by James D. Julia himself posted on TTAG several days ago.

        • Cymond

          So … a guy writes down stories that gun owners tell him, and then later purchases guns that he believes are the same guns that were previously discussed according to their serial numbers.

          That’s not what I would call strong evidence. If you’re going to claim that a certain gun was used to deliver a coup de grace to Custer, you need more than just a family story.

  • greensoup

    If you read the rebuttal its not very convincing. The guy heard stories and kept a book. Later if he “just happened” across one of those guns he would buy them. That was accepted as truth by the auction house.

    Umm yeah. ok. I have the gun that Hitler used to kill himself in my garage. I have a piece of notebook paper with a note that I wrote to myself that says its true. See how nicely that works.

    People says its unethical to post it. Its pretty obvious that both auction houses aren’t doing any real legwork to verify anything about their listings unless somebody else tells them. Buyer beware.

  • MattInTheCouv

    i can see the value in posting an article warning folks that they can never be too careful about faked guns and whatnot. what i cannot see, though, is posting an article written by one side of an incident involving 2 parties. the article is mostly about the specific incident, veiled in the guise of a cautionary tale. i think i’m in agreement with others here that intentionally or not, TFB has seemingly chosen to parrot one parties propagandistic musings in an interwebs gun community pissing match.

  • Nicks87

    Fake guns? What, plastic fake? Decorative fake?

    • Cymond

      Fake antiques. The article explains it pretty well if you read it. There’s an issue of common guns being altered to resemble more valuable guns, or being given a false history. One of the oldest clichés was to engrave “CSA” to a Civil War era revolver, because official Confederate weapons are relatively rare, since the Confederacy used anything they could get. A similar issue would be to claim that a particular gun belonged to a famous person. Can you imagine how much a gun would be worth if you could prove that it belonged to Hickok, Masterson, or Earp?

      • MattInTheCouv

        it’s a funny reference. you didn’t get it

        • Nicks87

          Yep just a little obscure humor from Super Troopers, one of my favorite movies.

      • dan citizen

        “Can you imagine how much a gun would be worth if you could prove that it belonged to Hickok, Masterson, or Earp?”

        Hickok 45? I don’t know that his owning it adds much value…

        🙂

  • Don Ward

    So what difference is there between what that auction house is allegedly doing and the story of our Sacramento gun theft?

    • Cymond

      It’s the difference between fraud and theft.
      You can only be defrauded if you engage with the fraudulent party, and nothing is taken forcibly.

  • I have removed the article published here. Our policy is only to post unique content. I was not aware that this article had been distributed to a number of bloggers at the same time.

    You readers also made it clear you did not like the underlying message of the article. My reason for posting this was to educate people to be careful what they buy, not to attack any one company.

    Fake vintage guns are not different to artwork and antiques, fakes abound. Be careful.

  • Michael

    “Our policy is only to post unique content.”

    I find this hard to believe because TFB has posted numerous articles that came from other sites. As for the drama, leave it behind and write an original article about fake guns, give an example that does NOT come from TTAG.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • John

      About 75% of what I see on this site I’ve seen posted on the Internet before it’s posted here. Hardly unique.

      • You misunderstand. This was presented to us as a unique post for us. After you guys told us otherwise it was gone.
        As far as other post those are strictly about products which was never meant to be unique.

    • It didn’t come from TTAG believe me. As Steve said it was something sent to us as unique and as he said it turns out it wasn’t. That and the readers opinions caused the article to be removed. Steve explained it well.

  • MattInTheCouv

    Thanks for doin’ the right thing, TFB. Kudos to you.

  • dan citizen

    I missed whatever happened her. But what I see in the aftermath is that TFB:

    1) Has high journalistic standards
    2) Listens to and respects readership opinions
    3) Is not ego bound, and can be flexible vs needing to be right.

    Good on ya’ mates.

  • Secundius

    You must have met DIS-Honest Dave, at your local Gun Show.