NRA 2016: Rock Island Auction Brings Rare Guns to the Floor

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

Expos like the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting or the SHOT Show are usually places to find the latest and greatest in the firearms world. Sometimes, however, exhibitors bring along relics of the past, forgotten firearms that haven’t seen the public spotlight in decades or even centuries. For Rock Island Auction, these kinds of items are their business, and in reflection of that, the auction company brought some extremely rare and unusual rifles to the NRA 2016 showroom floor.

Fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell an old wood-and-steel gun.

In the photo above, from top to bottom:

That wasn’t all RIA had to show off; of particular note were,

An M1 Garand in .22-06 Duplex, second from top (note the thinner barrel):

An original Model of 1903 Springfield with rod-bayonet and early front sight (middle):

And a Model of 1903 Springfield equipped with an ultra-rare Pedersen Device:

The very definition of "top secret firepower" in 1918.

If you are at the show this weekend, be sure to check out all the fascinating weapons at Rock Island Auction’s booth (No. 3239). If not, follow along at home as we cover the show here at The Firearm Blog!

Nathaniel F
Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at

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  • MPWS MPWS on May 21, 2016

    Anyone who knows the feel, could you tell me what is true benefit of physically owning them instead of reading about them and seeing pictures? (I am ignoring the collector's value.) After all it's the knowledge which counts, isn't it?

    • See 1 previous
    • MPWS MPWS on May 21, 2016

      @Nathaniel F. Fair answer. Unfortunately for me I cannot afford that option.

  • Gusto Gusto on May 21, 2016

    Quite silly all this collecting
    you can still buy perfectly fine surplus garands if you want right?

    If you want a semi-auto 30-06 there are modern rifles which are better on all accounts. I'd recommend a Benelli Argo or Sauer 303
    or for you yanks any 308 AR, I myself would have chosen a saiga
    we describe dead things an instrinsic non-utalitarian value. and it is the same thing with cars or any other collectible.

    To shelf perfectly fine tools is a damn shame, it is a waste of resources that could have been put to better use. in more ways than one to

    those old rifles could have been sold for their real user value for somebody who need it. and we wouldn't use up resources making even more tools where not all will be used properly.

    If you are just collecting to look at why you need a functional rifle?

    Same with paintings or whatever, this collecting has created the travesty that is modern art. I too can put a toilet in my living room but If I did that I would be called a weirdo, but if Duchamp did it he was brilliant

    Somebody collects rare record, but I enjoy the actual songs just fine on spotify.
    I do collect records myself, I buy them a dollar a piece in the local thrift store because they are pretty to look at, I could do the same with a printer, some clue and cardboard but I am lazy.
    A pretty painting is just as pretty as a poster from IKEA as it is hanging in the louvre.

    Atleast I tell myself this because I don't have the means and the opportunity to collect all these cool stuff ):

    • See 1 previous
    • Gusto Gusto on May 21, 2016

      @iksnilol okey one in a museum and one in a vault for safekeeping, or better yet make a digital scan of it and preserve on the series of tubes.

      It is not being made for a reason...

      I am just bitter btw, but there is some truth in the bitterness :P

      We live in a world of rampant consumerism, but wanton collecting is equally stupid. it is the same world where Kim Kardashian is more famous than Håkan Lans

      One rarer batch of garands, or if Patton himself fondled it does not affect the function of the garand in question. the added value is just fluff, fake and the emperors new clothes.

      When we attach value that is besides function to stuff Blood diamonds are born, from 5 feet away you can't tell if a rich lady is wearing diamonds or zirconias

      Function over form
      Usability over coolness
      Need over want

      I bought a new car a while back, I wanted a 76 corvette but I drive all year round, I haul kids around, I need to stuff the odd dead pig in the trunk I got a volvo 740 you know,

      Collecting for the sake of collecting creates hybris and a market bubble
      people killed for beanie babies you know.