I was going to write another overview of the most expensive firearms sold at recently ended Rock Island April 2018 Premiere Firearms auction in the same fashion that I have been doing it before. However, this time the auction was quite different – it set 10 world records of firearms sold at auctions. So instead of doing a top ten list, I thought it would be more interesting for our readers if I dedicate the article to the firearms that set these price records. And this time we will start with the most significant and expensive one. The record titles link to the corresponding Rock Island Auction Company website pages where you can learn more about these firearms. It is also important to understand that these records refer to sales in auction houses because it is impossible to know the sums of all the private deals.
Exceeding the estimated price that it was expected to be sold at, this civilian model Colt Walker revolver not only set a record of the most expensive single firearm ever sold at an auction but also the most expensive Colt firearm ever sold. This gun is the only known existing original cased Colt civilian model Walker revolver.
There were 1,000 Colt Walker revolvers made for the US military. Shortly after completing the government order, they made one hundred additional Colt Walkers for the civilian sales and as presentation guns gifted to high ranking military officials. The civilian Colt Walker revolvers have serial number range of 1000-1100. This particular one is the serial number 1022. This gun is known among collectors as “The Danish Sea Captain Walker” because it was purchased by Danish sea captain Niels Hanson during a trip to New York City. The gun was also consigned with the original bill of sale handwritten by none other than Samuel Colt himself!
For more information about this revolver watch the Rock Island Auction video embedded below.
This deluxe special order Winchester Model 1876 lever action rifle was factory engraved by John Ulrich. The rifle is chambered in .40-60 Winchester and has an octagonal barrel. The barrel and magazine have a blued finish. The receiver, forearm cap, hammer and lever are color case hardened. The rifle also has a high-grade walnut stock and forearm.
Many of these unique features combined with the exceptional condition of this rifle make it an extremely desirable piece for the collectors.
Here is a RIAC video dedicated to this gun.
World Record Price for a martial Henry rifle – $195,500
This is one of the Henry lever action rifles that was purchased by the US government and issued to the troops. Its collector value is not only in its historical significance but also in its excellent condition. The barrel and magazine retain 90% of the original blueing. This lot was accompanied by documentation proving its history and authenticity.
World Record Price for a Colt Super 38 – $149,500
This pistol was made in 1930. It is chambered in .38 Super and has a 5″ barrel. The pistol was also factory engraved and is preserved in almost original condition.
This factory engraved Winchester Model 42 pump action shotgun was a special order gun made in 1946 for actor Robert Taylor. The gun is chambered in .410 bore and has a 28″ barrel. This shotgun also has a high-grade American walnut furniture.
This is an FN EXP-1/SLEM prototype semi-automatic rifle. It was manufactured in 1945 or early 1946. It is chambered in 7.92x57mm Mauser.
Here is an excerpt from the RIAC website describing the history of this rifle:
This specific rifle was actually a follow on to the 1937 Prototype semi-automatic rifle developed by the senior FN engineer Dieudonne Saive in pre-war Belgium. In 1941, after the invasion of Belgium, Monsieur Saive escaped to England and carried with him his original semi-automatic rifle design that he continued to work on at Enfield Lock, with the cooperation of the British Government. That design eventually evolved into this model, the EXP-1/SLEM or Self Loading Experimental Model. This was such a significant and extremely robust rifle design that it eventually evolved into both the FN 49 rifle as used by Belgium and later into the world famous FN-FAL rifle used by both numerous countries throughout the free world.
This rifle has a serial number 47. It is one of about 50 such rifles ever manufactured and one of the few surviving samples.
There were 20,000 of such revolvers ever made in the early 1860s. About half of the produced revolvers were purchased by the US government. According to RIAC, almost all of the issued models were extensively used and worn. However, this particular model despite being issued was well preserved and today it is in almost new condition.
World Record Price for a Sauer 38H – $28,750
This is a prototype Sauer Model 38H pistol. It is chambered in 9mm Kurz. These pistols were made in very small quantities and even less of them survive today.
This Colt Police Positive Special revolver is factory engraved and has beautiful factory grips. It is chambered in .38 Special and has a 4″ barrel.
And that’s the list of 9 firearms that set 10 world records during the recently ended Rock Island April 2018 Premiere Firearms Auction. I hope you enjoyed it!
Many thanks to Joel Kolander for the provided information.
Images from www.rockislandauction.com