Last Sunday, we talked about the five rare guns seen in the upcoming Morphy firearms auction. Today we’ll present you a similar article but this time we are taking a look at the most interesting, rare and unusual firearms that this author found in the #76 May 2019 Rock Island Premiere Firearms Auction catalog.
RIAC premiere auctions are huge events with thousands of unique firearms consigned and this one is no exception. You’ll find everything from blunderbusses to modern machine guns, from horse spurs to tanks and a lot more. Without further ado, let’s see what cool lots we found in this catalog. As always, the model names are linked to the corresponding Rock Island Auction pages where you can find more and higher resolution images as well as more detailed descriptions of the lots. Our list goes in no particular order.
This Colt Dragoon revolver known among collectors as The Millikin Dragoon has all the features that make any particular firearm valuable in the eyes of the collectors – it’s rare, it’s engraved by a well-known master, it is in almost original condition, it has an incredibly rich history and well-documented ownership pedigree. Besides being a beautiful American firearm, the primary reason that it made into this list is that with an estimated price range of $1.2 to $2 million, it may set a new world record of a single firearm ever sold at an auction house. The current record holder is the “Danish See Captain Walker” revolver that was sold a year ago at RIAC for $1,840,000.
Manufactured in 1857 and bearing the serial number 16477 it is one of the presentation grade Dragoons many of which were presented to prominent historical figures such as the Russian Czar Alexander II or US Secretary of War John B. Floyd. The gun is beautifully engraved by Gustave Young. This revolver was made for the Union Army Colonel John Minor Millikin, Jr. After Colonel’s death in the Civil War, the revolver was inherited by his son, Paul Minor Millikin, who later became a Colonel and fought in the Spanish-American War and WW I. Later, the revolver found a home in the collections of many well-known collectors. To learn more about this revolver watch the video where Kevin Hogan, the president of RIAC, tells its story in details.
Estimated price: $1,200,000 – $2,000,000
Another Colt and another gem of American history. This Colt XM16E1 rifle was the first test model to feature a solution to the main upgrade recommendation of the Technical Coordinating Committee – the forward assist mechanism. It was presented by Colt to U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Earle Gilmore Wheeler. As seen in the below-embedded image, the rifle had a unique serial number – COS USA 1 (most likely stands for Chief Of Staff, US Army, 1). Before being presented to General Wheeler, this test rifle was refinished. It has blued finish in most of the steel parts, buffed/polished polymer parts and matte gold plated barrel, upper and lower receivers.
If you want to learn more about this firearm, watch the RIAC video dedicated to this gun.
Estimated price: $150,000 – $275,000
Jumping from the US army guns to a James Bond-style device. Even 007 would dream about this kind of a gadget – an umbrella cane with a six shot double action rimfire revolver hidden in the handle. There is even a stiletto blade that is the extension of the cylinder central pin. The revolver is released from the umbrella by pressing the button located at its left side. The letters P.T. are engraved on the frame which are probably the initials of French gunsmith P. Touchard who is known for making several other discreet firearms like this.
Estimated price: $4,000 – $6,000
This is the case when you can bring a glove to a gunfight. Designed and patented by Stanley M. Haight in 1944, this glove mounted gun known as the Sedgley Fist Gun, was meant to literally pack a punch. The single-shot gun is chambered in .38 S&W. Its trigger is a spring-loaded plunger located next to the barrel and protrudes over it. Once the trigger is pressed in, the gun discharges. When you have the glove on and make a fist, the muzzle and trigger of the gun will protrude afront of your knuckles. It was in the US Navy service as the Hand Firing Mechanism Mark 2. However, according to Rock Island Auction, it is unknown if this weapon has ever been used in combat.
Estimated price: $11,000 – $16,000
Often times the value of any particular weapon is determined by whom it belonged to regardless of the reputation of the person. This Walther PP was presumably made for Nazi Germany’s chief of Schutzstaffel (SS) Heinrich Himmler. It is suggested by the grade of the pistol (chrome plated and almost completely engraved), SS and Nazi Germany symbols, the monogram “hH” engraved on the backstrap of the grip and the claims of the consignor.
According to the consignor, this pistol was brought to stateside by Private First Class John DeGeorge of Recon Company, 813th Tank Destroyer Battalion who is believed to have won it in a poker game in Europe. Since then the pistol remained in DeGeorge’s family and this is the first time the gun is auctioned.
Estimate Price: $150,000 – $250,000
Overall, the May 2019 Rock Island auction is a little bit different in that there are a number of military vehicles consigned to it. Although, earlier we saw tanks and other vehicles in the Rock Island Premiere Auction catalogs, as far as I remember it never was as much as it is in May 2019 Rock Island auction. If you browse the catalog, you can find an M47 Patton tank, Swiss Pz61 tank, M8 Greyhound, M-16 Half-Track, a lot of Jeeps and even a Soviet MiG-21 “Fishbed” supersonic jet fighter!
The May 2019 Rock Island Premiere Firearms Auction will take place on May third, fourth and fifth. As soon as they publish the results of the auction, we’ll put together an article telling about the top most expensive firearms sold during the auction. We’ll see if the Millikin Dragoon will become a new world record holder.
Images courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company, www.rockislandauction.com