Top 5 Most Expensive Firearms Sold in May 2019 Rock Island Premiere Firearms Auction

    Top 5 Most Expensive Firearms Sold in May 2019 Rock Island Premiere Firearms Auction (1)

    Several weeks ago we took a look at the five most interesting, rare and unusual firearms consigned to the May 2019 Rock Island Premiere Firearms Auction. As always, RIA’s premiere auction was full of one of a kind lots. The auction ended past Sunday and the company has published the list of prices realized. As usual, we took a look at those prices and found the top 5 most expensive lots sold during the auction.

    Our list goes in the price ascendancy order with the most expensive lot being the number one and shown at the end of the article. Names of the lots also link to the corresponding Rock Island Auction catalog pages where you can find more photos and more detailed descriptions of the firearms. Without further ado, let’s see what made into the top 5 list this time.

    #5 – $322,000

    U.S. M47 Patton Main Battle Tank

    Top 5 Most Expensive Firearms Sold in May 2019 Rock Island Premiere Firearms Auction (12)

    The U.S. M47 Patton tank was an American main battle tank designed after World War II. It was the successor of M46 Patton tank and the predecessor of M48 Patton III tank. According to Rock Island Auction, over 8,500 of M47s were made by Detroit Tank Arsenal and American Locomotive Company from 1951 to 1953. Besides the US military, this tank was in service in 21 other nations.

    This particular M47 tank was imported from Spain in the late ’80s.

    #4 – $356,500

    Engraved Walther PP Attributed to Heinrich Himmler

    Often times the value of any particular weapon is determined depending on whom it belonged to. If it was in possession of any historical figure, regardless of the reputation of that person, then it will have a much higher value. 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, SS and Nazi Germany symbols engraved on the slide, the “hH” monogram 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.

    #3 – $425,500

    Hiram Maxim Presentation DWM Model 1902 Luger Carbine

    This is an original presentation grade DWM Model 1902 Luger carbine in perfect condition and with all the matching accessories. But what makes it really cool is that it was presented by the manufacturer to iconic American arms designer Hiram S. Maxim.

    The top of the chamber bears the following gold-inlaid inscription: “H.S.M./MARCH 15/1903”. The monogram GL on the rear of the toggle represents the initials of Georg Luger and indicates that most likely, Georg Luger himself supervised the production of this carbine.

    #2 – $644,000

    Colt No.1 Pocket Model “Baby” Paterson Revolver

    Percussion revolvers – a breed of firearms that always gets into our top 5 lists. In this case, it is a Colt Pocket Model Paterson Revolver No.1 (a.k.a. Baby Paterson) made in 1838. This .28 caliber handgun was the first revolver manufactured by Samuel Colt in his Paterson, New Jersey factory. Only about 500 such handguns were ever manufactured which makes them rare, to begin with, but it is even more rare to find one in such an excellent condition (98% of original finish retained) with its mahogany velvet-lined case and complete set of original Paterson accessories.

    To learn more about this firearm, watch the below-embedded video where Kevin Hogan, the president of Rock Island Auction Company, gives a detailed description of this gun.

    #1 – $1,667,500

    Colt Millikin Dragoon Revolver

    Sold for over a million bucks more than the gun on the second position, the Colt Millikin Dragoon occupies the first place of our list. With an estimated high price of two million dollars, it could set a new world record, however, it didn’t and the record holder of the most expensive firearm ever sold at an auction house remains 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 the Colt Millikin Dragoon revolver 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. Besides having such an impressive pedigree, this revolver is also in a virtually new condition retaining over 90% of its finishes. To learn more about this revolver watch the next video.

    The combined value of our top five lots is $3,415,500 which is about 17% of the total sum of $20 Million generated at May 2019 Rock Island Premiere Auction. Tell us in the comments section which one is your favorite?

    Images courtesy of Rock Island Auction

    Hrachya H

    Managing Editor

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. He also writes for and
    Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at [email protected]