Continuing our series of articles dedicated to covering the major American firearm auctions, today we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting, rare and unusual guns seen in the online catalog of the upcoming October 2019 Morphy Extraordinary, Sporting & Collector Firearms Auction. As usual, the Morphy auction catalog includes dozens of such firearms and the list you’ll find below is merely what this author picked from the plethora of unique pieces of firearms engineering and history consigned to the auction. The list goes in no particular order and the names of the lots are linked to corresponding Morphy Auction pages where you can find more detailed descriptions as well as more and higher resolution images. At the end of each lot description, you can see the estimated price range that the auction house predicts each of the lots to be sold at.
There were only three functional Pancor MK3 Jackhammer select-fire 12 gauge bullpup shotguns ever made two of which were destroyed making this particular gun the only surviving one. This gun was developed to become a new military shotgun. It was actually tested by the US military but never adopted. This specimen is probably one of the first prototypes because it has some design elements which were improved in other Jackhammers that were submitted to the military. Particularly, this sample has a rather difficult magazine/cylinder replacement procedure requiring partial disassembly of the weapon and it is also very heavy weighing in at 17 lbs due to the use of cast parts. Interestingly, the forearm you see in the pictures is borrowed from an MP5SD and it’s not what the Jackhammer was originally designed to use.
Estimated price: $100,000 – $175,000
This belt-fed iteration of the M-16 was basically an experimental firearm. Only 20 of these guns were ever made before the project was canceled. Chambered in 5.56x45mm, this machine gun has a 21-3/4″ heavy profile barrel with a bipod attached right behind the three-prong flash hider. Here is how Morphy Auction describes the feeding mechanism of this gun:
Colt then added a very clever belt feed mechanism, that sits in the magazine well when the rifle is opened and locks in when the rifle is closed. The vertical actuator attaches to a special cut in the bolt carrier group to actuate, and a slot was added on the right side, where a feed chute would feed spent links into a separate compartment of the feed box.
Estimated price: $50,000 – $100,000
This is indeed a really rare and unusual example of the WW2 German MP-40 SMG. This submachine gun has a distinctive enlarged magazine housing that takes two MP-40 magazines and allows switching between those in a matter of pressing a latch in front of the magwell and sliding the two side by side oriented magazines left or right. The idea was to have an ability to faster resume firing when the magazine was empty compared to changing the magazine in a standard MP-40. This sample is one of the three MP-40/I SMGs registered in the USA.
Estimated price: $70,000 – $100,000
Originally designed for aircraft use, this particular Italian Villar Perosa dual SMG was adapted for ground use. It consists of two separate submachine guns joined together. The spade grip has two thumb triggers which you can use to fire each of the SMGs separately or push them simultaneously to fire both. Each of the guns is fed from its own top-mounted magazine and must be charged separately. The Villar Perosa is chambered in 9mm Glisenti which is dimensionally identical to the 9x19mm but it was loaded to weaker pressure levels.
Estimated price: $40,000 – $60,000
Have you ever thought if Tommy Gun is the M1 submachine gun, why the Grease Gun is M3 and not M2? Well, because there was an M2 SMG which we are looking at here. Designed by George Hyde, this SMG was supposed to be a cheaper to manufacture, simpler and lighter-weight gun to replace the Thompson submachine gun. And in fact, it was quite a good design. Although this SMG was actually adopted by the US military, it wasn’t manufactured in any significant quantities due to some issues with setting up the manufacturing process. Marlin was granted the contract to manufacture the gun but by the time they started delivering the M2 SMGs, the contract was canceled, because by that time, the same designer, George Hyde, has developed the “Grease Gun” which was a much cheaper to make SMG and was adopted as the M3 submachine gun.
Estimated price: $30,000 – $35,000
The design of this remarkably ingenious and simple firearm was patented in 1858 by a gentleman named George Morse. This rifle was later made in South Carolina during the Civil War. It is a breech-loading single-shot rifle. Upon pulling up the hinged brass block, the bolt slides backwards and opens the action. When that hinged brass block is pressed down, it pushes the bolt forward and gets captured inbetween the bolt and rear wall of the receiver thus locking the action. In the image below you can see the open action.
Another very interesting design feature of Morse carbine is that in the era of cap and ball firearms, it used a centerfire self-contained cartridge. Two of the original .52 caliber Morse carbine cartridges are consigned to the October 2019 Morphy Auction as a separate lot.
Estimated price: $20,000 – $25,000
When you first look at this gun, it may seem to be just some “standard” model of a percussion revolver. However, if you take a closer look you’ll notice that the trigger guard is unusually small. And that is because this is a huge 10 gauge revolver made by cutting down and modifying a Colt Model 1855 revolving shotgun. To have a better idea about its size, let’s look at the numbers – the overall length of this revolver is 20-5/8″ and it weighs 6 lbs 8 oz.
Estimated price: $7,500 – $15,000
To be precise, this is actually a parts kit because the receiver of this firearm was cut to show how its action works. This machine gun is the result of the collaboration of Samuel McClean with Lieutenant Colonel O.M. Lissak. It later evolved into the Lewis gun when the McClean-Lisak patents were given to Colonel Lewis. The steampunky look of the gun is probably due to it being a prototype proof of concept gun.
Estimated price: $7,000 – $10,000
And that’s the list of eight most rare and interesting firearms that we picked from the catalog of October 2019 Morphy Extraordinary, Sporting & Collector Firearms Auction. This auction will be held on October 22 and 23. Stay tuned to read our article telling about the most expensive firearms sold during this auction.