Wheelgun Wednesday: Pancho Villa's Golden SAA Estimated to Fetch Nearly a Million Dollars!

Welcome back to Wheelgun Wednesday!  This week, we are taking a look at the most hotly anticipated and highly valued firearm to hit the auction block in Rock Island Auction Company’s premier auction in December.  Normally, a gold-plated and engraved 1st Generation Colt Single Action Army would be a hot item in its own right.  This particular model, however, has some serious historical value, having been inscribed and gifted to Pancho Villa in 1917.

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Elvis Presley's S&W Model 53 Revolver Sold For Almost $200,000

Rock Island Auction Company’s premier auctions always contain firearms that belonged to prominent figures such as renowned political and military leaders, artists, celebrities, etc. The recently-ended August 2023 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction was no exception and there was a Smith & Wesson Model 53 revolver consigned to this auction that once belonged to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley. The estimated price range that this revolver was expected to be sold at was $60,000 – $90,000, however, the King’s wheelgun was sold for over twice the estimated high price – $199,750.

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The Rimfire Report: 3 Rare Rimfire Rifles from August 2023 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction

Welcome back to The Rimfire Report, our weekly article series where we discuss everything rimfire – history, news, guns, ammunition, equipment, gear, sports and more. For today’s edition, we have three rare rimfire rifles found in the catalog of the upcoming August 2023 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction. While there are many amazing rimfire rifles consigned to this auction, in this author’s opinion, these are the top three in terms of rarity. Without further ado, let’s take a look at these unique specimens of the rimfire firearms world.

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POTD: SKS Gatling Gun

Today’s Photo Of The Day is from the catalog of Rock Island Auction Company’s upcoming Sporting & Collector Firearms Auction. It depicts a rotary manually operated firearm that is built with six Norinco SKS rifles. In other words, it’s an SKS Gatling gun!

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Highlights from Rock Island Auction Company's Premier May Auction

With a staggering $22 million in sales, Rock Island Auction Company’s Premier May Auction showcased an impressive array of collector firearms, military artifacts, accessories, and artwork that left enthusiasts and history buffs in awe. From the revered Beaumont-Adams revolver once surrendered by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to Zane Grey’s cherished Winchester Model 1895 rifle,  the list of notable pieces that stole the spotlight during this three-day auction extravaganza is pretty extensive and Rock Island Auction is excited to share the news, so I’ll let them do that in the press release below.

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Wheelgun Wednesday: Jefferson Davis Capture Beaumont-Adams Revolver

For today’s edition of Wheelgun Wednesday, we have another artifact of American history found in the catalogs of the Rock Island Auction Company. Consigned to the upcoming  May 2023 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction, this Beaumont-Adams percussion revolver belonged to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, who surrendered it to Union Cavalryman John Hines at the time of his capture. The revolver was presented to Davis by Robert Adams of London, the co-inventor and manufacturer of these revolvers.

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POTD: Damascened Orbea Hermanos Pinfire Revolvers

Today’s Photo Of The Day is from the catalog of the upcoming May 2023 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction and depicts a pair of damascened Orbea Hermanos pinfire revolvers. Damascening is a surface decoration technique of inlaying metals into one another, in this case, gold and silver into steel. This set of wheelguns consists of a 6.5″ barreled 11mm caliber Lefaucheux Model 1854 pattern single action revolver and a 7mm caliber rifled double action pepperbox. Both guns have a similar grape motif of damascene and ebony grip carvings. The set comes in a custom-fit case.

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Wheelgun Wednesday: S&W Schofield Revolver Attributed To Jesse James

A couple of Wheelgun Wednesdays ago, we took a look at a  Smith & Wesson Model No. 3  revolver from the catalog of the upcoming  December 2022 Rock Island Premier Firearm Auction that belonged to one of the most famous figures of American history, Theodore Roosevelt.   What we have today is another variation of the Model No. 3 revolver from the same auction’s catalog, a Smith & Wesson First Model Schofield revolver that is attributed to one of the most infamous figures of American history, Jesse James.

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TFB Behind The Gun Podcast #49: Joel with the Rock Island Auction Company

The Rock Island Auction Company was established in 1993 by Pat Hogan and has since grown to be one of the most well-respected and well-known names in the firearms industry for firearms auctions and other militaria collectibles and curios. Rock Island dedicates a considerable amount of time, and resources to acquiring new and old collectibles alike for their auctions, but does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work in researching each piece to asses not only its physical value but historical value as well. In the past, you’ve seen some pretty high-profile auctions featured here on TFB like the recent one featuring Han Solo’s DL-44 blaster pistol from the movie Star Wars (sold for over $1M USD). Today I bring on Joel from the Rock Island Auction Company to hear about their upcoming Premier Auction #87, as well as some of Joel’s personal favorite auctions from the past and some of the trends he’s noticed about the firearm collecting world during his tenure with RIAC.

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Wheelgun Wednesday: Theodore Roosevelt's S&W Model No. 3 Revolver

The 26th President of the United States of America, Theodore Roosevelt, was quite fond of both Colt revolvers and Winchester lever-action rifles. However, during the summer of 1898, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy (under President William McKinley), resigned from his prestigious position to instead be part of the action in the upcoming Spanish-American war. Roosevelt was officially commissioned as a Lt. Colonel for the 1st U.S. Volunteer Calvary and eventually traveled to San Antonio, Texas to train the Rough Riders. It was during this time that factory records show that this Smith & Wesson Model No. 3 revolver was shipped to him with detailing and engraving purportedly done by Gustave Young. This historically significant wheelgun is now being offered up as part of Rock Island Auction Company’s Premier Firearms Auction #87.

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Han Solo's DL-44 Blaster Sells for Over $1M at RIAC's Premier Auction

Most firearms that make their way from private hands through the Rock Island Auction Company usually sell for anywhere between tens of thousands up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, a few select items often fetch much higher prices stretching all the way into seven-figure territory. We previously reported that Han Solo’s DL-44 Blaster pistol from the 1977 film Star Wars would be going up for auction at the end of August. With the conclusion of the August 2022 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction, we’ve finally got the results and were surprised to hear that the DL-44 Heavy Blaster pistol prop sold for a whopping $1,057,500. Full details and the results from a handful of other famous pieces will be posted below.

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10 Obscure Flintlock Guns from August 2022 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction

Like any other Rock Island premier firearms auction, the upcoming August 2022 auction is also full of unique firearms of virtually every category. However, what caught my attention when I was browsing its catalog, was the amazingly large collection of various rare flintlock guns consigned to this auction, and in this article, we’ll take a look at the ten most interesting ones. While flintlocks may not be the most exciting type of firearms for many of you, trust me, what we are going to see today is absolutely mindblowing. Today we’ll see unicorns of this firearm breed, some of which are unbelievably advanced and innovative for the time they were made. I am talking about revolving and lever action flintlocks, a waterproof one, a punt gun and grenade launcher, combination weapons and multi-barrel ones. Doesn’t it sound intriguing? If yes, then without further ado, let’s take a look at our list of 10 obscure flintlock guns found in the catalog of the  August 2022 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction.

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Wheelgun Wednesday: Wild Bill Hickok's Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 Old Army Revolver

In one of the previous installments of our Wheelgun Wednesday weekly article series, we took a look at a  Colt 1851 Navy revolver attributed to Wild Bill Hickok that was consigned to May 2022 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction. Although everything indicated that the revolver belonged to Wild Bill, it was not 100% proven, but apparently, that was enough for the buyer who parted with $616,875 to purchase the revolver, a price that way exceeded the auction house’s estimated high price of $225,000. What we have in today’s edition of Wheelgun Wednesday is another Wild Bill Hickok revolver, a Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 Old Army, which is consigned to the upcoming August 2022 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction. According to Rock Island Auction Company, this revolver is solidly documented as owned and carried by Wild Bill Hickok.

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Han Shot First: RIA Auctions Off Han Solo's DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol

There are a handful of prop guns that I know almost anyone would want to have as part of their private collection. James Bond’s Walther PPK, John McClane’s Beretta 92, a genuine prop M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens, or even Han Solo’s famous DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol. Like most Star Wars “blaster” props, the DL-44 Blaster Pistol used by Han Solo in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is actually a real firearm with a bunch of stuff tacked onto it – not too dissimilar from 90% of the firearms you’d find on  Hot Gat or Fudd Crap. The DL-44 is now being put up for auction through the Rock Island Auction Company meaning if you’ve got the scratch, you can now potentially own a piece of well-known silver screen history.

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President Ulysses Grant's Revolvers Sold at RIAC for $5,170,000

The May 2022 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction ended last weekend and the lot with the highest estimated price, a pair of cased Nimschke engraved Remington New Model Army revolvers that belonged to President Ulysses S. Grant, was sold for a whopping $5,170,000 ($4,400,000 hammer price plus the buyer’s premium), way over the estimated high price of $3M.

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