About Rock Island Auction Company
Rock Island Auction Company has been the #1 firearms auction house in the world every year since 2003. We auction tens of thousands of firearms, bladed weapons, military artifacts, and firearms accessories annually. We have a habit of excellence, regularly breaking and re-breaking our own records and redefining success in our industry as more and more customers admire our results and trust our reputation. Located along the mighty Mississippi River, our 86,000 square foot facility hosts nine firearms auctions each year; five are open to the public and the remaining are Online Auctions with no bidders present on site. We are always seeking new consignors of all levels. If your collection is a single gun or one thousand; worth $1,000 or $1,000,000, we would be happy to help you make the most possible money for your items. We can also purchase guns outright or sell via private treaty. There is no limit to what we can consign or buy.
Premiere: Our flagship auctions are hosted three times annually; once in the spring, fall, and winter. Each Premiere Auction lasts three days and are filled with rare, unusual, and mint condition world-class collectibles. A Preview Day is held prior the day before each Premiere Auction in our on-site Preview Hall. The catalog for a Premiere Auction is a three volume set; one for each day of auction. They are spiral bound to lay flat for easier viewing. These full-color catalog sets are filled with high resolution photography, rich color, high and low estimate range, an in-depth description, and a summary of the item’s condition. It is not uncommon for a new world record to be set in any Premiere Auction. All items may also be searched and viewed via our website’s online catalog.
Regional: Our Regional auctions are made up of affordable antiques, beginning collector’s items, usable sporting arms, and many non-firearm lots. The concept of the Regional Sale was initiated by the demand that our customers developed for the “everyday collector” type guns.These auctions are held twice annually, winter and summer, and in recent years have expanded into massive, 4-day events often containing more than 10,000 firearms. Many of the lots offered will contain multiple firearms. The Regional Auction also provides a Preview Day held the day before the auction begins in our on-site Preview Hall. The catalog for a Regional Auction is a single, black and white volume with a brief description, estimate, and a condition rating scale. These sales were originally titled Regional because of our strong encouragement for buyers to come and see these items for themselves. All items may be viewed in full color on our website’s online catalog.
Online Only: The newest of RIAC’s auction formats, the Online Only auction is our only auction not open to the public. Held three times each year, all bidding must be done via sealed bid, live telephone bid, or via our live internet bidding console: RIAC Live. As opposed to most online auctions, which tend to follow an eBay-like format, we wanted to bring people as close to an auction experience as we could. That’s why our auctions happen in real time and with live, streaming audio/video. Typically, items in our Online-Only auctions are placed there as they do not meet our minimum lot value to earn a spot in a Premiere or Regional sale. Again, as with our Premiere Auctions, our website features the entire Online-Only Auction catalog of items and is searchable by model, serial number, manufacturer, lot number, keyword, and more. We do not print a physical catalog for our Online Only Auctions.
The Gun Auction Origins
Pat Hogan, founder of Rock Island Auction Company, grew up on the south side of Chicago in a large family. His father passed when was just 15 years old, so Pat stepped-up to help financially support the family by taking part-time work while finishing high school, quickly establishing his relentless work ethic at a young age. After attending Illinois State University for two years, Pat joined the Navy in the fall of 1974 and became a machinist’s mate on a fast attack nuclear submarine and worked on its nuclear reactor. He would receive his Honorable Discharge for a non-combat sustained injury.
His military career over, he would return to college, but again find himself leaving the confines of the Windy City to own and operate a car wash/gas station in the Quad Cities. It would be the first of a string of successful business operations. Whether it was gas stations, car washes, a video rental chain, a photo processing business, or even a photography studio, Pat Hogan has found a way to make his businesses thrive and grow, frequently earning awards and accolades along the way. Not even 4th stage, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma could keep down the former Navy man.
In the early 90’s the photography side business would burgeon into an entity of its own as Pat began producing and designing auction catalogs for two other auction companies. In 1991 the business would produce two books on firearms, Luger: The Multi-National Pistol and U.S. Automatic Pistols. Two short years later, Rock Island Auction Company was born and held some of their first gun auctions in the garage of one of Mr. Hogan’s other businesses. From these humble beginnings, the seeds of further success were sown for collector firearms auctioning.
The World Leader for Antique Firearms
In 10 short years since its inception, Rock Island Auction Company became the #1 firearms auction house in the world, an undisputed position the company has held ever since. RIAC has set numerous world records for individual pieces as well as industry records for annual sales, often breaking their own records again and again for antique and collector firearms. When you are ready to sell your guns, please contact us to find out how we get the most money for your gun collection.
- 2004: $14.6 million
- 2005: $16 million
- 2006: $19 million
- 2007: $28.6 million
- 2008: $31+ million
- 2009: $28 million
- 2010: $32 million – Setting the industry record!
- 2011: $32 million
- 2012: $47 million – A new industry record
- 2013: $48 million – Another new record
- 2014: $47.5 million
- 2015: $51 million – Another record smashing year!
- 2016: $63 million – An unprecedented success
- 2017: $63+ million – AGAIN setting an industry record
Such progress has pushed the company into larger accommodations two separate times, including a 2011 move into RIAC’s current state of the art, 86,000 square foot facility. Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, 160 miles west of Chicago, it is the finest brick and mortar auction house in North America.
In 2016, Pat Hogan named his son Kevin as President of Rock Island Auction Company, while staying on board with the company as its Chief Executive Officer. In the first year since assuming the helm, Kevin has overseen the single highest auction total in company history, the highest annual sales total in company history, and both of the company’s highest selling single items, including a world record for the most valuable single firearms ever sold at auction.