Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 2586: Fully Automatic Colt R80 Monitor BAR Machine Gun

Auction Date: December 1, 2018

Exceptionally Rare Early Original Colt Model R80 "Monitor" Fully Automatic Class III/NFA C&R Registered Machine Gun

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $90,000 - $140,000

Exceptionally Rare Early Original Colt Model R80 "Monitor" Fully Automatic Class III/NFA C&R Registered Machine Gun

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: BAR
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 30-06
Barrel: 18 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 55288
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 262
Class: Class III

This is an exceptionally rare early Colt Model R80 Monitor, fully automatic, C&R registered machine gun. This was an early 1920s version of the Colt Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) that was produced and sold in very limited numbers to various law enforcement agencies, mainly out East. It was basically an improved and slightly redesigned version of the original Browning design that incorporated a small pistol grip on the rear of the lower receiver for better handling, in lieu of a pistol grip type buttstock, a shorter forend, and a slightly shorter barrel (only 18.5 inch) making it easier to handle as well as a redesigned three position gas regulator/plug and a completely new and redesigned muzzle break/flash hider. As noted, these were marketed to law enforcement agencies, especially the early FBI and sheriffs for use in combating the various gangsters terrorizing the Midwest banks. Their main value was that the police and sheriffs eventually realized that the standard Thompson SMG in 45 ACP could not always penetrate the heavy steel fenders and car bodies used by the auto industry in the 1920s and 30s. However, this model was chambered in the considerable more powerful 30-06 caliber which made it extremely effective in combating the various criminals elements in the US. The top of the receiver is marked: "COLT AUTOMATIC MACHINE RIFLE/MODEL R 80 CAL. .30/BROWNING PAT FEB. 4. 1919/APR. 14. 1925, AUG. 4. 1925/COLTS PAT FIRE ARMS MFG. CO./HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A./NO. C-103110". With the raised area behind the ejection port marked "COLT/MONITOR". It is fitted with a blade front sight with an integral front sight protector and a tangent rear sight, similar to the Lyman/Thompson SMG sight, that is graduated 2-6 (200-600). It has an all blued metal finish with a walnut stock, forend and pistol grip plates. It is complete with one all blued 20 round magazine and an original black leather sling. Colt manufactured only 125 Monitors with the majority being sold to the FBI. According to the consignor, this Monitor came from the Custer County, Montana Sheriffs Department, which makes this gun one of only 24 guns Colt sold to state prisons, banks, security companies and city, county and state police departments.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 95% of the original blue finish overall with the sides having browned out from handling over the years. The barrel, muzzle break and gas tube retain bright original Colt blue finish. The wood components are all in very fine condition with their nice original matching medium brown color overall showing only minor handling marks. There is a slight stress/age crack visible on the right side of the buttstock starting directly at the center section of the receiver and extending back for approximately 3 inches. A super nice high condition and very rare early Colt Model R80/Monitor BAR type machine gun. NOTE: This item is restricted as a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) that is classified as a "Curios or Relic" as defined in 27 CFR, 478.11. These weapons are still subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.

Customer Product Questions

There are currently no customer product questions on this lot