Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1105: Colt Model 1877 'Bulldog' Gatling Gun with Tripod

Auction Date: September 7, 2019

Phenomenal and Incredibly Rare U.S. Army Colt Model 1877 'Bulldog' Gatling Gun with Tripod

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $275,000 - $400,000

Phenomenal and Incredibly Rare U.S. Army Colt Model 1877 'Bulldog' Gatling Gun with Tripod

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1877 Gatling Gun
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70 Government
Barrel: 18 inch round
Finish: bright
Item Views: 4650
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 70
Class: Antique

Few firearms in history, especially American history, are as well-known as the Dr. Richard Gatling's "Battery Guns." They were designed to tremendously increase the amount of firepower a small group of men could unleash and thus in theory decrease the size of standing armies and the then incredible losses of men due to disease in the camps. They are widely seen as the predecessors of the true machine guns that proved so devastating to massed infantry formations in World War I and forever changed military strategy. The first Gatling guns were used in the American Civil War, and the U.S. military continued to use multiple versions of the design into the early 20th century. The U.S. Army purchased seventeen of these Model 1877 "Bulldogs" which are listed as serial numbers 190 and 203-218 per Wahl and Toppel on page 80 of "The Gatling Gun." This "Bulldog" falls right within that range. They also note: "Probably the best of the Gatling Guns, the Bulldog enjoyed a considerable sale in the U.S. and abroad." They were light enough for use by the cavalry and offered a significant increase in firepower compared to men armed with single shot Springfield Trapdoors. The 1877 was also more enclosed which provided more protection to the various components. It has five barrels, a fixed blade front sight offset to the right with "N" and "5" on the front, adjustable iron notch rear sight, "No 211" on the casing by the right trunnion, "N" on the sides of the trunnions, ".45. CAL." on the right side of the breech cover, "5" inside the cover, "GATLING'S/BATTERY/GUN/PAT. NOV 4. 1862/MAY 9. 1865/FEB 28. 1871/APR -9.1872/MADE BY COLT'S/PAT. FIRE ARMS/MFG CO/HARTFORD, CONN./U.S.A." on the plate on top at the rear, "N" and "MODEL/1877" by two arrows on top at the rear, three replacement, non-fitting box magazines, and an oak tripod with iron hardware. The best inspection cover is a replacement.

Rating Definition:

Excellent overall with attractive natural aged patina on the "brass" gunmetal, scattered minor dings and scratches, mostly distinct markings, seam in the cover, and general mild aged and storage related wear. Mechanically excellent. Writer knows of no other "Bulldog" Gatlings that will be sold in the future, if ever!

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