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February 21, 2023

February Sporting & Collector Auction Realizes $8.7 Million

By Kurt Allemeier

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Unseasonably warm weather on preview day hinted at a magical auction week that drew $8.7 million in Rock Island Auction’s recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction that included a Colt Walker, Henry rifles, and more than 7,300 guns on offer.

With temperatures peeking into the 50s in mid-February, it didn’t seem sustainable, and it wasn’t, as snow fell on RIAC’s first in-person auction of the year. What didn’t fall was bidding action. In-person bidders found plenty of competitors on the phones and on the consoles during the week.

RIAC president Kevin Hogan touted a number of price point guns during the auction, including a Colt Walker on offer during the auction’s first day. Hogan pointed out that the company has previously sold Colt Walker revolvers that reach into the millions.

So how did it do?

Day One

This Colt Walker was one of 1,000 made in 1847 for the military and this revolver was one of the first batch of 220 revolvers with C Company markings shipped to Vera Cruz for the Texas Rangers. With spirited bidding from the floor and online, the historic Colt pistol achieved $105,750 in just the second hour of the auction.

Flintlock pistols found an audience on the auction’s first day. A copy of a Samuel Baum attributed Kentucky flintlock pistol drew plenty of attention from bidders, hammering for $7,637, while a Scottish all-metal flintlock pistol marked Bissell and a flintlock pistol attributed as American each brought $5,287, more than tripling their high estimates. A U.S. marked Harper’s Ferry Model 1805 flintlock pistol achieved $4,993, hopping past its high estimate.

The Colt Walker wasn’t the only wheel gun to perform well on the auction’s opening day. A Smith & Wesson 320 revolving rifle, one of the 977 made, soared past its high estimate to achieve $11,750. A Civil War U.S. Colt Model 1860 Army revolver with a factory letter and inscribed to “CAPT. H.K. SIMMONS 5TH FLORIDA” drew a respectable $5,287, outperforming its high estimate. A U.S. Smith & Wesson Schofield Second Model collected $5,875, more than topping its high estimate.

A Savage Model 1907 trials pistol chambered in 45 ACP collected $9,400 to beat its high estimate, while a cut-away Colt Model 1905 nearly tripled its high estimate by realizing $6,462. A pair of Colt 1911 pistols performed admirably on Day One. A World War I U.S. Colt Model 1911 with holster more than doubled its high estimate to achieve $6,462 while a World War II U.S. marked Colt 1911 drew $4,700. A World War II German Mauser “S/42” Code 1938 dated Luger brought in $3,525, easing past its high estimate. Not to be left out, a Beretta 92FS Billenium pistol powered to a cool $5,875 near the end of Day One, topping its high estimate.

Among long guns, a Civil War Henry easily surpassed its high estimate, drawing $18,000 while a Sharps New Model 1859 rifle in the Berdan Sharpshooter range realized $15,275. A folding stock Japanese Nagoya Type 1 paratrooper carbine brought in $5,287.

Day Two

Lever action rifles got the action started strong on Day Two. Within the first half hour, an engraved New Haven Arms Company Henry rifle made in 1862 rocketed past its high estimate to achieve $41,125. A second Henry rifle manufactured in 1865 nearly doubled its high estimate, hammering for $35,250. A pair of Winchester rifles also performed well early in the day. A Winchester Deluxe Model 1876 flew past its high estimate for $7,637 and a Winchester Deluxe Model 1886 dashed to $11,162.

Other long guns attracted bidders, too. A U.S. surcharged French Charleville 1766 percussion musket collected $5,875, more than twice its high estimate. Sporting guns were well received. A Parker Brothers 28 gauge VHE double barrel shotgun earned $11,162 to slide past its high estimate and a Beretta Model 694 Sporting B-Fast over/under shotgun brought a $5,287 payday. Late in Day Two, an AYA 410 bore hand detachable sidelock shotgun found its way to $4,112 on the podium, too.

Military guns drew attention on Day Two. Among U.S. military weapons, a World War II U.S. Inland M1A1 semi-automatic paratrooper carbine collected $4,700, topping its estimate, while a U.S. marked World War II Winchester Model 97 trench style shotgun doubled its estimate, realizing $5,581.25. A U.S. International Harvester M1 Garand made in 1953 eased past its high estimate with $3,525. Not to be outdone, a World War II German Mauser Model G41 M hammered for $11,162.

This Civil War era LeMat grape shot percussion revolver is known as being popular among high-ranking Confederate officers in the Civil War. This revolver realized $16,450 in the recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction.

While long guns seemed to be the stars of Day Two, some handguns also found the spotlight on the podium. A Civil War era LeMat grape shot percussion revolver more than doubled its high estimate, collecting $16,450. Colt Single Action Army revolvers always find an audience and it was no different on Day Two as a sheriff’s style Bisley Model SAA drew $4,700 and an antique Colt black powder frame SAA hit for $4,993. A Remington Model 1888 transitional Single Action Army revolver also achieved honors, going for $5,581.

Day Three

Colt Single Action Army revolvers shone on the auction’s third day. The top SAA was chambered for .44 rimfire that went for $18,800 while another chambered for .41 Colt crossed the podium for $10,575. A Browning Brothers shipped SAA attained $8,225. Many others Single Action Army revolvers, like a second generation cased consecutive pair that brought $6,462, stayed below five digits while still going over their high estimates.

Single Action Army revolvers weren’t the only Colts to run rampant on the day, with a Civil War Colt Model 1860 Army collecting $6,562, more than doubling its high estimate, and a Confederate attributed Colt Model 1860 Army with holster nearly doubling its estimate at $5,287. Two Colt M1911A1 pistols also topped their high estimates attaining $4,993 and $4,112 each.

Smoke wagons beyond Colt drew heat during Day Three. Smith & Wesson, along with some less well known revolvers also did well. A Smith & Wesson Model No. 3 American and a registered Magnum each drew $4,993 when they crossed the podium while a S&W Commercial No. 3 Russian Third Model collected $3,818. A Forehand & Wadworth Old Army Single Action and a British Webley & Scott No. 5 Army & Navy Express revolver topped their high estimates for $2,643 each.

[( Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum realized $4,993 during the recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction.

As Day Three dawned, few would’ve pointed to arrowheads being a hot commodity, however a trio of lots heated up a cold Midwestern day, earning $4,112, $3,818, and $2,937, all going past their high estimate, including the first one that more than doubled its high.

Foreign weapons got their passports stamped with strong returns, led by a PPS-43C semi-automatic pistol with a case and accessories that easily doubled its high with $6,462, while a DWM 1917 dated military Luger with capture papers brought home $3,525. A Steyr Model 1903 Mannlicher-Schoenauer bolt action rifle earned $5,875, manhandling its high estimate, and a cased pair of engraved Belgian percussion dueling pistols collected $4,700 on the day.

One of only about 2000 made in 1999 for the turn of the Millenium, this Beretta 92 FS "Billenium" sold for $5,875 in the recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction.

Price point Winchester lever guns continued to perform well as they had all auction, but non-lever gun Winchesters achieved nice prices as well, including a Model 70 African Super Grade bolt action rifle that realized $5,875, and a U.S. Marked Model 1897 trench shotgun earned $8,225, easily surpassing its high estimate.

Among long guns that weren’t Winchesters, a Johnson Model 1941 semi-automatic rifle brought in $9,400 while an engraved A.H. Fox HE Grade “Super Fox” double barrel shotgun earned $6,462.50. A three-digit serial number Howa/Armalite AR-180 rifle earned $5,875. It wouldn’t be mistaken for a long gun, but an RPB/Port Arms M10, a fully transferable machine gun collected $11,162.

This RPB/Port Arms M10 full auto machine gun sold for $11,163 in the recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction.

Day Four

Price point guns, collectible firearms that can be obtained far below the six- and seven-figure prices of superstar guns like John Wayne’s Colt six shooter or a pair of Ulysses S. Grant Remington revolvers, continued to be the buying trend on the auction’s final day as antique lever guns and revolvers overachieved their modest high estimates.

A Henry rifle, manufactured in 1865, got the auction off and running, crossing the podium for $17,625 in the first hour of bidding, while several Winchesters, including a Model 1866 and a Deluxe Model 1886, realized $5,287 and $5,875, respectively. A Winchester 1885 High Wall rifle achieved $4,112 to surpass its high estimate. Lesser-known guns like a Roper Repeating Rifle Co. revolving shotgun found its way to $2,643, and a Whitney-Kennedy lever action rifle brought in $2,350 to best their high estimates.

Henry rifles always seem to be in demand by collectors, and this won was won for $17,625 in the recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction.

Along with grabbing those price point buys, another rule of thumb is that a trench shotgun is going to do well when it crosses the podium, like a Winchester Model 1897 trench shotgun that strutted to $4,700 on the auction’s last day, meeting similar results from earlier in the auction. Sporting guns also hit the price point sweet spot on Day Four, like a Krieghoff Model 32 over/under shotgun four barrel set with case that collected $6,462.

Don’t forget the Colt revolvers always offer a nice return on investment. A Single Action Army from 1875 chambered in .45 Colt returned $6,462, doubling its high estimate. Along with the always reliable Single Action Army revolvers, a Colt Model 1861 Navy Cartridge Conversion revolver collected $4,700 while a “Root” Sidehammer percussion revolver also drew $4,700. Turning away from Colt, a Bergmann Model 1896 No. 3 pistol brought in $4,993.

This Bergmann Model 1896 No. 3 pistol obtained $4,993 in the recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction.

Thank You!

The four-day auction had plenty to offer collectors, from the Colt Walker to the Henry rifles to Winchester lever action rifles and wheel guns galore, so thank you to all our bidders, whether you were in person, via phone or through Rock Island Live.

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