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June 26, 2023

Sporting & Collector Auction Realizes $6.53 Million

By Kurt Allemeier

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The summer heat hit the Midwest just as bidding began in Rock Island Auction Company’s June Sporting & Collector Auction and the bid prices were quickly sizzling in the three-day sale at the company’s Illinois headquarters. The auction that offered more than 5,800 firearms realized $6.53 million.

Rock Island Auction Company’s in-person auctions are “the best gun show you’ve never been to” and that was certainly the case this June as visitors got the opportunity to view and examine guns on the Preview Day ahead of the auction.

Early lever guns proved to be top sellers in the three-day event. An engraved New Haven Arms Co. Volcanic Carbine ($23,500), a Henry rifle ($19,975), and a Civil War era Henry rifle ($15,275), -- Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3, respectively, each had their day’s highest sale price. A DWM Borchardt Model 1893 pistol with holster and stock rig ($10,575) was the runner-up price on Day 1, while Day 2’s second place was taken by an Inland M2 Automatic Carbine conversion kit ($12,925). Day 3’s bridesmaid was a Winchester Model 1866 that doubled its high estimate and realized $11,163.

About 1,000 of these Volcanic carbines were made making them scare. This lot sold for the highest price in the recently completed Sporting & Collector Auction, earning $23,500.

Day 1 Highlights

A Colt Paterson Second Model ring lever rifle was one of the top items on the auction’s opening day, realizing $16,450 within the first 20 lots, while a Civil War Sharps New Model 1859 percussion rifle topped its high estimate, returning $8,225. A cased pair of engraved Wogdon-marked flintlock pistols brought $5,581, more than doubling its high estimate, and a Massachusetts Arms Company Greene Breech Loading carbine surpassed its high estimate for $4,700. A P.W. Porter Second Model Percussion Turret rifle drew $4,994.

Among more modern guns, a three-digit U.S. Springfield Armory M1 Garand soared over its high estimate for a $5,875 return, and a Kriegsmarine-marked Mauser Model 1934 semi-automatic pistol achieved $4,113. A cased Thierry Duguet-signed engraved Astra Broomhandle pistol brought $3,525, more than $1,000 over its high estimate, as did a World War 2 German Berlin-Lubecker “duv 44” Code G43 semi-automatic rifle. A bit of an oddity in the auction, six Norinco SKS rifles in a Gatling Gun configuration returned $4,113 to top its high estimate.

This DWM Borchardt Model 1893 pistol with holster and stock rig returned $10,575 on Day 1 of RIAC's June Sporting & Collector Auction.

At Rock Island Auction Company, Coltsalways fare well and Day 1 was no different. A cattle brand engraved Colt Single Action Army topped its high estimate for $7,050, and an engraved first generation Colt SAA realized $4,700, the same as a Colt Richards cartridge conversion Model 1860 Army. A Colt Super .38 with carved grips eased past its high estimate to $4,406.

Winchesteroffered classic firearms up and down its lineup and they are always consistent. An inscribed Winchester model 1866 carbine realized $6,463 to slip past its high estimate, while a First Model 1873 rifle collected $4,994 early in the day. Later, a 20 gauge Model 21 double barrel skeet shotgun also surpassed its high estimate for $7,638.

Day 2 Highlights

A Lithgow/Valkyrie Arms DeLisle Carbine, a Class III/NFA short-barrel rifle might’ve had the best return on the day. It more than tripled its high estimate, hammering for $8,225.

A strong representation of Colt revolvers and especially the Single Action Army, recorded strong prices in the auction’s second day. Along with a pair of consecutively numbered Single Action Army revolvers that sold for $9,400, a cased pair of Single Action Armies achieved $5,581.  A U.S. Oliver Ainsworth-inspected SAA landed at $6,463, while a silver-plated and engraved Single Action Army crossed the podium for $5,875. An engraved and silver-plated Hartford-English Dragoon collected $8,813. A Colt “Border Patrol Heavy Duty” Official Police revolver nearly tripled its high estimate, achieving $5,288.

This Lithgow/Valkyrie Arms DeLisle carbine hammered for $8,225 on the second day of RIAC's June Sporting & Collector Auction. The Class III/NFA short-barrel rifle more than tripled its high estimate.

A wide variety of long guns performed nicely on the second day. A three-digit Springfield M1 Garand bettered a similarly numbered gun sold on Day 1, realizing $7,638, while a Historic Arms Bren MK II-SA semi-automatic rifle matched it at the same price. A U.S. Springfield Armory M1C semi-automatic sniper rifle was right behind at $7,050. A Winchester Model 1897 slide action trench style shotgun and a World War 2 U.S. Inland/Underwood “Line Out” M1 Carbine each landed for $4,700 each.

Western long guns also proved their mettle on the day. A Winchester Model 1866 carbine, collecting $5,875, and a Smith & Wesson 320 Revolving Rifle with stock and factory letter, drew $5,581, both surpassing their high estimates.

Day 3 Highlights

Lever guns made an impression on the auction’s final day. Joining the strong prices of the Henry rifle and the Winchester 1866 was a Northwest Mounted Police-shipped Winchester Model 1876 saddle ring carbine that crossed the podium for $7,050 and another Winchester 1866 carbine that earned $5,875.

The long gun game wasn’t all lever action fun. U.S. military surplus had a nice day, too. A Johnson Model 1941 semi-automatic rifle nearly doubled its high estimate with a return of $9,400, while a U.S. Irwin Pedersen M1 semi-automatic carbine brought in $7,050 to double its high estimate, and a U.S. Springfield M1C semi-automatic sniper rifle collected $5,875 also topped its high estimate.

A German rifle, a World War 2 Walther “ac/44” Code K43 rifle snagged $4,700. It wasn’t alone among German guns that performed well. A World War 1 DWM Artillery Luger and a World War 2 Walther “ac/41” Code P.38 pistol rig both popped over their high estimates for $4,113 each.

Sporting arms also found their way into the Friday highlights. An L.C. Smith/Hunter Arms Specialty Grade 20 gauge shotgun topped its high estimate, achieving $4,993, and a Winchester Model 101 Pigeon Grade XTR lightweight shotgun slipped past its high estimate for $3,525. Late in the day, an FN Herstal Special Police rifle with an IOR scope and box leaped past its high estimate for $4,700.

Colts found their audience during Friday’s auction session, but it wasn’t a Single Action Army that led the way. A Model 1905 pistol proved to be tops at $7,637, tripling its high estimate. An engraved Colt sheriff-style Single Action Army eased past its high estimate to $5,875. A Third Model Dragoon with stock and an Ainsworth-inspected Single Action Army topped their high estimates, realizing $5,288 each.

This Colt 1905 pistol tripled its high estimate in RIAC's recently completed June Sporting & Collector Auction, earning $7,637.

Thank You!

Rock Island Auction Company’s three-day Sporting & Collector Auction was another great event thanks to our consignors and bidders, whether they were in person, on the phone, or online. We look forward to more great summer fun with our next Arms & Accessories Auction on July 12, and our Premier Auction, Aug. 25-27.

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