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Gun Collecting: Auction Posts 4.7 Million in Sales

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World War II U.S. Singer Manufacturing Company Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic pistol was the highlight of the auction estimated at $9500-$15,000. Final sales price: $40,250.

Rock Island Auction Company’s summer Regional Firearms Auction exceeded expectations by surmounting the high estimate by nearly $200,000 — posting $4.7 million dollars in sales. “Our Regional sales have truly become ‘must participate' sales within the gun collecting community” said Patrick Hogan, President and Owner of Rock Island Auction Company. “Nowhere else in the world is there the quantity, quality, and diversity of firearms up for auction with virtually no reserves.

“We had a 99% sell through rate this past weekend” added Hogan. The sale contained nearly 6000 firearms and 2680 lots.

“The beauty of our regional sales stem from their overwhelming variety; everything from original Henry rifles, genuine Civil War carbines and muskets, World War II firearms and militaria, to large ammunition lots, knives and edged weapons, gun cleaning supplies to modern new in the box shotguns, rifles and pistols” said Laurence Thomson auctioneer and RIAC’s Executive Director of Operations. “The reason for such success is our ability to cater to this diverse clientele which extends from collectors, dealers, investment buyers to general firearms enthusiast and history buffs” added Thomson.

World War II arms were among the most popular. “[O]ver the past couple of years World War II firearms have really taken off,” said Jessica Tanghe RIAC’s Executive Director of Client Services. In fact, the rare and desirable World War II U.S. Singer Manufacturing Company Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic pistol was the highlight of the auction. Originally estimated at $9500-$15,000, following fierce bidding the pistol commanded an impressive $40,250.

This Deluxe Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action rifle in 50 Express Caliber was valued at $4500-7500 but achieved an impressive $8625.

Other notable results included a U.S. Union Switch & Signal Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic pistol estimated $900-1300 which brought $4025. A U.S. Ithaca Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic pistol estimated $800-1300 went out the door for $2875. German Military firearms enjoyed comparable success as a Mauser “S/42” Code 1936 Dated Luger pistol with 1936 Dated Holster estimated at $1300-1900 brought $3162.

A World War II K98 Mauser Sniper rifle with ZF41 Sniper Scope Mount, with an estimated $1400-2250 value, sold for $2587.

World War II items were only the beginning of this sensational weekend. As always, Colts and Winchester outperformed their expectations yet again. A New Haven Arms Co. Henry Lever Action rifle estimated at $7500-12,000 went for $23,000. A Deluxe Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action rifle in 50 Express Caliber (estimated $4500-7500) achieved an impressive $8625. Meanwhile, an engraved antique Colt Single Action Army revolver estimated at $4000-6000 brought $6325.

Over the duration of the weekend Hogan estimates over 700 people registered to bid live while untold thousands submitted absentee bids via online, sealed, and telephone bidding. That massive number of bidders equates to nearly 16,000 individual bids on 2680 lots, meaning each item had on average 6 individual parties.

Other highlights include a Winchester Factory Custom Shop Engraved Model 21 Shotgun with Three Gauge (20/28/410), Three Barrel Set estimated $12,000-18,000 which brought $20,700. A Rare Smith & Wesson Lever Action Magazine pistol estimated between $6000-8000 went out the door for $9775. A Cased Pair of Joseph Manton London Percussion pistols estimated from $2000-3000 achieved a staggering $8050.

For more information regarding this sale or interest in selling with Rock Island Auction Company, call 800-238-8022 or visit Rock Island Auction’s next auction is a Premiere Firearms Auction scheduled for September 13th, 14th & 15th, 2013.

Recommended Resources for Gun Collectors:

2013 Standard Catalog of Firearms, 23rd Edition

Standard Catalog of Military Firearms 6th Edition

Gun Digest 2013, 67th Edition

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