What are the most valuable historical guns?


March 1, 2003, 04:16 PM
Just for fun...

This topic came to mind when I was reading about a pair of Colt Walkers that brought $2.2 million. The dealer was later nailed for using unfair tactics to inflate the bids.

I recall the Holland & Holland double rifle that was gifted to Teddy Roosevelt - he took it to Africa & killed an elephant with it, as did his great-grandson a few years ago. I think perhaps 5 years ago it brought over $1 million at auction.

I wonder what one of T.R.'s .405 Winchesters would bring?

Churchill's 1911 Colt?

Jim Corbett's tiger rifles?

:) If you know of the values of any megabuck collector's guns, please post - it would be fun to see which one is the most valuable collector gun.

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March 1, 2003, 04:58 PM
Pat Garretts Colt .45 that he used to kill Billy the Kid has been valued in excess of 1 million dollars but it would probably auction off for much more. It remains with his family who has refused to sell it all these years.

Brian Williams
March 1, 2003, 05:09 PM
Elmer Keiths sixguns would probably be pretty pricey
especially #5

March 1, 2003, 05:26 PM
The Luger #2 .45 brought to the Army for testing is worth a pretty penny.

March 1, 2003, 05:34 PM
Actually, the baby Luger that is supposed to exist would be one of the most "valuable historic guns" out there..

I read somewhere that is might be in Mr. Luger's personal collection, who knows?!:D

March 1, 2003, 06:20 PM
One of the 'Tales of the Gun' episodes on the History Channel is about valuable guns. Don't remember many particulars at the moment, but there were a few, including one of Hitler's, that would set me up for life if I owned them and sold them for the quoted price.

March 1, 2003, 06:36 PM
The baby Paterson colts are worth over a mil apiece, but heard on that Tales of the Gun that was mentioned above, that the most valuable gun ever sold was a Colt 1873 made in the 1920's & never fired. Don't remember what it sold for , it was over 2 mil.
It was a presentation grade that was never presented, think it was supposed to go the the secretary of the navy at the time.:rolleyes:

March 1, 2003, 06:59 PM
It was ordered by Sears and never sold for years. Laid in a back room until a Hollywood Star(?) asked about it, it was located and he purchased it.

March 1, 2003, 07:08 PM
I wonder how the Buntline Specials would rate?

March 1, 2003, 09:16 PM
Earp lost the Buntlines in the water while in Alaska looking for gold. John Wilkes Booth's Derringer is still available as are George Washington's saddle pistols.

March 1, 2003, 09:42 PM
I heard on the "Tales of the Gun" show that the rifle that shot Kennedy would be worth quite a bit if it ever went to auction.

March 1, 2003, 09:53 PM

I had also heard from several sources that the Sears gun was ranked #1, but I have not been able to verify it.


March 2, 2003, 12:23 AM
Custer's Bulldog revolver is still in the hands of someone in the Sioux Nation, I hear. Seems that would be fairly valuable.

March 2, 2003, 12:53 AM
telewinz - what gun are you refering to? I haven't heard of the "Sears gun" before.


March 2, 2003, 04:37 PM
The subject was on HC's "History of the Gun". It was an engraved (famous engraver?)single action colt .45 that laid around unsold at Sears in Chicago for a few decades. IIRC a famous gun collecting movie star of the 60's(not Gene Autrey) heard about it, asked a few questions and bought it. I guess we will both have to watch the reruns, the show in question only dealt with "collectable" firearms and how they have increased in value. The .45 Luger was one along with Hitler's personal PPK in .32 auto. A lot of Winchesters were featured like the 1 in 100 and 1 in a 1000 lever action models. IIRC all the guns were valued or sold for at least $1,000,000 or more.:what:

March 2, 2003, 06:40 PM
THe gun John Welks Booth used.

March 2, 2003, 07:09 PM
THe gun John Welks Booth used.

You beat me to it.

I would think that this would be the most valuable gun ever

March 2, 2003, 09:01 PM
What about Randy Weavers sawed off shotgun?

Sheriff wants to melt down Dillinger's Tommy gun
- Story
A Tommy gun stolen by John Dillinger
after a brazen 1934 jail escape in Indiana
could soon be molten steel.

Those would bring a pretty penny if they were in the NFA registry

March 2, 2003, 11:04 PM
The pistol used by Gavrilo Princep to murder Archduke Francis Ferdinand.


March 2, 2003, 11:36 PM
I believe Elmer Keith had Jim Corbett's .400 Jeffery double.


March 2, 2003, 11:37 PM
Han Solo's blaster's probably worth a good penny.:cool:

March 3, 2003, 06:45 AM
How about one of Leonardo Da Vinci's modified long range rifles?

I'd guess that would be pretty valuable, no?

Or one of the first "Hand Gonnes", essentially the first hand-held long arms? That would set your wallet back.

March 3, 2003, 07:03 AM
didn't patton carry some kind of ivory handled revolver in WW2? not sure what the make was, but it seems that might be worth something

March 3, 2003, 07:05 AM
Possibly the 1904 Baby Luger GL. Only one made Serial #10077B. Has "GL" marked on the rear toggle George Lugers personal sidearm.

What so damn funny is that Gun Traders Guide shows a NiB, Ex and Gd price. ROFL :D

Johnny Guest
March 3, 2003, 04:39 PM
tex_n_cal wrote Churchill's 1911 Colt? I'm not familiar with a particular .45 connected with Churchill, though I seem to recall reading that he carried one.

I'm pretty sure the handgun most associated with that grand old man was a C96 Mauser broomhandle he blooded at Omdurman. Some years back, I read that this pistol, simply engraved, Winston Spencer Churchill had shown up somewhere. THAT would bring a pretty penny at auction . . . .

Added: in running a Google search on "Winston Churchill pistol," I came up with one illusrtated at
It appears to be a large, double action, pinfire revolver-- Said to have been given to Churchill following his escape from the Boer prisoner of war compound in 1899. John Howard, a mine owner at Witbank, sheltered Churchill and gave him the revolver and food for his journey. In 1901, Churchill returned the revolver to Mr. Howard in a suitably inscribed box. (Can anyone identify the brand of this revolver?) This and a hip flask were set to go to auction at Sotheby's on 12 DEC 2002, and were expected to fetch some $235,000.

I'll bet the Mauser would fetch a good deal more.


March 3, 2003, 04:54 PM
Then there's Captain Walker's Walker Colt. I believe one of his pair is in the Colt Museum.


March 4, 2003, 07:03 PM
Saw a news article about the family of the only guy to shoot down a Zero with a pistol in a dogfight donating the gun to a museum. Probably worth a penny or two

In the John Browning museum in Utah there's a wooden 1911 prototype hand carved by JMB, if I recall for patent purposes- probably does not have a price tag

Country Boy
March 5, 2003, 05:00 PM
I have that Tales of the Gun episode recorded, so perhaps I'll pop it in tonight as I grade some papers. Going from memory:
The ornate Sears Colt 1873 revolver was made as a presentation 'eye catcher' model. It wasn't sold, and stayed in Sears' storage for years. The singer Mel Torme, who was a fellow gun nut, was doing some research on Colt revolvers and found out about the Sears revolver, and he promptly purchased it.

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