Al Capone's Colt 1911 Is Up for Auction

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Speedo66, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    26xp-capone-auction-03-articleLarge.jpg
    Al Capone’s engraved 1911 Colt pistol is up for auction, starting bid is $50K. The auction house has already received six figure offers. I like the grips and target sights.

    His granddaughter says Al was a great family man, and is auctioning many of his possessions. He died in 1947 at age 48.

    Article link here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/28/us/-al-capone-auction-wildfires.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  2. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    That's fascinating. Thanks for posting. Even though I couldn't access that link without logging in or creating an account with that newspaper. Always been interested in that era of American history. Back in the 1970's I knew an older guy who had grown up in Chicago back then. He began his working life as a shoe shine boy which was common in those days. The shoe shine boys often worked the sidewalks in the areas where the gangsters congregated. They simply went where the money was because that's where they got the most business. The gangsters had more disposable income and liked to look sharp. My friend swore that he shined Al Capone's shoes a few times, along with some other gangsters of that era whose names I don't recall. He said Capone and his contemporaries were all very good tippers. IIRC a shoeshine was a nickel or so, and if you were quick and the shoes real shiny, guys like that would toss you 20-25 cents. It's interesting to think that my late friend could have been in close proximity of that very gun while shining Al's shoes........ Just my thought for today. Be interesting to see what that Colt 1911 gets at auction.
     
  3. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Ugh. If I had to close my eyes and imagine what kind of gun a tacky, boorish oaf like Capone would carry- that would be it.
     
  4. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I find that pistol to be rather attractive. I would prefer the adjustable rear sight to be 'sunk' into the slide with shorter front sight, but I tend to think in terms of 'using guns', not 'props'. I rather imagine that particular pistol was a show piece more than a 'duty' sidearm.
    Still that pistol shows more taste and consideration than I expected. On the other had, I've heard the late Mr. Capone was a loved and responsible family man and liked high opera. How opposite humans can be within themselves.

    I would not pay that much for that pistol. Even if I was stupid rich.
     
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  5. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    Do any pictures exist of Al with this 45???? I'd look for more provenance before spending a lot of loot on that kind of thing.
    I have Al Capone's first training hand grenade. He used it as a boy of 16 in Chicago to practice crime.
    I'm willing to let it go for $15,000.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  6. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I'm waiting until they sell AL Capone's Tommygun.:D (Yea that'll happen .....)
     
  7. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I wouldn't pay a nickel for that thug's gat. I cringe at the thought of even touching a gun his DNA is on.
     
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  8. The Last Outlaw

    The Last Outlaw Member

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    I have always read that Capone preferred to carry a Smith & Wesson Model 10 or a Colt pocket pistol.
     
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  9. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    I would bet that it has an ironclad provenance or a reputable auction house wouldn't touch it. Especially when their bidders are spending that kind of money. It will be interesting to see what it brings.
     
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  10. champ0608

    champ0608 Member

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    Man I'd love to show up at the next monthly bullseye match with that.
     
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Carried for use and owned for show are two different things.

    I'll bet Al Capone never touched a Tommy Gun himself or used one (he was not an Al Pacino Scarface idiot) but his gunmen did far enough removed for deniable plausibility.
    Allegedly Capone put out the offer on the streets of $3,000.00 for a Thompson no questions asked when MSRP was $200.00
    I equally hate Capone for being a gangster and the Prohibitionist progressives for empowering him.

    But yeah, if that pistol has provenance, it is a historical artifact and legitimate collectible.
     
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  12. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    Actually Capone grew up in Brooklyn, NY. The move to Chicago came later in his life. Capone actually grew up on Garfield Place in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, a block over from my grandfather's doctor office on 1st street. The Italian community was pretty tight. :)

    Pretty sure the gun can be authenticated or no reputable auction house would list it. Can you authenticate the hand grenade? :) Thinking if I had $100K to spend on a gun, while I like 1911 guns it would not be that gun.

    Ron
     
  13. Archie

    Archie Member

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    He didn't carry a model 10. He died in 1949 or so and there was no such thing as a S&W model 10 until 1957. He might certainly had a .38 Hand Ejector.

    if anything, he probably carried a Colt 1908 Pocket pistol. Pre antibiotics, it was a serious pistol; and it was likely not so inconvenient.

    The Government Model shown is engraved, I'll throw in with you and suspect he didn't carry it much.
     
  14. The Last Outlaw

    The Last Outlaw Member

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021
  15. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    If I recall correctly, Al Capone had some marks inside his guns to identify them. I feel like I saw that on an episode of Antique Roadshow and read it elsewhere.
     
  16. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    Celebrity guns don't interest me.
    Criminal guns interest me even less.
     
  17. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    Nice gun, but I wouldn't pay a premium for it just because some famous scumbag criminal once owned it...
     
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  18. TomJ
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    TomJ Contributing Member

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    In spite of what his granddaughter says, he was evil. You couldn't give that gun to me.
     
  19. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Al Capone also had a house down my way near Venetian Causeway, Miami Beach, on the waters of Biscayne Bay and I occasionally have anglers fishing near it at night.. You'd never know the house's history if someone didn't point it out.. As a fishing guide on the water at night I see a lot more of the back side of houses than the front of them. The attraction is the docklights wherever we find them...
     
  20. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    Yes and he died in Florida after release from prison.

    High price to pay for a small piece of tail. While penicillin was invented around 1928 it took till 1940 to develop a working model of the new wonder drug.

    Would I own a gun formerly owned by a famous mobster? No, but I am not into the serious collectables owned by a mobster or for that matter a famous movie star.

    Ron
     
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  21. The Last Outlaw

    The Last Outlaw Member

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    I don't think you are correct.

    https://www.historicalfirearms.info/post/101793933106/smith-wesson-model-10-the-smith-wesson-model
     
  22. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    It's not bad, actually. Mods/sights/checkering/trigger are functional improvements. The engraving is pretty restrained and the grips are attractive and functional. Drug lords' and dictators' gold-plated garbageguns with naked ladies and cheetos carved into them are way worse than this
     
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  23. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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  24. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Yeah, he was a great "family man," all right. ;)
     
  25. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I think Geraldo removed it from the Capone vault personally.
    Agree that there's pretty significant provenance, or they'd never put it in their auction. We may never know what the provenance is, since it's probably only disclosed to serious bidders.
    As were lots of the Axis leaders from the same generation.

    The likes of Capone, Dillinger, et al
    being romanticized as folk heroes of sorts has never appealed to me. Pablo Escobar was viewed similarly in his time, by a lot of folks... It's been that way throughout history. I'm not fascinated by criminal behaviour though and don't want to be connected to it in any way, which is why I donated Robin Hood's bow to Goodwill.
     
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