Normal, everyday carry guns can be expensive and AR-15s–and other hunting and sport rifles–cost even more, but one-offs and collectibles owned by the right people in history can surge to values exceeding what many Americans pay for their homes and cars combined.
Think about it this way–one can easily spend $600 to $1,300 for a concealed carry handgun and $1,800 to 3,500 (and beyond) for certain AR-15s and other hunting/sports rifles. And if you jump to machine gun ownership, the price likewise jumps into the tens of thousands of dollars for even median priced weapons.
But when you turn to the one-offs and collectibles, the price goes far beyond guns that are worth tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, the list begins at slightly under a quarter of a million dollars.
Wyatt Earp’s Colt .45 Revolver — The revolver Wyatt Earp is believed to have used during the famous shootout at Tombstone, Arizona’s O.K. Corral garnered a price of $225,000 at auction. Fort Knox Vaults hails Earp as “one of the most well known lawmen of all time,” and points to the price paid for the gun as proof that they are not alone in their sentiment. The single action .45 revolver has continued in popularity from Earp’s day to our own, with one of the most popular models being the Ruger Vaquero.
Teddy Roosevelt’s Fox Company Shotgun — Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States and an avid hunter and outdoorsman. In 2010 his Fox Company shotgun sold for $862,850. The gun was used by Roosevelt on African Safari and the NRA Blog reports that the shotgun was clearly identified as Roosevelt’s via the “packing manifests for the voyage” that carried the men to Africa. Moreover, the “gun came straight from the Roosevelt family.” Roosevelt’s shotgun broke down to be boxed much like a Beretta Silver Pigeon 1.
U.S. Army Captain Henry Ware Lawton’s Model 1886 Winchester — Lawton’s Model 1886 sold at auction in May 2016 for $1.2 million. Forbes reported that the historical significance of the gun is that it was gifted to Lawton after he captured “Geronimo, the Apache leader.” The gun bears serial number 1.
George Washington’s American Revolutionary Pistols — The NRA Blog reports that Washington’s pistols sold at “Christies to the Richard King Mellon Foundation in 2002” for $1.9 million. WeThePeopleHolsters reports that Washington “is believed to have carried the pistols during countless events of historical significance, including the Whiskey Rebellion as well as at Monmouth, Valley Forge, and Yorktown.” The pistols were gifted to Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette.
Parker’s “Invincible” Shotguns — The only three Parker “Invincible” shotguns ever made sit in the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. Approximate worth of the three gun collection–$5 million. That worth is derived from the fact that NRA Museum’s Senior Curator, Philip Schreier, was offered $5 million not once but twice while traveling with the collection.
The shotguns were made in the 1920s and were the highest grade of shotguns made by Parker Bros; and they were the only model to bear the name “Invincible.” Schreier describes the shotguns:
Sam Walker’s Walker Colts — The amount of money paid for the two Walker Colts is not known for certain, but it is believed that $4 million was exchanged for the pair of firearms.
On October 6, 2016, the NRA Blog reported:
Rumored to have been sold within the past 10 years to Bill Koch, this brace of .44’s made television history on the “Million Dollar Gun” episode of 1998’s Tales of the Gun. As a pair, these guns, personal gifts from their inventor Sam Colt to Texas Ranger Sam Walker, were estimated to be worth $1 million, later selling for $3 million in 1996.
The last sale price, if you believe the rumors, is said to have been in the neighborhood of $4 million. That makes them the most valuable — and most historically significant — firearms in American history, an easy call as without Walker, you have no Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, which not only remains in business (more or less) for the next 150 years, but eventually becomes one of the first companies on earth to begin the use of manufacturing via mass production of interchangeable parts, thus ushering in the industrial revolution.
Shotguns and Pistols Owned by Napoleon Bonaparte — The NRA Blog reports that Napoleon’s shoguns and pistols “are considered the most valuable guns on earth.” They are preserved in “the Hospital de les Invalides in Paris, on display for the world to see just footsteps from Napoleon’s tomb.” The estimated value of Bonaparte’s guns is $20 million.
To give readers a glimpse at the exquisite nature of the guns, Philip Schreier discusses one of Napolean’s gun which has been housed in the NRA Museum since the 1930s. It is Napoleon’s Flintlock Fowler:
Although the prices garnered by these guns exceed the buying ability of the vast majority of Americans, some of these firearms–and many others of extreme historical and monetary value–can be viewed at the NRA National Firearms Museum. The museum is located just a short ride from Washington DC and the guns contained it illustrate the evolution of guns down through the years.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org