Milestone's Nov. 2nd Premier Firearms Auction in Review

Milestone’s selection of Winchesters, Colts, antique and modern firearms drew enthusiastic bidders to Nov. 2 Premier Firearms Auction
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WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Milestone Auctions continues to increase its bidder base and market share, as evidenced most recently by their successful and well-attended November 2 Premier Firearms sale. There was strong international interest in the 830 lots of high-quality modern-era handguns and long arms, as well as big-caliber and antique guns and rifles, many from the Civil War era.

“There wasn’t any one particular ‘top gun’ in this auction – there were highlights in all of the various categories,” said Milestone Auctions co-owner Chris Sammet. “For this event, we focused on accessibility and offered as wide a variety of clean, desirable firearms as possible. There were some great Colt models and the largest selection of Winchesters ever cataloged in a single Milestone sale. It seemed to us that very few collectors, if any, left the auction disappointed.”

Leading the list of prices realized was a near-mint unissued Whitney Model 1861 US Navy rifle. The .69-caliber gun featuring a large eagle-and-flag motif on its lock and “1863” on its barrel came with a bayonet made by Collins & Co., of Hartford, Connecticut. It reached its pre-sale estimate range, settling at $6,000.

Near-mint unissued Whitney Model 1861 US Navy rifle, barrel dated 1863, .69 caliber, large eagle-and-flag motif on lock. Bayonet made by Collins & Co. (Hartford, Conn.). Sold within estimate for $6,000

Near-mint unissued Whitney Model 1861 US Navy rifle, barrel dated 1863, .69 caliber, large eagle-and-flag motif on lock. Bayonet made by Collins & Co. (Hartford, Conn.). Sold within estimate for $6,000

A high-condition Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Schofield .45-caliber revolver, US-issued during the Indian Wars era, was one of fewer than 6,000 of its type produced in 1876 and 1877. “The survival rate of original Schofield revolvers remains very low, given a large majority were purchased from the government by Wells Fargo, which had the barrels shortened and stamped with the company’s logo,” said Sammet. The auction’s scarce original-state gun sold for an above-estimate $5,760.

High-condition Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Schofield .45-caliber revolver, US-issued Indian Wars era, 1877. Sold for $5,760

High-condition Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Schofield .45-caliber revolver, US-issued Indian Wars era, 1877. Sold for $5,760

The highest-priced Colt in the sale was a high-condition Model 1878 six-shot double-action revolver designed to use a .44-.40 cartridge. Although the double-action revolver had been popular in England since before the Civil War, it was a novel idea in America, and gun makers feared the public would not like the change. “But they were wrong,” Sammet said. “Both the small-frame Model 1877 and large-frame Model 1878 went on to become very popular out west and in the east, as well.” The example in Milestone’s auction, which was made in 1893, sold at the midpoint of its estimate range for $4,560.

High-condition Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Schofield .45-caliber revolver, US-issued Indian Wars era, 1877. Sold for $5,760

High-condition Colt Model 1878 .44-.40 cartridge double-action revolver, made in 1893. Sold within estimate at $4,560

A high-quality .223-caliber Israeli Galil semi-automatic rifle, which was imported into the United States prior to the permanent ban effected in 1989, came with a magazine and cleaning kit. After 15 bids, it sold within estimate for $2,880.

Pre-1989 importation band Israeli Galil semi-automatic rifle, .223 caliber, 16-inch barrel. Sold for $2,880

Pre-1989 importation band Israeli Galil semi-automatic rifle, .223 caliber, 16-inch barrel. Sold for $2,880

Several novelty firearms caught the attention of bidders, including a circa-1850s E.M. Reilly (London) .32-caliber air-powered cane gun designed to shoot lead balls. Presented in its original felt-lined, partitioned oak case with the dealer’s trade label affixed inside the lid, it surpassed expectations at $3,120. Another intriguing item was an 1850s wood sewing case with a pincushion top that opened to reveal what was in actuality a false bottom. Hidden away in the cavity below was a 4-inch-long, .22-caliber Derringer. Accompanied by a partial cardboard box of Clinton .22 short ammunition, the Derringer sewing case sold for $1,920, nearly four times the high estimate.

Circa-1850s E.M. Reilly (London) .32-caliber air-powered cane gun in original oak partitioned case with dealer’s trade label inside lid. Shoots lead balls. Sold above estimate for $3,120

Circa-1850s E.M. Reilly (London) .32-caliber air-powered cane gun in original oak partitioned case with dealer’s trade label inside lid. Shoots lead balls. Sold above estimate for $3,120

Novel 1850s wood sewing case with pincushion top that opens to reveal beneath its false bottom a 4-inch-long, .22-caliber Derringer. Sold for $1,920, nearly four times the high estimate

Novel 1850s wood sewing case with pincushion top that opens to reveal beneath its false bottom a 4-inch-long, .22-caliber Derringer. Sold for $1,920, nearly four times the high estimate

Yet another unusual firearm was a US-made Model FP-45 Liberator .45-caliber single-shot pistol. Produced solely in 1942, it was cheap and easy to mass-produce because it had only 23 mostly stamped and turned steel parts. “The Liberator pistol, which could accommodate five extra rounds of ammunition in its pistol grip, was intended for use behind enemy lines by resistance fighters wanting to quickly overtake an enemy and seize his gun. It was not intended for long-term use,” Sammet explained. Estimated at $800-$1,200, the gun offered by Milestone sold for $2,040.

US-made Model FP-45 Liberator .45-caliber single-shot pistol, produced solely in 1942, intended for use behind enemy lines by resistance fighters. Sold for $2,040 against an estimate of $800-$1,200

US-made Model FP-45 Liberator .45-caliber single-shot pistol, produced solely in 1942, intended for use behind enemy lines by resistance fighters. Sold for $2,040 against an estimate of $800-$1,200

Winchester collectors were charmed by a huge (37½- by 55-inch) cardboard three-panel ad produced in 1924, following the competitive shooting season of 1923. Richly colorful, it depicts shooters in military garb, trap shooters armed with Winchester’s Model 12 slide-action shotgun, deer hunters with a Model 1894 rifle in a canoe, and a display of dozens of Winchester ammunition boxes. Bright and clean, the sign sold within estimate for $2,340.

Huge Winchester cardboard triptych ad, 1924, framed, 37½ x 55 inches (sight), bright and clean. Sold within estimate for $2,340

Huge Winchester cardboard triptych ad, 1924, framed, 37½ x 55 inches (sight), bright and clean. Sold within estimate for $2,340

*Note - All prices quoted are inclusive of buyer’s premium as specified on Milestone Auctions’ website.

Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions is now accepting consignments for their 2020 firearms auctions. All enquiries will be kept strictly confidential. Contact Milestone’s firearms expert Dave Bushing by calling 440-527-8060 or email info@milestoneauctions.com. Visit Milestone online at www.milestoneauctions.com