WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Over the weekend of October 29-30, Milestone Auctions in suburban Cleveland will host an exciting 1,469-lot Premier Collectible Firearms sale featuring the types of antique, military and civilian weapons hobbyists yearn for. As always, there will be excellent examples to suit every pocketbook, with a historical timeline that starts in the pre-Revolutionary War era and advances through every successive conflict of the centuries to follow. In addition to gallery bidding, all forms of remote bidding are welcome, including absentee, phone, and live via the Internet.
The magical “Colt” name is seen throughout the auction catalog in descriptions of one rare entry after another. A top highlight is the Colt pinched-frame .45-caliber Single-Action Army Revolver manufactured in 1874. It was one of a shipment of 15 guns sent that year to J.P. Moores & Sons of New York City. The “pinched frame” configuration was used only the first 100 or so Single Actions produced, making the model very special to collectors. Although highly sought after, the pinched frame Colt is rarely available in the marketplace, either at auction or at shows. The example in Milestone’s October 29 session was a 1989 NRA Silver Medal winner and is accompanied by a 1985 letter of documentation signed by Colt factory historian M.S. Huber.
Another rare Colt .45 Single-Action in the sale is a US Cavalry Army Revolver manufactured in 1874 and bearing the serial number 91. It was one of a shipment of 115 guns sent that year to New York City retailers Schuyler, Hartley and Graham. The revolver is accompanied by a 2014 letter of documentation from Colt factory historian Beverly Jean Haynes, signed and annotated “Gov’t Sale.” This would suggest the gun was either a contract overrun or a buy-back (government-rejected gun).
Civil War history comes alive with a fine presentation Sharps 1853 carbine whose patch box is elegantly engraved J.W. CAMPION GOD AND OUR COUNTRY 81 PENNA VOLLS. The inscription refers to a benefactor of the courageous 81st Pennsylvania Infantry, which was attached to Howard’s Brigade, Richardson’s Division, Army of the Potomac and fought in many famous Civil War battles, including Gettysburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. There is even a monument at Gettysburg honoring the 81st. The gun’s recipient, John W. Campion, was a wealthy supporter of the Pennsylvania infantrymen and even purchased their bulletproof vests. The presentation firearm he received from them is deserving of much more than a mere footnote in history.
From the post-Civil War period, when Western expansion was in full swing, comes a Springfield 45-.70 caliber Model 1873 rifle. It was produced in very limited numbers at the Springfield Arsenal over a three-year period, from 1875-77, on a special-order basis for military officers. It has crisp, legible markings with the 1873 model number shown on the breech block and lock. The trigger guard has the assembly number “69.”
Made in 1897, a 7.63-caliber German Mauser C96 conehammer broomhandle pistol is sure to attract bidder interest on both sides of the Atlantic. It has a 5½-inch barrel, a slide adjustable sight graduated to 1,000 meters, and matching numbers with the exception of the magazine base plate, which is of the period.
Moving into the World War II period, an excellent Colt Service Model Ace with the two-digit serial number SM15 was manufactured in 1936 and reputedly was from the first group of Service Model Ace pistols obtained by the U.S. Government for trials and consideration. Retaining over 97% of its Parkerized finish, the firearm comes with a Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) shipping box with a label and SM15 scribed on the top, plus a copy of the 1954 RIA sales receipt issued to Captain Mark Jartman.
Produced at Mauserwerke, a P-08 9mm para Luger rig with two matched magazines has a toggle marked BYF and a chamber dated 42. The pistol is inspected WaA135, as is the loading/takedown tool. Its black leather P-08 shell holster is marked with the code cww and dated 1942. In very fine condition with more than 95% of the blue finish remaining.
A desirable 1935-37 Krieghoff 9mm para Luger, commercially polished and blued with Crown ‘N’ proofs on left side, has a toggle marked with the HK Kriefhoff monogram and KRIEGHOFF SUHL. The left side of the frame is marked HEINRICH KRIEGHOFF WAFFENFABRICK SUHL. In extremely fine condition, it retains more than 97% of its commercial blue finish, and its levers and controls display more than 80% of the straw finish. The bore is brilliant and bright, and the action operates properly.
A predicted auction star is the circa-1890s Holland & Holland Royal Hammerless 450/400 Express double rifle with highly figured English walnut stocks and tight, profuse engraving. It is Birmingham proofed and marked 400 EX with the rifle’s serial number. Beautifully restored, with a fine Holland and Holland oak and leather travel case (possibly contemporary).
A 1950 Winchester Model 21 with two-barrel rifle/shotgun set 28GA and 20GA is accompanied by a factory letter confirming the set was a salesman’s sample. It is in near-new condition, with bright bores and excellent stocks, and comes with its case and accessories. It is the only documented salesman’s sample Model 21 Milestone’s experts have ever encountered.
Milestone’s Saturday/Sunday October 29-30, 2022 Premier Collectible Firearms Auction will be held at Milestone’s gallery located at 38198 Willoughby Parkway, Willoughby (suburban Cleveland), OH 44094. Start time: 10 a.m. ET on both days. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Milestone’s own bidding platform, LiveAuctioneers, Proxibid, or Invaluable. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 440-527-8060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.milestoneauctions.com