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5 Antique Guns To Look Out For At Auction

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020
unique auction items that may surprise you

If you are visiting an auction that is selling antique guns, you likely already have something in mind. You can look at the catalog to get an idea of what will be available if you aren’t sure. Whether you are new to collecting antique guns or a seasoned collector, it can pay to know some of the best pieces to look for at auction.

1. WW1 firearms

Weaponry from this era was known for its sobering abilities to be effective in warfare. History buffs and antique gun collectors alike can appreciate the ingenuity of the weapons. Here are five of the most collected WW1 firearms.

  • The Lee-Enfield rifle: This was the most popular choice for many countries at the beginning of WW1. It is a bolt-action repeater rifle that originally used a fixed magazine but later used a removable one. The barrel design was changed during WW1 to make it easier to use in trench warfare.
  • The M1903 Springfield: This was the standard issue rifle in the United States as of 1914 and remained so for the Army and Marine Corp until 1936. It is a bolt action rifle with a 5-round magazine. The M1903 Springfield remained in use in a limited capacity until 1975, when it was officially decommissioned.
  • The M1895 Browning machine gun: This gun was designed off of the Maxim Gun and Gatling gun. At the start of WW1, the Maxim gun was the most widely used, but the American military turned to the M1895 Browning design as manufactured by Colt beforehand. It featured improvements like being air-cooled and recoil-operated. When the war officially started, they were using variants like the M1915 Vickers and Lewis Gun too.

2. Colt pistols

This is probably the most well-known gun manufacturing company in history. Samuel Colt and John Browning created the first revolver together. Colt guns and firearms are featured in war and western movies and are known for their foundational role in American history. Here are some Colt guns to look out for at auction. Be wary, though, because most gun collectors are looking for them too!

  • The Colt 1911 Government pistol: This pistol was and is appreciated for its reliability and design innovation. The Colt 1911 (in its modern and antique forms) is still in use by military and civilians.
  • The Colt Patterson: This was the very first (and most important) pistol made by Colt. It was released in 1836 as the world’s first commercially available repeating revolver. In 1839, the Patterson was upgraded with a reloading lever and capping window, allowing users to reload without taking the pistol apart. Although it was innovative, it was not known for reliability, so it was quickly replaced with the Colt 1911. Today, it is still a popular pistol to collect from antique auctions and private sales.
  • The Colt Model 1903: This pistol was another creation of the Colt and Browning duo. Browning designed this pistol and then sold the rights to Colt. It became the foundation of the Colt 1911. For collectors, this gun is still interesting because of its design and many usable pieces can still be found.
  • The Colt Python: This famous revolver is one of the most popular pistols of all time. It is also known as the .357 Magnum and part of a larger series of Colt pistols named after snakes. For some, the Colt Python is an essential piece of a solid gun collection.

3. The Spencer Rifle (1860-1865)

From 1860 to 1865, this rifle was the most innovative in firearm technology. Some say it was the beginning of modern gun design. The innovation came in the form of the magazine-fed, lever-action capabilities. The Spencer Rifle replaced muzzle loaders eventually. But, it was not accepted by the United States Department of War Ordnance at the start of the Civil War. Instead, it was used later in the Union Army and cavalry, although not as a standard-issue rifle.

4. The 1873 Winchester Repeater

Inspired by the Spencer and Henry Rifles, this classic was the next wave in firearm tech. In the early stages of development, Winchester was able to create the 1866 model carbine repeater, which later resulted in the 1873 model. This rifle was the most popular until 1892 because it was safer and more reliable than any other in its class.

5. The 1892 Winchester Repeater

This refile improved the design of the 1873 Winchester. It became the most popular gun because of its stability and more efficient magazine design. The 1892 was less likely to jam and was used in warfare until 1941. Although it is no longer produced in its original form, there are companies that make replicas.

Antique guns at auctions in Texas

If you are interested in getting antique guns and firearms in Texas, High Plains Auctioneers may have what you are looking for. You can reach us at (806) 244-6776 for more information and check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we will have available. You can also check out more from our blog for tips, tricks, and information about guns at auction.