Historic Rifle Fetches Record $1.265 Million at Auction

by
posted on May 12, 2016
si-news-2015-5-28-15.jpg (20)

A Model 1886 Winchester rifle presented to the U.S. Calvary Captain who captured the notorious Indian leader Geronimo and his band of Chiricahua Apaches has become the most expensive single firearm ever sold at auction, after fetching $1.265 million at a recent sale in Illinois. 

We brought readers the story of the historic firearm on April 22, prior to its appearance on the auction block the weekend of April 29-May by Rock Island Auctions, a northwestern Illinois company with a history of offering investment-grade firearms. 

The rifle’s history began with two brothers-in-arms during the Civil War who went their separate ways after that conflict, one electing to continue a lifelong military career while the other pursued firearms and gun-building. Lt. George E. Albee went on to work for Winchester Arms and Captain Henry Lawton remained in uniform and subsequently was responsible the capture of Geronimo in Mexico in 1886. In recognition of his comrade’s achievement, Albee arranged to secure serial number one of his company’s newest rifle design and have it presented to his lifelong friend to commemorate Lawton’s remarkable achievement. 

An inscribed gold watch, presented to Lawton by a group of businessmen in New Mexico in recognition of his capture of the Indian leader responsible for much of the turmoil by Apaches occurring in that region of the Southwest in the late 1880s, was also part of the auction lot. 

“Being serial number one and possessing such outstanding condition would alone be enough to draw six figures at auction,” said Rock Island Auction Company’s RIAC President Kevin Hogan. “When you add one of the most famous names in the history of the Old West you have a huge crossover appeal and set the stage for something special to happen.” 

Hogan said other historic firearms have sold for more as a pair, but no other single firearm has surpassed the $1.26 million paid for this gun. The successful buyer of the Lawton Winchester was not named publicly by the auction company.

Latest

handgun with bullets and magazine
handgun with bullets and magazine

Review: Tisas PX-9 Gen 2 Pistol

The Wonder Nine gets reimagined with a new 9 mm from SDS Imports.

Why We Need to Encourage New Shooters to Get Training

When we can, we need to tell the new shooter that they really need to learn to walk before they can run. And then we need to help them find the kind of training that will give them the basics of safe gun handling and marksmanship.

First Look: BulletSafe Vital Protection 3 Vest

The BulletSafe Vital Protection 3 (VP3) Vest is a new and significant addition to BulletSafe’s impressive collection of life-saving products.

AAC Suppressor Brand Relaunches

Advanced Armament Company (AAC), known as “The Silent Authority” and pioneering leader in firearm sound suppression since 1994, has restructured and relaunched.

Is the .357 Magnum the Best Option for Personal Defense?

Time and data have also unquestionably revealed that when compared to these semi-auto-pistol cartridges, the .357 Magnum does a better job at stopping bad guys.

First Look: Viridian Weapon Technologies HS1 Hand Stop Laser

Viridian Weapon Technologies is rolling out a game-changing hand stop laser, the HS1, which is now available with an infrared beam.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.