Antique Colts draw strong bids at Milestone’s $2 million collectible firearms auction

Special Colt .41 caliber pearl-handled army revolver sent in 1909 on a single shipment to JB Crook & Co., New York, with an engraving of Cuno Helfricht’s shop which includes a carved ox head with ruby eyes on the right side of the hilt. Special features include a checker trigger and a 4-pound trigger. Sold for $19,800 against an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000
Important auctions

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – On June 17-18, 2022, Milestone Auctions hosted a live sale of 1,450 lots of rare military, police, Old West, Civil War, NFA and other weapons at collectible and historic fire, closing the books at $2 million.

A fine selection of Colts was on offer, including coveted Civil War-era productions. Among them was one of the most sought after specimens of all Colt percussion, a Model 1861 Navy revolver. One of less than 39,000 of its type made by Colt, it was fitted with a powder flask, an iron bullet mold, a wrapped packet of 6 Colt fuel cartridges and a box of UMC percussion caps. Housed in a compartmentalized, velor-lined case, it easily topped its $10,000-$15,000 estimate to $18,600.

The best-selling Colt was a pearl-handled .41 caliber army special revolver, fitted with a checker trigger and a 4-pound trigger, which was sent in 1909 as an expedition of one to JB Crook & Co., New York. “What made this weapon very special was the engraving of Cuno Helfricht’s shop. When this weapon was produced, Helfricht – a master engraver – was the head of Colt’s engraving workshop. Any Colt firearm with its store art is likely to command a high price, just like the Army Special in our sale did,” said Miles King, co-owner of Milestone Auctions. The artwork on the pistol that King referred to features a bas-relief carved ox head with ruby ​​eyes on the right side of the pistol grip. Against an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000, the coveted Colt fetched $19,800.

Another wanted Colt was actually a gun with a terrific Hollywood connection. It was part of a pair of replica Colt 1851 Navy .44 caliber percussion pistols used by Clint Eastwood in the 1976 film The Outlaw, Josey Wales, and was accompanied by two signed certificates from Paramount Studios. One of the certificates identified the gun by serial number and attested that it had been used by Eastwood in his starring role in the classic western. He also noted that the companion pistol is now part of the Smithsonian collection in Washington, DC. The copy offered by Milestone sold for $17,400 against an estimate of $5,000 to $10,000.

Conical-Hammer Model C-96 Broomhandle Mauser pistol manufactured in 1897, the model’s second year of production. Matching numbered wooden shoulder stock with attached leather belt loop. Sold for $10,800 against an estimate of $4,500 to $6,500
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A Wild West rarity that attracted considerable interest was an 1880s JS Collins & Co. (Cheyenne, Wyo.) platform consisting of a single loop cartridge belt to accommodate .44 or .44 caliber shells. 45, and a matching holster to fit a Colt SAA revolver. “JS Collins’ leather work is highly regarded – some say it was the best of its time,” King said. “They were known as Buffalo saddle makers Bill Cody and Theodore Roosevelt, who also owned Collins chaps and wore a Collins holster when they ran his Elkhorn Ranch in North Dakota. We know this from an 1883 photograph of Roosevelt taken on his property in Dakota. Milestone sold the rig at auction for $8,400 against an estimate of $3,500 to $5,000.

The Colt mystique continued into the category of wartime military weapons. A notable lot was a Colt Model 1908 .380 manufactured in 1945 and issued towards the end of World War II to the late Brigadier General Emons Bertram Wisner of the US Army Signal Corps. Its markings include the Colt creeping pony behind the slide serrations, a “VP” proof on the left side of the trigger guard, a cross-barreled cartridge behind the safety, and “US PROPERTY” on the right side of the frame. The gun sold within estimate for $5,880.

A Harrington & Richardson Model 50 submachine gun from around 1940, known as the “Reising Model 50”, was of a type that consistently proved to be both reliable and accurate. For this reason, it was suitable for both US military and police personnel. The example offered by Milestone came in a vintage stenciled “Property NC Highway Patrol” case and was accompanied by six factory marked 20 round magazines and a very rare 30 round magazine. An NFA-regulated firearm, it sold above its high estimate for $9,600 and transferred to its new owner under the provisions set forth by the BATFE.

Replica of the .44 caliber Colt 1851 Navy pistol used by Clint Eastwood in the classic western film “The Outlaw, Josey Wales”. Accompanied by two certificates from Paramount Studios identifying the weapon by serial number and certifying that it was used by Eastwood. Sold for $17,400 against an estimate of $5,000 to $10,000
Important auctions

As the company’s slogan states, Mausers are “copied by many, duplicated by none”, and nothing excites military gun collectors more than the opportunity to own a manufactured World War II weapon. by the legendary German manufacturer. Of the two dozen Mausers entered in Milestone’s June 17-18 auction, two made it into the top 10. One was a World War II 35mm Para P-08 Luger , dated 1940 on its chamber, with “Code 42” stamped on the receiver and Eagle 655 inspection marks. With its matching platform and two matching magazines, it sold for $8,100 against an estimate of $3,500 $ to $5,500. The second Mauser, an elusive Model C-96 Broomhandle 7.63 caliber taper hammer pistol, was made in 1897, the model’s second year of production. It performed impressively, selling for $10,800 against an estimate of $4,500 to $6,500.

Prior to the auction, previewers were drawn to an exotic Gaulois 8mm 2-3/16 push-action pistol circa 1893 with a gutta percha grip. It was manufactured by Française d’Armes et Cycles of Saint-Etienne, France, and described on its colorful illustrated box (included) as an “Auto-Repeating Pocket Pistol”. Accompanied by a paper instruction sheet and 25 empty cartridges, the curiously designed light weapon sold above its high estimate for $5,640.

To inquire about consigning an entire collection or individual high-quality items to a future sale conducted by Milestone Auctions, please call 440-527-8060 or email [email protected] All inquiries are strictly confidential, with no obligation. On line: www.milestoneauctions.com

Laura J. Boyer