Gun Collectors’ Guide to the Top Auction Houses

By The Small Arms Review Editorial Staff

Are you a lover of antique and collector firearms? Don’t know what to do with your 1883 Colt-Burgess carbine or where to find one?

While there are many worthy firearms auction houses in the United States, Small Arms Review spotlights a few of the top antique and collector firearms auction houses in the United States which focus on NFA Registered firearms, to help you buy or sell that one-of-a-kind item.

Rock Island Auction Company


Rock Island Auction Company has been the #1 firearms auction house in the world every year since 2003. RIAC auctions tens of thousands of firearms, bladed weapons, military artifacts and firearms accessories annually. The auction house regularly breaks and re-breaks its own records, redefining success in the industry as more and more customers admire its results and trust its reputation. The 132,000 sq. ft. campus hosts 11 firearms auctions each year; five are open to the public, and the remaining are Online Auctions with no bidders present on-site. RIAC is always seeking new consignors of all levels.


From rare, unusual and mint condition world-class collectible firearms and militaria to “everyday collector” type guns.

Recent Firearm Auction Summary

The 2018 September Premiere Firearms Auction held by Rock Island Auction Company was the largest firearms auction in industry history. Realizing a total of $20,011,092, it carries that momentum directly into the December 2018 auction. The presence of several military vehicles, including several tanks and armored vehicles, captured the attention of even casual enthusiasts, and the anticipation continued to grow as more and more pieces were announced. The finest known Winchester 1886, John Garand’s M1 Garand ($287,500), a Singer M1911A1 that threatened the current world record at $253,000, a Colt Single Action Army serial number 2 and a seldom seen Winchester Model 1876 One of One Thousand ($891,250) all contributed to the buzz.

On the first day of auction, Lot 7 contained the Winchester 1886—a stunning John Ulrich masterpiece in excellent condition representing the highest embellishments offered by Winchester at that time. Bidding opened at $300,000 and...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N1 (January 2019)
and was posted online on November 16, 2018


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