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Scarce 1882 “Buntline Special” Colt may target $75,000

Among the 3,000 firearms coming to auction Dec. 4-6 at Rock Island Auctions is a scarce Colt “Buntline Special” single action army revolver, circa 1882, with skeletal shoulder stock ($50,000-$75,000).

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Rock Island Auction Company will wrap up its 2015 auction season Dec. 4-6

Colt Buntline Special

Scarce documented 10-inch barrel Colt “Buntline Special” single action army revolver, circa 1882, with skeletal shoulder stock ($50,000-$75,000). All photos courtesy Rock Island Auction Company

with a December Premiere Firearms Auction.

Anchored by seven noted collections, the number of high-condition, ornate, historic, rare and artisan firearms has seldom spanned across as many genres. The sale will feature more than 2,800 lots containing 3,000-plus firearms, not to mention the edged weapons, armor, military artifacts and other accessories also coming before bidders during this sale.

Bidding will be available by phone, by absentia, online at www.rockislandauction and live in the firm’s gallery.

Four of the aforementioned collections are continuations of previous auctions. The Iconic Ralph Shattuck Collection of German Military Arms is in its third installment and is a vast enough assemblage to still contain highly desirable items. The Walker West Collection of Antique Colts & Winchesters returns for a second showing of some of gun collecting’s most prestigious and popular manufacturers. Also in its sophomore appearance is the Piedmont Collection of World Class Kentucky Flintlocks and High End European Arms. Rounding out the highlighted collections is the G. S. Cooke Collection, featuring a significant selection of Winchester Model 1885 rifles.

The new collections appearing in this auction include the:

• Esteemed Mac McCroskie Collection.

Chain maille shirt

Extremely significant Middle Eastern 15th century shirt of maille and plate.

• Award-winning collection of Ralf Eyster with early Colt semi-automatic pistols.
• Royal Hunt Collection of Imperial German hunting trophies from the personal collections of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Emperor Franz Josef, Hapsburg dynasties.

Winchesters are featured in three of the seven collections, so the depth and abundance (almost 400 firearms) of this brand of firearms in this sale should come as no surprise. This boon for collectors of Winchesters and pre-Winchesters is highlighted by a breathtaking Winchester Model 1894 lever action that has been signed, elaborately engraved and gold inlaid by master John Ulrich.

Colt is also well-represented in the sale, with more than 700 examples for collectors, investors and shooters to bid on. With such an astounding number, every shape and size from the legendary manufacturer will be available: a diminutive No. 2 Paterson alongside lengthy sidehammer sporting rifles, a battle-scarred “A Company” Walker next to a pristine cased set of gold and silver inlaid No. 1 derringers and, of course, a bountiful assortment of Colt wheelguns.

Foreign military aficionados will find a strong showing of German military pieces and a fine selection of Class III/ Title II machine guns from both World Wars. Also being presented is a selection of more than 300 U.S. military arms, spanning two centuries.

The preview period for this auction is slated for Dec. 3, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit, call 800-238-8022 or email

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