11 Most Expensive Guns Ever Sold (+Meteorite Guns?)

Posted by Brandon Hopkins on
Tags: guns
11 Most Expensive Guns Ever Sold (+Meteorite Guns?)

It has often been said that the horse and the handgun played a major role in shaping the history of the American West, and it is indeed true that gun collectors tend to be deeply interested in the machinations of history. These commonly overlapping interests help to explain why many of the most expensive guns ever sold tend to possess such an immense level of historical significance that collectors are willing to pay six- and seven-figure sums just for the opportunity to hold a firearm once used by the likes of Wyatt Earp, Teddy Roosevelt, and George Washington.

Of course, the value of the most expensive firearms ever sold is not solely determined according to historical significance, as many of the following firearms are priced at such a rate simply because of the precision of the mechanical engineering, the quality or rarity of the materials used, or the exceptional functionality of the weapon with regard to its specific purpose. It is for these reasons that the following list includes firearms owned by some of history’s greatest heroes -- and villains -- along with other guns representing nothing short of the most exemplary craftsmanship the firearms industry has ever known. Continue reading as We the People Holsters shares the 11 most expensive guns ever sold.

  1. Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo Shotgun - $106,800

Beretta manufactures its Imperiale Montecarlo shotgun specifically for the world’s most demanding class of gun owners, including the Olympians who compete every four years for the title of the world’s best in skeet and trap shooting. Beretta’s top shotgun model is priced well over $100,000 due to the 12-gauge, side-by-side shotgun’s performance capabilities as well as the striking aesthetics created through engraving.

Far lighter than most other shotguns, Beretta’s break action shotgun features a 66-inch barrel and weighs just over seven pounds unloaded. With a blued finish steel and red/white front luminous sight, the Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo is further set apart by its hand-sculpted and custom-engraved receiver as well as sidelocks with a rebounding-hammer firing mechanism.

Availability: Available via Beretta dealers
Read More: YouTube video (Italian, turn on English CC)

  1. Gold 7.65mm Walther PP Owned by Hitler - $114,000

Featuring the initials of history’s greatest villain, the gold 7.65mm Walther PP with an ivory grip once owned by Adolf Hitler sold for $114,000 in 1987 and is valued at a significantly greater rate today. It has been sold several times over since its last reported sale, but it should not be much of a surprise that a buyer would prefer to remain anonymous when ponying up six and perhaps even seven figures for the right to own the weapon once gifted to Hitler on his 50th birthday by the Walther family.

With a gold-inlaid inscription identifying the Walther family as the presenter of such a lavishly detailed and custom-made double-action, straight blowback pistol, it is clear that the gift was offered not just to honor Hitler’s 50th birthday, but to also show gratitude for the decision to outfit his army with the Walther P-38, replacing the Luger P-08.

Availability: Location Unknown, last sold to undisclosed man on West Coast of United States (source)
Learn More: Hitler's Golden Gun
  1. Colt .45 Revolver Owned by Wyatt Earp - $225,000

Perhaps the best-known figure of the American West, Wyatt Earp has had the story of his life fictionalized over and over again due to his role in larger-than-life events like the shootout at the OK Corral. The Kansas lawman and Tombstone legend’s Colt .45 Revolver sold for such a price not just because it was one of the many weapons once owned by Earp; it is also believed to be the revolver used during the most famous shootout in the history of the Wild West.

Of course, there has been much contentious debate over this subject, with many asserting that the single-action Colt .45 Earp carried during the famous Fitzsimmons/Sharkey fight was the same one used at the OK Corral; others, however, believe Earp had a .44 Smith & Wesson. Obviously, any doubt about the issue did not sway the eventual buyer from ponying up $225,000 to own this piece of history.

Availability: Last sold to unknown New Mexico collector in 2014 (source)
Learn More: 

  1. Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe Double Rifle - $228,000

Preferred by the likes of the British Royal Family, Holland & Holland boasts that its Royal Deluxe Rifle is painstakingly crafted by hand over the course of at least 850 hours. The skilled craftsmanship and highly detailed approach is surely the reason for the rifle’s precision and remarkable appearance, which is why Holland & Holland can claim so many of the world’s elite among its clientele.

A .375 caliber H&H Belted double rifle, the Royal Deluxe features a 24-inch barrel length and weighs in at just under 12 pounds. The detachable mount sights, which are zeroed at 100 yards, are Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24. It’s worth noting that the engraving serves a purpose beyond decoration, as the fine lines used in the engraving process diffuse the reflection of light.

Availability: Available at London Gun Room
Learn More: Holland & Holland

  1. Smith & Wesson .44 Owned by Robert Ford - $350,000

Robert Ford, perhaps better known as “The Coward Robert Ford,” owned the Smith & Wesson .44 that sold at a 2003 auction for $350,000. This was the weapon, of course, that Ford used to murder Jesse James in 1882. Ford and his brother Charley, both members of the James Gang, plotted to kill Jesse James for several months before April 3, 1882, and it was Robert who shot the unarmed James in the back of the head -- shortly after breakfast as James stood on a chair to dust a picture frame. Charley later testified that Robert had used the Smith & Wesson revolver on that early April morning, asserting that the revolver was easier to conceal and could be quickly removed from his pocket.

Availability: Last sold to unknown collector (source)

Learn More: Presell auction information and intrigue

  1. Custom-Made Fox Gun Company Double-Barreled Shotgun Owned by Theodore Roosevelt - $862,500

Teddy Roosevelt was among the 20th Century’s finest examples of masculinity, as the US President and Rough Rider engaged in just about every pursuit ever associated with the concept of “manliness.” A revered figure in US history, Roosevelt’s custom double-barreled shotgun -- made by the Fox Gun Company -- sold for $862,500 in 2010. Roosevelt himself spoke highly of the FE-grade, double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun, declaring in a letter sent while on safari in Africa (which was later published by Scribner’s Magazine) that “no better gun was ever made,” referring, of course, to the Fox No. 12 shotgun.

Availability: Last sold to unknown collector (source)

Learn More: Chase Antiques listing

  1. 1847 Colt Walker .44 Black Powder Revolver - $920,000

One of the most rare guns sought by collectors, a pristine version of the Colt Walker .44 Black Powder Revolver -- with its powerful, nine-inch barrel -- sold for $920,000 back in 2008. The single-action, revolving cylinder pistol was preferred by Texas Rangers at the time, but they are now quite scarce on the open market: only 170 are believed to exist. This Colt Walker .44 fetched such a massive sum due to its uniquely pristine condition, as it was free of any corrosion and even included the black powder flask with which it was originally issued to Private Sam Wilson in 1847.

Availability: Last sold to an unknown collector (source)

Learn More: Historical information and comparable ballistics

  1. 1886 Winchester Rifle Owned by Henry Ware Lawton - $1,260,000

Major-General Henry Ware Lawton -- famed for capturing the Apache leader Geronimo -- was presented with this Winchester Rifle as a gift in honor of his successful military campaign during the Apache Wars. The rifle possessed a serial number of “1” and recently sold for over $1.2 million.

The lever-action rifle features an engraving in its blued, case-hardened finish that indicates its status as a gift from Lieutenant George E. Albee (a recipient of the Medal of Honor) to Lawton. Chambered for .45-70, the 1886 Winchester includes a 26-inch octagonal barrel along with a full-length magazine.

Availability: Last sold to an unknown collector (source)
Learn More: DailyMail auction and sale info

  1. Pair of Flintlock Pistols Owned by Simon Bolivar - $1,687,500

The famed liberator of much of South America from Spanish colonial rule, Simon Bolivar owned this pair of flintlock pistols that fetched well over $1.6 million in 2004. Presented to Bolivar by the Marquis de Lafayette (who served under George Washington during the Revolutionary War), the silver-mounted, rifled flintlock pistols were made by famed French gunsmith Nicolas-Noel Boutet, who was known for his role as gunsmith for Napoleon Bonaparte.

Availability: Last sold to unknown collector (source)

Learn More: History Blog's detailed history of pistols

  1. Pair of Saddle Pistols Owned by George Washington - $1,986,000 

This pair of saddle pistols was actually owned by two US Presidents. George Washington’s immensely valuable firearms were eventually inherited by Andrew Jackson, who served as the nation’s seventh president. The Marquis de Lafayette was again responsible for presenting a pair of pistols to a revolutionary hero, as Lafayette gave the saddle pistols to Washington, the man who served as his mentor for many years after he volunteered to fight in the American Revolution at the age of 19.

As president, Washington is believed to have carried the pistols during countless events of historical significance, including the Whiskey Rebellion as well as at Monmouth, Valley Forge, and Yorktown. Throughout his own presidency, Jackson treasured the pistols every bit as much as Washington did and referred to them as “sacred and holy relics,” so much so that he ensured the sidelock pistols were ultimately bequeathed to the Lafayette family.

Availability: Last sold to an unknown collector (source)

Learn More: UPI gives historical insight to firearms

  1. Cabot Guns Big Bang Pistol Set - $4,500,000

Described by Cabot’s CEO as “truly different,” and “terrifyingly unique,” Cabot Guns’ Big Bang Pistol Set is priced at $4.5 million due to the simple fact that these firearms are made out of almost nothing but octahedrite iron meteorite. The 1911-style pistol set is constructed from a portion of the Gibeon meteor, which means that the twin right- and left-handed semi-automatic .45s are made from material that is believed to be more than 4.5 billion years old.

Availability: Available at Cabot (source)

Learn More: RobbReport's significance of meteorite guns

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