Weird History
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The Most Valuable Guns In History

Updated June 24, 2019 22k views14 items

There's plenty of talk about how easy it is to get ahold of a gun in America, but that doesn't apply to the more expensive varieties. These wildly pricey weapons command huge sums of money because of their artistic and historical value, and tend to be highly sought-after by serious gun collectors. 

With certain firearms on this list, it's unlikely anyone outside the most dedicated collectors will ever see them, let alone get the opportunity to purchase them. That's because they have serious historical value - like the saddle pistols that once belonged to George Washington, later auctioned off for close to $2 million. Others, like the renowned Fabbri guns of Italy, are still possible to purchase and can fetch a hefty sum. 

Do you have any of these weapons in your collection? If so, here's hoping they're in good condition. Everything on this list is worth serious cash - but the more properly they're cared for, the higher their value.

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  • George Washington’s Saddle Pistols

    How Much They're Worth: $1,986,000

    Why They're Worth So Much: It should not be surprising to learn that a pair of guns belonging to the first president of the United States fetches a high price. Washington received these pistols from Marquis de Lafayette, a French ally. While their ornate rococo carvings and golden inlays could have easily render the guns works of art that never got used, Washington did, in fact, use them in action during the American Revolution. When Washington passed, the guns made their way to Andrew Jackson, who kept them in his personal collection for a while before giving them to the Washington family. During Christie's 2002 Americana auction, the guns were purchased by the Richard King Mellon Foundation for $1,986,000. After that, the Foundation gifted the pistols to the Fort Ligonier historic site and museum.

  • Simon Bolivar’s Flintlock Pistols

    How Much They're Worth: $1,805,000

    Why They're Worth So Much: This gun belonged to Simon Bolivar, a Venezuelan military leader who fought to free Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru from Spanish rule. He united these nations under a single banner of independent nations of Latin America, and served as the president of the organization. Due to his impact on Latin America and the rest of the world, his possessions, including his guns, have become quite valuable. Bolivar actually collected guns, and these flintlock pistols were the most valuable ones he owned. You can fetch them at Christie's for the price of $1,805,000.

     

  • Captain Henry Ware Lawton's Winchester Model 1886

    Photo: Bardbom / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    How Much It's Worth: $1.2 million

    Why It's Worth So Much: Winchester rifles are generally considered to be high-quality, high-priced items, but the 1886 model is exceptional - especially the one owned by US Army Captain Henry Ware Lawton, the man said to have captured Geronimo. Due to its quality and historic value, this particular gun was sold by the Rock Island Auction Company for $1.2 million, making it the most expensive gun ever sold as of May 2016.

  • Gold-Inlaid Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver

    How Much It's Worth: Last sold for $1,142,500

    Why It's Worth So Much: Regular Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolvers can fetch a few thousand dollars, but this model is special due to its gold inlays. The beautiful design features dogs, bears, and other animals, which help push the price over the $1 million mark.