A Model 1886 Winchester rifle presented to the man who captured Apache leader Geronimo is now the most expensive single firearm ever sold at auction after drawing $1.26 million at Rock Island Auction Company’s most recent sale. Other guns have sold higher as a pair, but no other single firearm surpasses this new world record. The rifle’s story begins with two brothers-in-arms during the Civil War who went their different ways after that conflict, one electing to continue a lifelong military career while the other pursued firearms and their development.
When the former, Captain Henry Ware Lawton, captured Geronimo in 1886 the latter, Lieutenant George E. Albee, was working for Winchester and able to secure serial number one of their newest rifle design. He presented it to his old war buddy and lifelong friend to commemorate Lawton’s remarkable achievement.
The world record sale comes off the heels of Rock Island Auction Company’s record setting 2015 sales total of $51 million, tops in the firearm auction industry.