May 12th, 2016

$1,265,000 Model 1886 — Most Expensive Rifle Ever Auctioned

Henry Lawton Model 1886 Winchester lever gun Geronimo Indian Wars Apache RIAC auction most expensive

This old lever gun is something special — the most expensive firearm ever sold at auction, according to the Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC), the world’s leading firearms auction house. This rifle recently sold for $1,265,000.00 — the highest auction price ever recorded for a firearm (and twice what RIAC expected). The rifle went for such a high price because it was Serial Number 1 and because of its special connection to the Wild West and Indian Wars.

This historic Winchester Model 1886, Serial Number 1, was given to then Captain Henry W. Lawton as a gift to honor Lawton’s successful raid to capture the renegade Apache leader Geronimo. The rifle was gifted by his friend, Lt. George E. Albee, who worked with Winchester. Both Army officers were Medal of Honor winners. This rifle “represents the 25 years of bloodshed between the U.S. Army and the Apache Indians in the Southwest, and the end of the Indian Wars. Being serial number one and possessing such outstanding condition would alone be enough to draw six figures at auction. When you add one of the most famous names in the history of the Old West you have a huge crossover appeal”, said RIAC President Kevin Hogan.

Henry Lawton Model 1886 Winchester lever gun Geronimo Indian Wars Apache RIAC auction most expensive

Lawton was a “soldier’s soldier” who fought in the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, and Philippine-American War, finishing his career with the rank of Major General. He lead an Army contingent that traveled 1300 miles to capture Geronimo in the summer of 1886. He was killed in combat in 1899 at the battle of San Mateo, in the Philippines. Ironically, the leader of the Philippine Revolutionary troops he faced was named Gen. Licerio Geronimo. Strange but true.

Rock Island sells over 23,000 firearms every year, but “never before had Rock Island offered Serial Number 1 of a production grade, investment-quality firearm” said RIAC. Given the rifle’s unique history and well-established provenance, “this truly is a prized national treasure”. This is the first production Winchester model 1886, with the single digit ONE stamped on the lower tang. The barrel is also inscribed “Albee to Lawton 45-70″. The gun is in 95% condition.

Henry Lawton Model 1886 Winchester lever gun Geronimo Indian Wars Apache RIAC auction most expensive

“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,” stated RIAC. “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.”

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May 12th, 2016

CMP Brings Electronic Targets to Camp Perry and Beyond

Electronic Targets Camp Perry

Camp Perry is moving into the future. The first fifteen (15) electronic targets are being installed right now at Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range. This is the beginning of a process to supply many ranges at Camp Perry with state-of-the-art Kongsberg (KTS) electronic targets similar to those installed at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. NOTE — the CMP is not planning a whole-scale replacement of all of Camp Perry’s old-fashioned targets. However the CMP hopes to modernize the Camp Perry facility, by installing some electronic targets on all Camp Perry ranges by summer 2018.

Electronic Targets Camp Perry
Camp Perry’s new Kongsberg electronic targets will be similar to the targets installed at the Talledega facility (shown above). Image courtesy CMP and www.AL.com.

New Kongsberg Electronic Targets for Camp Perry
On the Camp Perry Petrarca Range in Ohio, KTS targets for rifle, pistol and smallbore are currently being installed. The CMP states: “The project is going according to plan and is within budget, with completion expected by the end of June for CMP use and those attending the National Matches.”

When the new target systems are installed, the Petrarca Range will offer 10 KTS targets for rifle and five KTS targets for pistol and smallbore. Though the rifle targets will be located at the 200-yard line, the changing of the target faces and the use of reduced target definitions will allow shooters to practice for longer distances as well. Pistol targets will be mounted in portable carriers that will allow them to be set up at 25 or 50 yards.

Kongsberg Target System

More Electronic Targets at Camp Perry by 2018
It is hoped that some KTS rifle targets will be available on ALL of the Camp Perry ranges by summer of 2018. (These will supplement the conventional target frames, not replace them altogether). 2016 National Match competitors will be able to try out the new KT targets when they visit the Camp Perry training site in July. In the future, the Petrarca Range will be open for public use.

Monitors Display Score and Shot Location Instantly
Kongsberg talladega electronic targetEach Kongsberg target connects to a monitor that displays the hit locations to the shooter. Easy push-button controls allow the shooter to cycle through hits and options without having to change positions. The monitors employ non-glare glass protected by an aluminum frame that acts as a shade. This ensures good visibility for the shooter.

Engineered in Norway, Kongsberg target systems do more than just display shot locations to competitors. The system automatically calculate scores, and every target is networked to a central, “command” computer. This can provide updated competitor rankings, and can even display the results to event spectators on large view screens. See how it works in this video from Kongsberg:

Video Demonstrates Kongsberg Target System

Mobile Electronic Targets Will Be Moved Around the Country
The CMP now has set of mobile electronic Kongsberg High Power targets. The CMP plans to shuttle these transportable targets to a variety of ranges in the north, south, east, and west, allowing shooters around the country to experience the benefits of electronic target systems. The CMP has found that shooters love the fact that matches run much more quickly and efficiently with electronic targets, as shooters do not have to be shuttled to the pits between relays. In addition, each shooter has a monitor providing instant feedback of his shot locations and scores.

In April, 15 mobile electronic targets were temporarily installed and fired upon from 200, 300 and 600 yards at the Oklahoma City Gun Club during the Oklahoma CMP Games Matches. The mobile targets were transported from Talladega and mounted by the CMP and volunteers for use during the event. The targets were removed at the conclusion of the event for future use at other High Power ranges.

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