As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











November 28th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Winchester 1886 No. 1, $1.265 Million Rifle

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 rifle ever sold at auction, according to the Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC), the world’s leading firearms auction house. This rifle sold in 2016 for $1,265,000.00 — the highest auction price ever recorded for a rifle (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. SEE: RIAC Most Expensive Guns.

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

From Rock Island Auctions: “This 1886 Winchester set what was at that time the world record for the most expensive single firearm ever sold at auction… this particular model 1886 happened to be serial number one! If that weren’t enough, the gun was presented by firearms designer Lieut. George E. Albee to his friend and fellow Medal of Honor Recipient Capt. Henry W. Lawton, upon Lawton’s accepted surrender of Apache leader Geronimo.”

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

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

Click the links below for the full, illustrated history of Geronimo’s capture by Captain Henry W. Lawton.

FULL Story: The Prize for Capturing Geronimo, Part I

FULL Story: The Prize for Capturing Geronimo, Part II

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.

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

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″.

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

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

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.”

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

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review No Comments »
November 28th, 2021

Position Shooting — Tips from Olympic Shooter Matt Emmons

Matt Emmons smallbore air rifle Olympic Games gold medal position shoooting
Rio 2016 World Cup Photo Courtesy ISSF and Team USA.

Would you like to try position shooting? Here are some tips from one of the best 3P shooters on the planet, Olympian Matt Emmons.

Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsMatt Emmons is one of the USA’s top smallbore rifle competitors in recent decades. Emmons has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997 and he has represented the USA in various rifle events at four Olympics Games — 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Matt earned multiple Olympic medals: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone*; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large PDF file. Right-click the image and “save as” to download the poster-sized PDF.

Here Matt Shows the Kneeling Position. The other two positions are Standing and Prone.

CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tips

Three Sets of Hardware for Three Positions
You may be surprised to find that Matt often totes three complete sets of rifle parts to important matches — three buttplates, three cheekpieces, and three Centra sights with adjustable irises. Matt told Shooting Sports USA that he travels with “three sets for three positions. Our final is so fast that I need three sets of everything to allow a fast change-over between positions.” Matt carries his gear in an an Anschütz sport bag: “It’s similar to the big Ogio duffels with wheels, but lighter. I’ve worked with AHG/Anschütz for many years and I like their bag because all of my junk fits in it.”


*Emmons’s gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the prone position came while using a borrowed rifle. In April 2004, just prior to the Olympic Team Trials, Emmons discovered his rifle had been severely sabotaged in the supposedly secure locker room at the United States Olympic Training Center. The precisely tuned barrel and action were heavily damaged by what appeared to be a screwdriver. “I unpacked my gun and I noticed that something wasn’t right,” Emmons said. “Sure enough, somebody had done something to it. I shot it and I couldn’t get the shell out. I said, ‘Something’s wrong here’.” Emmons said it could not have been an accident: “Oh no, no,” Emmons said. “Somebody took a screwdriver and went in.” Emmons went on to the 2004 Summer Olympics, and his gold medal in the prone position event, using his former University of Alaska Fairbanks teammate, Amber Darland’s .22 rifle. He never found out who the saboteur was, but said “I’d like to know so I could shake their hand and say thanks.”

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 28th, 2021

Better Pistol Cartridge Reloading — Advice from Starline

pistol cartridge reloading Starline brass

Starline Brass offers a series of videos with helpful reloading tips. Focused primarily on pistol cartridges, these short videos can help anyone get started with metallic cartridge reloading. If you load pistol rounds on a progressive, this video series is particularly helpful. The on-camera host is Hunter Pilant, son of Carroll Pilant of Sierra Bullets.

Preventing Double Charges
Tip: Use a bulky powder that fills your case more than half way with a correct charge. This will overfill the case if it is double-charged, making it very difficult to seat a bullet.

Tumble New Brass Before Loading the First Time
Tip: Tumble new pistol cartridge brass in used media for 30 minutes before loading for the first time. This will add enough graphite (carbon residue) to smooth case entry into dies. You can also lube the case mouths with graphite, or use spray lube.

Powder Through Expander — How to Eliminate Hang-ups
Tip: When loading pistol brass with a progressive press, sometime the powder-through expander is hard to remove, especially with short cases. There are two fixes — first, try deburring the inside of the case mouth on your cases. Second, the radius of the powder through expander plug can be modified to smooth entry and exit (see photo). Starline will do this modification for free.

modified powder through expander starline

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Handguns, Reloading No Comments »