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There are millions of gun collectors in the world, and some of the most passionate focus on antique varieties. Antique handguns for sale at auction offer models that have stood the test of time.
In colonial America, many of the few who owned handguns had to rely on flintlock pistols which employed a simple ignition system. By the American Civil War, revolvers by the likes of Colt, Remington, Derringer, and Repeating Arms were de riguer. The latter part of the 19th century brought double-action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, including the cowboy-friendly Smith & Wesson Model No. 1 revolver and the German Luger Parabellum.
Advances in technology opened the world of weapons to unexpected innovations, but the origin of many later developments in handguns can be traced to their antique predecessors. With a seemingly inexhaustible supply of antique handguns to choose from, gun collectors find no shortage of desirable and interesting objects to add to their cases.
In 1987, Adolf Hitler's engraved golden 7.65 mm Walther PP pistol sold for $114,000. It is believed to have been used by the infamous leader to commit suicide. Its worth is now estimated in the millions
At a 2013 Little John's Antique Arms auction, the .44-caliber Smith & Wesson used to end the life of outlaw Jesse James sold for $350,000
A Colt Whitneyville-Walker pistol once owned by Texas Ranger Sam Wilson sold at auction in 2008 for an unbelievable sum of $920,000