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European Handguns

Throughout history, Europeans have made landfall from their ships bearing firearms, colonizing the New World and enslaving Africans. Many of the weapons used in Europe's historical conquests were early handguns.

Primitive wick-lit European sidearms gave way to matchlock systems, which led to wheelock, and then flintlock mechanisms. Later, Colt and Smith & Wesson American revolver development closely mirrored that of 19th-century British gunsmith Robert Adams and firearms producers Webley & Scott.

The turn of the century brought with it an increasing reliance on semi-automatics, and European manufacturers like Walther and Luger became household names. Czech Bohmische's CZ line of pistols became heavily relied upon. Belgian gunmaker FN Herstal, producer of the FN Model 1910 pistol, also developed successful European handguns including the Browning Hi-Power. In the latter part of the 20th century, Italy's Beretta, Austria's Glock, and Germany's Sig Sauer and Heckler & Koch came into their own.

Auctions are sources of a range of European handguns. Available at auction are sidearms by lesser known and short-lived producers as well as pistols by prominent world-class brands.


Quick Facts

  • In 2014, an important presentation-cased Luger pistol with an oak leaf-engraved ivory grip sold at a James D. Julia sale for $86,250
  • A historic Salvator-Dormus Model M1896 Austrian military test 9 mm sold at a 2014 James D. Julia auction for $31,625
  • In 2013, a Nazi-marked FN Herstal Belgian Browning Hi-Power 9 mm pistol sold at a Lock, Stock & Barrel auction for $1,036

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

HK USP COMPACT SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
HK USP COMPACT SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$4257 Bids
H&K HK4 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
H&K HK4 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$3505 Bids
Interarms Firestar Semi Automatic Pistol
Apr 19, 12:00 PM MST
Interarms Firestar Semi Automatic Pistol
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$705 Bids
ERMA LA 22 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
ERMA LA 22 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$1754 Bids
HK MARK 23 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
HK MARK 23 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$8003 Bids
CONSECUTIVE PAIR OF HK4 SEMI AUTO PISTOLS.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
CONSECUTIVE PAIR OF HK4 SEMI AUTO PISTOLS.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$6003 Bids
HK P9S SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
HK P9S SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $600- $900
$4503 Bids
SCARCE 50TH ANNIVERSARY HK USP COMPACT SEMI AUTO
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
SCARCE 50TH ANNIVERSARY HK USP COMPACT SEMI AUTO
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4253 Bids
GSG 1911 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
GSG 1911 SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $300- $400
$1501 Bid
Five Antique Double Barrel Pistols
Apr 17, 9:00 AM CDT
Five Antique Double Barrel Pistols
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $500- $800
$4501 Bid
HK USP SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
HK USP SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
HK USP SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
HK USP SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
EAA TANFOGLIO WITNESS STOCK III SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
EAA TANFOGLIO WITNESS STOCK III SEMI AUTO PISTOL.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Sig Sauer P220 Elite Dark TB Semi-Automatic Pistol with Case
Apr 17, 9:00 AM CDT
Sig Sauer P220 Elite Dark TB Semi-Automatic Pistol with Case
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $600- $900
$5001 Bid
Tokarev Mod 54-1 Pistol
Apr 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Tokarev Mod 54-1 Pistol
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Four Semi-Automatic Rimfire Pistols
Apr 17, 9:00 AM CDT
Four Semi-Automatic Rimfire Pistols
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $700- $1,100
$6000 Bids
Three Semi-Automatic Rimfire Pistols with Boxes
Apr 17, 9:00 AM CDT
Three Semi-Automatic Rimfire Pistols with Boxes
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $600- $900
$5000 Bids
Two CZ Semi-Automatic Pistols with Cases
Apr 17, 9:00 AM CDT
Two CZ Semi-Automatic Pistols with Cases
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$9000 Bids
Three Italian Semi-Automatic Rimfire Pistols
Apr 17, 9:00 AM CDT
Three Italian Semi-Automatic Rimfire Pistols
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $400- $700
$3500 Bids
GERMAN D.R.G.M. PINFIRE REVOLVER.
Apr 17, 10:00 AM EDT
GERMAN D.R.G.M. PINFIRE REVOLVER.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Two Astra Cub Semi-Automatic Pistols with Boxes
Apr 17, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Astra Cub Semi-Automatic Pistols with Boxes
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $500- $700
$4500 Bids
A Union Switch & Signal Mod. 1911 A1
May 15, 9:00 AM CEST
A Union Switch & Signal Mod. 1911 A1
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1,0500 Bids
KPS Mod. Omega Match
May 15, 9:00 AM CEST
KPS Mod. Omega Match
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell European Handguns


Hermann Historica GmbH

Hermann Historica GmbH

Rock Island Auction Company

Rock Island Auction Company

Poulin Antiques & Auctions

Poulin Antiques & Auctions

Joh. Springer's Erben Auctioneers

Joh. Springer's Erben Auctioneers