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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Call of Duty

Hello everybody!  My name is Joel and I'm in charge of social media responsibilities here at Rock Island Auction Co.  Yes, that is as cool as it sounds.  I'm ridiculously excited to start a career here and to show you a glimpse of just some the amazing firearms we have here at RIAC.  Most will be upcoming auction items, some will be stuff that I find personally fascinating, and others will just have a significant and sometimes unique history behind them.  Let's jump right in shall we?

Today's post will be for something we can all get behind: Call of Duty.  Younger readers know this as a  video game series stretching all the way back to 2003.  It is a game that initially puts players in a World War II setting in the role of soldiers in the U.S., British, and Russian armies.  While those who don't play video games may not care too much about this, they should definitely appreciate the familiarity with firearms that these games are bestowing to a much younger audience.  All of a sudden, kids could tell you the differences between a MP40 and an MP44, or between a M1 Garand and an M1903 Springfield.

More recent versions of the game take place in modern times with updated combat weapons.  Instead of the former weapons of war, players are using modern combat tools.  This includes everything from Steyr Augs, FN P90s, Remington's MSR, to Javelin missle launchers.  While RIAC does not have any Javelins, we certainly have a variety of the new and old guns that have been capturing the interest of players.  I write about these guns not because they're trendy, but because new and experienced enthusiasts alike can both appreciate the active legislative climate for gun owners.  Whether it's the aficionado with a collection spanning several hundred pieces or the person with the tried and true, handed down rifle, all gun owners need to pay special attention to the debates and legislation taking place.  That's a Call of Duty that we should all heed.

To show what's at stake, I'm going to show some of the guns that appear in these video games.  Both new and old collectors would be lucky to include any of these guns in their collection, but in order to maintain the right to collect these fine pieces it's going to take both groups using their respective passions to move toward a common goal.  I promise that I'll try to keep the political pieces to a minimum and to keep the focus on exciting, unique firearms of all eras, but with all these great firearms that I've seen here in my first month and the current national debate, I really couldn't resist.  Now how about some pictures of some amazing weapons?  I'll start with some more of the historic pieces.

Colt Model 1921 "Thompson" Submachine Gun 
Who could deny the desire to collect this piece of Americana?  The "Tommy" Gun brings up visions of everything from World War II to Prohibition-era mobsters.  It has earned such nicknames as, The Chicago Typewriter, The Chicago Piano, The Trench Sweeper, The Trench Broom, The Chicago Organ Grinder, its prototype name The Annihilator, its more personable common name The Tommy Gun, and my personal favorite, The Chopper.  Their mingled history of sordid and noble deeds combined with their quality and reliability make these guns highly desirable collectors items. The model that we'll be selling in our April auction is described below.

Auction Description

Excellent Colt Model 1921 Full Automatic Class III "Thompson" Submachine Gun
"This is a beautiful example of an early production Model 1921 Thompson submachine gun as produced by the Colt Firearms Company circa 1921/22. This specific submachine gun remains in it's early original 1921 configuration. The Thompson SMG is probably one of the most famous and easily recognized SMGs ever produced and made infamous during the prohibition and gangland warfare era by both U.S. law enforcement agencies, the Mafia and again by the USMC in 1928 during their time in Nicaragua. These 1921 models had mediocre sales for the first few years with most being later upgraded to the 1928 configuration, however this example remains in it's original 1921 configuration...These were one of the best if not the best made SMG ever and if you ever have a chance to disassemble one of these weapons you will be amazed at how well they were manufactured, the parts just slide together like glass"

The full description and markings of this great weapon can be found by clicking here.

Countless numbers of our fathers and grandfathers have held and used this weapon in a number of international wars.  While it saw its heyday in WWI, it continued as the standard infantry issue in WWII until adequate numbers of the M1 Garand could be manufactured.  Heck, it was so prized for its reliability and accuracy that it even saw service as a sniper rifle in WWII, Korea, and even early in Vietnam.  Besides its importance in combat, it also provided an ample template for experimentation as the U.S. attempted to develop a serviceable semi-automatic weapon for military use.  In fact, one of those experiments will be available at our upcoming Premiere Auction in April 2013.  I refer to the M1903 Mark I, which involved a hole on the left side of the receiver to accommodate a Pedersen Device, essentially converting the M1903 into a semi-automatic rifle capable of firing .30 caliber cartridges from a horizontally inserted magazine.  The Pedersen Device was discussed in-depth in a previous article. This type of unique item really makes history exciting!

Auction Description

Outstanding All Complete Model 1903 Mark I U.S. Springfield Bolt Rifle with Ultra Rare Original Pedersen Device with Metal Case Magazine Canvas Pouch and 1906 Dated Bayonet
Wow what a fantastic find! A complete 1919 dated U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Mark I rifle rig that is complete with an original "Remington-Bridgeport" 1918 Mark I Pedersen Device that is complete with the original Pedersen device metal carrying case, disassembly tool, two original stick magazines, canvas pouch for the magazines, and an original canvas pouch for the 1903 bolt when removed from the rifle. What a complete turn-key type set up... This super rare device is accompanied by an original, Model 1903 Mark I rifle.

The full description and markings of this great weapon can be found by clicking here.

StG 44
A continuation of the MP43 and MP44, the Sturmgewehr (StG) literally translated as "storm rifle" and was allegedly named such by Adolf Hitler himself for propaganda purposes.  It was largely developed to compensate for the shortcomings of other German rifles of the era.  German cartridges prior to 1942 were larger than necessary, so a less powerful and shorter ("Kurz") version of the standard German 7.92mm cartridge was developed.  This gave the Germans a weapon with less recoil, and a controllable, high rate of fire weapon good for mid range engagements.  It is largely credited as being the granddaddy to all modern assault rifles, even the quintessential AK47 and M16.  To say that this is an important part of firearms history is an understatement.

Auction Description
Sturmgewehr 44
This is an outstanding example of an extremely rare, all original and unaltered WWII Nazi STG44 (SturmGewehr 44) assault rifle with all matching numbers that is complete with one late war "MP44" marked magazine. The STG44 select fire rifle was a continuation of the MP44 series of weapons which was designed for mass production using several stamped sheet and welded steel parts. This series of assault rifle was developed to give the German soldier more fire power by using the shorter/lighter 7.92 X33 mm Kurz cartridge in a 30 round magazine, with select fire capability. The 7.92 X 33mm cartridge provides far more power and greater range than the standard 9 mm SMG round as used in the MP40 series of SMGs, and it allowed the German Infantryman to carry considerably more ammunition that the standard 8mm ammunition for the 98K rifles. The MP44/STG44 series of rifles is considered to be the father of the modern assault rifle concept/design and was the basis of the later Russian AK series of weapons.

Modern Weapons

Now for some of the modern weapons.  If you're a collector that leans toward more "history based" weapons, these may not have the same high level of appeal.  However, if you like contemporary design, high rates of fire, and large advances of technology, then these weapons are definitely for you.

The Steyr Aug's distinct appearance has earned it appearances in video games dating back at least to the year 2000.  Despite its development in the early 1970's, the gun enjoys a modern design by incorporating a built-in optical sight/carrying handle, one-piece plastic stock to help prevent uniform snags, a translucent magazine, and bullpup design.  


Auction Description
Steyr AUG
"Produced before 1994. Blade and notch sights on the integral scope/carry handle. Gun South import marks are present on the quick-detach barrel, with a bird-cage flash hider, 2-position gas port and folding front handle. Matching numbers are present on the barrel, receiver, and bolt carrier. Textured pistol grip stock, with Steyr-Mannlicher markings and a smooth rubberized buttplate. With one 9-round magazine and one 30-round magazine, along with a cardboard shipping box."

The auction listing for this weapon can be seen here.  We also have 3 other AUGs for auction and many magazines for them!

Better known to gamers as the P90, the PS90 is the semi-automatic carbine version of this originally fully automatic weapon.  It is completely ambidextrous with no modifications, and features a patented "top-mounted, longitudinal magazine."  It looks like it was designed 25 years in the future and is designed to fire the fast 5.7 x 28mm round.

Auction Description

Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal PS90
"This is the early version, introduced in 2005 as a semi-automatic, civilian legal carbine based off the P90 Personal Defense Weapon. Fitted with the green military style polymer stock, extended barrel with integral bird cage flash hider, ambidextrous safety and charging handles, adjustable optical sight, and 50-round top feed magazine. With factory box numbered to gun, cable lock and three extra magazines with boxes."

Barrett Model 82A1
This may be a gun that both new enthusiasts and collectors can both appreciate.  There are few better ways to reach out and touch something than with this visually intimidating and brutally accurate rifle.  It is used by armies, law enforcement, and tactical teams worldwide - a testament to its performance, reliability, power, and uncanny ability to throw .50 BMG rounds downrange with incredible precision.

Auction Description

Barrett Model 82A1 Semi-Automatic Rifle with Accessories
"This is an impressive semi-automatic 50 caliber anti-material/anti-personnel rifle and is the same type as used by the U.S. Military. This rifle has a rear flip up adjustable iron sight mounted on top of the receiver and a fold down front sight. There is a removable fold-down carrying handle on the top rail, a factory "arrowhead" shaped muzzle brake, a rear monopod, a fold down M60 style bipod, an M-16 style pistol grip and a solid rubber recoil pad. The top of the receiver has a long Picatinny rail for optics/accessories with a Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS)(not tested) that has been attached to the Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14x50mm LRT scope in Barrett scope rings with Butler Creek flip up lens caps. Comes with original Pelican takedown case, 3 extra magazines, an Otis cleaning kit, software and cables for BORS equipped scope and 2 cases of Barrett 661 grain .50 BMG ammunition (159/160)."

We also have two other Barrets available in this auction!  You may click here and here to see them.

I hope that seeing some of these warfare weapons, both new and old, really got the old juices flowing! The best part is that these are only a fraction of the combat arms that we are going to feature.  Go ahead and run a search and see if we have your favorite firearms in our upcoming sale.  Thanks for checking out our great items and keep your eyes peeled for more.


Miller, D. (2005). The Illustrated Directory of Guns, A Collector's Guide to over 2000 Military, Sporting and Antique firearms. Colin Gower Enterprises Ltd.