Revolvers have dominated American history, so it is no surprise that there are some really fine and really rare examples that catch a very high price. They are desirable as they come with their own story and stand for a very special time.

Most of us grew up with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. We have seen their revolvers and longed to be in their time with their guns. Revolvers were not only the handguns of that time, they are also beautiful, reliable and rugged. Everyone is great even if not everyone stands out. In the end, it is the most historic and collectible ones we look at. They are defined by their past and by the sums they fetch in an auction.

Hearing this, you might imagine tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid for them, but that is not enough. The finest and most expensive ones make for sums north of $1 million. They are kept alive by their collectors, and they have long stopped being just pieces of steel and ivory. They connect us to what has been and represent landmarks in the history and design of handguns.

1 – Ulysses S. Grant’s Cased Remington New Model Army Revolvers

Ulysses S. Grant is a name that does not need any more explanation. These revolvers in .44 percussion were given to him when he was president to celebrate his accomplishments on the battlefield while fighting the Confederation. They were a gift as a thank you by two cotton magnates. Over the years, they developed into the holy grail of Civil War collectors and fetched a price of $5,170,000.

The Remington New Model Army was by itself a common sidearm in the Civil War. At that time, it would cost around $12. These guns cost $400 each. They remained in the family for more than 100 years and were eventually given to a handyman who worked on the Grant house.

Ulysses S. Grant’s Cased Remington New Model Army Revolvers

In 1976, they were sold to a gun collector for the price of $1500. Sporting immaculate engraving on the metal with scrolls, dots, and a Colombian shield, they come with ivory grips that feature a raised motif of Grant`s bust on one side and a patriotic emblem on the other. The metal finish is in great condition, and the ivory grips have aged overtime to a mellow patina.

2 – Cased Colt Civilian Walker Revolver, “The Danish Sea Captain Walker”

This revolver in .44 percussion was sold for a price of $1,840,000. It is in fact the only known cased civilian Walker, and it comes with a handwritten bill of sale created by Samuel Colt himself. As a rare version of the first successful revolver made by Colt, the price is more than justified.

The Walker revolver was designed working with Samuel Walker who was a member of the famed Texas Rangers. Built in 1847, it was part of a small run of guns sold to civilians that comprised only 100 samples.

This revolver comes with quite some history that is more than just a little bit unusual. It was bought by Niles Hansen, a Danish sea captain who visited New York at that time. He went back to Europe and passed this beauty down to his family.

Cased Colt Civilian Walker Revolver, “The Danish Sea Captain Walker”

It survived World War II being at one point buried in a garden to avoid it being taken by the Nazis and found his way back to the New World. It is at the same time the best example of all Colt Walkers, the most written one, and the most talked about one.

3 – G. Young Engraved Colt Millikin Dragoon Revolver

At a price of $1,667,500, this beauty in .44 percussion changed hands. Being a presentation model, it is simply the best of the best. Sporting masterful engravings done by Gustav Young with scrolls and animal heads, it comes with a beautiful blued finish and is case hardened.

This gun features an attached accessories case that includes a powder flask which makes it the more desirable as is the original owner, the Civil War hero Colonel P.M. Millikin. Being cut off from his unit during a saber charge against the Confederates, he was surrounded and shot. After this fight, the revolver was presented to his son Paul Millikin. He became a colonel himself serving during the Spanish-American War and during World War I. The Colt is flawlessly made and represents the bond between a heroic father and son.

G. Young Engraved Colt Millikin Dragoon Revolver

4 – Theodore Roosevelt Factory Engraved Colt Single Action Revolver “The Bull Moose Colt Single Action”

Fetching a price of $1,466,250, this beauty comes chambered in .38 Colt. It was a gift for President Theodore Roosevelt showing a fine engraving that covers 75% of its surface and it is silver plated. The ivory grips sport Colt medallions as well as a steer head engraved on the right sight.

Being ordered in October 1912 just days before he was shot at close range by a Colt .38 while giving a speech, it got a special meaning. The bullet that hit the president went through his glasses case and a stack of papers which was in his front pocket. That slowed it down enough to save his life. President Roosevelt managed to stand back up after being hit and finished his speech. He carried this Colt revolver on many occasions including his expedition down the River of Doubt in Brazil.

Theodore Roosevelt Factory Engraved Colt Single Action Revolver “The Bull Moose Colt Single Action”

5 – E Company No. 120 U.S. Colt Model 1874 Walker Revolver

This gorgeous revolver comes chambered in .44 percussion and changed hand for the sum of $1,035,000. As a design of Samuel Colt, it revolutionized small arms tactics and brought the design of firearms into a new age. The E Company was produced in 1874 and managed to survive until this day.

They were meant to be used by mounted horsemen who carried one on each hip. As such, they were game changers as they offered a lot of firepower both in terms of numbers of shots and power of each shot fired. The example auctioned was the No. 120 that was used by George Charles McClure who was at this time with the Texas Rangers fighting in the American Civil War as well as when he was hunting buffalo and working to guard wagon trains.

E Company No. 120 U.S. Colt Model 1874 Walker Revolver

It survived with his descendants in rural Wyoming and was discovered by pure luck. It comes with a military blue finish as well as a brass trigger guard. Also, it has walnut grips and an engraving on the cylinder depicting an Indian versus Ranger fight scene.

There you have it guys, some of the most expensive revolvers that were auctioned off. What do you think of them and the prices they fetched? Let us know in the comments.

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