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ulyssess s grant remington revolvers

Or Rather, All the Presidents’ Guns That Fetched a Hefty Sum at Auction

There’s almost something regal about a firearm owned by an American president. Maybe it’s the aura of having once been owned by a leader of the free world. Or perhaps it’s because they represent the long-gone era when a man in a position of power wasn’t fully dressed unless he had his six-shooter holstered to his hip.

Just like our Presidents, firearms represent different eras in history. I think we can all agree that without firearms, there would be no United States of America. The Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC), the number one firearms auction house in the world, is fortunate to host auctions that allow bidders a chance to own a rare piece of history.

Take a peek at some of the extraordinary, and dare we say it, stunning firearms that were auctioned during the company’s premier auctions.

President Theodore Roosevelt’s Colt Revolver

President Theodore Roosevelt’s Colt Revolver sold for an eye-popping $1.4 million at the RIAC’s 2022 December Premier Auction. This intricate revolver was commissioned as a gift for Roosevelt’s 54th birthday. This silver-plated revolver is factory engraved and the ivory grip depicts a steer—a possible homage to Roosevelt’s time as a cattle rancher.

President Ulysses S. Grant’s Remington Revolvers

You know you’ve made it when you’ve been gifted a pair of matching engraved revolvers that feature your face on the grip.

President Ulysses S. Grant was presented with this pair of revolvers circa 1863-1864. What is striking about these revolvers is that they feature the work of master engraver L.D. Nimschke, one of the leading craftsmen of his time. The revolvers and their original rosewood case sold for a record-breaking $5.17 million at the RIAC’s 2022 May Premier Auction.

President John F. Kennedy’s M1 Garand

JFK's M1 garand


President John F. Kennedy’s M1 Garand is, to this day, the most historically significant M1 Garand ever sold. Issued to Kennedy in 1959 when he was still a Massachusetts Senator, it’s entirely possible that he brought it with him to the White House. We can only assume that Jackie made sure it was kept tastefully on display. In September 2015, it went up for auction with the winning bid amounting to $149,500.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Model Burnside Civil War Carbine

Kentucky statesman John Jordan Crittenden was presented with this Second Model Burnside Civil War carbine by President Lincoln in gratitude for his service to the Union. The rifle bears an engraved silver plaque which reads: “Presented to the Hon. J.J. Crittenden by A. Lincoln President of the United States As a testimony of affectionate regard for his long and patriotic Services to which a grateful people bear willing testimony Feby 1st 1862.”

As it stands, this rifle is the only documented firearm that was in President Lincoln’s possession. It was sold for $105,750 at RIAC’s 2022 December Premier Auction.

While this list only represents the firearms sold at RIAC auctions, we know that there are many other firearms out there that were owned by Presidents—most of which are in museums. All the same, we’re grateful for the Presidents who took the Second Amendment seriously. They knew that freedom required strength and that strength came from bearing arms.

Meet The Five Most Expensive Guns Ever Sold

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