Presidential-Owned Firearms from Roosevelt and Ford Up for Auction

RIAC will offer extremely rare and historic firearms previously owned by Presidents Roosevelt and Ford, among 2,100 other lots, during its May Premier Auction

BEDFORD, Texas, April 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC) will offer a historic and rare selection of firearms once owned by Presidents Roosevelt and Ford at its May Premier Auction, scheduled for Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 in Bedford, TX. The impressive array will feature a percussion rifle from President Theodore Roosevelt’s collection and five remarkable sporting arms owned by President Gerald R. Ford, Jr.

“Presidential arms have historically performed extremely well,” says Kevin Hogan, President of Rock Island Auction Company. “With their legacy tied to such an important office, most presidential owned firearms are institutionalized. The select few offered for private sale are immensely rare and rank among the most sought-after objects in the fine arms field.”

President Gerald Ford’s Sporting Arms
Serving as president during the bicentennial year of 1976, President Gerald R. Ford Jr. was presented five fine, engraved sporting arms from Winchester, Browning and Ruger that will be available in three separate lots at the May Premier Auction.

The first, a gold inlaid Winchester Model 21 bicentennial double-barrel shotgun, stands as a pinnacle in American firearm craftsmanship, having been built and personally engraved for President Ford. A large gold presidential seal is inlaid beneath the shotgun, which comes with an extra barrel set in a bespoke case with gold text that reads “President Gerald R. Ford, United States of America.” The Model 21, with its rich historical significance, is expected to have a pre-auction value of $125,000$250,000.

President Ford was also presented with a factory-engraved game scene pair of Browning Model 1885 single-shot rifles. The pair exhibits stunning engraving as well as depicting bald eagles and bison in gold relief, strong symbols for a bicentennial presentation. They carry a pre-auction estimate of $75,000$125,000.

The bicentennial presentations also included a pair of Ruger No. 1 single-shot rifles engraved and gold inlaid by master James Meek. With semi-relief gold animals on each side, the pair also bears numerous presentation markings. Even the leather-bound case is marked on its lid, “Presented to President Gerald R. Ford by the Republican national Committee.”  The Ruger No. 1s are expected to have a pre-auction value of $40,000$60,000.

President Theodore Roosevelt’s Rifle
From President Theodore Roosevelt’s personal collection comes a documented and historic, half-stock percussion rifle. Roosevelt received this Hawken rifle just prior to a friend’s death in 1893, who also indicated that he had personally seen the rifle used by American frontier legend, Kit Carson. The rifle, made by one of the most well-known early American gunsmiths, is likely the largest of its type and would’ve been used for target shooting and bison.

The rifle remained in Roosevelt’s collection until 1907 when the then-sitting president eventually loaned the historic rifle to the Boone & Crockett Club, a conservation organization he had helped found. The gun has also been displayed at Sagamore Hill, which served as Roosevelt’s home for more than three decades and now serves as a museum and historic site.

The tie to Kit Carson, Roosevelt’s ownership, the revered makers, and its placement in collections both private and institutional, all make this rifle a supremely valuable prospect for fine arms collectors. The rifle’s pre-auction estimate is $55,000$85,000.

These presidential firearms are just a glimpse into the 2,100 lots featured at RIAC’s May Premier Auction. After the grand opening of RIAC’s Bedford facility in December of 2023, the world’s number one firearms auction house is pleased to host its first premier auction of 2024.

For additional information on Rock Island Auction Company and other highlights of the May event, visit:

About Rock Island Auction Company:

Rock Island Auction Company is the world’s no. 1 auction company for firearms, bladed weapons and militaria. Founded in 1993 by its current CEO Patrick Hogan, RIAC continues to lead the industry with record sales numbers and its extensive and well-crafted marketing efforts. The company’s 150,000 square-foot Illinois campus consists of two buildings and serves as the company’s hub for catalog and content production. The 90,000 square-foot Bedford facility opened in December 2023 and will host six of the company’s 18+ auctions each year. RIAC actively seeks consignments, be it a single weapon or a collection of hundreds, an item valued at $1,000 or $1 million.

Media Contact:
Mattie Van Gundy
(713) 409-1835

SOURCE Rock Island Auction Company