This Historic Winchester Rifle Just Became the Most Expensive Gun Ever Sold

It was owned by the man who captured Geronimo.


Rock Island Auction Co.

A historic 1886 Winchester rifle, owned by U.S. Army Captain Henry Ware Lawton, who is credited with capturing Apache leader Geronimo, just sold for $1.2 million, setting a new world record. The lever-action repeating rifle, an icon of the Old West, is now the most expensive gun ever sold at auction.

The Rock Island Auction Company of Illinois made the sale, but has not disclosed the buyer’s identity. In 1886, the same year the gun was made, Lawton commanded a group of men who rode south across the U.S.-Mexico border to hunt down Geronimo.

Geronimo / Library of Congress

After Lawton made the capture, a friend and former Army lieutenant who was working for Winchester secured the very first production piece of the new Model 1886 rifle and offered it to Lawton as a gift, the Atlantic reports. As such even without a famous owner it would be one of the most valuable firearms in existence. 

Watch the video that the auction house made about this iconic piece of American history. Lock and load:


Jared Paul Stern