This article was written with the assistance of A.I. technology, and has been edited and fact-checked by Melly Alazraki.
In August 2021, Pat Garrett’s Colt Single Action Army Revolver sold for $6 million at auction, setting a new record for the most expensive firearm ever sold. The gun, which is chambered in .44-40, was used to kill Billy the Kid. Inflation-adjusted, the sale price is now equal to $6.6 million.
Collectors often pay high prices – six figures and up – for guns that played a role in history. Other firearms that tend to fetch high prices at auction were owned by influential political leaders, both foreign and domestic, like George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Simon Bolivar, whose own revolutionary movements helped shape the world as we know it.
In other cases, rather than an affiliation with political leaders, guns sold for small fortunes at auction are notable for their rarity, craftsmanship, artistry, or the period in which law enforcement and military officers carried them.
Pat Garrett’s Colt Single Action Army Revolver is a prime example of several of these reasons. The gun itself is extremely rare, and its connection to Billy the Kid makes it a highly coveted piece of American history.
Click here for the most expensive firearms ever sold at auction.
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