The Winchester rifle awarded to the captor of legendary Apache leader Geronimo sold for $1.265 million at auction, a record price for a single firearm.
The Model 1886 lever-action rifle, known as the “Geronimo rifle,” was awarded to Capt. Henry Ware Lawton by a fellow officer, Lt. George E. Albee. The rifle was presented in recognition of Lawton’s efforts to pursue and ultimately orchestrate the 1886 surrender of Geronimo and his band in the Peloncillo Mountains of the New Mexico boot heel.
The rifle’s serial number is 1.
According to Winchester, the Model 1886 was designed by inventor John M. Browning and “was able to handle the most powerful black-powder cartridges of the period.” It is graded as being in 95 percent condition.
“It represents the 25 years of bloodshed between the U.S. Army and the Apache Indians in the Southwest and the end of the Indian Wars,” said Kevin Hogan, president of Rock Island Auction Company, which handled the auction. “Being serial number one and possessing such outstanding condition would alone be enough to draw six figures at auction. When you add one of the most famous names in the history of the Old West, you have a huge crossover appeal.”
Feb 7, 2018 -
Winchester has more on the sale here, and Rock Island has even more on the history of the U.S.-Apache conflicts here.