Over 1000 Lots are up for grabs from Carol Watson’s Orange Coast auctions in a two day sale Saturday and Sunday October 29th and 30th. Both sessions start at 10AM Pacific time and are available for absentee and live bidding on iCollector.com. Great care has been made to put together a selection of quality consignments backed by one of the best auction houses of firearms in California. This auction is featuring Winchester rifles, Colt revolvers, and collectible Sporting Rifles and Shotguns. There is also a selection of military rifles and pistols, modern handguns, and rare antique firearms. Rounding out the sale will also be a great offering of edged weapons and militaria.
At Lot 28 an early standout is up for auction. This is an early Civil War Rampart Rifle attributed to Thomas W Cofer. Bidding is opening at $2500 and there are some excellent photos in the online catalog for inspection. The complete description as provided by the auctioneer is as follows:
Newly Discovered Early Civil War Sliding-Block Rampart Rifle, Attributed to Thomas W. Cofer, Portsmouth, Virginia. An exceptionally unique and highly unusual rampart or fort rifle with a 34-1/2” heavyweight barrel in .40” caliber with 5-groove rifling, chambered for a specifically designed, sharply tapering conical 2-1/2” metallic cartridge with a 1-1/8” rim. The large scale barrel assembly is composed of two pieces with a short cylindrical pressure section extending from the frame and accepting the major portion of the barrel, which has an octagonal tightening shank. The heavy one-piece block slides out of the frame from right to left, to allow for insertion of a cartridge in the integral frame chamber ahead of it; the block is drilled through its length for a long firing pin and has a leaf spring on the bottom applying tension to keep the block in place and aligned for the firing pin. The balance of the rifle mechanism is conventional for the time period, with a traditional lock and half-cock external hammer arrangement, using a long curved mainspring running the length of the lower tang. The heavy brass lower tang and triggerguard are polished on the exposed portions and remain roughly finished under the stock, as are the balance of the frame and upper tang. Overall weight of the rifle is 14-7/8 lbs. Identifying markings are on the left side of the block and include the name ”T.W. COFER” gold inlaid in semi-italics and ”PAT. AUG 12, 1861” over ”PORTSMOUTH VA”. (a notable feature of the lettering is it is upside down when the block is installed). August 12, 1861 is significant in that T.W. Cofer, a Virginia gunsmith and firearms innovator, was granted the ”Confederate States of America Patent Number 9” on that date for his ”Cofer Revolver” which was a hybrid split-cylinder percussion revolver capable of firing a reusable brass bodied cartridge with a percussion cap primer. The total production of his revolvers is estimated by various sources at 82 units, and it is believed all were delivered to the 5th Virginia Cavalry as one of the first contract purchases by the Confederate States of America. Only a few remaining ”Cofer Revolvers” are known to exist. His sliding-block rifle design is equally unique and far ahead of its time in its ability to fire small projectiles over long ranges at very high theoretical velocities, in the multi-thousands of feet per second, due to the large case capacity and body taper. Because of its simplicity and lack of moving parts, the lock mechanism on this rifle continues to function well and the block slides smoothly and freely, although it is missing its firing pin and a spring retractor. Also absent are a front sight for the 1/2” dovetail slot, a rear sight that attaches to the recoil shield above the hammer, and a small detent for the block retaining spring that would have threaded into a flange on the left side of the frame. Rifle barrel and frame surfaces retain a fine polish and have bronze toning with patches of red oxidation and assorted small hammer, wrench and pry marks accumulated over time. Chamber and bore have oxidation and light pitting with distinct rifling. Stock has small splits and larger separations repaired with epoxy; large screw heads are somewhat marred from repeated loosening and tightening. Unquestionably, a rifle worthy of much further research and investigation.
Later on Saturday, at Lot 294, is one of the highlighted Winchesters of the auction. Presented here is a Winchester M.9422 Eagle Scout Ltd. Ed. Rifle, opening for bidding at only $2000. The feature photos are beautiful and several angles are presented of the rifle in the photo array. Carol Watson describes the firearm in detail:
Highly Sought After Winchester Model 9422 Boy Scouts of America ”Eagle Scout Limited Edition” 75th Anniversary (1910-1985) Lever Action Rifle, #EAGLE483, .22 S-L-LR cal., 20” blue barrel marked in gold ”Eagle Scout”, satin gold receiver and lever engraved in Boy Scout themes with satin gold buttplate and forend cap, high-gloss checkered walnut stock inlaid with Eagle Scout medallion; blade front sight and semi-buckhorn rear sight. Issued in 1985 with only 1000 produced. Condition is excellent, appearing as new and unfired, with the exception of some tarnishing to receiver near juncture of forend. In original Styrofoam box and original Winchester cardboard shipping box with matching end labels, and polychrome slipcover (no paperwork).
On Sunday, an incredible rifle is available for the world’s collectors at Lot 623. This is one not to be missed for anyone seeking the best in collectible firearms. Up for auction is an exceptional Hoggson Engraved Henry rifle, that is opening for bidding at $75000. It is estimated in value up to $100000. The fully detailed description as listed in the online catalog is:
Exceptional Hoggson Engraved Henry Lever Action Rifle, #7627, .44 Henry RF cal., 24” barrel with integral magazine, and fancy select walnut stock. Brass receiver shows Samuel Hoggson typical engraving pattern of dog on point on left sideplate, foliate scrollwork on right and left sides, floral pattern on front flats, double line borders with the outside scalloped edged and punchdot background; upper tang and top edge of buttplate with additional scroll engraving and punchdot background. Includes later style nickel silver squareback front sight blade and later variation rear sight graduated to 900 yards, with ”H” inspector’s mark on lower tang (See page 39 of Les Quick’s book ”The Henry Rifle”). Top of barrel, inside of buttplate and end of buttstock are numbered #7627. Screws are unnumbered as was typical of Henry rifles in this serial number range. (Buttstock has an extremely tight fit and we were unable to verify serial number on the receiver tang and upper buttstock slot. Visible inspection indicates that the buttstock may never have been removed.) Factory sling swivel is inlaid into left side of stock with sling loop screwed into left side of barrel. This rifle also contains a larger type cartridge follower with milled flats in the receiver. Top of barrel flat marked ”HENRY’S PATENT OCT. 16, 1860 / MANUFACT’D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS CO. NEWHAVEN CT.”, ca. 1864. Pictured on page 34 of ”The Winchester Book, 1 of 1000”, by George Madis. (Provenance: Harold R. Jonah collection.) The overall condition is fine. Brass frame with an attractive lightly aged hue showing sharp well-executed engraving. Barrel and lever with an overall dark brown patina with honest age and wear, including small marks to the high edges and barrel flats. Trigger and hammer with dark spotting. Stock is excellent for its age with general fine surface impressions to both sides, with fancy natural woodgrain pattern and high gloss finish. Stock fits extremely tight to the upper and lower tang. Barrel markings remain crisp and clear. A fine collector’s quality Henry rifle
The auction will be presented with a live audio feed for an interactive live bidding experience. Bidding is brisk, so bidders are encouraged to leave their maximum bids in online catalog ahead of time and then watch the action. Carol Watson’s Orange Coast Auctions are ready to answer any and all questions about this exceptional sale and look forward to delivering amazing buys to all bidders from around the world.