Original 1860s Henry rifle auctioned off in Aynor
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:17:14 GMT —
Among firearm enthusiasts, the Henry rifle is legendary. When John Wayne faced off against the bad guys in Western movies, he was often carrying a lever-action Henry rifle.
It's exactly the type of firearm that went up for sale on consignment at the Rivertown Auction Company in Aynor Thursday.
"It's one of the first rifles that came out when Henry made them," said Rivertown owner Ed Burris.
Burris says the Henry rifle in his auction house belongs to an aging collector, who has decided to sell off some of his stock of antique firearms.
Burris wasn't sure how much the rifle would fetch at auction, but others he's seen in similar condition have sold for amounts nearing six-figures or more.
"We know that we found some throughout the Internet that ranged from $31,000 in fair shape to $155,000 in excellent shape."
Designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry in 1860, the .44 caliber repeating rifle was prized during the Civil War by Union soldiers, who would save up their own money to buy one.
Compared to the single-shot muzzle loaders that preceded it, the Henry gained fame as the "gun that won the West" or the rifle you could "load on Sunday and shoot all week long."
The rifle for sale in Aynor was manufactured in 1864.
The antique firearm attracted attention from all over the country, with collectors willing to travel hundreds of miles just for a chance to bid on it.
"I got one guy from Louisiana and another guy that'll possibly be here from Mississippi. I got two from West Virginia that are here now already," Burris said.
Burris says the gun will likely go to a collector or museum for an amount that's not for the faint of heart.
"At some way or another, $65 to 80,000."
Burris says the Henry rifle was often used to take down large game, like buffalo or grizzly bear.