Richard Wray Machine Gun Auction Followup

So, the auction of the late Richard Wray’s machine gun collection (see previous post) was yesterday, with the non-NFA guns being auctioned today. The final prices are interesting to look at, with some wallet-wrenchingly high and some great deals – at least for folks who are into the unusual.

Basically, the key was to be looking for guns that people don’t recognize. There were some great deals on really weird guns (including oddballs that aren’t necessarily poor designs), but the guns you’d recognize from major movies went for big bucks. Rule of thumb? French, Italian, and Japanese are cheap. German, British, and American are expensive.

Neat Budget Guns

Twin Darne belt-fed guns on an AA mount- $12,650 (for the pair)
M1914 heavy Hotchkiss on AA mount – $9,775
Darne single gun – $5,175
Italian Scotti fixed aircraft gun – $4,370 (cheapest machine gun sold)
Chatellerault M24/29 – $12,650 (this probably would have been my first choice, if I’d had the money to play with)
Japanese aircraft Lewis gun – $10,925

Wallet-Crunchers

Inglis MkII Bren – $51,750
8mm Bren MkI – $48,300
MG-42 – $52,900
MP-40 – $43,700
Savage Lewis gun – $41,400
Browning M1919A6 – $44,275
Colt 1921A Thompson – $42,550
Maremont M60 – $51,750

You can see all the other final prices in the auction catalog. And do you remember that gorgeous Swiss Maxim with accessories that I couldn’t stop drooling over? It went for $25,300 – I think someone got a total steal on a phenomenal historical machine gun there. Congratulations, whoever you are!

Swiss model 1911 Maxim gun
Swiss model 1911 Maxim gun

22 Comments

  1. Those are indeed astounding prices ! Inglis Mk2 Bren
    for $51,750.00 ! Makes me feel guilty somewhat as I’ve recently deactivated 25 Inglis Mk2s for the UK market. They go for around 400 pounds ($600 approx)
    – eat your hearts out….wish I could send you a few!

  2. That MP40 is bnz manufacture, which I believe is Steyr. A bnz/Steyr Kar98k brings a premium, so bnz probably brought more, beyond the excellent condition. (I think some SS contract Kar98k’s are also bnz, which could affect it also.) Which brings up a fascinating aspect of the NFA world, where the already high value meets collector value from makers, marks, etc.

  3. $51,750 for an M-60, even if it is an unfired very early production example? Seems a bit much, even if the M-60 was a pretty decent gun, design idiosyncrasies notwithstanding.

    In my book, the 7.7mm Scotti aircraft MG deserved to be rated far more highly than it actually was for its comparative rarity, sound mechanical design and historical significance ( even if it has become a largely, but not entirely, forgotten weapon ).

    Incidentally, for all those who might be interested in Italian aircraft machine guns, there is a really good Website at http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php/8296-The-Italian-aircraft-armament. There are many rare photographs and diagrams detailing the fixed and flexible aircraft gun configurations used in assorted Italian fighters and bombers from the Second World War, as well as information ( with illustrations ) covering the various ammunition types used in these guns. The host of the thread, “Panzerknacker”, appears to be highly-knowledgeable and very resourceful. When was the last time you saw a detailed illustration of a remote-controlled dorsal or ventral turret with twin Breda 12.7mm MG’s from a Piaggiao P.108 four-engined heavy bomber, or a set-up of the typical waist-gun position in the same aircraft? How about a Lanciani Delta 1 dorsal turret with a single Scotti 12.7mm MG as used in the CANT Z.1007bis tri-motor bomber, or the ventral turret from a Savoia-Marchetti SM.84 bomber with its single Scotti 12.7mm gun? This site has all these, and a lot more besides.

    It would make for a truly interesting and intriguing follow-up post or article for Forgotten Weapons.

    • Excellent reference page, Earl! I read plenty about Fiat/Breda/SAFAT guns in the past but have not known much about Scotti. Just looking briefly at the diagram: it seems that the locking lugs are on helix. I wonder if that’s the case, how the headspace was arranged. (You have to stop travel of the bolt somewhere with relation to chamber to prevent slam-fire; unless this is a plan as part of open breech firing mode.)

      • Thanks, Denny — You are most welcome, as always. Glad this was useful to you, and I hope it helped others on this website too. The real credit goes to the originator of the thread, “Panzerknacker”. I do hope that he will see fit to contribute to FW at some point as his knowledge would be invaluable.

  4. The Schwarzlose went for $ 21,000.- Dont forget that the buyer has to also pay 15% to the auction house.

    The Swiss maim was a steal, I would have figuredd it at $ 50,000. I wonder what the Chinese Maxim went for. It was mint and unfired.

    I knew Dick and all of his guns too, very well.

    Dolf Goldsmith

  5. Dolf, old friend.
    To answer your question.
    I was on the telephone and tried to bid on the Chinese Type 24 Maxim water-cooled 8mmMauser MG but was quickly out did by (?). Listening over the telephone, I heard it go for $30K (+ the 15% commission to the auction house).
    I sure wanted that gun as I use to drool over Uncle Bob’s Chinese and that’s how it got its rust parts 🙂

    Regards
    Pat

    • Excellent point bringing up the mostly forgotten and rare Marlin M1917 MG, which had several iterations beyond the tank MG application ( eg., quadruple light AA mount ). Unfortunately, it is very hard ( though probably not entirely impossible ) to find a reasonably good example nowadays, let alone a fully-functional one.

  6. WeaponsMan, I read your take on the auction report, and I just want to say that I really appreciated your point of view. It was both informative and bluntly honest, and the tribute to Ian’s efforts was the act of a true gentleman.

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