Hammer Prices, RIA & James Julia

For the folks who are interested, here are the final hammer prices (plus 15% buyers’ premiums) for the recent two auction I had videos from…

I was rather hoping to maybe have some long shot as that semiauto FAMAS, only to have my hopes thoroughly crushed with a nearly $22,000 final price. Jeez. I really hope that’s not the new normal for those rifles…and maybe I should have found one before I went and made a video about how cool they are!

There were some definite deals to be had at Julia this time around – had I realized what it would sell for, I might have put in a bid on that pre-WWI 1903 match/sniper rifle. It just oozed cool history, and whoever won it got a fantastic bargain, IMO.


  1. Always enjoy the video’s you do with those folks. Lots of firearms otherwise not seen before. However as expected rich mans toys. Those pistols that went for less than 1K were more in my price range.

    • Do keep in mind that I tend to do video on the guns that are the most unusual/rare/obscure in the auctions. They tend to be pretty expensive because of that – there are lots of more affordable things sold, depending on what you are looking for.

      • I was just shooting my Romanian TT-33 for the first time and noted how much like it is shooting the early Colt automatics. The compactness and simplicity of design is very much a throwback to an earlier age…so it is sort of like shooting them. The TT feels, to me, much like a Colt 1905 in terms of size and density. An extended slide would make it feel like a Colt 1902. Even the the cartridge is appropriate for that earlier era. A gun that is suitable as a holster or pocket pistol, better left without a cartridge in the chamber (I took the safety off mine immediately). All for $250 bucks. The TT-33 satisfies much of the historical ambiance itch that I have. The TT could be retro’d very easily.

        • The Tokarev’s post-USSR production safety catch was more or less just added on to satisfy dimwitted politicians on Capital Hill. The best safety for ANY firearm is the user’s applied wisdom. That, of course, means the user is responsible for his weapon and must never allow it to discharge without his will. And should that weapon harm anyone or anything by accident, the user will have to deal with the consequences which follow…

  2. Well, it is gratifying to know that not all the guns go for astronomical prices which means one of these days if I can pick up some extra scratch I might have a shot with some of these auctions. I just built a 1903 Springfield Warner & Swasey 1913 musket sight sniper for $1,200.00 (total cost of everything-scope, rubber, rail, and rifle). Some of these guns can be “possessed” such as with the creation of a modification that turned a a 1903 barreled action combined with a slightly fire damaged stock to a pretty darn interesting piece that I am not afraid for people to handle at living history events. Guess you could call the rifle a replica original. I never could have been able to justify a 4,000 original that I would have had to keep locked up in a safe. I deliberately took a less than pristine receiver in the 1911 date range in order so that the creation cannot be passed off as the real thing.
    I build my own machine guns also, dummies and full scale all metal models, which look great on the wall which is where most of these guns wind up anyways, either in a wall or a safe. Although I like original stuff, these dummies and models help fill a psychological gap for a fraction of the price and let me move on to more affordable types (for example I have real Ruby to display with the Chauchat) –of course I not only have a mostly model, some original parts 1915 Chauchat, but a model 1918 Chauchat…you can’t tell the story without both, no one understands. I know one machine gun collector who says that he has some cool guns but never has time to play with them. For me, the direction I have been taking is satisfying. In the past I have purchased fairly expensive guns and had to sell as I could not keep that much money tied up in them. And of course, I have always regretted the selling. Now I don’t feel guilty about owning what I have. Fortunately Ian is around for me to vicariously enjoy his outstanding videos…although there are few rare weapons I think that might be fun to replicate at least in ambiance…like that 1902 Muller. Take a messed up Luger frame and some other cast off parts, it might be possible at least to replicate generally its configuration. I think I will start looking for a derelict luger frame. Remember the splash that Robert Mitchum’s son made in big Jake with that modified P-38?

  3. Something I’ve never understood is why these auction houses don’t list the top bid of things that fail to sell. It’s not like it’s some kind of secret information.

    To me the most shocking prices were for full-auto AKs. These are, after all, the most common and widely distributed rifles throughout the world, yet command sky-high prices here in the US primarily because of their contrived scarcity.

    I was hoping to see the selling price of the ‘Winchester Woman’ promotional poster that was used as a backdrop in all the Julia videos. Oh, well … I guess I’ll just have to hunt it down myself.

      • Oh fiddlesticks, but what happens if an item isn’t sold? Does it get crammed into a warehouse until next spring?

        • Thrown away. 😀

          No, it actually depends. Sometimes they are held over and relisted in a later auction (presumably at a lower reserve), and sometimes they are returned to the consignor. Julia actually lists all their unsold items after an auction and takes offers on them, which the consignor can accept or refuse. I have gotten a couple guns that way myself, actually.

          • Conceivably, a crafty buyer could contact the seller at home after the auction to make an offer on an unsold item, and in the process save money by not having to pay the 15% auction fee, save on sales tax, as well as bypassing the federal background check.

            It would not be hard to imagine rules against this, however.

    • Some folks list things at auction at a high reserve as a “price check” … they, and the auction house, wouldn’t want that information spread around. ^__^

      Successful sale prices inflate perceived value, listing the high bid price for an unsuccessful sale would deflate perceived value and by extension, the value of paying an auction house to sell your collectables. This is a business after all.

  4. A bit surprised how high the SL8 went given how long a lower priced one with more accessories sat locally at a national outlet. I do agree with your sentiment about being ready to bid and never knowing what will happen – some of my favorite guns are ones that I was surprised to win. Just always build buyer’s premium and tax into your bid or a heart attack is waiting at check out time.

  5. Have no regrets, a FAMAS is not worth 22 000.

    Ok, it’s a wonderful rifle. I challenge anyone to find any rifle which, at equal barrel length, throw its projectile that fast (980 m/s for an M855 in a 19,2 inches barrel compared to 930 m/s in the 20 inches barrel of an M16), or a rifle capable of handling 40 000 rounds and hundreds of rifle grenades without needing a new barrel.

    But it’s not worth 22 000 dollars.
    It still is a 5,56 rifle. It’s more or less an M16, a Steyr AUG or a HK33. A little more, in fact, but not that much. Considering the rarity of accessories, magazines and others, it’s not a good investment. Even at a normal price.

    At the time it was sold to civilians in France, it was about 2000 francs and by the time the last new out of the box were sold, it was about 2000 euros (technically 6,56 time more, but everything in life was more expensive when euro came. In France, we say “when we passed from francs to euros, they juste changed the sign next to the price”. In fact, it is actually what was done to the majority of buyable things).
    Today, a second-hand FAMAS (they all are) is sold 3 000 to 4 000 euros in France, depending on its condition.

  6. Huh, was the scoped conehammer C96 some special video you did for Patreon supporters or is that just a picture where you happen to hold it?

    I don´t think i´ve seen the video to that anywhere, if one exists…

  7. Very very surprised at the SL8 price…considering NIB and like new are going for 1000-1300USD. Guess the grey “Nintendo zapper” color was worth 2x as much.

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