Rock Island Auction Company: The Largest Auction of Rare Firearms

Rock Island Auction Company is currently the largest purveyor of collectible firearms in the world.

Collectors flock to their Rock Island, Ill. facility for the chance to add a rare or historic item to their own collection. The Midwest auction house regularly sells pieces for as much as 6-figures, but more modestly-priced collections can be built there as well.

RIAC’s clientele comes from across the country and even internationally, widespread popularity that has led to numerous world record prices for firearms.

Not Just a Gun Auction

It has become a nationwide hub for gun enthusiasts. During an event, they can meet, exchange conversation, talk about their collections, and of course bid. Much like Comic-Con or Black Hat in their respective fields, RIAC provides a haven of sorts.

RIAC also has become a combination outreach event and education center. Their work with popular YouTube Channels such as Forgotten Weapons and DemolitionRanch reaching younger audiences.

All this points figuratively to being “not just a gun auction,” but it’s also literally a much more diverse business. RIAC regularly offers bladed weapons throughout history. Native American items such as blankets and tomahawks appeal to Old West collectors. Military artifacts, uniforms, and equipment appeals as much to historians as it would to gun collectors.

It Makes Dollars and Sense

For many would-be online sellers, Rock Island Auction Company provides an alternative without the internet’s many pitfalls. Working with an established business removes the uncertainty and potential fraud one can encounter with an anonymous internet buyer. Those consigning with the auction house give themselves security, and often a higher sale price. RIAC’s nearly three decades in business means collectors know them as a good source and closely follow their events.

What to Expect

RIAC’s auctions draw attendees from around the country. Three times annually they hold their flagship Premier Auctions, a 3-day affair consisting of world-class firearms as well as less glamorous items in pristine condition. In contrast, their Sporting & Collector Auctions are held twice a year and are filled with beginner collector arms, military surplus, non-firearm items, etc. These events span four days, and contain as many as 11,000 firearms, requiring a brisk pace from their team of auctioneers.

RIAC also holds an Online Auction. No live audience is involved for these smaller sales, but the auction is live-streamed online, and bidders can participate. Even prior to the pandemic induced social distancing protocols, this format was quite popular with collectors who missed the events.

Lock, Stock, and Barrel

Like any business, there are basic principles that must be met to find success, and RIAC seems to have the formula. It seems simple, but creating a friendly culture around firearms for the new and experienced enthusiasts alike, in an era when firearms often serve as a social pariah, it’s often anything but easy.

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Source: Rock Island Auction