April 11-13, 2023 Firearms and Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/11/2023
Colt manufactured only about 500 of the classic All-American Browning 1917 water-cooled machine gun, and nearly all were fielded to Europe for World War I. This particular one went to Hercules Powder Company for them to use for testing their powder; as such it has no military proofs on it, only a solitary “H” on the top of the brass trunnion. This cataloger has consulted with other advanced collectors, and the consensus is that this is the ONLY original unmodified Colt model 1917 Browning machine gun registered fully transferable for private citizens in the United States. This makes it one of the rarest Colt manufactured machine guns out there. This specimen also includes with it the very rare early original 1917 tripod, an early wooded ammunition box, and a copy of the original 1934 registration document of this gun to Hercules Powder Corporation. This gun has never undergone the A1 modification adding the reinforcement “saddle” to the bottom plate of the gun. Original water fill and drain plugs with chains are intact. Original bolt present. Original sight in place. Original tripod data plate on tripod indicates tripod manufactured by “NELSON BLOWER & FIRNACE CO, BOSTON, MASS. U.S.A.” – Leather strap present on tripod as well as original vintage leather tool case. Original carrying handle intact and serviceable on early wood ammunition box. Electronic NFA registry indicates “HERCULES (US) VARIOUS MANUFACTURERS” as the manufacturer, and “1917” as the model. Interesting to note that this entry comes from the original 1934 registration of this gun. CONDITION: Overall appearance and finish is extremely fine to near excellent original vintage matte blue finish with some loss of finish to a grey patina at the high edges. Tripod is a pleasing and appropriate green repaint with some loss where tripod adjusts. Bore is near excellent, shiny, and bright. Bolt face extremely fine. Mechanics are crisp. This is a full-auto only machine gun. This is a unique opportunity for an advanced Colt and/or American machine gun collector to own a landmark specimen of an American classic. THIS IS A NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT ITEM AND REQUIRES BATF APPROVAL PRIOR TO TRANSFER. THIS ITEM IS FULLY TRANSFERABLE ON AN ATF FORM 3 OR 4 AS CURIO AND RELIC ELIGIBLE. JWK 2023-4-24

This is not a standard shippable item and will require 3rd party shipping or pickup arrangements to be made.
Tripod, Ammunition box
Barrel Length
.30-06 Springfield
FFL Status
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $30,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $76,800.00
Estimate: $60,000 - $100,000
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
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