If These Guns Could Talk – The Elmer Keith Collection (Updated)

James D. Julia, Inc. is an auction house in Maine that deals in high end collections including firearms. On March 15th and 16th, they will be auctioning the firearms of the legendary Elmer Keith. These guns come from the Elmer Keith Estate.

Here are some of the firearms that will be in the auction.

This is the W. J. Jeffrey & Co. double rifle in .450/400 Nitro Express that Jim Corbett used to kill so many man-eating tigers in India including the Thak Man-Eater tigress.

Then there is Elmer’s favorite elephant gun which he used on safari in Tanzania in 1969. It is a Westley Richards Droplock .476 Nitro Express double rifle.

One of Elmer’s favorite cartridges was the .333 OKH (O’Neil Keith Hopkins) which he helped develop. Below is a FN Mauser chambered in it that he used on his first safari.

As any student of firearms history should know, Elmer Keith wasn’t just about rifles. He helped in the development of the .357 Magnum, the .44 Magnum, and the .41 Magnum. What can you say about him after that! Below are some of his revolvers.

In .357 Magnum, a Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum:

In .41 Magnum, a pair of Model 57 Smith & Wessons given to Elmer by the company in recognition of his work in developing the caliber:

And then there is the .44 Magnum which will forever be associated with Elmer Keith. First is a pre-Model 29 engraved revolver that was presented to Elmer by S&W President Carl Helstrom. The second is Elmer’s personal carry Model 29 along with its holster. You can see the holster wear on the barrel of the revolver. I’m sure that revolver could tell stories!

Elmer Keith also liked his Colt Single Action Army revolvers. Below is what he called “The Last Word in Sixguns”.

Some of the Elmer Keith Estate’s more utilitarian firearms will be also up at auction. These will auctioned by Poulin Antiques of Skowhegan, Maine which is just up the road from James D. Julia, Inc. This auction will take place on March 11th through 14th. Unfortunately, they don’t have many pictures up yet.

All the firearms from both auctions have remained in the possession of the Keith family since Elmer’s death in 1984. As I said in the headline, if these guns could talk what stories they would tell. They might even be as fantastic as the tales that Elmer could tell.

UPDATE:  The full auction catalog of the Elmer Keith Estate firearms along with the others for auction is now online. Day One is here and Day Two can be found here. Many of these firearms are museum quality pieces. I hope the NRA can partake in this auction as many of these guns belong in their museum.

Do You Use A Harrier Or A Staghound For Fox And Eland?

I saw two auctions recently that had me wondering how I could rig the PowerBall lottery so as to be the big winner.

The first auction was covered by Wired and features a 1976 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR Mk3 jump jet. The jet, which saw service with the RAF in the Balkans and the Falkland War, comes with a Rolls Royce Pegasus Mk103 engine and its original ejection seat. It is missing some of its avionics but the auctioneer says that it could be made flyable rather easily (if you had the money).

From Silverstone Auction catalog

 The second auction features Jacques M. Littlefield Collection of armored vehicles including tanks, armored cars, personnel carriers, and a SCUD missile launcher (with missile). There are over 200 lots in this auction.

The include a South African Eland wheeled armored vehicle with a 90mm main gun.

If the Eland with a top speed of 53 mph is too slow for you, then how about a British FV721 Fox Armored Car with a 65 mph top speed. In exchange for speed, you do have to give up some firepower. You are trading the 90mm main gun for a 30mm Rarden cannon.

Now the question remains, would you chase after the Eland and Fox with the Harrier or would you use the Staghound shown below? I’m thinking the Harrier might be the better bet.

If I Had The Money….

I like to look over the firearms auctions on Proxibid.com on a regular basis. This week I came across an estate auction that would set the heart aflutter of most any collector.

It is from the collection of Richard Wray of Cincinnati, Ohio. I don’t know who Mr. Wray is or was other than he owned Wray Electric Company. I do know he had more Class III NFA firearms than most museums!

In addition to the more common items like a M-16, a Browning M-2, and the M-60 machine gun, the collection has stuff like a Carl Gustafs Model 1921/1924 Browning Automatic Rifle in 6.5 Swedish Mauser with Finnish Army proofs.

OK, that is a bit too pedestrian for your tastes, how about a Vickers Mark I Water-Cooled Machine Gun in .303 and retaining most of its original finish?

Nah, you say, Vickers made a lot of machine guns.  Then try a U.S. Model 1909 Benet Mercie Light Machine Gun made by Springfield Armory.

You need to check this auction out if only to see all the unusual US and foreign machine guns Mr. Wray had.

As for me, what I’d really want to bid on is the Smith and Wesson Model 76 Submachine gun which is the US copy of the Swedish K-gun. I got to shoot one a couple of years ago at the LuckyGunner Blogshoot and really liked it. It was easy to shoot and you might even still be able to get spare parts for it from Numrichs. It is also expected to sell in the 4-digit range and not the 5-digit range. Now all I would have to do is clear the NFA background check and wait…and wait.

Now This Is An Interesting Auction

The National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana is auctioning off part of their collection in order to settle their mortgage. Auctions America is handling the auction for them. The auction catalog is here.

They will be offering 100 lots of WWII artifacts and 82 lots of military vehicles.

Worried about Predator drones flying overhead? Then how about an 88mm flak gun – demilled unfortunately?

Tired of having to fight traffic? How about this – a 1944 M16 half-track with double M-2s in a motorized mount?


You say you like that idea but want German engineering? How about this 1940-41 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C SdKfz 251/1 Armored 3/4-Track?

I didn’t see any tanks in the catalog but there are a lot of motorcycles, trucks, and other assorted vehicles along with the uniforms and demilled MP-40 sub-machine guns. None of these auctions have reserves but I expect collectors will be paying a fair price for some of these items.