Claremore, Oklahoma has been home to the J.M. Davis since 1965 (Photo: Davis Museum)
An Oklahoma arms museum is using an auction house to trim their excess collection to keep the rest of their guns protected for future generations.
The J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum in Claremore is home to a unique collection over 12,000 firearms. Established in 1965, the institution survives through a combination of state funds and private donations. To help keep the museum on a stable footing in the face of thinning revenue and fewer school visits, Davis officials told local media they plan to develop a $2 to $3 million endowment for a rainy day. The money for such a fund would come from selling off surplus guns — duplicates — from the collection.
The first such sell-off, to be held by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, has more than 130 items listed with bids accepted both in person and online. Each gun includes the museum’s brass oval property tag as proof of its provenance.
Below are a few of the guns from the collection headed to the gavel next week.
How about a Mauser “Red 9” broom handle C96 with a 500m sight?
These Reid model “My Friend” knuckle dusters are highly collectible
This German silver engraved Philadelphia style Deringer has a 2-inch barrel but a .38 caliber bore
These Spanish percussion pistols were converted from flintlocks and have .68 caliber, 7.5-inch octagonal barrels
This French LeMat Second Model is both .42 and .63 percussion caliber, with a 6.5-inch main barrel on the revolver and a 5-inch single.
Yes, this is a Sharps breechloading .34
Remember, back in the day there were 20-shot pinfire revolvers such as this 7.65mm caliber model made in Belgium
For those looking for a Minnesota Arms “The Protector” palm pistol, Heritage has you covered
This pair of engraved steel flintlock pistols have 3-inch octagonal and round barrels
This Japanese percussion pistol started life as a matchlock. The .58-caliber weapon has an 11-inch iron barrel
This flintlock Euprovette was made as a powder tester
This big Webley-Fosbery Army/Navy model in .455 has a 6-inch barrel
The auction is set for Dec. 8 and 9 at Heritage Auctions, Dallas.