ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — Walk into the preview room at the Rock Island Auction Company and you'll see walls lined with firearms, aisles lined with firearms, and glass display cases full of firearms. There are more than 10,000 guns and this weekend they will be sold at the regional auction.
"This auction, this weekend sets a world record for most fire arms ever auctioned in a weekend. We're selling 10,000 guns and that reinforces that there's a gun for everybody," said Kevin Hogan, President of Rock Island Auction Company.
From Thursday, February 16 through Sunday, February 19 guns and collectibles dating back from the 16th century up to the present will be sold during a live auction.
"I love to come to these, I really do," said Richard Wydler, from Moline. He was in the preview room at RIA on the morning of Wednesday, February 15.
When Wydler talks about the guns for which he's in the market, it doesn't take long for him to bring up memories of his dad and their shared passion for hunting.
"You meet people too - different types, gun enthusiasts, we're all kind of alike," said Wydler.
In April of 2016, RIA set a world record for the highest single firearm ever sold at auction.
The upcoming regional auction is set-up different than RIA's premiere auctions; less expense, and more guns.
"You don’t have to be a gazillionaire to come here and spend some money and buy some really nice stuff. Whether you’re looking for antiques or modern guns, this is an auction for everybody," said Hogan.
When RIA started regional auctions 10 years ago, Hogan says they sold 500 lots of guns; now, they're selling 4,600 lots - totaling 10,000 guns.
"It's great to what's out, see what's available," said Jeanelle Westrom who lives in Davenport, Iowa and owns a gun store.
On Wednesday morning, Westrom was just starting to look around at the guns and collectibles being offered. She says she's been to the auction before and has even written a check at RIA for $20,000.
"You know this place is almost better than museums because you can actually touch the guns, the history is amazing," said Westrom.
One of the unique pieces being sold at the regional auction is an 1860 New Haven Arms Company rifle from the civil war period.
"In the civil war this was the most advanced technology you could have," said Hogan, as he handled the gun on top of a glass case in the preview room. Hogan says he's passionate about antique guns.
"For history's sake," said Hogan, "[the 1860 New Haven Arms Company rifle] is the birth of Winchester; at the time of the civil war, it was the most significant piece; they made about 15,000 of them."
Its pre-sale estimate is $12,000 to $17,000.
"Reinforces you don't have to spend $100,000 to own a great piece of history, but at the same time will prove to be a sound investment overtime," said Hogan.
RIA plans to do $8 million in sales throughout the weekend.
Auction begins each day at 9:00 a.m. February 16-19, 2017.