Al Capone's Favorite Gun Up for Auction Once Again

(AP File Photo

Al Capone might be the best known criminal in American history. If he's not, he's got to be in the top five.

The Chicago mobster was a real-life figure who served as a foil for the real-life Elliot Ness, only to have that whole thing dramatized on The Untouchables--television and film versions--and who knows how many other movies and television shows.


He was a terrifying figure in his day, which makes it interesting that he only did time for tax evasion.

As a violent man in a violent time, we shouldn't be surprised he had a favorite gun. We also shouldn't be surprised that people will pay a lot of money for it. 

The last time it was up for auction, it was expected to go for $400,000 to $700,000, but it went for much more: $860,000.

Now, it's up for auction again, and it's expected to bring in even more.

A pistol that the notorious Prohibition-era gangster Al Capone nicknamed "sweetheart" is once again up for auction. This time, prospective buyers can place bids in South Carolina on the weapon that Capone's family members credit with routinely protecting his life, after a Greenville-based auction house acquired what is now considered by some to be an iconic collectible.

The winning bid for Capone's pistol is expected to come at an exorbitant cost. Richmond Auctions will host a round of bidding on the gun next month, estimated that the final price will land somewhere between $2 and $3 million. Their auction on May 18 will take place less than three years after it sold for just over $1 million at another auction in California. Bidding starts at $500,000.

The .45 Colt semi-automatic pistol was manufactured in 1911 and became one of Capone's most prized possessions when he rose to infamy as a seemingly untouchable Chicago crime boss during the 1920s. According to the FBI, Capone's legacy includes a litany of criminal accusations involving gambling, prostitution, bootlegging, bribery, drug trafficking, robbery, racketeering and murder. It is believed that Capone, who was sometimes known as "Scarface," was behind the brutal St. Valentine's Day massacre in 1929.


If the price for the pistol reaches even the lower-level expectation, it'll be more than double what it cost in 2021. Even accounting for the stupid rates of inflation over the last few years, that's still a pretty impressive return on one's investment.

Then again, it wasn't like Al Capone's gun was ever going to be something no one had an interest in acquiring. There are people who are fascinated by people like Capone and some of them have deep pockets.

They're going to battle it out for a pistol like this, so $2 million doesn't seem that far-fetched.

Me bidding that much for it is far-fetched, but others bidding that? That's not hard to picture in the least.

We'll likely follow this sale, just like we did the last one, in part because even if I don't idolize Capone in any way, I do have an interest in guns with a story, and this one most definitely has a story.

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