How Much Would You Pay for Al Capone’s ‘Favorite’ .45 Colt 1911?

59
Previous Post
Next Post
Al Capone Colt .45 1911
Al Capone’s “favorite” .45 (courtesy Witherell’s)

Alphonse Capone, who fancied himself something of a Robin Hood figure while running the Chicago Outfit, spent eight years of an 11-year tax evasion sentence behind bars. He was released when his advanced syphilis became debilitating and died in 1947. Not exactly the blaze of glory end most people expect for notorious mobsters.

His granddaughters — who describe Grandpa Al as “a very devoted family man, very committed to his family,” have amassed an impressive collection of his belongings, as well as those of Al’s son, Sonny (who was not, in fact, shot on the causeway).

Al and Sonny Capone
Al and Sonny Capone (courtesy Witherell’s)

Along with photos, letters, knives, furniture, jewelry and assorted ceramic tchochkes, they also have a lot of Al’s and Sonny’s guns, including what’s purported to have been Al’s favorite .45, a Colt 1911 (above).

The granddaughters have decided to unload all of those curios, including the firearms, through an auction to be conducted by Witherell’s in Scaramento, California on October 8. The auction house values the 1911, above, between $100,000 and $150,000.

Al’s Colt .380 Hammerless is also on the block, valued at between $30,000 and $60,000.

Al Capone colt hammerless .380
Al Capone’s Colt hammerless pistol (courtesy Witherell’s)

Sonny, who lived most of his life in Florida, seems to have been something of a gun collector. There are lots of his firearms in the lot at far more reasonable prices than those owned by his father.

Sonny Capone's guns Witherell's auction
Some of Sonny Capone’s guns being auctioned (courtesy Witherell’s)

You can see the full auction catalogue here.

 

Previous Post
Next Post

59 COMMENTS

  1. Not a dime. I’m not a collector. I wouldn’t pay a dime for Patton’s guns, either. For the same reason. Guns are tools meant to be used and enjoyed.

    • This.

      In my opinion the most valuable 1911 in the world is the one Mrs C gave me for our first wedding anniversary.

      Just like the guy at the town gun show who always rents a table and puts his used rifles out for sale … when it comes to tools, I’m not willing to pay extra for someone else’s good memories.

  2. Is that really Al Capones 1911. Not saying it isnt, I hate to drag out my gunm book to look up about them sights.
    .
    How much would I pay?
    Gimme $50 and your gunm and I’ll let you have mine.

  3. WoW! What a great article, because it really triggered my childhood memory. When I was a kid we lived in Florida, my sister and I were friends of the daughters of Sonny Capone Jr. (Alphonse Albert Francis Capone Jr. AKA Sonny).

  4. “His granddaughters — who describe Grandpa Al as “a very devoted family man, very committed to his family,”
    Which family?

  5. I’ve never really believe in hammerless hammer fired guns. But then I’ve never believed in bladeless fans either. This gets up there with ghost guns and hunting snipe.

    These should be on display at the Cody Firearms Museum.

  6. That’s a pretty classy looking .45 .
    You really cant get fancy grips for polymer frame pistols, and those bone grips look nice to me.
    “How to snazzy up a polymer frame pistol?”.
    So I thought, how about heating up the plastic until it gets melty and then shove a bone in it. That would be different, and faster then stippling.

  7. I would be very leery, would have to have a great deal of proof. As an example- well documented- at one time both Dillingers Colt and the Colt that killed Dillinger were on display at the FBI museum. When it came time for an audit- the serial numbers did not match and the pistols were in fact made AFTER the shooting. During recent memory unscrupulous sellers have tried to sell handguns purported to have been fired at Dillinger. On the other hand- Capone was reputed to be a very good shot, had excellent handwriting skills, and was among the best bookkeepers of the day. His brother Vincente was a Federal Agent known as Two Gun Hart- lots of history there.

  8. I hear Capone was an ardent supporter of the brewing and distilling hobby, too. He made lots of Chicago speakeasy patrons very happy and a lot of folks rich.
    Saddam had a stash of gold-plated AKs. Would I buy one? No.
    I like my S&W, Sig, and Kimber stuff just fine. Like the TFB folks would say, such stuff isn’t a hot Gat, it’s Fudd crap. Gimmicky Fudd crap … but if an original Civil War Henry fell in my lap I’d at least be polite and admit I couldn’t afford it.

  9. Al’s big Chicago rival – Clarence “Bugs” Moran – didn’t go out in a blaze of glory, either. Died in prison from lung cancer in his 50s’, penniless.

    Probably better than being in the garage on Valentine’s Day, but not by a whole heck of a lot.

  10. $0.00. I am not interested in a criminals guns. And I’ve never liked movies that glorify criminals such as The Godfather series, Good Fellas, etc. Give me action movies where the good guy triumphs in the end.

  11. This should go to either the Organized Crime Museum in Las Vegas and placed next to the section of the wall of the garage the St. Valentines Day Massacre took place in, or the Smithsonian.

  12. Does it do something “special” that my Ruger P90 or my old Colt 1911 can’t do? No matter, my offer would just be considered an insult, but what the hell, moving the decimal point a couple of places to the left would be a good place to start…

  13. Don’t think of it as a gun. Think of it as a collector’s item that, because of its provenance, can command a high price from those who care about such things. As a gun, it’s just an old, used 1911 worth, maybe, a few hundred dollars.

    • To get just the grips would be two hundred bucks, engraving, well that’s a toss up, but being owned by someone of notoriety it probably increases the value, it’s a Colt. $2,500 fair price, For gunm? Now add Al Capone,
      I hope the gunms brings four times starting bid.

      Chicago was better off with Al Capone then the crooks and thieves they’ve got today.
      And was he really a crook? He capitalized on an infringement of the constitution, and cheated and unjust tax. Sure he had to rattle a few heads , grease a few palms and when necessary give someone the deep six. Bet money if Capone was mayor of Chicago,,,,,,,,,,

  14. To get just the grips would be two hundred bucks, engraving, well that’s a toss up, but being owned by someone of notoriety it probably increases the value, it’s a Colt. $2,500 fair price, For gunm? Now add Al Capone,
    I hope the gunms brings four times starting bid.

    Chicago was better off with Al Capone then the crooks and thieves they’ve got today.
    And was he really a crook? He capitalized on an infringement of the constitution, and cheated and unjust tax. Sure he had to rattle a few heads , grease a few palms and when necessary give someone the deep six. Bet money if Capone was mayor of Chicago,,,,,,,,,,

  15. Not meaning to nitpick, but as a fan of the .45 Colt cartridge, when I saw an article about a “.45 Colt 1911” I was expecting a story about a rare 1911 that was chambered in a revolver cartridge, .45 Colt, rather than .45 ACP. Now that would be an interesting gun to see, a 1911 chambered in a revolver cartridge, .45 Colt! The only semiautomatic pistol I know of that takes revolver cartridges is the Desert Eagle, chambered in .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum.

    But aw, shucks, no such luck, it’s just another 1911 that fires .45 ACP.
    That may be a Colt 1911 .45,
    but it’s not a .45 Colt 1911,
    because it doesn’t fire .45 Colt, it fires .45 ACP, just like nearly every other 1911, even though this one was made by Colt.

  16. The rear sight and barrel bushing were both manufactured by the Micro Company (1957-1965). The trigger shoe is of the same vintage. Sonny may have made dad’s gun into a bullseye pistol. The 3 digit serial number on the gun dates it to 1912. It has been reblued over the somewhat worn engraving. Beautiful gun!

    • The slide appears to be circa 1946 vintage. It has the 1913 last patent date, among other differences from a 3 digit gun. The 3 digit serial number looks a little suspect. The receiver dates prior to the 1924 clearance cuts for the trigger finger. My oldest 1911 dates back to 1914.

      • The receiver has the old style checkering: diagonal vs. the newer style horizontal/squared checkering. But, notice that the receiver has no engraving, suggesting that it is indeed an old parts gun, although still beautiful. Maybe, Al gave it to his son who later added the sights. Sonny won many marksmanship medals. Look at the other .45 auto that is listed.

  17. Buy all of the Commercial pre-WW2 1911s that you can afford! (like SAA Armys back in the 50’s); Money well spent; an investment, if you wish. Each one is like a gold ingot. If only I were 50 years younger and had the money of the Gods…..

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here