September 28th, 2012
09:01 AM ET

Bonnie and Clyde's guns go up for auction

If you happen to be a crime aficionado and have a bunch of extra cash on lying around you just might have a chance to nab two very historic weapons.

The guns recovered from the bodies of notorious gangster couple Bonnie and Clyde are expected to fetch more than $100,000 each at an auction on Sunday, an auction official said.

The Colt .45 was found in Clyde Barrow's waistband, and the .38-caliber Colt was strapped to one of Bonnie Parker's legs on May 23, 1934, when they were killed in an ambush near Gibsland, Louisiana.

"This is one of the finest Bonnie and Clyde collections you will ever see," said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire. "We expect the guns should sell anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000. But really the sky is the limit for these types of guns."

In January, a submachine gun and shotgun reportedly seized at one of Bonnie and Clyde's hideouts was sold by a Kansas City auction firm for $130,000 and $80,000, respectively, The Joplin Globe reported.

According to the website for RR Auction, the Colt Model 1911 U.S. Army pistol was Barrow's "personal pistol." When police officers searched the car Bonnie and Clyde were driving when they were gunned down, they found many weapons, including nine other Colts, but this was the one he favored, Livingston said.

An extra clip for bullets is included, along with a letter from Frank Hamer Jr., the son of one of the Texas Rangers who killed the notorious couple.

Parker's .38 was taped to her inner thigh, Livingston said.

"My father said that one reason she had the gun taped to the inside of her leg was that, in those days, no gentlemen officer would search a woman where she had it taped," a letter from Hamer states, according to the auction site.

Livingston told CNN that part of Hamer's fee for tracking and killing Bonnie and Clyde was the promise he could take some of their possessions, which he split with other posse members and police officers from Louisiana.

"This is a well-known gun in Texas as it was displayed in several major museums (including the LBJ Library in Austin) for a two-year exhibition in the early 1980s," the RR Auction listing reads. "There can be no other gun with a closer association to Bonnie Parker than the one taped to her body at her death."

Before the guns could be auctioned off the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms had to make them legally compliant.

"ATF understands the importance of this historically significant firearm," Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division," said in a press release.

ATF said that all proceeds from an open house before the auction will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The auction also includes items, including his pocket watch, from the estate of Clyde's sister, Marie Barrow, a release from the auction company said.

Potential bidders can register at the, Livingston said. The live auction will contain more than 100 lots of gangster-related items.

Bonnie and Clyde, whose legend grew larger through the years in song and film, went on a crime spree in 1932 that lasted 21 months during the height of the Great Depression, according to They robbed small-town banks and gas stations throughout the Southwest.

According to the FBI's website, Barrow murdered at least 12 people, but Parker "probably never fired a shot."

soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Hollywood

    Isn't it important for bloggers to stay on task? Lock up the guns, save the cash, and ignore this bloody chapter of history.

    September 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Burying one's head in the sand does not make the events go away...we should embrace ALL of our history because it is what made us who we are today (for better or worse).

      September 30, 2012 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
    • A Fool and His Money

      You can embrace history without shelling out tens of thousands for it. So what does the winner get? A hunk of metal that someone used to kill people...oh, and bragging rights. That's SOOOOO important. And when he dies, some other sucker will get it. Woohoo. Losers.

      September 30, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. David

    These items are our history, while I would love to own something that once belonged to Bonnie and/or Clyde, I think it is a shame that they will go to a private collection

    September 30, 2012 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Zero

      I agree, although I always want a classic style Colt 1911, more fore decoration. Really I wouldn't fire it ever. Those guns are like the ark of the covenant for gun collectors. More so for those into Historically Significant Criminal weapons and tools collectors. Couple hundred thousand, why not make it interesting, 2 mil.

      September 30, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • finkster

      Most items of history that you see in museums around the world are donated by private collectors
      Very rarely do museums buy these items.

      September 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darcy

      I agree. Keep them someplace more people can view and understand the significance.

      October 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Po the Panda(From Kung Fu Panda)

    They shoulda used AK-47's.NOT sissy revolvers

    September 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edward C

      Too bad they were killed BEFORE 1947, you know, the year the AK was designed...

      October 1, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Sissy revolvers got the job done

      November 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Motorick

    Dang, I wish their BAR was up for auction. Not that I could afford it.

    October 2, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      My thoughts exactly. The BAR would be an awesome collection piece.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
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