Bill Woodin's .45-70 "Bulldog" Gatling Gun Auction

At the risk of being severely criticized again for running a post about something from the Woodin Laboratory being auctioned, I know that many of you have seen, or are aware of, Bill Woodin’s spectacular .45-70 Model 1877 Gatling Gun that was on display for many years at the back of the Laboratory. It is being auctioned by Rock Island Auction as lot 1105 in their 6 Sep 19 Premier auction,

FYI, Bill’s Chinese Jingal wall rifle will be auctioned by Morphy Auctions at sometime in the future. No date set yet.


Mel, Thank you for the important information.

Here’s another link which goes direct to the more detailed description and price estimate ($275-400K which is a decimal place or two above my toy allowance). No mention of the provenance, which I would have thought might have added interest or value. Great gun, great former owner and the market will determine the value.

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The person presenting the gun could have been better informed and given more background on this particular gun.
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Recommend everyone skip the Rock Island video and watch a 10:00 minute video from Forgotten describing the history, mechanical details and live fire with a replica of the M1877 Bulldog,

Note that he demonstrates loading the feed guide by stripping the cartridge from a wooden substitute for the special cardboard boxes specially made for use with Gatling guns.

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I was lucky enough to have had a good look at this gun in 2003, see attached.


Mel - I am about as sensitive as it gets when it comes to anything to do with Bill. However, I see nothing to criticize your notification of these sales posted here. You are doing a service to the IAA members, certainly in no way the obligation of the family who are not members, as well as the possibility of extending the number of bidders which is a service to the family. Everyone wins, my friend!

I couldn’t bid on it, but I personally appreciate you posting the information.

John Moss


In Bill Woodin’s own words, in Small Arms Review Magazine :
“Our main concern is keeping the integrity of the collection whole and having it as an international reference point for future generations. We believe that access to this collection and the unique information it contains is extremely important, far beyond its usefulness to cartridge collectors.”
and a QUOTE from the IAA Journal on Issue 521,May / June 2018, Page 28. by F.W.Hackley, last sentence. " Hopefully, his (Bill Woodin) “life work will be preserved and continue by others at some future time.”
Great Picture of Beth and Bill below.

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Looks like this is ending this weekend.
i hope someone will, just to satisfy my & probably others idle curiosity, log on & tell us the winning bid.

Anyone can log on to and see all the prices realized for this and past auctions. Some have had cartridge boards and other cartridge-related lots.

very true Mel, but logging on also enters you into their mailing list & I don’t need more spam.

Glad to see your home is dry

Sorry Pete, but I just had my wife Cathi, who has never, ever logged on to crank up her internet and do that. While there is in fact a spot in the upper right for those with accounts to log on, it is not required to view the auction. Over on the left side of the page in a yellow window, is a selection to browse the auction. When she clicked on that, the entire catalog, including Bill’s Gatling, Lot 1105, was there for her, and anyone else, to see.

I own no stock in RIA or any other auction house and the amount of negative opinions about anything connected with them continues to surprise me. In fact, they are great resources for cartridge-related information and do not charge a penny for the service.

Hi Mel
I’ve seen the lot, but what I was curious about was the price.

I’ve not dealt with them either, but like any house, and I’m sure mine is included, folks have both good and bad to say about them.

Pete, OK, when the auction closes, I’ll run a reply with the price realized. Want to play over/under for an adult beverage at the SLICS 2020 bar? (estimate $275K - $400K USD) I’ll play $285K.

Hi Mel
Not sure how the game of over/under works but if I have to guess it will be over the 285K & win or loose I’ll still buy you an adult beverage.

Hammer price or after they add their commission/fees?

Total price including all fees/commissions. What you would write the check for.

Any published to the public Prices Realized is just the hammer price.
The final total price paid {fees, commissions, shipping & etc}, should only be known to the house and to the buyer.

When RIA post the prices realized, The prices posted include buyers premium only. All my catalogs from them with price list sent post auction, include buyers premium. The online prices posted also include buyers premium. The buyers premium varies with payment method, generally 15% -17.5%.

At 1100 Saturday morning Bill’s Gatling sold for $316,250. The hammer price was $275,000 and the 15% buyer’s premium was $41,250. Rock Island Auction has a “live” feature where you can follow the auction live and hear/see each lot in real time as it is sold.