If you are a Pawn Stars fan, then there’s a good chance that you have seen Rick Harrison get into some tough negotiations over the years. One of the most intense negotiations he had involved a WWI-era rifle.
“So, what I have today is the British P 1871 Martini-Henry Short Lever rifle. Very iconic rifle,” the owner of the gun says, presenting it to Harrison.
“This is another weird bizarro-ness with the English — you know, they were still putting bayonets on rifles and doing rifle charges in World War I when they were running into machine guns. Not a good idea to do a bayonet charge,” Harrison laughs.
For the readers out there who are wondering, this specific hybrid rifle was designed in 1970. It combined the single-shot of a Martini gun with the rifling system of a Henry, hence the name. It was officially adopted for service by the British and used in the Anglo-Zulu War, the Second Anglo-Afghan War, and in WW1.
“I initially received the rifle from my great uncle in 1990,” the owner says. “This weapon here, I have no use for it. I’m hoping for $1,250.”
He then explained that with the money he gets, he’d like to restore an old race gun. The money will provide a new magwell, a new trigger system, and a new optic so I can go run a three-gun competition.
But Harrison is a vet in the business. He insisted that he had an expert look at it to see how much it’s worth.
“The thing is, sometimes when you come across these things, there are things that make it really exceptional. And then there are some things that are bad. So, I’ll get a little more info, and then we’ll go from there.”
Things Get Heated in ‘Pawn Stars’ Negotiation
So, who did Rick Harrison bring in to check out the old rifle? That would be Alex Cranmer, International Miltary Antiques expert. Cranmer drops a ton of knowledge about the battlefield-used rifle, including that it’s probably worth around $1,100.
“You see that ‘7-8-0’ there? Right above it, there is a ‘W Y.’ That stands for West Yorkshire Regiment. This is one of the oldest military regiments in the British army. Any time you have a rifle like this that’s marked to a specific regiment, it means that there’s a collector out there who really wants it.”
Initially, the owner of the rifle stuck with his original price of $1,250. But Harrison wasn’t going to accept that. He offered $600 instead before upping it to $700.
“I have a number in my head, I’d like us to both reach there,” the owner says.
“Well, that number better be $700 bucks,” Harrison responds.
The owner tries one last time by saying he would take $800 but Harrison still didn’t budge. So the owner walked out of the Pawn Stars store.
“We couldn’t see eye to eye. It happens. But maybe I’ll come back a little bit later with the bayonet and take another stab at it.”