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Rock Island Auction Company: The Largest Auction of Rare Firearms

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Rock Island Auction Company: The Largest Auction of Rare Firearms

Rock Island Auction Company is currently the largest purveyor of collectible firearms in the world.

Collectors flock to their Rock Island, Ill. facility for the chance to add a rare or historic item to their own collection. The Midwest auction house regularly sells pieces for as much as 6-figures, but more modestly-priced collections can be built there as well.

RIAC’s clientele comes from across the country and even internationally, widespread popularity that has led to numerous world record prices for firearms.

Not Just a Gun Auction

It has become a nationwide hub for gun enthusiasts. During an event, they can meet, exchange conversation, talk about their collections, and of course bid. Much like Comic-Con or Black Hat in their respective fields, RIAC provides a haven of sorts.


RIAC also has become a combination outreach event and education center. Their work with popular YouTube Channels such as Forgotten Weapons and DemolitionRanch reaches younger audiences.

All this points figuratively to being “not just a gun auction,” but it’s also literally a much more diverse business. RIAC has regularly offered bladed weapons throughout history. Native American items such as blankets and tomahawks appeal to Old West collectors. Military artifacts, uniforms, and equipment appeal as much to historians as they would to gun collectors.

It Makes Dollars and Sense

For many would-be online sellers, Rock Island Auction Company provides an alternative without the internet’s many pitfalls. Working with an established business removes the uncertainty and potential fraud one can encounter with an anonymous internet buyer. Those consigning with the auction house give themselves security, and often a higher sale price. RIAC’s nearly three decades in business means collectors know them as a good source and closely follow their events.

What to Expect

RIAC’s auctions draw attendees from around the country. Three times annually they hold their flagship Premier Auctions, a 3-day affair consisting of world-class firearms as well as less glamorous items in pristine condition. In contrast, their Sporting & Collector Auctions are held twice a year and are filled with beginner collector arms, military surplus, non-firearm items, etc. These events span four days, and contain as many as 11,000 firearms, requiring a brisk pace from their team of auctioneers.


RIAC also holds an Online Auction. No live audience is involved for these smaller sales, but the auction is live-streamed online, and bidders can participate. Even prior to the pandemic-induced social distancing protocols, this format was quite popular with collectors who missed the events.

Lock, Stock, and Barrel

Like any business, there are basic principles that must be met to find success, and RIAC seems to have the formula. It seems simple, but creating a friendly culture around firearms for the new and experienced enthusiasts alike, in an era when firearms often serve as a social pariah, it’s often anything but easy.

Media Contact:

Name: Joel Kolander
Phone: 309.797.1500


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The Bumotec s191H From Starrag Hits the Target by Producing Complete Firearm Slides for the Sports Gun Industry in One Machine Cycle

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Sports Gun Slide - The Bumotec s191H is able to produce firearm slides complete from 17-4 stainless steel material, in 45 minutes unmanned.

Probably the most important aspect of sport shooting is accuracy. People see it in the Olympics, on the range and in the field.

Exactness is shooting’s time-honored metric. Numerous factors impact accuracy, however — stance, aim, breathing, distance to the target, control, backdrop and, of course, the firearm itself.

While Starrag can’t control the human aspect of shooting, it does play a key role in helping produce a precise firearm slide both affordably and efficiently.

In years past, up until the present, machining of firearm slides has often been produced on machining centers equipped with tombstone fixtures. Blank material is brought to the machine where the clamped part undergoes milling and, in some cases, EDM machining. The net shape is then deburred and hand finished. Sounds simple. But after a closer look, this process is rife with setups and always includes more than one machine to finish one slide. Starrag’s approach is different.


Productivity and flexibility distinguish Bumotec machines from other machining centers.

The Bumotec s191H is able to produce firearm slides complete from 17-4 stainless steel material, in 45 minutes unmanned. Using a quick mill strategy comprised of small tools, high-speed linear motors with a direct drive torque spindle, the slide is finished and ready for sand blasting in less than one hour. Deburring and decorative operations are easily incorporated into the numerical control (NC) program. The machine’s 1.2 G accelerated drives with 30,000 rpm spindle motor produce quick cuts that generate smooth-to-the-touch surface finishes. Additionally, high pressure through the tool coolant blasts chips away from the slide’s hard-to-access areas, such as the firing pin. This allows for long gun drilling operations to be performed. All slides include a slotted feature that guides the barrel. Machining centers struggle to produce this square slot due to tool radius in the corner. At this point, the slide is often removed and taken offline to an EDM for electric discharge machining. This is an extra step that introduces costs. That’s not the case with the Bumotec s191H. The s191H easily broaches the slotted feature, producing sharp clean corners. This saves time, eliminates the need to use an EDM and delivers part-to-part consistency.

U.S. firearm manufacturing market

According to the 2020 edition of its Firearm Production Report issued by the industry’s trade association NSSF®, 11.4 million firearms were produced in the United States or imported in 2018, the latest available statistical year.

Other statistics from the report include:

Nearly half (48%) of all rifles produced and imported (less exports) in 2018 were modern sporting rifles.
Since 1990, an estimated 19.8 million modern sporting rifles are in circulation today.
According to reports such as ATF Firearms Commerce in the United States, ATF AFMER and Congressional Research Service data, there are an estimated 434 million firearms in civilian possession in the United States.
Firearm and ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $3.9 billion in goods shipped in 2018.

Slide manufacturing is a form of art

Firearm manufacturing in the United States is a big business. But manufacturing slides affordably and efficiently can require endless hours to get it right.


Slide producers who regularly engage with Starrag say that the way a slide feels in the shooter’s hand is very subjective. By the time producers get to a point where the firearm can be tested, countless hours of design and testing have already gone into producing the slide. Often, the slide is fired thousands of times only to be redesigned or significantly augmented. The Bumotec s191H saves time during this prototyping phase. “With the s191H, slide designers can change features in the program ‘on the fly.’ This shortens the time it takes to get to a finished design,” said Greg Dunkley, Starrag Vice President Sales Precision Engineering North America. Simulation of NC programs offline with computer-aided manufacturing packages are a great benefit. At this point, tool selection is optimized during simulation ensuring the best tool-cutting path. Starrag’s customized tool management module complements part-programming with easy-to-read intuitive tool menus — again saving time. Another significant cost saver is Starrag’s unique work-holding system. Because the Bumotec s191H uses collets and a jaw vice, any major or minor change to the slide does not require new work-holding or custom fixtures. This is generally not the case with machining centers. As an extra benefit, a Renishaw part probe is stored in the (90) station tool carousel. It’s called up during the program and used for measuring critical features such as the front and rear sight guides.

After 61 operations, the finished slide is unloaded with Starrag’s integrated automated pallet tray system.

11-step process in Starrag gun slide manufacturing

The CNC process starts with a bar puller advancing rough bar stock through the Bumotec s191H’s main spindle passage, followed by 11 steps:

  1. The main spindle clamps the bar.
  2. One end of the slide is machined complete.
  3. With half the slide finished, the work-holding sub turret, which is equipped with a sliding jaw vice and tail stock, clamps onto the finished half of the slide.
  4. The sub turret vice pulls the slide out to its finished length.
  5. The vice releases and indexes out of the way.
  6. The work-holding sub turret rotates the tail stock into position onto the end of the slide. With the tail stock supporting the slide, feeds and speeds are advanced to machine the inside and outside the body of the slide.
  7. The tail stock moves out of the way and the vice rotates back into position.
  8. The vice clamps onto the body of the slide.
  9. A parting tool separates the slide from the rough bar.
  10. The jaw vice indexes the slide into a vertical position, allowing the back part of the slide to be finished.
  11. With the slide finished, it automatically is loaded onto the pallet tray and the cycle begins again.

Always a question of costs

Part of the unique value proposition of any Bumotec machining center is finishing a part complete in one cycle. The slide is no different. For owners of Bumotec machines, this means that one person operates one to several machines. The strategy is to have anything that needs to be done to the part — except heat treat or painting — performed on the Bumotec. This is where gains can truly be measured. Higher margins can be realized using a Bumotec machining center by reducing manpower, ancillary machines, large work-holding inventories and changeover times. Together, this equals an efficient, robust and profitable formula.

For anyone interested in producing slides COMPLETE from bar or raw blank lights out, then the Bumotec s191H is THE fast and proven choice. The Bumotec s191H’s inherent rigidity coupled with its unique kinematics will help achieve cycle times that are right on target to meet performance and profitability metrics.


Be sure and check out the slide video on the Starrag TV YouTube Channel: Precision part machining in one.

Company profile Starrag

High-precision machine tools for greater productivity

Starrag Group is a global technology leader in manufacturing high-precision machine tools for milling, turning, boring and grinding workpieces of metallic, composite and ceramic materials. Principle customers are internationally active companies in the Aerospace, Energy, Transportation and Industrial sectors (Industrial Components, Luxury Goods, Med Tech). In addition to its portfolio of machine tools, Starrag Group provides integrated technology and maintenance services that significantly enhance customer quality and productivity.

The umbrella brand Starrag unites the product ranges Berthiez, Bumotec, Dörries, Droop+Rein, Ecospeed, Heckert, Scharmann, SIP, Starrag, TTL and WMW. Headquartered in Rorschach, Switzerland, the Starrag Group operates manufacturing plants in Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK and India and has established a network of sales and services subsidiaries in the most important customer countries.


The shares of Starrag Group Holding AG are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

For more information:

Elena Schmidt-Schmiedebach
Lead Marketing North America
Mobile: +1 (859) 380-2356

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Introducing the Wide Open Trigger

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Big Daddy Unlimited - Only Gun Stuff Magazine

A hard-reset trigger engineered to last and endure repetitive use.

Big Daddy Unlimited has announced the Wide Open Trigger is now available, a state-of-the-art, plug-and-play, drop-in replacement trigger for the AR-15 platform.

The Wide Open Trigger delivers an exceptionally smooth, crisp, creep-free trigger pull. No gunsmithing, fitting, or adjusting is required. Just drop it in and go.

Tony McKnight, Co-Founder, Big Daddy Unlimited, had this to say, “The Wide Open Trigger is yet another revolutionary new product taking the firearms industry by storm as the first true plug-and-play, drop-in AR-15 hard-reset trigger. It’s extremely rugged and reliable, and it’s been tested and warrantied for more than 10,000 rounds.”


The Wide Open Trigger (WOT) is a two-stage, hard-reset trigger for AR-15 platforms chambered in .223 Remington/5.56 NATO that allows the user the ability to shoot faster, while still allowing only one single shot per trigger pull.

The trigger is designed to shorten the length and time a trigger needs to reset itself, by using the elastic energy of the patent-pending spring carrier. When compressed, the spring carrier forces the trigger into a neutral or reset position.

The only requirements to run the Wide Open Trigger effectively and reliably in your AR-15 platform are an M16 bolt carrier group (BCG) and a standard H2 or H3 buffer.

The Wide Open Trigger is made to resist the wear and tear that other triggers can’t live up to, and it’s tested and warrantied up to 10,000 rounds. Even common issues like pin walkout are not an issue with the proprietary design that uses a patent-pending spring carrier and comes with anti-walk pins.


The WOT is engineered with Hardox™ steel to last for the life of your firearm and endure repetitive use. It’s easily installed without the help of a professional gunsmith. We recommend having a gunsmith install and inspect your firearm if you plan on running it on an AR-15 chambered in .300 AAC Blackout or 9mm.

Big Daddy Unlimited (BDU) is revolutionizing the online gun-, gear-, and ammo-buying process with the largest selection of in-stock products at everyday industry-leading prices. Our mission is to help our members exercise their Second Amendment right at prices they can live with while giving them the VIP service they deserve. Our passion for the 2A is unyielding, and we patriotically defend the freedoms upon which our great country was founded.

Our sales and services teams are the greatest benefit of our membership program and truly what sets us apart from other companies in the firearms industry. A quick call into BDU is the fastest way to solve a problem or grab that hard-to-find item. Give us a call at (800) 915-7709 to become a member today.

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Staccato 2011® Pistols Approved for Duty by Over 250 Law Enforcement Agencies

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Staccato 2011® pistols for duty use - Only Gun Stuff Magazine

Agencies choose Staccato for its high performing pistols, partnership mentality, and law enforcement training

Staccato​ 2011, LLC announced today a company milestone: over 250 law enforcement agencies across the country have approved Staccato 2011® pistols for duty use. Law enforcement is embracing Staccato not only for the company’s high-performing pistols, but also for its ongoing support that includes training. Major departments approving Staccato include LA County Sheriffs, Riverside County Sheriffs, and the Long Beach Police Department.

“We forged our first law enforcement relationships under two years ago. In this short amount of time, the positive response for Staccato has been humbling; we are proud to serve thousands of officers who carry our pistols both on and off-duty,” said Marine Corps veteran Nate Horvath, CEO, Staccato.

“Departments are approving Staccato 2011® pistols for their superior performance in qualification tests that include pistol reliability, accuracy, and ergonomics/efficiency,” said Buck Pierson (USMC GySgt ret.), Staccato’s Director of Law Enforcement and Military Business. “Departments are also choosing Staccato for our partnership mentality and ongoing support. We provide free 2011® transition courses for law enforcement​, a 2011® armorers course, and other specialized on-site department instruction. Instruction is led by senior Staccato team members like Mike Pannone [former US Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces (Green Beret), 1st SFOD-D (Delta) and the Asymmetric Warfare Group)], Matt Little (former Army Special Forces and Chicago PD SWAT), and Master Gunsmiths,” said Pierson.

Patrick Dougherty, Sgt. Long Beach Police Department, was a part of LBPD’s year-long evaluation of Staccato. Beyond pistol qualification, Dougherty explains that LBPD’s partnership with Staccato is valued deeply, especially in today’s climate. “LBPD appreciates everything Staccato has done for us, and the stance the company has taken alongside law enforcement when very few will publicly do that. Courage is the rarest of traits, and we thank Staccato for supporting us.”


Staccato provides law enforcement, military, and first responders a discount on pistols and magazines. As a veteran-led, Texas-based company that only uses American materials and parts, Staccato is proud to serve those who protect our freedoms daily.

About Staccato: Twenty-five years ago, Staccato (formerly STI) revolutionized competition shooting by bringing the world a new gun platform, the 2011®. Built with FlaTec™, Staccato 2011® pistols are trusted by elite law enforcement teams like the U.S. Marshals SOG, the Texas Rangers, and LAPD Metro. Staccato pistols are approved for duty by over 250 agencies across the country. Reliable, durable, insanely accurate, safe, and easy to shoot well, Staccato pistols are fast becoming the pistol of choice for shooters of all skill levels ranging from professionals to home defenders to beginners. With a lifetime warranty, Staccato handguns are designed, precision engineered, and handcrafted in Georgetown, Texas, and built with American steel and parts. As an American firearms manufacturer, Staccato is proud that over 25% of its team members are veterans and 100% are patriots.

Media Contact:
Kristin Marlow

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