Antique dealer Little John Gangel, who stands 6 feet, 4 inches tall, reaches into his safe and pulls out the small gun that Gen. George Armstrong Custer carried around in his boot. Today, the gold-gilded beauty, a gift to Custer from his volunteer army during the Civil War, is for sale. The asking price? "I'll entertain offers over $100,000," Gangel says.
This and about 1,500 less expensive antique weapons, from the 1500s to World War II, make up Little John's Antique Arms in Orange. There are Kentucky rifles from the American Revolution, Spencer carbines from the Civil War and Winchesters--toted by outlaws and good guys alike--from the Wild West. Among the most treasured items: a Colt Paterson serial No. 1, the first Colt ever made. Another used Colt with a bovine carved on its ivory handle belonged to Teddy Roosevelt's bodyguard; it recently sold for $18,500.