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Cowan’s acquires Calif. firearms auction house Little John’s

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions Inc of Cincinnati, Ohio has acquired Little John’s Auction Service of Orange, California, one of the most respected and recognized firearms auctioneers in the country.

The acquisition brings together two premier firms with a combined 60 years of business experience and more than $600 million in sales. With the transfer of ownership, Cowan’s Auctions, Inc. will become the third-largest antiques firearms auction house in the country, and will create a team of widely respected experts. John Gangel, president and CEO of Little John’s Auction Service will join Jack Lewis, Cowan’s director of Firearms and Militaria, as a consignment director and auctioneer. Together, Lewis and Gangel will source consignments and represent Cowan’s at all major trade shows.

Gangel has owned and operated one of the nation’s top firearms auction houses since 1979. Wes Cowan, a nationally recognized antiques expert and PBS television star, formed Cowan’s Auctions in 1995, and has been a leading firearms auctioneer for the past decade.

Gangel will host his last solo auction in December 2014. The companies will combine forces to host regular firearms sales in 2015. Next year’s plans call for four live salesroom auctions of Historic Firearms and Early Militaria at Cowan’s Cincinnati salesroom. Cowan’s will also hold several online sales of firearms and ephemera.

Gangel will continue to operate his retail business, Little John’s Firearms, in Orange, California, but much of his time will be spent on the road, visiting collectors and attending regional and national gun shows. “I’ve been wanting to spend more time doing what I love most,” says Gangel. “Let’s face it, everyone likes the thrill of the hunt and spending time with old friends. This is the perfect opportunity for me.”

All auctions conducted by Cowan’s feature Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.

Click to view Cowan’s catalog for their Dec. 5 Fine Jewelry and Timepieces Auction at

Click to view Cowan’s catalog for their Dec. 8 Fine Desk Accessories: Pens and Paperweights Auction at

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