Sean Rich is a modern-day treasure hunter on a mission to track down masterpieces of military history. But for him, antique weaponry is more than a passion; it’s his business. New series Lords of War – premiering tonight at 9 p.m. – follows Sean and his team of arms experts as they patrol the country for rare collectibles and auction them off to the highest bidder. They get a piece of the action, and the seller gets the rest. Every auction is battle, but war is in their blood.

Part historians and part detectives, the top-notch team is challenged in each episode to authenticate an item and appraise its value. It’s not always an easy task, even for these experts. Occasionally an item so rare will come across their paths with virtually no frame of reference. One seller claims a “Disney-like” doodle painted on a WWI helmet was drawn by Walt Disney himself, as a young soldier in the war. While the team knows there is some historical truth to the story, they struggle to authenticate it. In addition to weaponry, they also come across an extremely rare sheet of printed money dated just a few months before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The item is outside their normal realm of expertise; and they call in a currency expert to get the full story behind the remarkable piece of history.

The Lords of War guarantee each weapon they auction is in working condition… no matter how old it is. Testing an antique can be the most exciting, and dangerous, part of the job. Follow the excitement both on the auction floor and at the shooting range, using slow motion, high-definition cameras to capture every detail of an antique being fired for the first time in centuries.

From historical gems to just plain junk, there is no telling what, or who will show up at each auction, and occasionally the people are stranger than the items themselves. A family of Viking re-enactors is surprised to learn the value of their family heirloom, a 1000 year-old axe head. But sometimes a seller’s expectations are inflated, as is the case with one seller who expected to buy an island with the money he hoped to make on a German crossbow. Other items turn out to be priceless; a hand-drawn map from an infantryman at the battle of Normandy valued at over $20,000 proves to be too personal for his surviving daughter to sell.

Tune in tonight to the series premiere of Lords of War at 9 and 9:30 p.m.

Comments

  1. inge hendler
    wisconsin
    January 23, 2013, 10:26 pm

    We have a hand drawn map of german mines fields in France WWII. It was a bring back. You had one on the show. Was it actioned? I did not see it–value???
    Thank you

  2. Jerry Gold
    Ione, Ca
    January 23, 2013, 10:47 pm

    Jim Green. How do you fit three Marines into one black Pontiac Fierro? Get one knucklehead from Alpha Battery 1/12 to ride in the trunk.

  3. gary bernhardt
    okla
    January 24, 2013, 12:10 am

    watched about 1/2 the show, it’s full of bull shit . need to study your history before you comit on Custer. The hole
    show is a bunch of dum asses

  4. Patrick Hornberger
    Pennsylvania
    January 24, 2013, 12:36 pm

    As an early firearms author (3 books and numerous magazine articles) I’m very disappointed in NatGeo allowing such a program to be aired when it is full of both general history and firearm history mistakes. In addition in these days of gun controversy this program sends a message that all guns are boy’s toys. The vast majority of us, who study and collect early firearms, would NEVER shoot any “antique” firearm – repeat “never”. In fact, a recently fired antique is worth LESS – not more as your program so stupidly suggest. Your program says all guns, including those of historic value, are for shooting and that is simply not what scholars or those of us that appreciate the fine craftsmanship of a gone era care are concerned about. Secondly, what is shown on the first program is WRONG–very wrong, The wheelock pistol appears to be a re-stock, and the lock is spurious (not worth $8k)…the canon was a mobile “signal” canon used on land and sea, not a canon for shooting an enemy.
    And what auction house is that in a tent? If this is a real show why cant this house be identified so the public can avoid it.
    I know these kind of shows are “entertainment”, but I would have expected NatGeo to vet both the so-called experts and the items being presented. Certainly NatGeo has an obligation to present such a program that both accurately educates the program, while reflecting the true antique firearm community while not adding to the reputation of gun collectors as “gun nuts” by shooting every firearm. I suggest NatGeo start all over again – do you homeworK and present an accurate program that respects the good gun owners – you must know that good history is also entertaining. I would have expected more from the venerable National Geographic.

  5. bob
    January 24, 2013, 9:47 pm

    WHAT AUCTION COMPANY DO THEY USE ?
    WHAT IS THE AUCTIONEERS NAME ?

  6. Bill
    las vegas
    January 28, 2013, 9:20 pm

    After watching Nat Geo for my entire life along with my entire family, I will no longer be doing so ever again. While watching the program “Hard Riders” with my two young sons, I was repulsed and disgusted when the man in the group placed a large chunk of fecal matter into the groups stew as it cooked over an open fire. I am angry that my beloved and always mature and appropiate channel has done such a common typica and trashy reality tv type of stunt. I will no longer be subscribing to your magazine for the first time since I was ten years old. You have lost three generations of loyal viewers from a large family. I will have nothing but negative things to tell anyone about your organization from now on. Also I would like to congratulate the idiots who thought that to be compelling tv ahaed of time. I have no doubt that there will be many like minded idiots who will see this and try placing “poop” into their camping buddies food and at least one if not more will become severley ill and could quite possibly die from the bacteria and or parasites that live in so many wild animals. Especailly being out in the wild and perhaps too far to make it to get medical aid in time to stop the horrific damage tht this type of stunt can cause. I will copy and paste this on as many sites that your viewers might see. Thank you for becoming so common and typical in todays morally bankrupt society. I am furious and disgusted. I hope Im not the only one. Good day!

  7. Tom
    Phoenix
    January 29, 2013, 12:11 pm

    I have a german luger to sell,how do i find out the value and how to sell it in lords of war

  8. sasanna
    new jersewy
    January 29, 2013, 2:20 pm

    i went through hurricane sandy i realized there are importanter things then a gun show.

  9. Jared
    Mn
    January 29, 2013, 4:20 pm

    I too had higher expectations. Shooting an old wheel lock pistol was completly stupid. Any gunsmith can tell you if the dang thing could fire. Why would you take the chance of it blowing up? Would Sean have paid them $5K for screwing the pistol up? I agree with Pat that it looked like a repop on the stock considering the age. When I go arrowhead hunting I don’t bring back a 900 year old arrowhead, strap it to a shaft and shoot it at a target to see if it is good. You NEVER take the chance of destroying a piece of history. Now the sword, we were told was a Scottish Claymore. Well, claymores don’t have baskets on them, a claymore is a two-handed sword. What that one was, was a Celtic Broad sword. It looked 41″ long, the basket is what dates it, the heart and clovers brings it to the time the Scots and Irish (the red Scottish hearts and the green Irish clovers) were fighting King Richard “The Longshanks” of England (William Wallace era). Those baskets were to show the unity of the allies. The buyer got a hell of a deal considering they didn’t give him proper history on it. Now, Adrians Winchester rifle for $1800, that is a solid retail price, but I’ve seen them in pawn shops and gun shows for 13-1500. Expecting 18 or high was a little more than he should have bitten off, he got lucky. Again I agree with Pat that Sean should have known what a signal canon was. Again, with it’s age, why would you fire it? One part I hated was not being able to really look at the WWII map that lady’s father had made. Like Larry, I had a lump in my throat seeing some of the detail he had put into it. That was by far the most awesome item they had on the show. How do you get the best bang for the buck with a traveling auction tent?

  10. charlie
    kansas city
    January 30, 2013, 6:03 pm

    1894 Winchesters were not used against Custer since the Battle of the Little Big Horn took place in 1876. Lords of War a stupid show for stupid viewers promoting lies about Native Americans.

  11. Steve
    January 30, 2013, 8:32 pm

    Importanter? Really? I’m sorry for your misfortune. That however, Is no excuse for that kind of grammar. As for the rest of you armchair experts. Get a life!

  12. glen san lwin
    north port, fl
    January 30, 2013, 11:47 pm

    I too agree with Pat and Jarad.S01/ Ep03 states that the
    US Army needed a larger caliber pistols to combat the
    Maoris in the Philippines who were chewing coca?
    The Moari were from New Zealand and coca is indiginous
    to South America. Get the facts straight before saying the
    stars of the show are experts.

  13. Annie
    January 31, 2013, 12:10 pm

    Oh give me a break people – it’s a reality television show – don’t tell me you think Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise is real! If there are major flaws with Sean’s show – I’m certain Nat Geo will tweak it – cancel it – or call in the Gun Whisperer!

  14. Lanny
    Upstate NY
    January 31, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Total idiots! Test firing a cannon? Look down the barrel, and you can see if it fires, if it’s clear. Some nitwit will try to fire grandpa’s muzzleloader with smokeless powder, and kill himself! And a full auto, silenced submachine gun that somebody “bought from a neighbor”?? No mention of all the federal $400 transfer tax, and the transfer permits you have to wait for 6 months to get approved! Can’t dell a Colt 45 if it doesn’t fire? No mention of having a gunsmith check it, see if it’s safe to fire?? Idiots all! Is this a Liberal plot to show gun enthusiasts as whacko’s?? Maybe….

  15. Lanny
    January 31, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Typo in previous–”sell a Colt” is the edited varsion

  16. Bruce
    Colorado
    February 1, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Is there a way to get a schedule of where the show is going to look for items…I have a few items that I think they would be interested in

  17. Scotty Trapman
    Santee Ca
    February 2, 2013, 12:09 am

    I really hate the fact they keep repeating the same phrase reguarding their percentage of the sale. Its super annoying.

  18. Rev Artie
    White Oak, VA
    February 4, 2013, 6:36 pm

    Another NatGeo show that has me hooked.
    Id like to know where the auctions are held.

  19. Mark
    Utah
    February 4, 2013, 10:55 pm

    I don’t even know where to begin. This program is more than just an embarrassment, it’s dangerous. To imply that two or three hundred year old firearms are “worth more if they shoot” is criminally negligent. No mention is made of the dangers of shooting modern smokeless powder in arms made during the black powder era. My blood runs cold at the thought of folks seeing this vile show and shoving modern cartridges in a fine old first generation single action Colt “to see if it shoots”. People will surely be injured or even killed. National Geographic should be ashamed!

  20. Oliver Sudden
    Delta Ut
    February 5, 2013, 5:09 am

    Guy wants to sell his 9mm MAC10, but guys are showing firing a .45acp MAC10 at the range. I bet the auction is all “staged” as well. A small tent in Colo. and somebody shows up with nearly $80,000 to buy a silver brick? Phoney as all the other pawn shop, storage unit, and auction shows. Slowmos are kinda neat tho!

  21. Mark
    NEW MEXICO
    February 5, 2013, 5:58 am

    Hey it is a TV show didn’t you notice the same silly ass tent when they said they were in Ca to be the same tent up against the same fence in Kansas city or where ever they said they were . If I hear that auctioneer they used or what ever he was say ..fair warning one more time , I’m goona kick the TV in . Not a real auction for sure ,just TV from National Geographics

  22. Nick
    Susanville Ca.
    February 9, 2013, 12:09 am

    Whats up Adriano,SHOOT EM UP

  23. Brian
    Charlotte, NC
    February 21, 2013, 1:01 am

    1. Consider talking less about the garuntee. It’s annoying.
    2. Focus more on proving a weapon being functional or not functional before gambling the weapon or a persons life.
    3. Consider talking less about the garuntee. It’s annoying.
    4. Consider talking less about the garuntee. It’s. annoying.

    I think you get the point.

    Thanks!

  24. John
    Texas
    February 21, 2013, 2:10 pm

    I’ll be in the show next Wednesday “Field of Screams/haunted Colt” I wish I could comment more on what goes on in the show but don’t want them to cancel my viewing. They did buy and use black powder 45LC shells in my 1882 Colt SAA though. They use light loads in these old guns. It is was fun but reality TV isn’t always reality. However, is neat to see the different things people bring in.

  25. Zed
    Missouri
    March 27, 2013, 1:37 pm

    Every time i see Sean load a muzzleloader, i think to myself what a nitwit. Watching him drop a UNPATCHED ball on top of the powder and shoving some stuffing down on top of the ball is a riot.

    It wont be so funny if the ball moves off the powder and becomes a barrel obstruction. That little wad of stuffing he tamps down on top is going to very little to stop the ball from moving.

    He is the laughing stock on several muzzleloading forums but we would be happy to educate him on proper loading procedures.

  26. Harvey Lingle
    chesapeake. va.
    March 29, 2013, 8:32 pm

    We have several military bases in the area. Oceana. Norfolk. Langley. Fort eustis.fort monroe.etc let me know if you will be in the area.

  27. Shawn M
    Toledo, OH
    March 30, 2013, 8:49 pm

    What about the guy who replaced Shawn on pawn stars? Seems to do fairly well. I’ve caught a couple of minor errors from him (mostly history) but he seems to actually know about guns.

  28. Terry Neeves
    England
    July 17, 2013, 7:33 am

    Typical loud USA television which is irritating, fake or not, some of the bring-ins are interesting, nice seeing them shoot,although has to be mad or dangerous, or just a plain lunatic, this faking does an enormous amount of harm in the minds of the generally not very bright we have infesting the world now, creats a totally false illusion, keep going, am sure the mistakes will get far worse.

    Terry Neeves. (UK)

  29. Patrick Daly
    Rocklin, CA
    September 26, 2013, 11:42 pm

    I use television as a source of information and education. My time is too valuable to be wasted on so called “reality shows” with their contrived phony drama as part of the script. Unfortunately, National Geographic now seems to have fallen suit and into this same fold. While I will likely continue to watch some NGC programs, never again will I consider the editing to be reliable or truthful. When I have practical hands on knowledge of a subject matter that is being featured by NGC, and I’m exposed to bafoonery, dis-information (either willful or due to ignorance), I ask myself; “What was the motivation for this production”? Is this reporting on a matter or is NGC now working on social engineering or championing an agenda? Certainly dangerous, foolish and ill advised statements or actions don’t benefit or teach anyone. I will always now be suspect of NGC’s presentations. Sadly, NatGeo of years past is NOT what we have today.