Published: June 26, 2007
James D. Julia’s burgeoning firearms division got a boost with the hire of two of the country’s most respected firearms specialists.
Wes Dillon and Bill Taylor, who both worked for the renowned Cabela’s Gun Library for a long time, recently joined Julia’s staff as sales coordinators, where they will work with buyers and consignors.
The hire comes at a time of unprecedented growth for the firm’s division, which boasted a $7.4 million-grossing auction in March; $8.3 million last October preceded by a nearly $9 million sale that spring, and in October 2005, the firm’s highest-grossing firearms auction that set a new record at $9.2 million.
“Our firearms division is the largest [firearms] auction house in the world, in certain respects,” said Jim Julia. While other firms may sell more firearms for less money per item on average, Julia’s has distinguished itself by specializing in rare firearms and its average sale value per lot and total auction gross are uncontested.
With the new staff in place, Julia’s will up its firearms auction schedule next year from two sales a year to three, and will have a greater presence at gun shows across the country, he said. Other innovations are planned to spur creative interaction with clients, both consignors and buyers.
“Our firearms division has grown by leaps and bounds, and there’s been tremendous demand for more assistance,” he said, noting that over the last few years he has resisted adding staff for fear of losing control over the firm’s largest division.
Admitting to being a bit of a micromanager, Julia said it has taken him a while to get to this point, but the hiring of both men turned out to be serendipitous. The auction house’s chief firearms consultant had often been in contact with both Dillon and Taylor over the years regarding questions on firearms and had often kidded them, asking when they would come work for Julia’s. Recently, both men responded that they would seriously consider a position there. Neither knew at the time the other was being courted by Julia’s, which ultimately decided to bring both over.
“Both of these fellows have already been integrated in the firearms business in the upper echelon. Bill and Wes have traveled all over the US, buying and going to gun shows and auctions. They are professional, affable, honest people&⁷ho’ve developed a rapport among dealers and collectors across the nation,” Julia said. “It was just a tremendous fit.”
Dillon has more than 20 years experience in fine and collectible firearms merchandising and is a founding member of Cabela’s Gun Library, who was ultimately the managing head of all the outfitter’s gun libraries across the country.
Taylor has nearly 30 years experience in the firearms industry and was a principal of Cabela’s Minnesota gun library. Likewise, he has vast experience in purchasing and marketing fine and rare collectible guns.
James D. Julia’s is on Route 201, Exit 133 off I-95. For information, 207-453-7125 or www.juliaauctions.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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