FALL 2014

Two hundred years ago, on July 19, 1814, Samuel Colt was born. This past July the City of Hartford, Connecticut, celebrated Colt’s legacy with a 200th Anniversary gala. But we should all be celebrating Colt’s birthday, for without him the world would probably be a different place today. Rarely does one man leave behind such a permanent and history-altering legacy. For better or worse, Samuel Colt built an empire based on a single design that evolved into the greatest arms-making concern in American history, one that provided frontiersmen, explorers, lawmen and ordinary folks the capability to better defend themselves, the U.S. military to better arm its soldiers with the firepower to bring the fight to the enemy as never before, even when we turned those very guns upon ourselves during the Civil War. Today, there would be far fewer stories to tell about the American West had Samuel Colt not invented the revolver. Look Inside »

SUMMER 2014

A lot of people do not believe in coincidence. I’m not one of them because it happens all the time. Case in point, the book pictured here arrived the other day from the Autry Museum courtesy of Colt. In this issue, there is a story about the last days of John Wesley Hardin and the parallels between his murder and that of Wild Bill Hickok, and another about cattle-brand engraving that mentions guns that were made for famed Texas Ranger Captain “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas. Those guns, along with Hickok’s 1851 Navy and John Wesley Hardin’s Colt 1877 double-action revolver are all pictured in this book and on display at the Autry Museum. Look Inside »

Winter 2014

From the first time I saw Tombstone on the big screen in 1993, I have believed that it is just about the perfect Western. Not that there haven’t been better Westerns. Unforgiven, Lone-some Dove, Shane, High Noon and The Searchers all come to mind as being superior films in many ways, but all of them share a common thread—memorable characters. Tombstone was the one those rare films so populated with unforgettable characters that they keep you coming back to watch the movie over and over. Look Inside »

SUMMER 2013

There are few words that better describe the Old West than cattle and cattlemen. Cows and cowboys were the quintessential elements around which so much of mid to late 19th century lore is based. Our cover guns this month, a striking pair of cattlebrand-engraved Ruger New Vaquero and New Vaquero Bisley single actions, are indicative of the importance cattle and cattle ranching played in the post Civil War Western Expansion and settling of the American Southwest. The style of engraving on both guns is one of the more dramatic tributes to the cattle ranches of the late 19th century that flourished from the Texas Panhandle to California. A look at the history of cattlebrand guns and legendary engraver Cole Agee begins on page 18 along with the story of the Vaqueros, which is not just about the guns, but also the Spanish cattlemen who became the first American cowboys in the early 19th century. Look Inside »

FALL 2013

A gun is a tool, just like a saddle or a lasso, but cowboys took great pride in each for just as likely they were the sum of their worldly possessions. A gun could be simple; it could be old and worn from years of use but kept in fine working condition, or it could be a work of art, mechanically in its intricate yet elementary design, and when engraved or otherwise personalized, a gun could become more than the sum of its parts. That is the subject of this issue’s main feature on the western engraving styles of Dassa and the famous original 19th century firearms which inspired their latest work on F.lli Pietta single action revolvers. Look Inside »

Spring 2013

Evolution is what a great deal of this issue is about, and most of it centers around one man— Samuel Colt. Look Inside »