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Guns of the Old WestGuns of the Old West

Guns of the Old West Spring 2017

Guns of the Old West is for the tens of thousands of Americans involved in our fastest growing shooting sport, Cowboy Action Shooting, the Old West is as alive today as it ever was, and especially so in any number of competition shooting matches East and West,

United States
Athlon Media Group
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4 Issues


access_time4 min.
timeless classics

What once was old is new again! Pedersoli’s new Howdah .45/.410 pistol takes off where the Ithaca Auto & Burglar shotgun left off, but with a little extra versatility.When the calendar page turned over to January 1900, the Old West didn’t disappear. In fact, it was very much alive and almost unchanged along the Mexican border towns with Texas, in the Oklahoma oil fields, throughout Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, just for a beginning. Thus, the new century was met head on by the old, and cowboys, lawman and outlaws were mostly indifferent to the new year or the years ahead well into the 1920s. One of the things that changed by the early 1900s, however, was guns—not to the exception of traditional arms like the Colt Peacemaker and…

access_time5 min.
unusual old west steel

Part of Umarexs Legends series, the select-fire M712 airgun reliably fires .177-caliber BBs with CO2 capsules.Semi-automatic handguns were unusual, but not unknown, in the latter days of the Old West. Colt was marketing the predecessors of the classic Model 1911, and foreign semiauto handguns were making their way westward. If Tom Horn’s jail guard had been carrying a revolver rather than a state-of-the-art semi-auto, Horn might have been successful in his attempted jail break and escape. However, he was run down and captured as he attempted to fire his jail guard’s semi-auto pistol— he didn’t know about safety catches and was unable to fire the fully loaded, “on safe” pistol.One of the earliest successful European autopistols was the Mauser C96, or “Broomhandle.” It earned this nickname because of its unusual…

access_time5 min.
scrapers, conchos & cleaning strips

J. Hornaday’s Gun Floss strips are useful for quickly cleaning hardto- reach parts of your firearms.The SliX-Scraper is a handy tool designed to easily remove the accumulated crud that forms when continuously firing .38 Special cartridges in .357 Magnum chambers.Raised by a firearms-enthusiastic father, I acquired my first magnum handgun at the age of 14. To feed my relatively new to the market Ruger .357 Magnum Blackhawk (known today as the Flattop model), I became the “chief bullet caster” for my dad, his shooting buddy and myself. Although we all owned .357 Magnum handguns, I don’t think we possessed a single .357 Magnum cartridge case between us, as we preferred to fuel our guns with reloads assembled with much more prevalent and inexpensive .38 Special cases.Some 50-plus years later, I’ve…

access_time9 min.
the legend lives on

Gene Barry (below left) based his portrayal of Bat Masterson (below right) on Masterson’s writings photographs. Barry was also correct in carrying his sixgun crossdraw-style with the butt forward. (Gun belt and holster courtesy Legends in Leather.)Back in the days of black-and-white television, our heroes were larger than life, despite being confined to the small screen. In our house, our TV was a Packard Bell in a mahogany cabinet. It was a handsomelooking time machine that could, on a given night, travel back to Dodge City and follow the exploits of a man who represented law and order in a lawless town—Bat Masterson.The real William Barclay “Bat” Masterson was a gentleman honed from frontier life as a roughneck, buckskinclad buffalo hunter, skinner and cavalry scout—a life Masterson lived long before…

access_time8 min.
keep it clean

Disassembling and cleaning cap-and-ball revolvers isn’t as difficult as you might think. With the right tools, cleaning products and know-how, it’s actually pretty simple.Every cap-and-ball revolver needs to be completely disassembled periodically for a thorough cleaning. It might look daunting, but the process is easy.People come up to me all the time to talk about cap-and-ball revolvers. Surprisingly, despite their obvious interest, a lot of them say they don’t own any. When I ask them why not, the main reason they give me is anxiety over disassembling and cleaning them.For many smokeless-powder shooters, cleaning only involves removing the cylinder, swabbing the chambers and bore, and squirting a little oil on the base pin. In fact, there are a few people I know, who, when the subject of gun cleaning comes…

access_time10 min.
the life & times buffalo bill

One hundred years ago, the first great theater of the American West ended. It did not end because the world was changing, though it was. It ended because the man who had created it died. William F. Cody, more commonly known as Buffalo Bill, invented the American West we all treasure today with his traveling Wild West shows from 1883 to 1917.Much of what Cody portrayed on the stage, and later in open arenas around the world, was a theatrical version of his real life on the frontier. A true cowboy in the tradition of the American West, he was forced to grow up fast. Born in 1846, by age 11 Bill Cody was herding cattle and driving wagons across the Great Plains. In 1860, after a brief try at…