Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Famous Firearms Of The Old West

In days of old, gunfighters would gather to trade stories, and to impress each other with various feats of shooting. Today we are lucky enough that some of their stories have been put to pen so that we are able to read, and learn, from their experiences. One such book that I recommend for everyone is Hal Herring’s “Famous Firearms Of The Old West.” In his book Hal, a friend of mine, tells the story of 12 firearms that played an important role in America’s history. But it isn’t just about the firearms. Herring also weaves in the background of the weapon’s masters, and the societal forces of that time which forced these men – for good or bad – to fight.

There is a magical connection between firearms and man. Anything that someone will actually give a name has a special place in that person’s heart. And weapons that actually have a history attached to them are very special. This is the subject of Hal’s book. There are the stories of “Wild Bill” Hickok’s Colt 1851 revolvers, and Bill Cody’s Springfield rifle. He also tells of infamous outlaws and their weapons, such as Ned Christie and his Winchester rifle and John Wesley Hardin’s 1877 Colt revolvers. The thing about these men is that it depends on who you were at the time, and where you stood, as to whether these men and their weapons were good or bad.

Hal also includes a few of the more contemporary gunmen and their weapons. William Tilghman, one of the three “Guardsmen of Oklahoma,” and his Colt Single Action Army pistols cover one chapter, along with one of my personal heroes, Frank Hamer, a man who was in nearly 100 gunfights, was shot twenty-three times, and killed fifty-three outlaws, including Bonnie and Clyde.

“I would never try to say that the story of guns is the story of America,” Herring states in the preface of the book, “it is far more complex than that.”

“But the story of these guns sheds a very wide light on the history of our country,” he adds. The lesson from the stories Hal writes is that one person, properly armed and motivated, can make a difference, and sometimes such a big difference that it changes the course of a nation’s history.

If you’re reading this it means you probably own weapons. Your responsibility as a firearms owner is to train and practice, learning how to use them properly, so that when your time comes you’ll be ready to make a difference. The other lesson we should all pay attention to is that we need to insure that as Americans we retain to right to own and use our firearms, so that we control our destiny, and are able to defend ourselves against violent attackers. Being a victim is simply not an option.

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September 19, 2010 - Posted by | General Training

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