Part of the mystique of the Old West resides in the incredible tales — sometimes embellished but often entirely true. GUNS Magazine Special Edition issue of Old West: History, Guns & Gear is filled with such intriguing stories where guns — some famous, some lesser known — star in the leading role.
Will Dabbs, MD recounts the life and adventures of John “Liver-Eating” Johnson, best known to history as a revenge seeking, Crow Indian-killing cannibal. Dr. Dabbs also highlights the curious life of Holt Collier — Mississippi slave, distinguished Civil War soldier, freedman and notorious black bear hunter — whose famous hunt with President Teddy Roosevelt inspired one of America’s favorite toys, the Teddy Bear.
Old West features the unexpected discovery of a historic firearm: “When I heard it was a Colt Single Action my palms started to sweat, my heart beat a little faster and I was prepared to hear about an old sixgun way out of my price range,” recalls John Taffin in “Rusty, Pitted and Priceless.” The estate sale find was an authentic U.S. Calvary Colt Single Action Army from 1881. Damaged but not irreparable, he details the priceless SAA’s restoration to its former glory.
1911s in the Old West? Jeremy D. Clough showcases the little-known role 1911s played in the era’s peacekeeping days, particularly among the Texas Rangers. Ornate but deadly, these “high tech for the times” pistols rode in a surprising number of gunfighter holsters. For those who wanted to carry discreetly, fire with extreme speed and risk their own life in the process, the slip gun was one such option. The combination proved deadly for Deputy U.S. Marshal “Baz” Outlaw, as detailed in “Hammer Time.”
Not all battles of the west were won with guns: Frank Jardim explains why the bow and arrow was still a formidable weapon despite its low-tech construction with a closer look at a self-bow made by famed Apache Indian, Geronimo. While bullets made relatively neat holes going in, arrows created a royal mess — especially when coming out.
An Uberti Short Stroke SASS Pro single-action revolver is up for grabs in the Special Edition Giveaway package. Designed for competition, the .45 LC with six-round capacity saves time between shots with its short-stroke hammer. The winner will also receive The Wild Hog field and range holster from DeSantis GunHide and Shenanigan knife from CRKT. The package is valued at $861.98. Readers are invited to enter the free drawing by visiting GunsMagazine.com/giveaways.
Additional highlights include the guns of the Plains Indian Wars; shotshells for pistols and rifles in “Hit Or Miss;” reloading the .44-40; an introduction to black powder shooting; Old West “concealed carry” pocket revolvers; and more.
Old West: History, Guns & Gear is currently available for purchase at newsstands everywhere and at fmgpubs.com.