The A. Max Weitzenhoffer Collection

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Fine American Firearms

Elegance in Arms
Housed in a richly appointed gallery, the Weitzenhoffer Collection consists of nearly 100 guns focusing on the convergence of mechanical and decorative arts during the Victorian era in America. Prominent within the collection are arms from premiere nineteenth century American gunmakers such as Colt, Remington, Sharps, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, Marlin, and Parker Brothers.

Colt Belt Model No. 3 Paterson revolver. Still retaining nearly new, unfired condition, fewer than five hundred of these weapons saw production in 1842.

Colt Model 1860 Army, Caliber .44 Rifled Bore
This cased pair of inscribed, presentation Model 1860 Army revolvers represents a significant rarity in Colt firearms production. In very fine condition, the revolvers retain only mottled bluing turning a rich plumb-brown color, but they display considerable case-hardened color on their frames, nearly complete silver-plating on gripstraps and trigger guards, full stock varnish, and quite distinct roll-engraved naval battle scenes on their cylinders. 

An icon of the frontier West, the Single Action Army revolver ranks among the most famous and sought-after of all the Colt firearms.

This example exhibits several custom-order features that place it well beyond the norm of standard production.

The revolver displays comparatively broad coverage in the elegant, foliate-scroll pattern (set off on a punched-dot, or stippled, ground) typical of the so-called American style.

The revolver also is fitted with special-order, mother-of-pearl grips.

Gilded Age of Engraving
This model 1866 Winchester sporting rifle epitomizes the splendid aesthetic attained by domestic arms manufacturers and engravers.

The gold-plated frame, forend cap, and buttplate of this piece display crisp, relatively dense, yet flowing scrollwork over a punched-dot ground.

As the epitome of excellence in late- nineteenth- century American arms, this Parker, A-quality shotgun retailed for $300 in 1880 (the equivalent of about $5,350 today).

The gun uses the early, lifter-type, tip-up action for breech-loading, and incorporates outside-hammer locks.

Credits: Story

Come explore the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Exhibit produced by,
John Spencer, Director of Media & Content Production, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

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