The A. Max Weitzenhoffer Collection

Fine American Firearms

By National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Fine Firearms Gallery (2015) by National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Weitzenhoffer Gallery (2015) by National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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.

Muzzle Loading Percussion Revolver 1837-1840 (1837/1840) by Colt’s Patent Arms Manufacturing Co.Company, Paterson, New JerseyNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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

Muzzle Loading Percussion Revolver 1860-1873 (1860/1873) by Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co.Company, Hartford, ConnecticutNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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. 

Breech Loading Cartridge Revolver (1872/1940) by Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co.Company, Hartford, ConnecticutNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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.

Breech Loading Cartridge Rifle 1866 1898 (1866/1898) by Winchester Repeating Arms Co.Company, New Haven, ConnecticutNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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.

Breech -Loading Cartridge Rifle 1875-1902 (1875/1902) by Parker Brothers Gun Co.Company, Meriden, ConnecticutNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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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