God made men; Sam Colt made ’em laugh

Yes, indeed he did. Samuel Colt raised the funds to start his firearms manufacturing business by touring the country as "The Celebrated Dr. Coult of London, New York and Calcutta," a "practiced chemist" demonstrating the wondrous effects of nitrous oxide for the edification and wonderment of all. In reality, of course, he was neither a... Continue Reading →

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Poetic robberies

There were plenty of deadly stagecoach holdups in the Old West, but the famous stagecoach robber, Black Bart, had a very different modus operandi: politeness and poetry. Guns were involved, of course -- he used a double-barreled shotgun in all his robberies -- but he never fired a shot. His robberies were always very well... Continue Reading →

Nate Champion’s last stand

Nate Champion knew too much. For years, Champion and his small ranch had been a thorn in the side of the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association, a cabal of the biggest ranchers in the Johnson County area. The cattlemen insisted that Champion and his fellow small settlers were rustlers, constantly stealing cattle out of the bigger... Continue Reading →

Time got away from me last week and I didn't post, but I didn't just do nothing... And the nothing I didn't do...er, the something I did do...was to start a bibliography page, in which I'll keep an annotated list of the sources I find useful as I continue to research the history and weaponry... Continue Reading →

A great article comparing the Springfield "trapdoor" rifle carried by Custer's troops to the 1866 Winchester "Yellow Boy" lever-action carried by the Indians that defeated them.

Ultimate badassery

What's more badass than a classic lever-action rifle? If you answered "nothing," you get partial credit. That would have been my answer too. But apparently, this exists. Yes, lever-action rifles have been made -- and presumably, somewhere, also used -- with bayonets. Check it out. According to the auction site, this rifle was manufactured and... Continue Reading →

Truth from Machiavelli

When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred. -- Niccolo Machiavelli

Old West prescription shades

Did you know that people in the Old West actually wore sunglasses? It was a surprise to me. I've been thinking about guns, horses, clothes, provisions, even eyeglasses...but sunglasses never occurred to me. While doing research on the Allen Pepperbox gun, I stumbled across a dramatic part the gun played in early Mormon history and... Continue Reading →

Allen & Thurber Pepperbox

I stumbled across a fun new addition to the FAR System¬†armory a few days ago:¬†the Allen & Thurber Pepperbox pistol. Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) described a friend's Allen pepperbox this way: Simply drawing the trigger back, the hammer would begin to rise and the barrel to turn over, and presently down would drop the... Continue Reading →

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