Pistols that Shaped the West (1847-1911)

Pistolsthat Shaped the West (1847-1911)


Pistolsthat Shaped the West (1847-1911)

Whenwe mention the weapons that shaped the west, many of the pistolscreated in this time, the battles they fought, the great users, theremarkable lives lost on the battlefield and the manufacturers ofthis weapons cross our minds. Beginning with the Colt Pattersonrevolver of 1836 to the famous “gun that won the word” the 1873Winchester and ending with another Colt Semi-Automatic of 1911. Thereare various civil wars that the weapons fought and the major warssuch as the first world war make the subject of the history ofpistols, a matter of interest to many learners. This paper will,therefore, capture the history of some of the impactful developmentsinvolving revolvers that shaped the west between 1847 and 1911.

1836Colt Patterson Revolver

TheColt Patterson revolver was the first of its kind in models ofrevolving pistols having been point 36 calibers and a 12-inch barrel.It opened a new chapter of revolutionizing handguns that wereavailable in the west.The gun which was invented as one of SamuelCotts business venture in firearms obtained a patent in 1836 but itsmanufacturing came to full completion at around 1840.in 1841 the gunsdeadly prowess was unearthed when it was put to use by Ranger JohnHay, who was a Texas Ranger fighting against the Comanches1.Using the gun, Hay was able to triumph against the Comanches and wasgiven an accolade as one of his biggest fights. In fact, The Rangerhimself acknowledged that without such a pistol, the Rangers wouldnot have been able to gather enough confidence to embark on intrepidadventures as they did.

1847Colt Walker Revolver

Thecolt walker revolver was the largest ever six-shooter that wasinvented in 1847. The gun weighed four pounds while loaded and onlynine ounces unloaded. This gun development was characterized by itsability to shoot at a great range, great accuracy with a cap ballpower of .44. Although its invention came after the end of theMexican war which ended in 1848, the gun was instrumental in thebattle of Huamantla led by another great Ranger Sam Walker in 1947.The gun had obtained its name as the Colt Walker after Captain Walkerredesigned it to improve out Peterson`s invention which had faced afailure after it was patented earlier in 1842.

1851Colt Navy Revolver

Thecolt navy revolver patented in 1850 saw an enormous demand and saw ahuge number in manufacturing that was almost a quarter a million from1850 to 1873. The guns were coveted by many and were more consideredto be the smoothest, well balanced and became very popular sidearm inthe west. It is this quality that led to it being named for the TexasNavy during the civil war between the north and the south in 1870.The guns metallic cartridge was. 36 and was later converted to .38and attracted various famous users including Butler and Robert Lee ofTexas in the 1950s2.

1848Colts Dragoon Revolver

TheColt revolvers were the big six-shooters hat emerged from 1948 to1860. The revolver gained a lot of popularity especially in the westcoast with a total of three models of over 20000 revolvers beingmanufactured. The revolvers were characterized by a heavy revolvinghorse-pistol which was vast and very powerful. The gun attracted boththe western horse soldiers as well as the residents of the West3.In the period of their popularity, these guns were in demand andinstrumental during the California Gold Rush (1845-1858) whereconflicts between miners and Native Americans ensued pushing theNative Americans from their farms and killing an estimated 100000Indians as a consequence of immigration. Some outlaws such asTiburcio Vasquez of Mexico also sought the services of these dragonrevolvers and were spotted walking around with them while othercrooks used the revolver to settle personal scores as in the case ofthe death of Dave Tutt that occurred in Missouri in 18654.

.&nbsp1873 Winchester Model

TheWinchester was a development of Oliver Winchester under his companyOliver Winchester repeating arms company that saw an earlier model ofit produce in 1866. The firearm which was iron frame and depended onlever action to set any angle of revolution recorded the mostremarkable success that had ever been witnessed, in fact, many attimes the Winchester has been termed as the weapon that won the westby historian and academicians. Its manufacture ran all through from1873 to 1919 as the demand grew time and agan.by the beginning of the19thcentury over half a million had been sold. The revolver wasincorporated Colt single action Revolver where both were instrumentalduring the first world war. Notably, the gun was so easy to operateand was significantly used by Texas Rangers.

1873Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Thecolt single army revolver also considerably knows as the equalizerwas introduced in late 1973 specially designed and intended to beused as a cavalry sidearm. The revolver incorporated many features ofthe old west including a different grip size, a seven and a half inchbarrel length and a super lock work notwithstanding its descriptionas the smoke wagon it was a six gun thus making it more fitting forits use as a side arm5.The revolver which was furthermore produced in other various formsattracted many users many of whom used the revolver in committingsocial ills or for personal protection, but cold seldom get them asdepartment orders for the revolver highly increased. A notable groupof westerners preferred to set out with this smoke wagon includingthe Arizona Rangers and the Texas Rangers who used this revolver assidearms. In America today, the single army revolver has popularlybecome a perfect cowboy handgun

1892Colt New Army Revolver

Whereasthe cost single army revolver was a six-gun, the Colt new armyrevolver was a double action revolver whose counter rotated I theclockwise manner. This revolver IS NOTABLY An ONE that hasencountered various reinventions of it performed from 1992 throughthe early 1900s. Its latest model underwent internal improvement in1903. The West used this revolver during the Spanish –American warof 1898, led by Roosevelt6. The gun recorded magnificent sales with a production of over 290000guns experiencing a sale of more than 1000000 6 years after itsintroduction especially to the US Army and the US Navy.


Thehistory of the pistols that shaped the West was sealed further by thesemi-automatic revolver which was a Colt model developed by Colt andM Browning in early 1911. This invention was the first of its kindthus leading to a declaration that the semi-automatic was the firstsemi-automatic military side arm. The Semi-Automatic was approved byM Dickson who was the secretary of war in the US I that period. Hisrevolver was very instrumentally during both the First World War andthe Second World War7.A record of above two and a half million guns had been sold by theend of the 1stworld war. This record marked it as one of the most thriving and verysuccessful handguns in history as up to date many gun manufacturingcompanies have undertaken to manufacture early variations of thisrevolver with its demand not falling short all through.


Itcan, therefore, be seen that the pistols of the West underwent atimely revolution with each getting better as time went by. Throughthis process of improvement, various accomplishments have beenrecorded, the numbers of the revolvers sold were of the great essenceto manufacturers as they used this as a tool to measure the failureor success of their weapons. It can be noted that the measure of howsuccessful a weapon is is not well substantiated. However, throughthe study of pistol history, it can be acknowledged that there was aremarkable transition in the pistols of the west with each enablingthe westerners to concur the civil wars that arose, while at the sametime encouraging unlawfulness among some outlaws.


&quot22Guns That Won the West!&quot True West Magazine. AccessedNovember&nbsp12,&nbsp2016.http://www.truewestmagazine.com/22-guns-that-won-the-west/.

&quotAmericanRifleman | Colt History: A Look Back at the 1911.&quot AmericanRifleman | Official Journal Of The NRA. Accessed November&nbsp12,&nbsp2016.https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/3/7/colt-history-a-look-back-at-the-1911/.

Kyle,Chris, William Doyle, Jim DeFelice, and Taya Kyle.&nbspAmericanGun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms.2013.

Wexler,Bruce.&nbspGunsof the Wild West.2013.

Wills,Chuck.&nbspTheIllustrated History of Guns: From First Firearms to SemiautomaticWeapons.2014.

Wills,Chuck.&nbspTheIllustrated History of Guns: From First Firearms to SemiautomaticWeapons.2014.

1 &quotAmerican Rifleman | Colt History: A Look Back at the 1911.&quot American Rifleman | Official Journal Of The NRA. Accessed November&nbsp12,&nbsp2016. https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/3/7/colt-history-a-look-back-at-the-1911/.

2 Wills, Chuck.&nbspThe Illustrated History of Guns: From First Firearms to Semiautomatic Weapons. 2014.

3 &quot22 Guns That Won the West!&quot True West Magazine. Accessed November&nbsp12,&nbsp2016. http://www.truewestmagazine.com/22-guns-that-won-the-west/.

4 Kyle, Chris, William Doyle, Jim DeFelice, and Taya Kyle.&nbspAmerican Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms. 2013.

5 Wexler, Bruce.&nbspGuns of the Wild West. 2013.

6 Kyle, Chris, William Doyle, Jim DeFelice, and Taya Kyle.&nbspAmerican Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms. 2013.

7 Wills, Chuck.&nbspThe Illustrated History of Guns: From First Firearms to Semiautomatic Weapons. 2014