Author GP HUTCHINSON

2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

Author GP HUTCHINSON - 2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

Popular Handguns of the Old West

If you’re going to enjoy Westerns to the fullest, it’s good to know some of the more popular handguns of the Old West.

What kind of gun is he totin'?

What kind of gun is he totin’? With its bird’s head grip, it might be a Colt 1877, or it could be a reworked Colt 1873.

It’s been suggested many times that gun play was not nearly so common in the American West as Western fiction makes it seem. Likewise some have insisted that the late Elmer Kelton (whom Western Writers of America crowned the greatest Western author of all time) didn’t write shoot-’em-ups. Both statements may be correct, but a great deal of fiction across all genres places heroes and villains alike at one end or the other of a gun. It’s fiction.

Meanwhile, the American West of the 1860s-90s was not a tame place. A cowboy might need a pistol if for no other reason than not wanting to get dragged to his death if his horse threw him and bolted while his foot remained tangled in his stirrup. Besides, there were snakes, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, and the like to contend with, not to mention a wide open land with too few lawmen to keep up with scores of new settlements and problems.

With that said, what popular handguns did the folks of the Old West like to carry?

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