ARTV Preview: Smith & Wesson Performance Center, Colt Anaconda And The Howdah Pistol

posted on January 4, 2022

Smith & Wessons firearms are held in high regard in the market, but there are some premium models that are a step up from the standard models. These select firearms are worked over by the Performance Center at Smith & Wesson. At the Performance Center, Smith & Wesson firearms are fine tuned and upgraded with added features and packages. In this week's feature, we'll go behind the scenes at the Performance Center to find out how it makes these upgraded firearms.

The Performance Center sign in the Smith & Wesson factory.

For Rifleman Review, we test the return of a Colt classic. Chambered in .44 Mag., the Anaconda was first released back in 1990 before eventually being discontinued. Now, Colt offers second generations of the Anaconda which follow many of the styles found on the original.

The revived Colt Anaconda.

Later, we examine the history of the the Howdah pistol. During the period of British colonial rule in India, tiger hunting became a popular sport for the wealthy. Yet it was also a dangerous proposition, as the big cats could easily turn the tables on the hunters. Tigers could rush the elephants carrying the hunters and attack the occupants. Thus, short double-barreled pistols chambered in large calibers were developed as self-defense weapons against charging tigers. These weapons earned the nickname of "Howdah," from the name of the basket used on the backs of elephants.

Firing a Howdah Pistol.

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.


Marlin 1894 Trapper
Marlin 1894 Trapper

I Have This Old Gun: Marlin 1894 Trapper

Collectors refer to these shortened carbines as “trappers,” but that term was never officially used by either Winchester or Marlin. Winchester referred to them as “Baby Carbines” or “Special Short Carbines” on the rare occasions when they were cataloged.

The Rifleman Report: From The ''Inside Out''

The term “inside out” can be taken literally or applied as a phrase to describe the thoroughness with which an idea is understood. In this month’s issue, we hope to illustrate that the latter especially is used as a guiding principle to keep the American firearm industry at the top of its game.

Colt CZ Group Makes Offer For Vista's Ammo Brands

Colt CZ Group made an unsolicited proposal to purchase the Sporting Products Division of Vista Outdoor, which includes Federal, CCI, Remington Ammunition and others.

Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Metal

Firearm trends appear to be a virtual pendulum at times—it isn’t uncommon to see a theme grab hold of the industry only to be reversed entirely some years later.

The Armed Citizen® Nov. 27, 2023

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Double Check Before Hitting That Purchase Button

Fake websites are one of the biggest scams and a painful reminder to slow down, particularly during the holiday season, and double check before hitting that purchase button when online. Ammo, gear and even firearms are not immune to the growing trend.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.