Historical Firearm Features
Beyond their utilitarian function, firearms have been admired over the centuries for their intrinsic artistic form and, often, their lavishly applied decoration. Pictured here are guns belonging to one of America’s foremost collectors with provenance to legendary figures such as Bat Masterson, George Armstrong Custer, Tom Horn, Tom Mix and Jesse James.
My father was a private first class in the 17th Airborne Division and made the parachute jump into Germany where he acquired an unusual semi- automatic pistol from a surrendering German SS officer. The gun is marked “DUO” on its stocks.
In the mid-19th century—just as in today’s world—citizens were clamoring for a concealable, reliable and affordable handgun. Ironically, inspired by the acceptance of his massive .44-cal. 1847 Walker and First Model 1848 Dragoon, the enterprising Sam Colt sensed an opportunity.