“Guns That Won the West” is a famous topic that interests many Old West aficionados and firearms enthusiasts, for the purpose of discussion and debate. The debate is usually on the question if the West-winning gun was given the title due to the high quantity of its production, or for the work it mastered? Or was it simply related to who used it during the times when the west was restless and wild. As per many senior students of the American West, it was not just one model or one firearm that helped in winning the West, rather it was a combination of shotguns, rifles and handguns in the hands of various men and women during that time period. These weapons contributed to bringing law and order as well as violence to the West. There were actually hundreds of weapons during that time, however, let’s have a look at some of the most famous ones.
1. Colt Paterson Revolver
Colt Paterson Revolver, patented in 1836, was the first ever revolving pistol at that time. This revolver gained popularity when it was used against the deadly Comanches by the early Texas Rangers.
2. U.S. Model 1841 Rifle
This rifle was used in the Mexican war by Jefferson Davis’s Mississippi volunteers, hence known as the “Mississippi Rifle”. This Rifle had mountings and a brass patch box, and was considered to be one of the finest military percussion long arms. In an 1850’s cattle drive, Buffalo Bill Cody was thought to have used and carried this rifle.
3. 1847 Colt Walker Revolver
The total revolvers produced in 1847 were only around 110. Not to have much impact on the Mexican war, however, the Colt Walker Revolver is considered to be the finest of that time. It weighed 4 pounds and was the largest six shooters.
4. 1851 Colt Navy Revolver
This one is considered to be the smoothest (in terms of handling) and the best balanced revolvers. Between the years 1850-1873, .36 caliber revolvers were produced. During the Civil War, this revolver was considered to be a famous side arm for both the south and north. The design of this revolver was made by Samuel Colt between 1847 and 1850.
5. 1852 & 1853 Slant-Breech Sharps Carbine
More than 15,000 of both of these models were bought by the US military. “John Brown Sharps” was the nickname used for the 1853 model being used in his anti-slavery fight. These models were favored, both in the border wars of 1850 and in the “bleeding Kansas”. Furthermore, both of these models were produced as shotguns and were also used by early buffalo hunters.
6. 1860 Colt Army Revolver
Around 200,500 of these revolvers were produced during the years 1860 to 1873, and were commonly used by federal troops during the civil war. This was commonly used in the west of Mississippi. This revolver was produced by the Colt’s Manufacturing, and was also used as a side arm by infantry, cavalry, naval forces and artillery troops.