Cowboy Time Machine

Image by Dennis Adler.

Uberti Cattleman II. Image by Dennis Adler.

In a lot of cases, people who like guns tend to like history. Sure, for some a firearm is simply a tool, a means to an end (a handgun for competition, a rifle for hunting, etc.). But, for many of us, the story behind the firearm is often as important as the physical product itself. For those shooters, classic guns from the Old West era can be particularly appealing, with their combination of nostalgia and the simple joy of firing them. But, as the years go by and collectors snap these guns up, originals become so valuable that it is impractical to even shoot them.

Thanks to the efforts of a wide range of modern manufacturers, there is a segment of the market that ties in to what we consider a “Cowboy Time Machine.” By that, we mean that there are newly manufactured recreations of Old West classics that you can actually afford to own and that can be shot without concern over damaging a valuable investment. These guns can take you back to the era you love so much, and all without breaking the bank.

Read on to see reviews of some of the best and brightest examples of these firearms available today. Combining the charm of the past with the availability and affordability of modern manufacturing techniques, these firearms are well worth your consideration if you are shooter that wishes you could have lived back in the wild days of the Old West!

  • Uberti Cattleman II with floating firing pin — Uberti decided it was high time to change the rules and engineered a solution to the historic problem of having to “safely” carry a Single Action with the hammer resting on an empty chamber.
  • Henry Repeating Arms Iron Frame Henry — The new Iron Frame Henry is accurate to the original 1860 design in every practical detail, making the series the first American-made Henry rifles in 150 years.
  • Uberti Model 1873 Rifle — Called “the gun that won the West”, the Model 1873 Winchester remains an iconic rifle of the American West some 143 years after its debut. And, thanks to manufacturers like Uberti, you can own your own modern rendition of this classic design.
  • Colt’s First Revolver, The Paterson—Prior to Samuel Colt’s 1835-1836 patents for the revolver, there were double barrels, swivel barrels, and even multiple barreled Pepperbox pistols, but the revolver was at best a theoretical design before 1836. This is not to say that revolvers did not exist before Colt’s patent, they just didn’t work. Samuel Colt’s design did. This is the story of how it came to be.
  • Foreign-Made Colt Revolvers? The Colt Brevete Story—Sam Colt’s firearms had always been counterfeited in abroad but the numbers were small and Sam was, as usual, strapped for cash and so little could be done. Sam Colt and his London solicitor decided that the manufacture of copies would be allowed to continue as long as a royalty of 10 francs per firearm was paid. All revolvers made according to the agreement were to be marked COLT/BREVETE as proof of “licensed” manufacture.