Dassault’s Falcon 6X has the largest, most sophisticated cabin in its class.
Dassault Aviation today introduced the world’s newest business jet, the 16-seat, long-range, ultrawide-body Falcon 6X, during a live-stream event from the airstreamer’s assembly plant in Bordeaux-Mérignac, France.
“The Falcon 6X is going to have a 5,500 nautical mile range, say from LA to Moscow or London to Hong Kong,” said Éric Trappier, chairman and CEO, during the presentation. “It also has a top speed of Mach .90, so the Falcon 6X can connect passengers to major business centers far and wide.”
With the largest cabin in its class, the new business jet was also designed to carry passengers in comfort. Trappier said the 6X has the highest and widest cross-sections of any aircraft designed specifically as a business jet. Having already won an award for interior design, the 6X places passengers in what the airframer calls an “ergonomic cocoon,” with all electronic functions within easy reach.
The interior is designed for both business and personal travel, with all electronic functions within easy reach of the seating. Courtesy Dassault
The new Falcon also offers 30 large windows with an aggregate of 5,000 square inches of glass, more than any other aircraft in its class. The overhead skylight—another first in business aviation—illuminates the galley area to deliver more natural light to the cabin. There is also a selection of “mood lighting” that creates different-colored lighting to promote contrasting environments.
Like the ultra-long-range Falcon 8X jet, the Falcon 6X cabin is pressurized at a comfortable 3,900 feet when cruising at 41,000 feet, and the cabin air is refreshed continuously to deliver, according to Dassault, an environment that is 10 times cleaner than today’s most advanced office buildings.
Derived from Dassault’s Mirage fighter jets, the Falcon 6X’s Digital Flight Control System automatically ensures peak performance and efficiency at all times. Its auto-trim function eliminates the need for constant pilot input.
The aft area is designed to be a haven for travelers who may want to rest or sleep during intercontinental flights.
The adopted fighter-jet technology also lets the twin-engine Falcon 6X boast an impressive low-speed performance, on top of its long range. This ability to fly at 109 knots gives the new jet access to challenging, steep-approach airports like London City, Lugano, Saint-Tropez and Aspen. Even with a partial fuel load, the Falcon 6X can operate at airports with runways of less than 3,000 feet.
The company’s new flight-control system in the cabin not only makes the pilots’ jobs easier, said Trappier, but also enhances safety. “We have a very safe aircraft that also provides passengers with a very smooth flight,” he said.
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engine, which was certified last year, will set new benchmarks for enhancing efficiency and lowering emissions. The new engine also requires 40 percent less scheduled maintenance, according to a Pratt & Whitney spokesperson.
Derived from Dassault’s military fighter jets, the Falcon 6X’s Digital Flight Control System automatically ensures peak performance and efficiency at all times.
Despite Covid-19 lockdowns across Europe, Dassault’s roll-out of the Falcon 6X has kept the aircraft on schedule for its first flight early next year, when intensive testing on three test aircraft will commence.
“The bird is yours,” said Trappier to a group of test pilots assembled at the live-stream event.
The close relationship between cannabis and hops plants is well-known, but getting effective and repeatable results from a cannabis infusion in finished beer is still an emerging science but does Cannabis Beer actually get you high? What’s the difference between CBD-infused beer and THC-infused beers?
If we were to divide ‘getting high’ into two parts, it would clearly be ‘High on Alcohol’ and ‘High on Weed’. It is a known fact that the stoner crowd is a completely different one from the lads who like to spend their parties on pegs and the argument is a really strong one.
An interesting fact is that cannabis and hops (the main ingredient in beer) are related by nature? They are both members of the Cannabaceae plant family, which share distinctive features such as actinomorphic flowers (displaying radial symmetry) and short calyxes due to the fact that both are naturally pollinated by the wind.
Both plants share a long history of usage by mankind. There is great discussion about when the first beer was brewed, but archaeological reports suggest it could have been as long as 7000 years ago (in the region we now know as Iran). Strangely enough the history of the use of cannabis hemp as fiber can also be traced back to this region of the world as far back as 8000 BC.
Those two great traditions have officially collided in the Twenty First Century with the rising popularity of cannabis beers.
Does Cannabis Beer actually get you high?
Yes and no. Whether or not cannabis beer gets you high is dependent on whether the beer is made/infused with THC or CBD. Cannabis beers made or infused with THC have the potential to get you high. Cannabis beers brewed/infused with CBD will not get you high, but will give you the “relaxing” sensation of cannabis.
Cannabis Beers brewed with the marijuana plant will contain THC and will provide the effects of a “very quick” high.
Edibles are a popular way to get high without actually smoking. Edibles usually come in the form of chocolates, gummies or baked goods that are made using THC to produce a “body high” upon consumption.
Body highs produce feelings of relaxation and lethargy. Head highs produce more mood-altering/energetic effects. Body highs are usually attained by ingesting cannabis as the THC enters the bloodstream through digestion… these highs typically take a while to begin whereas head highs (smoking) can have effects almost immediately.
A cannabis beer or cannabis-infused beer would produce a body high.
What are the Effects of THC-infused Beer?
This nano-technology is a big deal for cannabis-infused beverages and is designed to mimic the mood-enhancing effects of alcohol in a similar time-frame. While each product has its own signature recipe and each of us has our own tolerance level, you can generally expect to feel an elevated mood in about 15 minutes and the effects wear off in about 90 minutes. So while you may not get drunk off of these beers, you will get jolly.
While cannabis-infused beer may not be exactly like the real thing, it is pretty dam close and it will get you high. So what’s not to love? As the market continues to grow and more of our favorite breweries hop on board the cannabis train, it can only bring positive things to the realm of weed. We hope this guide answered all of your immediate pressing questions and helped guide you to weed beer success.
DC Avanti is a car that has been under development for a long time. In fact ZigWheels was the first publication in India to drive the car back in 2012 when it was a very basic prototype and had quite a few good things to say about it. Now though, it is very close to being launched and we finally get our hands on what seem to be very close to the car that will actually be available in India in the next few months. I personally have waited for a really long time to get behind the wheel of this car, mainly because of the fact that you can easily be surprised at the level of potential some small automobile manufacturers can bring to the table. Of course, this isn’t the first sports car to be indigenously built in India (that would be the San Storm which was available in the late 90s), but it is the first mid-engined sportscar that an Indian automobile manufacturer has built.
So first things first, the name Avanti, which incidentally means ‘forward’ in Italian is very apt for this car.Why? Well, for starters, the Avanti’s bodywork is built completely out of carbonfibre just like a Lamborghini Aventador! And as much as we agree that the way it looks is more of an acquired taste, the Avanti is certainly a very striking car.The front for example is extremely aggressive with a large air dam with an inset mesh grille. The car that we drove had a set of simple headlamps with independent units for the actual headlamp, the parking light and the indicators which did look very unappealing However, the production version of the car will have a single unit with a set of projectors and an LED daytime running light.
Continuing on the design however, the Avanti is a sheer showcase of design elements with a flowing shoulder line that splits right through the center and two large air scoops to cool the rear mounted engine.We also like the styling element on the hood and of course the louvered engine cover that reminds us of the likes of the poster-worthy supercars of the seventies and eighties. The rear design does look a little overdone and a little droopier than it should have been, but as a first time effort to build a car out of scratch, it is commendable.
Lamps & Wheels
That said, for the future, DC should remember to have a shorter tail that ends slightly abruptly, inspired from the likes of the Ferrari 250 GTO perhaps. Just like the headlamps, the tail lamps in the car that we drove are not the ones that will come in the production version, which incidentally will get LED festooned one piece lamps. We also like the fact that the Avanti gets a set of buttresses, which personally is a design feature that I adore. The wheels too are an improvement over the ones we saw at the Auto Expo in 2014 and are in a machined aluminum finish.
Like contemporary supercars
Sportscars don’t just have to be a nice to look at but also a nice and frankly special place to be in considering the fact that they do cost a lot more than your average family Sedan. On the whole, the DC Avanti is a pretty interesting place to be in with obvious references to more contemporary supercars of our time.
We do like the sporty seats that hold you snugly, but the car we drove did have some general issues with the way the upholstery draped the seat foam. Of course, DC does offer you a whole range of interior options, from leather carpets to alcantara seats and headliner.
Three spoke steering wheel
And if you are seriously considering buying an Avanti we strongly advice you to spec the interior in a more personal sense and not just stick to the standard stuff. We also like the chunky and simple three spoke steering wheel and the large digital instrument console.
The user interface of the console though does need some ironing out to make it a lot more simple and a little less flashy. Other than that, as obvious, one cannot expect Bentley levels of quality and there are several obvious places where an improvement in quality would be appreciated.
Raw and mechanical
It isn’t really that hard to make a good looking car. But a car that performs as well as it looks, well, that’s a whole different ballgame. So lets get to the figures first then. The DC Avanti is mid-engined like the Ferrari 458 and is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine that makes a modest 250PS of peak power and 340Nm of peak torque. And with a kerb weight of only about 1500kgs, 250PS is adequate enough for the first time sportscar buyer. So how does it compare to its peers? Well, for starters, it feels raw and mechanical like a proper old school sportscar.
Similar to some stripped out racing Sedans
In fact, it feels quite similar to some of the stripped out racing Sedans that we have had the chance to drive in the last few months. What I also like particularly is the fact that it comes with three pedals and a proper manual gearbox. That said, the car we drove did have a minor issue in the synchromesh for the first gear, but that is not much of an issue and could easily be sorted.
The throttle pedal does however feel uncannily heavy but we wonder if it has been weighed up on purpose to make sure no heavy footed amateurs get themselves in trouble. All said and done, the DC Avanti does have a lot of poke and does really move swiftly when you need it to while still seemingly having a lot more to offer from its turbocharged engine. So what would be improve on immediately? Well, for starters, since the engine already has an inbuilt blow off valve for the turbo, a slightly louder and more aggressive one would definitely improve the aural experience and so would a much needed sports exhaust. The Avanti in its current state is just way too quiet to match its loud exterior.
Space frame chassis
Peel back the body panels of the DC Avanti and what you have inside is a space frame chassis on which the suspension components, engine, gearbox and of course body panels are mounted. Being a space frame also has its immediate advantages of providing a much stiffer overall structure. Now small time sportscar manufacturers have been known to set their cars up in a way more inclined towards the hardcore drivers who do not really are about comfort much.
The DC Avanti however, thankfully so, is not that stiff. Yes, there is still a degree of stiffness that exceeds the likes of most modern sportscars, but then the Avanti does seem to have something really going for it in this department. Although it does feel a little crashy over potholes, the overall ride is actually quite good and does not punish you for driving over a pebble.
Handling too is well sorted with the steering feeling quite direct with great feedback but there is slight delay in the steering sometimes, which we guess these teething issues can be easily sorted. The DC Avanti is also really confidence inspiring when you want to chug it through a corner and kick the tail out. And mind you, even with the 295 section Pirelli P-Zero tyres, the tail does tend to kick out in a very controlled and almost non-scary way which helps in making the Avanti and easy yet excitable car to drive.
How is DC Avanti as a package?
So how is the DC Avanti as a package? Well, as we have mentioned earlier, it would be unkind to compare it to an established sportscar manufacturer as this is DC’s first attempt to make a car out of scratch. What the Avanti does showcase in dollops though is potential. From the carbon body to the overall engineering that has been showcased, the Avanti is certainly worth an applause. And although we might still take a while to get used to its styling there is no denying the fact that the Avanti attracts a boatload of attention.
So what is the next step?Well, its simple. The next car from DC needs to be a smaller 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with the styling dialed down a little but still dramatic enough to give the middle class something to aspire for. And of course, it needs to be priced really really competitively. All of this is wishful thinking though is for the future. As of now though, should you buy the Avanti? Well, if you have some money lying around and want something exciting on the weekend that grabs the eyeballs like nothing else in its price range, then the DC Avanti is the car for you.
Almost 900bhp, a £2m price tag and answering to the name of a Silver Arrow – it must be the F1-car-for-the-road Mercedes-Benz will be unveiling this September. But how many hypercars have an anchor, sunbeds and a ‘terrace by the sea’?
If Mercedes were to design a posh motor yacht it would be…exactly like this. Got an S-class? You’ll feel right at home here. Park your Mercedes-AMG S63 alongside the Arrow460-Granturismo and the only problem will be telling them apart (note, the boat floats beautifully, the car less so).
Yachts from car companies are nothing new…
And for good reason – brand extensions are rarely as fast, sexy and exciting after all. Even Mercedes, in the distant past, has made waves. The three points of its star do represent land, sea and air, after all. Bugatti, Aston offtheclothboff.com the-aston-martin-am37-powerboatLexusMercedes-Benz, Jaguar are a few more that have recently taken the plunge.
Often they are just dream boats, or marketing exercises with no more input from the car firm than colour and trim. The Merc is rather different. It was designed by Mercedes-Benz Style at its Como studios in Italy – under the direction of Daimler AG design supremo Gorden Wagener – at the behest of a UK registered start-up company called Silver Arrows Marine.
Silver Arrows Marine’s big idea was to reinvent the 14m motor yacht as something more innovative and usable than just a noisy and uncomfortable wave-crusher using design, features and processes from the motor industry. Top speed was to be less important than comfort and refinement, so more GT than GT3. Hence the first Arrow460’s billing as the ‘Granturismo of the seas’.
With a lot of never-before-done boaty stuff and, unusual in yacht terms, a prototype stage (usually with boats the first customer is the guinea pig), the R&D has been protracted – the idea first surfaced in 2008. It took a clean sheet of paper and a ‘brain’s trust’ of eminent yacht designers and partner firms like M-B Style, but the yacht is now in production.
You could buy a real Silver Arrows for that!
Supercharged 1930s Mercedes racing cars are notoriously tricky in the wet. Not so their 2017 namesake which I am in Cap Ferrat on the Med to put through its paces for CAR magazine.
Two million quid’s worth of luxury yacht is not my usual on-water experience, but, heck, I’ve got a dinghy and done my Powerboat Level 2. Believe me, you don’t need any of it.
This is one very easy and smooth boat to drive – literally child’s play. A lot of it is down to an Easy Docking joystick system that coordinates prop and bow thrusters with perfect precision. No more falling-about-laughing bystanders when you try to squeeze into that berth…
At speed it’s mechanically quiet and smooth with a pillowy ride through moderately choppy waters. There’s no crashing and banging, plus the real bonus that you don’t get wet. All very relaxed and civilised. Top whack is 38 knots but at a 24-knot cruise you certainly won’t spill your G&T plus you will have enough range for the 160 miles across the Med from the Cote d’Azur to Corsica. And if you live in Eastbourne rather than the Cote d’Azur? Bad luck.
Mercedes Silver Arrow Marine Yacht: what’s it like to live with?
You can moor up and try that ‘terrace by the sea’. It’s a hydraulically-extending swim platform that slides out of the stern, so you can plop straight into the water.
Then maybe some supper – there are kitchen facilities but mostly it’s a wine fridge – around a large glass table, with the fully retractable side windows down and the vast glass sunroof lifted up high on hydraulic struts. Think gentle sea breezes filling the cabin and harbour lights twinkling across the water…
Not romantic enough? Push another button and the table disappears and out slides a king-size double bed for a night under the stars.
The open-plan ‘loft-style’ below decks area is a revelation with its Mercedes concept car-style design and Alcantara and mesh fabric materials aplenty. There’s even a big shower room. And your millions buys lots of goodies: JBL and Bose entertainment systems, electronically dimming glass (like the Merc SL’s MagicSky) for UV protection and privacy, and of course full air-con – the eyeball air vents are in fact the only actual Merc component on board.
Who says cars and boats don’t mix? It’s bit of a stunner we reckon and a shiny silvery revelation among all those lookalike aggressive and very white sports cruisers. But who will buy it? These days the world’s oceans – sorry, glamour hot-spots – are full of superyachts and they all need tenders. (Sir) Philip Green is not going to get out to Lionheart in a rowing boat is he?
With all it has going for it, the Arrow460 is far more than just a tender, though, doubling up as a dayboat for partying (it can take 10 people) or an all-mod-cons overnighter for two people.
A true Mercedes? If it looks like one and swims like one…
If you’re not familiar with Arrinera, it’s just one of those small manufacturers that came out of nowhere to build a fancy supercar of its own. The Polish brand surfaced a couple of years ago with the Venocara Concept, a Lamborghini-like study that was powered by a V-8 mill generating 650 horsepower.
The Venocara morphed into a better looking supercar about a year ago. It is known by the name of Hussarya, a moniker that pays tribute to Poland’s 17th century cavalry, the Hussars. Interestingly enough though, the Hussarya has yet to go into production. The company’s initial plan included a 2013 launch, but for some reason the supercar got delayed.
Now, after about year of complete silence, the Poles are back to announce that the Hussarya is inching closer to production, with final testing sessions to commence in October on race tracks in Poland and the United Kingdom. There’s no word as to when actual assembly will begin, but we expect for the first units to show up in 2015.
Speaking of which, the Arrinera Hussarya will step into the crowded world of supercars with a launch edition limited to only 33 examples. Arrinera is demanding €200,000 (about $272,800 as of 06/06/2014) for each car and is hoping to sell them mainly to customers in China and the Middle East. By comparison, the regular Hussarya costs €160,000 ($218,000).
Arrinera Hussarya 33
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ARRINERA HUSSARYA 33 IN DETAIL
However, the only two photos provided by the automaker suggest the 33 will boast a number of visual modifications. The front bumper, for instance, is slightly different and comes with a small lip spoiler, while the headlamps benefit from a new configuration, with LED daylight running lamps mounted toward the fenders.
Around back, the cool mini spoiler mounted on each side of the hood are now replaced by a more conventional active wing, with the twin grille removed altogether in the process. Lastly, a new set of twin five-spoke wheels are replacing the regular ones seen on the initial car.
Just like the regular model, the Hussarya 33 is powered by a 6.2-liter, mid-mounted V-8 engine that generates 650 horsepower. The unit enables the supercar to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 211 mph. Not bad, but there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Take a walk through more than a century of gun history as we list some of the greatest revolvers, pistols, and sidearms of all time
Any time you’re debating what are the best handguns ever, those iconic names—and several others—have to be included. From classic cavalry sidearms of the 1800s to today’s accurate semi-automatic pistols, handguns have been a constant source for innovation and ingenuity. And that’s what inspired us to go back in time and highlight 25 of the greatest handguns, pistols, and revolvers in history—starting all the way back in 1850 when Colt released a game-changer that would go on to catch the eyes of soldiers and gunslingers alike. Many of the guns in this list are no longer available, but the impact and influence they had on handgun design will live on forever. Now, onto the list.
1. Colt 1851 Navy Revolver
In production from 1850 until 1873, the Colt Navy Revolver changed warfare and the world. Much lighter than the Colt Dragoon of 1847 and originally designated the “Ranger,” the Colt Navy was adored by cavalry soldiers, partisan ruffians, and gunslingers like Jesse James and Wild Bill Hickock. The revolver remained popular long after the introduction of the modern self-contained cartridge. The Colt Navy is a legendary sidearm and could be considered the first true fighting handgun.
Likely the most iconic handgun in existence, the Colt Single Action Army gained fame in the holsters of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and won the West in the hands of men like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. General George Patton also carried an 1873 Colt Single Action Army, which should be all the endorsement a pistol needs to achieve fabled status. Known as the Peacemaker, the gun would’ve cost you about $17 in the 1870s. Today, you’ll pay 100 times that for a current production 1873 and as much as 500 times the original price for a first-generation specimen in good condition.
Also known as the Military & Police or Victory Model, this fixed-sight, double-action revolver has been offered with barrel lengths ranging from 2 to 6 inches, and it is estimated that more than six million Model 10s have been manufactured. The revolver saw service in both World Wars and was chambered in .38 Long Colt, .38 S&W, and .38 Special. Thousands of policemen have walked their beats with a Model 10 at their sides. In 1974, S&W introduced a heavy-barrel version chambered for the .357 Magnum known as the Model 13.
The Pistole Parabellum—also known as the Luger—was offered in a variety of configurations from 1898 until 1948. It is the pistol that made the 9mm Parabellum/Luger/9x19mm cartridge famous, and now the most popular pistol cartridge in the world. The Luger was used by the German Army in World War I and II and has, in a way, become a symbol of Nazi Germany. Because of this, it was a longtime favorite handgun for Hollywood villains. The Luger and its unique operating system essentially died at the end of WWII, but by then, it had already made history.
Created by John Browning—arguably the greatest firearm designer of all time—this pistol served the American military from 1911 until 1990 and is still in the holsters of some soldiers today. The Colt 1911 helped win two World Wars and may be the most copied handgun ever. Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper referred to it as the “Yankee Fist,” and today, the 1911 is more popular than ever before. It dominates the custom handgun market and is offered in multiple configurations by many manufacturers.
Another great John Browning design, the Colt Woodsman was manufactured in various forms from 1915 until 1977. It was the first successful semi-automatic, rimfire pistol and is considered by many to be the quintessential .22 LR handgun. The Woodsman became very popular with small game hunters, trappers, hikers, and outdoorsmen, and it remains very popular with collectors, with some variations selling for as much as £4,000.
This six-shot, steel-framed, two-inch-barreled, double-action revolver was instantly appealing to those looking for a pocket-pistol that could be easily concealed. It was one of the first of what would soon be called “snub-nose” revolvers and offered in .32 New Police, .38 New Police, and .38 Special. The latter chambering did indeed become popular with plain-clothes detectives and other lawmen who worked the desk and undercover jobs.
You would never think that a high-quality, double-action revolver (with a six-inch barrel and Circassian walnut grips) chambered for the .22 Long Rifle, could have been a success–especially considering that it was introduced during the depression. But between 1931 and 1939, Smith & Wesson sold more than 17,000 K22s. With a crisp, single-action trigger pull and a guarantee to shoot within 1.5 inches at 50 yards, this gun became an instant classic and was the forerunner to a long line of .22 rimfire revolvers from Smith & Wesson.
The Walther PPK (Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell or Police Pistol Detective Model) is a blow-back, semi-auto with an exposed hammer and a traditional double-action trigger. It has been offered in a wide variety of configurations and has been chambered for several cartridges; most notably the .380 ACP or 9mm Kurtz. The pistol reached meteoric fame as the sidearm of the fictional special agent, James Bond, and will forever be known as 007′s pistol. Compact but heavy, the steel-framed PPK is a great personal sidearm, and they are now manufactured in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
In its prototype form—as designed by John Browning—the Browning Hi-Power was a striker-fired 9mm pistol with a double-stack magazine, link-less barrel, and a pivoting, revolver-like trigger. Sounds like a Glock, right? In its final form, the handgun became a single-action, hammer-fired pistol, and would ultimately be used by more military units than any other handgun. The Browning Hi-Power was the first wonder-nine, and it laid the foundation for modern defensive handgun design as we know it today.
The Ruger Standard Model was the beginning of a company known as Sturm, Ruger & Co.—which, by the way, was founded with a $50,000 investment. The design is unique in that the pistol’s slide is internal, and the current model remains very similar to the original. The gun is now in its fourth iteration, and there have been more than two dozen variations of this handgun. An outstanding pistol for the new shooter, small-game hunter, or outdoorsman, today the Standard MK IV, which is much easier to field-strip than the original, retails for more than ten times the original price.
Introduced at the 1950 International Association of Chiefs of Police convention, the S&W Model 36 would ultimately be known as the “Chief’s Special.” This name came about, rather uniquely, through a vote held at the convention. The gun was an immediate success and was originally available with either a blued or nickel finish. This five-round, double-action revolver has served law-enforcement officers well as a duty gun for detectives and administrators, and as an ankle or back-up gun for patrol officers. It is still being manufactured and retails for around £749.
The 1950s were the heyday of the television western. Shows like Gunsmoke pulled the little bit of cowboy that was in all of us to the surface, and the world was ripe for a .22 LR single-action revolver that hearkened to the Old West. During its 66-year history, the Ruger Single Six has been chambered for the .22 LR, .22 Magnum, .17 HMR, and even the .32 H&R Magnum. With barrel lengths ranging from 4 ⅝ to 9 ½ inches, the Single Six became one of the best-selling firearms Ruger ever produced. Great for new shooters and hunters, this gun is still in production with the option of 6-, 7-, 9-, and 10-shot cylinders. Prices start at about £600.
The Colt Python has a reputation for a smooth trigger pull, tight lock-up, and accuracy. It is described by many as the finest production double-action revolver ever made. Immortalized in a two-tone format by Robert Blake in the movie, Electra Glide in Blue, the Python was adopted by several state highway patrol departments and might be the Rolls Royce of revolvers. Discontinued in 2005, used examples in good condition command outlandish prices, sometimes fetching more than £10,000.
This pistol has the distinction of being the first U.S. designed/manufactured double-action, semi-automatic pistol marketed in the United States. The Model 39 was chambered for 9mm Luger and was designed by S&W at the request of the Army to be an American equivalent to the Walther P38. The de-cocker and 8-round, single-stack magazine were like those on the P38, but it had a locking mechanism similar to the Browning Hi-Power. The Model 39′s true contribution was that after adoption by the Illinois State Police in 1967, it set the stage for a switch to semi-automatic handguns by American law enforcement. It also served as the forerunner to the higher-capacity Model 59—and many aluminum- and steel-framed S&W pistols—that so many police agencies would fall in love with.
Following on the heels of the Single Six, Ruger’s next logical step was to design a more powerful single-action revolver. They decided on the Blackhawk and originally produced the revolver in .38 Special/.357 Magnum. It has since been chambered in a wide assortment of cartridges. In several cases, Blackhawks were called “convertibles” and sold with two cylinders, such as .45 ACP and .45 LC. The fixed-sight Vaquero version, offered in 1993, took sales to the stratosphere thanks to the popularity of cowboy-action shooting at the time. It has been produced in a stunning array of variations and is still available today for less than £700. The Ruger Blackhawk has become one of the most successful American made firearms.
An oddity for sure, the Remington XP 100 is a bolt action pistol intended for hunting and silhouette shooting. It also has the unique distinction of being the forerunner to a rifle—Remington’s Model 600. The XP 100′s centrally-located grip allowed the long-barreled handgun to balance well, and until the introduction of the Thompson/Center Contender, it was the most popular handgun for target shooters and handgun hunters. The XP 100 was chambered for a variety of cartridges including the .308 Winchester and .35 Remington. The gun was discontinued in 1998, but it might have been ahead of its time considering that in 2019, Remington introduced a similar handgun called the 700 CP.
This single-shot, break-open handgun became very popular because owners could buy additional barrels chambered for a wide array of cartridges–from .22 LR up to .45-70. The Contender has a great reputation for accuracy, and it essentially brought about the end of Remington’s XP 100. Like with the XP 100, the Contender evolved into a rifle, and with the addition of longer barrels and buttstocks, shooters had a great deal of versatility. The Contender and the newer Encore are still sold as a kind of build-your-own system.
The Beretta 92 has a distinctive look because the slide does not completely enclose the barrel. The pistol has a slide-mounted safety/de-cocker and a long, often described as “tedious,” trigger pull. None the less, in 1985, the U.S. Army adopted the Beretta M9 as the standard sidearm, and then the complaining began. This was partly because it was chambered for 9mm Luger instead of .45 ACP, and also because it was not American made. However, the Beretta M9 proved reliable, and due to U.S. military use, its popularity skyrocketed.
Though widely distributed, this Czechoslovakian-made pistol was not sold in that country until it was a decade old. Now it is the standard sidearm of the Czech Police. Similar to the Browning Hi-Power in that it uses a link-less, locked-breach barrel, the CZ 75 differs in that it is a double-action. Unlike most semi-automatic pistols, the slide rails on the CZ 75 ride on the inside of the grip frame. CZ 75s have a great reputation for reliability and accuracy, and there is a wide range of variants now offered with retail prices starting at about $600.
Smith & Wesson’s Model 686 is one of the most successful revolvers ever created. There are more than a dozen variants with barrel lengths ranging from 2.5 to 6 inches, and at one time, the 4-inch version was one of the most prolific sidearms for law enforcement. At 48 ounces, it’s heavy enough to dampen .357 Magnum recoil, and these revolvers have an uncanny record of reliability and accuracy.
The Glock 17 was the first of an extensive line of polymer handguns to be offered by the Austrian manufacturer. Now in its fifth generation, the Glock 17 has become one of the most recognized pistols in the world, and today a Glock, in some form or another, likely fills the holsters of more policemen than any other handgun. Essentially the design is nothing more than a modification of the 1935 Browning Hi-Power, and the 17, like all Glocks, has a fine reputation for reliability and durability. Because of their performance for the price, Glocks are one of the widest distributed handguns in the world.
In 2014, Ruger took their iconic Single Six revolver and chambered it for the .327 Federal Magnum. They also drilled seven holes instead of six into the cylinder. Offered in three barrel lengths—4 ⅝, 5 ½, and 7 inches—this revolver became an instant hit because it finally housed the potent .327 in a handgun fitting of its service. With the ability to also chamber and fire .32 ACP, .32 Short, .32 Long, and .32 H&R Magnum ammunition, Ruger essentially created the ultimate trail/camp gun. Single Sevens are only available through Lipsey’s for £652.
Other than its really nice trigger, there’s nothing really ground-breaking about the design of the Sig Sauer P320. You could say it is just another polymer-framed, striker-fired, double-stack, 9mm handgun. However, in 2018, the P320 was selected as the standard issue sidearm of the United States Army and named the M17. That alone qualifies it as one of the greatest handguns of all time. Sig Sauer offers a wide array of P320 variants to include a civilian version of the M17, which sells for around an affordable £768.
It could be argued that the three best modern fighting pistols are the 1911, Browning Hi-Power, and Glock 17. What if you could combine the best features of all three of those pistols? Well, that’s exactly what Wilson Combat did. The EDC X9 operates like a 1911, has the ultra-comfortable grip of a Hi-Power, and the capacity and size of a Glock 17. Available with or without an accessory rail, the EDC X9 is quite possibly the best fighting pistol ever made—and at around £2,895, it’s priced accordingly.
Like the more famous outlaw Jesse James, Lamar County native Reuben Houston Burrow, better known as Rube Burrow, headed a gang of train robbers that included his younger brother Jim and that made off with thousands of dollars. The outlaws worked from Texas to Alabama. A number of legends have grown up around Burrow as the “Alabama Robin Hood” because he allegedly never robbed the poor.
The undated Victorian-Era photograph depicts the visage of notorious Old-West outlaw gang leader Rube Burrow
Reuben Houston “Rube” Burrow (1855-1890) was born on his family’s farm in Lamar County, Alabama. Rube Burrow worked on the family farm until the age of 18 when he moved to Stephenville, Texas to work on his uncle’s ranch. By all accounts, Burrow fully intended to become a rancher by saving up enough money to buy a spread of his own, marry, & eventually start a family. He attempted farming but his wife died of yellow fever in 1880, leaving him to care for two small children. He remarried in 1884 & moved to Alexander, Texas, but when his crops failed he turned to robbing trains with his brother Jim in 1886.
In June 1887, Rube & his “Burrow Gang” robbed a Texas & Pacific Express train near Marinda, Texas. The robbers boarded the eastbound Texas & Pacific Express at the Ben Brook Railroad Station in the town of Marinda (present-day city of Benbrook) south-west of Fort Worth. Burrows had the engineer held at gunpoint & forced him to stop the train on the bridge over Mary’s Creek outside the town. This was meant to discourage passengers, who would “have to brave the heights & meagre footing” in order to interfere with the robbery. The bandits then forced the engineer to break down the door to the express car with a coal pick, after which they absquatulated with $1,350.00 in cash & three registered letters.
Three & one-half months later, on Tuesday, September 20, 1887, the Burrow Gang robbed a second train at the same spot. On the second occasion, news reports estimated that Burrows & his gang escaped with anywhere from $12,000 to $30,000. The bridge where these robberies occurred has been known ever since as “Train Robber’s Bridge.”
In December, while still in Alabama, the brothers appear to have met up with William Brock and robbed the St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas Railroad line in Genoa, Arkansas. On December 9, they made off with the monies collected for the Illinois lottery, raising the attention of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a private security and investigative organization often employed by railroad companies. After a brief skirmish with a sheriff and his men outside Texarkana, Arkansas, the Burrow brothers returned to Lamar County, and William Brock headed back to Texas. There, Pinkerton agents traced him via coats the men had discarded near the tracks after the robbery and arrested him on December 31, 1887, outside the town of Dublin, Texas; he soon implicated the Burrow brothers and told the detectives where they were.
In early January 1888, Pinkerton assistant superintendent John McGinn raised a party in Lamar County to arrest Burrow at his house but lost him after a series of errors about which house was the right one. That night, the brothers boarded a Louisville and Nashville (L&N) train just south of Birmingham and headed south. A conductor on the train recognized them from police flyers, wired ahead to the station in Montgomery (where the brothers intended to get off), and arranged for the police to meet the train when it stopped.
The police attempted to lure them to the jail when they left the train by posing as railroad workers and offering to find them lodging; however, the Burrows realized the ruse and fought with the police. Rube escaped after shooting an officer, but Jim was captured. Burrow escaped the subsequent manhunt, stole a horse, and headed south, where his pursuers lost his trail. Burrow then turned back north and returned to Lamar County to seek news of his brother, who was now imprisoned in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In March 1888, Burrow partnered with Leonard. C. Brock (also known as Lewis Waldrip), who had worked with Burrow as a ranch hand in Texas, and convinced him to adopt the name of notorious Texas train robber “Joe Jackson” to strike fear in pursuers by convincing them that he had taken up with an even more dangerous outlaw. The men set out from Lamar County and travelled south through Columbus, Mississippi, before heading east and seeking shelter in a logging camp in the backwoods of Baldwin County, Alabama. In May, Burrow and Brock headed back north to Lamar County, hoping that their pursuers had given up interest in the area.
After reaching home, Burrow began working on a plan to free his brother from jail. In August, Burrow and Brock headed for Little Rock after learning that Jim Burrow would be moved to Texarkana. The men could not intercept Burrow’s train, however. After arriving in Texarkana, Jim Burrow wrote home to his family to send funds for a lawyer and voiced his belief that he would be acquitted of all charges when his trial took place the following March. In late September, however, he fell ill, and he died on October 5, 1888, most likely of tuberculosis.
Having failed in their rescue attempt, Burrow and Brock headed back to Lamar County, taking back roads to avoid detection. On December 15, 1888, they robbed a train in Duck Hill, Mississippi, and shot and killed a passenger who attempted to thwart the robbery. His murder raised alarms in the national press and among the railroad companies, who feared a loss in revenue if the safety of train travel came under question. Because the description of the shooter also matched that of train robber Eugene Bunch, the Pinkertons pursued him rather than Burrow. Burrow and his men returned safely to Lamar County, where Burrow’s extended family provided the men with supplies and safe haven throughout the spring of 1889 and kept watch for detectives and bounty hunters.
During the final years of the American frontier, Rube Burrow became one of the most hunted outlaws in the Old West since Jesse James. From 1886 to 1890, he & his gang robbed express trains in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, the Indian Territory & Texas whilst being pursued throughout the southern half of the United States by hundreds of lawmen, including the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.
Brothers and Lamar County natives Rube (left) and Jim Burrow were part of an outlaw gang that robbed trains in southern states during the late 1880s. Rube and his brother would continue to rob the trains until eventually his luck ran out, after the capture of his brother in Montgomery and his subsequent death in jail, Rube would eventually make the fatal mistake of trusting the wrong people which led to his arrest.
On October 7, 1890, Rube Burrow was captured by two black men, Jesse Hildreth & Frank Marshall, with the help of two white planters, John McDuffie & Jeff “Dixie” Carter, at George Ford’s cabin, at the town of Myrtlewood in Marengo County, Alabama. McDuffie had suspected that Burrow would be in the area & had warned Hildreth to be on the lookout. When Burrow showed up at Ford’s cabin, Hildreth was inside & was able to get word back to McDuffie. Hildreth & Marshall jumped Burrow & held him for McDuffie & Carter who took him to the jail at Linden, Alabama, with Burrow entertaining them all the way with funny stories. Rube offered Hildreth a hundred dollars if he would let him go. Hildreth said “I couldn’t use it then, ‘cause you’d kill me first.”
During the early-morning hours of December 9, 1890, Burrow complained of hunger & talked his jailers into handing him his bag, which contained some ginger-snap cookies. Rube’s bag also contained a gun, which Burrow held at the head of one of the guards he then made his way to the front of the jail, .He escaped, locking two guards (including McDuffie) in his cell, & taking another guard with him to find Carter at Glass’s store to get back money that had been taken from him. Burrow reportedly believed that Dixie Carter was Nick Carter, the famous fictional detective. Carter was in the store, & when he came outside, he & Burrow exchanged gunfire Burrow fired all of the bullets in his pistol, striking Carter once in the abdomen, before Carter shot Burrow in the chest as he turned to run, killing him instantly. Burrow was dead in the street & Carter was wounded.
His body was sent back to Lamar by train and was put on public display.
A coroner’s inquest was held, and the body of Rube Burrow being thoroughly identified a verdict of death in the manner described was rendered. After treating the body with preservatives it was taken to Demopolis, Ala. Here hundreds of people assembled to view the remains of the great bandit.
The body of train robber Rube Burrow was displayed to the public on its way back to Lamar County from Linden, Marengo County, where he was killed in a shootout while attempting to escape from jail in October 1890.
On arrival at Birmingham, at three o’clock on the morning of the 9th of October, it is estimated that over a thousand people were in waiting to get a glimpse at the body of the great train robber. Special officers were employed to keep the morbid crowd at bay. Photographs of the body were taken, and at seven o’clock A. M. the train leaving Birmingham for Memphis conveyed the remains to Sulligent, making several stops along the way so that the public could see the body of the famous train robber. His weapons were also put on display in Memphis, Tennessee, and attracted huge crowds.
A telegram had been sent to Allen Burrow, stating that Rube’s dead body would be delivered to him at noon that day at Sulligent. When his body reached Sulligent, it was collected by his father, and Burrow was buried in Fellowship Cemetery. Exactly one month later, former gang member William Brock leapt to his death from the top floor of the Brock Penitentiary in Jackson, Tennessee, after receiving a life sentence.
These were the “smoke wagons,” “street howitzers” and repeaters that tamed the American West.Each of these firearms are not only significant guns of the American West, they belonged to some of the most famous and infamous frontiersmen (and women), soldiers, and icons who forged the American West both in myth and reality—a West we nostalgically remember today.
Certainly, in popular history, the Winchester Model 1873 is given this distinction. While the trusty ol’ lever-action shooting iron more than earned its stripes in military conflicts, range wars and protecting the Back 40, it far from single-handedly tamed the vast American frontier.
In reality, no one gun can make the claim. It was a vast arsenal of different revolvers and rifles and shotguns of every conceivable design, make and model that carved this nation from coastline to coastline.
Even if there was no single gun that won the West, there are certainly some six-shooters, repeaters and other great guns that more than pulled their share of the weight during this era. With that in mind, here are the 10 guns you have to know from the Old West. While there were many other firearms that left their mark on this time, these were among the most important.
Buffalo Bill’s Remington Rolling Block RifleRemington Rolling Block Rifle, .45-70 caliber, serial number 3, date: ca 1873.
William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody owned this embellished serial number 3 Remington Rolling Block Rifle. Cody earned his nickname working for the Goddard Brothers on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. He then rose to fame through stage performances and ultimately the internationally renowned Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. The Remington Rolling Block was made in many calibers and configurations. The original concept was designed by Leonard Geiger in 1863 and improved upon by Remington’s Joseph Rider. Production of this action occurred from 1867 through 1934.
Yellow Hair’s Remington Army RevolverRemington Army Revolver, .44 caliber, serial number 51344, date: ca 1865.
On July 17, 1876, after George Armstrong Custer’s demise at the Battle of Little Bighorn, the Battle of Warbonnet Creek occurred. The most notable component of this event was an encounter between Buffalo Bill and Cheyenne warrior Yellow Hair. During this interaction, Cody shot and killed Yellow Hair. This gun is believed to be the gun that Cody took from his victim. Remington became known for its Navy and Army Revolver models. The first revolver they made was a design by Fordyce Beals. Its introduction in 1857 is linked with the expiration of Colt’s revolving patent.
Wild Bill Hickok’s Colt Model 1851 Navy RevolverColt Model 1851 Navy Revolver, .36 caliber, serial number 204672, date: ca 1860s.
James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok was known for many things – ranging from lawman to showman. But it is his death that, like the folk hero, has become legendary. Hickok died during a poker game in Deadwood, South Dakota. This Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver belonged to Hickok and was sold to help pay for his burial expenses. I recognize the Colt Model 1873 “Peacemaker” is more famous than the 1851 Navy in terms of American Western lore. But the museum doesn’t have a famously associated Peacemaker, so I thought to honor Colt’s legacy for this list with Mr. Wild Bill.
George Armstrong Custer’s Sharps Model 1853 Sporting RifleSharps Model 1853 Sporting Rifle, .44 caliber, serial number 21130, date: 1854-1859.
Possibly best known for his greatest failure, the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, Custer held a mostly prestigious military career. He served as a Brevet General during the American Civil War. He was the Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment when he died. While a military man, this Sharps reflects his civilian life. The Sharps Rifle is iconic on the frontier, known for its military uses but also for bison hunting. This model is earlier in Sharps history – pre-Civil War. And was the last model on which Christian Sharps worked before he left the company.
Annie Oakley’s Smith & Wesson No. 3 RevolverSmith & Wesson No. 3 Revolver, .44 S&W, serial number 3653, date: 1890s.
Annie Oakley was one of the most popular performers for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Moses in Darke County, OH and began hunting at an early age to support her family. At the age of 15, she entered a shooting match with famed marksman Frank E. Butler. Oakley won the match, ultimately married Butler, and went on to international fame for her marksmanship. This well-worn Smith & Wesson No. 3 Revolver belonged to Oakley. It is believed she ordered three No. 3’s during her lifetime. While Smith & Wesson initially were involved in the lever action side of iconic western guns, they quickly shifted to the top break revolvers that made them famous. Thanks once again to Colt’s pesky patent expiration in 1857.
Buffalo Bill’s Winchester Model 1873 Smoothbore RifleWinchester Model 1873 Rifle, .44 caliber, serial number 6745, date: 1875.
Buffalo Bill has already made an appearance on this list – and he will again. This Winchester was used, by the showman, during his arena performances. Note that the rifle is designated smoothbore. The legend goes: during an arena performance, one of the performers shot through a greenhouse window and from that point on the crew would shoot shot rather than a bullet. The Winchester Model 1873 is the quintessential “Gun that Won the West” – thanks in no part to clever marketing during the post-World War I era (sarcasm). But this model is one of the most frequently seen in western film, literature, and lore.
President Theodore Roosevelt’s Winchester Model 1895 RifleWinchester Model 1895 Rifle, .405 WCF, date: ca 1900.
This Winchester Model 1895 may seem a tad out of place in a traditional western list, but because it belonged to Rough Rider Theodore Roosevelt, I couldn’t resist. This Winchester Model 1895 in the iconic .405 Winchester Centerfire Cartridge went with Roosevelt on his African Safari in 1909. The Winchester Model 1895 showed an evolution in lever action technology. Based from John Moses Browning’s design, this lever action abandoned the stereotypical tubular magazine of guns like the 1873 and adopted a box magazine – better suited for spitzer cartridges.
Liver-Eatin’ Johnson’s Hawken RifleHalf-stock Hawken Rifle, .56 caliber, not serialized, date: ca 1860.
Liver-Eatin’ Johnson was known by many names and immortalized as Jeremiah Johnson thanks to the Robert Redford film. John Johnston (with a T) is known best by oral history and legend as the man who declared war on the Crow Nation after the murder of his Flathead Indian wife. However, that story has been refuted by evidence that places him as a soldier in the Mexican American War at the time the story came to be. Regardless, he is considered an icon in the West. And the Hawken Rifle is every bit as famous. The Hawken Bros, out of St. Louis, MO, made single shot muzzleloaders that became known as the mountain man’s firearm of choice.
Buffalo Bill’s Springfield Model 1866 Trapdoor Rifle – Lucretia BorgiaSpringfield Model 1866 Trapdoor Rifle, .50 caliber, date: ca 1865.
William F. Cody earned the nickname Buffalo Bill with this rifle. He used this gun while bison hunting for the Kansas Pacific Railroad. He named it Lucretia Borgia after the femme fatale character from the stage play Lucrezia Borgia. Note that part of the firearm is missing. This happened during Buffalo Bill’s lifetime. Trapdoor technology was a popular breechloading modification used in the West. The Model 1866 was the second conversion of Erskine Allin. While many attribute the Sharps Rifle as THE bison gun, it is interesting that Buffalo Bill earned the Buffalo before Bill with not a Sharps, but this Springfield.
Frederic Remington’s Spencer Repeating CarbineSpencer Model 1865 Repeating Carbine, caliber not noted in record, serial number 17192, date: ca 1865.
While not as storied as some Colts, the first commercially successful repeating firearm, nonetheless, left its mark on the West. Patented in 1836 and produced until 1842, just a little more than 2,000 of the cap-and-ball revolvers were manufactured. Despite their limited numbers, the Colt Patersons found their way into a number of definitive conflicts in the mid-1800s.
Among the most storied was the Battle of Bandera Pass, which marked the turning point of the Texas-Indian wars. In the early 1840s fight, 50 or so Texas Rangers, led by legendary Captain John “Jack” Hays, routed a vastly superior force of Comanche, thanks in large part to their five-shot Colt Patersons.
This wasn’t the only time Hays prevailed against overwhelming odds due to the revolver. Previously in the Battle of Walker Creek and his Big Fight at Enchantment Rock, the Paterson proved its worth. While the revolver came in many calibers, the .36-caliber No. 5 became known as the “Texas Patterson” for its use by the Rangers.
Though limited in use, the 1860 Henry proved itself a wicked weapon in the Civil War. But its devastating effect was perhaps best demonstrated in another heralded American battle — the Little Bighorn.
Armed with the brass-receiver beauties, among other repeaters, Sioux and Cheyenne Warriors utterly devastated the 7th Cavalry. Some archaeological evidence points to 134 firearms in the hands of the Indians, 62 of them Henrys.
The cavalry, on the other hand, was armed with single-shot Springfield Model 1873 rifles firing the now-notorious copper cartridges — known to expand and jam the breech. So it seems George Armstrong Custer and his men weren’t only outnumbered that late June day, they were also vastly outgunned.
Beyond formal conflict, the Henry was a mainstay among many pioneers during westward expansion. Its 15 rounds of .44 Henry rimfire not only proved adequate for protecting a homestead or scaring off cattle rustlers, but also bagging the odd deer.
Colt Single Action Army
No other gun sums up the Wild West like this Colt. Introduced in 1873 originally as a Cavalry revolver, the Single Action Army spread across the frontier like a prairie fire.
Perhaps no single gun hung off the hips of more cowboys, lawmen and outlaws than this revolver. The likes of Wyatt Earp, John Selman, John Wesley Hardin, Bat Masterson and many others all favored the Colt and for good reason. The revolver was well balanced, provided a fast rate of fire and superior ergonomics. To the last two points, the six-gun’s design allowed it to rock back in the hand upon firing, setting the shooter up to cock the hammer for his next shot. On top of that, the Colt SAA packed a wallop, particularly in its most prominent chamberings — .44-40 WCF and .45 Colt.
The Colt SAA wasn’t infallible, however. Slow on the reload and only able to be safely loaded with five rounds (unless an hombre wanted to lose a pinky toe), the gun could quickly be out of the fight and slow to reenter. But in competent hands, and there were many, there was no deadlier weapon on the American frontier.
Colt 1851 Navy
Named for the Republic of Texas Navy, ironically, this gun saw little action on the high sea. But on the vast American frontier, the handsome six-gun was among the most prolific cap-and-ball revolvers. Some quarter of a million were made between 1850 and 1873.
Though on the surface it doesn’t appear so, what made the gun so desirable, aside from its smooth handling and potency, was its portability. Designed as a sidearm, the 1851 Navy was much lighter than similar revolvers — the Walker Colt and Colt Dragoon. In turn, an hombre could easily keep this peace of mind at hand out of the saddle.
In its cap-and-ball form, the Navy was a .36-caliber gun, but toward the 1870s a number of the revolvers were converted to accept .38-caliber metallic cartridges. The 1851 saw prolific use in the Civil War and across the West. Robert E. Lee carried a Navy while serving with the 2nd Cavalry in Texas, and it was the preferred revolver of no less than James “Wild Bill” Hickok.
1873 Springfield Trapdoor
In an age filled with some of the most iconic repeaters to ever drop a hammer, the Springfield Trapdoor seems downright frumpy. The single-shot rifle, however, was among the most plentiful firearms out West.
This is primarily due to it being the U.S. Army service rifle for the better part of the American age of expansion (1873 to 1892). It was a mainstay for both sides of the intermittent conflict known as the Indian Wars and a fairly solid rifle once the bugs were worked out.
Its main sticky point, literally, was the rifle’s early ammunition. The Trapdoor initially shot .45-70 Government ammo loaded in copper cases, which, when heated, expanded and had a tendency of jamming the breech with devastating consequences. Many blame this flaw as one of the reasons the 7th Calvary was routed at the Little Bighorn.
Custer’s last stand prompted the Army into action and eventually to adopt brass cases, which made all the difference in the world. The .45-70 round itself was more than enough to handle anything a soldier set his sights on out to 1,000 yards. And given this potential, the Army began to emphasized marksmanship. Shooting practice and, eventually, competitions became a more regular part of training, preparing soldiers to use the rifle with crack-shot accuracy on the open prairie.
Winchester Model 1873
Arguably the most famous and recognizable rifle of the Old West, the 1873 is a true icon of the frontier. The iron-framed, lever-action rifle was ideal in a saddle scabbard or at the homestead, ready to take care of any chore a revolver couldn’t handle. And plenty of good and bad men had chores for the 1873, with the likes of William F. Cody, the Texas Rangers, Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and a long list of other Western notables employing the rifle.
In addition to its ease of use and low maintenance, what made the 1873 a success was Winchester chambering it for a number of its proprietary pistol ammunition — .44-40, .38-40 and .32-20. This took a load of burden off a buckaroo during a period when logistics were not at the top of their game. A fella never knew when a desperado might highjack the latest ammunition delivery heading to the local general store thus leave a pistol or rifle high and dry.
The rifle was also awash across the West, with some half-million manufactured before the turn of the 19th Century. Honestly, no self-respecting lawman, rancher or outlaw would be caught without one.
Certainly, the 1873 Winchester Rifle and Colt Single Action Army were as abundant as tumbleweeds out West; but they most likely paled in numbers to the simple double-barreled shotgun. The firearm was ubiquitous, brought in droves by pioneers heading for new lives in the West.
Double-barreled shotguns came from all corners of the globe, many rolling out of local blacksmith shops. And they made a lot of sense as a tool to tame the land, given their flexibility. Capable of bagging nearly any game known to man — be it covered in fur or feather — the shotgun also doubled as one of the most notorious defensive arms ever to bare a trigger.
There was a good likelihood every lawman had one at hand and they were heavily utilized to guard stagecoaches in their shortened coach gun variation. But the double-barrel shotgun was also the stock-in-trade for some of the wickedest men to roam the West. “Deacon” Jim Miller, for one, cottoned to the brutal instrument and used it to devastating effect on a number of occasions.
While it saw its share of military battles and the odd lawman might have one at hand, the venerable Sharps left its mark on the West in a much different fashion than many of this era’s storied firearms — hunting. During the hide-hunting era of the American frontier, the powerful single-shot rifle felled more buffalo than perhaps any other firearm. It was ideal for the task.
Chambered for powerful rounds such as .50-90, .50-110 and .45-70, the falling-block rifle was reasonably accurate, allowing hunters to harvest buffalo at relatively long ranges. This is a black mark against the rifle today, with commercial hunting typically blamed for pushing the prairie behemoth to the brink of extinction.
Even with the ballistics to drop a buffalo more than 1,000-yards out, there is modern research that points more to disease than the Sharps and other big-bore rifles in the animal’s disappearance. Either way, the rifle still had an impact — be it large or small — and today is considered by many as iconic in the West as the Colt SAA and Winchester 1873.
Smith & Wesson Model 3
The first revolver that fired metallic cartridges adopted by the U.S. Military, it didn’t take long for this break-top beast to catch on with good and bad men alike. From lawmen like Pat Garrett to outlaws such as John King Fisher, the Model 3 delivered the goods.
Chambered originally in .44 S&W — later in other .44-caliber variants, as well as .38 — the six-shooter offered more than enough power to take care of even the most stubborn adversary. On top of that, it was fast to reload. Opening from the top to expose all six cylinders, a gunslinger could quickly get the single action back into a fight.
This was a distinct advantage in an era where old cap-and-ball revolvers were still prevalent. Even the beloved Colt Single Action Army couldn’t beat out the Model 3 since it had to be reloaded one cartridge at a time.
John M. Browning, of course, left a mark on the Old West, perhaps no more so than with his first repeating rifle with Winchester. A stronger rifle than the Model 1876, with vertical locking bolts, the ’86 was also sleeker and easier to handle. And it vastly outgunned the majority of repeaters of the day, shooting some of the most powerful big-game cartridges around (and well) — .45-70, .45-90 and .50-110.
Perhaps best of all, it added a dimension of firepower to the equation with the lever action’s nine-round tubular magazine. In one fell swoop, the single-shot rolling-block rifles were outclassed and obsolete on the hunt. But it wasn’t only hunters who saw the benefit of the massive and powerful Model 1886.
Bob Dalton of the notorious bank and train robbing Dalton Gang is reported to have carried the lever action. And a number of the hired Texas killers — known as the “Invaders” — utilized the rifle in Wyoming’s Johnson County War.
A medieval ship burial in England that is so impressive and mysterious that it’s been compared to the world of the Old English epic “Beowulf” But who is actually buried at the 1,400-year-old site known as Sutton Hoo? Here mysterious grassy mounds covered a number of ancient graves. In one particular grave, belonging to an important Anglo-Saxon warrior, some astonishing objects were buried, but there is little in the grave to make it clear who was buried there historical records dating to the period are limited, and the remains of those buried at the site are completely decayed, leaving no physical remains to analyze,
The royal burial site at Sutton Hoo, a few miles from the Suffolk coast, East England, is the most famous of all Anglo-Saxon sites. It is mainly known for its outstanding funerary discoveries and in Mound 1, sheds light on the war gear of early seventh-century Anglo-Saxon rulers.
In the summer of 1939, an amateur archaeologist, Basil Brown (1888 – 1977), made one of the most exciting discoveries in British archaeology; they found the tomb of an Anglo-Saxon who had been buried there in the early 600s. Beneath the mound was the imprint of a 27-metre-long ship. At its centre was a ruined burial chamber packed with treasures: Byzantine silverware, sumptuous gold jewelry, a lavish feasting set, and most famously, an ornate iron helmet. Dating to the early 600s, this outstanding burial clearly commemorated a leading figure of East Anglia, the local Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It may even have belonged to a king. Many thought that King Raedwald, who ruled a kingdom in East Anglia and died around A.D. 627, is the best candidate. But even that’s just a best guess.
Artist interpretation by Alan Sorrell of the moving of the burial ship over to the grave. Image credits: A.C. Evans, 1986 via Archaeology of Britain.
Who was Raedwald?
Archaeologists point to Raedwald because the date of the coins and other artifacts matches well with the time of his reign and because the burial does not seem to be fully Christian — something that jibes with what historical records say about him. Sutton Hoo’s location in East Anglia and the richness of its artifacts link it to the East Anglian royal dynasty.
Raedwald ruled a kingdom in East Anglia and struggled over whether he should be Christian or pagan. At one point, he built a temple that had a Christian altar and a pagan altar side by side, St. Bede (lived A.D. 672-735) wrote in his book the “Ecclesiastical History of the English People.”
Raedwald’s religious dilemma is important, as scholars have noted that there are few artifacts at Sutton Hoo that have Christian motifs. “He seemed at the same time to serve Christ and the gods whom he had served before,” wrote St. Bede (translation by J.A. Giles). “In the same temple, he had an altar to sacrifice to Christ and another small one to offer victims to devils,” Bede wrote, calling Raedwald “noble by birth, though ignoble in his actions.”
Moreover, Raedwald was a prominent king during his time, intervening in a dispute over who should be King of Northumbria by using his army to ensure that Edwin, one of the claimants, was crowned. The Sutton Hoo ship burial — with its ornate accessories made of gold and jewels — seems rich enough for such a ruler.
In this reconstruction drawing, the Sutton Hoo ship burial holds a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artifacts and the body of what is likely a king from East Anglia. (Image credit: English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
However, some archaeologists were more cautious in their assessments.
“I think the balance of evidence suggests the burial site is connected to the East Anglian royal dynasty, and I think this is as far as we can, and should, go with this question,” Howard Williams, an archaeology professor at the University of Chester in England, told OTCB He noted that although Raedwald, or perhaps another East Anglian king, could be buried at Sutton Hoo, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that the burial could be from a king of a neighboring East Saxon kingdom.
Another possibility is a relative of Raedwald. “If you held a gun to my head, I would say Raedwald, but equally I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it turned out to be someone else,” said Alex Woolf, a senior lecturer in medieval history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. “Raedwald is probably the best bet, but far from certain. His son Eorpwald had a short reign after him, and there are other members of the family in the seventh century we know little about.”
In 1993, Woolf and two colleagues wrote a paper published in the journal Anglo-Saxon England suggesting that the burial could hold the remains of someone from the East Saxon kingdom. Ultimately, “I don’t think we can know for sure” who was buried in the boat grave, Woolf said.
However, Barbara Yorke, an emeritus professor of early medieval history at the University of Winchester in England, said other East Anglian kings from the time period seem unlikely for a variety of reasons. For example, these kings reigned for short periods, had strong ties to Christianity or died before the minting of the coins. Therefore, Raedwald is the most likely candidate, she said.
“Raedwald was the most powerful of the East Anglian kings, and the ship burial seems the richest and most impressive of the Sutton Hoo burials,” Yorke said.
Some of the researchers cautioned that we cannot be certain the boat burial even belongs to a king. “The Staffordshire hoard and other more recent finds show that finds of very high-quality gold and garnet work were more common than was thought at the time of the main publication of Sutton Hoo in the 1970s, and although there is no doubt that such items denoted very high status, they may not have been held exclusively by kings,” said Gareth Williams, a curator at The British Museum. (Discovered in 2009, the Staffordshire hoard is an Anglo-Saxon treasure holding some 3,500 items made from gold, silver and other metals that dates to the seventh century.)
Williams pointed out that there is also a debate over the age of the coins at Sutton Hoo. “Most recent commentators would prefer a broader date range, which would certainly include A.D. 625 but would extend by some years to either side. Raedwald is therefore a strong possibility, but not the only one,” Williams said.
Ongoing research at Sutton Hoo
Recently, archaeologists at Sutton Hoo have been using lidar, a technology that uses a laser to map out terrain, along with ground- penetrating radar to examine details of how the cemetery was constructed. Many researchers told Live Science that although it is unlikely that we will know for sure who was buried at the site, Sutton Hoo is still worth studying.
“I do not think we will ever be able to name the individual buried at Sutton Hoo with certainty, but this does not keep me awake at night,” said Sue Brunning, curator of early medieval and Sutton Hoo collections at The British Museum. “While a name would be the cherry on the cake, there is so much of value to learn from the archaeology of the burial, and I feel that it is more rewarding to direct our ideas and energy into the wider context.”
European timeline, AD 300–1100
Celtic Britain and Ireland
The people of Ireland and northern and Western Britain spoke Celtic languages and shared ancient traditions and beliefs.
The Roman Empire and beyond
At its height, the Roman Empire extended all around the Mediterranean and into continental Europe and Britain.
The Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire comprised the eastern part of the Roman Empire following its division in east and west in AD 395. Its capital was Constantinople.
As Roman control in Western Europe weakened, Germanic peoples from outside the Empire began to enter and settle on former Roman territories.
After the Roman army withdrew from Britain in AD 410, groups of Germanic peoples from Northwest Europe crossed the North Sea to settle in parts of southern and eastern Britain.
Originating from Scandinavia, the Vikings voyaged overseas to raid, trade and settle in new lands at this time.
Model of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial 1, England. The placement of the burial chamber is marked white.Image credit: Eebahgum – CC BY-SA 3.0
1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo burial ship. Image credit: Harold John Phillips – Public Domain
In “The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial,”The cap of the helmet was formed from a size piece of iron, and it is divided into ornamental zones, each with detailed engraved by the metalsmith who created it, due to the use of different metals.”
People wondered whether this could be a cenotaph, a symbolic burial, where the body had been lost.
The Sutton Hoo helmet is a remarkable example of the Saxon craft.
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