Handguns of the Old West

Bringing the Old West to life at Robson Ranch

Mike Moss

Capping off our Old West Week, the Robson Ranch Gun Club held our biggest show of the year, “Handguns of the Old West.” From the contributions of numerous collectors, almost all Robson Ranch residents, we were able to display 38 famous and significant guns from the “Old West” era (1806-1877).

Complementing these three dozen amazing pieces was an informative presentation by our resident military historian Miguel Ondina. He was accompanied in his presentation, for the first time, by his wife Judy who gave a rundown of the famous personalities (historical, modern, and Hollywood!) who employed these various Old West arms. It turns out that infamous Texas gunfighter and outlaw John Wesley Hardin, at one time or another, used just about all of them! Who knew? The presentation was followed by a quick Q&A session, and then the attendees were able to closely view and discuss the arms on display with the table hosts in attendance.

Among the amazing handguns: a flint-lock pistol, the Volcanic lever-action handgun, an authentic 1849 Colt (170 years old!), and reproductions of the iconic Colt-Paterson and Colt-Walker. Many thanks to Dennis Garstang for his special contributions to the display, including the authentic 1849, 1851, and 1860 Colt cap-and-ball percussion revolvers and an array of Colt Peacemakers (1873, “Single Action Army”). Also, to Larry Hampton, whose expansive collection of Old West replicas gave us the opportunity to view a Colt Paterson and two replicas of the Colt Walker—designated earlier this year by Governor Abbott as “Official Handgun Of The Lone Star State.” In addition to the arms, our attendees were able to enjoy holsters, art, antiques, and artifacts from the Old West.

Topping it all off, our guests were welcomed into the clubhouse Lonestar/Legacy Room with a montage of Old West TV and movie classics: the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, the theme from The Magnificent Seven, “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky,” Gunsmoke, and, of course, The Lone Ranger! Not to let the opportunity pass, many of our club members put on their best Western wear to bring this Old West history to life.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming event, “Long Guns of the Old West,” currently scheduled for Jan. 20, 2022, at 7 p.m. at the Clubhouse. Watch for announcements!

The mission of our Robson Ranch Gun Club is to provide an opportunity and forum for our members to meet, share their interest in firearms, participate in various forms of shooting sports, and provide a learning environment for all skill levels of firearm ownership and uses. Our monthly meeting is the second Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m. in the clubhouse. Safety is always our primary concern and is a shared responsibility of each member.

For more information, please contact Club President Larry Hampton at [email protected] or Vice President Mike Moss at [email protected].